All In With Chris Hayes, Wednesday, March 11th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: March 11, 2015
Guest: Paul Ray, Austin Sarat, Patricia Bynes
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can`t get the drug cocktail, then we fall back
to the firing squad.
HAYES: With execution drugs running out across the country, one state
votes to bring back the firing squad. Tonight, the death penalty crisis in
HAYES: Then, breaking news in Ferguson, where there is finally a
shakeup at the Ferguson police.
JAMES KNOWLES, FERGUSON MAYOR: The chief`s resignation is effective
March 19th, 2015.
HAYES: Plus, a former Clinton cabinet official calls for Elizabeth
Warren to get into the race. Robert Reich joins me live.
And why the right is freaking out about Google`s new plan to sort
search results based on truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoever controls the truth controls the world,
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s scary.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Just 30 minutes ago, the state of Texas used one of its last two
remaining doses of an execution drug to put to death convicted killer
Manuel Vasquez. Vasquez was the first of a half dozen death row inmates
slated for lethal injection in Texas over the next few months. But the
state revealed on Monday that it only has enough drugs to carry out two of
And Texas is not alone. In the wake of several botched executions
last year stemming from a drug shortage, death penalty states across the
country are scrambling to improvise. Just yesterday, the Utah state
legislature passed a solution of its own, bring back the firing squad. It
could hardly be worse than the status quo.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kicking his feet, lifting his head and chest off
the gurney, grimacing, clenching his teeth. He actually mumbled.
HAYES (voice-over): It was intended to be a routine execution, in a
country that routinely executes its prisoners. It quickly turned into a
spectacle when an untested drug combination did not kill Oklahoma inmate
Clayton Lockett as intended.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shortly after the state began pumping a lethal
drug into the arm of Clayton Lockett, convicted of shooting a woman and
burying her alive, something went wrong.
HAYES: Lockett died in the execution chamber 43 minutes after drugs
were first administered.
The state of Oklahoma temporarily halted all other executions.
GOV. MARY FALLIN (R), OKLAHOMA: The state needs to be certain of its
protocols and its procedures for executions and that they work.
HAYES: The same scene played out again in Arizona just a few months
later with Joseph Wood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He would open his mouth, and you would see his
chest move, and it would go all the way down to his stomach. It was a
clear gasp. It sort of looked like a fish opening and closing its mouth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After an hour and 57 minutes, the state pronounced
HAYES: The botched executions were a result of untested lethal drug
cocktails, the consequence of a drug shortage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All 32 death penalty states are struggling to find
lethal injection drugs, after suppliers said they no longer wanted any part
of capital punishment. Some states are turning to compounding pharmacies,
but refusing to disclose the sources.
HAYES: Faced with the bureaucratic issues of pulling off the death
penalty in 2015, legislators in Utah are looking at a solution that would
turn back the clock almost 40 years, death by firing squad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His name was Gary Gilmore, but it only by an
accident of timing that we are talking about him tonight, about him and
what happened here at the Utah state prison today. What we are really
talking about is each of us, our society, and the fact that our nation as
of today is back in the business of capital punishment.
HAYES: Gary Gilmore was the first person to be executed in this
country after the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. A
Utah firing squad carry out the punishment.
LAWRENCE SCHILLER: I heard three noises in quick rapid succession.
If there were more, a fourth, then they overlapped. Bang, bang, bang, like
HAYES: And death by firing squad was last used in Utah when inmate
Ronny Lee Gardner chose it as his preferred method of execution in 2010.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was shortly after midnight here when Gardner
was led into this execution chamber, strapped to this chair, and asked if
he had any final words.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To which Mr. Gardner replied, "I do not".
Following the statement, a hood was placed over Mr. Gardner`s head.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five sharp shooters took aim at his heart and
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Gardner was pronounced dead at 12:17 this
HAYES: But Utah banned the firing squad in 2004. Gardner was
grandfathered in. Now, lawmakers are trying to bring it back.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A controversial bill passed by lawmakers in Utah
is getting lots of attention this morning. The bill would allow death by
firing squad if there weren`t enough drugs to carry out an execution by
HAYES: Here`s how the process worked in the past. The inmate was
brought into a specifically designed execution chamber, a room 20 feet by
24 feet, strapped to a black chair, a hood was placed over the head. A
white circular target was pinned to the inmate`s chest to mark the heart.
The location identified by a prison doctor. Anonymous local police
officers were brought in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s made up of five people behind a curtain, all
shooting from matching rifles. One bullet is a blank, so the riflemen
never know who fires the deadly shot.
HAYES: The current bill`s champion, state lawmaker Paul Ray says the
whole thing is a more civilized alternative to drug cocktails.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A Utah legislator says even when it goes well,
lethal injection can be painful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even the ones that are regular drug cocktail, you
still see the gurgling and the fighting to breathe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But he described his idea to use a firing squad as
a backup more humane.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it`s an instant death. To be honest with you,
a lot of these people are here for the gun.
HAYES: And firing squad may seem barbaric, but unlike the current
scramble for gray market drugs, at least it`s reliable. So is beheading,
Saudi Arabia`s method of choice, or hanging, how Iran executes its
All these methods may be brutal, but they are at least honest, because
maybe there is no humane way for the state to put someone to death.
HAYES: Joining me now is the man behind the effort to bring back
Utah`s firing squad, the man you just saw, State Representative Paul Ray.
Representative Ray, what is the genesis of this? When did you have
the idea to try to move this legislation forward?
STATE REP. PAUL RAY (R), UTAH: You know, Chris, I actually came up
with the idea when I found out that Utah no longer had the drug cocktail
available. So, I started drafting a bill and this actually happened, just
shortly before the Oklahoma issue happened.
HAYES: Do you believe a firing squad is more humane to the inmate
being executed than the drug cocktail?
RAY: You know, I do. I mean, the premise of this, as the humane part
of this, we don`t have the drug cocktail, we have to do something, I think
the humane thing to do is the firing squad because it is death within three
to five seconds.
HAYES: And so then, why not just go to that, if you think that`s
superior? Why not push the state to just go to a firing squad?
RAY: Well, I mean, we have a lethal injection. Like I say, the will
I don`t think is to move it to the firing squad permanently. The will is
to have a backup for the lethal injection. So, that`s exactly what we did.
We decided we don`t have the drug cocktail. So, it`s time to have a
plan B if that`s going to be the case.
HAYES: Why the blanks in one of the guns?
RAY: Well, it just gives -- so no one really knows who fired. For
some people, it matters, for some people it doesn`t.
HAYES: You mean for the people that are actually --
RAY: On the firing squad.
HAYES: Pulling the trigger.
HAYES: For their psychological health or conscience, they can tell
themselves they were not the ones that meted out death to this person?
RAY: Right. If there`s a concern, you have to realize, too, nobody
is forced to be on. This is a volunteer basis. Based on the jurisdiction
that investigated the murder in the first place, and it kind of goes out
HAYES: You talked several times, I`ve seen several interviews you`ve
done that this is a basically backup as Utah like many states has run out
of the chemicals for the lethal injection. It does occur to me there is
another option, which is you cannot execute people.
RAY: That`s an option if you choose to do that, but this bill wasn`t
that option. That`s a discussion that I`m sure we`re going to have in the
near future. I`m OK having that discussion. But for what we have right
now, this is the legislation that needed to come forward.
HAYES: Are you confident that Utah and other states can avoid the
kind of grisly, horrific spectacle that we have seen in Oklahoma and
Arizona as these drugs become more and more scarce?
RAY: You know, with the firing squad, obviously that will be avoided.
That`s the concern right now with the lethal injection drugs. You`re going
to have a spectacle regardless if it`s firing squad, lethal injection.
You`re going to have challenges based on the constitutionality of the
cocktails. So, this just gives the backup plan until we have an approved
method to do that.
HAYES: I want to go back to something you said a moment ago to make
sure I understand. The volunteer basis of this, the police officers you
say who investigated the original crime, or the people who are given the
first opportunity to join the ranks of those who will pull the trigger on
the firing squad?
RAY: It`s the jurisdiction that the crime happened in. It could be
the investigators. It could be anybody in that jurisdiction has the first
option for the firing squad.
HAYES: What`s the rationale there?
RAY: It`s closure, I think, for that jurisdiction. When justice is
dealt out, somebody needs to do it, and it gives those guys the option to
HAYES: Do you think there`s some kind of psychological closure that
comes with that?
RAY: You know, there could be. Not my field of expertise. But we do
certainly get our volunteers from those ranks.
HAYES: As you spent some time drafting legislation and immersing
yourself in the details about how the state goes about killing someone,
have you had any second thoughts about whether this is something that the
state should be doing at all?
RAY: You know, I don`t have second thoughts on that, because as you
immerse yourself in the details, you also immerse yourself in the details
of the victims who were murdered, a lot more barbarically than what`s
happening to these convicts that are being put to death. You look at that
side of the story, too. And you realize there is justice involved in this.
HAYES: Is the barbarism of whatever horrific murder has been
committed by the people now facing death, is that the standard the state
should be using, is that the bar it should be trying to get under?
RAY: I think the bar is a law of the land that we have. It`s a type
of justice that`s dealt out.
Utah is very hard to get on. There`s a high bar placed on death row
here. Nobody in Utah has every denounced innocence. They all said, hey,
we did it, we`re not appealing based on innocence, we`re appealing based on
technicalities. So, I have no problem.
The people who have been put to death in Utah, I have no problem with
the fact that they were put to death.
HAYES: State Representative Paul Ray, thank you for joining us.
Really appreciate it.
Joining me now, Austin Sarat, he`s professor of jurisprudence and
political science at Amherst College, author of the book "Gruesome
Spectacles: Botched Executions, and America`s Death Penalty".
You know, Austin, it occurs to me there`s a particular kind of
American exceptionalism at play in which we are one of the only, if the
only sort of developed democracy that has the death penalty and are engaged
in this kind of endless litigation and parsing and process to make sure
we`re doing it in the nicest, most dignified humane way.
AUSTIN SARAT, PROF., AMHERST COLLEGE: I think that`s right, Chris.
Though, I do want to quarrel a little bit with something you said in the
SARAT: When you asserted, you said that hanging, the guillotine, that
those are reliable technologies, I guess it`s not clear what you mean by
There is no foolproof technology for executing someone. They`ve been
botched executions of all kinds. There`s been botched efforts to use the
So, there is an effort in the United States to find a technology of
execution that is safe, reliable and humane. And we`ve gone from hanging
to the electric chair, to the gas chamber, to lethal injection.
And now, we`re in a period where states are starting to try to find a
method of execution that will satisfy this command that our executions be
safe, reliable and humane. Unfortunately, there is no foolproof method for
executing. There`s no foolproof method for ensuring that we put someone to
death, we will do so in a way that comports with our values and
HAYES: This is a really key point. Let`s talk about the current sort
of lethal injection preferred method.
Much of that protocol has been engineered around the comfort and
sensibilities of the people watching it, as opposed to the inmate him or
herself. In the case of the famous three drug cocktail, one of those drugs
was to immobilize the person on the gurney so that they were not wriggling
around and upsetting the witnesses. The whole process is about the
sensibilities as we watch this happen.
SARAT: Look, when we talk about a humane execution, or an execution
that`s not cruel, we can think about it from at least two perspectives. We
can think about it from the perspective of the person being executed, and
yes, there is a commitment to reducing the pain associated with execution,
and the United States Supreme Court said there should be no more pain than
is absolutely necessary.
But on the other hand, we can think about the question of whether an
execution is humane, as to whether or not that execution, or that execution
method comports with our values, or offends our sensibilities. And I think
as you just pointed out, it`s certainly true in lethal injections. There`s
this tension, this desire on the one hand to reduce the pain of the
condemned, and on the other hand to assuage our own doubts and conscience.
I thought your question about why it is that we don`t know who
actually fires the lethal bullet, or a lethal injection, I think that`s a
telling one. I think the answer is, because in a way we want to do is we
want to diffuse responsibility. We want to do this deed, but we don`t want
anyone to feel particularly that they`re responsible for doing it.
And that question, I think, is a very important one. Why is it that
we don`t want anyone to feel that they are responsible for doing the deed
of ending someone`s life in an execution?
HAYES: You know, I`ve been thinking a lot as we`ve seen these
horrific videos coming from the Middle East, and ISIS, about beheading, and
there`s something particularly gruesome about it. But, of course, Saudi
Arabia beheads people as the means by which they execute people.
HAYES: And there is something at the core of this that is both -- we
both are embracing because this country, you know, unlike other countries,
embrace the death penalty, but we simultaneously are disgusted by it. Your
book is a must-read on this topic. Austin Sarat, thank you very much.
SARAT: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: All right. Big news out of Ferguson today, where a week after
the Justice Department found a pattern and practice of constitutional
violations and racial discrimination, the police department was racist
essentially -- the chief of police announcing he was resigning. But the
mayor also hinted he`s going to fight the feds perhaps. More on that,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON, ASTROPHYSICIST: Jupiter`s moon Europa well
outside of the goldilocks zone where water would be stable and liquid, it`s
been a liquid state. Not too far to the sun, it evaporates, not too far
away, it freezes. Life as we know it requires liquid water.
Jupiter`s moon Europa is outside of that zone. But Jupiter is pumping
energy into it, stressing the physical body of the moon. And by doing so,
pumping energy into it, melting the ice that`s there, and there`s an ocean
of liquid water that`s been liquid for billions of years.
I want to go ice fishing on Europa, see if anything swims up to the
camera lens and licks it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It`s not quite what Neil DeGrasse Tyson told me he`s hoping
for, but news today is pretty close.
One of Saturn`s moons Enceladus could support life as we know it here
on earth. Two different studies say the moon named has an ocean with
hydrothermal vents that warm the water below the surface to a livable
temperature. The sea is hidden beneath an icy crust that is up to, well,
25 miles thick.
But vents would provide an energy source on Enceladus, much in the
same way hydrothermal vents sustain life on the bottom of our own planet`s
We`ll be right back.
HAYES: One week after a truly scathing Justice Department report
alleging a pattern of racist practices by the Ferguson Police Department
and other city officials, the city`s police chief has resigned. Police
Chief Thomas Jackson`s resignation will be effective March 19th.
Lieutenant Colonel Al Eickhoff will become acting chief of police as the
search for a new police chief commences.
Ferguson Mayor James Knowles addressed the latest major personnel
change this evening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KNOWLES: After a lot of soul searching, and it`s very hard for him to
leave and for us to have him leave, he felt that this was the best way
forward, doing this obviously not only for the city, but also for the men
and women who served under him in the police department.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Jackson is the sixth person to resign or be fired since the
DOJ report came out. Last week, a court clerk was fired and a police
captain and sergeant resigned over racist emails they`ve sent.
This week, in the wake of the findings of the Justice Department that
showed Ferguson had placed revenue generation above public safety needs and
that ticketing and fines felt disproportionately on black residents, a
municipal judge also resigned. Ferguson City manager resigned. And today,
Police Chief Jackson resigned.
Before the DOJ report came out, Chief Jackson was already nationally
known for his, at best, clumsy handling of the aftermath of the shooting
death of unarmed Michael Brown by then Police Officer Darren Wilson. In
particular, Jackson was criticized for releasing surveillance footage that
appeared to show Mr. Brown robbing a convenience store shortly before he
was killed, at a time when it was entirely unclear whether Officer Darren
Wilson was even aware of the convenience store incident.
The next month, Jackson issued a video apology seen by many as too
little too late, to Michael Brown`s family for the loss of their son and
for the Ferguson Police Department`s handling of protest.
After last week`s Justice Department report, the big question
remaining is whether officials will work with the DOJ to implement the
requested reforms or will they have to be forced to comply?
Joining me now, Patricia Bynes, committeewoman of Ferguson Township.
Ms. Bynes, your reaction to the announcement today?
PATRICIA BYNES, FERGUSON TOWNSHIP COMMITTEEWOMAN: It`s a little too
late, which seems to be something that Chief Jackson always seems to be
behind the curve on. He probably should have been resigning quite some
time ago, within this Ferguson saga. And to hear there`s a transition
team, I think that -- a transition team should have been in place for quite
some time already in trying to transition him out of there.
HAYES: Do you think the mayor should resign as well?
BYNES: I do. That`s up to the people to do, the people of Ferguson.
They can make that happen with a recall effort. I think right now, people
keep trying to give him a chance to try to come back, but -- come back and
say and do the right things. But he just always seems to fall just a
little short of where people want to see him be.
HAYES: Is there any active organizing in Ferguson for a recall
effort, or preparation to run a candidate against him?
BYNES: Well, you know, when the Department of Justice report came
out, the one on the Ferguson Police Department, I got a lot of calls from
Ferguson residents, black, white, young, old, they were horrified by what
they were reading. It was actually very traumatic. I had people crying to
me over the phone.
And I told them that it`s up to them to go ahead and take these
actions. So I think there`s been a spark that`s been put in a couple of
people to really seriously look at doing a recall effort. But that`s going
to have to come from the community.
HAYES: Are you confident that we`ve now seen a number of people lose
their jobs, are you confident that the issues that are raised in the DOJ
report, which is a pretty remarkable document, incredibly damning, that
those can be changed with personnel changes, or does something deeper have
BYNES: Chris, we need a little bit more than just some personnel
changes. We`ve got some people who have gotten some parachutes after they
have resigned from the city. We`re dealing with a culture here, a culture
of defiance. You can see this by how long these people have stayed in
these positions, but also, in their remarks, when they do leave, trying to
say that they did absolutely nothing wrong.
There`s a culture of defiance. There`s a culture of abuse of
authority and power in the city government, in the police department, and
in the municipal court system.
That is what needs to get fixed. We don`t need new faces and names on
the same issue. That`s what we need to have happen.
HAYES: Speaking of defiance, a big open question is, will Ferguson
essentially cooperate with the Department of Justice to implement the
Here`s the mayor responding to a question about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KNOWLES: The city of Ferguson, again, is looking at the
recommendations. We are engaging -- we have already mentioned we`re
engaging consultants to tell us what that step might be, and what are those
-- you know, try to tell us what is realistically what we need to be
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: He appears to be noncommittal whether Ferguson is going to
comply with the Justice Department that has informed him that his office is
running a police department that is engaging in systematic constitutional
BYNES: Correct. That`s what I`ve taken away from that. That`s what
many people in the community have taken away.
This is not just an overzealous police department in ticketing. When
you read this Department of Justice report, there have been people who have
been attacked by dogs, who have been beaten, you know, children, 15, 14
years old, what`s happened to them has been cited in this report.
And this is serious business. So the idea that just letting a few key
players go, and that you might possibly look at trying to sue the federal
BYNES: Something`s not right here. And there still seems to be quite
this defiance that wants to take place. That`s not what people want.
HAYES: Yes, I also noted that he said it depends on the price tag,
which is ironic, given the focus on revenue that that police department has
Committeewoman Patricia Bynes, thank you very much.
BYNES: Thank you.
HAYES: Democrats, desperately need a formidable candidate to run
against Hillary Clinton. And Robert Reich, former secretary of labor in
the Bill Clinton administration, will be here to discuss that with me next.
HAYES: All right. So if you`re watching this whole Hillary e-mail
thing unfold, and you`re like me, you`re thinking, well, you`re thinking a
One of the things you might be thinking is here we go again, here we
go again meaning more Clinton scandals. Fabricated or real.
Here we go again with the right-wing persecuting and pursuing the
But, the biggest thing I`ve been thinking is, what`s the situation
with the Democratic primary?
Because the Republicans, for whatever you want to say about them,
they`ve got debates set up. They`ve got a primary field, people we
basically know we are going to declare.
On the Democratic side, we`ve got, well, Hillary Clinton, Martin
O`Malley, maybe Bernie Sanders. But there`s nothing else in place, there`s
no infrastructure to run a primary. And if I`ve learned one thing, covering
politics, is that competition breeds excellence.
I think there`s a time for a little bit of competition.
Joining me now, Robert Reich, former secretary of labor in the Clinton
administration, who feels the same way.
I had a Facebook post the other day, in response to this whole
brouhaha, basically saying, do you want Elizabeth Warren to declare in the
race? What`s the thinking?
ROBERT REICH, FORMER SECRETARY OF LABOR: Hi, Chris.
Well, I think it would help Hillary Clinton, assuming she runs,
because as you just said, what we know from politics from primaries, from
presidential elections, is that when you have a strong primary challenger,
it helps the actual
general election challenger nominee, to be better, to have a sharper
message, to be asked questions, to practice questions.
It helps the public understand what the central issues are.
You know, as of right now, Hillary Clinton is the only target for
If there were a primary challenger, there would be other targets. For
her to be the target for another year and a half or more, I mean you can
imagine what this means.
It`s so easy to just target one person.
And finally, it seems to be very important for Democrats to be able,
during the primary season to have a debate about what`s important to
Democrats, about what`s important to the country in terms of, well, let`s
say, inequality, widening inequality of income and wealth.
The republicans are not going to debate this in any serious way. If
the Democrats don`t have a primary debate, then the entire news is going to
be focusing on the Republican race and basically nobody`s going to know
what`s at stake.
HAYES: This is exactly -- I completely agree. And the key thing is,
think back to the big primary in the Democratic camp, obviously, 2008,
which is, you know, an incredible election. And when the long period of
extended between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, those debates were
remarkably substantive. I mean, I remember 30-minute-long riffs and
debates back and forth whether you should have a mandate or not. I mean,
what that -- what that primary did was, it was the means by which a
political coalition, that is the to say, the Democratic Party, worked out
what its substantive governing agenda was going to be in real-time. And I
don`t know what`s going to replace that process if we don`t have it here.
REICH: Now, look, Chris, we`re reading out of the same book. And I
think it`s based upon your experience and my experience. We know what
happens if it`s
just a Republican primary. I mean, the debate is over smaller government,
and lower taxes and all the typical Republican issues. And what happens,
Democratic issues, which I believe are at the center, and should be at the
center of American politics, again, widening inequality, minimum wage,
raising taxes on the rich so you have more financing for better schools for
the rest of us, stronger unions, you name it -- and also Wall Street, by
the way, there`s not going to be any debate.
There`s no way the public is actually going to be able to focus on all
of those things.
So, for the sake of Hillary Clinton, for her candidacy, and her
nomination, assuming that she`s going to be the nominee, and by the way, I
want to make it very clear she`s an old friend. I think she would be a
great president, she`ll be a great nominee, but she would do better, and
the public would do better and the American kind of system would be better
if there is a strong primary contestant.
HAYES: I should say the DNC has said we haven`t set our debate
schedule. We hope to do so in the coming weeks. And for clues on who
might be thinking about running for president, it appearance at the
International Association of Firefighters Conference, I just want to say
the names of people who went and made that pilgrimage. They are Jim Webb,
Bernie Sanders, Martin O`Mally, former governor of Maryland, Joe Biden, the
vice president and Elizabeth Warren.
That`s sort of an interesting list of people that decided that it was
a good use of their time to go talk to the Firefighters Union when that`s
become the kind of stop for people that want to run for president. So, who
knows. We`ll see.
Robert Reich, thank you so much for joining us.
REICH: Thanks very much, Chris.
HAYES: All right, so that the letter that 47 Republicans signed and
sent over to Iran to keep the nuclear deal from being negotiated, it was
just meant to be a cheeky J.K., LOL. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: My reaction to the letter was
utter disbelief. This risks undermining the confidence that foreign
governments in thousands of important agreements commit to between the
United States and other countries. And it purports to tell the world that
if you want to have any confidence in your dealings with America, they have
to negotiate with 535 members of congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s Secretary of State John Kerry adding his voice before
to the chorus of people condemning the recent letter engineered by Tom
Cotton of Arkansas signed by 47 Republicans, an open letter to the Iranians
don`t listen to what Barack Obama and his surrogates are telling you at the
talks, because it`s not worth the paper it`s written on.
You can tell that letter is starting to backfire. You can feel it in
the air. You can feel the Republicans didn`t quite realize what a bad idea
In fact, some people off the record are now telling "The Daily Beast,"
that well, it was not really meant to be taken seriously, it was all kind
of a joke, it was -- in their words, cheeky.
"Two GOP aides separately described their letter as a cheeky reminder
of the congressional branch`s prerogatives." You know, just kind of
playing a little joke.
John McCain`s reason for signing the letter was, heck, I sign stuff
all the time. People bringing me letters. I saw the letter. I saw it
looked reasonable to me. I signed it, that`s all. I sign lots of letters.
You put something on his desk, he`s going to sign it. Just the way it
I suspect they understand that they kind of stepped in it. And if you
look at where the prospects are for scotching a deal, those opposed to the
deal, they`ve gotten a lot worse in the last month.
I`m joined by one of the people I think who wants to see a deal
scotched, Jennifer Rubin, columnist for the Washington Post, author of the
"Papers Right Turn" blog.
Jennifer, before we get into the substance here, on the vector of
this, people that think this is a bad idea, don`t want to see a deal worked
out with Iran, think they`re untrustworthy partner, those folks, Benjamin
Netanyahu to Tom
Cotton to yourself, are in a worse political position now than they were a
month ago, wouldn`t you agree?
JENNIFER RUBIN, COLUMNIST: Both your assumption and characterization
of our position is incorrect. What we want is a better deal. What we want
is the deal that President Obama articulated at the beginning of the
process. We want the deal that is set out in the UN resolutions.
It is not in a worse place. If you look at polling...
HAYES: But wait, that is so...
RUBIN: We do not want to have a deal that, for example, has a ten-
year sunset. 84% of the American people are against such a deal.
So no, it hasn`t been set back.
You have a very large number of Democrats come March 24th who have
promised that they`re going to vote both on sanctions and on the Menendez
Kirk Bill, up-or-down vote, and they`re going to have their say.
And right now, there are serious concerns...
HAYES: Let`s talk about the ten-year sunset, right? People are
focused on this ten-year sunset.
The options right now are nothing, in which case Iran continues to
enrich and they`ll have a breakout time that could be as short as six
months, or, some kind of bombing campaign.
Do you favor some sort of esoteric kind of style bombing campaign,
that`s when the Israelis took out an Iraqi facility. Do you favor that? Do
you favor some sort of bombing campaign?
RUBIN: No. I favor what President Obama has said some 20 times, or
his advisers, that no deal is better than a bad deal.
That was his characterization, not ours.
HAYES: Right. But the ten-year -- but the point that there`s
RUBIN: It`s very possible to have it. In the way you get it is
through coercive negotiations.
That was what Hillary Clinton articulated.
HAYES: But there is something -- Jennifer, there is something after
I`m saying -- let`s say it`s a bad deal. Okay? You think it`s a bad
deal, ten-year sunset?
No deal, we walk away.
RUBIN: And we`re giving thousands of centrifuges.
HAYES: What`s the next step?
RUBIN: Well, my suggestion is that you not complete the deal. You
increase sanctions as the Menendez-Kirk Bill has set forth.
HAYES: And then what?
RUBIN: And you begin to put pressure on the regime the way Hillary
Clinton and Barrack Obama...
HAYES: But we`ve been putting pressure on them to bring them to the
table. Why do you think any further pressure is going to get them to a
place they haven`t been already?
RUBIN: Because, by their own admissions, the Obama administration
said pressure got them to the table. It`s their own theory of the case.
Now they`ve abandoned it.
So, I do think...
HAYES: But if you keep pressuring them but you won`t make a deal, to
what end are you pressuring them?
Eventually, what you`re going to end up doing is either bombing them
or letting them get a bomb.
RUBIN: No, you present them with the same choice we presented them in
Why did the mullahs stop enriching in 2003? Because they were scared
to death they were going to lose the regime. We had just taken out Saddam
That is the only time they shut down their program.
The only way we get them to peacefully give up their weapons is if
they have a choice between regime survival and...
HAYES: You think the Iraq War is what brought the Iranians to the
RUBIN: It`s fact.
I mean you could talk to, you know, people in the region. You could
talk to the Iranians. I don`t think it`s a fact in dispute. That`s when
they gave it up.
HAYES: So, should the U.S. have a policy of regime change towards the
RUBIN: Eventually, yes. Eventually, we should want evil regimes to
listen to their people. We should was free and fair elections. We should
have supported the
HAYES: So you think we should have a policy -- how could you possibly
have a policy of regime change and simultaneously negotiate with the regime
that you officially want to change?
RUBIN: Well, that is a little bit of a contradiction. But, you should
ask Hillary Clinton.
HAYES: That`s the whole contradiction.
RUBIN: She was the one that said it was a terrible mistake to give a
short shrift to the green revolution.
She said we really should have supported them.
HAYES: I am glad. I am genuinely glad that you admitted that we
should have a regime change in policy again. Because there is so much
disingenuous nonsense being spouted...
RUBIN: Yes, absolutely. Right.
Do you think that we should keep that regime? Should we keep the North
It doesn`t mean you go to war, it means you apply pressure. It means
you do not enhance their legitimacy. It means you don`t submit their
(inaudible) and power.
HAYES: But Jennifer, you cannot do that and have any kind of
This is the whole point is that there`s only people around saying of course
They clearly don`t want negotiations.
RUBIN: You talk, and you apply pressure. No, we`ve done that
Everyone likes to say, you cite Reagan these days, he applied pressure
nonstop. He called it the evil empire. He spoke up in behalf of dissidents.
HAYES: Tom Cotton...
RUBIN: He talked about Russia -- Soviet Union beyond the ash sheep of
history. But we also negotiate. You do both.
HAYES: Let me tell you this, Tom Cotton at least was honest and said
his idea, that it`s a (inaudible) to scotch these negotiations.
I wish everyone would be as honest, including you and Benjamin
Jennifer Rubin, thank you very much.
Why Fox News is able claim they are the most trusted TV news source in
America plus, how do you rank the truth in search results? Googles trying
to find out.
HAYES: International Womens` Day was on Sunday and honored the
occasion, deputy editor at MIT news, Maia Weinstock, decided to create the
league, a set of LEGOS to honor the four female Supreme Court Justices,
Sandra Day O`Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.
She even designed a replica of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court
library for them to work in.
To quote, "celebrate the accomplishments of women in the legal realm,
and to encourage girls and women to work toward high positions in the U.S.
Of course, as soon as the internet saw how awesome this Lego set is,
it wanted to buy it immediately. Which lead Maia Weinstock to tweet this,
"Thanks to all for support of my women-of-SCOTUS set! To those asking, only
one exists. LEGO ideas rejected it for being related to politics."
Leading some keen Lego observers to point this out, and this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That video sure looks like it`s related to politics, so we
called Lego to ask why are male U.S. presidents okay but not female Supreme
They responded quote, " As a childrens` toy brand, we refrain from any
associations with active or current politics. Cases in which the LEGO brand
are used in the manner have historical context. Any contemporary political
associations of the LEGO brand is unofficial content that is generated by
enthusiasts and not endorsed by the LEGO group."
I guess I kind of understand, but is anyone really going to object to
little plastic replicas of lady Supreme Court Justices?
And if they would, why should LEGO care?
Back in a moment.
HAYES: That video sure looks like it`s related to politics, so we
called LEGO called to ask why are male U.S. presidents OK, but not female
Supreme Court justices. They responded, quote, "as a children`s toy brand,
we refrain from any associations with active or current politics. Cases in
which the LEGO brand are used in this manner have historical context. Any
contemporary political association of the LEGO brand is unoffocial content
that is generated by enthusiasts and not endorsed by the LEGO group.
I guess I kind of understand. But does anyone really going to object
to little plastic replicas of lady Supreme Court justices? And if they
would, why should LEGO care?
Back in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: FNC`s approach is paying off.
According to a new poll conducted by Suffolk University in Boston, Fox
News is by far the most trusted national TV news source in America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It`s working, America.
Over the past two years the claim that popped up a number of times,
including perhaps on your Facebook page, that Fox News is America`s most
trusted national news network. This week we got a new poll from Quinnipiac
University with the same conclusion as reported by the Washington Post Fox
News is the most trusted national news channel, and it`s not that close.
Depending on where you stand politically that news either gets you
excited or perhaps depressed beyond all measure.
But here`s the thing, and listen very closely, there is a reason Fox
News keeps being ranked as the most trusted news source in these polls, and
it is connected to the reason the Fox is as profitable and as highly rated
as it is, which in turn is tied to both the media landscape and the way
liberals and conservatives consume media. And everyone gets this wrong,
including people that write about media for a living. So let me just give
you this analogy, imagine a presidential race that was just an open race
where you could vote for anyone. And there are six candidates. Barack
Obama, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, John Kerry, Al Gore and Mike
Mike Huckabee would win that race. And maybe that would lead you to
think Mike Huckabee is the most popular politician in America, which is not
true. But in this mock race, there`s only one candidate to represent all
of the conservatives in this country and five candidates who would split
the vote of everyone else and that is exactly the way the media landscape
looks in this country right now.
You have one national TV news outlet that conservatives watch, Fox
News, and a whole bunch of news outlets that everyone else watches.
Look at that new poll. While Fox News took the title of most trusted,
only 29 percent of voters chose the network, another 57 percent of voters
were split between MSNBC, CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS news. And here`s the
thing, according to data from the Pew Center, audiences for basically every
outlet in both these so-called
mainstream media and progressive media, from HuffPo to The New Yorker, to
the Nightly News, to The Edconomist and Slate, and USA Today, all of them,
they skew left of center.
That is not an accident, because conservative media outlets like Fox
News spend day after day discouraging their viewers from watching other
outlets, telling them they`re being lied to, telling them they are being
sneered at and laughed at and spit upon by the mainstream media.
With an assist from conservative websites and talk radio, Fox News has
successfully managed to convince a huge portion of the country that no
other network, hardly any other outlets, can be trusted. And the network
tells that story over and over again because as Rupert Murdock and Roger
Ailes know, it`s very good for business.
Now, trustworthiness is a subjective judgment. But what if it wasn`t?
What if you could design a computer program that judged trustworthiness and
display the results. Does that reassure you or creep you out? Google is
actually thinking about doing just that and we`re going to talk about it
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK MORANO, CLIMATE DEPOT: We are actually the voice of the
dissidents. We are the voice of the scientists who are speaking out
against the so-called consensus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was a fox news regular Mark Morano who runs a website
called Climate Depot. Morano is upset because his site could lose a ton of
Google institutes a plan discussed in a research paper published last month
to rank websites based on factual accuracy, not just based on their
popularity, as measured
by how many people link to them.
Now, Google stresses, just a research paper. The company told All In,
"we don`t have any specific plans to implement [truth based rankings] in
our products." But the potential implications of this are huge. Today,
when we Googled today the phrase "Barack Obama nationality," on the first
page we got a result claiming to expose the unexploded bombshell that Obama
is actually from Kenya.
If Google were to incorporate truthfulness into results, that finding
would probably fall back many pages in the results. The same would happen
sites that pushed popular but false information about things like vaccines.
To separate fact from fiction, Google relies on a project they`re
developing called the knowledge vault which scours the web for consensus
over what is true and what isn`t. Now, when climate change deniers and
anti-vaccors are against something, there`s a good chance I`m going to be
But I have some skepticism over attempts to rank truth by algorithms.
And here to help me work through it Chris Mooney who reports on science for
The Washington Post.
Chris, what do you think of this idea?
CHRIS MOONEY, WASHINGTON POST: I think it`s amazing that actually
engineers are getting this far, that it`s within the realm of possibility
to do what they`re doing, to actually analyze billions of facts and put
them in a repository and search the web and figure out whether websites
reflect those facts or get them wrong.
HAYES: OK. But I feel like we are in some pretty deep philosophical
ground here, which is do we trust an algorithm to determine truth in
MOONEY: It`s tricky. And we should emphasize that the kinds of facts
that they have in their repository are what we would, I think we would
think of as simple facts. So, Barack Obama`s nationality is American. He
was born in the United States. That`s a very simple fact. It`s not -- you
know, there is a scientific consensus that although there`s some remaining
warming is caused by humans, or at least over the last 50 -- it`s not
So because it`s automated, there`s a limit right now to the kinds of
facts we`re talking about.
HAYES: But there`s also the idea of those results, like I guess I
don`t want Google to be an arbiter of truth. I feel like there`s a
transparency now that when I Google something on Google, I understand
there`s an algorithm that basically is crunching popularity in some way.
And I`m fine with that. And I`m fine understanding that maybe one of the
results for Barack Obama nationality is that he`s Kenyan, because there`s a
lot of people who believe that, amazingly. But I don`t need them to be my
arbiter of truth.
MOONEY: You know, I think that interestingly, in some sense they
already kind of are. I mean, this paper needs to be thought of in a
context where Google actually just announced last month that when you
search for a certain medical term, they`re going to be giving you carefully
vetted information about different kinds of medical conditions. And then,
of course, they link to other things where you should read more reliable
So a lot of stuff is coming up on Google already that is more factual
and not just links.
HAYES: So, Google is concerned about authoritativeness. They`ve
built this algorithm that`s an algorithm that`s based on popularity. It`s
this genius insight of the founders, right, inbound links as the thing that
gets you what you want. But they now are worried that people will search
for measles and get something cockamamie and they`re worried about
MOONEY: Sure, it could be that.
I mean, I think that they`re also just -- they have this incredible
information. And they`ve got some really genius people who are figuring
out what you can do with it. And doing experiments that I think many
people could only dream of doing.
It really is fascinating, because when you think about the problem of
misinformation, we have so much of it. We have tried so many ways to
defeat it. We`ve tried education. We`ve tried citing good sources of
expertise, the National Academy of Sciences, people still ignore it.
So, you do wonder whether the geeks could ultimately have a solution
that expertise and education didn`t have.
HAYSE: Well, that`s the irony, right. We`ve got all this amazing
literature that shows people that when they have bad beliefs and you give
them the data to debunk it, a lot of times they double down the beliefs.
So the idea that maybe you could starve the oxygen and not see this stuff
that forms the bad beliefs, is very appealing. But also in some dystopian
sci-fi way, it`s like who is pulling the
strings on what we know?
Chris Mooney, thank you very much for joining us, really appreciate
MOONEY: Great to be here.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow show starts
right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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