THE ED SHOW
July 23, 2014
Guest: Tiernan Sittenfeld, Sherrod Brown, Mike Papantonio, Terence Moore,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: . the state is going to do to prepare for a future with
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The United States become more engaged in trying to
provide some of the energy needs for Europe.
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL, (R) TEXAS: You know, there`s a crude oil ban that he
could lift tomorrow.
SEN. JOHN THUNE, (R) SOUTH DAKOTA: The economic dependence that Europe has
on the Russians particularly with regard to energy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Germany is going to build offshore wind farms.
SARAH PALIN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We still need to drill, baby drill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good to have you with us tonight folks. Thanks
It was just a couple of nights ago on this broadcast that I said that the
Republicans would take any event and make the case for big oil, drill, baby
drill, more, more. Well, it took 48 hours.
Republicans just simply refused to give up on their crusade to make big oil
companies even richer. They are again using the conflict in Ukraine to
lift a 40-year oil ban on U.S. exports. And you know what? I`ve always
wondered, 40 years, we had a Republican president since then? Yeah. How
come Reagan didn`t lift it?
Earlier today, two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down by rebels in
Eastern Ukraine. The jets were brought down in the same general area as
Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. Now, this video, not confirmed by NBC News,
apparently shows wreckage from one of the downed jets. The Ukrainian
government claims the missiles were fired from inside Russia. It`s not
clear what happened to the pilots.
Meanwhile, it took Republicans, all of them, just a couple of hours to get
out and talk about liberating Europe from Russian energy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THUNE: I think one of the things that Tim Kaine mentioned just before me
is the economic dependence that Europe has on the Russians particularly
with regard to energy and that again makes the argument about why it`s so
important that we open up to LNG exports the European market and that
United States become more engaged in trying to provide some of the energy
needs for Europe. I think that will take some of the economic dependence
away and hopefully free them up to be able to put more pressure on the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Now, to give definition to what Senator Thune from South Dakota
just said, we need to drill more. That`s right. Go to the bottom line.
We got to drill more. That`s what they want.
Look, energy independence is certainly important for our country but there
are no guarantees that if we pump out more oil out of our soil that it`s
going to affect the geopolitical situation in Ukraine dealing with Putin.
The United States providing Europe`s energy needs is not the answer, it`s
not a guarantee, it`s not just Republicans talking about more exports to
the United States` energy.
This morning, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, he came up with the same line,
same argument with Thune.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TIM KAINE, (D) VIRGINIA: We need to be targeting their energy sector
and we need to be helping Europe develop their own energy resources,
potentially use strategic shipments of liquid natural gas from the United
States to help them break their reliance on Russian energy and finding
other energy suppliers for Europe.
Algeria, for example, wants to build a new energy pipeline under the
Mediterranean that could help supply Europe. We need to be working with
the sanction, the Russian energy sector and move Europe away from their
overreliance on Russian energy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: OK. Senator Kaine, that`s a little bit more detailed than what
we got from John Thune, but it`s still in the neighborhood of maybe we
should be drilling more.
Democrats and Republicans need to leave the pockets of big oil. Everyone
knows the consequences of oil production and consumption in this country.
Now, I`m not advocating, "Hey, we got to get off oil totally." No, no, no.
But to drill more? That`s the wrong direction.
As oil production of the United States skyrockets, so do the events of
negativity. In 2013, there were over 7,600 spills, blowouts, and leaks.
It`s about 20 events a day. In 2013, more oil spilled from trains than in
the previous 38 years combined in this country. Recently, we`ve seen oil
disaster after oil disaster. A burst pipeline turned up in the streets of
Los Angeles and of course a river of oil was just a few months ago. And in
December, an oil train derailed causing massive explosions and evacuations
in Casselton, North Dakota. Last year, a pipeline burst in Mayflower,
Arkansas devastating the suburban community, they still haven`t recovered.
In March, just this past March, 168,000 gallons of crude oil leaked into
Galveston Bay, Texas. Wildlife and local fishing industry, well, it took a
The list that I`m giving you just scratches the surface of what has
unfolded. And of course, let`s not forget the time 210 million gallons of
oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico over the course of 87 days.
Politicians, I`ll tell you what, they seemed to have amnesia when it comes
to this story. There is no talk of the deepwater horizon oil spill in
Washington, D.C. because they`ve all been watching the BP commercials.
"We`re open for business. Everything is good. We cleaned it up. It`s
fixed." Yeah, right.
Now, let`s take a look at the consequences of oil consumption. We are
literally trashing our planet. NOAA reports -- anybody going to pay any
attention to this? NOAA reports this June was the warmest June on record
since we`ve been keeping records all the way back to 1880. The month of
May this year 2014 was the hottest on record. These warm temperatures are
causing record drought in California. Residents there have been forced to
cut down on water consumption.
Not far away in the state of Washington, they are currently battling the
largest wildfire in the state`s history. The fire has burned roughly 400
square miles of land, 150 homes have been lost and 1,200 homes have been
evacuated in 12 towns. Local communities have been devastated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN KILLIAN, FIREFIGHTER: You see the heartbreak when you come across
those houses that are burnt (inaudible) and all you see is the metal frames
left from cars.
MAYOR LIBBY HARRISON, PATEROS, WA: I -- my .
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Libby, you can do it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Got it.
HARRISON: . and family members have lost their homes and I just want you
all to know that we, as a community, are going to pull together.
And it was -- having the most insane thing I`ve ever seen in my life.
This is the backyard. That was our shop. My mom`s house where the
wheelbarrow was. All -- everything lost in there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Is it all happening because of climate change? Well, it`s
whatever you want to believe, right? President Obama has declared a state
of emergency for the state of Washington. And on Tuesday, the president
said a lot of this fire has to do with climate change.
The consequences of oil production and consumption, they are very real and
dangerous. What is the solution? Well, we could try renewable energy. I
know we talk about it a lot but we don`t seem to be getting there. Wind
and solar, guess what? They work. Places that invest in renewable energy
are reaping the rewards.
Go to the state of Colorado where 800 new jobs have been created because
wind turbine orders are on the rise. Over 13 percent of Colorado`s energy
comes from wind. A Dutch company is working on a wind turbine that could
reportedly generate half of homes` electricity. The highly efficient
silent design is ideal for catching wind from any angle. Now, inventions
like these are the answer to Europe`s energy independence, not Americans
drilling more and throwing more oil on the open market. There`s no
guarantee that that`s going to affect anything.
And if you notice that it seems like everything that comes up, the
Republicans, their answer is always, "Well, we just need more oil out
there." Hogwash! We need this country, the United States, to realize that
maybe we can do a little bit better on wind and solar better than five
Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, "Is it time to declare war on climate change?" Now, I`m asking
this question tonight because let`s see, we`ve seen the conservatives have
the war on Christmas, we`ve seen them have a war on Christianity that they
claim is happening in America. War on women, yes, we do think that there
is a war on women. Lots of wars out there. We haven`t had any wars on
climate change, maybe we ought to have one of them. Text A for yes, text B
for no to 67622, you can always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. We`ll
bring you the results later on in the show.
So, let me bring in Tiernan Sittenfeld. She is the Senior Vice President
of Government Affairs for the League of Conservation Voters.
Tiernan, how can we fight the oil lobby to get more renewable energy in our
country when the answer to everything that -- whatever question comes up is
all about big oil and their influence?
TIERNAN SITTENFELD, LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS: You are absolutely
right, Ed. Thanks for having me on and thanks for calling attention to
this incredibly important issue. It was really important to see you call
attention to the devastating impact that extreme weather and climate change
are already having.
And so, to see big oil really cynically pushing for things like lifting the
ban on crude oil exports at a time like this is absolutely horrifying. The
good news that we are really excited about is that the Obama administration
is really trying to make a tremendous amount of progress when it comes to
fighting climate change, when it comes to promoting clean energy throughout
the Obama administration`s entire time in office, they have doubled our use
of clean renewable energy, they have done a tremendous amount to increase
energy efficiency. The fastest, cheapest, smartest way to save energy, to
address our energy problems is actually to use less of it. So, that`s why
we`re so focused on things like energy efficiency.
Really great to hear you talking about renewable energy, but it is
definitely -- it is time to break free from the failed energy policies of
the past. Rather than doubling down on dirty, polluting big oil, we should
be really focused on solutions like energy efficiency, renewable energy.
SCHULTZ: Every story that comes up, they want to drill more. And before
long, they`re going to be making this case and say, "Hey, this is why we
have to have the Keystone XL Pipeline." We`re not far away from that.
But, you know, this event today with a couple of jets being shot down, here
we go, we got to drill more, we got to throw more oil on the market.
I`m not convinced and there are no guarantees that that is going to create
any more political problems for Putin in his own country and that really is
the mission to stabilize things again.
SITTENFELD: We couldn`t agree with you more. If we are serious about
reducing dependence on Russian oil and actually reducing dependence on all
oil for that matter in order to really, truly improve our national
security, we need to be getting off of oil. We need to definitely be
staying away from even dirtier forms of oil like tar sands oil.
So, for example, Senator Markey from Massachusetts has a bill to help
Ukraine really increase their energy efficiency. There`s a tremendous
amount of lost energy. Those are the kind of common sense, practical
solutions that we should be pursuing.
SCHULTZ: Now, if we drill more, the risk of transportation, the risk of
spills, I documented just how many spills and how many events that we have
had just in recent years and how we`re producing more oil, 7,600 spills,
blowouts and leaks, that`s 20 a day in this country. If we drill more,
these numbers are going to be worse.
SITTENFELD: Right. We absolutely need to heed all of the devastating
events that have been happening. Increasing our dependence on oil is the
exact wrong direction. We should really be, you know, learning lessons
from the failed policies of the past and moving far more toward focusing on
You pointed out the benefits that -- it`s win, win, win. It`s good for the
economy. It`s good for our consumers and for saving money. It`s good for
creating good paying jobs in this country. And those are all the kind of
priorities that we have and that we`re so pleased to be working with the
Obama administration to advance.
SCHULTZ: OK. Tiernan Sittenfeld with us tonight here on the Ed Show,
thanks so much for your time.
I want to turn now to Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Senator, good to have
you on with us tonight.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN, (D) OHIO: Good. Thank you. Ms. Sittenfeld is from
Cincinnati, so two Ohioans in a row. Nicely done, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I love Ohio. We`ve got a few victories in Ohio, haven`t we? We
measured two? You know, I remember those days.
BROWN: Yeah. We just had a big victory on Oil Country Tubular steel as
you announced and all of that. So, thank you.
SCHULTZ: You know, that -- you know, we can win. I mean, we -- if people
get engage, they get the right information, things can happen. There was a
lot of attitudes that turned on that. The commerce department made the
right call. We`ll get to that story. We got a lot more to talk about on
But tonight, Senator, is providing Europe with more U.S. energy, meaning
oil, is that the answer? Do you -- and maybe I`m wrong on this. I want
your thoughts on it.
BROWN: Well, first, yeah, Republicans never miss an opportunity to front
for the oil industry. And, you know, this is a terrible thing what
happened in Ukraine. It`s about foreign policy. It was about, you know,
hundreds of people who died and somehow they turned that into, "Let`s
export more, more fossil fuel energy to Europe."
I was at the German Embassy a few weeks ago. I`m sitting next to a German
manufacturer who has a plant in -- not far from where I live in Cleveland.
And he said selling -- U.S. selling natural gas to Europe basically doesn`t
say save Europe any money even though natural gas is $4 or $5 here, in
Europe it`s $12 or $13 but the liquefaction, the transportation and the
gasification in Europe would bring the price of about the same.
And the point is we have an advantage. Now, when you talk on this show so
much about energy policy and about manufacturing, and if we`re going to
create manufacturing jobs, the biggest advantage we`ve had in a generation
is the low, and stable, and predictable cost of natural gas. That helps in
steel production. It helps in chemical production. It helps in making the
kinds of things that Ohio leads the nation in. And it rebuilds the middle
class for so many workers that will benefit from competitively priced
natural gas and give the U.S. an advantage of manufacturing that we`ve lost
for some -- for a whole host of reasons over the last two or three decades.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Clearly stated, the Republicans and some Democrats are
making the case that our energy resources can make Putin squirm a little
SCHULTZ: . more with this economy. Do you believe that? I mean, do you
really think that we can shift the balance?
BROWN: Well, first of all, it would take two or three years, absolute
minimum, to get the natural gas. The liquefaction facilities built and
then the gasification here and the gasification plants in Europe to be able
to do that. But even so, it`s not our role to compromise our economic --
and compromise our self economically to try to bring peace to Central and
Eastern Europe. I mean, it won`t work, number one and number two, that`s
just not -- that just doesn`t make sense to hurt our manufacturing, to do
something kind of that probably wouldn`t make any difference anyway in
bringing peace to Ukraine.
BROWN: I mean, the kind of thing we should do are some of the things the
president`s moved on in .
SCHULTZ: Well, there`s .
BROWN: . sanctions against Russia. Those kinds of things.
SCHULTZ: And Senator, they are suggesting lifting the 40-year ban not on
refined oil, on crude oil. That ban`s been in place for 40 years. Why
didn`t Reagan lift it? And now, they`re talking about should be putting
pressure on President Obama to lift that ban and Congress to lift that ban.
BROWN: Well, it`s always President Obama`s fault when they step in front
of the microphone in the Senate, in the House, in Republican headquarters
and that`s not the solution here. He`s not to blame on this one. The
terrorists in Eastern Ukraine are to blame on this and whatever ties they
had to the Russians and the anti-military, anti-aircraft weapons that the
Russians apparently provided to them, that`s why this is aimed at .
BROWN: . going to war with Russia. Of course not. But it`s sanctions and
doing what we need to do working with other European powers. It`s not
about selling our energy to the Ukrainians or to the Germans or to the
SCHULTZ: And finally, Senator, is big oil blocking renewable energy
efforts and investments?
BROWN: Yeah. Big oil still has far too much influence here, Ed. It has a
long-term lease on the -- almost the entire Republican Party. They can`t
take away the tax breaks. We`ve tried and tried and tried. The tax breaks
for oil were not able to give the government the authority it needs when
price spikes take place and we know that the oil industry is gaming the
system. A whole host of issues and they blocked real serious genuine
efforts on the part of a lot of Senate Democrats and House Democrats .
BROWN: . to do what we need to do as Ms. Sittenfeld was talking about on
energy issues, on renewable energy issues.
SCHULTZ: All right. Senator Sherrod Brown, Ohio, always, great to have
you with us tonight.
BROWN: Always. Thanks Ed.
SCHULTZ: Thank you so much.
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the screen.
Share your thoughts with us on Twitter at EdShow and at WeGotEd. Like us
on Facebook. We appreciate that.
Coming up, former NFL Head Coach Tony Dungy of the Colts claims he misspoke
when he said he wouldn`t have drafted NFL`s first openly gay player. The
Rapid Response Panel weighs in on Dungy`s blunder.
But first, Governor Rick Scott was met by protesters while attending a
fundraiser at a home of a private prison CEO. Mike Papantonio has a lot to
say about that. He`ll talk about the governor and the ties to private
prisons when we come back. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: What`s hot and what`s not. Time now for Trenders Social Media,
this is where you can join the Ed team. You know you got to do that.
Facebook.com/edshow, twittter.com/edshow, and wegoted.com too, and also,
ed.msnbc.com. You can get my podcast at wegoted.com, rawstory.com,
ringoffireradio.com and on iTunes. It`s free.
Ed Show Social Media Nation has decided and we are reporting. Here are
today`s Top Trenders voted on by you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number three Trender, all buzz (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mayflies by the mega millions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s all up and down the Mississippi River.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have been invaded.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mayflies are taking over towns along the Mississippi
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The aquatic fly is so thick they showed up on weather
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes they have to follow the bridges.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`ll only reproduce in areas with high quality
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cleaner, oxygen-rich water is making it a perfect place
for the bugs to mate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, that`s what I call high quality H2O.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number two Trender, birthday block party.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What a year it`s been for the future king.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has captured hearts and minds across the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re the special.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lego celebrates Prince George`s birthday at Blockingham
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lego Winter has made a miniature Lego birthday party
including Lego versions of most of the royal family.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your invitation must have gotten lost in the mail.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think I`m ought to make it about 20 hours to build.
It`s made up of around 1,900 Lego grids (ph). I guess when we have
(inaudible) George`s birthday (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And today`s top Trender, private dancer.
SCHULTZ: Private prisons are funded through government contracts. They
profit off the taxpayer and have a disturbing relationship with
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have over two million people behind bars right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think private prison population in the United States
grew 37 percent between 2002 and 2009.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rick Scott`s meeting with a private prison CEO is met
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you`re going to be at a fundraiser at the home of
the CEO of GEO group.
GOV. RICK SCOTT, (R) FLORIDA: I`m very appreciative of George`s support.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rick Scott who has led the drive for prison
privatization in his state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: GEO is in a strong growth mode.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nearly nine percent of prisons that can only run by
private firms like GEO group.
SCHULTZ: Their business model? Very simple, put people in prison and make
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight is America`s mayor, attorney should I say,
Mike Papantonio, host of the Ring of Fire radio show. Mike, great to have
you with us tonight. You can unpack this better than anybody on what`s
going on. There is a very close connection between Rick Scott, the
Governor of Florida and George Zoley, the CEO of GEO Group. So much that
of the state has seven private prisons, it just so happens that GEO group
has five of them, what`s the connection here?
MIKE PAPANTONIO, ATTORNEY: Ed, in order -- Well, first of all, to
understand the importance of this story, it`s critical to recognize who GEO
is and what their sorry history actually looks like.
You start with the U.S. Justice Department who determined that Rick Scott`s
sweetheart contributor GEO had wreak havoc on juvenile prisoners that it
had locked up in its facility. One of its facilities in Mississippi, Ed,
GEO had hardened gang banger, gang members acting as guards overseeing
dozens of juveniles who are incarcerated. The Justice Department looked
into that and they determined that sexual exploitation of those juveniles
was the worst they had seen anywhere in the nation, that`s their words not
But Rick Scott still embraces this organization as one of the GOP gang as
he calls it, a gang that he`s proud of. If you`re honest about it, it
looks like a mad max caliber of violence and chaos that seems to be the
brand that defines GEO, but it doesn`t seem to bother Rick Scott. He`s
willing to have fundraisers with him, but he`s -- he is a true pal to this
organization. The GEO organizations proven to be so second rate as a
private prison .
PAPANTONIO: . organization that -- yeah, penny pinching, understaffing
that actually left juvenile inmates with permanent brain damage involved in
one of the incidents that the U.S. Justice Department looked at. It`s a
SCHULTZ: So, if it`s so terrible, why do they keep getting state
PAPANTONIO: Well, because he`s controlled that money since the day he came
into office. He`s ignored all the stories about stabbings and near death
beatings and sadistic guards who`ve actually encouraged .
SCHULTZ: Has he been asked about it?
PAPANTONIO: . juveniles to -- he knows all about it.
Look, all he has to do is look at the record, Ed. What he`s -- look, this
is an organization that the CEO of this organization actually pay $20,000
to Rick Scott so he could redecorate the governor`s mansion. Understand
Rick Scott knows this line. This is -- the federal judge that looked at
this organization said that it was an inhumane cesspool that GEO has put
together. But nevertheless, this is a Scott who`s been a governor shield
for GEO for years now. He helped GEO earn multimillions of dollars every
year. Scott`s always describing GEO is -- these are his words .
PAPANTONIO: . "A bold, innovative, cost saving private prison group .
PAPANTONIO: . who`s an example of the American dream." In fact, it`s an
SCHULTZ: And none of this analysis by the Justice Department has fazed the
governor at all? That he just keeps cozying up and he has no problem doing
more deals with them and opening more private prisons for him?
PAPANTONIO: This is a guy -- this Rick Scott was going to have a
fundraiser with a guy named James Batmasian who is a felon, he was a
criminal. Then at the last minute he said, "Well, I`m not going to have it
with this criminal. Instead, let me have it with the GEO folks." He`s
ignored it. He knows how bad the conduct is.
The U.S. Justice Department looked at all this. And you know what? He`s
had access to all the records. He knows exactly what the U.S. Justice
Department found that he`s very happy to put his arms around this
disgusting organization and say, "These are my pals. They represent the
Republican Party in Florida."
SCHULTZ: All right.
PAPANTONIO: That`s how bad this story is.
SCHULTZ: America`s attorney Mike Papantonio with us tonight on the Ed
Show. Mike, thanks so much. I appreciate it. We will continue to follow
the hot politics in Florida.
Coming up, Steve King thinks he knows a thing or two about President
Obama`s upbringing. Pretenders is coming up.
Plus, Tony Dungy takes a hit for his comments about openly gay football
player Michael Sam, Response Panel coming up to weigh in on that.
But next, I`m taking your questions on Ask Ed Live on the Ed Show on MSNBC.
We are right back.
SCHULTZ: Thanks for joining us tonight. Love the questions from all you
wonderful viewers out there. Ask Ed Live, our first questions tonight
comes from Debbie. She wants to know, "What do you think of the latest
poll showing Scott Walker and Mary Burke almost tied?
This of course is the governor`s race in Wisconsin. What a great
opportunity for progressives in Wisconsin. As much money as Walker has
raised out of state and as much money as he has spent already and it`s
close, it shouldn`t be. What an opportunity for lefties in Wisconsin.
Our next question is from Keith (ph). He wants to know, "What gets you
fired up? Personally, professionally, recreationally, 10 pound of walleye
works every time.
Stick around, Rapid Response Panel is next.
COURTNEY REAGAN, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Courtney Reagan with your CNBC
Market Wrap. The Dow weighed down by bowing (ph) after its revenue
mistarget. The S&P gains 3 to close to another record high. The Nasdaq
adding 17 points.
Facebook shares are higher after hours. The company posted earning and
revenue that beat street estimates. And take a look at shares of Puma
BioTech, shares jumped a whopping 295 percent today after the company`s
experiment of breast cancer drug met its goal in a late stage trial.
That`s it from CNBC, we`re first in business worldwide.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. The tide is turning on intolerance
and professional sports. Super Bowl winning Coach Tony Dungy is under fire
for his comments about openly gay football player Michael Sam. Over the
weekend Dungy told the Tampa Tribune that, "He wouldn`t have taken the
defensive end on his team." Dungy said that he would have -- wouldn`t want
to deal with all of it, explaining, "things will happen," he said. Dungy
is an outspoken at marriage equality opponent.
In 2007, he cited his faith when embracing Indiana`s gay marriage ban while
speaking to a group affiliated with the homophobic, focus on the family
organization. The football coach said that, "Of this of the ban, we`re
trying to promote the family, family values the Lord`s way." The
intolerance stance from Dungy received very little backlash seven years ago
at the time. The NFL issued -- only issued a statement saying that the
coach had every right to express his views.
The story has changed drastically since then. Tony Dungy`s implication
that a player`s sexuality would impact his decision to work with him
received fierce criticism. Reeling from firestorm, Dungy clarified his
comments reaffirming that Michael Sam has a right to play in the National
Football League, but without challenges saying, "I do believe that the
media attention that comes with Michael Sam`s sexual orientation will be a
Dungy wants to reject the distraction not the player. Whether Tony Dungy
would accept the gay player or not is no longer the question. His
unwillingness to confront the adversity head on has driven the conversation
and reshaped the nature of inclusion in professional sports.
Joining me tonight on our Rapid Response Panel, Terence Moore, National
Sport Columnist and also with us, Michael Eric Dyson, Georgetown University
Professor and MSNBC Political Analyst. Gentlemen, great to have you with
us tonight. Michael ...
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: ... Tony Dungy first African-American coach to win the Super Bowl
championship, he knows the challenges of a minority status in the league,
and what this all means, he overcame a lot, what would be so different for
DYSON: Not much at all. I was there in Miami when Coach Dungy secured his
place in history. I`m very proud of him, he`s a wonderful human being.
But this is one of his low moments. This is the attempt to justify
prejudice and bigotry under the rubric of having questions about
You mean, you play -- you coach in the NFL, you`re associated within NFL
that has people who are criminals, people who have committed murder, people
who have committed manslaughter, people who have committed domestic
violence, people who have murdered dogs and the like, and yet, this is a
distraction that is singular, that would warrant you not drafting this
young man and providing him an opportunity.
It reminds me of those, you know, kind of light racist viewpoints that were
promoted by many white people who were not in the Ku Klux Klan. But yet
and still they resisted the progress of African-American people by
undermining it. And Tony Dungy here, a wonderful human being as he is ...
SCHULTZ: He is.
DYSON: ... is really undermining the possibility that sexuality should
have no place in the NFL. And he`s using this excuse for -- I think a
shield for his own bigotry and his own homophobia and it`s a remarkably
SCHULTZ: Well, there`s no question that Tony Dungy is a class act, has
been his entire career, a very revered opinion around the league, highly
respected. But Terence, he said that things will happen. He`s -- I think
speaking from the perspective of a coach, he doesn`t want anything problems
or at least not this kind of a problem. But what also leave the impression
that there`s a level of possible discrimination here that he would be open
to that, your thought on the intolerance there.
TERENCE MOORE, COLUMNIST, MLB.COM: Well, I mean first of all Ed and also
Michael, I`m going to defend Tony Dungy here and I`m going to say this,
even though Tony didn`t say anything wrong and I`m going to explain -- I
will explain that in a second here.
MOORE: He cannot say what he said simply because if you are associated
with NFL than anyway nowadays, OK, former player, current player, coach
what have you, you can say anything that is perceived as negative against
Michael Sam, otherwise you`re going to be considered the worst person on
the face of the earth.
Now, let me tell you what Tony Dungy said and why I said that he didn`t say
anything wrong. It had nothing to do with Michael Sam`s sexual
orientation, it had everything to do with the fact that 99 percent of all
former and current NFL coaches hate distractions. You`ve got this thing
called Hard Knocks by HBO, which is a reality TV show that comes to
training camps. The coaches hate that. The NFL had to force teams to do
this on a rotating basis.
And one more other quick thing along these lines, one of the dirty little
secrets has been the case forever, it`s only in the nearly 40 years, I`ve
covered the NFL. There have always been gay players on these teams and
there is no question in my mind that Tony Dungy knew of gay players perhaps
on his Tampa Bay teams and also his Indianapolis teams.
So he doesn`t have a problem per se with the gay players, what he is saying
simply is, he knows that now that the focus is totally on this guy, if you
are a coach trying to get your team to win, this is going to be a very
difficult situation to manage.
SCHULTZ: What about that Michael?
DYSON: Let me tell you what, first of all, I haven`t heard -- the
distraction has been created by Tony Dungy himself. There was a few extra
cameras as Jeff Fisher said, the coach, a few extra cameras in --you know,
at the OTA`s. There were few extra cameras today. He said by otherwise
it`s been normal, so the point is that Tony Dungy himself in anticipation
of a firestorm or a maelstrom of controversy created that very controversy.
But let me go back to this, yes, he did say something wrong. It`s like
saying, "You know, we don`t mind having black people in the coaching
ranks." Tony Dungy himself was afforded an opportunity because somebody
did not follow the tradition. Again, it was a distraction to have issues
of a race brought up, just as much as there in sexuality and yet some brave
souls said no. The Rooney Rule is in place, you at least have to what?
Look at the black coach before you hire somebody else? There are rules in
place because discrimination is unacceptable and the soft bigotry ...
DYSON: ... of resistance and the kind of beliefs that are put forth by
Tony Dungy and others doesn`t mean it`s right, it simply means that I think
he`s using it as a smoke screen and it`s hypocritical here because as an
African-American, he should understand the very vitriol that can be
expressed in a number of ways.
SCHULTZ: Terence, do you think that the Rams coaching staff has had
conversations about how they`re going to handle something if as Tony Dungy
says, "Things will happen?"
MOORE: Well, I mean there`s no question about that and Jeff Fisher is
considered a player`s coach. He`s a coach of the Saint Louise Rams. And
the other thing is the Rams probably will have fewer problems in your
average NFL team because you remember they`re in Missouri, he played at
Missouri, they are players on the Rams team who played with Sam.
So you`d let that situation going on here. I want to say something here a
real quick here Ed, I know Tony Dungy, I`ve known Tony Dungy for years.
MOORE: Tony Dungy is not afraid to speak out and he`s a guy that`s not
afraid to give his opinion. I can remember 20 years ago when -- and it`s
certainly about race, I mean he`s very -- I was talking about that.
Charlie Ward was not drafted and he was a high school trophy winner, an
African-American player. And both myself along with Tony Dungy got blasted
for talking about that, about the NFL needing to get something done.
I suspect that somebody has been whispering on Tony Dungy`s ear, telling
him that he needs to back track on this entire issue, otherwise he will
stick to his guns because I`ll still say that he didn`t say anything wrong,
this has nothing to do with ...
DYSON: Can you absolutely ...
MOORE: This is basically him saying that if I were a coach and all these
coaches they were being honest ...
SCHULTZ: But he said that he would not take this player because there --
things will happen.
SCHULTZ: You`ve got a player with a police blotter out there, can you draw
the conclusions that things are going to happen possibly with that player
too? It`s the kind of event that he wants to stay away from or the kind of
scenario that might play out, which I think a lot of people think that`s
DYSON: It is discriminatory because look, with all do respect to Terence,
citing the fact that Tony Dungy is willing to speak out, he`s willing to
speak out about race, that`s the hypocrisy here. He`s willing to talk
about Charlie Ward, he`s willing to talk about issues related to African-
American people but he`s not willing to speak up for another black man,
Michael Sam, who happens to be gay at the same time.
So the point is there`s a competition between his blackness here and his
being gay and his own beliefs I think his conservative religious beliefs,
which he is certainly, you know, has the right to express. But when you
keep saying he`s brave just because -- Bull Connor was brave, a lot of
white races were brave when they spoke up.
I`m not suggesting there`s a relation between Bull Connor and Tony Dungy,
I`m simply saying this. Just because Tony Dungy speaks his mind doesn`t
mean what comes out of his mouth is correct and it doesn`t mean that she
shouldn`t be challenged. I think that he has the right to speak it. I`m
glad that he did, now he has to be challenged and to really, really be put
into a particular perspective that says, "This is a historic legacy
inequality that you should be sensitive to because you`re an African-
SCHULTZ: Well, a story to follow, no doubt about it. Just that comment,
just puts the spotlight and I think makes it probably tougher for Michael
Sam right there. And of course, he`s got to make the team.
DYSON: Yes, absolutely.
MOORE: I do think that Tony Dungy is being unfairly portrayed here .
SCHULTZ: Well ...
MOORE: . from a person who knows Tony Dungy. And what I mean by this is,
again, there`s two separate issues here. There`s a distraction from the
NFL standpoint, there`s a gay standpoint. And I should admit that Tony
Dungy is not attacking Michael Sam`s personality.
SCHULTZ: I don`t think he is either.
MOORE: He`s attacking the ...
SCHULTZ: I don`t think he`s attacking him. I don`t think he`s attacking
him but I think he`s labeling. But -- oh, I`m not going to take him
because of his sexuality. And, you know, this is 2014. I think we`ve all
SCHULTZ: . do they have any adults in professional football?
MOORE: He would say that about any player. If you were a coach, Tony
Dungy, that ...
MOORE: ... dislike him.
DYSON: He took on Michael Vick. He took on Michael Vick and he supported
Michael Vick in the midst of his own particular situation. If he can
support Michael Vick, he can support Michael Sam.
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, we got to leave it there. Terence Moore and Michael
Eric Dyson, great insight, appreciate your time tonight, thanks so much.
Up next, Republicans and Democrats have finally agreed on something. Let`s
stop ripping off American workers. Stay tuned.
SCHULTZ: And the Pretenders tonight, the birther is back, Steve King, the
Iowa Congressman. This is really lowbrow.
He got back on the birther bandwagon over the weekend. Pointing to a
foreign upbringing, Steve King says the President is un-American.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STEVE KING, (R) IOWA: His vision of America isn`t like our vision of
America that we know. Now I don`t assert where he was born.
I will just tell you that we are all certain that he was not raised with an
American experience. So these things that beat in our hearts when we hear
the national anthem, and when we say the pledge of allegiance, doesn`t beat
the same for him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Did I say lowbrow? I can say a lot more but I`d like to be back
Steve King won`t assert where the President was born but he`s never had a
problem passing doubt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Little baby with ink on their foot stamp right here on the birth
certificate as one in this country we haven`t seen.
It would been awfully hard to fraudulently file the birth notice of Barrack
Obama being born in Hawaii but that doesn`t mean that there aren`t some
other explanations on how they might have announced that by telegram from
Kenya, the list he was on.
I don`t know here he was born but I don`t see the indication that he was
born anywhere else and I`ve said that consistently.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well King`s insulting strategy didn`t work for two election
cycles and it isn`t going to work now. If Steve King thinks birtherism is
back, he can keep on pretending.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. This is the story for the folks who
take a shower after work.
Some members of Congress are working to take an important step in
protecting low-wage workers from unethical wage theft by employers.
Wage theft is the illegal withholding of wages or the denial of benefits
rightfully owed to the employee. It`s unfortunately something low-wage
hourly workers, government contractors and folks in the restaurant industry
have become victim to.
Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison gathered enough bipartisan support for
a measure to be added to the House Defense Spending Bill. The measure
would prevent taxpayer dollars from going to companies that have recent
wage theft convictions or civil panelist reported in the governments
contracting database. Now the amendment passed so far only pertain to
certain government agencies.
Several big business groups are now determined to stop any further
amendments in their tracks. A report issued by the Senate Health,
Education, Labor and Pensions Committee found 8 million workers, most of
them women, have low-wage jobs funded through federal contracts.
Analyses showed many of most flagrant violations of federal workplace
safety and wage laws are also recipients of large federal contracts.
Wage violation lawsuits have been brought against some well-known celebrity
chefs such as Mario Batali, also Daniel Boulud and Keith McNally. There`s
a clear evidence wage theft is a legitimate problem among government
contractors in the economy as a whole.
Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison joins us tonight to talk about this.
Congressman, I appreciate your time.
Wage theft, we don`t -- we hear a lot about minimum wage being raised but
we don`t hear much about wage theft. How prevalent is it?
REP. KEITH ELLISON, (D) MINNESOTA: It`s a serious and very prevalent
problem. As you pointed out that senate committee did that study, found
that as many as up to a third of federal contractors had some sort of wage
theft violation in their background.
It is a serious problem. And when you look at it nationwide and taken all
low-wage workers, they lose on average in the neighborhood of $2,500 a
year, which is a lot of money if you`re making $7.25 an hour.
ELLISON: So, you know, stuff like, you know, people making you work
without -- but did not punch in. Not getting credit for the -- not getting
your breaks that you`re supposed to get during an eight-day shift, breaks
and lunch time, but then they deduct it out of your pay.
SCHULTZ: Well .
ELLISON: And then .
SCHULTZ: You have become a target of criticism because of this.
SCHULTZ: The Associated Builders and Contractors claim that this amendment
that you`ve championed would be "a job killer" and would create a blacklist
for contractors. What`s your response to that?
ELLISON: My response is simply this. The people of the United States, the
taxpayers in the United States believe that our hard-earned money ought to
go to contractors who treat their employees fairly.
There are enough contractors out there who are willing to do a fair job and
a fair wage by their employees so that we should do business with them, not
those who have a demonstrated history wage theft.
I don`t understand trade association that will not try to train its members
to be fair and honest and straight up with their worker -- with their
members and instead wants to stand on the side of wage theft?
SCHULTZ: Does the .
ELLISON: That`s kind of shocking to me.
SCHULTZ: Does the restaurant industry deserve special scrutiny here?
ELLISON: Of course they do. I mean, the fact is many of the people who
complained to us the most come from that industry. Now, I don`t want to
say that everybody is doing it. In fact, I argued that not everybody is
doing it and the federal government should do business with the people who
are not doing wage theft.
There are lots of them. And we should -- the federal government, Uncle Sam
should help set high labor standards, not a race to the bottom.
We ought to be the place that sets good solid labor standards that can
radiate throughout the rest of the economy. After all, the federal
government is a largest purchaser in the country.
SCHULTZ: So you think that the federal government should be the one to set
higher labor standards in the private sector as well?
ELLISON: Absolutely. I mean, I think that if we`re going to say it`s
wrong to cheat workers out of their pay, I mean, the last people -- the
last entity that should be doing it should be the entity that represents
all of us, which is the federal government.
We should be the place where good solid fair dealing is the order of the
day. And I don`t care if you`re a Republican or Democrat. If a penny is
earned, that penny has got to be paid. And anybody who says otherwise is
not fair and they don`t deserve to have a federal contract.
SCHULTZ: All right. Congressman Keith Ellison, you did get Republicans
onboard with us as well. Did you not?
ELLISON: Yes, we did.
ELLISON: Yeah, we did but we have a hearing tomorrow, 2:00 and you can
live stream it with dems.gov/live. You can see it.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us, Congressman.
That`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz. Politics Nation with Reverend Al
Sharpton starts right now.
Good evening Rev.
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