'The Melissa Harris-Perry Show' for Sunday, December 29th, 2013
Read the transcript to the Sunday show
December 29, 2013
Guests: Pia Glenn, Jamie Kilstein, Dean Obeidallah, Judy Gold
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC ANCHOR: This morning, my question. What
happens when nerds try to be funny? Well, besides a quadratic equation
jokes and loud snorting, tickled nerds can lead to some serious political
absurdity. So get ready, because we`re about to embark on nerd land`s
second annual look back at laughter.
Good morning. I`m Melissa Harris-Perry. And welcome to "MHP`s"
show second annual look back at laughter.
This is the show where we dispense with the serious and sober coverage of
politics, and instead look back at some of the political absurdity of 2013
with the ridicule and mockery it so rightly deserves.
Now, if there`s any story this year that demonstrates just how good we
media types are at keeping a straight face in the midst of straight-up
silliness, it`s this. The guy running for mayor of New York City who is
most famous, not for one but two scandals over sexting pictures of his
package to women who were not his wife and whose name just happens to be
Weiner. I mean, why should the daily show be the only ones who get to have
all the pun fun?
Having to cover this campaign seriously meant I had to censor all the
scripts could have been. Like, how in the face of criticism Weiner
continue to stand direct and how the revival of his sexting scandal made
Weiner`s polls go down which, New Yorkers, of course, gave Weiner the
Really, folks, I guess I could go on all day.
There was, however, another candidate in 2013, who left voters feeling
uninspired, but whose name gave me plenty of inspiration for poking fun at
his questionable policy ideas. You know who I`m talking about. None other
than that reason hopeful in Virginia governor`s race, Ken Cuccinelli or as
we called him frequently in our segments, Cucc Watch, which seemed like a
fitting name for the Republican senator in the state where last year
Republicans were proposing that women submit to the now infamous vaginal
probe, not as much fun as it sounds.
Legitimately covering the campaign meant being earnest about the fact that
there was another part of the anatomy that Cucc was interested in watching.
Yes, we had to go where even the Supreme Court dare not tread because in
October, the court rejected one of the key components of Cuccinelli`s
platform, his crusade to police where Virginians put their parts by
reinstating Virginia`s crimes against nature law, banning oral and anal
But you know what, come to think of it, Cucc wasn`t the only Republican who
seemed to be obsessed with the nether regions of the American people in
2013. Women may not ever feel quite the same about visiting the
gynecologist after watching this creepy anti-Obamacare ad.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
HARRIS-PERRY: Ladies, let`s take a moment to shiver in horror together.
Could we all just agree that invoking the idea of a strange masked man
between a woman`s legs in one of our most vulnerable moments is not the way
to make a legitimate critique of Obamacare? You know, probably not.
OK. So, it is not even the private parts of partially formed humans were
immune to Republican imagination this year. Thanks to Texas representative
Michael Burgess, the congressional record is forever scarred by the mention
of masturbating fetuses.
In the midst of a debate over a bill that would outlaw abortions after
weeks, Burgess was trying to make a point about fetal pain. It`s a
specious claim, but those opposed to reproductive rights use it to justify
abortion bans. But Burgess took it to another level when he said quote,
"watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are
purposeful. They stroke their face. And if they`re a male baby, they may
have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so
hard to believe they could feel pain?"
Masturbating fetuses, people, that happened. I mean, you know it`s been a
whacky year in politics when the news made by our lawmakers seems perfectly
placed in a news show alongside coverage of stories like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NIGHTLY NEWS ANCHOR: Last night on the sci-fi channel,
a movie with little buildup and a premise and execution so over-the-top,
word of mouth spread and people started tuning in and kept talking about it
into today. For starters, there`s the title, "Sharknado," as in, what
happens when you combine sharks with tornado.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: OK, in any other year, coverage of hammy, bad, overacting in
the middle of plausible, contrived catastrophe that has captured the
attention of millions of Americans would seem to be out of the realm of
serious news coverage. But this was 2013.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Six hundred Americans took the
Lincoln memorial on Saturday! We took that hill and this is the police
lineup tape! This is our consolation prize! And so the Obama
administration -- this is our symbol.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, 2013 was the year that the United States put a "closed"
sign on the door. The year that made covering government even more on
absurd than covering a movie where sharks rain from the sky, and all
because of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Do you like green eggs and ham? I do not like
them, Sam I am. I do not like green eggs and ham.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: Thanks to Senator Ted Cruz and his 21-hour non-filibuster,
we have to take seriously, at least one scene in "sharknado" when we
consider who`s to blame for our troubles in 2013.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the government.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With a big, capital "G." They`re behind everything.
They control it all and the weather too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: Joining me today is a group of people especially equipped to
look back at laughter in 2013, a table full of comedians. Actor and
performer Pia Glenn, Jamie Kilstein, co-host of citizen radio. Dean
Obeidallah, who s comedian and writer for "the Daily Beast" and editor at
Deans Report Blog, and Emmy award-winning comedian and actor, Judy Gold.
It is so nice to have you all here.
HARRIS-PERRY: So, there was a way in which this year just kept writing its
own punch lines. I mean, the "green eggs and ham," every time I see it, it
is still funny to me.
PIA GLENN, ACTRESS: Horrifying. And as you said perfectly, I get sort of
personally offended by the ridiculousness. Because, you know, we who speak
of such things can`t stand I believe I pretend it didn`t happen, and yet
now you`re pulling me into your mania when you make me comment. I have to
now take this seriously.
I got so upset at "green eggs and ham," because he said -- this is what
bothers me the most, not that it happened, but that he said, I do not like
them, here or there and he moved his hand, not here or there. So it`s the
perfect combination of, I have 100 percent conviction of what I`m saying, I
have zero comprehension of what I`m saying, with the movements, and with my
hands and words and government.
HARRIS-PERRY: Words and government, and hand motions.
JAMIE KILSTEIN, HOST, CITIZEN RADIO: I love your idea soft pundits being
so angry, where it`s like, finally, my big break on MSNBC, time to talk
about the military industrial complex. And it`s like, what did Ted Cruz
do? A kid`s book? All right, I`ve got to write jokes about Dr. Seuss.
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, POLITICAL COMEDIAN: He said he read that at 8:00 because
his child was going to sleep and she could watch it on c-span 2. If you`re
kidding is watching c-span 2, we should call Charles service. That is
HARRIS-PERRY: Obviously, probably my kid is watching c-span 2.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s like the hipster channel for c-span.
JUDY GOLD, COMEDIAN: I think the saddest part is that he has daughters.
That is, well, he`s not very pro-women, in many ways and that disturbs me.
Whenever there are men who were like this who are so conservative and so
against, really, it is a personal affront against women`s rights, and they
have daughters. That, to me is terrible.
HARRIS-PERRY: But you`ve got to figure, kids are always going to rebel
against their parents, right? I figure that my daughter is going to be a
born-again, free-market libertarian but having grown up with a sort of
racially angsty feminist, you know, liberal mom.
KILSTEIN: We should start like a secret book club for like the daughters
of rich, white Republicans. Where just like once a month, we mail them
like bell hooks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From, anonymous.
GOLD: Read this!
HARRIS-PERRY: You know, I love what you were saying about this idea that
even when things are meant to be serious, they became hilarious. I want to
watch Marco Rubio, Senator Marco Rubio giving the response to the state of
Let`s take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Nothing has frustrated me more than false
choices like the one the president laid out tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: I almost hate to make fun of that. What was that?
GOLD: Dry mouth. Apparently he`s going through menopause or something.
I did a better job -- like, when I was stoned and 16 and coming back from a
fish concert, I played it more cool than that. I was like, good night.
OBEIDALLAH: At least Ted Cruz, the Miley Cyrus of the Senate, can deal
with the whole -- that`s what he is. Let`s be honest. He`s like Kim
Kardashian of the Senate. But at least he can shine the spotlight. Marco
Rubio is not ready for prime-time, when you watch him do that. It makes
HARRIS-PERRY: I need you to explain to me why Ted Cruz is the Miley -- is
OBEIDALLAH: Not yet, but he`ll do anything for attention. He will twerk.
He will swing naked --
GOLD: He is the wrecking ball.
HARRIS-PERRY: He`s the wrecking ball, I got it.
KILSTEIN: Let`s go easy on Kim Kardashian.
GOLD: But whenever I see Marco Rubio speak now, all I focus on -- he must
have some issue. All I can think about.
GLENN: It`s unbelievable.
HARRIS-PERRY: There`s one more great moment I want us to take a great look
at. This is Rand Paul, who also may be needed someone to send him the
hells book (ph) because this is him explaining black history very badly at
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: The first, one the first African-American
U.S. senators who is a guy name, I`m blanking on his name from
Massachusetts. Edwin Brooks and his -- our graduate!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN: We have to acknowledge, personally, I have to or we have, that he
did the classic, African-American -- where it just trips -- every syllable
is fighting your way -- what are you thinking when you say African-
HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, I was going to say when I very first got the show and,
you know, my producers put in the scripts in the prompter and they would
write NAACP. And I was like, it is OK if you just put in two as. I got
it. No problem. I got it.
Speaking of which, for all of you, just you know, for the rest of the show,
you are each going to have three race cards that you can play at any point
during the show. And if you play a race card, what you`re going to hear is
HARRIS-PERRY: If at any point you need to play your race card because of
something that`s being said, play your race card, we`ll hear the siren and
we`ll stop and talk about it.
Stay right there everybody. Up next, what did the president did this year
that simply was not working and how it became the biggest thing of the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`ve had this problem with
the Web site. I`m not happy about that. But we`re working overtime to
make sure that it gets fixed, because right now, we`ve put in place a
system, a market place, where people can get affordable health care plans.
You know, I promise you, nobody`s been more frustrated. I want to go in
and fix it myself, but I don`t write code, so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: So that was President Obama trying to make light of the
difficulty with the healthcare.gov Web site. But the truth is, it was
hardly a laughing matter. So let`s make it one. Jamie?
KILSTEIN: OK. So, first, to save my twitter and defend Obama, when I
think you really want to defend the Web site and defend Obamacare, because
the right wing is crazy. Where they`re like, he`s like Hitler. It was
like I don`t remember Hitler being like, health care for kids! I don`t
know why this is my Hitler move. But --
HARRIS-PERRY: I can`t believe you went Hitler and it`s not even 10:30.
KILSTEIN: I either do a Hitler or masturbation joke before 11:00 every
day. So the problem is, you know what wouldn`t require a Web site at all?
Medicare for all. Bring it on, twitter! Seriously, this is what happens
when Democrats in general start to compromise with the right. No matter
what you do, this is so far from socialism, and the right wing is going to
call you socialism, right, so why not propose something like Medicare for
all if they are going to call you a socialist anyway, and then you don`t
have to deal with all this silly bureaucracy. Because what`s happening is,
the Web site sucks, right? And when the Web site sucks, you are actually
giving the right wing something to criticize.
HARRIS-PERRY: It doesn`t suck anymore. It sucked initially, but now it
KILSTEIN: You`re an adult and I`m not.
OBEIDALLAH: Here`s the thing. If I was president and there was a program
named after me, like Obeidallah care or Dean-aid, that would be on
facebook. I would have games on it and you would go like this is a
Website. It is fabulous! Because you know the Republicans are looking for
any reason. They voted to repeal Obamacare over 40 times. So, they`re
looking for any excuse.
So, I know the president has to delegate. You can`t be in charge of
everything, but this is something I would be like look, this is my people
are calling it Obamacare. I want this to be beautiful.
HARRIS-PERRY: I kind of love that. So, I mean, it is true that the Web
site is now working. We`ve had, if you just sort of look at the numbers of
folks who have signed up, you see this extraordinary increase in the number
who have visited and who can now concurrently use and all of that kind of
thing. But that said, I like this idea, that if it`s called Obamacare, you
want it to be great. I mean, that`s one of the weird things that happened
when they named the show, Melissa Harris-Perry. I was like well, I don`t
know if you`ve ever noticed the color of the set, but this is my attempt to
have a tiffany blue set. I was like, if it`s going to be named after me, I
want to sit in the middle of a tiffany box. So I want the idea, make it
beautiful if it`s named after you.
OBEIDALLAH: If it was called something else, it wouldn`t be matter. But
everyone calls it Obamacare, make it beautiful. And I`m sure -- in
retrospect, if we would have known the pushback on this thing.
HARRIS-PERRY: He wouldn`t have gone to law school, to coding school.
GOLD: But you know, if it was beautiful, then there would be criticisms,
they put so much money into the Web site, and they`re not substance or
about the way it looks.
But I`m wondering, government creating a Web site. Like, the government --
day don`t do anything in a great, productive way.
HARRIS-PERRY: Oh, the post office -- this is what we looked at Christmas,
right? The post office, way better than FedEx.
HARRIS-PERRY: That`s true.
KILSTEIN: And war crimes, we`re very good at as well. The Web site does
not work. It is currently down.
GLENN: But you`re absolutely right. They would have said it was the Kim
Kardashian of websites.
OBEIDALLAH: But at least --
GLENN: The Ted Cruz of websites.
OBEIDALLAH: The poll rating is down to like 42 percent. And one of the
biggest components, the reason it`s down is Obamacare. Even though people
aren`t signing up for it, there is vast number of people, it`s the Web
site. Si, it`s all the Web site. Everybody gets a Web site that`s
HARRIS-PERRY: But what if people actually have health care, then I think,
the thing is, he`s got time to rebound. And my expectation is, once the
Web site now is functioning. And the big deal is, once people actually go
to see their doctors. And you know, let`s go back and look at creepy Uncle
Sam again, right? So, once people go see their doctors and their doctor
doesn`t look like this, let`s take a look again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, let`s have a look.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: See, once that doesn`t happen --
GOLD: Yes, we didn`t need that.
GLENN: Comfortably stop taking Robitussin for appendicitis.
GOLD: I feel like we`re missing a really important point. It`s the
affordable care act. It is the affordable care act. We don`t refer to it
as the affordable care act, but as we all know, when you interview people
on the street and they compare Obamacare and the affordable care act, they
don`t know it`s the exact same thing.
OBEIDALLAH: You know, by the way, my doctor wears a mask, just you know,
before Obamacare. He`s always worn a mask. I get a discount that way.
Don`t even look at me. He drives around in a van, he comes to my
apartment, I get treated, and it`s much cheaper.
HARRIS-PERRY: Is this a medical marijuana doctor?
OBEIDALLAH: No. I actually don`t do that.
KILSTEIN: That is profiling!
HARRIS-PERRY: Jamie did it! Race card.
HARRIS-PERRY: Up next, the mayor too drunk to remember if he did crack.
HARRIS-PERRY: If any group of elected officials have given us material to
work with in 2013, it has been the mayors, or in some cases, would-be
mayors. There was San Diego Mayor, bob "can`t keep his hands to himself"
Filner, who was accused of numerous acts of sexual harassment, attended
rehab for two weeks, stepped down August 30th, and pled guilty to three
charges of sexual harassment in October.
And we can`t forget crack-smoking Toronto mayor, Rob Ford, who knocked over
a councilwoman as she and her fellow council members were voting to strip
the mayor of his governing powers.
Then there`s Cory Booker, a mayor from Newark, New Jersey, who won a seat
in the U.S. Senate. The social media maven hit a slight bump in the
twitter road, when he flirted via direct message with stripper Lindsay Lee,
who took a snapshot of their back and forth exchange, in which Booker says,
and the east coast loves you, and by the east coast, I mean me.
And there was poor, sad, New York City mayoral candidate, Anthony Weiner,
whose most memorable campaign moment was apologizing, again, for explicit
messages that were sent to someone who was not his wife. Oh, yes. The
mayors gave us life this year, even if it cost them an election or a job or
So, in a way, Filner`s not funny. I mean, the man is convicted and ends up
with probation and spending $1,500 in fines. But, like the cascade of
accusations and his unwillingness to live up to them was sort of hilarious.
KILSTEIN: Yes, I mean, this is sort of patriarchy, right?
HARRIS-PERRY: Sort of patriarchy.
KILSTEIN: We just sort of expect guys to do that. You hear stories about
that all the time. Like, boys will be boys, but there is sexual
harassment. Or like earlier in the show, when you were talking about the
transvaginal ultrasounds. Like the fact that a male politician could
propose that and think, just think, that it was going to be OK, patriarchy,
right? If Elizabeth Warren was like, we`re going to put sticks up guy`s
peep holes, we would burn her publicly as a witch. She would be burned on
FOX News. There is no way. But like dudes can just do that. And they
think that they -- you know, when it comes from street harassment which is
like in the commercial break to, you know, like elected officials. Like
they think that women are just here to be touched and gawked at and made to
OBEIDALLAH: And Filner had been a United States congressman before mayor
and some of the allegations, he told a woman who worked with him, you
should take your panties off at work. In what part of your mind-set -- you
know, I think this is reasonable to say this, even on madmen they didn`t do
this kind of thing and that`s the world it comes from. Like how are you
that out of date? How are you such a dinosaur? And he kept fighting --
I`m not going to resign.
HARRIS-PERRY: When part of what is so destructing is that Filner was now,
you know, so when you say it`s patriarchy, it really patriarchic in the
sense that Filner was progressive, he has kind of long history of good high
quality democratic lefty politics, and yet here he was behaving like this.
GOLD: And the fact they think it`s OK. They look surprised? Like, what
did I do? Hello! It`s unbelievable.
KILSTEIN: A lot of times it`s even worse on the left, because we think
that we are sort of this -- like racism on the left, right? Well, I went
to Macke more (ph) and my sexism on the left too as I am pro-abortion.
Yes, and you`re trying to knock everybody up. And so, they think because
they`re pro-choice or they think because, you know, they defended Michele
Obama on twitter, that they`re these like staunch feminists and then they
go out and sexually harass their coworkers, and they don`t see a
contradiction because of patriarchy.
GOLD: But I think the saddest part of it is watching the wife standing up
there, next to their -- that breaks my heart.
HARRIS-PERRY: Filner`s wife didn`t. She was like, and I`m out. Nope,
good luck with that, my friend. Anybody have a favorite moment from our
KILSTEIN: Oh, God. There`s so many.
OBEIDALLAH: Him running into the cameraman, and then into the elected
officials. And is it just me, I mean, he reminds me so much of Chris
Farley`s Matt Foley (ph), down by the river, and it was something funny,
but sad, because Chris Farley has died because of drugs. And this guy is
so oblivious t o that, it actually affecting his life.
GLENN: I have to say I had to check myself before I wreck myself when I
first so saw because I`m not perfect. I usually evaluate based on
appearance. I didn`t see crack coming -- I didn`t know it would be crack.
GLENN: I was really -- like, really?
OBEIDALLAH: All those movies --
HARRIS-PERRY: This is a new version of cousin Pookie that we have.
But it does help to break down exactly those stereotypes around about who
uses those sorts of drugs who counts and looks like a drug addict.
Before we go, though, I do have a question that came out of -- I mean,
there`s a way in which the mayor of Newark was elected to the U.S. Senate,
would have once been a punch line. It`s kind of extraordinary that that is
now neither a setup nor a punch line for a joke. But, did anybody know
there were vegan strip clubs? I mean, this is new information for me.
OBEIDALLAH: Jamie --
HARRIS-PERRY: I mean, you`re a pretty serious vegan.
KILSTEIN: I`m like a hard-core vegan, and I didn`t -- I don`t know, man.
And the thing is, too, is like I always have to sort of like when I go on
the road, like I`ll Google like vegan restaurants, and I`m like, I got to
support local businesses today and I want to support like organic food and
stuff like that. And I was like, if I was in Newark, would that --
HARRIS-PERRY: No, it`s in Portland. It`s in Portland.
But if Allison Kylkinney (ph) is at home watching, she thinks it`s not OK
for you to go.
KILSTEIN: She is at home and she loves me.
HARRIS-PERRY: When we come back, the election that gave us Cuch Watch and
a man named ewww.
HARRIS-PERRY: The 2013 Virginia governor`s race. The political world was
riveted by this particular race because of the implications of Terry
McAuliffe defeating Ken Cuccinelli and winning the governor`s seat back for
Democrats in the state that it turned red.
Here on "MHP show," this was the election that led us say, Cuch Watch, anal
sex, cunnilingus, transvaginal, and ewww on television this year. And the
Virginia elections for governor and lieutenant governor had the candidates
saying a lot of interesting things both on and off the campaign trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My personal beliefs about the personal challenge of
homosexuality haven`t changed.
E.W JACKSON (R), FORMER LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CANDIDATE: We care about
people. We care about the black community and the poverty that exists in
the inner city. We care about those single mothers, who are caught up in
the intergenerational poverty that welfare provides. We care about those
Hispanic families. We care about those people out there. But the
difference is, we don`t want them dependent upon us or anybody else.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: King George III and the parliament of Great Britain
that we rebelled against respected the liberty of the colonists of America
more than the Congress and the president of the United States of America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get the government off our backs, off our property, off
our guns, out of our families, out of our health care, and out of our way!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: I am playing the race card on E.W. Jackson! Talking about
the -- no, that wasn`t OK, no.
OBEIDALLAH: E.W. is the guy who said that the Planned Parenthood was worse
than the clan for black people. And he said that with a straight face.
Him and Ted Cruz both went to Harvard law school. What are they teaching
at Harvard law school at this point?
HARRIS-PERRY: But the president went there too?
OBEIDALLAH: But different classes.
OBEIDALLAH: Completely different -- but Cuccinelli and E.W., that`s like
crazy and crazier. But they a mainstream politician and Cuccinelli came
within two points of winning.
HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, I mean, there`s a certain absurdity that Terry
McAuliffe becomes the progressive behind which people have to get in this
case. But when these folks are the mainstream, there is just maddening.
GOLD: And it`s also maddening that he is young. He is a young person who
is grown up in a time where we are accepting, and we are tolerant, and we
do encounter all different kinds of people who are open about their
sexuality and open about who they are. And the fact that he is younger
than I am, I mean, I`m, you know, it is just, it kills me.
HARRIS-PERRY: But you know, but it`s a reminder, I think. When we see
those statistics showing the increasing support for marriage equality among
younger Americans, it`s easy to think, all we have to do is wait for the
old folks to die, the young people will take over, there`s no difference.
GOLD: That`s the scary --
HARRIS-PERRY: No progress without struggle.
GOLD: I have to say, as a gay person --
OBEIDALLAH: What, you`re gay?
GOLD: Yes, my mother is watching. Hey, mom!
OBEIDALLAH: I didn`t know that!
HARRIS-PERRY: You`re not outing yourself at this moment.
GOLD: Any person who says that it is a choice, this is my belief, is that
they have made this choice because it is absolutely 100 percent not a
choice. And I can tell you as a gay person, it is not a choice. It is not
something we choose. But if you are so adamant that it is a choice, at
some point in your life, you must have made that choice.
HARRIS-PERRY: Let me also suggest, if it were a choice, it wouldn`t
suggest that one ought not have civil rights, right? There`s a weird thing
going on if we`re going to play race card again. There`s a weird thing
that goes on with discussions about the president`s race, because he has a
white person and an African-American president, people will say, he`s not a
black -- but this is a president who chooses to identify as black. So
making that choice, affirmatively attaching himself to blackness is part of
-- I mean, it shouldn`t therefore throw him out of the race.
GOLD: But he can`t hide that. You know, the thing is, when you`re gay,
you can hide it. You can go in the closet, but he cannot. Let me get your
KILSTEIN: One of the things that this audience and like left-wing
audiences also need to focus on, is that we should be 100 percent done
voting for any Democrat who is like, I can kind of see where these
conservatives are coming from, when it comes to homophobia. Like it has to
be like, straight-up, you are a bigot. It is almost 2014. We don`t
support bigots. Like any Democrats, when you look at these guys, they are
ridiculous. We can watch some of that. But any Democrat, if they wanted
to, could smash them in debates, where really all we`re saying is, we want
equal rights for all. And what`s the bigot going to say? Angels.
HARRIS-PERRY: You took this question of any Democrat. So, if you guys are
looking forward to 2016, because all of this race ever is about sort of
what will 2016 mean, I`m interested in who would be a fun pairing for you,
either in e Democratic or the Republican party, for president and vice
Now for me, for Democrats, I would love Elizabeth Warren and Castro,
because then the bumper stickers are Warren/Castro. And I think a lot of
Republicans would vote for a war on Castro, right? So, I think if we could
trick some people -- right, that would be good? Any other good pairings
you can imagine?
OBEIDALLAH: Hillary Clinton and Anthony Weiner, because he tries to be a
HARRIS-PERRY: Oh, wow. That would be good for a comedy.
GOLD: Move to another planet?
HARRIS-PERRY: Clinton/Weiner. I like Clinton/Weiner.
KILSTEIN: I am about to ruin this bit, just so aggressively ruin it. All
I want is a Democrat who owns being a Democrat. All I want is a Democrat
who says, I`m pro-women, I`m pro LBGT, including the T, I`m anti-war, I`m
for health care, I`m for education, I want to get rid of poverty, I want to
end the war on drugs, I want to end institutionalizing racing --
HARRIS-PERRY: Do you have a name?
KILSTEIN: No! No. Because, none of them are going on TV. None of them
are on TV because these mainstream people go well, I can see what the
Republicans are saying. We need to reach across the aisle with those
OBEIDALLAH: But the tea party Democrats, and I don`t mean that in a
concern way, I mean, the other ways. Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York
City and Elizabeth Warren are now -- they are going to pull the party, I
KILSTEIN: Bill de Blasio was until he got Bill Braden put in as the police
HARRIS-PERRY: And everybody, stay with us, because when we come back, not
only is Jamie going to read his twitter feed, which is undoubtedly going
nuts, but we are going to play the game, who tweeted that and we`ve got
lots of twits to choose from.
HARRIS-PERRY: To tweet or not to tweet. In 2013, that was the question,
for our annual look back at laughter, we have brought back the pop quiz!
This day, we`re playing who tweeted that? And you want to remember how to
play? I`m going to read a tweet out loud, and I`ll be asking my guests
here on set to ring their bells, do a practice ring, when they know the
answer. Now, since it is the holiday season, I decided to cut you all from
slack and it is going to be multiple choice this time.
So here we go. The first tweet, or twit, let`s start with an easy one.
Who tweeted on December 1st, today, we remember Rosa Parks` bold stand in
her role in ending racism. Was it Reince Priebus, the DNC, or RNC?
OBEIDALLAH: RNC. Sorry, I tweeted?
HARRIS-PERRY: That is true. It is the RNC. It took them a little bit of
time to --
OBEIDALLAH: Realize racism is over.
KILSTEIN: My newest pet peeve with the Republicans, I was watching MSNBC,
I`m practicing my (INAUDIBLE) now because I have the money. I was watching
and they brought on, you know, a white racist Republican, and Republicans -
- their like biggest name-dropping thing, they always try to name drop
Abraham Lincoln. They`re like, tell my why Abraham Lincoln was a
Republican. It`s like, you, if that`s the last dude you have, who was also
kind of racist.
HARRIS-PERRY: I will say, Abraham is my favorite kind of racist. I don`t
care if you have bad emotions about me if you end slavery. Do not care.
Let`s stay focus on that one.
Now, that said, if anyone actually wants to know what Rosa Parks did, feel
free to read (INAUDIBLE) lovely new book on the rebellion`s life of Ms.
OK, tweet number two, which U.S. congressman alluded to a tragic chapter in
American history in a marched madness tweet that read, it`s official, Ohio
State is luckiest term in the tournament, #trailoftears. Was this Iowa
representative Bruce Braley, Ohio representative Tim Brian, or Speaker John
KILSTEIN: Whichever one of those guys is a white guy.
HARRIS-PERRY: They`re all white guys.
OBEIDALLAH: Iowa representative, Bruce Braley.
HARRIS-PERRY: That`s right! I need a Democrat.
OBEIDALLAH: I only knew the name. I didn`t know the answer until I saw
the name. I was like, I know that name.
HARRIS-PERRY: So of course, we know that the trail of tears is about
genocide, it is about the forced relocation of indigenous people.
GLENN: Or a hash tag. History or my tweet.
HARRIS-PERRY: Either one, all good.
Tweet number three, one thing twitter is also known for, undoubtedly, is
twitter beef. And one of the most classic twitter beefs this year came
from a rapper. The tweet was, Jimmy Kimmel, put yourself in my shoes. Oh,
no, that means you would have gotten too much good p-word in your life.
Was that Jay-Z, Cucci or Kanye West?
GLENN: You don`t have the answer, Melissa.
GOLD: I can`t even begin with the hilarity of --
HARRIS-PERRY: Kanye was everything this year, wasn`t he?
GLENN: Every bit of all things.
KILSTEIN: It was awesome, right? It was awesome. Like, white people
GLENN: I`m terrified!
HARRIS-PERRY: I was like, I`m pretty sure black people panicked. Like,
are you going to shame the race? Again, today? Really?!
Race card! If I say shame the race, I`m pretty sure I`ve got to put that
one out there.
Are you the only one who`s used a race card.
Next, in February, former Iran president Ahmadinejad said he wanted to be
the first Iranian to go into space, but this member of the Senate foreign
relations committee tweeted, so, Ahmadinejad wants to be the first Iranian
in space, wasn`t he just there last week? And the tweet concluded with a
link to an article entitled, "Iran launches monkeys into space. Your
choices are was it Marco Rubio, John McCain, or Ron Paul?
OBEIDALLAH: And race time at the same time! Because I`m Muslim. That was
John McCain saying calling Ahmadinejad, who`s an idiot, who I don`t like at
all, but calling him a monkey, because he was Muslim and brownish. Even
though I look like a white guy, inside brown.
HARRIS-PERRY: And yet fun fact, he`s not, in fact, a monkey.
OBEIDALLAH: He is not. And probably he`s a horrible person, Ahmadinejad,
but he`s not a monkey.
HARRIS-PERRY: All right, so the last one I`ve got here, this is -- had a
crucial photo that went along with the tweet, but we can`t show you the
photo yet, it would give it away. But the tweet read in part, 70 is the
new 50. And then included a photo to indicate just how awesome this 70-
year-old looked in the buff. Was it Barry Manilow, Geraldo Rivera or Mick
GOLD: Gerardo Rivera.
HARRIS-PERRY: It was Geraldo Rivera.
GOLD: Yes. And he is really hot. He`s switching me right over.
HARRIS-PERRY: The rest of his tweet said, Erica, who`s his wife, and
family, are going to be so pissed, but at his age, he was pretty excited to
show his buffedness to us all. It was a lot.
OBEIDALLAH: He was in decent shape. It wasn`t like Weiner, though.
GOLD: No --
OBEIDALLAH: There he is.
GOLD: It was above the --
HARRIS-PERRY: It was. It was above the median, above fold, as we like to
GOLD: How much attention does he need? How much attention does Geraldo --
HARRIS-PERRY: We have more pictures coming up as soon as we come back. A
picture is often worth a thousand laughs. We`ll play catch them in that
HARRIS-PERRY: If you have ever accidentally lost hours in the cyber rabbit
hole of awkwardfamilyphotos.com, then you already know that photographs can
offer some of the most robust belly laughs. And in the world of politics,
the reactions to photographs can up the absurdity ante in the public
sphere. So we thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the most
talked about pictures of the year.
All right, funny folks, we`ve pulled some of our favorite 2013 photos. And
some of it was less the photo and more the response. So let`s look at this
one from May. This is during a press conference with President Obama and
the Turkish prime minister, in which it began to rain. Anybody want to
play a caption for me on that photo?
OBEIDALLAH: This is -- anyone?
HARRIS-PERRY: The right wing went absolutely nuts about this picture.
There was a suggestion, somehow, that president Obama was misusing the
marines for having them hold --
OBEIDALLAH: It looks like a scene for a Broadway show, because he`s in the
KILSTEIN: Misusing the marines is sending them to bomb countries that are
not a threat to us, not using their umbrella. I think if a guy is holding
an umbrella, that`s a fantastic use for a marine. And I would much rather
marines get umbrellas than being shipped over to other countries. That`s
just me, ruining another bit.
OBEIDALLAH: That was a really long caption.
GLENN: The marine looks to me as if he`s trapped in thought. What do I do
next? Do I hold his hand?
GOLD: Like they`re going to go waltz now or something.
HARRIS-PERRY: All right, so we have another one that just became one of
our favorites. This was another world leader moment, with President Obama
and in this case, one of his dear friends, Russian president, Vladimir
Putin. And this picture and the body language of these guys, anybody want
to give me a caption on this one?
My caption is Vladimir Putin saying I got your super bowl ring and your NSA
league. What you going to do about that?
KILSTEIN: I`ve got Obama being like, I`m going to send so many gay people
to Olympics --
OBEIDALLAH: Putin`s saying, look at my crotch. This is a crotch shot.
HARRIS-PERRY: There`s a lot of kind of like manly positioning happening
All right. There was, of course, also a photograph that became a
scandalous selfie, right at the end of the year here. It was President
Obama taking a selfie at the funeral of President Nelson Mandela. And this
selfie and the sort of moment of the first lady was captured and it created
lots of angst in the public sphere. Any captions for that one?
GOLD: "Smile!" maybe.
OBEIDALLAH: Michelle`s thinking, it`s all a trade-off. I get to live in
the White House, but with a child.
GOLD: Oh, no!
OBEIDALLAH: I`m saying that from her point of view. We`re all children.
KILSTEIN: I mean, the selfie thing, it was kind of ridiculous, because it
was at Mandela`s funeral. But like there were plenty of pictures of
Michelle smiling and not doing that. And I think that`s just like, angry
HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. First lady Obama did not seem to be angry. She seems
to actually like her husband plenty.
KILSTEIN: They`re doing just fine.
HARRIS-PERRY: And in fact, let me show you another photo that caused all
kinds of emotions. It was a first lady photograph. It was a photograph of
the first lady when she changed her hairstyle at the beginning of the year
and decided to wear bangs. This picture of first lady Obama in bangs just
created all kinds of emotions. Any captions for that one?
GLENN: Wow. She`s the queen. I mean, that`s always my caption.
GOLD: It`s very important. Her bangs are really important.
GLENN: I figured the caption was, somebody`s playing Olivia Pope.
KILSTEIN: I haven`t watched season two. I`m like, I`m not going to listen
to where this goes.
HARRIS-PERRY: All right, and then one that was pretty cute, everybody
loved a baby picture. And this was one that, really, a lot of people had
emotions about this baby picture this year. This is the Romney family.
And, of course, they`re on Governor Romney`s knee is his adopted grandson,
who is an African-American, adopted African-American child, Keeren Romney.
Any captions for this one?
GLENN: One of these things is not --
GOLD: And that little baby, front and center, would be the one.
HARRIS-PERRY: And isn`t he the most gorgeous? My goal is that in 2040,
the biggest thing of the year will be the wedding between Keeren Romney and
North West. Can you imagine mitt Romney and Kanye West as in-laws.
OBEIDALLAH: I think this picture is great. It`s really sums up the
diversity of the Republican Party, the RNC. At the convention, they find
the one black person.
HARRIS-PERRY: We still have so much to get to, including the annual look
back in laughter and tradition of asking, hey, was that racist?
So don`t go anywhere. There`s, of course, more Nerdland at the top of the
HARRIS-PERRY: Welcome back. I`m Melissa Harris-Perry.
And we are back with the annual Nerdland look back in laughter.
I`ll tell you what? The mainstream media talked a lot about feminism
this year. Lean in, leaning out. Having it all!
Beyonce, uh! Miley. Michelle Obama. Wendy Davis. Malala
Yousafzai. Janet Yellen. The new G.M. CEO, Mary Barra.
And Republicans learning how to talk to women.
It`s been quite a year for the ladies.
So once again, my panel this morning is actor and performer, Pia
Glenn, co-host of Citizen Radio, Jamie Kilstein, comedian and co-director
of the film "The Muslims Are Coming", Dean Obeidallah, and award-winning
comedian and actor Judy Gold.
So panel, what have you guys learned about feminism this year?
JAMIE KILSTEIN, CITIZEN RADIO: People love rich, white feminism, for
sure. There`s definitely like a lot of like --
HARRIS-PERRY: The kind of Sheryl Sandberg.
KILSTEIN: And then you`re like, what about trans people and black
people? And they`re like, I`ve got to go!
Definitely, people freak out when there are powerful women. People
freaked out about Beyonce where -- I was actually talking about this with
Allison the other day where she was saying how, with Beyonce, it`s like --
everyone says she`s not a feminist because she owns her sexuality, right?
But then she puts out this amazing album and she has a song where
she`s rapping about having sex with her husband, which is a conservative
HARRIS-PERRY: But it is not conservative sense.
HARRIS-PERRY: I know way too much about them now. We be all night
KILSTEIN: I feel like, even if she never talked about sex, even if
she, like, wore like a poncho and was rapping about like, making my family
dinner, people would still be like, whore! People get so mad.
HARRIS-PERRY: Right. So, there was this notion of Beyonce as a
But the one thing I wanted to ask about, Pia, was this cold argument,
that Michele Obama, that first lady Michele Obama counts as a feminist
nightmare, and I mean, that was just -- it was just too much.
PIA GLENN, ACTRESS: Absolutely too much. It`s such a blatant
attack. Why don`t you just say -- I can`t use the language --
KILSTEIN: You`re going to lean --
JUDY GOLD, COMEDIAN: Let Jamie do it. He`ll do it.
GLENN: You ruin everything.
But this horrifying black woman, daring to be intelligent and
articulate and perhaps love her husband. Ahhh! And you have to just run
and scream and decry us and say, we`re a feminist nightmare. Really,
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, COMEDIAN: Can I just say, it must be so hard to be
a woman in America?
HARRIS-PERRY: You can say that! Feel free to say that!
OBEIDALLAH: Right now, we have the most female CEOs of fortune 500
companies ever. Twenty, twenty out of 500, and it`s the greatest ever.
There are the most female senators ever.
Still, it`s a struggle to have representation by your gender. Still,
three women are killed every day in the United States by domestic violence,
every day. No one talks about this.
HARRIS-PERRY: You know what the real war on women is? I would like
to listen to a Republican congresswoman, not just a Republican, but
Congresswoman Ellmers, who is the head of the Republican women`s caucus.
Let`s take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RENEE ELLMERS (R), NORTH CAROLINA: It`s often women who make
the health care decisions for our families. We put a lot of time and
thought into these choices and how they`ll affect our budgets. So by
canceling your insurance, despite a promise to let you keep your plan, the
Obama administration is essentially saying, it knows best for you and your
family. If you want to talk about a war on women, look no further than
this health care law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: So, the president has declared a war on women.
GOLD: Yes. This is so infuriating, on so many levels. How dare you
speak for women, when you are clearly not someone who really understands
what it`s like to be -- I mean, she`s a white woman, she`s a Republican --
like, what is that? Honestly, what is that?
No one represents you. No one really cares about you, in your party.
I mean, it really does seem to me that the Republicans really do not care
about women, women`s issues. The fact that they attack Planned Parenthood,
when Planned Parenthood is the number one health care for so many women,
especially poor women.
And you say things like that? The fear -- all they care about is
GLENN: And you can point to her as an ally, and it would be an Uncle
Tom. Right? She`s an empty Tomasina, just sitting there, saying look,
OBEIDALLAH: But it is disingenuous if the Republicans were
supporting equal pay legislation. They were opposed it to last year.
I know it continues that we have such an institutionalized -- and I
know this is not funny at all, but we have an institutionalized system in
this country -- I`m sorry, I`m channeling Jamie.
OBEIDALLAH: It`s as if no one will talk about the real issues for
women. And the Republican Party doesn`t want government interference,
except when it`s controlling women.
HARRIS-PERRY: It`s interesting that in a certain way, we began with
Beyonce, because all things begin with Beyonce. And then we end up here,
in part because there is this connection between these pop culture
representations of feminism. What we think feminism looks like and what
it`s supposed to look like, what it`s meant to be empowering, and then
these questions of public policy.
And you know, there`s kind of, you know, this notion on the one hand
of saying, to own your sexuality and to be able to talk about having, you
know, good, fabulous, wonderful sex with your husband. But that also
requires that you have access to birth control so when you have the good,
fabulous, wonderful cigar and sex with your husband, that you don`t have to
have a baby every time. Those public policies are actually connected to
those perceptions of --
GOLD: Why are these people that are so against birth control, they
should have 17 children? Why don`t they have 17 children?
HARRIS-PERRY: Some of them do --
KILSTEIN: Did you see that Mitt Romney picture?
GOLD: But a lot of them don`t. And a lot of them do practice these,
you know, using birth control and other things -- yes, there are complete -
KILSTEIN: And it`s about control. Where it`s, you know, day do
think about women. That`s the thing.
It`s not like they`re ignoring women to throw them around the bus.
It`s control. It`s a bunch of scared old white dudes with scared little
boners that who are scared their wives are going to live them if they had
access to birth control.
HARRIS-PERRY: The thing is, Jamie, I`d love to do that. I mean, I
would love to think it was that simple. But I guess, part of what I would
want to suggest is, we do see it, as we`ve said before, with Filner, on the
left and the right. So people who both supported the good policies, but
then were bad in terms of the practice.
But I guess we also wonder, is there actually kind of a funny thing
going on in the world, where this 113th Congress with the most women in it,
doesn`t make any laws. Really, it makes the fewest laws, but at the state
level, you have extremely aggressive laws, almost all focused on women`s
bodies. What is up with that? They are obsessed. Obsessed!
KILSTEIN: I think it`s fear of change, right? You see some of the
most -- like, you saw some of the worst racism as civil rights legislation
was being passed. You`re seeing some of the worst homophobia now that gay
marriage is starting to be passed. And like, you know, they do see women
starting to stick up for themselves. And they do see women --
HARRIS-PERRY: So this is the backlash, this is the post-Hillary
Clinton and Sarah Palin, which whatever your critiques, Sarah Palin really
was the vice presidential candidate for the Republican Party, right? And a
young woman still bearing children, right? In that role, right? So even
if you don`t agree with her politics. So maybe this is a sort of weird,
GLENN: Yes, because the bodies are scary. Sexuality of a woman`s
body. And we have it more with Beyonce, who has everybody`s body. And you
see some -- the double standard of Miley Cyrus, who I`m not -- but doesn`t
have visible secondary --
KILSTEIN: And we were talking about that before, with street
harassment, it`s like, men feel like women are there for us, and so we
don`t get why they would want birth control. Does that mean you`re going
to sleep with someone else? We don`t get why, when you say, hey, nice cans
at a subway, they don`t come home with us. It`s like, we just want that
HARRIS-PERRY: I`ll tell you what, my comedians are all going to be
forced to drink during the commercial, so they can get their funny back,
because they`ve got real serious about sexism and feminism.
But when we come back, we`re going to stay on the question of women`s
bodies. I`m not kidding you, we are basically ratings whores. So we`re
going to do a segment about Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian when we come
HARRIS-PERRY: Pop culture loves the baby bump, but it really, really
hates the post-baby bumps. The tabloids expect flat abs and tight dresses
and a magical weight loss story within weeks after giving birth to, you
know, a human person. And the post-baby bump has become a source of shame.
Kate Middleton appeared the day after giving birth to Prince George
with perfect hair and makeup, but with her bump clearly visible through her
dress. But that very same day, less than 24 days after the prince`s birth,
"OK!" magazine released an issue with a cover story about Kate`s post-baby
weight loss regime, and a quote from her supposed trainer, saying the
duchess` stomach will shrink straight back.
The tabloid later apologized for the cover after a show of public
outrage. Now, a somewhat less royal mom`s Facebook post went viral. A
picture of herself with her washboard abs surrounded by her three months,
the youngest of which was eight months, with a caption, what`s your excuse.
I mean, can`t a new mom catch a break?
And this stunt, on the one hand, it`s all about the tabloid, but it`s
also like the control of women`s bodies.
GOLD: The obsession and the sexualization and, you know, it just
reminds me, Chris Christie went on "Letterman" and ate a donut, and it was
the funniest thing -- oh, he`s making fun of his body. Isn`t that great?
If a morbidly obese woman went on "Letterman" and ate a donut like
that, and made fun -- they would be like, you`re disgusting.
OBEIDALLAH: You remember during Kim Kardashian`s pregnancy, she was
wearing a black and white dress and put her and a picture of orca the
killer whale. And that was fine.
Is it more women judging other women, or is it men -- we won`t say
this out loud, because we know better, we might think, she looks a little
fat, but we`re not going to say that.
HARRIS-PERRY: I guess it`s more this notion of public expectation.
That idea of, what`s your excuse? My excuse is that I just had a baby.
GLENN: And genetics.
HARRIS-PERRY: And genetics.
GOLD: I`m going to take a picture of my cottage cheese ass and put
HARRIS-PERRY: Kim Kardashian, clearly in response to the kind of fat
shaming that went on during her pregnancy, takes that astonishing picture
of herself, right, with the look back at twitter, and of course her
husband, or soon-to-be husband, her fiance says, you know, I`ll be right
home. Not I`ll be right home because we have a new baby, I`ll be home
KILSTEIN: It`s like the expectations of men. It takes two people to
have a baby, right? And we kind of get the better end of the deal. You
guys have to deliver a human and all I have to do is like finish. And then
-- see, that was my alluding --
HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, uh-huh, got it.
KILSTEIN: Finish, got it.
But we all think it`s hilarious when after a woman gives birth, the
husband gets chubby. They`re like, it`s the cutest thing. The woman comes
in, go back, fatty! And they get so mad! Because, again, you are here for
us to look at.
GOLD: Such a double standard.
HARRIS-PERRY: But 2013 was a bit of a year of feminism. Folks did
push back. When Chip Wilson of the founder of Lululemon, and I`m glad I
said Lululemon, but when the founder of Lululemon said some women`s bodies
just don`t work in his pants, there was an outcry. We out cried a little
bit here on the show and Wilson stepped down.
GOLD: Ridiculous. Women`s bodies have never worked --
OBEIDALLAH: What about the backlash against fit mom. Not what she
said, but seven to one the negative comments, thousands of negative
comments, because she was in great shape. Why can`t she be proud, just
like a woman can be proud of their body? Why can`t you have both?
GOLD: Because she didn`t say, I`m proud, she says, what`s your
excuse. That`s the difference.
OBEIDALLAH: But for some people, that would be inspiring. For
GOLD: If I spent six hours a day working out and doing ab exercises,
I might look like --
OBEIDALLAH: You look good!
GOLD: No --
HARRIS-PERRY: Especially not eight months after giving birth, but my
experience as a nursing mom was skinny cows don`t give milk. I know the
stories, if you nurse, you`re pregnant, your weight -- not for me. Because
we`re food source. You need a little extra in your thigh and little on the
back of your arm there.
GLENN: I did see at least one tabloid poke fun at Prince William`s
hairline, like, equality. I love that he`s bravely going bald in front of
the whole entire world. Like, my receding hairline will be king.
HARRIS-PERRY: As I said, it`s interesting what you say about this
idea of being proud of being fabulously gorgeous. Giselle, the supermodel,
had this kind of incredible tweet pretty recently. And so, there she is,
nursing, and also having her hair, nails, and makeup done.
Now, it`s hard -- like, you could look at that and say, oh, I hate
that person, or you could look at her and say, apparently that is what it
takes to look like a supermodel. One actually needs a whole staff.
OBEIDALLAH: Right. A great multi-tasker.
KILSTEIN: Yes, it`s so scary, what we think. I don`t think people
understand when they see, especially women on TV, and even like dudes on
TV, like Hugh Jackman, the stuff they have to do. Like, that is their
full-time job to look like that. They have people who cook them meals,
they have dietitians, they have personal trainers, like you said, they work
out like six hours a day.
You don`t just look like that unless you`re going to make it your
full-time job and you can`t expect people to, especially after pushing a
human out of your body.
HARRIS-PERRY: Which is part of what I love about Beyonce`s flawless,
she`s saying, just, like, whatever you woke up looking like, that`s the
thing that makes you flawless, not actually your Giselle moment, because
most of us do not have full-time staffs.
GOLD: Well, actually -- no.
OBEIDALLAH: And also, the pressure women have on body image, that
men -- I have a little body image issues, but it`s not the same, and
society does not push me to get in great shape. I can leave my t-shirt on,
and that`s fine.
KILSTEIN: In the media, no one`s like, did Steve Buscemi put on some
pounds? He`s a fine weird-looking actor.
OBEIDALLAH: He should put on some pounds, for his own health.
GOLD: There`s a lot of hair element too. We have to be hairless.
Men have hair coming out of their nose and their ears --
HARRIS-PERRY: It`s everywhere.
GOLD: Oh, he`s cute, he`s rugged. No, you know.
OBEIDALLAH: Women are more forgiving. You`ll find something nice on
any guy, which is remarkable. And I`m amazed at the couples, like, what
would you see in him. And she said, I saw this in him. And I`m like,
HARRIS-PERRY: But there are still challenges around masculinity, but
they may not be appearance associated. What we think of that makes women
valuable on a dating and marriage market may be about physical beauty. For
men, we make assumptions about power and wealth, right?
So, therefore, men who are not powerful, wealthy, and masculine in
very particularly, narrowly described ways -- I do think it`s whether or
not they`re hairless or thin, but it doesn`t mean there aren`t
prescriptions about what they`re meant to be.
KILSTEIN: That`s also like, every romantic comedy, right? Where
it`s just like, the really funny, like disheveled, dude, trying to date the
supermodel. And who doesn`t want to date him, and all you have to do is
like harass her for 90 minutes, and then she`ll have sex with you.
HARRIS-PERRY: But, of course, this is part of, for me, why as much
as I know the standard discourse from LBGT organizations looking for
marriage equality is to say that marriage he quality won`t change marriage,
the one fun thing about it is maybe it would change marriage in the sense
that it might -- you know, even what we did here was to fall into a set of
heterosexual, normative expectations. Men want to marry women and men want
to marry men.
But maybe looks different. Maybe the expectations of parenting and
the expectations of what a wife or husband is, are different when you`re in
GOLD: Right, there are no --
OBEIDALLAH: Card, card!
GOLD: There are no, thank you so much. There are no specific roles.
And you know, my kids have two -- well, now they basically have three moms.
Three Jewish mothers.
But, you know, there is -- you do what you have to do. You come
through. It`s not like, this is the way, you know, this is the role that
you`re going to play. This is the role I`m going to play. It`s just not
And you know, let`s get the religion out of the marriage. Let`s get
-- it`s not about --
HARRIS-PERRY: Well, if you want to individually have religion in
your marriage, that`s fine.
GOLD: As far as our government is concerned, and our equal rights
are concerned. You want to get married in a church or a synagogue, have
KILSTEIN: Yes, when I saw that bigoted, anti-equality person on the
Kornacki show before this, who was against gay marriage and he`s like, we
have to protect straight marriage, it`s like, we`re not doing a great job.
HARRIS-PERRY: You know what makes it harder -- if you have to be
thin 15 minutes after having a baby, it`s a lot harder.
Up next from "Duck Dynasty" to Kim-ye, what happens when politicians
get real about reality TV.
HARRIS-PERRY: This week, we would like to induct Louisiana Governor
Bobby Jindal into a hall of fame. The politician`s gratuitously commenting
on popular television hall of fame. Now, as we say in Nerdland, FBJ --
forget Bobby Jindal.
Jindal has released two, count two, official statements from the
Louisiana governor`s office on the controversy over the comments of "Duck
Dynasty" star Phil Robertson. His most recent came Friday after A&E
announced that it would bring him back on the show, despite his comments on
homosexuality and living in the Jim Crow era South.
The governor said, "Today is a good day for the freedoms of speech
and religious liberty. The left may control Hollywood, but they don`t
control the hearts and minds of the majority of Americans."
Now, there is a lot to unpack there, Bobby. But instead of doing
that, let`s take a look at some of the other hall of fame contenders.
Now, there was President Obama, talking about the good old days
before reality TV, discussing the American dream. He said, "Kids weren`t
monitoring every day what Kim Kardashian was wearing or where Kanye West
was going on vacation and thinking that that, somehow, was the mark of
There was also Senator John McCain who appeared on his daughter,
Meghan`s, reality show, called "Raising McCain." There he grilled ribs and
let Meghan interview him and made awkward jokes with comedian Michael Ian
You`ll also remember, of course, that Senator McCain tweeted "Jersey
Shore" star, Snooki, in solidarity against a new tax on tanning beds in
Of course, none of these men hold a candle to the best of the worst,
the granddaddy of everyone in the politician`s gratuitously commenting on
popular television`s hall of fame, long before reality TV became a staple
of our prime-time watching and our politician`s jeremiahs, there was vice
president Dan Quayle and there was the fictional news anchor, Murphy Brown,
who had a child out of wedlock.
Now, here`s Quayle in 1992, blaming the nation`s woes in part on a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN QUAYLE, FOMER VICE PRESIDENT: It doesn`t help matters when
prime-time TV has "Murphy Brown," a character who supposedly epitomizes
today`s intelligent, highly paid professional woman, mocking the importance
of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, TV has been ruining America for a long time. Not
that we`re seeing you shouldn`t watch, because we`ve got more MHP Show
after the break.
HARRIS-PERRY: In 2009, when President Obama was first inaugurated,
some people proclaimed at the beginning of the post-racial era. So by the
time of his second inauguration, you would think that the issue of racism
would be virtually extinct, right? Wrong.
Just four months after our first biracial president was sworn in for
a second term, the nation`s angst about race surfaced again over another
biracial figure, in of all things a TV commercial for a cereal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOM: Yes, honey.
CHILD: Dad told me that Cheerios is good for your heart. Is that
MOM: Says here that Cheerios has whole grain oats that can help
remove some cholesterol, and that`s heart healthy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: I mean, that provoked a collective, ahhh! And yet
that add sparked so much racial fury that cheerios had to disable the
comments section on its YouTube channel. But it did stand by the ad.
Now, if the nation can get worked up over an adorable child and her
cereal, we know there`s nothing post about our racial angst. I`ve got to
tell you, the cheerios cereal thing was like, what, really?
GLENN: It was such an ugly reminder, and the commercial is adorable.
GOLD: If you go online, they did a video of kids reacting to this
commercial. And it`s unbelievable. It`s like, why are they upset about
it? It`s unbelievable.
GLENN: And I love that the little girl looked like she could be
their child. Casting wise, they try to slap any old child with us, as long
as you`re darker than paper bag, you are all black -- we`ll see people that
look like they`re not from the same tree at all.
OBEIDALLAH: The generational divide is very clear, even on gay
marriage, 80 percent of millennials support gay marriage. When you compare
Phil Johnson from "Duck Dynasty" to Honey Boo Boo --
GOLD: Phil Robertson.
OBEIDALLAH: Sorry, Phil Robertson (INAUDIBLE), to Honey Boo Boo.
Last year Honey Boo Boo said, being gay ain`t no big deal. And Phil
Robertson is saying being gay is like bestiality and you`re a terrorist.
It took 25 years before the majority of Americans said, I`m cool with
HARRIS-PERRY: I love the idea that we should follow Honey Boo Boo.
If you`re going to have a reality TV star, let it be honey. I want to play
a comment from Congressman Steve King, speaking of race.
Let`s listen to Congressman King.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: For everyone who`s a valedictorian,
there`s another hundred out there that they weigh 130 pounds and they`ve
got calves the size of cantaloupes because they`re hauling 75 pounds of
marijuana across the desert.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: That was so bad John Boehner was like, that`s not OK.
GLENN: Is anyone else going to say -- it was a horrific -- is that
HARRIS-PERRY: No, no, no.
KILSTEIN: I mean, all these -- I mean, I think post-racial is such a
dangerous term, right? Whereas it`s like, you have so many racist using
Barack Obama as like America`s black friend, right? Where we still have
Michelle Alexander calls it the new Jim Crow, we have institutionalized
racism, we have the war on drugs, ought to stop, but lie we have a black
president, so it`s OK.
And then, yes, you see something as innocent as this really sweet ad,
and people still freak out. And when it comes to king, and would
Republicans think black people are is their fault. When you`re defunding,
like schools and social programs and you wage this war on poverty and
African-American communities, then they`re going to become your
HARRIS-PERRY: But part of what`s interesting about the Congressman
King, if we connect it book to our "Duck Dynasty" moment, and not so much
the comments about homosexuality, but the comments about race that came out
of Robertson at that point, is that they are talking about their own
They`re saying, my dad had a ranch and this is what I saw and
experienced, right? I worked in these circumstances and this is what I saw
and experienced. And there is something kind of -- there`s a kind of
lovely racial naivete, that your belief that what you`re seeing from a
Latino, or from, that`s all of them, because they disappear. Because
they`re not saying, I don`t like these people. They`re saying, I looked at
them, here`s what I see.
GLENN: I would love to celebrate that naivete as well. It`s
adorable and precious.
But I want them to do their homework at home. I want them to ask
someone before they speak in public sometimes.
GOLD: But I think it`s important that they speak like this. So
we`re aware that this is really very prevalent in our country, this kind of
thinking. It is really more prevalent than we --
OBEIDALLAH: It`s selective memory, though. Phil Robertson grew up
in Louisiana. The first protest against bus segregation was there in 1953,
before Alabama, before Mississippi, 1953, Dr. Martin Luther King was there.
It`s a national story.
He was living in Louisiana. How could he not know? Do you think
black people enjoyed using separate parts of the bus or separate entrances?
So, I mean, I think it`s selective memory to the point where they were
recreating the past to fit a narrative they want to continue today.
HARRIS-PERRY: But that said, we are really good at performing -- I
mean, and dancing.
Yes, I was going to say, there is a survival performance aspect of
race that is about, in fact, making people believe that you are happy, when
you are not. There`s a whole poem about it. Beware the mask of grins and
KILSTEIN: Are you telling me that I cried while watching "The Help"
HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. There you go.
KILSTEIN: I didn`t support it. I didn`t support it. I didn`t see
HARRIS-PERRY: That`s right! You know, you can`t get me started on
"The Help." That was 2012.
KILSTEIN: Oh, am I dated? What`s the new one? "The Butler".
HARRIS-PERRY: I cannot. I cannot. But speaking of southerners who
were sort of speaking from their own experience, let`s listen to Paula
Deen, which happened this year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL DEEN, CELEBRITY CHEF: Well, I have a young man in my life and
his name is Hollis Johnson. And he`s black as that board.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he here?
DEEN: Stand up with, Hollis.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is Hollis here?
DEEN: Come here, Hollis. We can`t see you standing against that
I tell people, this is my son by another father. I mean, I love this
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: Hollis is her friend.
HARRIS-PERRY: We can`t see him standing against that dark board, but
that`s her friend.
GLENN: Oh, Hollis. He comes when called.
HARRIS-PERRY: And Hollis came when called, because that`s her
GLENN: He`s obedient --
GOLD: How do you not know -- how do you not know that that`s wrong?
Like, that`s what I don`t understand?
OBEIDALLAH: I`m not defending her, but I have friends who make fun -
- close friends, who make fun of me being Arab and Muslim, and the worst
things, but we`re friends and we say --
GLENN: Do day dot en there are cameras on them?
KILSTEIN: No, but comedians are horrible people.
OBEIDALLAH: There are some people who think they`re oblivious, so
they go, they`re like, he`s my friend, and I can say this racist stuff
because I`m being funny about it. It`s endearing and we have a connection.
I have friends who call me a terrorist all the time for being Arab,
but they say in a much more clever, funny way.
GOLD: But she doesn`t know --
HARRIS-PERRY: Don`t let your friends call me terrorists, my friend.
No, no. You have abusive friendships. I have a number for you here.
KILSTEIN: We`ll hang out with you.
KILSTEIN: I`ll totally be your friend.
OBEIDALLAH: I need new friends. You`re probably right.
GLENN: But she actually doesn`t know. That`s what`s disturbing.
She has no idea.
KILSTEIN: She`s helping.
HARRIS-PERRY: Right, right. This is my point about racial naivete.
There`s like a mean, nasty version of racism, that is like, I know, and I
know what you are, and I want to keep you -- and that`s a little different
than like, hey, everybody seemed happy. We were all good. I don`t really
know what people are complaining about.
GLENN: This is where Hollis has to speak up, I think. That`s why I
speak up. We have to. Because, you know, he could just happily, you know,
come here, Hollis, and she lets him sleep inside by the fireplace.
GLENN: And we`re happy at Paula Deen`s house. But somebody has to
HARRIS-PERRY: For me, one of the best things about 2013 was the
Moral Mondays movement and interracial groups of people who were saying
something about the conservative legislature there. So it led a lot of
people down to North Carolina to have some conversations. Most of it
serious journalism, but the best one of the year turned out to be some
serious journalism from "The Daily Show."
Let`s take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON YELTON: If it hurts the whites, so be the it. If it hurts a
bunch of lazy blacks that wants the government to give them everything, so
be it. The law is not racist.
REPORTER: Of course the law is not racist. And you are not racist.
YELTON: Well, I`ve been called a bigot before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: Yes! That was my favorite moment of the year! He was
like, well -- hmmm.
GLENN: Truth be told.
OBEIDALLAH: Asif Monte gets a Pulitzer Prize for that one. He`s my
friend. Did a great job down there.
HARRIS-PERRY: And it turned out to be actual, revealing journalism.
OBEIDALLAH: And it also equals that silence can equal a punch line.
His lack of talking is like a Jack Benny joke from the 1930s or `40s. By
not responding, it becomes funny, because it`s revealing his inner thoughts
to all of us.
HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, because he`s think, well, am I? Well, I`ve been
OBEIDALLAH: Points for honesty.
HARRIS-PERRY: And the lovely point, as he continues speaking, and we
hear the, "you know we can hear you," which I kept wanting to say to
Republican lawmakers this year. Like, you know we can hear you.
Up next, the moments from 2013 that didn`t, clearly, have something
to do with race, necessarily. And therefore, led us to have to ask the
question, is that racist?
HARRIS-PERRY: You`d think after a few centuries of living with
racism in America, by now we`d all be experts on knowing it when we see it.
But if the events of 2013 were any indication, we`ve still got a lot of
learning to do. And it seems that one person`s obvious bigotry is another
person`s accidental racism.
So, I thought I`d take it to my table today, with rapid-fire round to
bring some clarity to the confusion and ask, was that racist?
Now, you might look at the table and notice, we have an empty chair.
What has happened to Dean? We won`t talk to it, because it is
possible that in 2012, if you`ll remember, there was a talking to an empty
HARRIS-PERRY: We will not talk to the empty chair and Dean will come
Here`s the question for you this is our rapid fire round. So, the
Washington Redskins this year took a lot of heat around their -- the
pressure to change their name, but Dan Snyder has refused to do so. Is
KILSTEIN: Yes. Racist.
HARRIS-PERRY: Jamie says racist.
KILSTEIN: I have a race card, because I`m white and I didn`t use my
race card. Yes, totally. I mean, Jesus, it`s like, literally, white
dudes, especially rich white dudes, all you have to do -- you`re so
privileged, as it is. All you have to do is listen to the people you`re
offending. That`s literally the least you can do is listen.
And if people are like, that`s really triggering, that is like so
offensive to my heritage. That`s like you, as like, a white football
owner. You know what I mean? Like how do you know?
HARRIS-PERRY: Redskins not racist, #trailoftears.
HARRIS-PERRY: All right. I`ve got another one. This was for you,
This year was our first Miss America of Indian dissent was crowned.
And it sparked a pretty strong reaction on Twitter, including a lot of
folks saying that she doesn`t remember what the United States is or isn`t
American enough. Is that racist?
GLENN: You know, personally, I don`t see color.
HARRIS-PERRY: So you didn`t notice?
GLENN: Of course, it`s racist. It`s absolutely horrifyingly racist.
It`s so not OK to define my color. That`s the whole point, who represents
us and who doesn`t.
She has the crown. She`s sparkling from head to toe. She`s it.
She`s the queen.
HARRIS-PERRY: And it`s like, have you not noticed our first lady is
a tall, beautiful, fabulous brown woman.
GLENN: Well, but she`s a nightmare.
HARRIS-PERRY: A feminist nightmare.
GOLD: It`s Miss America, not Miss white power America.
KILSTEIN: Not Miss white power America.
HARRIS-PERRY: Speaking of miss white power America, Halloween
blackface took a big return this year.
Let me ask you, Judy, Halloween was a prime race territory this year.
Actress Julianne Hough wore blackface as part of her crazy eyes costume
from "Orange is the New Black" and Twitter users condemned her. Was that
GOLD: Yes, it was racist. And there`s so many other characters on
that show that she could have been for Halloween.
First of all, does she have any friends that say, you know et what, I
wouldn`t do that. Ted Danson did it, not good.
GLENN: My question was, and I wrote about it, and I said, I think
it`s the reverse. I think that she broke up with Ryan Seacrest and he`s
incredibly powerful. So she has friends, and he texted them all, listen,
Julian`s got this cuckoo idea, tell her to go for it! Everyone`s like,
HARRIS-PERRY: You`re now blaming this on Ryan Seacrest. That might
be racist. That`s not fair.
HARRIS-PERRY: All right. It`s nice to have you back, Dean.
OBEIDALLAH: I`m back! What I missed was all racist. Let`s move on!
HARRIS-PERRY: So this one is a real challenge. We had some real
fights about this one in Nerdland. All right, so our friend, Oprah
Winfrey, we actually don`t know her at all. We just feel like she`s -- you
know, she`s like our friend. She`s like our black friend. Our friend,
Oprah Winfrey, was a customer in a store in Europe.
Let`s take a listen to what her experiences were.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPRAH WINFREY, TV HOST: I was in Zurich for Tina Turner`s wedding.
I go into a store, which shall remain unnamed, and I say to the woman,
"Excuse me, may I see that bag right above your head." And she says to me,
"No, it`s too expensive."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS-PERRY: Was that racist?
OBEIDALLAH: Well, people don`t realize, the salesperson was Paula
Deen. So yes, it was.
You know what? I think it`s so hard, and to be completely fair and
honest, in that little moment, it`s hard to say without knowing anything
more about the salesperson. But if there was a history of the salespeople
saying that to black people, obviously it`s racist.
I think Oprah felt in her heart, deep down, she was treated
differently because of her race, and I think you can`t argue with that. If
someone feels it, it doesn`t mean that other person is racist, but she`s
feeling that vibe.
HARRIS-PERRY: Is there any possibility that this was Americanist?
Like, I -- there any possibility that the reaction was oh, God, American
tourist. Which could have, you know, corresponded to race --
KILSTEIN: Like, American tourist?
HARRIS-PERRY: No, no, no.
KILSTEIN: American tourists are awful.
HARRIS-PERRY: That`s what I`m saying!
KILSTEIN: If we don`t know the language, we shout louder.
But at the same time, your job, you are a salesperson. Your job is
to sell that product. If you`re talking someone out of buying that product
or telling them they can`t and she happens to be black, you`re probably a
HARRIS-PERRY: I`m such a classist on this. I could not can`t work
up any racial angst about this. Probably because the story starts, I was
in Zurich for Tina Turner` wedding.
KILSTEIN: I think you can be like, that`s racist and I`m totally
jealous of Oprah.
HARRIS-PERRY: Oh, my God, I`m just hating. That is what it is!
KILSTEIN: I want to go to Tina Turner`s wedding.
HARRIS-PERRY: I appreciate that! It`s not that I don`t have racial
angst, I`m just an awful, awful hater who also wanted to be in Zurich at
Tina Turner`s wedding.
God! Yes, that`s helpful.
All right. Here`s another moment that I did have a little bit of
racial angst about. This is our lady, Miley Cyrus.
And Miley was having herself a good time in a wild performance at the
VMAs, where she attempted twerking, we`ve talked about that before, and
part of the racial piece is that there were black women singing in the
background. And for a lot of us, this felt like cultural appropriation.
That was a lot of different things. Was it racist?
GLENN: This is the problem. It`s a lot of different things. That`s
the problem. She`s got like every ingredient, she`s made some big ambrosia
salad of sexism and racism, and there`s weird things like coconut and slut
shaming. All sorts of things are in there, and we can`t even parse it.
Yes, she uses black women as props. Yes, she the appropriates the
culture. Yes, she has no idea what she`s doing. And it`s horrifying.
And the part that it`s not her fault, this is where it`s awful, we
have to parse it. It`s not her fault that she looks the way she does and
she`s allowed to lick Robin Thicke --
GLENN: If I wore her little outfit, I would be locked up in a paddy
HARRIS-PERRY: It can only be greater culture appropriation if at
this week would make relevant, she lighted a Kwanzaa candle while she did
Pia Glenn, Jamie Kilstein, Dean Obeidallah, and Judy Gold -- thank
you so much for making us laugh.
And up next, what does Nerdland have in common with Vladimir Putin?
HARRIS-PERRY: This is the moment in the year when I get an
opportunity to say thank you to the many nerds who workday in and day out
to produce this weekend program. Our team is a deeply committed and
passionate group of individuals without whom this show would not go on.
If you see mistakes or errors or just general absurdity, that`s me.
When you see things that are smart, brilliant, and perfect, that`s them.
And while we discuss and debate serious issues, don`t be fooled --
these nerds know how to have a little bit of fun as well, especially when
it comes to fuzzy and not so fuzzy animals. In fact, this year we became
obsessed when we learned that Vladimir Putin`s spirit animal is that of
this Russian canine. See the bone structure, facial expression and general
disposition are spot on. Can`t you tell?
So naturally this year we thought we`d share our own spirit animals
with you as we introduce the Nerdland staff of 2013. Have a safe and happy
New Year celebration. We`re going to see you in 2014. Roll it.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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