All In With Chris Hayes, Friday, October 31st, 2014
Read the transcript from the Friday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: October 31, 2014
Guest: John Yarmuth, Katha Pollitt, Keith Cowling, Elizabeth Plank, Dorian
Warren, Brittany Cooper
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
GEORGE WHITESIDES, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF VIRGIN GALACTIC: Space is hard,
and today was a tough day.
HAYES: A test plane for space tourism crashes in the Mojave Desert,
Then, a judge decides between the state of Maine and nurse Kaci
Plus, breaking news of accusations of voter suppression against Mitch
McConnell in Kentucky.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to do better
because women deserve better.
HAYES: The importance of women`s votes in the midterms and the
backlash to a video showing street harassment in New York.
Then, how did they do that? Two members of OK Go join us to explain
their new video.
And what not to wear. We look at Halloween dos and the Halloween
please, please, please don`ts.
ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Breaking news tonight on one of the most hotly contested midterm races
in the country: Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes of
Kentucky is suing her opponent, Senator Mitch McConnell, over a mailer his
campaign sent out in Eastern Kentucky that looks like an attempt at voter
suppression, designed to resemble an official notice of some sort.
It says "election violation notice". The mailer warns recipients that
its contents relate to a possible fraud and goes on to list the alleged
lies told by Alison Lundergan Grimes, which it describes as fraudulent
Now, the Grimes campaign says it has filed for an injunction in
circuit court, accusing Kentucky GOP and the McConnell campaign of trying
to suppress voter turnout in the eastern part of the state, in violation of
state law. Grimes campaign manager telling "The Louisville Courier
Journal", the campaign has been receiving phone calls from voters worried
they will be violating the law if they go to the polls on Tuesday, thanks
to this mailer.
The Republican Party of Kentucky dismissed the allegations saying in a
statement, quote, "Alison Lundergan Grimes spent hundreds of thousands of
dollars smearing Mitch McConnell and his wife, but she`s upset about a
mailer that holds her accountable for her blatant falsehoods."
Joining me now from Louisville, Kentucky, Democratic Congressman John
Yarmuth. Here in New York, MSNBC national reporter Irin Carmon, who has
been reporting on this lawsuit.
Congressman, I`ll begin with you.
Your reaction to the mailing and the lawsuit.
REP. JOHN YARMUTH (D), KENTUCKY: Well, I think first of all, what it
reflects is absolute, total desperation on the part of the McConnell
campaign. I mean, what they have seen, and there is other evidence to
support this because he spent five days in the last two weeks in Eastern
Kentucky, which he needs to carry by an overwhelming margin. And he knows
he`s slipping there. That`s why he spent so much time there.
But this is just -- I mean, so despicable to the mailer which says
election violation notice. It cites a statute that talks about six months
in prison. And for somebody who is not particularly savvy, this is a total
voter suppression. I mean, this is scare tactics.
And it`s only being sent in to Democratic counties in Eastern
Kentucky, again, where he needs to carry the region by a big margin.
HAYES: Irin, you were just down there. You were just reporting on
this. What do we know about this mailer, where they came from, and what
the Grimes campaign case against it is?
IRIN CARMON, MSNBC NATIONAL REPORTER: So, a slight correction. It
actually was not sent out by the McConnell campaign.
HAYES: By the McConnell, yes.
CARMON: It was sent out by the state Republican Party. They`re the
named party in the suit.
Basically, what they`re saying is that there are false and defamatory
statements made about Alison Lundergan Grimes and further, there is voter
intimidation. They`ve also filed a complaint with the secretary -- the
board of elections, rather.
Something really important to know about this is that Kentucky has one
of the highest rates of felon disenfranchisement in the country. Almost
one in four African-Americans in Kentucky cannot vote. So, it is not an
unheard of idea in Kentucky you might be violating some kind of election
HAYES: Right. So, there`s already this sort of pre-existing notion
that it might be illegal for you to vote, right, if you have been convicted
of certain crimes. And then you put -- to me, what`s sort of the
congressman used the word despicable. What`s gross about this mailer is
the font and the citing of statute.
I mean, you can send out a total hit job as Alison Lundergan Grimes
that didn`t look like that, and no one would raise an eyebrow.
CARMON: Right. I think the fact that it cites a completely
irrelevant statute about tampering with the mail that mentions the six
months in prison that is particularly terrifying, and the fact it`s in the
context that Grimes needs African-American voters to win. It`s already an
issue that so many African-American votes are counted out by these felon
disenfranchisement laws which Grimes said that she opposes. And so, it
creates an environment already of fear and potential suppression.
HAYES: Is the law with them on this?
CARMON: So, I talked to one law expert on this so far, (INAUDIBLE)
Loyola Law School, and she thinks the judges are highly reluctant to give
temporary restraining orders because they potentially restrict speech. She
thinks the fact they`re probably not on their side, but what the lawsuit
does do is show that they`re taking this very seriously and amplify the
issue of voter suppression in the election at large.
HAYES: Yes, Congressman, what do you say to that? I mean, the First
Amendment is there for a reason. People get ugly in campaigns. Is this
really a legal matter? Or is this just something worthy of condemnation or
ridicule or, you know, criticism?
YARMUTH: I think it`s a close call, Chris, but what the lawsuit is
stating or the injunction request is, that this is essentially tantamount
to forging a government document. It has a return address of Frankfort,
Kentucky, the capital of the state. Again, it does cite the statute, even
though it`s irrelevant. I mean, it`s not relevant to the charge that`s
made in the mailer.
But I think one of the most important points is the mailer says this
was approved by the McConnell campaign. And so, there`s going to be a
hearing at 9:00 Monday morning.
Again, I think this is one of the dumbest political moves that`s ever
been made in any race. I mean, why would you risk this?
Again, I think it`s a matter of desperation. The legality of it, I
think, becomes relatively unimportant. But this is, again, about as low as
you can go in trying to scare voters, talking about election violations,
and sending it in to homes presumably, at least as far as we can tell, in
Democratic counties in Eastern Kentucky.
HAYES: Yes, a strange move, if nothing else, in a race that many of
the forecasting models show strongly favoring McConnell, polling numbers
showing him up -- an odd thing to do, to sort of stoop to this level, if
you`re cruising to victory.
HAYES: Congressman John Yarmuth, Irin Carmon, thank you both very
YARMUTH: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: President Obama was in Rhode Island today, campaigning for
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo, who is quite controversy
among a lot of Democrats for leading an effort to cut public employee
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: While many women are working hard to support themselves and
their families, they`re still facing unfair choices, outdated workplace
policies. That holds them back, but it also holds all of us back. We have
to do better because women deserve better, and by the way, when women do
well, everybody does well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In an attempt to rally voters in a blue state, the president
emphasized fair pay and other workplace policies like paid family leave.
Just one of the issues around gender equality and women`s choices that
Democrats have been campaigning on aggressively in this midterm cycle. In
fact, they seem to have put those issues at the forefront of their pitch to
voters more than ever before, with Democrats in key Senate races running
ads specifically aimed at women.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dan Sullivan and Mead Treadwell have positions
on women`s health that are truly frightening.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tom Cotton also voted in Congress against equal
pay for women.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congressman Cory Gardner`s history promoting
harsh anti-abortion laws is disturbing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For women and families, Speaker Thom Tillis has
a record you should check.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And, Mitch, real Kentucky women know better.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HAYES: Hillary Clinton has taken up the theme while campaigning on
behalf of Democratic candidates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Some may wonder why Mark
Udall has stressed women`s rights in his campaign. I want you to
understand that as far as I`m concerned, and as far as Mark is concerned,
when he fights for women`s rights, he is fighting on the frontier of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, it`s no mystery why Democrats are set on wooing women
voters. In 2012, they were key part of the coalition that re-elected
President Obama, with women favoring the president by an 11 percent, while
men favored Mitt Romney by 7.
But this year, Republicans haven`t given us a Todd Akin or a Richard
Mourdock moment to make the whole party look bad, and they have run some
women focused ads of their own.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As a strong Kentucky woman, I`m voting for Mitch
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m voting for Mitch McConnell.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because he believes in me and he works for us.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: I`m Mitch McConnell and I approve
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, somehow the Democrats` advantage with women has shrunk,
while the Republican advantage with men is stronger than ever. In the most
recent ABC News/"Washington Post" poll, women favored a generic Democratic
candidate by just five points while men favored a Republican by 17 percent.
Joining me now, Katha Pollitt, columnist for "The Nation", and her
fantastic new book is called "Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights." Everyone
should read it. It`s really an argument changer, I think.
It`s wonderful to have you here.
KATHA POLLITT, THE NATION: Thanks so much for having me.
HAYES: OK. Here`s the paradox.
HAYES: I feel like people such as yourself, outspoken advocates on
behalf of women`s equality, women`s rights, and reproductive choice have
been saying for years, Democrats need to get out of the offensive crouch,
they need to affirmatively make the case. And it kind of seems like
they`re doing that this election cycle and yet, the polling is running
against them in the wrong direction among women.
How do you -- how do you understand that?
POLLITT: Well, I just want to say something about the poll you
referenced there. That`s a generic poll of the Democrat versus the
Republican. That`s not the same as who you`re going to vote for.
POLLITT: And in some very important state races like in Iowa and in
Colorado, there are enormous gender gaps.
POLLITT: So, that`s one piece of it, we really don`t know.
HAYES: In those actually really contested races that this is actually
having an effect.
And then, there`s another thing, too, which is Alison Lundergan
Grimes, for example, won`t even say who she voted for. You know?
HAYES: Right, that`s right.
POLLITT: There`s this funny thing happening where, yes, birth
control. Yes, pay equity. But then the larger -- the larger case kind of
falls in a gap sometimes. As they try to maneuver themselves like, you
know, the rich man through the needle.
HAYES: That`s right. So, the issue here, and the thing you talk
about in your book, the argument you make, is people don`t make the
affirmative case for abortion as a good.
HAYES: Yes, you will never see any candidate ever saying that.
But it does feel that the Democrats own sense of which side of the
culture war politics favor them on women`s issues has shifted over time,
wouldn`t you say?
POLLITT: Well, I think, yes, I think it has. I think that they`re
beginning to realize, wow, women. We should appeal to them.
POLLITT: You know? They don`t just do what their husbands tell them.
And we`ll find out in, you know, Tuesday --
POLLITT: -- if that`s effective, where they have tried that.
But there`s another piece of the gender gap which people don`t talk
about so much, and I think that`s so strange, which is men. You know, in
some of these races, men are more Republican than women are Democrat.
HAYES: Yes. Men are just -- men as a whole, and men in even in
groups when you break them up into smaller groups are just very
conservative. I mean, they`re much more conservative than women. They`re
more conservative on issues. They vote more Republican reliably.
POLLITT: Yes, and you`ll notice the Republicans don`t come out and
say, men, vote for us.
POLLITT: You know? We`ve got to put the women in their place.
HAYES: Court the men vote.
POLLITT: Yes, but another thing that is happening which really makes
me wonder about people, if this can be effective, which is Republican
candidates with very long, firm records against abortion rights and against
pay equity, are now sort of like, who, me?
POLLITT: It`s incredible. Cory Gardner --
HAYES: In Colorado.
POLLITT: -- in Colorado, who supported a Personhood amendment and is
still signed on to a Congress version of a Personhood amendment, which, you
know, would ban --
HAYES: Which is the most extreme form of anti-abortion policies you
POLLITT: The un-implanted fertilized egg is a person.
POLLITT: So, now he says, oh, well, I don`t support that because I
suddenly realized it would ban birth control.
POLLITT: Well, you know, why did it take him so long to realize that?
HAYES: So, you`re watching them sort of in some ways successfully
moonwalk away from the positions.
POLLITT: Scott Walker is doing the same thing.
POLLITT: He signed a bill two years ago that got rid of Wisconsin
state pay equity law. And now he says, oh, pay equity, it`s great.
HAYES: I favor it. Right.
That`s a good point, part of the success the Republicans have has been
un-muddying the waters precisely on this issue.
HAYES: Katha Pollitt, the book is called "Pro". It`s really
provocative. It`s a phenomenal read like everything Katha writes. You
should pick it up.
Thank you very much.
POLLITT: Thanks so much for having me.
HAYES: All right. The commercial space program has had a very rough
week. First, there was the explosion of the unmanned cargo rocket carrying
supplies to the International Space Station. Then today, a deadly crash on
air aircraft designed to take paying customers into space next year. The
HAYES: We haven`t forgotten tonight is Halloween, even though we`re
all here at work right now and I`m not with my two adorable children. So,
to get into the spirit, we`re going to present the first ever annual ALL IN
Halloween costume court in which we rule fair or foul on some costume
ideas, like this number -- yes, that`s a baby dressed up as a cigarette.
Not my kid.
Stay tuned for more of that.
HAYES: Earlier today, a prototype commercial spaceship from Virgin
Galactic called SpaceShipTwo, seen here in a successful flight in January,
where it broke the speed of sound, crashed in the Mojave Desert, killing
one pilot and injured another, and dealing a significant blow to Virgin
Galactic`s efforts to bring commercial passengers into space.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE WHITESIDES, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF VIRGIN GALACTIC: Space is hard,
and today was a tough day. We are going to be supporting the investigation
as we figure out what happened today. And we`re going to get through it.
Future rests in many ways on hard, hard days like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Galactic, is now headed
to Mojave, California, in the wake of the accident. The flight originated
at the Mojave Air and Space Port, about 95 miles north of Los Angeles, and
crashed roughly 25 miles northeast of Mojave, shortly after an in-flight
anomaly was reported at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time.
SpaceShipTwo, which is designed to carry six passengers and two
pilots, is part of an ambitious effort to provide what is being called
commercial space travel. While the flights are not meant to reach the
height of the space shuttle, a traditionally transatlantic commercial
flight rises to a cruising altitude of between 35,000 and 39,000 feet. You
can see it on the bottom. And Virgin Galactic is attempting to take
passengers up 100 kilometers, or 328,000 feet above sea level, where
passengers would experience the sensation of weightlessness.
Tickets for a SpaceShipTwo flight are $250,000 per seat, and the wait
list reportedly includes Ashton Kutcher, Lady Gaga, along with more than
700 other people.
Today`s crash came on the first test flight in more than nine months
as Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites, the company that designed and
built SpaceShipTwo, were doing the first in-flight test of a new fuel
mixture designed to boost performance. This crash comes on the heels of
Tuesday`s explosion of an unmanned cargo rocket carrying supplies to the
International Space Station, which blew up shortly after takeoff.
Joining me now, Keith Cowing. He`s editor of NASAwatch.com. A former
NASA employee and a close observer of Virgin Galactic.
Keith, do we know anything at this point about what actually caused
the crash? Is it the suspicion that it was the new kind of fuel they were
KEITH COWING, NASAWATCH.COM: Well, you know, this is a Twitter world,
so we all sort of look at stuff in real time on Twitter and I just saw some
pictures that although no official cause has been, you know, released and
they`re just starting to look at the wreckage, everybody is calling some
explosion. Well, I look at the pictures and I don`t see anything
exploding. I see the vehicle breaking up for some reason, and then I see
the wreckage on the ground and I don`t see a lot of scorching.
So, that`s it. That`s my guess on the whole thing. A lot of people
much smarter than I am are going to look into this.
HAYES: So, this -- let`s talk about the aeronautical engineering
challenge that in order to bring this kind of commercial space flight. You
can`t do what NASA does because what NASA does, which is they fill up these
huge rockets around the shuttle, fill them with fuel and then you get rid
of them, right? You never use them again, and it`s very expensive.
That to do a commercially viable version, you got to build an aircraft
that you can get up there, have it cruise, have it land, and have all the
parts essentially be recoverable for the next flight, right? Isn`t that
the kind of main challenge, the problem they`re trying to solve here?
COWING: Yes, there`s two ways, one like Elon Musk is doing where you
use the big rockets, but you make everything come back and be reusable.
There`s the word, reusable.
In this case here, this is an old concept where you take a lot of the
spacecraft up, you dump the spacecraft itself, which is this little thing,
which is done kind of like the X-15 was done back in the day, and then you
do your trip.
The trick is getting enough energy out of the propulsion system,
getting a spacecraft that is light enough to do this and doesn`t get beat
up such that you can`t use it again. And that`s sort of three difficult
things and they`re trying to do them all at once.
So far, they have gotten pretty close. But as today shows, maybe they
have a bit more work to do.
HAYES: Well, what is the timeline here? I`m fascinated by the fact
there seems to be the emergence of a competitive market for this. You
know, you mentioned SpaceX, there`s Virgin Galactic, and Virgin, I think,
was talking about the possibility of flights in March 2015. Am I correct
COWING: Well, you know, a lot of this new space thing, you`re like,
well, it`s different than what was done before, but it`s not, but we have a
A lot of what they`re doing here is you`re seeing real commercialism
come in here. A lot of people say NASA is behind this. NASA had nothing
to do with this company.
And, you know, like any company trying something new, the investors
and customers say when are we going to fly? You sit there and think, third
quarter of next year. It becomes a mantra after a while.
Of course, Sir Richard is ever the optimism. He wants to get on the
thing and go. And the folks actually building it say, you know, we have a
little more to do. They`re inching or were inching, and this morning very
much closer to actually starting to do the flights.
So, you know, it`s a mixture of marketing and technical reality and
just keeping the buzz going, and you know, at the end of the day, people
have to buy tickets to go on this thing. So, you`ve got to sort of keep
the interest going with a real product.
HAYES: That`s right. And also, how do you think today`s news,
someone died today. Another pilot was injured. I mean, it`s a horrible
And, you know, a reminder that this is high-stakes stuff. High-stakes
difficult stuff, and NASA engineers will tell you that after watching their
colleagues die on live television. Do you think this changes the
calculation of whether this is actually commercially viable in terms of
people`s safety risks?
COWING: Well, in terms of safety, I have taken the training. I have
been in the centrifuges, they spun my 50-something-year-old body up and I
got out and did pull-ups. Virtually anyone can do this.
I don`t have the discretional income to perhaps do it, but others do.
So, there`s a market out there and all you have to do is read the magazines
in the airplanes and limos and somebody will pay for something. There is a
And, of course, you`ve got to take that potential with -- yes, but is
there actually a way to meet this? And in many ways, it`s not like any
other product, look, Elon Musk and his Teslas. The first one, nobody could
afford it. Now, it`s getting it there fast --
HAYES: That`s right.
COWING: -- because of the success of the first one.
So, either you get it right or you don`t. And these guys are sort of
at the cusp of getting to the point where they can actually show they can
do it, but you know, a lot of the headlines say they`re flying an untested
Yes, that was the point. They were flying an untested motor. That`s
how you do it.
HAYES: A reminder today of the risk of that.
Keith Cowing, thank you very much.
The nurse that was quarantined first in New Jersey and almost in Maine
after she returned from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone got some
good news today and I will tell you what it is next.
HAYES: Health care worker Kaci Hickox is free tonight. The nurse
returned to the U.S. exactly one week ago from treating Ebola patients in
Sierra Leone has now successfully stared down two Republican governors who
tried to quarantine her -- governors who coincidently were on the campaign
together a few days ago.
First, she pushed back against Chris Christie whose quarantine policy
landed her in a tent without a shower last Friday. She then tested
negative for the Ebola virus and Christie relented and Hickox left for her
home in Maine on Monday, where that state`s governor, Paul LePage, who was
up for reelection, wanted to make Hickox stay quarantined at home by
seeking an immediate court order. Hickox and her lawyer were defiant,
saying the state of Maine did not have the legal authority to restrict her
And today, a Maine district judge agreed that a quarantine was not
necessary to protect the public, writing that Hickox currently doesn`t show
symptoms of Ebola and is therefore not infectious.
That seems pretty cut and dried there. But the judge went a step
further, "We would not be here," the judge wrote, "unless Hickox
generously, kindly and with compassion lent her skills to aid, comfort and
care for individuals stricken with a terrible disease. We need to remember
that we owe her and all professionals who give of themselves in this way a
debt of gratitude."
The judge adding that "misconceptions, misinformation, bad science and
bad information being spread from shore to shore in our country and the
court is fully aware that people are acting out of fear and this fear is
not entirely rational."
A couple hours ago, Kaci Hickox told reporters she was mindful of such
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KACI HICKOX, NURSE: I was very impressed to read that portion of the
judge`s statement, and I completely understand that fear is fear. And so,
as far as specifically where I`m going to go, again, I don`t plan on trying
to create more fear in this community and Ft. Kent, but I think this was
just an important day for public health.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: For his part, Governor LePage expressed his disappointment in
the judge`s decision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: I`m a little disappointed, but the
monkey`s on his back, not mine. He made the decision. We will abide by
REPORTER: But you`re disappointed in that?
LEPAGE: Sure, I am.
LEPAGE: Because we don`t know what we don`t know about Ebola.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Judge`s ruling stands until a full hearing on the state
quarantine position, that is scheduled for Election Day next week.
You know, sometimes, it`s amazing what can happen when you simply call
the bluff of the people in power.
HAYES: Have you seen the video of a woman walking around New York
City for ten hours? You probably have.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing today?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Smile.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE; What`s up, beautiful. Have a good day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, what`s up, girl? How you doing? Somebody is
acknowledging you. For real?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God bless you. You have a good day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Damn girl.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE; You don`t want to talk because I`m ugly? We can`t
be friends or nothing? You don`t speak? If I give you my number, will you
talk to me? No?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m too ugly for you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That video was made by the nonprofit Hollaback, an anti-street
harassment organization and organization and marketing agency. The
encounter shown on the viral sensation ranged from almost on the edge of
polite, maybe, to just outright menacing.
As of right now, it`s been viewed on YouTube almost 25 million times
responses run the gamut from praise to the predictable death threats
against the actress featured in the video, and of course the typical idiocy
we have come to expect from certain Fox News personalities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, I`m not going to condone it, but I will tell
nothing was disrespectful there. There were a lot of people saying god
bless. You look fantastic. They were very complimentary.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She got 100 catcalls, let me add 101.
Damn, babe, you`re a piece of woman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It`s also a very interesting and important critique of the
politics in the video. Something I noticed right away, and actually was
the reason we didn`t show it on the show the first time around. Because it
shows a white woman walking around New York City being approached mostly by
men of color who are featured more prominently in the video.
In response to that criticism, Rob Les (ph) who director the video
quote, "we got a fair amount of white guys, but for whatever reason a lot
of what they said was in passing or off camera or was ruined by a siren or
a noise." The final product, quote, "is not a perfect representation of
everything that happened."
Hollaback said they, quote, :regret the unintended racial bias in the
editing of the video that over represents men of color.
Joining me now, Britney Cooper, assistant professor of women`s and
gender studies and Africana studies at Rutgers University and co-founder of
the Crunk Feminist Collective. It`s such a pleasure to have you here,
BRITTANY COOPER, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: Glad to be here.
HAYES: So, your reaction to the video?
COOPER: You know, my first reaction is, it`s terrible that this woman
walked around the city and was harassed for hours on end. I`m a feminist.
I`m a woman. That matters to me, that women should be allowed to occupy
public space. So certainly, I care about the racial politics of this, but
I`m really tired of men,
particularly men of color, using racism as an excuse for sexism. Right?
So the idea that because we have this myth of the black male rapist
and this myth of black male criminality that we can`t have a real
conversation about how not just white women but women of color are
frequently harassed as they go about their daily lives should be a part of
And so in this moment, they want to use this sort of politics of
racial manhood to...
HAYES: This is interesting. i didn`t think this is where you were
going to be on this.
COOPER: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Because you know what, because people don`t harass me a whole lot
because I`m a person of size and so that gives me a little bit of
protection in some ways. I`m from some of this, but for many of my friends
and colleagues and women whom I
love, this is a constant and recurring reality for them. And the way that
Is have seen men talk about this, they have said things like, well, you
should want compliments. If you want to find a man, why aren`t you open to
But when I`m just trying to get to the store or get on the bus, then
your compliments to yourself.
HAYES: Yeah, I thought -- so I think, the first time we saw it, we
about doing it. And I didn`t like the -- I didn`t like the embedded racial
politics of it precisely because it did feel a little bit like -- because
of the way, whether the street she was walking on, the editing of it, I
have seen cat
calling from a wide range of men, from all walks of life. I have seen like
rich old dudes do it. You know, it`s not some subtype, and so I felt like
there was a misrepresentation a little bit in that video that made me
uncomfortable or made me feel like if we showed it, we were not accurately
displaying the problem in all its complexity.
At the same time, part of I think the reason this video is so
effective is that I think a lot of men who are just, like, perfectly well
meaning dudes just have no idea.
Like, if you walk around as a man in the world, in the public world,
you just don`t notice it. And unless you`re around a woman in certain
contexts where she`s
getting cat called, but if you`re walking with her and she`s your partner,
it happens less, if ever. It`s a hard thing to see.
So, like the hidden camera aspect of it is very effective.
COOPER: So there are actually two parts to this. One is there are
racial politics but it`s not just about men of color. The other racial
this are white women appear the most vulnerable to these menacing men, but
this happens to women of color, and women of color have been on the front
lines. Three years ago, at the Crunk Feminist Collective we published a
video that girls for gender equity did where they had black teenage girls
talking about being harassed and that video does not have 25 million hits.
So, there`s this issue of how we see the vulnerability of women and
of color in particular that is also being abridged from this conversation
because we`re talking about racism towards men of color.
The second thing here is that we just need to have this sort of
broader conversation, like, I think that there should be coalition politics
where I expect men of color to be saying, well we`re fighting for the right
to occupy public space
without being harassed by police, and so we understand your desire to
occupy public space and not be harassed.
HAYES: But then when you get, you this Joyce Carol Oates tweet, which
sort of confirms everyone`s worst fears about having women interpret this,
which is would be surprised if women walking alone were harassed in
affluent midtown, New York City, Fifth Avenue, Park Avenue, Washington
Square Park, et cetera, which was like an SMH moment.
COOPER: Yeah, I talk with me -- I have intro women`s and gender
studies students at Rutgers this semester, we talked about this, but they
were actually really progressive and many of the young men in the room
said, I make it my business when I`m with my women friends to walk them to
their cars, because I know they`ll get cat called if that doesn`t happen.
HAYES: And let me just put this button on it, there`s room for debate
thing on New York Times, like should we criminalize cat calling? Let me
just go ahead and, no, that`s a terrible idea.
Brittany Cooper, thank you.
COOPER: Thank you.
HAYES: OK. OK Go has an amazing new music video out -- I know, I
know, who still watches music videos. I`m a child of the `90s. i can`t
But the OK Go has managed to completely reinvent the genre. Two of
the band`s members are going to be here to talk about that next.
HAYES: Breaking news tonight. In a story we first told you about
earlier this month, a U.S. Marine veteran who has been held in Mexico for
seven months after crossing the border with loaded guns and ammunition is
about to be freed.
A spokesman for the family of retired marine Sergeant Andrew Tom Areesy
says the Associated Press -- tells the Associated Press tonight that a
Mexican judge has ordered the immediate release of the 26-year-old. Tom
Areesy has said he crossed the border accidentally after getting lost on a
HAYES: On cable TV, 24 hours a day, just like cable news.
The era of the music video is basically over. For me, I suppose I was
last wave of Americans that was music video obsessed, you know just sit
around, actually watch music video after music video when you were 13 or
14. That doesn`t really exist anymore. They`re still out there, in Vevo
or YouTube, but they just don`t have the same impact they once did. With
one big exception, the music videos by the band OK Go.
The pop band has managed to reinvent the form and make it awesome
again. Here`s a sampling of two of their earlier videos.
By the way, that last one you just saw is this Rube Goldberg machine
taken in one take in real time.
So, here`s a clip from their latest.
And it`s still going.
Joining me now are two of the members of OK Go. Damian Kulash and Tim
Nordwind. Gentlemen, great to have you.
I have known these two guys for quite some time.
So tell me about this. The last one, we`ll run some video hopefully
of the last one. Explain to me how you shot this because my understanding
is that you were using these sort of drones that you can now use to film
stuff and get these really cool tracking shots. And you`re on -- what are
those things you`re on, which I immediately wanted when i saw?
TIM NORDWIND, OK GO: They`re Honda Unicub betas. They`re a personal
mobility device. It`s a chair, and when you lean, it just drives there.
HAYES: So, it`s like a sitting Segway?
NORDWIND: Yeah, basically.
HAYES: And so you`re shooting that and you`re also -- you had like
the shots that we`re seeing right now, is that tracked on another thing of
those, or is that a drone like going backwards and then rising up?
DAMIAN KULASH, OK GO: It`s a drone going backwards and then rising
up. The drone doesn`t actually turn on until, well, right about where you
just stopped the shot. Basically, it`s on a cart and it`s being pulled out
manually and right before the first chorus, it takes off. And up it goes.
HAYES: So how long does it take to shoot something like this that has
this kind of, I don`t know, a feel of a 1940s big Hollywood number meets
some kind of
KULASH: It was four days of shooting and about a month of rehearsal.
And it is, you`re right, it harkens back to the `30s and `40s, and we were
Busby Berkley, who did a lot of aerial shots of super graphic dances. And
that`s actually why we shot it the way we did. It`s shot at half speed and
sped up so that our movements are extra sharp and have that kind of sort of
HAYES: Oh, so that`s what gives it that weird kind of like robotic
KULASH: Yes. Busby Berkley used to speed things up, but also there`s
a frame rate issue. When you watch old films like that they look like that
the frame rate is wrong. But we wanted it to -- you know, we did that
intentionally. We wanted to have that kind of jittery feel.
NORDWIND: You know, I kind of move like that all the time.
HAYES: That`s right.
How did this -- Tim, how did this become a thing that you guys do now
that does feel like it`s the only -- I guess you guys are the only band
where I think about what will there next video be? Which is something I
used to think about for every band or every musical act I loved and now
don`t think about it at all except for you guys.
NORDWIND: At the end of the day, we just want to chase our most
exciting ideas, that`s what`s fun for us. We`re four guys who like to just
make stuff. You know? And so that`s what gets us out of bed in the
morning and that`s what we enjoy doing.
HAYES: But these must be like long, involved projects. The last one,
that crazy Rube oldberg one, which was incredible and it ends up in
this weird MC Escher like place in which it ends where it begins in this
very satisfying way. Like that must have been hours and hours and hours of
rehearsing and art direction to make that happen.
KULASH: Yeah, they take a long time. Our videos take anywhere from a
couple weeks to a couple months. But it`s fun for us. I mean, that`s
actually what it takes for a lot of videos to be made. It`s just usually
not the band
who is directing them. You know, usually you have a filmmaker that`s been
hired by a record label to more or less advertise the song. For us, we`re
like if somebody is going to get to make a like three and a half minute
film to one our songs, we want it to be us.
And we have done it now enough that we sort of like, you know, we`ve
learned how to be pretty decent filmmakers and it means we can -- our
process can always still start with writing a song and just doing the thing
we like to do as, you know, four dudes together.
But then ones the songs get made, we can keep going with that
creativity, we can chase it wherever it leads. If that`s a science project
or a math project or a video project. I mean, we kind of wind up in all
these weird nerdy places that we love.
HAYES: Damian Kulash and Tim Nordwind of OK G o. Tell Andy Ross I
will see him next time I`m on the west coast.
KULASH: We will.
OK, it`s Halloween. We`re all sitting here at work. You`re probably
sitting at home on your couch right now drinking a nice pumpkin beer,
perhaps, looking at the pet on your costume and occasionally answering the
door to hand out candy or something equally seasonally festive and also
alcoholic and gorging yourself on that candy when the kids aren`t eating
it. And it`s fair to say we`re all more than a little bit jealous. So, we
have created a very special segment to mark
occasion of the first ever annual "All In" Halloween costume court in which
we will issue rulings on some very questionable Halloween costumes like
this one. Stay with us. That`s next.
HAYES: It`s Halloween. I`m looking at live updates of my kids going
trick-or-treating because I`m not there, and it is a great time of year for
two groups of people, children and people with terrible offensive taste.
It features a bonanza of taboo breaking and offensiveness, some of which is
satirical and funny, some of which is just plain awful and execrable.
In the latter category comes an amazing text received by a 23-year-old
Muslim woman who asked not to be named but submitted this actual text to
BuzzFeed. And it reads in part, hey, it`s been a while. Not sure if
you`re still in the area, but I was wondering if I could borrow one of your
long black garments and the hijab
and the face thing, not sure what it`s called. I know you don`t wear the
face thing, but maybe you have one like for religious stuff. I wanted to
dress up as ISIS for Halloween lolol. Hit me up, and thanks, babe.
So, today, the first ever annual "All In" Halloween costume court, in
which we rule fair or foul on some costume ideas.
And joining me now to play along is Elizabeth Plank, senior editor of
MIC and MSNBC contributor my friend Dorian Warren.
All right, let`s start with the text with the genre of ISIS costumes
I think break down into two categories. There`s sexy ISIS terrorists, so I
have seen some sexy ISIS costumes. Do we have that? Some sexy ISIS there.
And then there`s not sexy ISIS terrorist, just ISIS.
Fair or foul?
ELIZABETH PLANK, EDITOR, MIC: Sexy ISIS, I wish I had enough time to
tell you all of the reasons or all the things that are wrong with that. I
mean, there are many. Whether it`s sexy or not, I mean, there`s nothing as
sexy as terrorism, right, I think it`s just flat out offensive. And the
fact that women or other -- I`m sure a lot of people have been getting
these kinds of texts like we`re essentializing cultures, we`re perpetuating
stereotypes about what it means to be
a Muslim. And also ISIS is not funny. Beheadings are not funny.
HAYES: OK. So, I`m going to make a contrarian argument. I
completely agree. What ISIS has done is horrific and condemnable in every
possible way and barbaric. So, I actually think sexy ISIS terrorist is OK,
because it seems to be like mocking or self-mocking in a way that like
plays with the genre.
And I would also say this about ISIS, like, I think they are a group
that is worthy and deserving of ridicule, and that the way we cover and
talk about them in the U.S. is as these -- this terrifying hoard of orcs.
And if you look a lot in the Muslim world, particular in the Middle East
particularly, there`s a lot of like anti-ISIS satire that makes like
unbelievable fun of them.
I`m not sure if like rando dudes doing it in the U.S. drunk at a party
are the people to engage in that satire, but I like the idea of mocking
DORIAN WARREN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: But I`m going to push back and
still call a foul, because one, as you mentioned at the beginning of the
segment, Halloween is like Christmas for racist idiots. I read this quote
on Gawker earlier. But it`s not original, number one, I don`t think it`s
original. Number two, I think there`s a principle in Halloween costume, do
no harm. So if that costume, what does it mean to the parents of those
that have been beheaded or the families?
Or, on the other hand, what if ISIS doesn`t see it as ridicule? What
if they see it as a great publicity thing for them? Or like we`re
In some ways you can interpret it as, they`re spreading the message
for ISIS in a way, right. And ISIS is happy with the free publicity.
HAYES: I think ultimately, like ultimately I also -- I would never
dress as a -- I think that`s...
WARREN: And I appreciate your costume tonight.
HAYES: I do think there`s this thing about satire I think I`m trying
to capture, because I do think like this is a group that -- like in the
part of the world they come from, they are mocked like relentlessly in a
way that I think draws away some of their power.
All right, number two. Sexy Ebola -- OK, I also think this is fair.
And here`s why I think it is fair. This seems transparently self-
consciously to be mocking the entire genre of the sexy Halloween costume.
Like, the person that put that together is obviously tongue in cheek
mocking the genre of a sexy Halloween costume. Don`t you agree?
PLANK: Again, I`m not so sure these people are so smart. I`m not
HAYES: Look at that. That is manifestly a joke. The joke is on the
genre of sexy Halloween costumes.
PLANK: Well, OK, if this is just a parody of ourselves and our
culture, then I`m all onboard with it. Again, I doubt that I`m sure 99
percent of these people
who are buying this costume, that`s not really what is going through their
And again, what message are we sending?
HAYES: The message that sexy costumes are ridiculous and they reduct
ad absurdum of the sexy costume is a sexy Ebola nurse in HAZMAT gear.
That`s what I think it is.
WARREN: That`s why I`m on the fence on this one. I could go either
way in terms of, you know, is this fair or foul? I just think it`s not
HAYES: No, it is not. Neither of these are that original.
WARREN: If you have to explain your costume at a party, then figure
out something else.
HAYES: All right, this one, I think is very -- is unambiguous, border
patrol, really awful images. here -- yeah, not cool. Hey, like, again,
this is like just...
WARREN: There`s a line.
HAYES: Just don`t do it. Like stupid, lame, unimaginative.
And the question I think we have to ask, when you pick out a Halloween
costume, and especially if it`s mocking people.
WARREN: What are you trying to do?
WARREN: What pleasure are you getting from that? Why is it
pleasurable? Why does it feel good to mock somebody else? If you want to
dress up as Scooby-Doo, or some animal character or whatever, fine, but
if you have to actually mock a group of people...
HAYES: Or also mock one of your own.
WARREN: Or one of your own. Be original and creative and find...
HAYES: I feel like that`s sort of the line of mocking.
WARREN: But there`s no like white guy costume, right? Like, the only
ethnicities or cultures that we dress up as are these exotic cultures.
Like when you`re dressing up as a Mexican, I mean, being a Mexican, being a
Geisha is as exotic as dressing up as a white guy from the Hamptons. Like,
we each have our own.
HAYES: That`s the point, if I wanted to -- that`s right. So if it
was like, oh, I`m going to dress up as a Super PAC donor or whatever...
WARREN: But that gets at the issue of power, right? And who has
power in a society?
HAYES: OK, let me ask this very quick question. I`m not even going
to show the next one, which is the marijuana baby, which I think is
Dressing up as someone from another race without -- I mean, black face
is obviously like never.
WARREN: And we didn`t show any pictures of black face, but there`s a
lot of it.
HAYES: Very quickly, what is your thought on that?
WARREN: Dressing up as...
HAYES: If I went as Prince, for instance. Fair or foul?
WARREN: I think Prince is not a socially marginalized group of
people. He`s an artist. He`s a celebrity. I don`t have a problem with
people dressing up as Beyonce and Jay-Z. I do have a problem of you
dressing black face, right, that draws a line, because especially if you
don`t have the history of black face and...
HAYES: I think a cardinal rule of Halloween is black face: don`t do
Elizabeth Plank and Dorian Warren, that`s our Halloween. That`s the
candy we`re stuffing in your basket tonight. That is "All In" for this
evening. The Rachel Maddow show starts now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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