All In With Chris Hayes, Friday, November 8th, 2013
Read the transcript from the Friday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
November 8, 2013
Guest: Bill Carter, Eric Boehlert, Steven Reiner, Julie Fernandes, Mike
Pesca, Emily Bazelon, Roman Oben, Barbara Buono
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris
We begin with a story that has refused to go away and not because of
the facts involved, but because of the concerted effort on the right to
stoke scandal at any cost.
Tonight, CBS News is retracting, apologizing for and plans to correct
a story it broadcasts on its crown jewel program "60 Minutes" about the
attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans
last year -- a story it broadcasts using a government contractor who
claimed to be an eyewitness to the attack, but who it appears was not in
fact where he said he was on the night in question. The so-called
eyewitness did not apparently see the events he claimed to describe.
On "CBS This Morning", "60 Minutes" correspondent Lara Logan
acknowledged the mistake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARA LOGAN, "60 MINUTES" CORRESPONDENT: You know, the most important
thing to every person at "60 Minutes" is the truth. And today, the truth
is that we made a mistake. And that`s very disappointing for any
journalist. It`s very disappointing for me.
Nobody likes to admit they made a mistake, but if you do, you have to
stand up and take responsibility, and you have to say that you were wrong.
And in this case, we were wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The explosive charge in Logan`s original report was that there
was an eyewitness account from a British security contractor named Dylan
Davies who used the pseudonym Morgan Jones, who claimed the U.S. could have
sent back-up to the besieged facility because he himself was able to go
enter it and do battle with the bad guys.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOGAN (voice-over): Morgan Jones scaled the 12-foot high wall of the
compound still overrun with al-Qaeda fighters.
MORGAN JONES, CONTRACTOR: One guy saw me. He just shouted, I
couldn`t believe that it`s him because it`s so dark. He started walking
LOGAN: And as he was coming closer --
JONES: I just hit him with the butt of the rifle in the face.
LOGAN: And no one saw you do it?
LOGAN: Or heard it?
JONES: No, there was too much noise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: To a Benghazi scandal fire that was finally in its dying
embers, the "60 Minutes" report was a gallon of gasoline.
The next morning, the FOX News tour began featuring Steve Doocy and
Senator Lindsey Graham.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE DOOCY, FOX NEWS: CBS did this story on Benghazi and I see
criticism from the left where they go, you guys are covering a phony
scandal. "60 Minutes" doesn`t cover phony scandals.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: If we don`t have a joint
select committee to get out of this stove-piping problem, we`re never going
to get the truth. And where are the survivors? Fourteen months later,
Steve, the survivors, the people who survived the attack in Benghazi, have
not been made able to the U.S. Congress for oversight purposes.
So I`m going to block every appointment in the United States Senate
until the survivors are being made available to Congress. I`m tired of
hearing from people on TV and reading about stuff and books.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Because of the "60 Minutes" segment, Senator Lindsey Graham
was going to block every appointment made by the president.
But even then, that day, even on that Monday, it was apparent that the
so-called eyewitness may have had some pretty questionable motives. Media
Matters founder David Brock on our show that night disclosed that even FOX
News itself was evidently weary of using Dylan Davies as a source.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID BROCK, MEDIA MATTERS: And the other witness appears to be some
type of British mercenary who apparently in conversations with FOX News,
asked for money to talk and so, you know, FOX News even drew a line there,
but it was good enough for CBS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It turns out, CBS was also publishing Davies book, through its
company Simon & Shuster, the connection "60 Minutes" did not disclose
during that original report.
As for Davies, while FOX News may have shied away from him because he
asked for money, it didn`t stop the very same FOX News from running more
than 13 segments over 11 different shows inspired by the CBS report. The
right`s delight at mainstream validation of their own pet obsession was
even comically evident at a campaign rally for the now defeated Virginia
gubernatorial candidate, Ken Cuccinelli, a week before Tuesday`s election.
Cuccinelli`s warm-up act for stoking the crowd in Benghazi, including
Congressman Frank Wolf.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The man who was going to get to the bottom of
what`s going to happen in Benghazi.
Thank you, Jeremiah. I appreciate that introduction, and we are going
to get to the bottom.
And if anyone watched "60 Minutes" last night, you can see why we need
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Then, last Thursday, "The Washington Post" reported that
Davies account to "60 Minutes" and the story in his book were different
from an incident report he himself filed with his employer, but Blue
But CBS News stood by their story, continued to defend it, despite
multiple queries. CBS News chairman and "60 Minutes" executive producer
Jeff Fager said he was proud of the program`s reporting on Benghazi and,
quote, "confident the source told accurate versions of what happened that
But the bottom fell out yesterday when "The New York Times" reporter
that Mr. Davies told the FBI he was not in fact on scene until the morning
after the attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOGAN: What we now know is that he told the FBI a different story and
that was the moment for us, when we realized that we no longer had
confidence in our source and that we were wrong to put him on air and we
apologized to our viewers. We will apologize to our viewers and we will
correct the record on our broadcast on Sunday night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is Bill Carter, a reporter for "The New York
Times", who covers the television industry. He wrote "The Times" story on
Bill, my head`s spinning. How did this happen?
BILL CARTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I think it happened because
CBS was looking to get a new angle on the story. They got a book and in
the book, this security man claimed that he was there and went through what
they considered a betting process and decided he was credible and put him
on the air. I think they needed a new angle because I don`t think they had
a lot of other new material in that report.
So, they really needed this guy to be truthful and they were in the
middle of this situation where you know, he was saying one thing to his
boss and a different thing to them, but it was a credible reason for that,
because he had left his villa when he was supposed to not go to the scene,
and what he told was a dramatic story and that added a lot of drama to what
CBS wanted to report.
HAYES: What`s interesting to me is that even when the issues start to
be raised about his credibility, Media Matters is raising issues, then on
Thursday, there`s a "Washington Post" report, you know, it follows this
kind of classic cycle, which is ignore, deny, double down, and then eat
CARTER: Yes. And I spoke to Lara Logan before it blew up and she was
very adamant about how credible this guy was.
HAYES: She was adamant about how credible he is to you when you
talked to her?
CARTER: Yes, she said she believed in what he said and she didn`t
think he had given two versions and the FBI report would prove that. That
he gave the same report to the FBI that he gave to CBS. And so, that
became really the critical aspect of, with the FBI report corroborates it.
HAYES: So, you got two versions of the event, you got the diversion
of event, the incident report, I stayed in my villa, I wasn`t there the
night I said I saw these dramatic things. You have what he told the CBS
cameras and the audience of "60 Minutes", and the tiebreaker was what did
he tell FBI, and the tiebreaker goes to he was not there.
CARTER: And it turns out he gave three interviews to the FBI. They
interviewed him three separate times. And, you know, each occasion, he
told the story the way it came out in the incident report. He stayed at
the villa, he didn`t go to the scene.
I spoke to CBS about that last night and they were obviously taken
aback by that. They then spent the next couple of hours themselves
checking with their FBI sources and by this morning, they had gotten the
same report we had, which is that the FBI version was not their version.
HAYES: I want to bring in Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at Media
Matters for America, Steven Reiner, former producer for "60 Minutes" and
CBS, now director of broadcast and digital journalism at Stony Brook
Eric, well, you guys -- I mean, in some ways, this is not to be
uncharitable here, but I`ll tell the truth. This is a little over-
determined in the case of Media Matters, like you guys are a liberal group.
You fact check conservatives, conservatives obsessed with Benghazi, people
might say maybe people like to say, well, Media Matters stopped clock being
right, you know, twice a day.
But, you guys were right about this.
ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS: No, we have been right about Benghazi
for 13 months. I mean, we have been fact checking the story to death, and
when CBS decided we want to piece of that pie, we want a piece of that
right wing media narrative, there are lingering questions when there are
none, when this story has been exhaustively researched by Congress.
Military have talked about what the reinforcement responsible was.
When they decided to sort of key into that buzz machine, you talked
about you know, FOX News the next day for an hour, the senator talking
about it. What`s the number one way to know you hit a home run? The next
day, a senator`s talking about your story.
They knew it was all predetermined. They couldn`t resist it. The
story didn`t add up. There were no lingering questions.
The conflicts of interest should have stopped them. The discrepancies
in the narrative should have stopped them. They should have apologized a
This whole thing is a train wreck, conception, execution, denial.
HAYES: I want to make clear here, Steven, I don`t want to like put a
dagger in "60 Minutes." I have tremendous admiration for "60 Minutes". I
really do. It`s incredible franchise. It`s incredible they do the
journalism they do. That they get the ratings they do. That they produce
the profit they do.
In some ways it`s like a miracle it exists in television journalism,
which I think is why all of us take it so seriously. What is it like in
that building today?
STEVEN REINER, FORMER CBS "60 MINUTES" PRODUCER: It`s obviously a
very, very difficult day for everyone there, but my question is how much
real self-examination is being done there. I watched Lara this morning on
CBS this morning and even though there was an apology, and even though it
was borderline mistakes were made, I don`t believe there was still an
adequate explanation of just what kind of vetting really was done, at the
end of the day.
Journalism 101, you have a single source.
HAYES: Yes, exactly.
REINER: And you have --
HAYES: The most dangerous thing in the universe.
REINER: And you have a single source who is a self-interested source
because the source is trying to sell books. Then, you have a story, which
is a political hot potato, which can be red meat to certainly one side of
the argument and it seems to me that raises the bar and makes it more
crucial that you do your due diligence.
And I didn`t hear anything in the explanation of what we did to vet
that leads credibility to can be red meat to certainly one side of the
argument we were fooled. You shouldn`t have been fooled.
HAYES: So, the Boehlert piece is here, right, is that this was
basically, you see this story, you think this is going to light up the
BOEHLERT: It did.
HAYES: And it did and it`s also like a box for us to check the next
time we`re accused of liberal media. Remember, we did that Benghazi story.
Just so folks understand the universe this is coming out, Threshold is
the imprint of Simon and Shuster, that was publishing the book, although it
has now been recalled. Being pulled out of -- we`re trying to get video of
them packing up the books. That would be a good --
CARTER: By the way, that`s a CBS decision.
HAYES: Right, that`s a CBS decision, its` getting pulled from the
Now, Threshold is a conservative imprint that publishes books by Glenn
Beck, Sarah Palin, the book, "Censorship: The Threat to Silence Talk
Radio", Mark Levin. I mean, that`s the world this story is coming out of.
Those are some red flags.
BOEHLERT: Yes. You know, they wants to key into it, like I said,
there`s an automatic audience there. But when you`re going to wade into
that, you have to be careful. You cannot stain your reputation just
because you want to sort of fuel this.
One other quick point, after the National Guard story, you know, 2004,
"60 Minutes," their last real huge embarrassment, they appointed a panel.
Came outside, did lots of interviews, hired lots of lawyers and looked at
this. I don`t see, if they did that for that, how do they don`t --
HAYES: I want to talk about that. Mary Mapes, who is famously Dan
Rather`s producer on the story of the National Guard documents, which were
forged documents about President George W. Bush`s record in the National
Guard, famous Rather-gate scandal.
Mary Mapes had this to say, "My concern is the story is done very
pointedly to appeal to more conservative audience`s beliefs about what
happened at Benghazi. They appear to have done the story to appeal
specifically to political conservative audience obsessed with Benghazi,
believes that Benghazi is much more than a tragedy".
You can`t avoid the parallels here, Bill.
CARTER: Well, you can`t avoid them because everybody`s going to think
I mean, I do think -- to me, this is a far lesser scandal because I
don`t see this as people aren`t doing this sort of in a presidential
election, trying to influence voting, et cetera. I think, I may be wrong,
but I think people have to step back and say, look, there`s a lot of
agendas that were being played out here.
You`re saying CBS wanted to court the right or whatever.
HAYES: Well, I was saying, I call it the Boehlert piece.
CARTER: OK, that`s (INAUDIBLE).
But my sense is they were wanting to do something on Benghazi, spent a
lot of time doing it and didn`t have a lot. And then this guy`s book
showed up. That`s what I think. That`s my guess.
REINER: It was a mini perfect storm. They needed to inject a big B12
shot into that Benghazi story.
REINER: One of the things we try to tell some of our students is how
to watch television and be aware this that fellow`s story, had nothing. I
mean, in essence, had nothing to do with the same old story they were
telling in the rest of the piece. This was a little bit of smoke and
mirror -- let`s inject a dramatic, heroic story, and somehow we`ll give the
rest of it deeper meaning.
CARTER: I want to say one thing. Getting involved in this, you then
see the impact, because the State Department didn`t like this at all. They
didn`t like this at all. And they kind of went after this guy. They
wanted to go after.
And so, reporting on this is a minefield. It`s a minefield.
HAYES: Right. And what I don`t want to happen is to, well, if
something is an ideological minefield, let`s not step into it.
What does have to happen --
BOEHLERT: How about debunking it?
HAYES: Or just do diligence and put up what appears to be a
fabricator and put the credibility of the crown jewel of CBS News on the
Bill Carter from "The New York Times", Eric Boehlert from Media
Matters, Steven Reiner from Stony Brook University -- thank you all really.
Coming up, this is the city of Pasadena`s Web site. See here where it
says we have the kind of community, culture and responsiveness that are
attracting attention. They are attracting attention for one thing related
to their government. Their effort to suppress the Latino vote.
Why a Texas ballot initiative was the most important election of the
week you haven`t heard about, coming up.
HAYES: Later on the show, we`re going to talk about Jonathan Martin,
a Miami Dolphins offensive lineman who was allegedly bullied so
mercilessly, he left the team. Sadly, Martin`s experience is not unique.
Extreme locker room hazing is pretty uncommon.
So, on a more sober note, tonight, I want to know, what questions
would you ask someone who spent a lot of time in an NFL locker room? Tweet
your answers @allinwithchris, or post to Facebook.com/allwithchris. I`ll
share a couple later in the show when we talk to someone who was in an NFL
locker room for 12 years.
Stay tuned. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: Earlier this year, the Supreme Court dealt the Voting Rights
Act its most devastating blow in the 48 years since its enactment, when by
a 5-4 vote, it suspended the important enforcement of the crucial section
five of the act. It got a very core of the law and it meant that nine
states would be free the change their election laws without getting
preclearance approval from the federal government.
We`ve been talking for months about the potential and likely
ramification of this decision and this week, we saw it play out in dramatic
fashion on Election Day in one city in Texas.
HAYES (voice-over): Pasadena, Texas, a suburb of Houston, sometimes
calling stinkadina from the smell of its chemical plants and oil
refineries, home of 150,000 people, and the setting, the iconic film,
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cowboy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Depends on what you think a real cowboy is.
HAYES: But like a lot of Texas towns, Pasadena has changed radically
since the days when John Travolta walked the streets in a 10 gallon hat.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pasadena not longer a small town, but a not so
HAYES: The changes come in the last ten years thanks to growth in the
Hispanic population, which has risen from 48 percent to 62 percent, making
white people a minority in the new Pasadena.
Luckily for them, they are still a majority of the voting population.
While the Hispanic population accounts for a majority of Pasadena
residents, Hispanics make up only 32 percent of the city`s voters, but the
people who are running Pasadena see the writing on the wall. They know
there are only a few voter registration drives and maybe a comprehensive
immigration reform bill away from being relegated to minority status.
So, this summer, Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell came up with a plan.
Right now, the city is run by maybe and eight council members. Each member
is elected from one of eight districts each representing a section of the
And for the first time in the city`s history, there are now two
Hispanics on the council. One is Cody Ray Wheeler.
CODY RAY WHEELER, PASADENA CITY COUNCIL MEMBER: We kind of came in
there, looking to bring change, reform, to really engage in the community
and we`ve called the mayor out on a lot of things we thought weren`t very
HAYES: In August, Isbell started pushing a plan to shrink the number
of districts from eight to six, and replace those two with at large seats
to be voted on by everyone in Pasadena, and by everyone, we mean the town`s
white voting majority.
WHEELER: He decided to make a full power grab and he didn`t care who
you`d have to step over to get it.
HAYES: To the community, the goal of the plan was pretty clear.
PATRICIA GONZALES, PASADENA RESIDENT: I think what he`s trying to do
is trying to stop us from being able to get the things we need and be able
to be the majority. He doesn`t like it.
HAYES: Dilute the power of the Hispanic vote and hand two council
seats to the majority white voting population. Ensuring the citywide,
majority white population could band together and retain their power.
WHEELER: What this effectively does is give the south part of town
the majority of council.
HAYES: It turns out this is precisely the sort of thing section five
of the Voting Rights Act was designed to block. In fact, Supreme Court
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg cited this precise type of discrimination from
a pre-section five world when a Voting Rights Act came before the court
earlier this year.
RUTH BADER GINSBURG, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: These second generation
barriers included racial gerrymandering, switching from district voting to
at large voting.
HAYES: Did you hear that? At large voting -- it`s the oldest trick
in the book and it`s so immediately recognizable that when a neighboring
Texas town of Beaumont cooked up a similar at large plan, it was blocked by
the Justice Department in December of 2012.
But then, the Supreme Court killed section five of the Voting Rights
Act in their 5-4 decision in Shelby v. Holder. And the mayor of Pasadena,
Johnny Isbell made his move.
WHEELER: He blatantly said at the first meeting we had, now that the
preclearance from the Voting Rights Act is gone, we`re going to redistrict
HAYES: In the mayor`s own words --
MAYOR JOHNNY ISBELL, PASADENA: The Justice Department can no longer
tell us what to do.
HAYES: So, this summer, Isbell arguing that certain council members
don`t care about citywide issues, moved to put his own at large plan on the
WHEELER: The mayor`s quite aware of what this does, but he just seems
to not care.
HAYES: On Tuesday, the folks of Pasadena went to vote on proposition
one and the majority won by a margin of 87 votes. Now, that section five
is dead, there are thousands of potential Pasadenas all across the South.
HAYES: We should note that Patricia Gonzalez who we spoke to in that
report is a resident of Pasadena, also community activist with the Texas
Joining me now is Julie Fernandes, former deputy assistant attorney
general in the civil rights division of the Department of Justice, now, a
senior policy analyst at the Open Society Foundations.
All right. You used to work at a desk, getting applications from
places that wanted to do changes like this. How common or anomalous is the
story of Pasadena?
JULIE FERNANDES, OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS: Well, I think changes to
the method of election are actually the second most common type of voting
change, that drew objections during the days of section five, so they were
ones that often got a lot of scrutiny because you always have to ask the
question why and assess the impact in the way your piece described.
HAYES: I think what`s interesting about this story, (a), if I`m not
mistaken, the Shelby County case that came before the court that initiated
the court striking down was not dissimilar case. It was actually a change
to the gerrymandering of a district of a relatively small town.
And what I think is interesting is we talk about voter ID and stuff
happening at the state level. There is a lot of stuff that happens at the
municipal level where these fights can get really nasty, and when the
stakes are high -- property taxes, school equity, things like that that we
don`t necessarily see from the national level.
FERNANDES: That`s part of what we lost here when we lost section
five, is we lost the ability to know about this stuff. Everybody`s going
to know about statewide redistricting, everybody is going to know about
statewide law changes. But places like Pasadena, Texas, or little towns,
Clara, Alabama, Shelby County, all over the country, they`re going to be
doing things to manipulate the system, things that sort of define who the
electorate is for their advantage, that has a significant minority impact
and we`re just not going to know about it because we don`t have section
HAYES: Just so people can see in that map, these are the entire
states that were formerly subject to preclearance which (INAUDIBLE). They
range from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South
Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
Talk to me about the case of Beaumont because that was a case in which
you had basically a very similar set of facts and precisely the sort of
thing the Justice Department said no way.
FERNANDES: Right. Just in December of 2012 is the perfect analogy,
just in December of 2012, the Beaumont ISD made a change, I think it was
from seven single member districts to five single member and two at large.
HAYES: Sounds familiar.
FERNANDES: Yes, very similar story and the same region of the state.
And DOJ determined that was going to have an impact. In this case, I think
from your piece, it`s also clear that there`s a concern about there being a
discriminatory purpose as well, which is a constitutional violation.
And I think, you know, in fact, we see in Texas, a similar thing in
Galveston, Texas, twice. I think once fairly reasonably, one in the late
`90s. This is not an unusual technique and the situation where the
minority population is growing, you have districts and there`s an attempt
to say how do you stop that growth from impacting the outcome of the
election. It`s classic.
HAYES: So, what is the recourse now that section five isn`t there,
preclearance is gone, the vote happened on Tuesday. The people who want to
change, the mayor got his way. That`s the change -- I think the city`s
constitution essentially, the charter.
So, what can people do?
FERNANDES: I think the resource is and I think there are people
looking at whether or not there`s a way to challenge in under section two
of the Voting Rights Act, the part of the act still there, that you can use
to bring a lawsuit to say this action was purposely discriminatory or had
discriminatory effect. But those lawsuits take forever, Chris, they take a
long time, they`re expensive.
If the plaintiffs have such a case and if they prevail, we`re looking
at two years or more before we`re going to have a resolution. That`s two
years with this -- a council elected this system, which is an arguably
discriminatory system, setting the policy for that town.
HAYES: Right. Two careers in which we have these two at large
districts, which we may lose all Hispanic representation in this town that
is majority Hispanic, what could be past in the interim, which is the whole
entire reason section five and four of Voting Rights Act, the preclearance
Julie Fernandes from the Open Society Foundation, thank you so much.
HAYES: Coming up --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA BUONO (D-NJ), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: New Jersey represents
the last vestiges of the old boy machine politics that used to dominate
states across the nation. And unless more people are willing to challenge
it, New Jersey`s national reputation will suffer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Democratic candidate for governor of New Jersey,
Barbara Buono, in her speech following loss to Governor Chris Christie.
She has a lot to say about the race and the governor and her fellow
Democrats, and she will be my guest right here, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA BUONO, (D) NEW JERSEY GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: The democratic
political bosses, some elected and some not, made a deal with this governor
despite him representing everything they are supposed to be against. They
did not do it to help the state. They did it out of a desire to help
themselves politically and financially.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was former democratic New Jersey State Senator, Barbara
Buono, on Tuesday, following her --
SEN. BUONO: Hey, I am still a senator.
HAYES: Still senator -- good point, following her blowout loss to
Chris Christie in the governor`s race in a speech in which she also thanked
her supporters for withstanding, quote, the onslaught of betrayal from our
own political party. It is a victory speech/announcement for his 2016
presidential run that night. Christie suggested, he is the one guy who is
figured out how to bring people together in a time of political
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP
CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY NEWLY ELECTED GOVERNOR: I know that
tonight a dispirited America angry with their dysfunctional government in
Washington -- looks to New Jersey to say, "Is what I think happening really
happening?" Are people really coming together? Are we really working
African-Americans and Hispanics, suburbanites and city dwellers, farmers
and teachers? Are we really all working together?
Let me give the answer to everyone who is watching tonight, under this
government, our first job is to get the job done and as long as I am
governor, that job will always, always be finished.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There is a lot more to the story of how Chris Christie brought
people together in New Jersey and the governor wants to tell you and there
is no one better to tell that tale than current state Senator, Barbara
Buono of New Jersey. Senator, thank you so much for being here.
BUONO: Great to be here.
HAYES: You use this word, betrayal, in your concession speech.
HAYES: It is a strong word. Why did you use that word?
BUONO: Well, I just thought it would be important to be honest. You
know, I struck a positive note as well because I think that this is an
election first woman to run for governor of the state of New Jersey in a
Democratic Party, definitely a ground breaking event.
And I want to make sure that all the young women and young men for
that matter and minorities knew that it can be done, even in the face of
insurmountable odds. That said, the Democratic Party unfortunately cut
deals with Chris Christie and we really never had a chance in terms of
gaining the financial support and institutional support that we really
HAYES: You were outfund raised, I think of 6-1, if I am not mistaken
SEN. BUON: That is academic at this point.
HAYES: Well, the question -- I mean what do you mean by cut deals? I
think the story - here is the story that the national media is saying about
Chris Christie. In these polarized times, here is the guy who hugs
President Obama after Sandy, who is in a Obama state that went Obama by 17
points, democratic state, won by a whopping, you know, whatever was 30
points on Tuesday night, you know? And, is bringing people together. What
about the bringing people together, do people outside of New Jersey
politics not understand?
BUONO: Well, I can tell you in New Jersey, he ha not brought people
together. People are -- you know, we have the highest unemployment in the
region for the last four years. People are struggling. But, what this
governor has done, people`s eyes glaze over when he tells jokes on late
night T.V. and he talks about Sandy, Sandy, Sandy, and the fact of the
matter is, you know, the Democratic Party bosses and Chris Christie struck
HAYES: What does it mean? What strike a deal mean?
BUONO: Well, you know? It can mean different things for different
people. You know, for those in South Jersey that meant that Chris Christie
would not mount an offensive against their senators and assembly people in
It could mean different things in the Northern end of the state
depending on what your political interests are and what your business
interests are. And, the fact to the matter is, I think that people of New
Jersey deserves someone to represent them and not someone`s narrow
political and business interests.
HAYES: So, there is a kind of nonaggression pact, essentially, that
is struck between members of your party in the state senate, George
Norcrossis one of them in South Jersey, right? Yes?
HAYES: That basically, they are not going to go after Christie
because it is in their own interest to be able to work with him to deliver
whatever goods they need for their district.
BUONO: Look, Chris Christie -- nobody is more enamored with Chris
Christie than himself. And, he said, he is a straight talker; but, let me
just tell you this. You put a political boss in front of him and say this
is what you need to do to get elected in the next election and you will see
him fold like a cheap suit.
HAYES: You say Christie?
HAYES: What do you mean by that?
BUONO: Well, you know he really does not -- he said it himself when
he was in Boston a few months ago. He said if you want someone who stands
for anything, or ideology or conviction, then I am not your guy because I
am in it to win it. And, honestly, I do not care that he is running for
president. It is how he is running for president.
HAYES: But, then what is wrong with this mono. I mean when you look
at Washington, right, the thing that everyone is talking about warning for
are the days of transactional deal making politics.
BUONO: They are?
HAYES: Well, people, when people look at the shutdown, they say,
"Well, if we had things like earmarks, if there are ways to have kind of
these transactional deals, that things would work."
BUONO: There is a big difference between having a deal that benefits
the people of New Jersey or the people of the nation or any state and a
deal that is solely to benefit the political or business interests of
someone. That is the big difference. Compromise and transactional
politics, I think, are two very different things and I have a very
different impact on the people and the democracy.
HAYES: What is work going to be for you like as a member of the
senate caucus in the state of New Jersey after saying the things you said,
after being abandoned and betrayed by your fellow democrats?
BUONO: Look. I have always run against the bosses. Back in 1994,
when I first transfer the assembly, I ran against the political bosses`
candidate and I won. And, then again when I ran in the senate, they said I
could not win, and I did.
And, I became the first woman majority leader, first woman budget
chair because there were all these deals that were being made. You know I
am always going to be the person I am. I have been there and I will
continue to be there for the people of New Jersey and that is it. Very
HAYES: All right. State Senator, Barbara Buono, thank you so much
for your time.
BUONO: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Coming up, the story everyone is talking about this week. NFL
bullying. My guest will include a former NFL player, who says fans have
demanded total access and immersion in the game and then complain about the
culture in the same breath. Stay with us.
HAYES: Earlier in the show, we asked you what questions you would ask
someone who spent years in an NFL locker room. We got a ton of answers on
Twitter and Facebook. Here is just a few, Sean from Twitter asked, "Was
there any discussion about harassment laws and your rights when you were
hired by the NFL?
Stevie wonders, "If you saw this happening, would you intervene. I
was choke it in the first place." And, Cindy wants to know, "Who sets the
code of conduct in a locker room? How is that person chosen and is the
code of conduct condoned by the coaches?" Those are great questions.
Thanks to HBO`s series "Hard Knocks," we can actually take a look inside a
real NFL locker room. Here is what was happening last year with the Miami
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHIE INCOGNITO, MIAMI DOLPHINE GUARD: You check your Facebook
lately? Maybe you should not use your (EXPLICIT WORD) number for your iPad
password, bud. 8484.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (1): I used it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (2): Got him.
INCOGNITO: It is a good guess. You might want to check your
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (1): What does it say? (EXPLICIT WORD)
INCOGNITO: I was going to put something up there rude, but then I saw
the picture of your girlfriend, I felt bad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: He seems, nice, right? Charming Facebook (inaudible) that
clip Dolphins Lineman, Richie Incognito is at the center of a bullying
harassment hazing scandal that is rocking the NFL this week. In just a few
short minutes I will be joined right here in the studio by a former player
who said this week that you only get bullied in an NFL locker room if you
allow it to happen.
HAYES: It is the bullying scandal that has shaken a multibillion
dollar business to its foundation. The story is absolutely thrown into
disarray. The organization Forbes calls the most lucrative sports leak in
the world. The $9 billion industry that is, The National Football League.
Well, it began last week when reports emerged that Miami Dolphins
Jonathan Martin had left the team after a prank his teammates pulled on him
in the cafeteria. A prank Martin apparently did not find funny. He sings
that in a reporting he got frustrated and smashed his tray on the floor and
left the facility.
Initially, the story out of Miami was that Martin left the team
because he needed quote, "Assistance for emotional issues." In the days
since, new allegations have emerged indicating that Martin was the victim
of intense sadistic and persistent bullying and hazing in the locker room.
And, according to reports, the chief instigator of that bullying was
his team Richie Incognito. Incognito for his part has quite a story. In
2003, he was suspended by his college coach of Nebraska. A year later
convicted a misdemeanor assault, same year suspended indefinitely by
Nebraska and he was dismissed from Oregon`s program after only a week with
the team then after a few years in the NFL in 2009, he was voted the
league`s dirtiest player in a poll of fellow players.
Fellow teammate Cam Cleeland remembers Incognito as and I am quoting
directly, "An immature unrealistic scumbag with no personality and locker
room cancer who just wanted to fight everybody all the time." Earlier this
week, Incognito jumped on Twitter to defend himself and challenge a
reporter from ESPN tweeting, "If you or any of the agents you sound off
for have problem with me, you know where to find me. #bringit."
Which the reporter did by tweeting some of the messages Incognito
allegedly left on Martin`s phone like, "Hey, what`s up, you half N-word
piece of expletive." On Sunday, the dolphins announced Incognito had been
suspended for conduct detrimental of the team. Now, the NFL is
investigating just yesterday. Martin`s camp released this statement.
Jonathan Martin`s toughness is not an issue. He endured harassment that
went far beyond the traditional locker room hazing.
Jonathan looks forward to getting back to playing football. In the
meantime, he will cooperate fully with the NFL investigation. The scandal
has just ripped back the curtain in the part of the football world we do
not get to see every week, when we tune in to watch what is essentially
managed to televise violence, which also happens to be the most successful
form of entertainment in America today.
Joining me now is Mike Pesca, Sports Correspondent for NPR. Emily
Bazelon, Senior Editor of legal affairs, writer for "Slate." Also author
of a great book, "Sticks And Stones: Defeating The Culture of Bullying and
Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy.
Mike I want to begin with you. This has blown up. I mean, it is kind
of remarkable to me what a fire storm this has created. And, I think the
entry point into why it is, is you see Jonathan Martin, who is just a
massive human being, who does one of the most physically demanding,
intimidating, strenuous jobs in America probably and you think, how could
this guy be bullied. Right? That is the core of it.
MIKE PESCA, NPR SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Right. And, it is the job of
so many Americans, so many armchair quarterbacks that they say -- you to
them, it speaks to toughness and it speaks like this lost ideal of whatever
their version of masculinity is.
And, this is why when it came out, you did not need a lot of
information. In fact people did not have a lot of information. The first
day when people were debating it, they did not even know about the death
threats that he got from Incognito and some of the slurs that you read.
But, you know, the debate was, how do you not stand up for yourself?
How do you not punch the other guy in the nose? And, that came from
players, former players, the GM of his team, just everyone.
HAYES: From the GM of his team. Former players, coming out like
Ricky Williams, who I like and respect.
PESCA: Yes. I am a football fan of Jeff.
HAYES: He is a really thoughtful guy. Emily, as someone who wrote
about and studied bullying, I am really curious to hear your reaction to
the kind of disbelief that is being expressed both in the league and I
think people watching that someone of that size could be bullied. And, I
want you to talk about that right after we take this break.
HAYES: We are back. I am here with Mike Pesco and Emily Bazelon.
And, joining us now is Roman Oben a former NFL player, who is a left
tackle, now a football analyst for MSG and MY9 News. He is wearing a super
bowl ring. I never held a super bowl ring in person. It is massive.
All right, Emily, I want to go to you on this -- This bullying
question. What was your reaction to someone who wrote a whole book on
bullying to the reaction of so many people, how could this massive
individual be bullied?
EMILY BAZELON, WRITER FOR SLATE: Look, Jonathan Martin is a big guy
in a locker room with a lot of other big guys. And, I think what matters
here is the context. He is the new player. Richie Incognito is the
veteran, who is in a leadership position and you can be socially excluded
and made to feel harassed and terrible about yourself by other people. You
can go through that kind of psychological torment and bullying, no matter
how big you are.
HAYES: Yes. I think the psychological component of this is key. But
Roman, you are someone -- you have been tweeting basically being like --
what a lot of other players have said, which is, "Look, if you can`t take
the heat, get out of the kitchen," I guess? I mean how are you reacting to
ROMAN OBEN, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Well, I think given this incident,
there is different levels between what is a rookie responsibility, or
getting the donuts and doing all those things and what Richie Incognito did
to Jonathan Martin. And, as these ten levels have saw in between there and
I think -- At those cases, someone should have said hey, lay off this kid.
I`m a man first. Deal with it in the parking lot.
And, obviously in regular society, in bullying in the bigger picture,
you can`t deal with it that way, but talking about a football environment
because I played football in the locker, I mean that is how you deal with
it. So, you deal with the locker room with locker room issues and
unfortunately, this story has become so huge that you have Ph.Ds and people
in education and if this is the workplace, you would not have to buy lunch
for everyone everyday. You would not be in the hazing. But,
unfortunately, this has come out, a lot of things I have seen throughout my
whole career and college.
HAYES: OK. So, what I think we need to do here is distinguish
between a few different categories and things.
HAYES: So, there is hazing, which is like "Hey, rookie, pick up my
pads," which I think is a kind of -- I guess kind of a jerk move; but, like
that is okay. That is not the worst thing in the universe.
OBEN: No. Not at all.
HAYES: And, there is a rookie dinner, where we run up a $15,000 tab
and you have to pay for it. Well, that sucks, I mean -- but -- OK that is
not violent. Then, there is physical violence. I want to hear the story
because this Incognito guy seems to me, just diagnosing like something of a
This is a former player Cam Cleeland, who was clubbed in the face by a
sock filled with coins that free-agent linebacker Andre Royal had spent all
day collecting from teammates -- Incognito. It shattered Cleeland`s eye
socket and nearly cost him his eye, which now provides him only with
partial vision. That is not hazing. That is assault. Right? Am I wrong
about that? Or does that happen in locker rooms all the time.
OBEN: It is assault and when we read it, it is awful, but in the
football environment, we always tow that line between what is a passionate
head coach and what is the appropriate. What is motivation? What is
getting in a guy`s face and what is inappropriate? What`s getting a rookie
tougher, seeing what a guy is made of and what`s a racist comment and I
think Richie Incognito absolutely went too far. We have all acknowledged
that. But, there is an unwritten rule, and this has not been discussed
this week. If you cannot deal with the Richie Incognito, and I do not feel
this way, but if you can`t deal with Richie Incognitos of the world, what
are you going to do on third and ten against Jared Allen?
HAYES: That is -- I am sorry. That is crap.
OBEN: Hey! Look. Why do these teams scrutinize these rookies when
they come out of college? Why does the general manager for the Miami,
Dolphins asked Ded Bryant, was your mother a prostitute? This is the same
HAYES: OK. So, there is two ways to go by responding to that. And,
I want to get Emily`s response to that question. But, here is my response
to that is that first of all, you are making me feel like, "A. I got to
think the psychological make-up that allows you the stand tough and strong
under conditions of third and ten and in these sort of relentless, sadistic
mental games are different, but may be they are not.
But, if they are not, then what you make me feel is that like football
is just a game of sadism and violence and kind of a mall of horror that we
all gaze upon and clap for. Like if you are telling me there is not that
much difference than playing this game and being hounded this way in a
locker room, I am like, "Oh, football is even more messed up than I
OBEN: But, the fans want it, though. They want Hard Knocks. They
want to go in the locker room. They want to see this stuff. And, when
this happens, "It is oh! I can`t believe these guys behave this." Well,
it is football. It is not a fourth grade at recess.
HAYES: Right. But, it is also -- Mike. --
PESCA: But, It is not football. I mean so many teams have come out
and said that sort of behavior would never happen in our locker room and I
think what is troubling is that you are here saying rightly so, there is a
fine line. There is a gray area. This is way over the line, but you ask
the Dolphins. The Dolphins, all are sticking up for Incognito.
PESCA: They are all saying, "Well, this is not the situation that you
understand it." And, the rest of the league is kind of 50/50 on its
Incognito was right. But the Dolphins all stick together. That shows me a
sort of group mentality.
PESCA: Very troubling.
HAYES: That is my question for you, Emily, which is I think everyone
now says, "Yeah, this was over the line."
HAYES: And, we have heard the voice mails that are just like, "I am
threatening to kill you." Like you can`t threaten to kill people or rape
their loved ones, which is also happening.
BAZELON: Right. Right.
HAYES: So, why do not people intervene even when -- even when they
know it is wrong and over the line?
BAZELON: You know, sometimes, it is easier to side with the
dominating bully and it is harder to side with the person who in this case
is being accused of breaking the code by going public. And, so I think
this is a real test for the NFL.
I mean think about the message that this is sending to high school
kids and their coaches about the kinds of team behavior we should be
evaluating. If it is Richie Incognito who emerges from this as the one who
has all the defenders in the sports world, then what does that say about
kids who are being hazed and harassed on their team and who come forward
and ask for help.
HAYES: If you are in that locker room, when you play that in your
head, do you think you would have said something? You would have done
OBEN: 100% because I said from the rookie responsibility to where it
led, you say, "Hey, Richie, lay off this kid. He is going to have to help
us when he is a second round pick. Let`s try something else."
HAYES: Have you ever done that, actually? Have you been in those
OBEN: 100%. And, I have been in both sides of it. I have been in
there when they are taping rookies, and a guy stripped down to his jock
strap, and they are Icey -- I mean all these stuff -- all right, guys, that
is enough, guys. That is enough. And, that is why people said, "Oh, this
would not happen in the Steelers` locker room. The Giants or Patriots or
teams have sustained, leadership sustained. A long head coach. This would
happen in a Miami, Dolphins where they are trying to reestablish their
HAYES: Emily Bazelon from Slate Mike Pesco for NPR and former NFL
player, Roman Oben. I really wish we had an hour to talk about this. May
be we will have you all back, really. Thank you so much. That is "All In"
for this evening. The "Rachel Maddow" Show starts right now. Good
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