THE ED SHOW
July 28, 2013
Guests: Ruth Conniff, John Fugelsang, Bob King, Rev. Wendell Anthony,
William C. Rhoden, Bill Thompson
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom, defined by our constitution.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m declaring this an unlawful event.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A judge issued an order saying the state could enforce
its policy requiring a permit for demonstrations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walker is acting like a typical school yard bully.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe a thousand tomorrow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like it`s an injustice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve laid a positive foundation to move Wisconsin
forward and people want to continue down that path. We need to do that
nationally as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the kind of candidate that Republicans want on
a national level.
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good to have you with us tonight. Folks, you`re on the
Ed Show, well, he`s back. Take a look that guy, Scott Walker. While the
national media is paying attention to the likes of Chris Christie, Marco
Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and the rest of the crazies, over on the right
side, it is this guy, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Ironically, as
much as he hates labor, he is really doing the political bricklaying right
He is quietly putting together the presidential bid in 2016. You remember
this guy. This is the guy who made his mark in 2011 by signing some of the
most anti-worker legislation ever seen in this guy and conservatives
absolutely adore him for it. A move, of course, which drove tens of
thousands of protesters in Madison, Wisconsin to the capitol in an effort
to make sure that their voices were heard.
This man went ahead and took away the rights for unions to collectively
bargain, get better pay and job security and benefits just to hang on to
what they had. He expanded a taxpayer finance school voucher program at
the expense of public schools. Think about that. In midst of a financial
crisis, he started making austerity cuts. He cut a billion dollars out of
the education budget and fired teachers. He cut taxes for the wealthiest.
He cut income taxes. He signed a mentor requiring women seeking an
abortion to view an ultra sound before the procedure. So he`s right in on
the Republican war on women. It kind of makes sense, doesn`t it? That
Republicans just love this guy. His only challenge right now is name
recognition. That`s why he is on the rubber chicken circuit.
Scott Walker is looking to cash in on all of this. That right, folks.
Governor Scott Walker wants to be President Scott Walker. How do we know?
Take a look at this map. This tells you all you need to know. These are
the states where Scott Walker has visited just this year and on the heels
of raising millions of dollars. He is raising money and teaching other
state legislators how to go after workers, how to destroy unions, this is
what he talks about.
New Hampshire, Iowa, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut,
Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Nevada, New York, Texas, Tennessee, I mean,
it`s not concentrated in one portion of the country, is it? He is trying
to be a national candidate. Now if you`re looking for a new paper weight
or if you want to paper train your puppy or line your bird cage, he is
going to give you the opportunity. He`s got a book coming out this fall.
The title of the book is "Unintimidated, a Governor`s Story and a Nation`s
Now on Friday, Walker gave the keynote speech at Western Conservative
Summit in Colorado. While Walker was out campaigning and promoting
himself, dozens of his constituent, back in his home state of Washington,
were being arrested in the capitol for singing. You heard me right, for
singing. Three weeks after a federal judge said Wisconsin could legally
require permits for groups larger than 20 people, all the trouble started.
You see every weekday since March 2011, a group of anti-Walker protesters
have participated in what they call a sing-along at the capitol. It is
enthusiastic on their part. Now they are being arrested. By Friday, more
than 60 people had been arrested. Since when do you have to have a permit
to exercise your constitutional right as free speech? I thought these
righties love free speech.
This is what Scott Walker`s government looks like. You know what else
Scott Walker`s government looks like? Well, in 2012, Wisconsin ranked 33rd
among 50 states in the private sector for growth. That of course is the
lower second half. Lets it continues to trail the national growth rate as
well and at the current pace, there`s going to be about 124,000 private
sector jobs created by the time Walker`s term ends in 2015. That`s half of
the 250,000 jobs that Walker promised to create on the campaign trail And
Wisconsin`s average wages still lag behind the national average.
Walker`s government rejected Medicaid expansion. His budget will force
90,000 low income people off the state`s badger care program and into the
federal system where they will face cost increases. So basically to recap,
folks, this is the man who I think is the sleeper candidate for the
Republican Party. His policies are anti-worker. He is right in on the
anti-woman agenda. He is trying to privatize education in his state and he
is leaving his own constituents without affordable healthcare. Sounds
familiar, doesn`t it?
He is arresting people who disagree with him for exercising their
constitutional right to free speech. If that`s what the Republicans want
to hold up on the national stage, coming up in 2016, I believe one old
politician said, bring it on. He offered a perfectly packaged example of
exactly what is wrong with the Republican Party. He is the corporate
golden boy right now. He is not getting the publicity because he doesn`t
say the flashy things that Christie does and he is not out there getting
the national headlines.
But behind the scenes, if you look closely at his machine, he is doing
everything I think correctly. He is laying all the bricks. He is laying
the foundation to do what he has to do. And he is kind of the say anything
do anything you tell him to do politician. Wait until he gets to New York
here and gets in front of the Wall Streeters. They will love this guy
because he bends quickly, big time.
And he is a selfish guy. He doesn`t like workers. He doesn`t believe in
middle class. He may be the perfect candidate for the Republicans. In
fact, he will be the best debater on the stage. You wait and see. Get
yourself on. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s question, who would
you like to see the Republican nomination go to? Text A for Scott Walker,
text B to Chris Christie or go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. We will bring
you the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is TV host, John Fugelsang, the "Washington Post" E.J.
Dionne and Ruth Conniff from the "Progressive" magazine in Madison,
Wisconsin. Ruth, you first tonight, you know, I think Walker deserves
credit for his focus and his determination no matter what the odds are, he
has the corporate voice behind him and he goes and stays focus and stays on
task. But he has to have legislative help to get all of this done. Is
this what Wisconsin is all about? Is the badger state changing under this
RUTH CONNIFF, THE "PROGRESSIVE" MAGAZINE: Well, it`s been transformed. I
mean. We have been taken over and you have been covering this story a long
time, Ed, so you know about the $30 million that Walker spent in the recall
effort against him. I mean, he has brought money into this politics and
this state like we have never seen before and 75 percent of that money came
from outside the state.
So just as he is on a national tour gearing up for his presidential
campaign, he is bringing outside interest into the state and he has a
powerful machine. He now controls all three branches of government. He is
in the governor`s mansion. Our legislature which used to be Democratic is
now Republican in both houses. The Supreme Court has also been stack with
There is a lot of outside money that`s gone into buying those seats. He
has incredible power and for that handful of people who continue to show up
at the capitol to sing solidarity forever, it turns out that he can also
physically drag them out of our capitol building. So it is pretty amazing
to see what is happening here.
SCHULTZ: What has been the reaction, Ruth, of the people there in Madison
to these arrests that have taken place? Are they blaming Walker for this?
CONNIFF: Absolutely, Ed. The day after Walker had those 22 singers
arrested, and by the way, I have my solidarity sing-along book here. In
case we want to have an illegal sing along in a couple of minutes. He
arrested these folks. These are people I know. These are retired
teachers, the editor of the magazine I work for, the "Progressive"
magazine. You know, folks who work downtown, really peaceable people who
have been coming to the capitol and singing their songs, day after day for
two and a half years, really nice people who have been happy to step aside
if there is a wedding or other public event in the capitol building. He
has dragged them away. The next day of after he dragged away these 22
singers, there were 2200 people in the capitol. He is doing the opposite
of discouraging folks.
SCHULTZ: E.J., looking at this blue print that he is following. He is
doing exactly what the Koch brothers want. He is going after public
employees. He is going after organizations. He is going after dissenting
voices. He is cutting education. He is trying to privatize. Is he the
sleeper? Is he a guy that the Republicans really should invest in?
E.J. DIONNE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I think you`re right that he is a sleeper.
I kind of hear you rooting for him, Ed, because I think you would like to
argue with him for about two years.
SCHULTZ: Well, since you brought that up, I want to tell you, next weekend
we are going to be broadcasting from Minnesota. It is very interesting.
What Ruth was saying about the political power of Scott Walker just across
the river, Mark Daton, has the political power and you see a Democrat run
state and you see a Republican run state. And there is a drastic
difference as to which state is moving forward.
But along the lines after national sleeper, on the heels after Wisconsinite
being on the last ticket, do you think national Republicans would accept a
guy from Wisconsin if he is doing the all the right things? What do you
DIONNE: I think that from their point of view, it`s a swing state and he
is somebody they agree with. I think there is one guy who might get in the
way of that and that`s Paul Ryan who is also from Wisconsin. And I think
that if Ryan actually wants to run, I think he could get in Walker`s way.
Republicans have an interesting problem here because they`ve got Ryan and
Walker from Wisconsin. They got Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush from Florida. So
there`s going to be a lot of sorting out to do.
But on those demonstrations a lot of conservatives like to call themselves
libertarian. Many of them actually are libertarian. I would love to see
some libertarians step up and say, look, it is an a libertarian thing to
do, to go to the judge, and get in the way of free speech and free
assembly. Maybe Ruth can sing to that song to book to express her views on
that before the show is done.
SCHULTZ: John Fugelsang, where is Walker vulnerable in your opinion?
JOHN FUGELSANG, TV HOST: Well, he is -- I think you`re right, Ed, in
saying that he is probably the GOP candidate with the best chance of being
completely humiliated by Hillary Clinton.
SCHULTZ: Or Joe Biden.
FUGELSANG: Or Joe Biden. You know, he is really an interesting guy
because he proves Ronald Reagan was wrong. The most terrifying words in
the English language were "I`m from the government and I`m here to not
help." I think that he is in vulnerable in many areas. You got a great
recitation of all his sins. Leaving out he turned around $810 million for
a rail line connecting Milwaukee to Manson. He also opposes hospital
visitation for LGBT couples.
But I think it`s the abortion issue, Ed, where he is going to be the
weakest. Scott Walker brought his fate and he has been very public about
how pious he is and that`s been his driving rational for these draconian
abortion legislations that will not be popular with the general public and
the general election.
Despite the fact Jesus never said anything about abortion, Ed, as you know,
but he was quite specific on how to treat the less fortunate. When you
look at Scott Walker`s record, it all depends on one thing, getting social
conservatives to believe that collective bargaining rights for teachers
hurts the deficit, but tax cuts for gazillion airs doesn`t. That`s the
crown jewel in Scott Walker`s kingdom of corn dog and it`s going to come
back to hunt him.
SCHULTZ: Ruth, he is not a Washingtonite. Does that help him a lot? Does
that help the Republicans?
CONNIFF: I mean, maybe. He has this kind of folksy appeal. He gave a
speech in Indiana and couple of right wing bloggers nicknamed him awesome
sauce, which was, you know, viral. You know, they like the way he talks.
He has a very plain spoken style. People are foolish to underestimate his
political skills. But if you look at the results of his tenure here in
Wisconsin, we are dragging behind the rest of the nation and our region in
job creation. That was his number one proposal.
And every time he has a job summit with our legislature, we have more
forced ultra sound bills and cancellation of accurate sex education
programs. So it is very clear I think to people in Wisconsin that we are
not doing well under Scott Walker. I think the nation might look at that.
SCHULTZ: Finally, E.J., when you look at Walker and all of these
candidates, they are all going to have to lay some foundation down on where
they stand on the NSA. I mean, this is the fight that`s breaking out in
the Republican Party right now. Could this be his weakness? I don`t even
know where he stands on this right now. But he has to formulate an opinion
that is going to pick either the radicals or going to pick, if they are
still left, pick mainstream Republicans who are still left. What do you
DIONNE: I think this is going to be a big problem in the Republican Party
though. When you look at that vote in the House it also splits Democrats.
But I think you have a very substantial group of libertarian Republicans
who are critical of this. You would you that given Walker`s record he
would lean toward the libertarians on that, but he is also a social
conservative. I think it is going to be a hard choice for him politically
and it will tell us a lot about which kind of conservative is he really,
depending on which side he comes out on that.
SCHULTZ: John, at the end of the day, how many jobs did you create?
They`ve been working over President Obama saying he hasn`t created enough
jobs. Proportionately Walker is way behind.
FUGELSANG: Exactly. He is proof, Ed, that this struggle is not between
conservatives and liberals. It`s aristocracy versus democracy. The voters
of that great state and I was playing Madison three times last year. I`ve
been to the "Progressive" offices. If you are looking for role models,
don`t look for politicians. Look for these people out there protesting
I think it is great we are finally 50 years later seeing a crack down on
folk music. Scott Walker been around 50 years ago, he could have stopped
Bob Dylan before he influenced the Beatles. We`d all listen to Pat Boone
still. But I do think that you`re going to see the real heroes here and I
would love to see the eyes of America turn those people in the capitol.
They out there protesting injustice, petitioning for address of grievances
as the founding fathers did every single day and they make me proud to be
SCHULTZ: John Fugelsang, Ruth Conniff, E.J. Dionne, thanks for being with
us on THE ED SHOW tonight. Appreciate it. Remember to answer tonight`s
question there at the bottom of your screen. Share your thoughts on
Twitter @edshow and on Facebook. We always want to know what you think.
Love your comments.
Conservatives still a little uptight with me because I again expose exactly
what went down in Detroit and who`s at fault. We will blow another
Republican motor city myth when we come back.
Football season is right around the corner. Believe it or not, NFL is
considering putting its players under the microscope in a big way. We will
talk about that with some sports writers, when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Detroit is just, you know, the death star of major
cities. Violent crime is rampant. Police response time is an hour. Half
the street lights don`t work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Conservatives have made the jump to
light speed when it comes to bashing Detroit. They are all experts. They
are all social engineers, have you noticed that? They don`t know anything
about investment and they don`t care. Republicans are now targeting labor
unions to take all of the blame for the city`s bankruptcy.
CHARLES PAYNE, FOX: A lot of people, including myself, to be quite frank
with you, looking from -- outside looking in, feel that unions bear a huge
amount of responsibility for the problems that Detroit has right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One thing certain is that unions as well as management
made some terrible mistakes in overreaching.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The labor unions, they are facing the same sort of
death spiral that the city of Detroit has faced where the model becomes
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What got Detroit into this trouble? Unfunded
liability, well, what are unfunded liabilities, healthcare, pensions,
social security, pensions and government that you cannot afford.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`ve known for 15 or 20 years this day was going to
arrive. The unions wouldn`t renegotiate contracts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the most predictable crisis in the world for
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All you have to do is look at Detroit and you get an
idea of how bad the axis there is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a lesson for not just unions, but all-American
cities, don`t overpromise and overspend.
SCHULTZ: Don`t you just feel the love for American workers? Don`t you
just love the feel for community? Don`t you just get the community spirit
when you hear these people talk? They are all experts and they are all in
denial as to what really caused the mammoth financial problems for the city
of Detroit and none of them have any solutions other than to give up and
Conservative commentator, George Will, not only blamed the people of
Detroit, he also insulted them on national television this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE WILL, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: Can`t solve the problems because
their problems are culture. You have a city, 139 square miles. You can
graze cattle in vast portions of it. Dangerous herds of dogs roam in
there. You have 3 percent of fourth graders read at national math
standards. You have 47 percent of Detroit residents are functionally
illiterate, 79 percent of Detroit children are born to unmarried mothers.
They don`t have a fiscal problem. They have a cultural collapse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Mr. Will, I will debate you any time, any place on what has
happened to Detroit and what is happening in our inner cities, and the
deindustrialization of this country. Any time, you name it or just have
coffee with you because I think you are void of the facts. You have come
to conclusions, Mr. Will, about black people. You have come to conclusions
about cities that are under resourced. You have come to the conclusion
that it is not important to respect elections in this country. I thought
conservatives liked elections.
Here to talk about the real problems facing Detroit are Bob King, the
president of the United Auto Workers. We will find out if the unions are
the big problem and Reverend Wendell Anthony of the NAACP. Gentlemen,
great to have you with us tonight.
The truth about Detroit, we`re cherry picking here. At least conservatives
are. They are going after labor union. Mr. King, I want you to respond to
some of the things that you have just heard and how you are the villain,
you folks who make a living. You folks who have healthcare and a pension,
you are the problem for Detroit. Respond to that, sir, please.
BOB KING, PRESIDENT, UNITED AUTO WORKERS: Well, it is outrageous and it`s
a lie. The union in Detroit is the largest union representing city
employees. They have made tremendous concessions over years to help the
city. Pensions in Detroit are extremely modest. They are 50 percent below
Chicago and New York. They are lower than other places in Michigan by 25
percent. An average pension in Detroit is like $18,000 or $19,000.
These are workers who dedicated their lives to the citizens of Detroit. It
is not their fault where the city is in the promises made to them must be
lived up to. It is a moral outrage that people are talking about cutting
pensions or cutting healthcare of retirees in the city of Detroit.
SCHULTZ: Mr. King, that really is the ruthlessness of all of this, isn`t
it? There`s a real callous attitude to those who appointed themselves in
power of this city to go after people who have worked the beat, who have
done city work for 30 years and all of a sudden they have to serve it up.
There`s a terrible unfairness to all of this. It amazes me how this
escapes the moral component of this, escapes the conversation when it comes
Now one homeowner who is on this program last night says wrecking crews are
already tearing down homes in his neighborhood. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEE GADDIES, DETROIT HOMEOWNER: Ed, this is the state of Michigan, coming
into a neighborhood they know nothing about with preconceived notion that
all of Detroit is just some vast waste land with abandoned buildings that
they knock down willy-nilly, not understanding that this is an upper class
neighborhood that people desire to live in. It is stable community. It is
near one of the best elementary schools in the city and we have some of the
best housing stock in the country and they started knocking down homes
without the consulting the community using federal tax dollars to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Reverend Anthony, is this a civil rights issue at this point?
REVEREND DR. WENDELL ANTHONY, DETROIT BRANCH NAACP PRESIDENT: It is one of
the moral challenges of our day, Ed. I`m so glad that you took the time to
talk to real people. What the brother said is right on point. This
bankruptcy, this notion that Detroit somehow should just fall off the cliff
is one not worthy of our nation. Unfortunately, many of the people who are
commenting on Detroit, they have never been to Detroit. They don`t know
Detroit. They`ve not been to my neighborhood. They`ve not been to the
schools. They don`t know the real issues.
What they are dealing with is a philosophical thrust that they believe that
we now have an opportunity to change the financial structure of the nation.
What Detroit needs is for people to reinvest in her. You cannot deal with
Detroit outside of the context of how Detroit got into this position.
There was this investment. There was a lack of tax -- the government
hasn`t put money back in Detroit which it owes Detroit.
To show the hypocrisies of all this stuff, Ed, they passed a law overnight
saying that even though we are in bankruptcy that the DIA, the Detroit
Institute of Arts and the joint zoo is untouchable. In other words, we
want to have Picasso over people. You can exempt Picasso, but you can tax
pensioners and retirees. You can invest in other areas, but you cannot put
money into the development of communities.
One of the problems that we had is that the money goes into the state does
not come to the city. The state is using money to plug up holes in its own
budget. We have demolition that should be going on. We have homes that
could be rehabilitated. Come to my neighborhood.
SCHULTZ: OK, I`m going to do that.
ANTHONY: Come take a bite of Detroit.
SCHULTZ: I`m going to take that as an invitation. I have been there
before. I`ve spoken to a church group a little over a year ago. This was
going on and there was a tremendous amount of angst in the community.
Reverend, what about them picking and choosing houses. The government
going around tagging homes and the state government going around tagging
homes without any input from the community, how can anybody support that?
Doesn`t that surprise you?
ANTHONY: It does and that`s one of the problems. The state has x amount
of dollars, a hundred million dollars from demolition, but the city knows
where these homes are. Every home, Ed, does not need to be knocked down.
Some homes can be renovated and rehabilitated. We also need to match young
people and adults with these homes so they can do job training, get the
jobs available, to do the training. That`s the kind of assistance Detroit
needs. In a city that bankrupt, we are going to spend $450 million to $600
million and guarantee the bonds of a downtown arena and not guarantee the
SCHULTZ: Gosh, I haven`t heard any of the conservatives talk about that,
Bob King. I haven`t heard conservatives talk about that investment. What
about it, Bob?
KING: It is outrageous. What Reverend Anthony said is right. We need
people to come and reinvest in Detroit. We need the model that we used in
the auto industry that was tremendously successful. It was labor,
management, community and government, all coming together. That`s what has
to happen. Not just in Detroit but in cities around the country. It is so
outrageous that this governor is sitting an rainy day fund to $500 million
to $700 million.
Totally distorted revenue sharing in the state of Michigan, municipalities
throughout the state, not just Detroit but throughout the state are not
getting their fair share of the revenue. Revenue sharing was a proposal.
Cities used to tax independently. Other municipalities of state, state
said let`s do one tax and we will share the revenue. They are not sharing
the revenue. The state is getting value of the auto industry jobs created
not by this governor but by Governor Grandholm, President Obama, the
industry -- billions of dollars invested.
SCHULTZ: What our guest said last night, Mr. Gaddies, and what you two
gentlemen are saying here tonight, I don`t hear on Fox News. I don`t hear
from the conservative George Wills of the world or anything like that.
Gentlemen, thanks for telling the truth.
ANTHONY: That`s why it is called Fox, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Thank you. I`m glad you`re with us, Reverend.
ANTHONY: Can I mention this real quick, real quick. There is a bill, a
legislation that Senator Graham and also Congressman Bitter is trying to
put through Congress, that is to use Detroit as a model to do --
SCHULTZ: That`s the scary thing. Bob King, I wanted to bring this up for
you. This could be a model for cities to go after cities to kill unions.
KING: That`s right. Democrats nationally --
SCHULTZ: Bob, go ahead.
ANTHONY: I want to thank senator and others beating this back because
don`t use Detroit as a whooping board.
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, we got to run.
ANTHONY: And then blame us for bleeding.
SCHULTZ: Bob King, Reverend Wendell Anthony, great to have you with us.
We will stay on this story. It`s a model for America, no doubt.
Coming up, the NFL focus on player tattoos and violence overlooks a much
bigger problem around the league. Bill Rudd of the "New York Times" joins
me for the discussion.
Later, New York City mayoral candidate, Bill Thompson weighs in his
opponent`s latest scandal and the real issues facing New Yorkers.
But next I`m taking your questions live in our "Ask Ed Live Segment." Stay
with us. We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. We love hearing from our viewers.
Tonight in our "Ask Ed Live" segment, the first question comes from Adam.
Will the House Republicans ever get off their butts and pass some jobs bill
already? No. They will not. They will not help this president or the
economy. They are running out the clock. They don`t believe in the
president`s or Democrats philosophy of a public/private partnership to
create jobs in America.
Our next question comes from Dennis Mack. He asks, do you think that there
will be a government shut down this fall? Again, no, I don`t. I think the
Republicans are all hat and no cattle and a bunch of cheap sound bites.
They are going to try to scare the hell out of you, but they know if they
shut the government down, they will pay a real price in midterms in 2014.
They can`t afford to do it. It goes into the history books. If you look
at what Newt Gingrich did back in the `90s shutting it down. It didn`t do
them any good. There`s a lot more coming up on "The Ed Show." Stick
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL BELICHICK, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, HEAD COACH: Could address the
situation involving Aaron Hernandez today. It`s really a sad day on so
many levels. Our thought and prayers are with the family of the victim and
I extend my sympathy really to everyone who has been impacted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. That was New England Patriots Head
Coach, Bill Belichick addressing former Patriots player, Aaron Hernandez
murder trial. Hernandez, a former Patriots tight end, an excellent player,
is accused of shooting and killing 27-year-old Odin Lloyd in Massachusetts
on June 17. As a result of the upcoming murder trial, the NFL is
considering using police experts to give analysis of prospects tattoos that
they were on the body looking for gang symbols.
Meanwhile the NFL is doing nothing to stop their biggest problem, players
carrying guns. A "USA Today" article from 2012 points out that nearly
three out of four NFL players own firearms and carry. For more on this,
let`s turn to "New York Times" sport columnist, Bill Rhoden. Bill, good to
have you back with us.
WILLIAM C. RHODEN, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Thank you.
SCHULTZ: When I heard that the NFL was going to start examining tattoos on
players, is this reaction to the trial as a PR effort or are they really
concerned about more of their players having wrong connections?
RHODEN: That`s a great connection. The NFL is going nuts with this stuff
because it`s really a cultural thing. I mean, the gangs are a problem to
himself, but the real problem is the guns. The NFL is they are tapping
into a culture, a younger, younger, younger culture and they have no idea
of how to really relate to all of the things that the baggage that comes
with this culture.
So are they desperate? I mean, they are just trying -- they are fishing.
How do we do that? How do we get great talent? How do we do talent?
Nurture, pampered and passed along like Hernandez since he was in high
school, and by the time, we get it, it`s already formed. What do we do? I
think they are trying. They are trying to examine tattoos --
SCHULTZ: It`s like a meat market. What are they going to do, bring in
police experts and examine all of the players in the nude and have them
explain what this is or what that is?
RHODEN: And what happens if a guy is in a gang?
SCHULTZ: What do they do?
RHODEN: You can`t play because you`re in a gang? It is a thorny subject,
but you mentioned something I think is crucial at the beginning, which is
this whole idea of guns and gangs. The NFL can do something about gangs --
guns. They can do something about guns.
SCHULTZ: Why do NFL players carry firearms? Why do so many do it?
RHODEN: Well, I think the same reason why our people in our culture in
general carry guns. I mean, that`s just the microcosm of guns. Guys will
tell you that they fear for their lives. That people know their salaries.
I think there is a fascination with stuff they couldn`t have before. Some
of the greatest gun collections in the country belong to a lot of athletes.
SCHULTZ: Athletes make an awful lot of money. They have the wherewithal
to isolate themselves. Does the NFL talk to them and counsel them on who
they hang out with and where they go? And do they talk to them about
owning firearms? Do they need the firearms?
RHODEN: Absolutely. They`ve got this to an art at the beginning of every
year. They give speeches, lectures, but that`s OK. Once you have the
money in your hand, it is a really, really tough situation. I think
Hernandez has just embarrassed the entire league.
SCHULTZ: Is this trial that Hernandez being charged with murder? Is this
going to change the focus of NFL teams and how they screen players? The
screening is very intense. In fact, the word on Hernandez that he could
have been a problem and Belichick`s response was I don`t care, he can catch
RHODEN: That is the problem. As Patriots try to tell you, they had no
inkling of this, they are nuts. That is disingenuous and not only that --
all these guys knew about this guy`s problem because he could catch a ball.
And we see this time and time again. And the problem and that is another
segment for another show, but the problem is that this high school college
level where talent is like this addiction. And as long as these coaches
are addicted, this kind of stuff is happening. He can catch a ball.
SCHULTZ: Well, athletes in our culture are absolutely revered. When you
have people --
RHODEN: Less so now.
SCHULTZ: It is getting worse. It is almost idolship is what it is. I
want it play another clip of Bill Belichick`s press conference. Here it
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BELICHIK: I can tell you that we look at every player`s history from the
moment we start discussing it, going back to his family, where he grew up,
what his lifestyle was like, high school, college experiences. We evaluate
his performance, intelligence, his work ethic, his motivation, his
maturity, his improvement and we try to project that into our organization.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, here is a quick look at what the Patriots must have seen
before signing Hernandez. He was arrested for a bar fight in 2007. He was
questioned about a shooting after a football game in 2007. He failed
multiple drug tests in college. An official from another NFL team said
that the character problems were bad enough to remove his name from a draft
list. Bill, do football teams throw morals and character out the window
depending on the skill level of the player?
RHODEN: Absolutely. They do it in proportion to the talent. The greater
the talent, the more they drop. I mean, you hear what he said, they
extended him. They gave him a big contract.
SCHULTZ: So a team may make a calculation. If we can control this kid for
a couple of years, if we can get two, two and half years out of him, get to
the playoffs, monitor him, this will be to our benefit. We will take the
RHODEN: This is a talent driven industry, the greater the talent, the more
you get away with. I mean, in all fairness, the majority of NFL players
are not like this, but the problem we`ve got is that talent runs it.
SCHULTZ: Back to the tattoos for a moment. Will the signal to prospects
not to do that kind of stuff?
RHODEN: Of course not.
SCHULTZ: They don`t do it.
RHODEN: Particularly if they can catch the football.
SCHULTZ: Bill Rhoden, great to have you with us, "New York Times"
columnist with us here on the ED SHOW. Thanks so much.
Tonight in the survey, I asked you, who would you like it see get the
Republican nomination, 56 percent of you say Scott Walker, 44 percent of
you say Chris Christie.
Sarah Palin breaks out of her red neck white board and gives us a lesson.
That`s next stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Tonight, America`s favorite half term Governor Sarah Palin. On
Friday night, Palin went on Greta`s show on Fox to whine about the 2008
election. She claims she was muzzled by Republican brainiacs and elitists.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was banned from
talking about Jeremiah Wright and Obama`s friend Bill Ayers is the
character that he befriended and kicked off his political campaign in the
guy`s living room, couldn`t talk about that, couldn`t talk about Obama`s
lack of knowledge and job experience and the things that he said, like
America had 57 states. Things like that in the campaign.
Greta, this is important for Americans to understand. I was not allowed to
talk about things like that because those elitists, those who are the
brainiacs in the GOP machine running John McCain`s campaign at the time
said that the media would eat us alive if we brought up those things. So
what did that get us, though?
What that got us, this complacency and self censoring of a campaign that we
weren`t able to tell the truth who this candidate was, Barack Obama. What
it got us was a list of these scandals. This is the red nick version of
the tactics, of Karl Rove, this is the red nick version of a white board.
On this lists scandals that are destroying America, Greta.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Absolutely priceless. If Sarah Palin thinks that she can erase
the facts of the 2011 election from her red neck white board and refer to
herself as the brainiac, she can keep on pretending.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. This is a story folks who take a
shower after work. The national media is having a field day with what`s
going on here in New York, the Anthony Weiner and sexting scandal. But I
just thought I`d let know that there are some real people here in New York
and real workers and they are concerned about what the focus is of this
So we`d like to focus on some of the real issues. We`re about to elect a
new mayor to the nation`s largest city for first time in 11 years. There`s
a lot at stake, jobs, health care, housing, disaster relief and education.
The leading candidate is an openly gay woman, Christine Quinn. The city
could make John Lou its first Asian-American mayor.
Bill Thompson could become the first African-American mayor here in the
city since David Denkins left office 20 years ago. And last time Thompson
ran for mayor he was fighting a big money battle against billionaire
Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg outspent Thompson 10-1. This time Christine
Quinn is leading the pack in the polls.
She`s grabbed several union endorsements and the Weiner scandal could force
a runoff election. Quinn`s campaign is getting national exposure because
of the Weiner scandal, but she`s having to explain her controversial
position taken on the stop and frisk policy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have raised constitutional questions about stop and
frisk and yet you still support it. Why?
CHRISTINE QUINN, NEW YORK MAYORAL CANDIDATE: I think stop and frisk can be
used in a way that keeps us safe. When I`m mayor, you`ll see the number of
stops go down. We`ll be focused on quality stops that keep us safe and
that are done in a constitutional way not just a rash to stop everyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: One of Quinn`s top political rivals joins us tonight here on the
ED SHOW. Democrat Bill Thompson running for mayor of the city of New York
who barely lost to Michael Bloomberg four years ago. Mr. Thompson, good to
have you with us. Let`s talk about that issue, stop and frisk. Where do
you stand on it?
BILL THOMPSON (D), MAYORAL CANDIDATE, NYC: Well, I`m not opposed to the
use of stop and frisk, but what I have said the way it`s been used in the
city of New York, it`s been misused and abused. When you have almost
700,000 people in 2011, 600,000 of them were black and Hispanic and stopped
for no other reason than who they are and what they look like then there`s
something wrong. So it`s a useful police tool that has been misused by
this administration. It`s become a policy in the city of New York and
SCHULTZ: Has Bloomberg done a good job?
THOMPSON: In some things, yes, in other things, no. It`s kind of a mixed
bag. So when you look at keeping the city of New York safe, there`s been
safety in the city of New York. At what cost? When you didn`t have to use
and misuse stop and frisk, you can keep crime down without the excessive
way it`s been used.
SCHULTZ: Quinn didn`t come out and attack Anthony Weiner. What do you
think of his candidacy at this point? What happened overnight? His
campaign manager has left. How much of a distraction has this been or how
much has this enhanced the race because people are paying attention to it
because of what kind of a story this is?
THOMPSON: People are only paying attention to Anthony and to not the
issues but to him. When you look at races for mayor, they are
conversations about the future of this city. This hasn`t -- we`re not
talking about affordable housing, about keeping crime down, we`re not
talking about education and other things and job creation. The people are
talking about Anthony and what he` done. This has become a distraction.
He needs to make this about the people of the city of New York and not
about himself. He needs to drop out.
SCHULTZ: He needs to drop out?
THOMPSON: Yes, he does.
SCHULTZ: Do you think he`s a distraction in the conversation?
THOMPSON: Unfortunately, that`s exactly what he`s become. We`re not
talking about the future of the city. People are talking about him.
SCHULTZ: Is he fit to serve?
THOMPSON: I`ll let the voters decide that. If he stays in, I don`t think
it should come to that. When we talk about leadership and other issues,
this isn`t the leadership that New York City needs.
SCHULTZ: You were the comptroller for eight years. Does that make you the
most qualified? It`s all about finance. Look at Detroit. There are
people here in New York who were concerned about the finance. Every big
city in America is really fragile.
THOMPSON: It isn`t just being the former controller of the city of New
York, but the former head, the president of the New York City Board of
Education. It`s understanding education. It`s understanding finance.
It`s having a background that`s brought people together and helped to
create consensus. That`s leadership.
SCHULTZ: We`ve seen big cities under Democratic mayors in this country
pick and choose neighborhoods based on resources. What`s your philosophy
of public education? Can you guarantee to the residents of New York City
that every neighborhood will count?
THOMPSON: That`s my goal, is to make sure that we have quality schools
never neighborhood. It`s not a pipe dream. It can be done. We have to do
it together. I can`t be at war with the teachers union. We have to work
with them. I need to have the principals and working along with them. I
need to have the public and the parents. That`s how you turn a full school
system around, not by picking and choosing different communities.
SCHULTZ: What`s this race going to come down to?
THOMPSON: If we can get --
SCHULTZ: I mean, you were so close, isn`t that in your favor?
THOMPSON: I think it helps in some ways, but it`s my background, public
and private sector, best qualified, best experienced person, the person to
help lead the city of New York forward. That`s what will determine if I`m
the next mayor of New York City, Ed.
SCHULTZ: The money, what about it?
THOMPSON: We`ve raised it so not concern about that. We have the system
of campaign finance. We`re all only able to spend $6.5 million in the
primary. I have the $6.5 million. I`ll be able to fully fund the primary.
Money`s not a concern.
SCHULTZ: OK, Bill Thompson, nice to meet you. Good to have you here on
the ED SHOW. Thank you so much.
THOMPSON: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: That is the ED SHOW. I want to remind our viewers that next week
we`re going to be broadcasting from Minnesota. We will do a comparison, as
the Democrats run Minnesota and the Republicans run Wisconsin, where the
political power is, we`ll compare the two states and how they`re
progressing. I`m Ed Schultz. We`ll see you back here next Saturday at
5:00 Eastern Time on the ED SHOW on MSNBC. Have a great one.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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