All In With Chris Hayes, Friday, April 25th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Friday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
April 25, 2014
Guests: John Stanton, Steve Ellis, Alan Sepinwall, Jeff Manning, M.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris
For conservatives, the Cliven Bundy hangover has officially begun.
Even as the man himself is still going strong, sticking it to the man at
the mainstream media for portraying his thoughts on the Negro as racist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLIVEN BUNDY, RANCHER: What`s wrong with America? They can`t stand a
I want to talk to you about being prejudice a bit. You haven`t asked
me that question this morning. I wonder why.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: It`s because you held up a dead calf, Mr. Bundy.
It`s because you came on may show with a dead animal in your arms.
Your reaction was to say that you wonder if Negroes weren`t better off
as slaves. Now, are you a racist?
BUNDY: No, I`m not a racist, but I did wonder that. I took this boot
off so I wouldn`t put my foot in my mouth with the boot on. If I say Negro
or black boy or slave, I`m not -- I`m not -- if those people cannot take
those kind of words and not be offensive, then, Martin Luther King hasn`t
done his job then yet. Those words are not offensive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Cliven Bundy may not know what the fuss is, but his one-time
conservative supporters -- well, they do know enough. To get away from the
scene as fast as they can, with one of his biggest, most high profile
supporters, Sean Hannity, leading the great exodus what has become a
massive conservative walk of shame off the Bundy ranch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Allow me to make myself abundantly clear. I
believe those comments are downright racist. They are repugnant. They are
bigoted, and it`s beyond disturbing.
While I supported the Bundy ranch as they took a stand against the
Bureau of Land Management, I was absolutely dismayed and, frankly,
disappointed after reading the article and hearing the commentary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Hannity probably felt he had to address the comments on the
race after championing his cause and hosting him multiple times on his
"The Huffington Post" reports the Koch brothers-funded Americans for
Prosperity tried to retroactively erase their Bundy support. Sam Stein
reporting, quote, "A tweet sent by AFP Nevada on April 10 urging followers
to read more about the Bundy battle, with a hashtag, has been deleted. And
a Facebook graphic the group posted criticizing the Bureau of Land
Management for enforcing grazing laws against Bundy has similarly
But the spokesman of Republican Party, Sean Spicer, on the other hand,
well, he is just whining.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, GOP SPOKESMAN: The issue with Cliven Bundy has
absolutely nothing to do with this party. Zero. He is a Nevada rancher
that had a beef with the federal government`s continued overreach. And
suddenly this became a question when he made some inappropriate comments
about what every Republican needs to answer for. That`s absolutely
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Do you hear that thing about how the continued government
overreach, how even when he`s distancing himself from Cliven Bundy he`s
actually reciting the Cliven Bundy version of events?
Sorry, Sean. Sorry, Republicans. You bought the ticket, now you have
to take the Bundy ride. And by you, I mean everyone who helped to lionize
Cliven Bundy, who spoke out in support of him or his ideals or used his
story to make political hay.
I mean you, former Republican governors and presidential candidates,
like Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry. You, Republican senators, Ted Cruz and
Rand Paul and Dean Heller. You, Republican gubernatorial candidate and
Republican state attorney general, Greg Abbott. Yes, you, all of you.
Joining me now, Josh Barro, MSNBC contributor and domestic
correspondent at "The New York Times" and John Stanton, Washington bureau
chief for "BuzzFeed."
So, sorry, guys. You don`t get -- no. You don`t get to run away.
JSOH BARRO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I don`t get to run away?
HAYES: You do. You get to run away, josh barrow, because you`re not
the person going around saying -- really, this was such an obvious train
wreck from the beginning. There was a piece today that was in -- someone
had gone to the ranch the day afterwards talking about like who the people
are there. It`s just like a convention of -- sorry -- nuts. It`s a
convention of nuts.
It`s people talking about chips being implanted in their brain. No,
seriously. I mean, these are the kinds of folks. This is what this was.
This was a total Alex Jones fringe kind of thing. And it got its way all
the way to Dean Heller who is not Mr. Tea Party Republican, sitting in
front of a television and saying these people are patriots.
JOHN STANTON, BUZZFEED: You know, I think the thing that is
surprising to me is in the `90s we had this sort of same kind of blow-up
with ranchers in the West and -- got crazy. But the people that supported
them in Congress were not the leadership. They weren`t -- most of the
senators stayed away. It was people like Helen Chenoweth who were
And most of the Republicans understood this was a little too far. We
had Timothy McVeigh, and it sort of died down. I think everybody thought,
OK, that crazy period in our life is over.
And then it comes back again, and instead of it being the fringes of
the party, say a Louie Gohmert or something like that, it`s guys like Rand
Paul who might become president of the United States, who is out there
supporting this person who obviously was part of the militia movement and
obviously from this very fringy area.
HAYES: Well, and I also -- I also love the Bureau of Land Management
dodge that you`re getting from everyone. Everyone is like, no, no, it was
never about this guy`s views and everything. It was just we have obviously
-- we are very deeply committed to reining in the Bureau of Land
Like, no, you`re not.
BARRO: Well, the funny thing here is that I think -- you know, there
are a lot of Republicans who saw this coming. Some of them are writing
their "I told you so" pieces. Like Matt Lewis at "The Daily Caller" today.
But the other thing is -- the reason these thing are happening over
and over, the Republican Party is a coalition of people who for one reason
or another have a problem with government. And a lot of the people in
Washington, they`re people who read and have a very intellectual approach
to like why they don`t like the Bureau of Land Management and why they
think the federal government --
HAYES: Public lands are a bad idea.
BARRO: Right. But that`s not a majority coalition, nor are wealthy
interests who have a problem with the government because they just don`t
like taxes and spending because that`s unfavorable to them.
So, when you build out this coalition for that party, you end up
picking up a lot of these crazy people. It`s an essential part of the
electoral coalition to elect Republican candidates.
So, when they get together, then they`re going to end up in this
position. But what -- the thing they really ought to be able to predict
that they don`t yet is that these people, people like Cliven Bundy don`t
understand when they`re no longer being politically useful to the
conservative movement. They will not stop talking on CNN just because they
are no longer advancing the political interests of Republicans.
STANTON: Yes. And also look, you look at it, these Republicans --
you can see the allure of it. People get really worked on Twitter and on
talk radio and they see it. And you know, everybody who has a problem with
the government looks at this guy like he`s my hero. Politicians say, well,
I got to get on this bandwagon. I don`t want to be too --
HAYES: Yes, do you know what we call that in the cable news game?
Fool`s gold. It`s like you`re here like, that story`s popping. Like, do
not go down there. Don`t go -- don`t do it. It`s fool`s gold. And they
couldn`t stop themselves.
And one of the great things is the genre today of conservative
handwringing about like why do we let this happen? And I immediately
thought of a less insidious version. But of the similar kind, which is the
great Joe the Plumber walk of shame that happened before. Joe the Plumber,
some dude no one had heard of, turned into total FOX News hero. Samuel
Wurzelbacher, he was neither Joe, nor a plumber.
And here he is speaking at a fundraiser in 2012 about his views on
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMUEL WURZELBACHER, JOE THE PLUMBER: For years I`ve said, you know,
put a fence on the border going to Mexico and start shooting. I`m running
for Congress and that should be a bad thing to say. That`s how I feel.
I`m not going to hide it because I`m running for office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Same thing.
And remember, Joe the Plumber, that guy, was getting shout-outs,
multiple shout-outs from the podium at the presidential debate from John
McCain in 2008. That guy, with those views, he was being made into a folk
So, the question, Josh, why does this happen? I guess your theory
that this is a central part of the electoral coalition. What`s not
essential is elevating them that much.
BARRO: That`s true. I mean, I think the temptation is people are
useful as props. And I think Joe the Plumber, you know, around the
Republican convention in 2008, it was like someone that Republicans could
use to rally themselves. And then the problem is they`re not props.
They`re people with --
BARRO: -- who might see things that are off-script. I don`t know
HAYES: Stop talking, Cliven Bundy, and just stand there with your
BARRO: I think part of the reason for the temptation, though, is that
in 2010, the Tea Party energy that Republicans harnessed worked for them.
HAYES: Massively politically successful. Exactly right.
BARRO: So, whatever eruptions there were and whatever embarrassing
things happened, they were well worth it in exchange for --
HAYES: The benefits outweighed the costs. Do you think that will
happen again in these midterms?
STANTON: In terms of the energy -- not I don`t. I think they`re
going to have a problem now with him and with this whole episode because it
doesn`t go away. As you saw in 1995, with Clinton being able to come back,
he was in a bad spot. And we had all these militia guys come up and sort
of this fever broke a little bit.
And it hurt Republicans. They didn`t lose the House and Senate, but
they did lose the presidency. And I think it`s going to be difficult for
them to sort of wash this away, especially when you have people like Rick
Perry saying -- well, so he`s a racist.
But he was sort of right on other stuff that we support. I think it`s
going to be tough for them to get rid of it. Now, if -- if all of these
disparate groups start to say we still like him, you could see that --
especially if Democrats don`t want to come out. But it`s going to be tough
HAYES: I also wonder how much -- part of it is about what this anti-
government animus is about. We`ll talk in a second about the actual state
subsidies that are issued here which are shocking actually and appalling.
HAYES: Wen you look at what is going on with grazing fees, to be
HAYES: That is part of it, as well, right? There`s this dig to which
part of what the government is doing, it`s anti-government is a term that`s
used to actually describe some set of views that aren`t actually
specifically necessarily that.
BARRO: Right. Well, I mean, I think two things about that. One is,
you know, the conservatives say, well, the Bureau of Land Management is
oppressing all these, you know, ranchers out west and liberals like to
point out, actually, the grazing fees are really low. This is actually a
good argument for the federal government to get out of the management
business of rangeland because if we devolve this land down to the states,
maybe they charged the ranchers more and stop giving out these subsidies.
So, if you really care about --
HAYES: Only Josh Barro finds the privatization argument in the Cliven
BARRO: Yes. But so like where the anti-government energy comes from
-- one thing I thought was interesting, the reason Cliven Bundy was talking
about one more thing you should know about the Negro was that he was saying
that, you know, all of these people who showed up on his ranch to support
him are white. And he`s wondering where are the nonwhite people.
HAYES: Yes, where are -- yes.
BARRO: And I think the answer to that is, when you look at the
polling data on questions like do you agree with the statement government
is not part of the solution, government is the problem, massively more
likely white people than nonwhite people agree with the statement.
HAYES: Yes. You said that view is really extremely rare among
HAYES: MSNBC contributor Josh Barro, John Stanton from "BuzzFeed,"
happy Friday, gentlemen. Thank you.
Coming up, like Cliven Bundy`s cows, who might as well be using food
stamps as they graze for free on federal land, there are people out there
who have no idea they are using government programs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL MAHER: At a recent town hall meeting in South Carolina a man
stood up and told his congressman to keep your government hands off my
MAHER: Which is kind of like driving cross country to protest
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The invisible welfare state in the great American West, next.
HAYES: Coming up, there are certain things that unite us. Things we
talk about over dinner, at the office in the next day. And one of them is
great television and great characters on TV.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not good at relationships because you don`t
value them. You`re impatient and childish.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not my fault you don`t have family or friends.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just once I would like to hear you use the word
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the hell were you thinking?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re not a good person. You`re a pig!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you love you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t care about the company.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, it`s ruined!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You make me sick!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re a monster!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don`t like, what is being said --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Change the conversation.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HAYES: The revolution on Sunday nights, ahead.
HAYES: The single best thing to come out of the rise of Nevada
rancher Cliven Bundy is the revelation that the federal government happens
to be running a food stamp program for cows.
HANNITY: Allow me to make myself abundantly clear -- I believe those
comments are downright racist. They are repugnant. They are bigoted, and
it`s beyond disturbing.
However, I also want to say this -- the ranch standoff that took place
out in Nevada was not about a man named Cliven Bundy. At the heart of this
issue was my belief that our government is simply out of control.
HAYES (voice-over): It`s been easy over the past 48 hours to lose
sight of the original reason Cliven Bundy and his defenders took up arms
against the federal government -- his refusal to pay grazing fees. Grazing
fees are the dues paid by ranchers who graze their cattle on land owned not
by them but by the federal government.
For 20 years, Bundy has been grazing on federal land without paying.
Today, he owes the government over $1 million in fees and fines. That
means for two decades, the government has been subsidizing Bundy and his
ranch. And if there`s one thing we know about Cliven Bundy, it`s that he
doesn`t like subsidies.
CLIVEN: And I`m often wondered, were they better off as slaves
picking cotton and having family life and doing things, or are they better
off under government subsidy?
HAYES: Cliven Bundy is very concerned about the impact of government
subsidies -- on African-Americans, that is. He is apparently less
concerned about the effect of government subsidies on people like him
because over the years, Cliven Bundy has been the beneficiary of a benefit
subsidy, and he`s not alone.
Ranchers like Bundy, even the ones who do pay their fees, receive
millions in subsidies every year grazing on federal land. The federal
government charges $1.35 per cow/calf pair per month. The average price on
private land is over 10 times that amount, $16.80.
Bundy and his fellow ranchers are getting a $15 discount courtesy of
the U.S. taxpayer. In fact, the entire federal grazing program operates at
over $120 million loss a year, over a billion dollars a decade.
But grazing fees are just one tiny subsidy hidden from view. While
conservatives choose to focus on things like food stamps and Medicaid,
there are subsidies stuffed all throughout the budget for people like
Cliven Bundy and his supporters.
In fact, just one part of the farm bill, crop insurance, cost U.S.
taxpayers $14 billion in 2012. Since 1995, taxpayers have spent $277
billion on agricultural subsidies. This year, House Republicans voted on a
farm bill that increased crop insurance, a subsidy, while at the same time
slashing food stamps. Cliven Bundy lives by the same philosophy as
Republicans in Congress -- subsidies are good as long as they go to the
HAYES: Joining me now, Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for
Common Sense, a watchdog group.
And, Steve, you`re the one who brought this grazing fee thing to my
attention. What -- what is the situation? Why is there such a steep
discount subsidy for grazing on public land?
STEVE ELLIS, TAXPAYERS FOR COMMON SENSE: It`s a good question. I
mean, essentially they set the fee, the structure back in the `60s at
$1.23. So, since that time, it`s gone up 12 cents. If even just they
allowed to adjust for inflation, it would be almost 9 bucks.
So, I mean, this is something that`s been in place for a long time.
We have this image of the rugged Westerner, the Marlboro Man. But in
reality, these are fat cats and welfare cowboys.
HAYES: Well, what else is happening in terms of the Bureau for Land
Management? I think when you scratch the Bureau for Land Management,
here`s what I see as a liberal. This has become the big enemy of the anti-
government right insurgents.
And yet the Bureau of Land Management actually functions as kind of a
big welfare agency for a lot of big industries which get access to public
land for steeply discounted rates.
ELLIS: Right. No, absolutely. And -- you know, you look at this --
some of this is you look at the ranchers, this is a great deal. It`s like
the old song. You know, why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free.
There`s a cost for administering lands. There`s fencing. There`s
other things you have to do, predator control, things along this line. But
that all gets picked up by the federal government. So, it`s a great deal
if you can have it and it still becomes this boogieman.
But the thing is, you know, and the previous guest talked about
selling these lands. Well, the taxpayers need to get a fair return on
that. Nobody really wants to buy these lands, or maybe only pieces of it.
HAYES: Yes. There`s a huge amount. We`ve been hearing this, one of
the talking points, 87 percent of Nevada is owned by the federal
government. There`s something horribly tyrannically statist about that.
But, of course, a huge expanse of that is desert, a big part of that is
nuclear waste. A big part of that are essentially secret facilities.
I mean, it`s not like people are clamoring to buy up all these Nevada
ELLIS: No, exactly. And, you know, essentially, people see this as a
way that they can take advantage of it and they can make money. You know,
whether you`re talking about grazing or you`re talking about mining.
You know, for instance, removing hard rock minerals, gold, silver,
that type of stuff. You get to remove that from federal land for free.
You don`t pass a royalty on a -- on a single nugget of gold that a mining
company removes. We build roads --
HAYES: Wait, wait. Wait, say that again. Public federal land that
you mine and extract valuable resources from, the cost is --
ELLIS: Zero. The taxpayer gets zero return, under the mining law of
1872. So basically, we still have a law that when Ulysses S. Grant was
president, that we still use to deal with the Western lands and how we do
HAYES: And what were you going to say about the forests?
ELLIS: Well, and so, for instance, we`ll build roads into the U.S.
Forest Service land so they can do -- they can do timber, you know,
extraction. Well, we end up losing money selling that timber to companies,
as well. So, we`re building roads, and have a huge backlog of roads to be
maintained. And yet, this is essentially so we can sell timber at a loss.
HAYES: So, that`s a subsidy -- that is a subsidy to the timber
companies in which we are essentially picking up the cost to do their work
for them on federal public land. That subsidy, the taxpayer pays for, and
is transferred into the pockets of the timber companies.
ELLIS: Exactly. Exactly.
And probably the biggest Western subsidy of all is really under the
Bureau of Reclamation which is the water subsidies and the fact that we
build these enormous water projects like the Central Valley project in
California, that the whole purpose of the Bureau of Reclamation in 1902
when it was created was to make the desert bloom, to move people out west
which a lot of subsidies are about trying to -- western expansion.
Hey, we got it. It`s done. Their people are there.
But when you look at water, we`ve lost billions of dollars providing
low-cost water, pennies on the dollar of what that water is worth. And you
have issues of then, you know, the drought and it`s exacerbated by
subsidies because people waste the water.
HAYES: This is the point I want to make from an ideological
perspective is that I`m not here to say that we shouldn`t be subsidizing
water in the West or even necessarily that the way that we`re doing public
lands or forest or mining.
It`s just that all of that is invisible. In the rugged western --
what`s great is that the Bundy anecdote he`s telling is that countryman who
goes into the city and sees all the black folks who are on subsidies and
goes back to his ranch where the rugged individualist raises his rifle --
and in fact, that ranch is far more a product of government subsidy than
anything that is happening inside the city.
ELLIS: Oh, absolutely. And you know, some of this was a government
decision a century ago or decades and decades ago saying, OK, we want to
make the West more habitable. We want to expand and move people out there.
And you know what, we haven`t changed the policies.
ELLIS: That`s the problem, is we haven`t reoriented our policies to
actually charge what this -- these assets and these land is actually worth.
And that`s one of the real problems. So, the taxpayers are getting stuck
with the bill.
HAYES: Steve Ellis from Taxpayers for Common Sense, always a
pleasure. Thank you.
ELLIS: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up, the software company Oracle was hired to run
Oregon`s Obamacare exchange Web site. And this moment, from one of
Oracle`s yachting races, just might be the perfect metaphor for how good a
job they did.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
HAYES: Yes. I`ll explain, ahead.
HAYES: Imagine if on the night of November 7th, 2012, we didn`t get
to see the shot of Barack Obama waving and celebrating upon his reelection,
because the votes weren`t counted. Imagine the votes weren`t counted the
next day or a week later or a month or a year or even longer, and the whole
time, everyone just sat around not knowing the elections outcome despite
the fact they voted and they were waiting.
If that sounds preposterous to you -- well, that is often the
situation in union elections like the one happening today at Northwestern
Today, university football players receiving scholarships voted on
whether or not to unionize. Earlier this year, the players filed a
petition seeking union representation, the very first of its kind.
University challenged the petition, and then the Chicago branch of the
National Labor Relations Board gave the players the go ahead. They said,
you guys can do it. And today, they had the election.
But players are seeking, quote, "Guaranteed coverage of sports-related
medical expenses for current and former players, better procedures to
reduce head injuries, and potentially allowing players to pursue commercial
Now, the reason the votes won`t be counted is because Northwestern is
challenging the vote`s legitimacy in court. They have the possibility
because of the way labor law works or actually, I should say, does not work
in this country.
They have the ability to draw that challenge out more or less
indefinitely. In fact, they can do that until nearly all these players,
who actually cast their votes, are gone from Northwestern, and it won`t
really matter which way they voted.
The irony here being that most people who covered this think the vote
is probably no because the legal challenge, the vote`s very legitimacy
coming from the university, that is just the last in a long attempt to
pressure, pressure that was brought to bear.
And what has been a classic union-busting campaign from the
University, their coaches have told them and their parents to vote no on
multiple occasions, in team meetings, in one-on-ones, in emails. Their
head coach wrote in one quote, "You have nothing to gain by forming a
union." On their first day of practice after the NLRB ruling, football
players received iPads and were thrown a party at a bowling alley. A
Northwestern official said it was unrelated to the upcoming vote.
A former quarterback of the team visited the team to encourage players
to vote no. As "The New York Times" reported, the president of the
university said publicly, quote, "A vote for the union could mean the end
of division-one sports in northwestern. They`ll all be gone."
University even gave them a 21-page anti-union dossier. One former
player said he`s seen, quote, "every sorted of classic union-busting."
Remember, the people at issue, the ones casting their votes, 19-, 20-,
21-year-olds. And every single one of the most important authority figures
in their lives are bringing all the pressure they can to bear on them to
tell them not to do this.
And if you think that is special, it is not, because that is basically
what every single union election in this country looks like, regardless of
the employer, regardless of the brand`s popularity or its reputation,
regardless of the place.
But if you had to identify one thing that perfectly illustrates how
fundamentally broken labor law and unionization in this country is, it`s
the fact an election can be held, and the votes don`t get counted.
HAYES: When it was time for the Affordable Care Act to get rolling,
no state was closer to the front of the line and ready to go than the blue
state of Oregon.
But, today, the state finally gave up and called for help on what has
to be the biggest Obamacare train wreck in the entire country. Oregon
became the first state to dump its own troubled online health exchange and
use the federal marketplace instead.
Oregon spent $248 million of $305 million in federal grants, including
$3 million for this cool ad campaign, and $134 million for the Web site
exchange contractor Oracle Corp. Oracle is the company founded by Larry
Ellison who you may remember from competitive yachting races as America`s
Cup, which he recently brought to San Francisco.
Now, I`m going to tell you how many people the Web site exchange was
able to enroll per month using just the Web site exchange that Oracle and
the state built together. All right.
In October, well, zero people. November, though, zero people.
December, zero people. Well, but, in January, zero people. February, zero
people. March, zero people. April, zero people. No one -- no one has
been able it to up using just the Web site exchange alone, which Oracle
received $134 million in federal funds to build.
The state`s exchange was so bad, so soon, and for so long, the Cover
Oregon folks came up with an easy three-step plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Start by entering your information using our
online application. In about 10 days, you will get a packet from Cover
Oregon. If your packet says you`re eligible for a private plan, you can
shop and enroll online.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s right. You start on the Web site, you do the middle
section, with a packet sent to you in the mail within 10 days. Then you go
back to the Web site.
And even with that huge, cumbersome process, 69,000 Oregonians have
managed to get covered with private health plans. The number that did it
online as intended through Oracle`s Web site alone, again, zero.
Today`s decision to switch to the federal marketplace hardly ends this
journey. Investigations, including one by the General Accountability
Office, are under way.
Joining me now for further on this is Jeff Manning. He`s an
investigative reporter for "The Oregonian," who has been covering this.
Jeff, how the heck did this happen?
JEFF MANNING, "THE OREGONIAN": well, we have been struggling to
understand since -- I have been on since December. And it is -- it is a
really sort of frightening story of best intentions gone badly awry.
HAYES: The state is -- has shifted blame to Oracle, the contractor
here who`s gotten $134 million, Oracle saying that: "The state`s currents
effort to deflect responsibility by claiming Oracle failed to communicate
the status of the project is demonstrably false."
They`re saying that the problem all comes back to the state. What`s
your sense, having reported this?
MANNING: I think that there`s a lot of blame to go around.
You know, this will all hopefully come out in court. Everyone`s
lawyering up and pointing fingers now. You know, we think that -- we have
seen too many documents, too many independently produced documents from
other I.T. people really being hard on Oracle for us to believe that Oracle
You know, the documents are all over the place that the work was
shoddy. They missed deadlines repeatedly. But that`s far from it. You
know, I mean, our take initially on this thing was that the state blew it
when they decided to act as their own primary manager or systems integrator
of the project, a really awful decision.
They did it to save money, and they were the only state that we could
find of the 14 that built their own exchange to do so. And it was just a
really bad idea.
HAYES: You have got 14 states that built their own exchange. Oregon
is the only one that says, we`re not going to hire a manager to do the
management and integration. We`re going to do it ourselves.
It sounds like they didn`t do a very good job of that. But Oracle
also -- when you say these I.T. documents, tell me more about that. What
documents are out there that would lead you to believe that they were doing
a bad job as well?
MANNING: Well, believe it or not, Chris, there are multiple layers of
review in place for all state of Oregon I.T. projects.
By law, they have to hire a quality-control contractor from the
private sector to sort of ride herd on this thing. They`re not a systems
integrator or sort of general contractor, but they`re there. And they`re
keeping an eye on things. Things got so screwed up in this contract that
that quality-assurance contractor ran afoul of the lead state bureaucrat
who was leading the project.
The former chief information officer of the Oregon Health Authority
actually tried to shut him down. And we found -- we found those e-mails.
HAYES: Tried to shut down the person who was essentially the watchdog
quality-control person who`s watching this thing just absolutely blow up.
HAYES: They tried to basically say, shut up, don`t -- don`t blow the
whistle on this?
MANNING: That`s right.
And, you know, those documents went far and wide, very high up in the
state government to the governor`s office. And we confronted them, and we
asked them, you know, why didn`t you intervene? You`re getting all these
red flags. And they insist that every time we heard those or saw those red
flags or heard those warnings, other people in the state organization, in
the state bureaucracy would reassure us, oh, don`t worry, all is well.
HAYES: It`s really amazing.
MANNING: Yes. Now we`re at $245 million and counting.
HAYES: And $245 million up in smoke.
Jeff Manning from "The Oregonian," thank you.
Coming up, you know what works harder than anything on Sunday nights?
The DVR. We will talk about why ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Finally, before we let you go, since we have you
here, we haven`t had a chance to kind of talk about some of the...
REP. MICHAEL GRIMM (R), NEW YORK: I`m not speaking about anything
that is off topic. This is only about the...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, what about...
GRIMM: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, so Congressman Michael Grimm does not
want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign
finances. We wanted to get him on camera on that, but he, as you saw,
refused to talk about that -- back to you.
GRIMM: You ever do that to me again, I will throw you off this
(EXPLETIVE DELETED) balcony.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That is how most Americans were introduced to Republican New
York Congressman Michael Grimm back in January, when he threatened to throw
a reporter off the F-ing balcony of the Capitol Rotunda.
He was trying to ask Grimm about his ongoing federal investigation for
alleged campaign finance violations. Well, a few hours ago, the U.S.
attorney`s office -- quote -- "has disclosed its attempt to file criminal
charges against Congressman Grimm."
The Grimm camp responded by saying -- quote -- "We are disappointed by
the government`s decision, but hardly surprised."
The indictment, which could come as early as next week, will likely
involve his private business dealings before Congress and not campaign
Now, as it turn out, I have actually been spending quite a bit of time
myself with Michael Grimm over the last year, getting his reaction to
superstorm Sandy while shooting the Showtime series "Year of Living
And over the course of that time, something pretty remarkable
happened. Michael Grimm went from discounting the science of human-made
climate change to accepting it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIMM: The vast majority of respected scientists say that it`s
conclusive, the evidence is clear. So, I don`t think the jury is out.
HAYES: The basic story of, we`re putting carbon in the atmosphere,
the planet`s getting warmer, that`s going to make the sea levels rise, the
basic story to that, you pretty much agree with, right?
GRIMM: Sure. I mean, there`s no question that the oceans have risen,
right? And the climate change part is -- is a real part of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So much so, in fact, the report last year released by the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says -- quote -- "Human-
induced forcing of sea level ensures that Sandy-level inundation events
will occur more frequently in the future from storms with less intensity
and lower storm surge than Sandy."
In other words, we can look forward to a future where more frequent
coastal flooding is pretty much the norm. Coastal areas here in the U.S.
remain vulnerable, like Michael Grimm`s district of Staten Island, which
was devastated by Sandy.
Now, the whole story of his trajectory will be part of the episode of
"Years of Living Dangerously" this Sunday night at 10:00 p.m. on Showtime.
It will be intertwined with another story about another island, Christmas
Island, some 10,000 miles to the west in the middle of the Pacific, where a
scientist tries to figure out how El Nino storms are born.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
M. SANJAYAN, CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL: It turns out that the very
thing Kim is studying, climate change, is threatening the very place which
is conducting her research. This coral island is slowly falling victim to
the rising seas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, the man you just heard there, M. Sanjayan,
correspondent for Showtime`s "Years of Living Dangerously," and executive
vice president of development communication strategy for Conservation
Great to have you here.
SANJAYAN: Great to be here.
HAYES: All right, so you went out to Christmas Island to join the
scientist. Why is she out there? What is she looking for out there?
SANJAYAN: She`s looking for a signature to understand whether El
Ninos can become more frequent and more severe with climate change.
HAYES: So El Ninos actually start out there. Right?
SANJAYAN: They start -- the Pacific, the biggest ocean on the planet,
is where El Ninos are spawned.
HAYES: And what is El Nino, and why is it so intensely destructive
when it happens?
SANJAYAN: Gigantic ocean, and it`s a pulse. And it`s a repeated
event that happens naturally over the course of years.
It happens because of a warming and a change in circulation of the
oceans, and here in this case the biggest ocean on the planet. Now, what
she worries about is can it get more severe and can it get more frequent
with climate change? To do that, she needs a thermometer that can measure
the temperature of the ocean in the past.
HAYES: OK, so how do you do that? How do you figure out whether El
Nino 20 years ago or 100 years ago was worse?
SANJAYAN: She look at corals.
And she basically goes underwater with a giant drill and drills cores
of coral, because coral, it turns out, grows in a very specific way that`s
related to how warm the ocean is.
SANJAYAN: And by looking at that, she can tell you precisely -- like,
you can give her your birthday. You can say, I was born in 1974 on this
date. What was the temperature? And she can get pretty close.
HAYES: That close from the coral?
SANJAYAN: That close, that close.
HAYES: So, it`s kind of like the -- it`s sort of like the tree ring,
SANJAYAN: Exactly. It`s like a tree ring thing. And in this case,
she can go back 100, 200 years using live coral. But using fossil coral,
she can go back 7,000 years.
HAYES: And so what is she finding about whether El Ninos are getting
more severe and more frequent?
SANJAYAN: So, her name is Kim Cobb. And she`s at Georgia Tech. And
she`s a phenomenal climate scientist, one of the all-starts out there.
And she`s starting to believe that climate change will become a real
driver to make El Ninos more frequent and more severe. Now, this is an
ongoing study. and we dropped right into it.
HAYES: Right. Right.
SANJAYAN: So this is typical scientist. You know, it`s all science-
speak, right, so she`s really couching it with uncertainty and
HAYES: And that makes sense because we`re talking about an incredibly
complex -- I mean, one of the things about climate science is, the basic
story of what`s happening, we know pretty well.
In fact, the physics, we have known since the mid-19th century, if I`m
HAYES: Basic, like, greenhouse effect, you put the carbon in, it gets
warmer. It`s putting more carbon in, it`s getting warmer.
HAYES: But the climate is just this unbelievably dynamic, complex
system, with millions of moving parts. And it`s very hard to kind of
isolate these causes and effects.
And so -- but they`re getting much better at it. And there`s macro
patterns there now like we`re starting to see. For her, you know, she
feels like she can confidently now say, look, this is what I am seeing.
This is what it looks like. She`s publishing on this.
The other thing, of course, that`s happening is obviously this island
that she`s studying, this gorgeous atoll.
HAYES: It`s beautiful. It`s in...
SANJAYAN: Yes, and people live there, by the way.
HAYES: Yes. There`s great shots in the show.
HAYES: People should watch the episode because it`s just gorgeous
scenery of this place.
But the Republic of Kiribati is slowly sinking. And the president,
President Tong of the Republic of Kiribati, is genuinely concerned for the
livelihoods of his people.
HAYES: It will be gone in a certain amount of time if we continue as
business as usual, right?
SANJAYAN: In the lives of our grandchildren, it`s very likely it will
be inundated, one-meter sea level rise.
HAYES: M. Sanjayan from Conservation International and "Years of
You can catch "Years of Living Dangerously" this Sunday night at 10:00
p.m. Eastern on Showtime.
Coming up: the other excellent shows you should be DVRing so you can
watch years of "Years of Living Dangerously" this Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES GANDOLFINI, ACTOR: I try to do the right thing by you, and you
try to have me whacked?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: She doesn`t understand you.
GANDOLFINI: She`s smiling! Look at the look on her face! Look at
the look on her face! She`s smiling! Get off me. Get off me. Look at
her face! She`s got a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) smile on her face!
LENA DUNHAM, ACTRESS: What is wrong her?
ALLISON WILLIAMS, ACTRESS: I like her. She doesn`t indulge the
negativity. I mean, did you hear her on Fresh Air?
DUNHAM: The first part. I fell asleep.
BRYAN CRANSTON, ACTOR: I am not in danger, Skyler. I am the danger.
A guy opens this door and gets shot, and you think that of me? No. I am
the one who knocks.
PETER DINKLAGE, ACTOR: "Roslin caught a fine fat trout. Her brothers
gave her a pair of wolf pelts for her wedding" -- signed "Walder Frey."
Is that bad poetry, or is it supposed to mean something?
JACK GLEESON, ACTOR: Robb Stark is dead.
MICHAEL POTTS, ACTOR: I see you favor a .45.
MICHAEL K. WILLIAMS, ACTOR: Tonight, I do. And I keeps one in the
chamber, in case you pondering.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, ACTOR: I can say that I -- I walked away from
the experience with a -- a greater respect for the sanctity of human life,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All right, Sunday night has become the destination for
prestige television, so much so, in fact, that when a show airs on a night
other than Sunday, people may think it`s not worth their time.
Joining me now to discuss, it`s Alan Sepinwall, television critic for
HitFix.com, author of "The Revolution Was Televised."
Why is every show that networks, particularly cable networks, are
pushing, why is it all gravitated towards Sunday night?
ALAN SEPINWALL, HITFIX.COM: I mean, it`s all HBO`s fault, because
HBO, they had "The Sopranos" on Sunday night. They had "Six Feet Under" on
Sunday nights. They had "The Wire," "Deadwood," "Sex and the City," "Curb
So, all these shows aired on Sunday nights. And,suddenly, that gets
the reputation as the prestige night. I mean, I don`t know if you remember
this. "Mad Men" used to air on Thursdays. And AMC said, well, that`s a
mistake. We have to put it where people expect it.
HAYES: And I remember when Thursdays was a big television night.
SEPINWALL: Yes, "Hill Street Blues."
HAYES: Yes. And that`s now completely gone.
And, actually, Michael Lombardo, who was the president of programming
when the network first starting doing this, he said, "We looked around and
said, what is the least competitive night? Sunday wasn`t a competitive
night for the networks, so we said, OK, this is where we`ll start."
Now, what you have is, it just seems like there`s just too much for
anyone. At what point do you get diminishing returns?
SEPINWALL: It`s really punishing.
And what happens is, you have certain shows like "Game of Thrones"
where people don`t want to be spoiled and they want to be part of the
SEPINWALL: Those, you watch live.
Everything else suffers in regard. I`m trying to watch "Cosmos" with
my daughter. That`s usually takes until Tuesday or Wednesday before we
have time to get to it.
HAYES: It strikes me too that in the way that television viewing has
changed in the last five years particularly, that the time in which you
watch something is less and less important, but for this night, while
everything else is just spaced out.
There is no sense in which I could even tell you what time shows are
on, shows that I like or shows that I watch.
HAYES: I can`t even tell you. I don`t even know. They`re on the DVR
or I buy them off iTunes.
SEPINWALL: Yes. Or, in some cases, you don`t watch them at all when
they`re in season. You just wait for Netflix. You have got all the cord-
cutters who don`t know what channel "Breaking Bad" aired on. They just
know it as a Netflix show.
HAYES: You also have an interesting way in which the business models
have created different kinds of pressures on the content, right?
HAYES: So, what you have with these -- with things like Showtime and
HBO, they are trying to create a show that does what business-wise?
SEPINWALL: HBO is trying to create a show that gets attention, that
gets talked about.
So, you have something like "Girls," where if you look at the actual
number of human beings watching an episode of "Girls" on a Sunday night at
10:00, it`s really small.
It`s the sort of thing that a broadcast network would laugh at, that
AMC would laugh at for what they get for "The Walking Dead." But people
talk about "Girls." They write about "Girls." They subscribe to HBO just
for "Girls," or they steal their parents` HBO Go passwords, you know?
HAYES: So, what strikes me is that threshold they`re trying to get
and the threshold networks are trying to get at are so different.
So, a network show or even a cable news show like the one that you,
dear viewer, are watching right now is fighting for attention every single
HAYES: Second to second, you`re fighting for attention. Someone
sitting there in front of the television, they`re moving around, right?
SEPINWALL: Showtime or HBO is trying to create the moment where you
move over the boundary to subscribe. And then, once you subscribe, people
are path-dependent. They don`t unsubscribe.
HAYES: They sit there. And even if they don`t use the service -- so
what they need is buzz, publicity. They want you to feel like you have to
watch it in order to be in on the conversation.
SEPINWALL: They want you to have a feeling that you need to be in on
this thing year-round. And so, sometimes, I will get questions like, OK,
well, what about this show coming up? Is this good that I don`t need to
unsubscribe to HBO for three months?
And so they try to keep these things going year-round and just Sunday,
Sunday, Sunday, plugging things in.
HAYES: And yet at the same time, you have seen that model then move
to cable networks that aren`t premium channels like AMC, right?
HAYES: AMC is doing with "Mad Men" something that looks like what
Showtime and HBO have done, but AMC`s business model is very different.
No, they have to sell advertising. And, obviously, something like
"Mad Men," while it has a smaller audience than something like "The Walking
Dead," it`s such a prestige audience, that they can really get sort of
high-end product in there and make a good amount of money off of that.
HAYES: Does that matter?
Does critical acclaim, does prestige, does reputation end up in the
dollars of the networks? Because, for so long, the line about television,
right, the vast wasteland, the Minow line famously from 50 years ago, was
that it was essentially this lowest common denominator medium.
SEPINWALL: Yes. Yes.
HAYES: What has changed that?
SEPINWALL: Well, what changed that was basically "The Sopranos" and
everything that came after, which was "The Sopranos" comes in and shows
that all of these rules that you have had about television narrative,about
having to have sympathetic characters, about the audiences not being
willing to accept complex narrative, complex morality, that was all wrong.
People loved that show. They watched that show. That show was a big
hit. And,suddenly, everyone else said, well, hey, we can do that too. And
so Showtime started doing shows, and then basic cable got in on it. FX did
"The Shield." And eventually AMC came in with "Mad Men" and "The Walking
HAYES: And yet I`m always struck, when you look at all these prestige
shows, whether it`s "True Detective" on HBO, it`s "The Sopranos," "The
Wire," you have got a ton of violence and sex. At the end of the day,
everyone understands where their bread is buttered.
And "The Sopranos," if they have to have a meeting that just happens
to be a strip club, it happens there. In "Girls," there`s a sex scene
every five minutes, because even prestige still has to keep eyeballs.
HAYES: Television critic Alan Sepinwall, thank you very much.
SEPINWALL: Thanks for having me.
That is ALL IN for this evening.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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