All In With Chris Hayes, Friday, March 21st, 2014
Read the transcript from the Friday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
March 21, 2014
Guests: John Nichols, Michael Goldfarb, Deanna Zandt, Gary Peters, Zeynep
Tufekci, Emily Parker
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, from New York. I`m Chris
"The New York Times" reporting today the Koch brothers are sharpening
their electoral tools for the midterm, while the president warns Democrats
of getting, quote, "clobbered" if the midterms are dominated by low turnout
and big money.
But the secret weapon for both parties may be one of the oldest, the
candidate`s last name. Just don`t try to ask Rand Paul about that.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: You maybe a Republican, or a Democrat
or a libertarian, I`m not here to tell you what to be. I am here to tell
you, though that, you`re right, especially your right to privacy, is under
HAYES (voice-over): Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky may have dazzled at
Berkeley with his critique of the American surveillance state. But away
from the crowds, he drew a line in the sand, speaking with a reporter from
the conservative "Daily Caller", Rand Paul said he`s pretty much finished
answering questions about his dad, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Of
course, Rand hasn`t always been so tightlipped about Ron.
PAUL: I give to you the guy that is my hero, the guy that is the
greatest representative of the liberty movement in our time, my father, Ron
HAYES: Ron Paul built a successful brand based on libertarian ideals
and Rand Paul has embraced the family business. But now, Rand Paul says
he`s through with all that because other famous political sons didn`t have
to deal with the trappings of familial ties.
"Did he get questions about his dad?" Paul asked, referencing George
W. Bush, "I don`t know that he did, to tell you the truth."
What Paul is trying to do is trying to get the benefits of being
related to an American political figure without the cost.
And the dynastic politics that Rand Paul is trying to run away from
are actually more prominent than you think going into the 2014 midterm
elections. In Rand Paul`s home state of Kentucky, there is a Democrat
hoping to unseat Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, Allison Lundergan-
Grimes. Her dad is a former state representative and state Democratic
In Georgia, Michelle Nunn wants to win the Senate seat once held by
her father Sam Nunn.
Georgia State Senator Jason Carter, grand son of Jimmy, is running for
governor in that state.
Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York holds the job his father had for
three terms. He`s running for re-election this year, and so is Governor
Jerry Brown of California, whose dad was also governor of California.
Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas, his dad was also a senator from
Arkansas. Senator Pat Roberts and Mary Landrieu have family connections in
politics, so does Senator Mark Begich, who is running ads featuring his
late father, a congressman. There is the Udall cousins, Mark of Colorado,
and Tom of New Mexico, both running for re-election this year.
In the House, there are more candidates of political dynasties that we
have time to tell you about.
Most notable of them is Debbie Dingle, wife of the longest serving
congressman, John Dingle, who is leaving a seat who is held by someone in
the Dingle family since 1933. Debbie hopes to keep that seat dingling.
Of course, having familial connections in politics isn`t always a
recipe for success.
BEN QUAYLE: Somebody has to go to Washington and knock the hell out
of the place.
HAYES: That somebody was not Ben Quayle, son of Dan. He was elected
to Congress in 2010, only to lose in a primary in 2012. He announced he
wouldn`t run this cycle, joining a lobbying firm instead.
Liz Cheney gave it a go running for Senate in Wyoming, and challenging
a three-term Republican Mike Enzi, but even fund-raisers keynoted by dear
old dad couldn`t get her traction. Cheney dropped out before the primary.
Cheney and Quayle are the exceptions rather than the rule of course,
because in America, the land that rejected royalty, politics remains a
remarkably hereditary endeavor.
HAYES: Joining me now, Karen Finney, host of "DISRUPT", which airs
weekends at 4:00 right here on MSNBC. And John Nichols, my colleague at
"The Nation", where he is Washington correspondent.
All right. I want to -- I want to start out with the ground rules
that apparently Rand Paul is pursuing about who gets to answer questions
about what. This is Senator Paul talking about the Clintons. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: I think it`s a factor. Now, it`s not Hillary`s fault.
DAVID GREGORY, MEET THE PRESS: It should be an issue --
PAUL: But it is a factor in judging Bill Clinton in history.
GREGORY: Right, but is it something that Hillary Clinton should be
judged on if she were a candidate in 2016?
PAUL: I`m not saying that. This is with regard to the Clintons and
sometimes it`s hard to separate one from the other. But I would say with
regard to his place in history, that it certainly is a discussion --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All right. So here`s my feeling about it. You want the
benefits which are benefits, I mean when Rand Paul ran for senator, he was
an ophthalmologist in Kentucky and a big part of what got him elected was
name recognition, fundraising base of his dad. You want the benefits, you
got to take the cost, buddy, right?
KAREN FINNEY, DISRUPT: But also, are we really saying, so a woman is
responsible for her husband, but a son is some partially responsible for
HAYES: The other thing is two years ago, he was supporting his father
for president. It`s not like ancient history. And his father has views
that people find objectionable in al sorts of ways. He doesn`t have to
defend all of them. But he did actually campaign for the guy.
JOHN NICHOLS, THE NATION: Not only campaign for him. He was really -
- he was the number one surrogate for his dad. He was the person who
And part of why he had that fundraising base was that he had been the
wing man. The base knew him well and trusted him. Now it`s interesting
that the day that he was asked, I think or around the day that he was
asked, you want to talk about his dad, and he kind of backed away, his dad
was writing an op-ed, saying who cares what flag flies over Crimea,
HAYES: Yes, we quoted it here at the "USA Today".
NICHOLS: It was very interesting piece, and actually, you know,
classic Ron Paul.
NICHOLS: And so, this becomes the complexity. I do not think that we
should necessarily say you are wedded to your dad or your grandfather, John
Quincy Adams was a better president than John Adams.
HAYES: As everybody was.
NICHOLS: But -- as well-pointed out.
HAYES: People talk about it on cable news all the time.
NICHOLS: But let us step back and understand why we see this
phenomenon exploding and getting bigger and bigger. It is because we have
in this country, a money and media election complex, that is particularly
vulnerable to the famous kid or relative.
HAYES: OK, but if you agree with that this is a modern phenomenon,
because to me, you page back and it seems to me like dynastic politics are
pretty old, not just here but in democracies across the world.
FINNEY: I don`t disagree with that, I think we have seen this for
some time, I think the mod earning tools make it very different.
But I also think, I think the Ben Quayle example is perfect, because
there is an element of branding, the brand that he came in with was not so
stellar, let`s be honest, right? So he had actually something to overcome
to then prove himself.
HAYES: Jerk, that (INAUDIBLE) --
FINNEY: His father couldn`t spell. It wasn`t like he came in with
like, oh, yeah, his dad was this awesome, everybody thought so highly of
him, but we remember him because he couldn`t spell.
So, I think there is a difference, when you come in and your
predecessor, whether it`s your father, your mother, your cousin, your
sister, or your brother, whatever, has a strong reputation, then yes,
you`re building on that. And you do benefit --
NICHOLS: I`m going to push back though on that.
HAYES: OK. Please?
NICHOLS: I`m going to push back just and say this, it has always
existed. There are families, the Longs in Louisiana, the Lafollettes in
Wisconsin, we know it.
But you know what the interesting thing is? Historically, the
families did kind of train the kid early. So you ran for a lower office,
you worked your way up. Now, we are seeing a very different game in al lot
of places. We are often, not always seeing, not often, but we are seeing
people coming out of nowhere, not running for legislature or Congress,
going straight into the U.S. Senate.
And that`s Rand Paul, but it`s also not in Georgia, coming at the top
level. Not entering in --
HAYES: And here`s a really fascinating element to this on this
Democratic side. When you take a close look at the 2014 Democratic
candidates in the South, there is a preponderance of legacy candidates.
You`ve got Nunn, Carter, Pryor, whose dad who`s running for reelection,
Landrieu, of the famous Landrieu clan.
And the reason for that is, it`s the only way Democrats can get
elected in these states increasingly, because what`s happened is the old
states of the Confederacy, the solid South, has gone so Republican, that if
you`ve recruiting candidates, what you`re trying to do is reach back into
the time machine when they used to elect Democrats by going to recruit the
scion of the Democrats.
FINNEY: Right. And there`s some positive feeling about --
HAYES: Right, exactly, because that`s all you got.
FINNEY: Well, they do it with Reagan all the time. Why shouldn`t we
try that in the south if it works?
You know, the changes is are they going to be real Democrats, are they
going to be blue dog Democrats? What kind of Democrats? That will be --
that`s going to be the fallout from that.
But one thing I want to say on this, part of -- I mean, we should all
be a little bit ashamed. Because part of the reason we`re seeing this is
that people don`t want to run. Why don`t they want to run? It`s because
of the money combat. Because of the Koch.
I mean, who`s going to want to put herself out there, and have
millions -- look at Alex Sink, maybe she wasn`t perfect candidate, but
millions of dollars spent against you, who wants to do that?
NICHOLS: You do develop a skin, the tough skin.
NICHOLS: I want to circle back to what I was saying at the start. I
think we`re seeing this phenomenon more and more at higher and higher
levels of politics because it is a jump-start. You have the list. You can
raise the money faster.
NICHOLS: You`re trying to raise $10 million.
HAYES: The first question, and you know this, right, the first
question that the SEC says is, you know, basically, who can you raise money
-- what`s your list? And if you happen to be the son or daughter of a
senator or a president or something, you`ve got a good list, right?
I mean, George P. Bush in Texas, right? He`s Jeb Bush`s son, he just
got elected in the primary, right?
FINNEY: Who`s your e-mail list, who`s your call list?
HAYES: You`ve also now, I mean, we haven`t even talked about the
fact, the likelihood of a Bush-Clinton 2016 race, which is a totally
imminently plausible possibility America in 2016, right?
I love this clip. Do we have Barbara Bush? This is what Barbara Bush
had to say about that possibility. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA BUSH, FORMER FIRST LADY: This is a great American country,
great country. And if we can`t find more than two or three families to run
for high office, that`s silly. Kennedys, Clintons, Bushes, they`re just
more families than that. I refuse to accept that this great country isn`t
raising other wonderful people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We`re going to do a snap fact check on that. The Kennedys,
Clintons, Bushes, there are just more families than that. True statement.
NICHOLS: Here`s where it really gets troublesome. Let`s say that
Clinton doesn`t decide to run, let`s say Bush doesn`t, and what`s our
fallback? Oh, well, then you fall back to Rand Paul, dynastic. And maybe
on the Democratic side, you fall back to Cuomo, dynastic.
HAYES: No, all of a sudden, those people become, people start
FINNEY: That goes to this point about the amount of money that is in
campaigns and the amount, as you said, you start out with a bit of a bump.
And what does that mean? Right there out of the gate, you totally kind of
kick to the side a lot of people who would do a better job.
HAYES: Here`s an interesting theoretical prediction that`s being made
that I think we should follow up on because it should be borne out, right?
Which is that as money becomes important, as races get more expensive, you
would expect a higher level of dynastic candidates, right? And I`m curious
to see. (INAUDIBLE). That will be your homework assignment over the
HAYES: Karen Finney, you can, of course, catch her show, "DISRUPT",
weekends at 4:00 p.m. here on MSNBC. And John Nichols form "The Nation",
thank you both.
FINNEY: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up, the latest on the mysterious disappearance of
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HISHAMMUDDIN HUSSEIN, MALAYSIA`S ACTING TRANSPORT MINISTER: It`s
very, very difficult because the one question that you really want to know
is the answer is what we don`t have, which is where are the loved ones and
where is the airplane.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: One bit of news that the families of the passengers did get is
that they couldn`t stay in their hotel anymore. They had to get out for
Formula One Grand Prix bookings.
That story, ahead.
HAYES: Coming up, Twitter turns eight today and there are few people
out there who are not happy about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I noticed not too long ago you got a Twitter page.
I have known you for a long time. I didn`t know that you were into social
media. Are you? Are you that interested in it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I kind of hate it, I think it`s awful. I think if
Jesus comes back and starts telling everyone everything, everybody`s just
going to be twittering -- he`ll be like, I am Christ. Oh, my God, Jesus is
right in front of me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Louis CK isn`t the only one who hates Twitter, so does the
Turkish government. More on that, ahead.
HAYES: Two days after going public with information about debris,
approximately 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia, possibly being the
remnants of Malaysia Flight 370, and with nothing yet found, Australia`s
prime minister is defending his decision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY ABBOTT, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: Now, it could just be a
container that`s fallen off a ship. We just don`t know. But we owe it to
the families and the friends and the loved ones of the almost 240 people on
Flight MH370 to do everything we can to try to resolve what is as yet an
extraordinary riddle, because of the understandable style of anxiety and
apprehension that they`re in, we also owe it to them to give them
information as soon as it`s to hand. And I think I was doing that
yesterday in the parliament.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There are now six aircraft searching the area and Australia`s
general manager of emergency response said improving weather conditions
roll out quite simply for a better kind of search.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN YOUNG, AUSTRALIAN MARITIME SAFETY AUTHORITY: Noting that we`ve
got no radar detections yesterday, and we replanned the search to be
visual, so aircraft flying relatively low, very highly skilled and trained
observers looking out of the aircraft windows and looking to see objects.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: China and Britain will also join in the search. And an
Australian naval ship is also on its way to the area, described the area as
one of the most inaccessible and inhospitable places in the entire globe.
And as the search continues, the conversation is turning to what
lessons can be learned from the disappearance of this plane.
One of those lessons has to do with the transponder, either turned off
or otherwise disabled, allowing the plane to elude the watchful eyes of the
tracking system. The last time we know that a transponder was turned off
with catastrophic consequences was 9/11, and it was done in all four planes
that day. As Greg Easterbrook of "The Atlantic" writes, at the time, I
would have bet my life savings that the transponder which broadcasts an
aircraft`s location identity would be reengineered to prevent hijackers
from turning such units of, but nothing was done.
We do not know that Flight 370`s transponder was deliberately turned
off, but an automated transponder should be something we revisit when
thinking about how to prevent flames from just disappearing.
Over the next few years, much of the world plans to adopt an aviation
tracking standard called ADS-B, which should make it harder for a plane to
stop reporting it`s position. Easterbrook adds, automated transponders
should be part of that transition.
Joining me now, Michael Goldfarb, former chief of staff for the
Federal Aviation Administration.
Michael, is this --
MICHAEL GOLDFARB, FORMER FAA CHIEF OF STAFF: Good evening, Chris.
HAYES: Great to see you, given the limited knowledge we have, in
thinking about what are going to be the reactions to this in the very
complex, sophisticated universe of air regulation across the world, is an
automated transponder part of what should be one of the takeaways here?
GOLDFARB: Well, we have ADS-B, automatic data surveillance in the
Pacific Ocean right now. It takes forever to make institutional change
because of the safety requirements and the resistance of basically airlines
to want to add any type of costs.
So, we have -- in the Pacific Ocean, we have this capability, but in
the place where the plane supposedly went down and the place where it
apparently made that turn, we have to rely on non-radar oceanic position
reports. So, that plane was reporting every 15 minutes to a third party
who was reporting to the ground. It`s kind of unconscionable, that`s why
people are amazed that in this day and age we don`t have that capability.
We have --
HAYES: Wait. I`m sorry, I got confused. So, you`re saying the ADS-B
capability exists but the plane was not equipped with it?
GOLDFARB: Yes, Malaysia Air made a decision. I mean, and it`s kind
of incredible and in hindsight this will be a game changer. And, of
course, Easterbrook reported other game changers after 9/11, and people
resort to normal routine behavior and change doesn`t occur.
So, Malaysia Airlines decided not to put the data package, which is an
extra app that when they bought the plane fro Boeing, that would have
provided ACARS with a stream of information to -- remember the satellite --
HAYES: So the hardware is there, basically, it`s like oh, do you want
to spend an extra few bucks, do you want to buy this software package that
will enable this thing already equipped on the plane to be giving location
updates every 15 minutes, and they said no?
GOLDFARB: Yes. So, that satellite handshake could have been a bear
hug. We would have had much more data. So, it would came down to $10 a
flight, $100,000 a year. It`s incredible that the manufacturers don`t put
it in the base part of the sale of the aircraft.
So they made a decision that it was too expensive, that it would add a
little bit weight to the aircraft. Look at the cost of that decision
today, (a) to Malaysia Airlines reputation, and (b), to a search that many
predict will be in the billions of dollars if we ever find that plane in
the south Indian Ocean.
HAYES: I love the fact that everyone apparently in the airline
industry is nickel and diming each other, so it`s not just like they`re
going to pay you now for extra leg room or a sandwich or crackers, but the
actual manufacturer is trying to squeeze an extra 100 grand out of the
airlines they`re by selling it to by selling this software package as an
GOLDFARB: (IANUDIBLE) you know, everything`s upgraded, that`s how
they market. Basically planes don`t fall out of the sky, so this 777, a
wonderful safety record, and Malaysia probably bet, essentially that
wouldn`t happen. And now, I think we would have had position reports of
that plane`s system like in Air France, at least that would have given us a
starting point to know what to search.
Now, we have supposedly debris that may not have anything to do with
that aircraft that now was becoming, you know, the center of the attention.
HAYES: So, we have the capability. Just so I`m clear on this,
because I have -- I`m learning this in the moment here. So, we have the
capability, this ADS-B standard, we`ve got the equipment to do it. We
could have it on all commercial flights if we set our minds to it?
GOLDFARB: So, United Airlines in the 1980s had future air navigation
in the cockpit. The airliners bet that if they put all this fancy stuff in
the cockpits, the ground systems and the infrastructure would follow suit.
You know, when we cut public agency budgets, whether they`d be domestic or
international, when we don`t fund fully the infrastructure and the air
infrastructure is as important as the highways and roads, the consequences
that the more advanced technology cannot be utilized. All the planes today
have incredibly advanced avionics, they just can`t use them as the primary
method to communicate to air traffic control on the ground.
HAYES: Wow. OK. Well, that seems like a big takeaway from this.
No, I`m serious, based on the limited knowledge we do have, that seems like
something that there should be some -- you know, some momentum behind in
the wake of this. Because the idea of another plane disappearing, I think
after this flight is just going to seem ridiculous and unacceptable.
GOLDFARB: One would this -- this is a game changer, (a), with
advanced avionics, hopefully we`ll accelerate the transition, (b), things
like the cockpit door, hopefully there will be one standard of safety
across the international community, so those doors are secure, (c), the
So we have learned a lot of things, even though we don`t have an
aircraft to have forensic evidence on, but going forward, these lesson also
fundamentally change how we manage air traffic control and safety
HAYES: And, quickly, Michael, based on the information we do have and
tenor of the press coverage -- do you think the pilot and co-pilot are
getting a raw deal?
GOLDFARB: Well, I have been a doubting Thomas on the conspiracy
theory from day one just because of the paucity of information. So, yes, I
mean, right now, we have nothing. These two pilots loved aviation. They
were part of the inner club, so to speak, we have turned up nothing there,
it`s just so baffling, Chris, what might have occurred.
So, all bets are on the table, criminal investigation parallel to an
air safety investigation. And although we`re not at square one, we`re not
much farther than square two.
HAYES: My rule of thumb is in the absence of evidence, you might as
well wait until you have something before you start dragging these two
GOLDFARB: Speculation de jure. I mean, every day, it seems to drive
this in a different direction.
HAYES: Michael Goldfarb, former chief of staff of the FAA and always
just a great, great voice to listen to. Thank you.
GOLDFARB: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, and anti-abortion group goes after a congressman`s
daughter. He will be here to respond. Stick around for that.
HAYES: Opponents of Michigan`s presumed Democratic candidate for U.S.
Senate are accusing him of wanting to make sure abortion is cheap for his
daughters. No, really. Actual thing.
The charge centers on a rightfully controversial law that just took
effect in Michigan that bars insurance companies from covering abortion in
their regular plans, even for women who are victims of rape and incest.
Under this new law, a rape or incest victim would -- who needed an
abortion, would need to have already purchased a special abortion insurance
rider, separate from her regular policy, which is why opponents with, I
would say good reason, have dubbed it the rape insurance bill.
It`s such an extreme piece of legislation that Michigan`s anti-
abortion Republican Governor Rick Snyder vetoed basically the same bill in
2012. The reason it`s now law is that the anti-abortion group Right to
Life Michigan led on a citizen petition drive that put the measure back
before the legislature where under state law, it only needed to pass. The
governor`s signature was not required.
So, abracadabra, signatures from about 4 percent of Michiganders, and
approval by the Republican-led legislature, the rape insurance bill became
law. Not just a law, also a campaign issue. Democratic Congressman Gary
Peters who`s running to replace retiring Senator Carl Levin denounced the
new law early this year, posting to his Facebook page -- quote -- "Today in
Michigan, special interest groups have restricted access to women`s health
care and made health coverage even more expensive for our families. As a
father of two daughters, I want to make sure that critical health care
choices is accessible, affordable and protected."
If you don`t think that post leaves Gary Peters and his daughter wide
open for attack, then you`re not thinking like the folks at Right to Life
Michigan. The group that masterminded this law in the first place hosts a
Web page dedicated almost entirely dedicated to Congressman Peters`
position on abortion rights, which now includes this gem -- quote -- "Wants
to make sure abortion is accessible and cheap for his daughters."
Meanwhile, Peters` likely Republican opponent in this year`s Senate
race, former Michigan Secretary of state Terri Lynn Land, has remained
surprisingly quiet on the new law, given that it`s become one of the
central political disputes in the entire state right now.
Joining me now is Gary Peters, Democrat from Michigan. He`s running
for U.S. Senate.
And, Congressman, what do you have to say to Michigan Right to Life on
REP. GARY PETERS (D), MICHIGAN: Well, Chris, it`s absolutely
To make a statement that I am somehow seeking cheap abortions for my
teenaged daughters is incredibly offensive, and it`s offensive to women as
well all across the state, in the fact that they think this issue, the fact
that they`re cutting critical health care away from women, women who may be
in a situation where they have a pregnancy that goes wrong and needs to
have medical services and find that insurance is not covering it because
there`s also not an exception for the health of the mother, unless that
she`s purchased an abortion coverage, is absolutely unacceptable.
And to think that women are looking for cheap abortions, as opposed to
health care necessary in a very, very difficult time for them, is
absolutely unacceptable and certainly needs to be condemned. And that`s
what I will do and will continue to do. And I would ask the folks at Right
to Life, quit making these kinds of outrageous comments about my teenaged
This is about women in the state of Michigan having access to
affordable health care at a very critical time in their life.
HAYES: Do you know where your likely Republican opponent is on this
piece of legislation?
PETERS: Well, she is endorsed by Right to Life. They don`t endorse
anybody unless they`re for this legislation.
This was a very important piece of legislation for them. As you have
described at the top of this segment, they went out, collected signatures.
They circumvented the governor. They`re not going to endorse anybody that
does not support this action.
And yet she is silent. She`s basically in a bunker, refuses to make
any public comments because she knows that this is a terrible issue, that a
majority of women as well as men in Michigan think it`s outrageous that
you`re forcing women to buy abortion coverage, an abortion rider, and plan
for a rape or an incest or a pregnancy that goes bad, when you just expect
health insurance to be there.
She knows she`s on the wrong side of the issue. She`s hiding from it.
HAYES: The polling on this supports what you just said in terms of
the proposed law. A majority were opposed to a ban on abortion coverage in
basic insurance plans, 50 percent opposed, 42 percent -- opposed.
You -- there was an article about your campaign that I read about how
much of the state you`re getting to, how hard you`re working different
areas of the state, some of which tend to be conservative.
And my question to you is, given how bad the economy is in the state
of Michigan, when you go and you sell people on your candidacy and on the
Democratic Party, implicitly, what do you say to folks who say, hey, look,
your guy`s been in the White House and things aren`t good here, I haven`t
seen a raise in five years?
What`s your pitch, what`s your argument for them about why sending you
to Capitol Hill is going to make their lives better?
PETERS: Well, I think because I`m focused completely on the economy.
That`s what I have been doing in Congress, will continue to do it.
Certainly, I was very involved in the auto rescue, which was absolutely
critical for the state of Michigan. In fact, my opponent in the Senate
race actually said she sided with Mitt Romney, who not have offered the
help that was necessary to save the auto industry, which certainly does not
make any sense when you`re trying to represent the state of Michigan.
In fact, I had my opponent call General Motors called government
motors, which is an insulting term to the largest employer in the state of
Michigan. I fight to make sure that we have a vibrant auto industry. I
fight to make sure that we have manufacturing in our state.
But I also fight for small business. That`s really the engine of
growth for us, our small business owners. I have worked to get the
financing that they need. I will continue to do that in the Senate.
But basically you need someone who`s going to be an advocate, a
fighter for middle-class families. For me, that is what this race is all
about, is the middle-class families that are being left behind. They need
to have someone in Washington that is arguing that a middle-class family
who works hard needs to have a good-paying job, has access to affordable
health care, can send their kids to a decent school, and when it`s all said
and done, can retire with dignity.
It`s those basic bread-and-butter issues that are under assault in
Congress right now.
HAYES: You also have been under assault by a lot of outside money.
You were the target of these ads that have now become infamous from a woman
who said that Obamacare was going to take her doctor away.
There`s been some follow-up reporting about her specific case, which
became a kind of national sensation, that in fact she`s going to save some
money and that she`s not losing her doctor. What is your response to that?
PETERS: Well, that`s right.
You have the Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers, that have
invested already $2.5 million against me, 7.5 months out from election,
spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a week, and will likely continue
to do that all the way up to election time.
And the ads are false. Fact-checker after fact-checker, from "The
Washington Post," to "The Detroit News" here locally, every fact-checker
has said the ad is false, it misrepresents the facts, and yet they`re
spending millions of dollars putting out that information as an attack.
HAYES: Congressman Gary Peters of Michigan, thank you so much.
PETERS: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, see the little itty-bitty man down there? It was
almost seems like he is looking up at sky while this picture is being
taken. It`s almost like he knew he was being caught breaking the law.
What he was doing, who he was doing it for and how it`s going to
potentially screw a whole bunch of people -- next.
HAYES: I`m going to show you a picture of someone breaking the law.
According to North Carolina state regulators, these photos, which look
kind of bucolic in their own odd way, are photos of the law being broken.
That body of water is not a tropical bond, but a coal ash bond. Coal ash
is what you get when you burn coal.
Oh, and it contains a high level of that poisonous toxin arsenic.
These ponds are where a big coal company, Duke Energy of North Carolina,
stores its waste products. And they have got to keep that waste there
unless the pond`s water level rises above that vertical riser that you see
Then Duke Energy is allowed to pump out water through that vertical
riser. But what these photos show is Duke Energy bypassing the riser,
piping out wastewater it into a nearby canal.
North Carolina regulators, who, side note, aren`t the toughest
environmental regulators out there, have now said they caught Duke Energy
illegally and intentionally dumping 61 million gallons of this stuff into
North Carolina water, a violation of both Clean Water Act and state law.
This marks the eighth time in less than a month that the nation`s
largest electricity company has been cited for environmental violations.
This of course comes on top of the news of the company`s February 2 coal
ash spill, the third largest spill of its kind in the U.S.
Federal prosecutors have announced a criminal investigation into the
relationship between the state environmental agency and Duke Energy. They
have issued at least 23 subpoenas so far to utility officials, current or
former environmental regulators, and the chairman of the state utilities
After all of this came to light, state officials scuttled the deal
where Duke Energy would have settled its coal ash with a mere -- I`m not
making this up -- $99,000 fine. That deal now appears to be dead.
But, still, consider this for a moment. If you had a picture as clear
as this one, of, say, a poor person in the country somewhere stealing
something, what do you think are the odds that they would be able to escape
the hammer of the law?
HAYES: Today is the eighth anniversary of Twitter. The 140-
character-or-less networking service has more than 240 million active users
a month, who tweet some 500 million times a day; 77 percent of Twitter
users are outside the U.S.
But that did not stop officials in Turkey from blocking access to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The United States is deeply
concerned that the Turkish government has blocked its citizens` access to
basic communication tools.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That outage began yesterday courtesy of Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan, who promised -- quote -- "We will eradicate Twitter. I
don`t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness
the power of the Turkish Republic."
Erdogan`s hatred of Twitter is well-documented. In the last few
months, allegations of corruption against him and his government quickly
spread across social media, including a voice recording said to be of the
prime minister, which Tayyip Erdogan says is fake, ordering his son to get
rid of vast amounts of cash.
Then, just last week, Twitter played a part in organizing thousands of
people across Turkey to protest the death of a 15-year-old boy who was hit
in the head by a tear gas canister fired by the police during anti-
government demonstrations last summer, demonstrations that Twitter also
played a large part in, so large that the Prime Minister Erdogan called
social media -- quote -- "the worst menace to society."
Obviously, it`s not just in Turkey where social media has proved to be
a tool of political dissidents and mobilization. Or, as anonymous activist
in Cairo once pointed out, "We use Facebook to schedule protests, Twitter
to coordinate, and YouTube to tell the world."
From the role social media played in the Arab spring in Tunisia, to
the unforgettable role it played in Egypt three years ago, to the most
recent uprisings in Ukraine, to the fact that NATO announced the end of its
mission in Libya first on Facebook, the importance of social media in
getting the word out is pretty clear at this point.
But here`s the thing. The power of social media also goes both ways.
It also allows for governments to spy on people and to get their own
message out, like, oh, I don`t know, Turkey`s Prime Minister Erdogan, who
managed to tweet out one final campaign video to his more than four million
followers before blocking Twitter.
Joining me now is Zeynep Tufekci. She`s assistant professor at the
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she specializes in
interactions between technology and politics. She`s been closely following
what`s going on in Turkey, and is enjoying Duke`s loss.
OK, so, the op-ed that you wrote in "The New York Times" I thought was
fascinating. It was just a few days ago.
And you said: "Protests fueled by social media and erupting into
spectacular mass events look like powerful statements of opposition against
a regime. Yet often these huge mobilizations of citizens inexplicably
wither away without the impact on policy you might expect from their
Is Erdogan and other rulers, are they more scared of Twitter than they
should be; is that what you`re saying?
ZEYNEP TUFEKCI, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA: No, not as all.
What I`m saying is that Twitter certainly has and other social media
certainly has the power to rattle these governments. It can bust open
censorship. It can help people organize. It can do things that seem like
magic, the way that people can get together.
On the other hand, the kind of organization and the kind of movements
that we`re seeing in the past few years that are using social media as
these organizational infrastructure don`t seem to know how to truly go all
the way and replace the powerful with something else or even get them to
behave another way.
It`s this dangerous, volatile situation in which the old ways of
ruling, the old ways of controlling the public sphere or censorship don`t
But the challengers haven`t yet figured out, how do we go to next
step? What happens after the spectacular street protest or the occupation
is over? What is the next -- how do we engage with policy? How do we make
a change? So neither side has totally figured out the game.
HAYES: It`s fascinating. What you`re seeing now in Turkey -- and we
should say that there`s a long history in Turkey of the state having -- the
state censoring, basically. You have had a prominent novelist who was
brought up on charges of talking about Armenian genocide, which was
illegal. You can`t defile the state.
This is not particularly new in Turkey, right?
TUFEKCI: Absolutely not.
But it doesn`t work anymore.
TUFEKCI: During the Gezi protests, it had gotten so bad that CNN
International was broadcasting live from Taksim Square, where CNN Turkey
was showing penguins on -- just censoring the whole news.
But the difference was, it didn`t matter what CNN Turkey showed.
People just went online and saw what was happening, and then went and then
took photographs. So censorship just doesn`t work the same way anymore.
So if that was your mode of governing, it`s not going to work. And
that`s what we`re seeing in Turkey. That`s what we`re seeing in other
places. Again, though, it doesn`t that just being able to gather together
in large numbers to stage a protest or stage an occupation, it`s great,
it`s wonderful, it`s empowering, but it doesn`t mean you have got the
government to change. It doesn`t mean you have got inequality to
necessarily go down.
We`re at this transition moment.
HAYES: That to me is the, in some ways, depressing takeaway I have
had from what`s happened in Egypt, in which the power of mass protest was
so evident, but basically there was a cycle of mass protests without any
sufficient institution-building to create a kind of stable, durable
mechanism of democratic accountability.
HAYES: And what`s happened is the army has come in to fill the
And it`s a question of civic capacity. I think social media has been
great at empowering individuals, but there hasn`t been enough civic start-
ups to say, how do we build civic capacity?
Now, think of like a successful movement in U.S. history, the civil
TUFEKCI: They had strategy, they had leadership, they had
organization, they had all this collaborative work that, when they faced an
obstacle, they could sit together and wonder and try another thing and go
the next step.
So there wasn`t a moment in which they could be just pushed right
back. There was logistic capacity, and they won. They carried their
movement forward, whereas all these movements seem to be going through this
boom-bust cycle, in which it`s almost like they`re skipping over some of
the muscle-building required, say, the civil rights movement had to do for
HAYES: Because the power of the technology...
TUFEKCI: And then they end up with muscles that don`t really work in
the next phase.
HAYES: Zeynep Tufekci from the University of North Carolina, thanks
so much. Appreciate it.
TUFEKCI: Thank you.
HAYES: More on this ahead.
HAYES: We`re back to talk more about social media and revolution.
Here with now is Emily Parker, digital diplomacy adviser, senior
fellow at the New America Foundation. She`s author of "Now I Know Who My
Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet Underground." And media
technologist Deanna Zandt, she`s co-founder and partner at Lux Digital.
Emily, you have got this wonderful book out, the product of a lot of
reporting, China, Cuba, Russia, on how dissidents are using the Internet.
What is your big takeaway from what you found?
EMILY PARKER, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: My book really focuses on the
psychological element of Internet use in these countries.
We tend to talk about the Internet in these very abstract terms, like
the netizens vs. the state vs. the authorities. And I really tried to
focus on how the Internet is changing individual lives. And most
important, it`s changing people by making people realize that they`re no
So a government like China, for example, China tries really hard to
isolate its critics from one another. And the Internet is really the only
place in China where critics of the government learn that they`re not
alone. And that`s where the title comes from, "Now I Know Who My Comrades
HAYES: There`s this way in which states that are seeking to suppress
dissidents use the power of the state to make people feel isolated.
HAYES: And the kind of key thing that is happening here is just the
sense of a comrade, the sense of solidarity, the sense of connection that
builds the capital necessary as a precondition for some kind of revolt.
But I think sometimes we focus too much about the Internet as a way of
organizing uprisings. The Internet can transform a country even in the
absence of a revolution, we`re seeing that in China. We`re seeing the
potential for collective action to demand a better environment, to demand
more transparency, more accountability, greater justice.
PARKER: So, it`s not only about making a protest in the street. It`s
also about demanding a better country.
HAYES: Deanna, you`re a technologist and you`re a lefty. And
sometimes there`s this kind of techno-utopian view where it`s like, the Net
is going to solve everything and down with politics and welfare and the
state and all that old stuff.
And one critic of that view is a guy named Evgeny Morozov. He wrote a
book called "The Net Delusion." He says: "The dangerous fascination with
solving previously intractable social problems with the help of technology
allows vested interests to disguise what essentially amounts to advertising
for their commercial products in the language of freedom and liberation."
It also allows states to manipulate people. What`s your feeling about
the kind of net-net benefit of technology as a force for liberation?
DEANNA ZANDT, CO-FOUNDER, LUX DIGITAL: Well, we have to remember that
that technology, as Emily said, are just a set of tools, that how you
choose to use those tools is incredibly important.
And I was asked a couple of years ago to participate in a series of
talks where we were asked to answer the question at Personal Democracy
Forum, on can the Internet save politics? And my very first slide was no.
But we can save politics.
HAYES: Right. Human beings can save politics.
ZANDT: Yes. And this is sort of the whole point.
And the other point about this too is that exactly what Emily is
saying about culture change, that the ability to normalize activity --
we`re seeing this with marriage equality in the U.S. -- and there`s all
kinds of stuff happening.
HAYES: There`s also a kind of this goes both ways, particularly --
let`s talk about the U.S., right, which is very different than China,
Russia, and Cuba.
But there is this degree to which, through the Snowden revelations, we
know that, yes, you`re doing stuff on Facebook. The government also sees
it. Right? You`re exposing yourself to a massive amount of surveillance,
which I`m sure pertains in other countries as well.
PARKER: Absolutely. The Internet is completely a double-edged sword.
And governments are using the Internet to monitor people, to censor
them, to harass them. But what we have seen is that in the Internet age,
governments just can`t completely control the flow of information. And
we`re seeing that in Turkey right now. They`re just trying really hard to
ban Twitter, and Twitter use has increased exponentially.
HAYES: Or we`re seeing it with the Snowden revelations themselves, in
which the most powerful government in the world, with presumably the most
surveillance state, wasn`t able to stop this one dude from taking millions
of documents and showing them to everybody.
PARKER: No, it`s threatening governments all over the world,
including democratic governments, not just authoritarian governments.
HAYES: Zeynep`s point I thought was so interesting about the kind of
like flash mob aspect to these modern social media uprisings, how powerful
they are, they come together, and then they go away.
ZANDT: So, this is one of the interesting things in the work that I`m
very much focused on, is this idea of emotional resonance.
And, certainly, these protest flash points are highly charged
emotional events, and it`s pretty easy, as Zeynep said, to come into that
movement and participate in that moment. And the part that I see that --
outside of the institutions necessary to continue building change, are the
relationships that get built.
ZANDT: And so, I always say that these tools actually aren`t
communications tools. They`re relationship management tools.
And we`re starting to see that now, and we`re starting to understand
that. But we have a ways to go.
HAYES: Do those relationships endure in these countries even when the
government tries to squash them?
PARKER: Yes, they can.
And, for example, we talk so much about the role of social media in
the Egyptian revolution. But what don`t talk about as much is that social
media played a role in Egypt for 10 years before the revolution.
HAYES: Right, building to the point.
PARKER: Yes, activists building networks with each other, building
networks with international communities, learning how to organize, learning
how long to launch campaigns. So this was going on for a long time.
HAYES: Emily Parker from the New America Foundation and media
technologist Deanna Zandt.
Emily`s new book, "Now I Know Who My Comrades Are," is an absolute
must-read. Go to your bookstore. Go get it right now.
PARKER: Thank you.
HAYES: That`s ALL IN for this evening.
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