The Ed Show for Monday, October 6th, 2014
Read the transcript to the Monday show
THE ED SHOW
October 6, 2014
Guest: Ivan Oransky, Corey Hebert, Tim Ryan, Terry O`Neill, Sarah Slamen,
Vanessa Perez, Dean Obeidallah, James Peterson
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC HOST: I`m Michael Eric Dyson, live from
Washington D.C. Let`s get to work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALI KHAN, FORMER OFFICE OF PUBLIC HEALTH PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE
DIRECTOR: It`s a disease that`s brand new to the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here`s the reality, it`s going to get worst before it
KHAN: We need to help people understand.
GOV. RICK PERRY, (R) TEXAS: We have learned a lot about the unique
NANCY L. SNYDERMAN, NBC NEWS CHIEF MEDICAL EDITOR: I was in an Ebola ward
the other day and I was in a typical hazmat suit that Americans are now
accustomed seeing aid workers in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The American photojournalist infected with Ebola in
West Africa arrived back in the U.S.
DIANA MUKPO, ASHOKA MUKPO`S MOTHER: He`s enormously relieved to be here.
KHAN: We can provide extraordinary care to these patients.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell me to always suit-in in a Tyvek suit from head to
THOMAS FRIEDEN, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION DIRECTOR: It`s
really understandable that people are scared.
PERRY: Washington needs to take immediate steps.
FRIEDEN: It`s really important not just to Africa but to the U.S. and the
world that we stop the outbreak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: We begin tonight with breaking news. Just moments ago, President
Obama said he`s looking at new measures to protect Americans from Ebola.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Procedures are now in place
to rapidly evaluate anybody who might be showing symptoms. We saw that
with the response of the airplane in Newark and how several hospitals
across the United States have been testing for possible cases. One of the
things that we discussed today was how we could make sure that we`re
spreading the word across hospitals, clinics, any place where a patient
might first come in contact with a medical worker to make sure that they
know what to look out for and they`re putting in place the protocols and
following those protocols strictly.
And so, we`re going to be reaching out not only to governors and mayors and
to public health officials in states all across the country but we want to
continue to figure out how we can get the word out everywhere so that
everybody understands exactly what is needed to be done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: On top of that news, we have other major developments on Ebola at
home and in West Africa. NBC News` freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo has
returned to the United States. We should point out Mukpo had been
freelancing for NBC News for only two days. That means he contracted the
virus before he joined NBC. He will be treated at the Nebraska Medical
Center where he will be kept in specialized containment unit.
Mukpo was able to walk off the plane under his own power before being put
on a stretcher for the ambulance rides to the hospital. Mukpo was the
fifth American who have been infected with the virus. Earlier today, his
family updated the media on their son`s condition.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUKPO: He`s enormously relieved to be here. Of course, it`s still quite
frightening, but he`s hanging in and he sounds very strong and I think he
sure is in the relief and the rest of his family that he`s been able to
come back for good medical treatment here.
MITCHELL LEVY, ASHOKA MUKPO`S FATHER: He looks strong. He walked off the
plane, gingerly waved to us as we saw him from a distance wheeled into the
room and, you know, he`s tentative and frightened but I think he`s strong
and his symptoms are not more advance than when he -- when I talked to him
before he left which is a real relief to us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Over in Dallas, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United
States has taken a turn for the worst. Thomas Duncan`s condition has been
downgraded to critical. Today, doctors said they are giving him an
experimental medication. There have been no other cases of Ebola in Texas.
Meanwhile in Africa, the outbreak shows no signs of slowing. Over 3,400
people have died with over 7,000 infected. On Sunday alone, 121 deaths
were recorded in Sierra Leone with 81 new cases in a single day. Here at
home, Americans should be thinking about a completely different disease.
The Enterovirus D68 outbreak is threatening kids across the country. So
far, there have been 538 cases of the respiratory disease nationwide and
one death in New Jersey. Four-year-old, Eli Waller died in a sleep on
September 25th. He was showing no signs of the disease before his death
but he was showing symptoms of pink eye.
Doctors believe it was as a rapid onset of the disease. The Enterovirus
mostly affects small children and schools around the country are on the
alert. Unfortunately, there is another outbreak going on in the U.S. that
is completely preventable. There have been 592 cases of measles in the
United States this year, up from below 200 last year. This comes after the
disease was eliminated in 2000.
Officials say it`s because of people not properly vaccinating their
children. Some people think early childhood vaccinations lead to autism.
Doctors say it`s completely false. A 2013 study cited by the CDC shows no
link between autism and child vaccines. The CDC strongly encourages
parents to vaccinate their children against all deadly diseases.
For more, let me bring in Dr. Ivan Oransky, Ebola expert and Vice President
of MedPage Today. And Dr. Corey Hebert, Professor of the LSU Health
Dr. Oransky, you first, how worried should Americans be about Ebola because
we seemed to be pretty nervous?
IVAN ORANSKY, MEDPAGE TODAY VICE PRESIDENT: And great to be here, Michael.
Thank you. You know, it`s reasonable to be quite nervous about anything
that you hear about in terms of an outbreak. This has infected and killed
thousands of people already.
But in fact, in terms of the U.S., I don`t think that there`s a major huge
risk as long as we can continue to contain it and monitor it. The real
focus should be on West Africa, on Liberia and other countries where if we
can put the sort of fight to Ebola there and do everything that we can to
contain it there then we can hopefully prevent and I think we can prevent a
real outbreak here.
DYSON: (Inaudible) as Dr. Hebert, but the point is that many people have
said well they have done a good job of kind to keeping things down over
there, as a result of that it`s spread has cause quite a bit of alarm here
in America and other places.
ORANSKY: It has caused a lot of alarm but keep in mind that Ebola is not
as easily transmissible as a lot of diseases that kill us, say the flu for
example or measles that, you know, you mentioned at the top of the hour.
So, this is something that again, if we can sort of do the ounce of
prevention being a pound of cure elsewhere and we should be really going
over there and helping to do that then we can see -- we`ve probably we`ll
see some more cases here that seem someone inevitable.
In fact, the first case as we described it, that daytoday.com was basically
an inevitable here in the U.S. But,] seeing lots more of them seems quite
unlikely if we can marshal our forces the right way.
DYSON: Dr. Hebert, should the average parent out there be more worried
about the Enterovirus D68 or Ebola?
COREY HEBERT, WDSU CHIEF MEDICAL EDITOR: Well, let`s talk science here
really. I mean there are mathematical terms for things like this and it`s
basically called "or not", OK, it`s like a mathematical term that say, how
contagious a disease is? And basically it means how many people will be
infected if one person -- Ebola is like around -- OK, or two, the measle is
a RAT, think about that. So, we should really have to go through and
reemit so many protocols if we just stick to the protocols that we have
because -- we would -- about that patient -- in care there is -- and talk
DYSON: So, in American -- those diseases that we can`t prevent?
HEBERT: Well, you know, I don`t want to say its paranoia because as you`ve
mentioned the Enterovirus and, you know, millions of people get the
Enterovirus every year. People already talked about that either. What we
must do is just to know that people shouldn`t panic, but we got to remember
that, you know, we`re in the media, people do get nervous because they only
get snippets of things that they really need to understand. So, they don`t
understand the full thing. But the reality is that we have to make sure
that people get the real deal and that`s why it is great to have shows like
this so the people can get the real information.
DYSON: Sure. Dr. Oransky, what do we know about the treatments that the
patients here in the U.S. might be receiving?
ORANSKY: So, there are two treatments that are not yet approved by the FDA
for Ebola. So they`re in testing for actually for numbers of diseases
including Ebola and today, we learned that Brincidofovir, which is a drug
and again, is not approved for Ebola, it`s actually developed for other
viruses but it shows a lot of promise in the test tube in the lab, is now
being used for the gentlemen in Dallas.
They`ve run out of a treatment called ZMapp which again has a lot of
promise and both of these are being fast tracked by the FDA. But we don`t
have enough of either of them right now and the question is can we ramp up
production in order to -- if we do see a lot more cases, treat those cases
effectively? But, at the end of the day, the most effective thing that
these hospitals and this would be true in Liberia and elsewhere, is to
contain this, is to have precautions, is to have isolation units that work
properly. And that`s really were we have to focus our attention right now.
DYSON: Dr. Hebert, I want to pick up on something that Dr. Oransky said
earlier and by asking you, compared to the flu, just how contagious is
HEBERT: Well, I mean it is contagious but we know that you must have
direct contact with bodily fluids and then a regular hospital and not to
making an E.R. reuse those types of universal precautions everyday all day
or were supposed to be using them. And so that`s the bigger issue for me,
we have to do what we`re supposed to do. But, Ebola is contagious. And
the thing about Ebola is that it causes a hemorrhagic fever.
So when you get it, the odds are that it`s a lot more fatal that some of
the others, but let`s not forget that there`s a disease called subacute
sclerosing panencephalitis, say that bad, that the measles causes if you
don`t get -- if you don`t get your measles vaccine. So, let`s rein it back
in and let people know there are things that you can prevent. Ebola is one
of them, measles is one of them. Get your vaccinations and expand
Affordable Care Act so we get more nurses at the hospitals. How about
DYSON: Dr. Oransky, when do you think we will see a shift for the better
in the West African outbreak?
ORANSKY: You know, so we start to predict how these things will go. I
think Dr. Hebert makes an -- a lot of excellent points about the spread in
the "or not" as he put it, we doctors, let to talk about all this technical
terms together. But in fact, you know, it`s just very hard to predict when
a disease will take its course, when a -- when epidemic or pandemic will
likely to take its course. But to all of those things, we`re going much
more quickly if we can contain it, if we can get the right person out
there, the right equipment and all of that in the treatment if necessary.
DYSON: All right. Dr. Hebert, I want your reactions of the record number
of measles cases this year. What do you see here? What do you think --
accounts with the spike in those numbers?
HEBERT: You know, what you can`t do, you can`t unfire a gun and that`s
what has happened. There was a -- an erroneous study that was done a while
back that actually showed that the measles vaccine -- that MMR cause
autism. That has been proven false, OK?
So now, people that are much more educated like in LA and New York are not
vaccinating their children. And what is happening is that we`re having
outbreaks all over the country. I ask people right now. Please, vaccinate
your children. Know the information, if you want to...
DYSON: Where did the start, though? Where did that notion start that the
vaccine causes autism?
HEBERT: There was a British doctor, were name -- nameless, who actually
did a study and then he, you know, was -- it was proven that that study was
not done appropriately and he`s the -- he was a doctor and now he is not a
doctor. Let say, his life was taken.
DYSON: All right.
HEBERT: But the point that there are a lot of people that out there that
follow this because they don`t want to endanger the children, but we must
know that it is not the case. I`ve read in several book -- several studies
about that -- about the fact that this is not the case.
DYSON: All right. Dr. Oransky, are you confident the U.S. Medical System
will stop Ebola here in the United States?
ORANSKY: You know, as I mentioned, I never make predictions. I think it`s
quite dangerous, I thought the Yankees never even predict they`re going to
win every year and who knows, of course, they didn`t.
ORANSKY: But I think that it is definitely we`re going to help ourselves
if we can take appropriate measures and really take the battle to Liberia
and to Western Africa as Michael Smith did reports on Ebola and other
infectious diseases, talked about in medpagetoday.com. Then you take all
of that and then take precautions in this country and we`re still figuring
out what those exactly are in terms of screening. It`s really tricky to
screen for something that has symptoms that sound a lot like a lot of other
symptoms. But we can do it and there are ways to start doing that. And
then, if we can do all that -- take the appropriate measures at the
hospitals, as Dr. Hebert points out, you know, communication is so
And if this particular hospital apparently really was enough to snap and
this hospital had other issues as well in the past with patient privacy and
what have you -- I think that we can sort of do what we need to do. And
we`re not going to zero cases, I don`t think it`s realistic to say we`re
not going to see anymore case of Ebola in the U.S. But it is realistic to
say we can do the right thing and keep it to a minimum number.
DYSON: Well, if you think your Yankees are doing bad, look at my Tigers in
that -- but that`s another story.
Dr. Ivan Oransky and Dr. Corey Hebert, thanks for your time tonight.
ORANSKY: Thank you.
HEBERT: Thank you, Michael.
DYSON: Coming up, Reince Priebus thinks anti-abortion laws cannot be filed
under the word compassion in the dictionary. The Rapid Response Panel
But first, Republicans call for a travel bans to Ebola stricken countries.
Stay with us.
DYSON: Welcome back to the Ed Show. President Obama plans to send over
3,000 military personnel to West Africa and contribute at least $500
million in aid to suppress the Ebola outbreak. CDC officials say they are
confident there won`t be an outbreak in the U.S. but the government`s
response to the epidemic met sharp criticism from Right Wing politicians.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s beyond time that the Obama administration
to stop these flights from these countries where you got this epidemic.
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI), HOUSE OF BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: The question
that I think a lot of people kind of have in their minds is, "What do you
do with a person who is going to get on a plane in West Africa and come to
America?" Should there be a quarantine time period or something like that?
SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY: Imagine if a whole ship full of our soldiers
gets Ebola? So now, I am concerned about this and it`s a big mistake to
downplay and act as if, "Oh, this is not a big deal. We can control all
this." This could get beyond our control.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: The only confirmed case of Ebola in the United States is in Texas.
Governor Perry has addressed Ebola concerns without inciting panic while
the State Senator took the low road. Ted Cruz pinned a letter to the FAA
where he too inquired about plans to limit or suspend the air travel from
countries experiencing significant Ebola outbreaks. The alarms rung by
conservative politicians are amplified by media outlets. This morning, Fox
News` Elisabeth Hasselbeck spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National
Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELISABETH HASSELBECK, FOX NEWS HOST: Why not? Just as a precaution until
we get things under control.
ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES HEAD:
HASSELBECK: Seal off the border temporarily.
FAUCI: Yeah. Well, from a public health standpoint, that really doesn`t
make any sense, you can`t get supplies in. You can`t get help in. You
can`t get the kinds of things in there that we need to contain the
epidemic. And the best way to protect America is to suppress the epidemic
in West Africa.
HASSELBECK: What about a partial ban? Closing of our borders at travel?
FAUCI: Of closing of our borders, you have Americans there, you have
business people there, people of dual citizenship who have to go back and
forth, it`s completely impractical and in fact, from a public health
standpoint, it`s not helpful to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: The politics of fear continue to hang over the dialogue on the
Joining me now, Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio. Congressman, do you think
the government response has been adequate to this particular outbreak --
this particular potential outbreak?
REP. TIM RYAN, (D) OHIO: Well, it seems it has been and we have some of
the best public officials -- some of the best public health experts I
should say, involved in this scenario. We have the United States military
going over there, helping to try to set up camp and basically build public
So this is a very difficult task and I find it very ironic that the very
political party and politicians who are criticizing every single step,
every single move that`s being made as I said by some of the best public
health officials in the world are the same people that voted to cut, you
know, over $500 million from the Center for Disease Control budget over the
last four or five years, over $440 million from the National Institutes of
Health that could be doing potential research on these kinds of issues to
help solve these problems, you know, the CDC is about a billion dollars
less in preparedness money than they had, I think back in 2002. So these
folks who are lobbying these criticisms at the administration and at the
CDC, they`re very ones that cut the budget.
DYSON: Sure. And when I said the potential outbreak, I was referring of
course here in United States of America. We know there`s an outbreak there
in Africa or West Africa. Can we do more and what would you like that to
RYAN: Well, I think first of all, beefing up the budget for the CDC and
doing more research at NIH and in partnership with the CDC to try to solve
some of these problems. We`ve got to rebuild our public health
infrastructure here in the United States and it`s not as easy as saying,
OK, planes can`t come in from Africa into the United States so we`ll just,
you know, maybe build another wall and hope that that fixes the problem and
it seems these simple solutions don`t work.
And Michael, the real issue here is there has been a disinvestment in the
pubic health infrastructure in the United States. You take any issue,
whether it`s the infrastructure in the United States, disinvestment from
public side and roads and bridges and airports, water lines, sewer lines
combined sewer, we need to rebuild the United States. Decimation of the
public health infrastructure here in so many different ways as I mentioned,
the cuts of the CDC and the National Institutes of Health.
You also take the issues that we have with food. Daily, we`re saying
recalls, whether its beef or beef jerky just in the last couple of days
that food is getting recalled all the time. We have 3,000 people die a
year for food borne illnesses. About 128,000 people go to the hospital
because of it. So all of these issues are signals to us as a public.
You know, what are you going to do with your big tax cut if you`re in the
top 1 percent if you get Ebola? You know?
RYAN: And I think we need to reevaluate what we`re doing here as a country
and there are certain investments that we have to make and so I think beef
up the CDC, let`s invest in the research and development, let`s rebuild our
public health infrastructure all across our states and reinvest back in the
United States in the other ways as I said, roads and bridges and some of
the other things that we have to do.
DYSON: Sure. Well, the conservatives attacking President Obama`s response
to the outbreak are all prospects for 2016. Do you think they`re using a
medical emergency for political gamesmanship?
RYAN: Well, you know, it -- I want to say no. I can`t get into their
heads but if at every single turn, no matter what the President says,
they`re lobbying criticisms, positioning themselves. We see it in foreign
policy, it use to be politics end -- ends at the water`s edge and we all
get behind the President and support him. You have this issue here. It`d
be nice that -- support the President for a major global public health
initiative. If they want to do something, be supportive.
Look, for example, Michael with the surgeon general nominee, Vivek Murthy.
November 2013, she was nominated. We still don`t have a surgeon general
because of the politics that these folks are playing in the United States
Senate of watching her nomination, eminently qualified to hold the
position. So it does seem at every turn, they`re making criticisms of the
President to score political points. Meanwhile, we have a public -- a
global public crisis here.
DYSON: Right. Fox News Houston, Former Governor Mike Huckabee says he
can`t trust the government response to Ebola, take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS HOST: I`m feeling a little sick myself. But it`s
not Ebola. I`m just sick of a government that I`m paying for telling me
not to worry and just trust them. I wish I could, but if they`ve
repeatedly lied to me I just don`t believe them anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: What`s your reaction to that statement from a former government
RYAN: Well, here you go. This is the Republican play. They`re a one
check phony. They cut these, the budget of these agencies, like the Center
for Disease Control over $500 million in the last four years. They cut the
NIH budget by $400 and $47 million in the last four or five years. And
then, they turn around and say, "Look, they can`t do their job." You know,
this was the same issue when Wall Street collapsed.
They completely defunded the regulatory arm that was supposed to be
watching Wall Street and then they turned around and said, "Look, the
government doesn`t work." You know, I think the American people are
catching on here. You can`t catch -- cut the budget and then say, "Boy,
they can`t do the job." You know?
RYAN: And then that`s basically what they`re doing. I think it`s
completely irresponsible from Governor Huckabee who, you know, I think as a
governor, recognizes that the government and there are public investments
that need to be made and he should understand that better than most but
again, he should make any money and score on political points and he`ll get
another book deal and he doesn`t really care, doesn`t seem to care, you
know, what the effects are to the American people or the public health of
our -- of some of our fellow global citizens in Africa and around the
DYSON: All right. Congressman Tim Ryan, thank you so much for joining us
RYAN: Great to be with you.
DYSON: Coming up, Reince Priebus thinks restrictive Abortion Clinic Laws
in the Lone Star State are inactive Republican compassion. The Rapid
Response Panel weighs in.
Plus, George Will takes a segment on Ebola to strange places. He lands in
But next, I`m taking your questions, Ask MED Live is just ahead. Stay
DYSON: Welcome back to the Ed Show. We love hearing from our viewers.
Tonight in Ask MED Live, our question is from the Liberal. "Do you think
Scotus` quick ruling on marriage equality was to motivate Republicans for
the midterms?" You know, I can`t read those and bring courts collective
mind in that sense but what I`m glad they did is really not rule on this
and therefore, allow gay marriage to occur on the state level. That then
supports the argument that states have the right and I`m surprised that the
Republicans are mad at that because now it`s a matter of state`s rights.
But they want to appeal to the Supreme Court when the law doesn`t work in
their favor. Which one is it? Are you for federal intervention? Are you
for the state ruling through the Supreme Court? Are you for a state`s
rights? I`m just glad at the end of the day that gay people can get
married like everybody else and do their thing and thank God for that
Our next question is from Jerry. "Michael, do you think Congress should
investigate overpricing in higher education?" They darn should be, I mean
obviously, prices are spiraling out of control. We want all of our
children to get a great education but if we have an elevated tuition level,
the load is born by a very -- the most people who are poor in this nation.
The rich can always get an education, those who are middle class and those
who are poor, not so much.
So yeah, we got to do something to relieve the burden on the poor.
Our last question is from Allen. "My wife said she wants you to grow your
mustache back. What does you wife say?" Well, the Reverend Marcy Louise
Dyson is the reason I cut this off in the first place. You know how it is.
You got to obey the boss.
Stick around the Rapid Response Panel is next.
HAMPTON PEARSON, CNBC MARKET WRAP: I`m Hampton Pearson with your CNBC
Stocks end today slightly lower ahead of the official start of burning
season. The DOW falls 17. The S&P sheds three. The NASDAQ sinks 20
Shares of Hewlett Packard jumped nearly 5 percent today. The company says
it will split in to two separately traded companies.
And Hilton is selling its land mark Waldorf Astoria New York hotel to a
Chinese firm for nearly $2 billion. The deal is the biggest ever for a
single U.S. hotel.
That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.
DYSON: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Some are calling the situation in
Texas urgent after a Federal Appeals Court gave the State the green light
to enforce strict Republican back to Abortion Clinic Laws. But according
to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, shutting down 13 of the states 20 remaining
abortion clinics is just an active Republican combustion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: One of the things about the
Republican Party is you don`t like -- the business is a abortion clinic.
80 percent of these abortion clinics in Texas are going to be basically out
of business because of this new law. Too much regulation, is that fair?
Why regulate on the abortion issue now until maybe the law is -- maybe that
-- and wait until the Supreme Court -- you win a fight in the Supreme Court
where you outlaw abortion on together. Why restrict the business now in
the State of Texas.
REINCE PRIEBUS, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Well, I mean, you
obviously have to talk to someone in Texas. But the fact of the matter is
that we believe that any woman that`s faced with unplanned pregnancy
deserves compassion, respect, counseling, whatever it is that we can offer
TODD: But 80% of those clinics are gone.
PRIEBUS: It`s something that...
TODD: ... so they have to drive (inaudible) for that compassion?
PRIEBUS: No, look. Don`t forget the issue -- listen Chuck, the issue for
us is only one thing and that`s whether you ought to use taxpayer money to
fund abortion. I mean that`s the one issue that`s -- that I think
separates this conversation that we`re having.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Joining me now is our Rapid Response Panel, Sarah Slamen, Field
Director of the Fort Bend Democratic Party in Texas, Dr. Vanessa Perez,
Associate Professor at Brooklyn College and Terry O`Neill, President of the
National Organization for Women.
Terry, the Hyde Amendment already bars the use of federal funds for
abortion, do you think Priebus was purposely misrepresenting the law or do
you think he simply just doesn`t know that are in facts.
TERRY O`NEILL, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN PRESIDENT: Well, probably
don`t. I think that he obviously doesn`t know that one in three women will
have an abortion by the age of 45 so that abortion care is actually a
necessary and common aspect of women`s basic reproductive health care.
You know, this is the same party that has tried to restrict women`s access
to birth control. 98 percent of women utilize birth control in this
country. This is the same party that the home of Senator Jon Kyl of
Arizona who wanted to exclude child birth services from the Affordable Care
Act`s list of basic things that insurance companies have to cover. This is
a party that simply doesn`t want women to have access to reproductive
DYSON: Yeah, it seems pretty clear. So Sarah, what will the closures of
these clinics really mean for the women of Texas?
SARAH SLAMEN, THE FORT BEND DEMOCRATIC PARTY FIELD DIRECTOR: The closures
of these clinics mean that women will be forced to give birth and there is
nothing compassionate or respectful about forcing Texans to give birth
against their will.
Abortion rate isn`t going to down. The legal abortion rate is going to go
down. Women are going to cross the border and they`re going take poison
and they`re going to ask their husbands or boyfriends to push them down the
stairs, there`s nothing compassionate or respectful about that.
DYSON: Yeah. It seems pretty clear. Dr. Perez, in light of the kind of
compassionate conservatism that is being practiced by the Right Wing. Do
you think this leans itself to people who direct their energy against those
practices, in other words would it really inspire a social movement down
there in Texas and across the country so that women link arms with other
people who are interested in protecting their rights?
VANESSA PEREZ, BROOKLYN COLLEGE ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR: I`m really hoping
that it does. I mean there`s -- if nothing else good comes out of this,
I`m hoping that it will mobilize women to say, you know, it`s really time
to put stop to this. Let`s get out to the polls and vote and change things
in Texas because it`s really striking when you look at a map of Texas and
see the way that the numbers of these clinics have shrunk.
And particularly, along the border you know, there are no clinics left and
so this is really hopefully going to move and incentivize women to say, you
know, this is enough. It`s time for us to stand up and get to the polls
and vote and there are organizations that -- in Texas that are really doing
this kind of work particularly advocacy work with Latinas and I`m hoping
that they`ll be able to get more Latinas out to the polls.
DYSON: Sure. So, Terry O`Neill, do you think that this will really
eventually make it to the Supreme Court?
O`NEILL: You know, I think it will. I think that the anti-abortion
advocates are insisting eventually that some case gets to the Supreme Court
where the Supreme Court will be asked to overrule Roe versus Wade. We know
that the Supreme Court under John Robertson`s highly criticized, that he
has a conservative political agenda that he is pushing through and imposing
on the United States even though it`s clearly not the role of the Supreme
But I believe that this highly criticized Chief Justice does intend to at
some point address abortion and try to push for an overruling of Roe versus
DYSON: So what kind of role Sarah, do you see women`s health playing in
the upcoming midterm election because obviously this is a hot-button issue
but there are several others.
SLAMEN: You`re already seeing it push people across the line. I know
that in my county, a candidate just had the polls on and the top two
questions I got voters` attention across the political spectrum was do you
think the Republicans have intruded too much in women`s health decisions
and both side said yes.
You know, when Reince Priebus goes on and misrepresent HB2, add something
anything to do with the Hyde Amendment, it just shows how little respect
they have for Texas women and their families and they`re feeling that. You
know the fact that we already have to go to the doctor for this woman right
to know act, they get to be treated like children and wait 24 hours and we
have to wait longer to get abortions being gone in our State. We`re tired
of this disrespect and it is pushing us to poll and that`s why you see so
many women`s advocacy group coming out and this new plan paranoid both
initiative in Texas. All these groups gathering around to assemble the
women who are frustrated because HB2 was done to us a big capital and we`re
going to end it at the capital when we elect Wendy Davis and Leticia Van De
DYSON: From your mouth, to some people`s ears including God for those who
were on the right side, or in this case on the left.
DYSON: Dr. Perez, you mentioned earlier about Latinas, there`s a
particularly sensitive issue in terms of religion. Many people appeal to
religious conservatism where a people including Latinos and other Catholics
obviously are serious about the precious right of life on the one hand and
the other, at the same time those same Republicans who appealed to the
religious sensibilities don`t think about the economic and socio
consequences of living in poverty after people abort.
So how do you deal with the religious tensions that are inherent in this
PEREZ: You know, I think that for Latinas what we know is that -- first of
all Latinas make a 40 percent of the women in the State of Texas so they
are an important group that are being affected by these new laws. The
research does tell us that Latinas as the longer they spend in the United
States so in other words Latinas who are born here in this country versus
immigrant Latinas do over time become more open to going to abortion
clinics or using abortion services when they are necessary.
They also are open to working with -- unfortunately many of them turn to
other forms of illegal abortions that are practiced in Latin America so
they look for different solutions from across the border. So one of the
things that we know is that we really need to -- there needs to be more
education on this issue, Latinas often don`t have the kinds of access to
education around sexual reproduction and sexual health.
And so these are topics that needs to more widely broached with Latinas in
the State of Texas and across the country really.
DYSON: Right. Great. Terry O`Neill, so if you were Chuck Todd yesterday
speaking to Reince Priebus, what would your follow question have been in to
response to what Priebus said?
O`NEILL: I might to said to Mr. Priebus, do you really know what`s in the
Texas law and do you really think as already been said, do you really think
the driving 300 miles and forcing women to do not have access to basic
health care, do you really think that that shows compassion and can you
explain why your party is not only opposed to women having access to
abortion but also access to other forms of reproductive health care
including birth control as well as child birth services?
Why would the Republican Party be so opposed to women having access to
basic health care? I also might ask him do you not understand that
reproductive health care is basic health care for women.
DYSON: Amen to that. Sarah Slamen, Dr. Vanessa Perez and, Terry O`Neill,
thank you so much.
PEREZ: Thank you.
DYSON: Coming up, celebrity fight club, comedian Bill Maher scrutinized
over. He spoke, grows and raises criticism of Islam. Stay with us.
DYSON: In Pretenders tonight, Conservative columnist George Will will join
the panel on Fox News Sunday to discuss the U.S. government`s response to
Ebola. So of course George Will complained about effort to address sexual
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE WILL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: U.S., can we trust the government to do
its job? That isn`t his job nowadays? I just made up a list of it. It`s
fine-tuning the curriculum of our students K through 12. It`s monitoring
sex on campuses.
It`s deciding how much ethanol we should put in our gas tanks. It`s has
designed our light bulbs and its worried sick over the name of the
Washington football team. Now, this is a government that doesn`t know when
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: George Will is the one who doesn`t know when to stop. When he
talks about monitoring sex, he is tribulizing this administration`s
unprecedented investigation into our college campus handle sexual assault
George Will has purposefully misinterpreted and misrepresented the issue
every step of the way dismissing the statistics and ignoring the very real
trauma of sexual assault which brings the question and begs it to "What is
George Will`s job nowadays?"
If George Will thinks he can trust or we can trust him to do his job as a
journalist at this point, he can keep on pretending.
DYSON: Welcome back to the Ed Show. The battle against ISIS is impacting
the world`s view of Islam.
Actor Ben Affleck, TV host Bill Maher and Author Sam Harris had an
explosive exchange during the HBO Show Real Time on Friday. Maher said
liberals are afraid to speak out against the religion and that directly
contradicts liberal principles. This is where Ben Affleck jumped in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAM HARRIS: We have been sold this meme of Islamophobia, where every
criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry toward
Muslims as people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
HARRIS: It`s intellectually ridiculous even it gets...
BEN AFFLECK: Hold on -- are you the person who understand the officially
codified doctrine of Islam? Can you interpret what or you could say what
HARRIS: What are you -- I`m actually well educated on Islam.
AFFLECK: I`m asking you, so you`re saying if I criticize that, you`re
saying that Islamophobia is not a real thing.
HARRIS: I`m not denying that certain people are bigoted against Muslims as
BILL MAHER: Right.
HARRIS: ... that -- and that`s a problem.
HARRIS: But the -- We have to...
MAHER: But why are you so hostile about this concept?
AFFLECK: It`s gross, it`s racist.
MAHER: It`s not. But it`s so not.
HARRIS: Then we have to be able to criticize bad ideas and.
AFFLECK: Of course we do, (inaudible) but why would...
HARRIS: OK. OK. But Islamophobia is the motherload of bad ideas.
MAHER: So we have...
AFFLECK: It`s an ugly...
HARRIS: I`m positive, if you don`t understand my argument...
AFFLECK: Your argument is, "You know, black people, they shoot each
HARRIS: That is not my argument...
MAHER: No, it`s not. No, it`s not, it`s based on fact. I can show you a
Pew poll of Egyptians. They are not outliers in the Muslim world. That
say like 90 percent of them believe death is the appropriate response to
leaving the religion. If 90 percent of Brazilians thought that death was
the appropriate response to leaving Catholicism, you would think it was a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: The Late Night host responded in an interview with Salon saying,
"I`m the liberal in this debate."
And I see it -- And as I see it, this is not a question of liberalism.
It`s a matter of categorizing an entire group based on a few radical
people`s actions and beliefs.
The conversation will no doubt continue.
Joining me now Dean Obeidallah, Columnist for The Daily Beast, also James
Peterson, MSNBC contributor and Lehigh University Professor.
Dean, is this debate about Western liberal values or should we be able to
criticize Islam? Is there a contest and a conflict between liberal values
on the one hand and the ability to criticize a religion on the other?
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, THE DAILY BEAST COLUMNIST: No. You can criticize any
faith that you would like to or I would ask for Bill Maher. And, you know,
what`s troubling for me is Bill Maher. I admired him on so many issues.
As a progressive, I`ve watched his show.
I think he is funny. I think he`s very smart at times but this issue have
been creeping up for years with these problems on Muslims.
You can criticize Islam. It`s about doing it responsibly like don`t pick
and choose facts and cherry-pick facts that define us by our worst example.
So we don`t want that. No man in the world wants that.
So that`s our fight against that. Not about criticizing the practice on
the faith in certain countries like Saudi Arabia, we`re making a tribe.
That`s outrageous. That`s the only Muslim country at a 47 Muslim majority
countries that does it.
Why allow that to define us? Why allow radicals in certain partials to
define us? That`s what we`re fighting against.
DYSON: Dr. Peterson, you know, Ben Affleck there made an allusions to
African-American people saying, you know, and he`s going into obviously a
steer of typical wrath about black people to show how ridiculous this was.
Do you see a parallel between the kind of bigotry that was, you know, used
to explore black identity on the one hand and the way in which Islamophobia
has operated in this country?
JAMES PETERSON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yeah, it do mean -- I think first of
all to think Islamophobia is not a meme, right? It has impact and I think
part of with this several things lacking from this conversation. One,
there`s no Islamic folk or Muslim folk in the conversation.
PETERSON: Number two was action from it is a sense of the ways in which
governments and things like poverty and economics shape the capacity for
Islam to over determine the ways in which people think. And so we talk
about Saudi Arabia all the time and remember that`s the government using
Islam to oppress women, right?
The government of United States used religion to oppress folks too and has
done so historically. So, I think that the very, very comprehensively here
and if you just narrow it down to the so called extremist or to terrorist,
you cannot confuse those folks with Islam proper. I think Ben Affleck is
right here but also there are too many things missing from this
conversation, economics, government critique and really people who practice
DYSON: Yeah. Dean, what about that? Because if you`ve said Bill Maher
has been liberal -- has been patron saint of liberals for so long, what you
do think he is missing here? I mean, some people would say, well look he
is brave because he is speaking about a kind of self-critical perspective
of liberals who are loved to even criticize Islam on the one hand and yet
at the same time, there`s a lot that reinforces the bigotry of the larger
culture out there as well.
OBEIDALLAH: Look, I`m a Muslim and if people are pretty free to criticize
actually, it`s no bravery involved. You just turn on Fox News you`re
seeing a nightly basis phantom.
OBEIDALLAH: I`m not even exaggerating to be quite honest with you.
OBEIDALLAH: And what -- the press was absolutely treating how the panel
talked two shows in a row talking about Islam. You don`t have one Muslim
on the panel. It`s like another Cable News channel have any discussion
about black issues, African-American issues and having all white people to
discuss it. Have us on the show.
Let`s have a real conversation so it`s responsible. So people can learn
about our faith. There was a poll -- and I tell you about a poll that Bill
Maher hasn`t talked about -- a poll this summer. 60 percent of Americans
had never met a Muslim. They have no Muslim friends. So how are we
defined? By mainstream media, by people like Bill Maher, Fox News, TV
shows like Homeland and of course the terrorists out there.
And the result is there`s no counter-narrative of other human being like I
want to be your Muslim friend if you don`t have one, I`ll be your friend on
Twitter or Facebook. I would rather ask you questions than let Bill Maher
or Fox News answer your questions.
DYSON: Right. Right. We`ve said that Bill Maher get Dean on.
OBEIDALLAH: ... it`s someone.
DYSON: That`s a sort of guy and he will have a counterfeit, he will have a
viewpoint that will become available.
Dr. Peterson, what about this? The reality is that there`s a lot of
uneasiness out here now because of ISIS and what the people see on TV and
yet at the same time this is a religion that is ancient, that is honorable,
that is vulnerable. What is it that we get confused between the two? We
don`t know what`s the Christianity because there`s a lot of terrorism going
on and being promoted in the ideal movement and white supremacists goods
within Christianity itself?
PETERSON: That`s true. I think -- well, one it`s harder to be critical of
ourselves and of the religion that`s most predominantly practiced in the
U.S. which is Christianity but you`re right. We`re talking about
oppressing women and we talked about being homophobic. We can look right
home. We don`t have to look across the seas in order to see that.
I think the reality is that folk have been mystified by the media campaigns
of certain terrorist groups. ISIS is the most current example of this but
it`s very, very effective at terrorizing folks through media and through
media images. And our media is very, very effective at sustaining that.
You know, if you think about even the ways in which you commemorate 9/11,
I`m going to get a lot of flack for this but the ways commemorate 9/11 is
by showing the destruction of those buildings which is from the perspective
of terrorist exactly what they want you to do. As often trying to avoid
these beheading videos, all similar log but people are circulating them and
they keep replaying them and so that`s imagery that sticks. Unfortunately,
we don`t have enough counter-Americans when it comes to Islam.
DYSON: All right. Well, two counter-Americans came here tonight. I
appreciate you gentlemen. So very kindly.
OBEIDALLAH: Thank you.
DYSON: And I want to say to Dean, one more thing before we leave, is this
debate a good thing? Do you think this is positive?
OBEIDALLAH: I think that we have a responsible debate. If you want to
talk about the laws in implementing in certain Muslim countries, that`s a
fair debate. I will have that all day. I don`t think there should be
honor killings. We may be able to drive not be mandated to cover up.
And if you look at on so many other Muslim countries, Indonesia, the most
populous Muslim country in the world, you don`t have any of those issues at
PETERSON: That`s right.
DYSON: All right.
OBEIDALLAH: So it`s specific to the country.
DYSON: All right.
OBEIDALLAH: That`s it.
DYSON: Dean Obeidallah, James Peterson thank you so much for your time
PETERSON: Thanks, Doctor.
DYSON: That`s the Ed Show. I`m Michael Eric Dyson. Ed will be back
Politics Nation with the Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.
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