PoliticsNation, Thursday, September 4th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
September 4, 2014
Guest: Thomas Harvey; Patricia Bines; Jim Nolan, Marcia Fudge, Alicia
Quarles, Larry King
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR, THE ED SHOW: Good to have you with us tonight,
Thanks so much.
That`s "the Ed Show." I`m Ed Schultz. "Politics Nation" with Reverend Al
Sharpton starts right now.
Good evening, Rev.
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed and thanks to you for
tuning in. I`m live tonight in New Orleans.
There`s a lot of breaking news tonight. Legendary comedian Joan Rivers
passed away today. We will be talking about her life with her close friend
Also former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and his wife were convicted
today on corruption charges. They are facing years in federal prison.
We`ll go live to Virginia.
But we start with tonight`s lead. A civil rights investigation in
Ferguson. Today, attorney general Eric Holder announced the justice
department is launching a broad investigation into police practices in
Ferguson, Missouri. A town whose deep problems were with exposed after the
shooting death of Michael Brown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I had the chance to speak with a
number of local residents. I heard from them directly about the deep
mistrust that has taken hold between law enforcement officials and members
of that community. We have determined that there is cause for the justice
department to open an investigation to determine whether Ferguson police
officials have engaged in a pattern or practice of violations of the United
States constitution or federal law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The investigation look at the Ferguson police department`s use
of force including deadly force as well as traffic stops, searches, and
arrests. Investigators will also look at how police treat people detained
at the Ferguson jail.
When asked about the investigation today, Ferguson`s mayor didn`t seem to
think there was much of a problem in his department.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR JAMES KNOWLES, FERGUSON: I feel that we have been making extremely
positive strides in making sure that we have policies and procedures in
place that not only protect and serve our citizens but also protect their
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: But the numbers show a different story. Sixty three percent of
Ferguson`s population is black. And yet they account for 86 percent of
police stops, 92 percent of police searches, and nearly 93 percent of
arrest. And they have already been some disturbing accusations against
Six lawsuits filed against current or former Ferguson officers accused the
police of killing a mentally ill man with a taser, pistol-whipping a child,
and choking and hog-tying a child. Police are even accused of beating a
man and then charging him with damaging police property for bleeding on
Here`s a photo. That man took it after leaving police custody.
Today`s announcement is a testament to the attorney general and his
personal commitment to civil rights. He`s spoken out as a victim himself
of racial profiling. His sister-in-law is Vivian Malone, one of the first
African-Americans to integrate the University of Alabama.
This is part of the new civil rights movement for the 21st century. It`s a
vital investigation and an important step to ensure equal protection under
Joining me now is Patricia Bines, a Democratic committeewoman for Ferguson
township and Thomas Harvey, executive director and cofounder of Art City
Defenders. His work represents low income residents of St. Louis county
and court. Thank you both for being here.
PATRICIA BINES (D), COMMITTEEWOMAN: FERGUSON TOWNSHIP: Thank you for
THOMAS HARVEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/COFOUNDER, ART CITY DEFENDERS: Thank you
very much, Reverend Sharpton.
SHARPTON: Let me go to you first, Committeewoman. What is your response
to the news today? .
BINES: I am elated that the department of justice is stepping into the
Ferguson police department and going to take a very close eye. I`m excited
about it and so is the community. This is part of what the outcry is. We
have not been marching outside in hundred degree weather and in rain for
nothing. There are some serious things going on in the Ferguson police
department and this is actually been long overdue.
SHARPTON: Thomas, was is your reaction? Because a lot of people around
the country that has been watching Ferguson, I spoke here in New Orleans at
the national Baptist convention. It was a huge ovation when I brought this
up in my statement. What`s the reaction in St. Louis county generally?
HARVEY: I mean, I think the reaction is pretty positive. I believe that
it`s a welcome investigation. If there is a pattern and practice of
discrimination, it will be found out. That they get something it is
broader than just Ferguson. And I do believe the attorney general is going
to expand the investigation to the other portions of St. Louis county as
I think it`s welcome. I think our reports showed that there is at least
the belief on the citizens in the regions part that they are being racially
profiled and discriminated against. And that they are being exploited
because they are poor. And hopefully that this department of justice
investigation will find out if this is going on or not.
SHARPTON: Now, you did a study and you studied Ferguson. Tell us what
your report found out, Thomas.
HARVEY: Our report found that -- first, let me start with what our clients
told us. They told us that they believe they were stopped because they
were black and they were exploited because they were poor. This led to
distrust with law enforcement in Ferguson.
Our report -- we don`t make numbers. We don`t create numbers in the
report. Our report is based on the attorney general`s numbers that shows
that African-Americans are disproportionately stopped by Ferguson police.
They are disproportionately searched relative to their population in the
area. They are disproportionately arrested. The only number lower than
that proportion is the amount of contraband found on their person after
HARVEY: So the statistics bear it out. And then if you look at the
numbers regarding revenue from the municipal courts, our clients believe
they are being pulled over and exploited. And if you look at the amount of
money that the Ferguson municipal court takes in due to traffic tickets it
support that is, too. It is $2.65 million a year in revenue from traffic
tickets and other municipal ordinance violations. So our report bears out
what our clients believed.
SHARPTON: Now, and you`re talking about the state attorney general.
Committeewoman, let me go back to you because I saw you nodding. But I
want to know why you were nodding. But I also want you to react to this.
The Ferguson police chief thinks there was none. Watch this. Watch his
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: There is an image of excessive force, stopping
people, harassing people that`s what the justice department is looking
CHIEF THOMAS JACKSON, FERGUSON POLICE DEPARTMENT: Yes. It`s an
unfortunate image because we have done an excellent job policing the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: People claim they are stopped for no reason.
They claim that the police just don`t represent the community. The
African-American community. That there is just -- there is no -- they
don`t trust you at all.
JACKSON: I don`t think that`s true. I think that there are probably very
few number of residents saying that because our relationship with community
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Is the police chief in denial or is it just a few,
BINES: It`s almost upsetting to hear those statements after knowing what`s
been going on for just the past month. To think it`s just a few people, a
few complaints that have gotten us in this situation, I don`t know if he`s
tone deaf. I don`t know if he`s in denial or I just don`t know if these
are scripted statements that are being read.
But welcome to business as usual in St. Louis where it`s deny, deny, deny.
And this is where the community has had about enough. We had four federal
lawsuits going on. And they are major incidences just in Ferguson alone.
So when you are tasing and killing mentally ill people, you`re pistol-
whipping children, hog-tying a child, and this one case that even involved
a city councilmember who is a former cop who was involved with the one
where there is damaging government property because of his blood.
We have a serious issue here. And to try to make tone deaf statements,
it`s really angering when it seems no one wants to take responsibility for
what`s going on. And these numbers are -- the attorney general has known
about this. And to know that people know what`s going on, they have the
statistics. And now we have to wait for the justice department to step in.
This is why there`s been such an outcry for the community for the
department of justice and the federal government to get involved. This has
been going on too long. And nobody has wanted to do anything. We are not
going back to business as usual, Reverend Sharpton. The community is
serious about that.
SHARPTON: Now Thomas, it is a problem in Ferguson, according to what a lot
of people are saying and the numbers seem to bear that out. But it`s not
just Ferguson. Let`s look at St. Louis county. Look at the racial
disparities between police and residents around St. Louis.
In Ferguson, 63 percent of the residents are black, but 83 percent of the
police force is white. In river view, 70 percent of residents are black,
but the police department is 91 percent white. And in Dellwood, 79 percent
of the residents are black while 94 percent of the police department is
white. Isn`t it understandable residents feel upset if law enforcement
isn`t representative of their community?
HARVEY: Absolutely. I think they have every reason to be upset based on
that as well as the way they are treated when they come into contact with
their courts and representatives of the government.
I want to be clear about this, though. Our position is you can have
African-Americans on the police force and that would be a welcome first
step. But it doesn`t change some of the structural problems that are
there. I`m glad the department of justice is going to investigate. But
the way the law is developed, that the word of a police officer is favored
over the word of an individual. I`m not sure what the department of
justice can do about that.
There are some broader problems than what`s going on in just Ferguson or
even St. Louis county that need to be addressed as well. Issues of police
malfeasance aren`t new throughout the country. And it is something I am
hoping that we can address it in St. Louis county on our own.
SHARPTON: Well, I`m going to leave it there. But this is a big first
step. It`s big news. I agree with Thomas though. We have also got to
deal with the structure. We don`t want to go from white bad policing to
black bad policing. We want to end bad policing and we want to democratize
how these forces look.
Committeewoman Patricia Bines and Thomas Harvey, thank you both for your
BINES: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Coming up, a stunner in Virginia. Former Virginia governor Bob
McDonnell and his wife found guilty of corruption charges. There were sobs
as the verdict was read. We are live in Virginia with the reporter inside
Plus, fast food workers rally all over the country for a fair wage. How
might this pressure Republicans in Washington to act?
And a sad day. The world lost a comedy legend. Joan rivers passed today.
Her close friend Larry King will join me live.
SHARPTON: Former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell convicted today. We`ll
have a live report next.
SHARPTON: Breaking news tonight, a stunning fall from grace for a
Republican governor who was a rising star in the party. A man many thought
was on the fast track to the White House.
Today, a jury found former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and his wife
guilty in a massive corruption case. After three days of deliberations,
the jury found Bob McDonnell guilty on 11 counts of bribery, conspiracy and
extortion. Maureen was found guilty of obstruction of justice and eight
corruption counts. Both McDonnells started sobbing in court as the verdict
was head. Prosecutors accused the McDonnells of selling the office of the
governor in exchange for thousands of dollars worth of loans, gifts,
vacations and golf outings from a Virginia businessman. Those gifts
included this engraved Rolex worth at least $6,000.
The McDonnells presented a bizarre defense that their marriage was in such
bad shape that there couldn`t have been a conspiracy because they weren`t
even talking. The defense also suggested Maureen McDonnell was unstable.
One witness even called her a nut bag. And that she had a, quote, "crush
on the businessman supplying the gifts."
Bob McDonnell was swarmed by reporters leaving the courthouse today.
Sentencing is set for January. The couple could face decades in a federal
Joining me is Jim Nolan, reporter for the Richmond Times dispatch. He was
there in the courtroom today. And Dana Milbank from "the Washington Post."
He`s been covering the trial and the McDonnells` fall from grace. Thank
you both for joining me.
DANA MILBANK, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Hi, Reverend.
JIM NOLAN, REPORTER, RICHMOND TIMES DISPATCH: Good to be here.
SHARPTON: Jim, let me go to you first. The McDonnells were clearly
stunned by the verdict. Right?
NOLAN: No question about it, Reverend. They were absolutely stunned. The
governor`s head went into his hands the moment the first guilty verdict was
read on the first corruption charge. And it did not leave until all of the
charges were completed and he had been convicted of 11 felonies.
SHARPTON: And his reaction and the reaction of Mrs. McDonnell in the
courtroom was what after the -- all of the verdict had been read?
NOLAN: Well, certainly he did not leave -- his head didn`t leave his hands
for the entirety of the verdict. You could tell he was silently sobbing
into his hands. His wife Maureen also visibly shaken and sobbing quietly.
Two rows of family and friends seated right behind the defense table
erupted in cries of anguish, almost with each recollection of each guilty
verdict. Of course the governor himself found guilty of 11 of 13 counts.
Mrs. McDonnell found guilty of nine counts that they were charged with.
The jury, of course, we always watch this when juries come into the
courtroom for a verdict. They didn`t look at the governor or the former
first lady when they entered. And that`s never a good sign.
SHARPTON: Now Dana, you watched as this unfolded. You also watched the
career, the rise and then the fall of Bob McDonnell. Tell us your reaction
to today and you put in context what this means in terms of his career as
one of the rising stars not long ago in the Republican party.
MILBANK: That`s right. I mean, he himself said he was on Mitt Romney`s
short list to be the vice presidential nominee in 2012. And that was
indeed true. It is an extraordinary fall. When you think of it, this guy
was worried about. He didn`t have enough money to pay his home mortgage or
to cover the catering for his daughter`s wedding. And now after this
trial, he`s going to get, it looks like, up to 30 years worth of free
housing and free catering.
It`s an extraordinary turn of events. And the irony here is he had a plea
deal offered to him in December. He could have pled guilty to one count.
It wasn`t event corruption-related. His wife would have gone completely
free. Any jail time he was going to serve would be done by now. Instead,
he had a humiliating trial where all the dirty laundry was brought out
disgracing him and his wife, harming his children. And now he`s looking at
up to 30 years in prison.
SHARPTON: So Jim, he was offered a plea deal that would have saved and
spared his wife any jail time, any felony and he would have pled to a non-
corruption charge that he probably would have, the if he had jail time,
would have been completed by now. So this is not only a huge fall. He has
to oh be thinking about the fact he turned down a plea that would have been
far less than what he`s facing now.
NOLAN: Well, Reverend, I think what we have to consider is the fact that
Governor McDonnell never believed he was guilty of any of the charges. He
steadfastly maintained his innocence throughout. He accused federal
prosecutors through lawyers of essentially over expanding the federal
bribery statute to include what his attorneys called routine political
Certainly, I think the governor believed from the beginning that he was
innocent. And he also knew from a practical standpoint that accepting a
plea to any of the felony charges regardless of what it meant in terms of
the rest of the case would have effectively ended any kind of hope he would
have to rejoin society in a productive, positive way that would have
allowed him to reap some of the benefit that is many governors receive once
they leave office here in Virginia.
SHARPTON: You know, Dana, scandals are surrounding three other top
Republican governors -- Rick Perry, Scott Walker, and Chris Christie. Only
Rick Perry is under indictment. What does it mean for 2016?
MILBANK: Well, I mean, several of the guys you mentioned would have been
seen as very plausible Republican candidates. There is nobody to emerge
from the pack. And certainly, Rick Perry running under indictment is
difficult. Even if he says well, OK, this is a political vendetta of
people out to get me. There was already been a weak field to challenge
what likely will be a very strong Democratic nominee in 2016. And you
know, the culture of corruption has cut both ways against both parties.
But when you have a string of these things and, obviously, the McDonnell
thing is, by far, the most serious. It tends to have a bleed out and have
that sort of affect on a party.
SHARPTON: Jim, in Virginia you said the governor never believed he had
broken the law. What is the reaction of Virginians and what will his
legacy be in Virginia?
NOLAN: Well, Reverend, I think that`s a great question. And I think the
reaction is one uniformly I think of sadness. I think there`s always been
this perception at Virginia, they called it the Virginia way. That in
Virginia, people whether -- regardless of whether they are Republican or
Democrat found a way to get things done for the benefit of the
commonwealth, didn`t abuse the power of office they had. And certainly
this dispels the notion that vow. It is spells the notion that Virginia is
any different than any other state.
And the gift laws in Virginia have always been very lax. And certainly, I
think, that realization has come right to the forefront here with the
conviction today. The governor and first lady, the first Virginia governor
in modern history to be convicted of a felony in the state of oh Virginia,
that`s a pretty incredible thing. And I think most people, even the FBI
and the U.S. attorney for the eastern district here, described it as a sad
day for all Virginians.
SHARPTON: Incredible. Jim Nolan and Dana Milbank, thank you both for your
MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.
NOLAN: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, remembering Joan Rivers. We`ll talk to our friend,
the one and only Larry King after her life and her legacy.
Also, nationwide protests for a living wage. It`s the debate in this
midterm election and could be critical for Democrats in the fall.
And criminal charges against a Georgia dad whose 22-month-old son died in a
sweltering hot car. We`ll tell you he faces what he faces in court.
SHARPTON: Hilarious, provocative and always looking for a laugh. We`ll
remember Joan Rivers with her long-time friend the legendary Larry King.
SHARPTON: Thousands of workers across the country flooded the streets
today in the largest fast food strike in American history. Protesting in
more than 150 cities, demanding a pay increase to $15 an hour, better
working conditions, and the right to form a union. Dozens were arrested in
New York City`s demonstration. There were also arrests in Detroit and
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FLAVIA CABRAL, FAST FOOD WORKER: This is the fourth time I have been here
because I`m a mother. I have a family and I have to support them and be
with them. And I don`t have no time. Actually, I have two jobs. Part
time in the morning and in the afternoon I work at McDonald`s because it`s
not enough money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: For workers earning minimum wage or just above it, making ends
meet can be a serious struggle. A full-time minimum wage pays just over
$15,000 a year. That`s $4,000 below the poverty line for a family of
three. At a time of record corporate profits. Republicans in Washington
complain about handouts, but they refuse to give Americans a living wage.
President Obama is making it clear this issue will be front and center in
the mid-term elections. And Senator Elizabeth Warren is also pounding the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We believe that no one should
work full-time and still live in poverty. That means raising the minimum
wage and we will fight for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: But republicans have blocked the minimum wage hike. And now a
new crop of GOP candidates is threatening to take control of the Senate
with the same agenda.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BILL CASSIDY (R), LOUISIANA SENATE NOMINEE: Raising the minimum wage
works against employing those folks who had the hardest time finding jobs.
So, I think it`s actually the wrong medicine.
JONI ERNST (R), IOWA SENATE CANDIDATE: Those are entry level jobs. I
think $7.25 is a great starter wage for many high school students.
THOM TILLIS (R), NORTH CAROLINA SENATE NOMINEE: I have serious concerns
with the discussion around minimum wage. Because it drives up costs and it
could harm jobs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Today, we are exactly two months from the midterms. And here`s
what`s at stake. Is this a country for the 99 percent or for the one
Joining me now is Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, democrat from Ohio and chair
of the Congressional Black Caucus. Thank you for being here,
REP. MARCIA FUDGE (D), OHIO: Thank you for having me, Rev. It`s my
SHARPTON: You know, I want to show you a comparison. In 2013, fast food
CEOs earned around 10.8 million dollars on the average. A full-time
minimum wage worker just makes $15,000. Congresswoman, are we at a turning
FUDGE: You know what Reverend, I think it is important for us to put
things in perspective. The United States of America has always been known
to have the highest standard of living of any country in the world. So, if
we can`t say that there is a line beneath which no one should live, then we
have not been the kind of country that we say we are. We have to make sure
that everyone who works for a living has at least enough resources to live
in a decent place, to feed their families and to get back and forth to
work. You cannot do that at the current minimum wage. We must raise the
There are no ifs ands or buts about it. And all of the things that my
colleague is saying is that that it could hurt jobs and we shouldn`t put
that on businesses. When you have CEOs and others making the kind of money
they are making no one can convince me that we can`t pay people a little
more. I`m willing to pay another nickel, another dime to make sure that
people in this country can live decently.
SHARPTON: I`m going to get to the job killing thing that is being promoted
by opponents of raising the minimum wage. But let me ask you, what do you
make of today`s movement in 150 cities? Is it significant?
FUDGE: I am encouraged by the fact that people who are living below the
minimum wage, those who are barely making ends meet would get out in the
streets, stand up for themselves and say to the rest of this country, we
are not going to take it anymore. We are willing to exercise our rights,
we`re willing to say that civil disobedience may be the way that we are
going to be recognized. But whatever it takes. We are going to let
America know that we exist. And I`m very encouraged by it.
SHARPTON: Now, back to those that say this is a job killer. There is good
news for those of us that want to see the minimum wage raised. And, in
fact, we see that where we have states that have raised the minimum wage,
they are seeing job growth. First, look at the 37 state where the minimum
wage hasn`t been raised. They are seeing job growth at about 0.61 percent,
but now look at the states that have raised the minimum wage since January
1st of this year. Their job growth is higher than the other states. The
GOP says increasing the minimum wage will kill jobs, this shows quite the
opposite, doesn`t it?
FUDGE: It actually does. There has never been any evidence, no proof that
raising the minimum wage will kill jobs. As a matter of fact, data shows
just the opposite. That the more people make, the more that they put money
into the economy, and the better off we are, not worse.
SHARPTON: You know, this week on Labor Day, the president talked about
fast food protests. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: All across the country right now
there is a national movement going on made up of fast food workers,
organizing to lift wages. They can provide for their families with pride
and dignity. There is no denying a simple truth. America deserves a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Sounds like a campaign speech and campaign purpose. Is this
going to be a major part of the mid-terms, Congresswoman?
FUDGE: There is no doubt about it. We are all talking about the fact that
America deserves a raise. And I`m so proud that the president addressed it
on Labor Day. I think that all of us needs to understand that working
Americans deserve a raise. And so, it is going to be part of my platform
and of the platform of every person in Congress that`s supporting the
minimum wage raise. And I think that every single one of us needs to say
to constituents, don`t you think you deserve better?
SHARPTON: Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, thank so much for your time tonight.
FUDGE: Thank you, Reverend. A pleasure.
SHARPTON: Coming up, the dad who left his son in a hot car is charged with
murder. What happens next? But first, remembering the one and only Joan
Rivers with Larry King. That`s next.
SHARPTON: Sad news in the entertainment world this evening. Comedy legend
and TV personality Joan Rivers is dead at the age of 81. She died this
afternoon in a New York Hospital, surrounded by family and close friends.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, the daughter of Russian immigrants fell in
love with performing at an early age. She got her big break when she was
discovered by Johnny Carson in 1965. And for the next two decades, she
stepped in for Carson as guest host of "The Tonight Show" on countless
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Here`s Joan Rivers!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: It was her unique ability to make fun of herself, her plastic
surgery, and her personal life that made her comedy come to life and made
her a favorite with comedy fans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOAN RIVERS, COMEDIAN: Can we talk about Beverly Hills High School? I`m
telling you. Every other kid is pregnant. The school mascot is a dead
rabbit. I mean, it`s crazy.
I started out, I worked clubs. I worked a mafia club. We passed the hat
and pieces of Jimmy Hoffa would come back.
My house is so filthy, Michael Jackson puts on both gloves before he walks
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: In recent years, Joan continued her stand-up comedy shows and
became the chief fashion commentator on E Network`s "Fashion Police." And
earlier this year she made her triumphant return to "The Tonight Show,"
appearing in a bit on Jimmy Fallon`s first show.
JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": My buddy who said I would never be
the host of "The Tonight Show" and you know who you are. You owe me a
hundred bucks, buddy.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: This afternoon, her daughter Melissa read a statement saying,
"My mother`s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that
is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return
to laughing soon." She made us laugh for years. And the laughter will
always continue when we remember Joan Rivers.
Joining me now is Alicia Quarles, correspondent for E! News. She joins us
live from outside the hospital where Joan Rivers passed earlier today.
Alicia, thank you for being here.
ALICIA QUARLES, E! NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Thank you for having me.
SHARPTON: Tell us what the scene is where you are this evening.
QUARLES: The scene is very much like it was when Joan was admitted to the
hospital last week. Except the tone is entirely different. There is a lot
of media here, there are fans here. And also Joan`s home is right around
the corner, this is her neighborhood so people are coming out, you know, in
mourning, in shock. When she first got here we were all in shock but there
was a sense of hope. Joan has been through so much. And we know she`s a
fighter. Today it`s shock mixed with just sadness.
SHARPTON: Now, many in the entertainment world had tweeted, said their
tributes to her, there are few people that had such affection and such high
regard from their peers in the entertainment world, Alicia.
QUARLES: Absolutely. I think also, you know, Joan has had so many careers
and paved the way from the great highs with Johnny Carson to the great lows
when she, you know, went on and did the talk show and he didn`t give her
"The Tonight Show." Also she mentored so many people. I`m one of them.
You know, she had me in her home giving advice. I know friends that have
had thanksgiving dinner in her house when they didn`t have anywhere else to
go. So, she`s beloved not by the entertainment industry but by many people
around the world because of her kindness, her spirit.
SHARPTON: Alicia Quarles, thank you for your time tonight.
QUARLES: Thank you, Al.
SHARPTON: Joining me now is legendary broadcaster Larry King. This
afternoon he tweeted, "Joan Rivers was a dear and wonderful friend who I
have known for 45 years. Great guest, pal, comedian and mother. We will
never see her likes again." Larry, I`m sorry for your loss, first of all.
Tell us what your fondest memory of Joan was.
LARRY KING, LEGENDARY BROADCASTER: There are so many, Al, it`s impossible
to put together. We first met in Miami about 45 years ago. She did my
radio show there, my television show. Both were local. Then she did my
national radio shows where you were on many times. She did my CNN shows.
She`s been with me on Larry King now, on the Internet. I have spent many
hours with her, been at her home. Dined with her. Saw her a couple of
months ago here in L.A. at dinner. She was a terrific, terrific lady.
She was so funny, and so caring. She loved her daughter and her grandson.
Her terrible moment in her life was when her husband Edgar killed himself.
She never forgave him for doing that, never forgave him. The Johnny Carson
thing was so sad because she substituted for him so many time, had been on
the show so many times. Then she took a deal with FOX which only lasted a
year, but she never spoke to Johnny again. He would never take any of her
calls. He expected her to call him before she signed that contract.
So, that dispute lasted forever. And it was very smart of Jimmy Fallon to
have her on the night that he took over the show. You know, there was
nobody like her. She was funny, she was caring, she was almost always on.
She was a tireless worker. She did an overnight show, she did a stand-up
show the night before she had the heart attack. She was scheduled to do
one the next night. She was a trooper right to the end.
SHARPTON: She was very unique in her -- being a comedian as well as a
personality. What was her uniqueness? You have seen them all, you`ve done
them all. The historic, the legendary and those that thought they were
legendary. What was unique about Joan?
KING: She had took no personal, Al. You should never take it personal if
she attacked you because she attacked everyone, including herself. She
made fun of her own plastic surgery. She made fun of whatever it is to
attack, she attacked. And so she was on the money. A couple of lines I
will give you. She gave me one. She said that when Botox goes bad, you
look like Cher. She said there will never be a woman Jewish terrorist
because no Jewish woman would put a bomb in her own Gucci bag. It`s so
relevant, it`s so on the money. It`s caustic. She was right there. I`ll
tell you this out. Whenever anyone in the future will mention the name
Joan Rivers, people will smile. She brought the gift of laughter to us.
And you can`t beat that.
SHARPTON: Like you and I, she came from Brooklyn. How do you explain her
lasting so long? Her longevity is amazing.
KING: That`s correct. Sinatra once said there is a lot to be said for
longevity. Don`t knock it if someone has been around 50 years. They`re
doing something right. And Joan Rivers did a lot of things right. And
Brooklyn was at the core of it. You know, Brooklyn was a special place to
come from. I treasure the fact that I grew up there. She did, too. There
is nothing like being from Brooklyn. Brooklyn is so hot now, she would
make fun of that. At the end of the day, she said, you can`t get, people
go now to the Upper East Side because they can`t get a place in Brooklyn.
SHARPTON: And she had a real energy. I met her once or twice with James
Brown and others. And she just had an energy. And she wasn`t intimidated
by anybody. She didn`t care. She was just Joan Rivers.
KING: Correct. Nobody intimidated Joan Rivers. She was a spunky,
terrific lady. She was something. She was really special. You know, some
people come along and you say you will never see their likes again. You
will never see her likes again.
SHARPTON: Let me say this quickly. You mentioned it. But I want to just
ask you. Johnny Carson discovered her. But then he wouldn`t speak to her
after she took that show on Fox opposite him. Did that really hurt her?
KING: It did. It hurt him, too. He thought she could have called him
before she took that deal. He expected her to call him, not to sign a
contract without him knowing. She was hurt because she thought he would
just be happy for her, that she got the success because of him and he would
be happy. So, it was two ships passing in the night.
SHARPTON: In the end, how do you think that the world and the
entertainment world in particular will remember Joan? What`s her legacy?
KING: That she set the tone. She made it possible for all these young
female comics that around now to stand on a stage and do stand-up. She was
an original. And she`ll never be forgotten.
SHARPTON: There will never be another Joan Rivers, you tweeted today. Do
you see in any way, shape or form people taking pots at Joan Rivers that`s
out there today or is she so unique that we should just not even try to see
parts of her in others?
KING: The only one I would mention would be Sarah Silverman. Sarah
Silverman has a lot of Joan Rivers in her. And Sarah would tell you that
she owes a lot to Joan.
SHARPTON: Well, you were her dear friend. And we appreciate you sharing
your thoughts of your dear friend, the one and only Larry King. I`m sorry.
KING: Pleasure being with you, baby.
SHARPTON: Thank you. Good of you to come. Thank you for your time
tonight. We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: The Georgia dad who left his 22 month old son in a sweltering
hot car has been indicted. Today a grand jury charged Justin Ross Harris
on eight counts including three murder charges for the death of his son
Cooper. Back on June 18, Harris left Cooper in the back of his car all day
long. It was 88 degrees outside. And likely much hotter than that inside
the car. Harris claimed he forgot to drop Cooper off at day care on his
way to work and discovered his son`s lifeless body in the back of the car
later that afternoon.
Investigators looked into the father`s secret online activity including
searches he made for the time it takes animals to die in hot cars. Days
before the tragedy. As well as pick-up sites police say, he used to send
naked pictures to a girl as his son was dying in the car. Today Harris`
attorney said this was a horrible, gut-wrenching accident. If convicted he
could face the death penalty. We`ll continue to follow this
SHARPTON: Finally tonight, we are taking a deeper look at why today`s
civil rights investigation into Ferguson police is not only right but
necessary. Last week, The Washington Post published an op-ed on the
recurring backlash to progress in American history. We sought this
backlash with the civil war when the slaves were freed and the constitution
amended to guarantee their rights. But then lawmakers created so-called
black codes that criminalized blackness, passing laws to usher in decades
of Jim Crow. We saw this backlash again with Brown versus Board of
Education, integrating public schools. Mobs tried to stop black children
at the schoolhouse door and lawmakers stripped funding from schools that
followed the Brown ruling. Politicians like George Wallace proclaimed
their view of the future.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE WALLACE, 45TH GOVERNOR OF ALABAMA: I draw a line in the dust and
toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny and I say segregation now,
segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: As Professor Carol Anderson wrote in the post, the years passed,
the language of the backlash later grew more subtle. The powerful GOP
consultant, Lee Atwater talked about this change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEE ATWATER, GOP CONSULTANT: You start out in 1954 by saying (bleep),
(bleep). By 1968 you can`t say (bleep). That hurts you, backfires so you
are say stuff like forced bussing, states` rights and all that stuff and
you`re getting so abstract. Now you`re talking about cutting taxes --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: And we have seen the backlash again with another leap forward.
The inauguration of Barack Obama. Suddenly politicians were pushing voter
I.D. Laws. The Supreme Court gutted the voting rights act. And we saw a
surge in police profiling and laws like stand your ground. Two steps
forward, one step back. But with passion and vigilance we do move forward.
As Dr. King said, the arc of the moral university is long but it bends
toward justice. There are those that are determined. There are those that
will not back up and try to push back those steps of progress. We must
show more determination. We must show more will. We must make sure
America keeps moving forward, no matter how hard the task. We must make it
a better nation for everyone and show we can be better and we can do
better. Look how far we`ve already come.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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