ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
August 12, 2013
Guests: Peter Vallone, Talib Kweli, Phillip Agnew, Sam Thernstrom, Adam
Savage, Jamie Hyneman, Richard Socarides, Gigi Fernandez, Julia Ioffe
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good evening, from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. It
is good to be back.
Tonight on ALL IN:
Global warming is a complete fraud. It`s weird. I just said that.
No one stood up and cheered. But when Republican Congressman Dana
Rohrabacher said it at a Tea Party event other day, the crowd went wild.
Why climate denialism and global government conspiracy is a fan
favorite of the right wing base.
Plus, pouring Smirnoff vodka into the streets seems a bit pointless
and boycotting the Olympics in Sochi seems a bit farfetched. But
international outrage over anti-gay laws in Russia is justifiably growing.
We`ll talk about how much is at stake, coming up.
But tonight, we begin with 30 years of tough on policies and laws
starting to unravel - a sea change movement for criminal justice and race.
Today, speaking to the American Bar Association, Attorney General Eric
Holder announced in low-level non-violent drug cases, federal prosecutors
will be instructed to leave out the amount of an illegal substance in their
criminal complaint in order to avoid triggering federal mandatory minimums
-- a move that could be the start of a truly seismic shift in federal drug
And in New York, a landmark decision on the stop and frisk practice of
the NYPD. This morning, a federal district judge found that NYPD stop and
frisk program violates the constitutional rights of people of color in New
York, writing that, quote, "The NYPD carries out more stops where there are
more black and Hispanic residents, even when other relevant variables are
held constant. The racial composition of a precinct or census track
predicts the stop rate above and beyond the crime rate. The city, through
the NYPD, has a policy of incorrect racial profiling."
The judge also took aim straight at New York City officials for their
rabid defense of the program, saying, quote, "The city`s highest officials
have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops
in a racially discriminatory manner. They have willfully ignored
overwhelming proof that the policy of targeting, quote, `the right people,`
is racially discriminatory and, therefore, violates the United States
Constitution. This indifference was further demonstrated by many
officials` apparent belief that racial profiling is a myth created by the
That scathing indictment of the New York City leadership prompted,
perhaps not surprisingly, an extremely defensive response from New York
City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City Police Commissioner Ray
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), NEW YORK CITY: Our police officers
follow the law and follow the crime. They don`t worry if their work
doesn`t match up to a census chart. Let`s be clear: people have a right to
walk down the street without being targeted by the police, but people also
have a right to walk down the street without being killed or mugged.
RAY KELLY, NYPD COMMISSIONER: What I find the most disturbing and
offensive about this decision is the notion that the NYPD engages in racial
profiling. That simply is recklessly untrue.
BLOOMBERG: I don`t think there`s any question that one of the
problems we have in our society, today, is that victims and perpetrators of
crime are disproportionately young minority men. That`s just a fact.
KELLY: New York City and its police department have focused their
crime fighting efforts to protect the poorest members of our community who
are disproportionately the victims of murder and other violent crime.
BLOOMBERG: I worry for my kids, and I worry for your kids. I worry
for you and I worry for me. Crime can come back any time the criminals
think that they`re going to get away with things. Just cannot let that
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HAYES: We invited both Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly or one
of their representatives to come on t show tonight. They declined the
offer. I look forward to being able to discuss stop and frisk with them on
air in the future.
Joining me now is New York City Councilman Peter Vallone, a Democrat,
chair of the Public Safety Committee and someone who has defended stop and
So, the judge today did something that was different than the debate
we tend to have in politics. The judge basically said, I am not here to
talk about the effectiveness of the policy. I`m here to talk about its
constitutionality. Does this comply with the U.S. Constitution?
What is your reaction to the judge`s ruling today?
COUNCILMAN PETER VALLONE (D), NEW YORK CITY: Well, the judge
appointed a monitor. I can`t think of a police department that needs a
monitor less than the NYPD. We`re the most diverse, the most -- the best
trained, most effective police force in the country.
If you want to look at a monitor, let`s put one in Chicago, let`s put
one in Detroit. If we had Detroit`s murder rate, we`d have 4,000 extra
people killed last year.
HAYES: But you`re doing the things that defenders of stop and risk
VALLONE: It`s effective.
HAYES: Which is to talk about the effectiveness, right?
HAYES: There`s two things I think in response to that -- one is we
have seen declines in the murder rate across cities, across the country.
We`ve seen in San Diego, we`ve seen in New Orleans, we`ve seen in Los
Angeles, in some cities bigger than New York.
Second of all, we`ve seen a decline in the murder rate that dropped
off the cliff in the 10 years before Bloomberg more than has it has dropped
since Mayor Bloomberg.
Third of all, what is your story for the causal connection between
stop and frisk and the decline in the murder rate?
VALLONE: Well, I have law enforcement experience. I`m a public
safety expert, so to speak. And there aren`t many people in law
enforcement who will tell you that stop and frisk is not a very, very
And what this judge said today, by the way, was not that stop and
frisk is unconstitutional at all. She actually said, I`m not calling for
an end to stop and frisk. She actually said, I`m not looking for the NYPD
to go back to less effective methods. She said that.
So, we all agree. Stop and frisk needs to be monitored. It needs to
be done constitutionally. It needs to be done.
HAYES: But you don`t think it needs to be monitored. You think that
having any kind of outside person --
VALLONE: No, no, I didn`t say that. There are ten monitors on the
NYPD right now, more than any other police department in the entire
country, including my committee. You`ve got five district attorneys, two
U.S. attorneys, mayor`s commissioner to combat corruption, internal
affairs, you`ve got criminal -- CCRB.
HAYES: Then, what would convince you -- as an advocate of the policy,
what would convince you this was being done in a racially discriminatory
way? That didn`t want to follow the constitution protection?
VALLONE: Well, like the mayor said today, if these numbers did not
match crime statistics, almost exactly, that would convince me. But they
do. They do match crime statistics.
What people want, I think what you`re arguing for here is for a quota
system. We should stop today people because we didn`t stop enough. If you
HAYES: No, it`s opposite.
VALLONE: No, no, if you stop people based on a census, then women
would have to be stopped 50 percent of the time. Women are not the people
HAYES: Right. The argument always made is that the people stopped
are the people who are disproportionately committing crime, that there`s a
rough match between these demographically, right?
VALLONE: It`s not an argument, it`s true.
HAYES: That may be true, but first of all, the vast majority being
stopped turn up nothing, right? We actually have to talk about
individuals, especially individuals. The Constitution, the Fourth
Amendment protection of the constitution is a protection against
unreasonable search and seizure, right? That applies not because you fit
some demographic profile that is broadly --
VALLONE: You`re absolutely right.
HAYES: It has to do with individual suspension.
VALLONE: You`re absolutely right. I wrote the anti-racial profiling
law in New York City. I`m not the NYPD. I wrote the law that says you
cannot stop people based on race.
Is that happening occasionally? Absolutely. There are some bad cops.
We know that. There are some cops who are trying it and doing it wrong.
But you just mentioned that many of these stops don`t result in --
HAYES: The overwhelming majority.
VALLONE: Well, 88 percent. If you`re in law enforcement, that`s a
number that`s to be expected, 50 percent of these are just stopping
questions. They don`t result in frisks, why are you by this ATM at 2:00 in
the morning? That`s actual stop and question.
And about 20 percent of them are based on descriptions. If somebody
robs someone and within the next five minutes the cops come and stop 20
people who look exactly like that person, 19 of them are innocent people.
HAYES: Eighty-eight percent, the fascinating thing, actually, if you
do a racial breakdown, right, the stop and frisk of white people turn up
more criminal activity as a percentage than of black and Latinos. That`s
true. That`s what the numbers indicate.
What number -- right, because very few white people are stopped and
frisked which is precisely the problem, right?
VALLONE: White people are doing the shootings, Chris. Do you want
them to stop people based on quotas or stop people they reasonably suspect
of having guns or committing a crime?
HAYES: Reasonably suspect. Right? The question is, how do you
attach reasonable suspicion under the context? We have first-person
testimony from people that walk the streets of New York who are caught up
in being stopped and frisked in a way they think violates that prohibition
on unreasonable stop and seizure.
The question is, what -- what would convince you that that was
happening? My question to you, what would be a threshold? If 98 percent
of people were turning up nothing, if it`s 100 percent black and Latino?
Like what would be the thing that convince you that this was running afoul?
VALLONE: If the 97 percent of the people doing the shootings were
black and Latino, and 97 percent of the people in these crimes weren`t 97
percent black and Latino, I would be concerned about these numbers. If
they were committing, you know, 20 percent of the crimes, were stopped 80
percent, I would be concerned about these numbers. But they match exactly.
The criminals match the people who are stopped exactly.
HAYES: In the broad demographic sense, that may be true.
Is there a way to make this work under the supervision? I mean, if
the point is that there`s a huge amount of space between what is being done
now and what is constitutionally permissible, effective in your estimation,
then can we get somewhere in between those two?
VALLONE: That`s a very good question. I mean, stop and frisk is
constitutional, People v. DeBour, People v. Terry. You can`t tell a cop,
look, don`t act on your training. Wait until the shooting happens. That
would be wrong.
But what we need to do is constantly monitor. We know there are bad
cops. We know people with making bad stops.
I wrote the racial profiling law. We`ve lowered the amount of stops
based on our advocacy from 600 to 400 because many people --
VALLONE: The amount of stop -- 600,000 to 400,000. Absolutely.
Because many people thought the stop rate was way too high.
HAYES: That gets exactly to where -- a good place to lead this.
We`ve seen stop and frisk, stops come down by 600,000, 400,000, in the same
year we`re seeing a projection for record low murder rates.
So, just the basic correlative argument made by advocates of this
policy, which is the more stop and frisk, lower the murder rate gets, we`re
seeing belied by the data in this very year.
I really appreciate you coming on to defend the program today. I wish
the mayor and Ray Kelly would have been sitting next to you.
New York City Councilman Peter Vallone, thank you so much.
VALLONE: Thanks for having me here.
HAYES: Joining me now is Talib Kweli, a rapper and activist who
participated in the Dream Defender sit-in down in Florida. And Phillip
Agnew, executive director of the Dream Defenders, who are still sitting
occupying the state capitol down there.
Talib, you`re a New Yorker. I`m curious to your reaction to the
ruling today. Have you experienced firsthand stop and frisk?
TALIB KWELI, RAPPER: All over the world. In New York City, in Japan,
last month. I had police stop me.
It`s hard for people who don`t go through it and don`t live in
neighborhoods where it`s happening to understand how degrading it feels. I
mean, if we`re talking on a constitutional level, you know, we have certain
rights and what they`re telling people by accepting stop and frisk as a
policy, you`re telling people that because you live in a poor neighborhood,
it`s your fault and you deserve to be criminalized. That`s not
constitutional, it`s not fair.
HAYES: Phil, it`s interesting to me, the judge cited the Trayvon
Martin case numerous times in the opinion, in the 200-page opinion issued
today. Racial profiling and legal redress for racial profiling is one of
the issues you`re occupying the capitol over. Do you think there`s a
connection between what we saw in the Trayvon Martin`s death and the trial
afterwards and the decision out of New York today?
PHILLIP AGNEW, DREAM DEFENDERS: I think what brother Talib said is
correct. I think young people of color experience racial profiling in New
York and in Chicago. Just recently there in Miami, a young man, Israel
Hernandez, was tased to death for tagging an abandoned McDonald`s in Miami.
So, I think it`s a problem we see everywhere. As the brother said, it
is hard to understand racial profiling if you haven`t been the victim of
it, and I think the -- the policing methods that we`ve been using need
improvement and there needs to be greater monitoring by communities over
their police departments.
HAYES: What do you say to the argument we heard from Councilman
Vallone and hear from a lot of folks, this is ultimately done for the
protection of black and brown men of color who are the most likely to be
victims of crime?
KWELI: Well, you know, the key is to -- you don`t want to -- you want
police to have good relationships with the community. That`s the only way
that you`re going to move forward. Look, if I walk into the ATM at 2:00 in
the morning and a cop who I know I`ve had negative experience police starts
aggressively asking me questions and I know I haven`t done anything wrong
and might escalate into something. It creates an environment for violence.
This, us being against stop and frisk, being against zero tolerance
laws like that is not a police thing at all. It`s about we love the people
in our community. We want to see better police, community policing, better
But if you continue to unconstitutionally criminalize a generation of
people, it will become at the police and that`s no good for anybody.
HAYES: Phillip, you are, I believe it`s day 28 of the occupation in
the statehouse, if I`m correct. You`ve gotten some petitions to have a
poll of the state legislators about calling a special session for Trayvon`s
Do you think we`re at a sea change moment in the politics of this
issue which have so dominated the way we think about crime and policing and
people of color for 30 years? Are we at a breaking point right now?
AGNEW: I think we could be. I think with the publishing of Michelle
Alexander`s book, "The New Jim Crow", and the number of studies against the
war on drugs, we`ve seen that the America has continued to police
communities, and the way that America and the police forces around the
country have continued to watch over and dragnet communities, hasn`t been
the most effective.
And what we`ve seen is a strong profit motive behind that, so I do
think Attorney General Holder`s announcement today around mandatory
minimums, I do think this announcement today around stop and frisk could be
an indicator that when people apply pressure, especially here in Florida,
it`s needed in a number of ways, that the can be some change on a lot of
And I hope it is a positive thing. We`ve got a long way to go. Our
young people have got to stand up and really take accountability for how
they`re policed and how they`re criminalized. I think we will move the bar
forward as many, or as more information comes up and as attorney general
and presidents begin to speak out against what we felt for years.
HAYES: Rapper Talib Kweli and Phillip Agnew from Dream Defenders,
thank you both.
KWELI: I love Phillip (ph).
HAYES: Coming up, an amazing video of a U.S. congressman doing an
impersonation of Arnold Schwarzenegger and denying global warming because
it`s a huge liberal conspiracy to take control of everyone and everything.
It`s completely hilarious except that it`s basically everything that`s
wrong with our politics.
HAYES: A shift supervisor at a Kentucky Fried Chicken, a woman named
Shenita Simon, came on this show last month. She said this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHENITA SIMON: At the end of the day, it`s either I get my education
or I feed my kids. You know, things like I have to, you know, decide to
buy lunch or do I pay rent?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Shenita is part of a growing national movement of workers
striking for a living wage. While there are lots of numbers to tell us
millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet, statistics are
We need to hear from you. Please, tell us. You can write your story,
like Shenita did, or you could submit your experience through photos,
videos and tweets. For details and guidelines, please visit us at
allinwithchris.com and let`s get the maximum wage conversation going.
We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DANA ROHRABACHER (R), CALIFORNIA: Remember I endorsed Arnold
which was my big mistake, but in the beginning it looked like he was going
to be a good governor, but then he gave into this global warming stuff.
I`ll never forget it. He came to see the California delegation, and
I`m sitting there and Arnold`s walking by me.
And I said, Arnold, Arnold, did you hear, did you hear about the
melting icecaps? And the retreating icecaps? Why, Dana, yes, I know and
the icecaps all right. I`m very surprised that you know about the icecaps
melting and retreating.
And I said, I said, Arnold, I`m talking about the icecaps on Mars.
Oh. Bam. He`s gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California
trotting out his best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression for a local Tea
Party, in a speech that serves as a perfect artifact of the single, biggest
obstacle of the U.S. getting climate policy right, which is at the base of
one of our two main parties is 100 percent committed to denying that
climate change is even a thing that requires policy.
Seriously, that is the number e barrier to get anything done on
climate in this country because when it comes down to it, let me tell you
something. Even the fossil fuel companies, as powerful and destructive as
they are, could probably in the end just be paid off, bought off, for the
But the fear of a Tea Party primary challenge is endemic in Republican
Party right now. And it`s making meaningful climate policy, among other
things, completely unachievable in Washington.
So what they`re seeing in this room at the Newport Mesa Tea Party
Patriot`s monthly meeting is the future of the earth in peril. In this
room, this right here is the belly of the beast.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROHRABACHER: What a horrible thing to be attacked by Barbara Boxer,
and she was noting that there are fires in our country and in our state,
and they`re due to global warming. And the people should understand that
they`ve got nitwits like Congressman Rohrabacher who don`t even believe
that mankind is causing the climate change. And, so --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That is what happens when you just so much as bring up the
topic of global warming in a room full of Tea Party conservatives. Just
the idea that someone like Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer might attribute
to the growing serve of California`s wildfires to climate change was met
with laughter and jeers and applause.
And Congressman Rohrabacher`s own proud climate change denialism is
the big applause line, because if you`re a Republican, climate change
denialism is a quick and easy way to demonstrate your conservative
authenticity. It has a real visceral resonance as a cultural war issue.
It`s not a big policy plank. It`s "liberals are lying to you about this".
It`s in their gut.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROHRABACHER: Just so you`ll know, global warming is a total fraud.
The federal government, they want to create global government to control
all of our lives. That`s what their game plan is. It`s step by step by
step more and bigger control over our lives by higher levels of government.
And global warming is simply that strategy in spades.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, the whole "global warming is a liberal conspiracy" line
is understandably a big hit among the conservative base, but in delivering
that line, Congressman Rohrabacher tips his hand to the reasoning behind
his global warming denialism, which basically goes like this. If global
warming is real, then the government would need to intervene to fix it, but
we don`t like government intervention. Therefore, global warming cannot be
That`s it. That is the logic behind the pervasive view on climate
change on the right. We don`t like the solutions to this problem, so we
officially declare this not to be a problem.
Joining me is Sam Thernstrom who served on President George W. Bush`s
Council on Environmental Quality. He`s now executive director of the
Energy Innovation Reform Project.
And, Sam, my first question is, how do we get over this? This is my
big -- I realize that I can`t be the person that breaks the ice here, that
figures out the way to make this dialogue not be as toxic and terrible and
self-destructive as it is. But how do we get out of this dead end?
SAMUEL THERNSTROM, ENERGY INNOVATION REFORM PROJECT: Well, actually,
Chris, we can start right here. You can help. You can`t do it yourself,
but you can help. We can start by actually breaking down the assumptions
in your setup just now which was the idea which is perpetuated by a lot of
environmental activists that if you accept the basic science of climate
change then you must accept the entire Democratic or environmental agenda
on climate policy.
My experience talking to other conservatives is that they know they
object to the policy measures that Democrats propose, and so that stiffens
their resistance on climate. If we have a constructive conversation about
the policy options that conservative could support, I think we might have a
different conversation about the science, itself.
HAYES: So, OK, you`re agreeing with me that the reasoning is a sort
of reverse engineering reasoning, which I understand. I mean, liberals do
that, too, sometimes with certain things and that`s a basic reaction we
have as people with a set of priors, with a world view, right?
So, my question is: what are the acceptable -- what is the right way
to go about reverse engineering, a productive conversation, if we can`t
talk about any of the possible interventions that might deal with the
THERNSTROM: Well, you`re wrong. We can talk about interventions that
would deal with the problem. We just don`t have to put climate front and
center in it and don`t have to talk about it as if the only way to engage
with it is limiting emissions as the president has proposed through EPA
regulations, or as Congress has proposed through a cap and trade system.
We can focus on the core reality of the climate change problem which
is an innovation issue that low carbon and zero carbon sources of energy
are much more expensive than carbon intensive forms of energy. So, we can
work together on the innovation question, which is how do we actually make
low and zero carbon energy sources price and performance competitive with
carbon intensive forms of energy?
HAYES: So I really like that idea, right? There`s a whole bunch of -
- there was this universe of conservative monks, Greg Mankiw is one of them
who talk about a carbon tax as a way of essentially keeping the government
out of this but actually just pricing in what they call the externalities,
external cost of carbon pollution so you can create the conditions for a
level playing field of competitions. And conservatives like competition,
they like free markets, they like innovation. That`s cool.
The problem is that idea has zero traction with the conservative base.
It`s a thing people talk about in think tanks, no offense, of course. I
just don`t see any blood in that at the conservative base level.
THERNSTROM: Absolutely, Chris. I agree completely. Although I`m a
fan of market mechanisms, I`m a critic of the carbon tax. I don`t think
that`s a politically feasible path forward and I don`t actually think it
would get us that far on the emissions reductions either.
The point is that instead of trying to make carbon intensive forms of
energy more expensive, we should be working to make low and zero carbon
forms of energy cheaper.
THERNSTROM: That is --
HAYES: I like that idea, but then when you do that -- then when you
do that, and you have a loan guarantee program for a solar company called
Solyndra, that comes the biggest example of corruption, the biggest war of
government subsidizing industry, corporate welfare, cronyism, et cetera --
THERNSTROM: That`s right, Chris.
HAYES: -- so that we keep checking through the option, finding that
they are exactly the thing the right wing hates.
THERNSTROM: Right, because all of the options that come forward are
all big government liberal ideas about how we go about doing this.
Our options to drive energy innovation are not only government loan
guarantees and the government reaching far forward into the
commercialization process. Instead we could have the government work in
cooperation with the private sector on public/private research and
development initiatives that don`t pick winners but work rather on the
fundamental technological barriers to innovation.
HAYES: Aren`t we going that on battery stuff, the Energy Department?
THERNSTROM: We`re doing some of that but could be doing a much better
job. The Energy Department, itself, is not well organized to do this work.
Secretary Moniz has recognized that and has begun a reform agenda at DOE.
We should be focusing on thing like that. Make DOE an effective agency
that can promote innovation effectively. And then we wouldn`t need to
argue about how much funding for it and whether or not Solyndra is a good
idea or not.
If we focused on R&D --
HAYES: I love innovation, and I`m you on that. I really want to
believe sincerely if we shifted the conversation in this direction, that we
would see a kind of visceral cultural change at the grassroots.
I continue to be slightly -- I enjoyed talking to you. Thank you for
coming on. Sam Thernstrom from the Energy Innovation Reform Project --
All right. My documentary "The Politics of Power" airs right here on
Friday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
OK. Are you one of the millions of Americans anxiously tuning into
the final season of "Breaking Bad"? The guys from "MythBusters" will here
to talk about taking on some of the things that happened in "Breaking Bad"
to see if they could happen in real life, next.
HAYES: The "Breaking Bad" final season premiere was last night. And,
if your Facebook or Twitter feed was anything like mine, there was a period
where it seemed that "Breaking Bad" was the only thing that was going on in
the entire world.
For those who haven`t watched the show, it`s the chronicle of a cancer
stricken chemistry teacher, who starts cooking crystal meth slowly turning
his new vocation into a full scale murderous mini empire. This series has
often made chemistry its star and tonight, "Myth Busters" will tackle two
big events in "Breaking Bad" lore like the time that Walt used mercury
fulminate as an explosive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRYAN CRANSTON, WALTER WHITE OF "BREAKING BAD": This is not a meth.
RAYMOND CRUZ, TUCO SALAMANCA OF "BREAKING BAD": Hey! What is it?
CRANSTON: Fulminated mercury. A little tweak of chemistry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): "Myth Busters" crew whips up its own fulminated
mercury from scratch, turns into a powder, not a crystal. And, they take
that fulminated mercury and successfully blow up a pumpkin --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Three, two, one. Fire!
HAYES (voice-over): But, that`s just the beginning in their quest to
reproduce the full-blown explosion. Then there`s the infamous "Breaking
Bad" bathtub episode in which hydrochloric acid eats through the tub, the
floor and the ceiling after having dissolved a human body. "Myth Busters"
are on that one, too.
HAYES: Joining me now are Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, host of
"Myth Busters" on the "Discovery Channel." OK, how did this come about?
ADAM SAVAGE, HOST OF "MYTH BUSTERS" ON DISCOVERY CHANNEL: This came
about because Vince Gilligan, the creator and show runner, of "Breaking
Bad" was doing an interview last year, where they asked him as a fan of
lots of other T.V. shows, is there one in particular that he would want to
do a crossover show with, and he said "Myth Busters." And, we had had at
the "Breaking Bad" -- we had this episode on our books for a long time and
it was just -- we had to bring them together.
HAYES: It`s funny because I`ve often wondered how much they, like, if
they have a chemistry consultant an the show or how much they are thinking
about particularly in the earlier seasons how much they`re thinking about
whether the chemistry that they`re putting on the show is actually true.
Do you guys have a judgment to render on how fictional this is?
JAMIE HYNEMAN, HOST OF "MYTH BUSTERS" ON DISCOVERY CHANNEL: Well,
they did get the fact that the acid they chose to dispose of a body in a
bathtub was very dangerous. They did not get the fact right about --
HAYES: The way in which it is dangerous.
HYNEMAN: Why it`s dangerous.
HAYES: Yes, that is something that keeps happening. It`s like all
these bodies keep getting dissolved. And, I keep thinking if it were that
easy, wouldn`t other real life criminals have, like, figured this out
HAYES: -- And there would be no bodies buried anywhere in.
SAVAGE: You`ll see on tonight`s show that in order to do it, the
collateral damage is quite large. I know that "Breaking Bad" has had a
chemistry specialist on the show since its inception. Vince, actually, he
is a geek at heart, and so he really has tried to get the science of the
show right. And, there are times when they get close, but, you know, not
HAYES: Well, there`s also a certain amount of fictional license that
you have to take because sometimes you need a big explosion that comes out
of only a Ziploc pouch, as oppose to some huge amount of quantity trucked
SAVAGE: Exactly! And, I think that`s something he says repeatedly on
the show tonight. Artistic license.
HAYES: One of the things that I think is fascinating about the arch
of this show is it illuminates the fact that this industry, which has
exploded in the U.S. is based on a lot of people doing essentially amateur
chemistry, that in trailers and in apartments and in houses across the
country, there are folks, who are essentially self-taught, who have used
the internet, who are trying in trial by error to do fairly sophisticated,
complicated criminal procedures to produce this quite lucrative substance
at the end. And, there`s almost something admirably DIY about it, even if
the product, itself, of course, is toxic and often destructive and terrible
in people`s lives.
HYNEMAN: Yes. I mean, "Breaking Bad," itself, is, you know, it shows
-- it`s a lot of fun to watch this show, but the consequences in the real
world are just horrific from that kind of activity.
HAYES: And, we love Walter White. Obviously, on "Myth Busters" we
use tools and materials for purposes for which they were never originally
intended. And, Walt is using his skills for purposes for which they were
never intended. So, we love that, but on the spectrum of DIY, I have to
say I think this is way at the bottom end of acceptable.
SAVAGE: Oh, yes. I would completely agree with that.
HAYES: I have you guys on the show. So, I have to ask you this and I
have always wondered about your show. What is the budget of your show?
Sometimes it seems like it must be billions of dollars. You are like
blowing certain things up and I`m just sitting there thinking like, how did
they -- like, "How do you figure out how to do what you have to do within
the confines of whatever spreadsheet is on some executive`s computer
HYNEMAN: Well, you know, we blow up a lot of cars. We`ve even blown
up full-sized airliners. But, the thing is, we get them when they`re about
ready to be recycled, and so we just sort of speed the process up a little
HAYES: Also, we`ve discovered that when you work with bomb squads,
they`re very much like Jamie and I, they work on contingency basis. They
are always trying to plan for the worst-case scenario. And, as such, they
love working with us because everything we do, which is weird, is a great
training exercise for them.
So, pretty much every bomb squad we`ve worked with has donated their
materials to our explosions. And as a consequence, many of them have
experiences that most of the bomb squads don`t get.
I`ve just figured out the "Myth Busters" cost cutting hack. Jamie
Hyneman and Adam savage, host of "Myth Busters" on the Discovery Channel.
"The Breaking Bad" special airs tonight, 10:00 p.m. eastern. Thanks a lot,
SAVAGE: Thanks for having us.
HAYES: We`ll be right back with #Click3.
HAYES: If you`re gay and live in Russia, things are really bad for
you right now, because the new law aimed at gay, quote, "Propaganda." But,
will pressuring Russia with a threat of an Olympic boycott end up hurting
the people it`s supposed to help? That story is coming up.
But, first I want to share the three awesomest things on the internet
today. We begin with electioneering candid camera style. Norwegian Prime
Minister Yens Stoltenberg tried to boost his standing with voters by taking
the wheel of an offload taxi.
Unsuspecting the Norwegians were then picked up by the guy running
their country and he in turn was trapped long enough for them to -- you
know, talk to him. One passenger engaged with him at his energy policy.
Another told him he was not a great driver.
As far as currying favor with the voting public, it`s not as good a
trick as giving them money in the cat cab, but it is still pretty charming.
Certainly, not something you could imagine happening in the U.S.
presidential race any time soon.
The second awesomest thing on the internet today, the tears of a clown
and the gasps of the audience. If you are watching this guy, the first
thing you think about is an incredible misguided and tone deaf fashion play
about the holocaust, then you are one of the many people dying to see Jerry
Lewis` never released disastrous film "The Day The Crown Cried." Until now
we have settled on fleeting glimpses of this notorious misfire. Super fans
like Howard Stern have clambered to see the full movie.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD STERN, AMERICAN RADIO PERSONALITY: Everyone on the show has
always obsessed on the fact that we want to see Jerry Lewis` movie. Jerry
decided somehow to make a movie, where he plays a concentration camp clown.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, several minutes of footage have been unearthed and posted
on Youtube. The clips come from a Flemish television show and give a taste
of the jaw-dropping finish product.
It begs to be repeated, it`s a movie about a clown working with Nazi
war criminals. Actor Harry Shearer, one of the few people who has seen the
full film saying, "This was a perfect object. This movie is so drastically
wrong. It`s pathos and comedy are so wildly misplaced that you could not
in your sanity or what it might be like improved on what it really is.
"Oh my God," that is all you can say. And, while we can still be
envious of Henry Shearer for getting to see the whole thing, this latest
footage gives all fans of bad movies a chance to dream.
And, the third awesomest thing on the internet today, an artist
finally gets the monkey off her back. It has been almost one year since
the world was introduced to the beloved Spanish monkey Fresco, brought to
life by this woman, 83-year-old Cecilia Jimenez.
Her box restoration of a 19th century painting of Jesus Christ became
an internet sensation, with imitations ranging from the last supper to an
authentic Monkeylisa to tributes on "Saturday Night Live" to this genius
And, now the BCC is reporting that Jimenez will show off 28 of her own
paintings at an exhibition this week. It is great news because, Jimenez
says, she had to take to bed after suffering a panic attack as a result of
the criticism from her newfound notoriety.
Now, that she is back on her feet and tourists on her town is booming,
we`re glad Cecilia has weathered the storm and is actually being celebrated
for her creativity. You can find all the links for tonight`s #Click3 on
our website, allinwithchris.com. We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNNY WEIR, OLYMPIC FIGURE SKATER: If it takes me getting arrested
for people to pay attention and for people to lobby against this law, then
I`m willing to take it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir speaking about the
upcoming winter games in Sochi, Russia. Weir, who is openly gay is hoping
to nab a spot on the U.S. team despite a growing concern over a new and
vaguely worded Russian law aimed at banning gay propaganda.
With the games just six months away, international fire storm is
brewing over Russia`s crackdown on gay rights. In recent days, President
Obama has spoken out against the law twice, noting that while he finds the
law offensive, he rejects the idea of an outright Olympic boycott.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I want to just make
very clear right now. I do not think it`s appropriate to boycott the
Olympics. We`ve got a bunch of Americans out there who are training hard,
who are doing everything they can to succeed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The law passed unanimously in June is supported by an
overwhelming majority of Russians. Russian President Vladimir Putin
publicly defended the law earlier this summer. "This is not about imposing
any kind of sanctions against homosexuality," he said. "This is about
But, many in the U.S. beg to differ with that assessment. A barking
on two different campaigns. One, a vodka boycott that has picked up all
kinds of traction on Twitter after gay rights advocate Dan Savage
encouraged others to dump Stoli, even though Stoli is actually produced in
While competitor Smirnoff is made a British campaign. The other
campaign applying pressure on the international Olympic committee to ensure
the right and safety of athletes is looking to be more effective.
On Friday, IOC president Jacques Rogge say, he had received written
assurances on the matter from his Russians counterparts adding, "There are
still uncertainties. We have decided to ask for more clarification."
Today, a senior member of the IOC, who hopes to succeed Mr. Rogge in
September, more pointed to his comments. C.K. Wu told reporters that
Russia must fully understand the human rights of athletes. As the
"Associated Press" reports, when asked if the games could be taken away
from Sochi if the response does not satisfy the IOC, Wu said, "The Russian
authorities, they know how serious the IOC is, we are not joking."
Joining me now is Richard Socarides, a gay rights advocate, White
House special assistant senior adviser during the Clinton administration;
Gigi Fernandez, Olympic Gold Medallist in Tennis and a member of the
International Tennis Hall of Fame, who is now the director of tennis at
Chelsea Piers in Connecticut and Julia Ioffe, a senior editor at the "New
Republic" and former Moscow base correspondent for foreign policy in "New
Richard, I keep thinking this issue is going to peter out. At first
when it first kind of crossed my awareness, I just figured, you know, every
country that hosts the Olympics have some problems. It`s not going away.
RICHARD SOCARIDES, GAY RIGHTS ADVOCATE: No, it, in fact, I think it`s
a huge story. I think it will probably be the biggest international global
gay rights story ever in history because, you know, gay rights are gaining
steam here in the west, but everywhere -- you know, we`re sending a message
with the Supreme Court decision just recently.
So, it`s going to be a big story. And, it is not really just about
this "Propaganda Law." It is not really about the Olympics fundamentally.
Fundamentally, it is about a country that has chosen to stigmatize and to
have -- allow its citizens -- its other citizens to target gay people for
violence and even death.
HAYES: Julia, could you give some context here? If you`re kind of a
chart of what it`s like to be gay in Russia, is there some inflection point
in the last year, six months, where it gets much worse? My sense from the
reporting I have been reading is that the answer to that is yes, but I`m
curious what you think.
JULIA IOFFE, SENIOR EDITOR AT THE "NEW REPLUBIC": It has gotten
worse, but before that, it was getting better. You know, among the islands
of intolerance and violence, there are also islands of tolerance and
acceptance. And, that`s how it happens in every country. You know, when
you know that your brother is gay or a friend of yours is gay and you know
that they`re quote/unquote, "Normal." It becomes a lot harder to
stigmatize an entire type of people.
HAYES: So, then what is driving this -- what is driving this current
sort of political attack?
IOFFE: I think it`s a search for a political -- for a country`s
national identity. This law comes from the bottom up. It comes from small
cities in Central Russia. This is very unusual. Most laws in Russia come
from Moscow. They come from the Kremlin. This came from various cities all
over Russia. And, in polls the vast majority of Russians tend to think
homosexuality is either a disease or an aberration.
HAYES: We have some polling I want to show, and Gigi, I want to get
your thoughts on how as an athlete you navigate this very treacherous
water, right after we take this break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEIR: Would the Olympics be in Saudi Arabia, in Palestine, in
Pyongyang, North Korea, on Mars, I would go, because that`s what I`m
trained to do and that`s what I have devoted my life to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was two-time Olympic athlete, Johnny Weir, speaking about
the upcoming winter games in Sochi, Russia. Back with Gay Rights Advocate,
Richard Socarides, Gold Medallist Gigi Fernandez and Julia Ioffe, Senior
Editor at the "New Republic.
Gigi, do you basically feel that way as an athlete? I`ve been hearing
a lot of people saying, "Look, this idea of boycotting the games is crazy
and misguided." The idea of the spirit of the games is to cross these
boundaries and for athletes to go and compete and perform.
GIGI FERNANDEZ, OLYMPIC TENNIS GOLD MEDALIST: Yes, absolutely. I
mean I have never been a proponent of mixing politics with sports. We as
athletes are trained to do sports and there are so many athletes that this
is their one moment. You know, tennis players, we`re lucky because we have
four grand slams.
But, there are lots of athletes who train four years for the one
Olympics. And, many, many athletes were really hurt in 1980 when we
boycotted in Russia. And, I think it sends the wrong message. It is
hurting the wrong people. I`m not a proponent of it.
HAYES: A lot of people were saying of it, Richard, what do you think
of that idea?
SOCARIDES: Well, it is not really a mixing politics was fort. This
is really an issue of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms and
people`s safety. So, I think there will be a lot of pressure. I mean --
HAYES: Explain. Why do you say that?
SOCARIDES: Because, gays and lesbians in Russia are being targeted or
being beaten, or being abused, and being even murdered because of the
environment that Putin has created. So, there will be a lot of pressure.
I mean, I think saying that we shouldn`t boycott serves a lot of
western interest, and we all want our athletes to go and succeed. But,
maybe we should move the games. I mean, the IOC has a rule that you can`t
discriminate. So, may be, you know -- they`ve been asleep at the switch.
Maybe they should move the games. Sponsors will be under a lot of
pressure to cancel their sponsorship. I mean there are a lot of things we
can do short of boycotting that is more than we are doing now --
IOFFE: Excuse me. You can`t move the games six months before they
start. That would be like having the world series, the Super Bowl and the
World Cup and you know organizing them in six months and having them run
for 14 consecutive days. It is impossible.
SOCARIDES: You know -- you can`t have the exact same games somewhere
else but you could certainly move a cut rate version in Norway. I mean you
could move them. I mean listen, we`re talking about people`s safety We are
talking about human rights. These are not --
IOFFE: It also doesn`t help Russia. It doesn`t help Russian gays.
HAYES: Yes, Julia please -- Yes, make that point.
IOFFE: First of all -- I feel sorry for jumping in. You know, we`re -
- I think that -- IOC to protect the athletes. And, yes, absolutely
Athletes have to be protected, but a boycott is not going to help.
HAYES: Let me distinguish two things to folks to be clear. There is
concern about actual gay athletes in Russia during the Olympics being
arrested for the law. In fact, the sports minister said, of course, if
they violate this law, if they propagandize, then they would be subject to
IOFFE: Or even if they wear a green pin --
HAYES: Julia, you just made a point that I think is very important.
What did you just say about whether this would help LGBT citizens of
IOFFE: It may protect athletes competing in Sochi, but in no way
protects Russian LGBT people from being abused, harassed, fired from their
jobs, and et cetera --
SOCARIDES: Yes, but of course --
IOFFE: -- If anything, it might make it worse. Hold on, hold on.
HAYES: Finish that point.
IOFFE: Hold on. What I wanted to say is that this is already --
homosexuality in Russia is already seen as a western import. It`s seen --
it`s seen through the lens of an international gay cabal imposing its will
on Russia and selling this kind of pure Christian state.
If -- And what Russia is seeing now is an international gay cabal
trying to impose its will on Russia. Again, this is how it`s seen in
Russia. I don`t agree with that. But, it is just -- In some ways it just
reinforces the notion that this is a western thing, that this is not an
indigenous Russian thing and if it weren`t for the west, there wouldn`t be
any gay people in Russia.
HAYES: It reminds me a little bit of the U.S., the U.S. embargo in
Cuba, right? Because it made Fidel Castro`s story about how everything
that was keeping Cuba down was in fact the U.S.` hatred, plausible and in
this -- What do you say to that? This will backfire. This actually hurt -
SOCARIDES: It is not -- you know, there are limited options, but we
have important interests here to protect because human rights in Russia are
being violated. This is a big issue for gays and lesbians in Russia.
This is not about the Olympics, this is not about the safety of
athletes. It`s about people who are being targeted and killed even killed
in Russia. And, what are we going to do as an international community to
stand up for it?
FERNANDEZ: Don`t do anything.
IOFFE: I think it would backfire in the rest of the world because --
or in the United States. Because, if we assume that 10 percent of the
population is gay, then there`s 90 percent of the athletes that are not
going to get a chance to go compete and how angry are they going to be and
who are they are going to take it out on?
HAYES: This story is going to continue to develop because it`s not
going to stop here. Gay Rights Advocate, Richard Socarides, Olympic Gold
Medallist Gigi Fernandez, And Julia Ioffe of the "New Republic," thank you
so much. That is "All In" for this evening. "The Rachel Maddow" show
starts now. I am back on my first day and I`m late. I`m sorry.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST OF RACHEL MADDOW SHOW: It`s all right. I
am the one who is always late and I missed you so much when you were gone.
You can take an extra minute, go.
HAYES: Thanks. No. No. Go, watch "Rachel Maddow Show."
MADDOW: Thank you, Chris.
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