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'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Friday, March 20th, 2015

Read the transcript to the Friday show

Date: March 20, 2015
Guest: Soo Han

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Happy weekend, my

HAYES: You, too. You too.

MADDOW: Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. Happy
Friday to you.

I do not own a car that can park itself, but there are lots of cars
out there that can park themselves. It`s weird. You take your hands off
the wheel and your feet off of the pedals. In some cases, you take your
hands off the wheel, but you leave your feet on the pedals. You somehow
indicate to the car that there is a marking spot that you would like your
car to get itself into and -- shazaam, the car parks itself.

The first car that was sold with this kind of technology was more
than a decade ago. In 2003, Toyota sold a compact car that did this in
Japan only, starting in 2003. But the first car that could park itself
sold in the U.S. was a Lexus. Lexus was first in the U.S. And now, lots
of cars can do it. BMW has cars that do it, Audi, Mercedes, Toyota, Ford,
Lincoln, lots of cars have this self parking dose feature.

Cars have also, of course, been able to drive without you putting
your put on the gas pedal for a long time now, for 50 years actually. It
was AMC that was the car company that sold the first big American cars with
cruise control starting in 1965. Cruise control was widely available on a
lot of different cars by the 1970s.

I have to say, I still find it a little spooky to be behind the wheel
of a car that you are not actively propelling forward. It`s just going on
its own. But you can always have to brake to make it stop, right? We`re
pretty much use to cruise control as a concept now. And over the last few
years, the concept of cruise control has evolved in some cars into what
they call adaptive cruise control, where you just set the speed that you
want the car to go, and it goes that speed without you touching the gas
pedal, but your car can also sense when there is a car in front of you in
the lane and your car will sense that car ahead of you and then slow itself
down to maintain a safe distance from the slow poke who just pulled in
front of you in the lane.

And now that cars have the capability of electronically sensing what
is around them, different car companies over the past few years have been
introducing various little fiddly features that basically let the car take
over more and more parts of the more and more difficult parts of driving.
There are car options available now if you drift out of a lane, the
steering wheel will shake itself to wake you up and get you back on the

In some cars, if the car has a feeling you might want to change lanes
soon, it will let you know by likes or some other kind of indicator if
there`s a car you might not have noticed in your blind spot where you might
be about to change lanes into them. I mean, in terms of blind spots, there
should never be one directly in front of you, in the direction in which you
are traveling, or directly behind you, or you all have a nice big clear
window. But some cars now will automatically slam on the brakes if you`re
about to hit something, and they think -- and the car thinks you haven`t
seen it. And that feature works when you`re reversing and work when you`re
moving forward.

You don`t see something but the car does see it, and the car makes
the brakes come on. And cars can park themselves, which will always be

But now with all of those little evolutionary technological
benchmarks, it should probably not be surprising to see what it has come
to, but to me at least, it is still very surprising to see this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re on auto pilot mode now, much like cruise
control, just turn it on. At that point, my hands are off of the wheel, my
foot are off the accelerator, off the brake. The top camera is going to
read that 30 miles per hour sign. It`s going to adjust the speed while
navigating through the lane course, once again not touching anything.

The car is driving itself. Bottom cameras are doing the light, top
cameras reading signs, it`s going to thread 25 miles per hour sign. Once
it strengthens out, it`s going to slow down automatically, I`m going to
press the blinker, it`s going to initiate a lane change automatically, all
by herself. And Model S naturally reaction traffic condition, so it`s
going to sense the car up ahead, start slowing down, and once again I`m not
touching anything. She comes, stops by herself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is amazing. Truly amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With your foot on the brake, and disengages, and
just like cruise control, you`re back to driving yourself.


MADDOW: I know, right? That is video from It`s one
of The Verge`s reporter being given a preview of what they at Tesla are
calling the auto pilot feature in Tesla Model S`s.

We`re used to thinking of self driving cars, I mean, cars that only
park themselves or cruise at a consistent highway speed, speed up, slow
down, recognize traffic, go around curves, actually completely drive

The idea of there being auto pilot for a car where you don`t have to
drive and it takes you where you want to go, we`re used to thinking that
kind of thing is like moon colonies. Or living to be 200 years old, or the
Republican or Democratic Parties are going obsolete in favor of something
less annoying.

Cars where you hit a button that says auto pilot and it drives you
home without you driving, it has -- yes, always seem theoretically
possible. You always have a sense that engineers and car companies are
working on bits and pieces of that, and in incremental way, but it
apparently is here, it`s done, it`s ready to go.

And this is the part that is kind of blowing my mind -- cars that
already exist today, cars that lots of people already own, are going to
suddenly develop the auto pilot feature in the next few weeks. People who
have the Teslas already, the Tesla Model S, according to that car company,
in a conference call their founder did yesterday with journalists, people
who own a Tesla Model S are going to get a software update for their
existing cars some time this summer and that software update is going to
include a little green button marked auto pilot wherein if you hit it, the
car will drive itself. It`s here. It`s ready to go, sometime in the next
few weeks, right?

And yes, there are definitely questions, maybe first and foremost
about the law, a few states have made it legal for cars to travel on their
roads without drivers, but that is mostly for testing, right? So companies
can do research and development in those states. But with these software
update coming this summer, driverless car technology, auto piloted car are
going to be owned and operable by regular, if rich, Joe Schmoe Tesla owners
by this summer.

The analogy I keep thinking of is drones, right? Technically, nobody
is allowed to fly drones in this country. The FAA has not given people
broadly permission to fly drones and it is illegal in the United States.
But drones are very widely available to people, anywhere from a couple of
hundred bucks on up and people fly them for fun and people fly them as part
of their businesses, and people make media out of them, and people use them
for all sorts of good and stupid purposes.

And yes, it is technically illegally, but the law has just not caught
to the wide, commercial availability of this thing that people like flying
around. Cars driving themselves on auto pilot, that feels like it may end
up falling into that same thing -- that same sort of hole in the law that
drones are in, the fact that it`s technically illegal but ubiquitous
anyway. And that is going to happen very soon.

There`s also questions about how widely people who have this
technology will be able to use it. Tesla says, right now, that at least
for the first iteration of its pilot his feature, this feature will only be
usable on mayor roads like highways and freeways. The company`s founder
said yesterday he`s not sure the technology will be safe enough to use on
small suburban streets that have different signage, different kinds of
markings on the roads, potentially more variables in terms of cross traffic
than you would encounter on a highway.

But, you know, the lift for your car being able to safely auto pilot
itself on a highway, to your car being able to safely autopilot your kids
to school and back, presumably that is just an incrementally technological
matter of upgrades, right? Upgrades that will unfold pretty fast once
people are regularly knitting and doing their filing in the driver seat
while their car drives them down the highway to work.

This is about to happen. And we do not yet know whether this will
become in our cars technology that is more normal than not like cruise
control is now. Or maybe it will become something that is required by
regulators like air bags or seat belts, in case it turns out that robot
driving is safer than human driving once more and more people do it.

There is always a possibility that this will be a bust and people
won`t like it, and auto pilot will become a kind of gee whiz feature which
you can make your car do. The technology exists to have cars do this, but
not many people have it because not many people see a need for it. But
still, neat.

This is one of those technologies, right? Like cars can do this.
People can make their cars do this. They`ve been doing that for a long
time. Neat, can do. Not a lot of people use it.

But cars that will drive you around without you doing anything, cars
that have an autopilot button, they are coming apparently this summer, and
this might be a we`re tech flash in the pan, but this might change
everything in terms of the ways that we get around and the ways that we
organize all of our large scale physical space in this country.

Technological change of this sort is almost always incremental. It
sneaks up on you a little bit, right? With little advancements, little
improvements, new little marginally improved features, until all of a
sudden, cars don`t have steering wheels anymore.

We`re also seeing that kind of technological slippery slope happen
right now, all of a sudden, in media and journalism -- particular media and
journalism about politics.

Campaigning for office is supposed to be a retail business, right?
Politicians like to meet as many people as they can, shake hands, takes
pictures, kiss babies, glad-handing and backslapping are not just cliche
adjectives we use when we`re talking about politicians. Those are actually
skills that politicians have to have. They have to be able to glad hand
and back slap and all the rest of it, to the extent that running for office
means making in person, physical appearances with your public.

But when it comes to big time political office, a very small
proportion of people who are going to be voting for or against you as a
candidate are going to meet you in purpose, right? The candidates are
campaigning for office, everything they do trying to persuade people to
vote for them is delivered through some sort of media filter, mostly that`s
the mainstream news media. And that means satellite trucks and camera
crews, and pooled camera feeds from multiple news organizations at major
news events and speeches and debates. It means professional correspondents
chasing politicians down the sidewalk and through parking lots, reporters
sometimes being asked to ride along on the bus or on the campaign plane.
That`s the traditional means by which most voters get access to
politicians, that`s the means by which people get access to these

And that`s how they form their impression of those candidates, which
leads people to decide who they`re going to vote for. Candidates and their
campaigns have always done what they can to try to have a little bit more
control over what people see about them, rather than leaving it just up to
the media. For decades they have allowed approved documentary filmmakers
to see -- to make and see behind the scenes footage of their politicking.
Campaigns have shot their own footage of their candidates, both stuff that
supposed to seem kind of candid, look, here`s Mitt working on his speech.
And also stuff that is very slick and is designed to put their candidate in
the best possible light.

Within the last new few news cycles, it`s also become politics 101
for opposing campaigns to send video trackers to politicians` events, so
you don`t just shoot your own candidate`s campaign rallies because maybe
you want to repurpose that footage for an ad, or you want to post
inspirational clips on YouTube, or you want to feed that out to the local
media as a video press release. You not only shoot your own candidate
campaign, you make sure you send a staffer to shoot the guy you`re running
against, in the hopes that he might say something stupid on camera.


SEN. GEORGE ALLEN (R), VIRGINIA: This fellow over here with the
yellow shirt, macaca, or whatever his name is, he`s with my opponent. He
is following us around everywhere. Let`s give a welcome to macaca here.
Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.


MADDOW: And then, George Allen was not in the Senate anymore. That
was a tracker he was calling out with an inexplicable racist epithet. And
that was it for him.

So, running for office, campaigning for office, anywhere a candidate
goes, he or she knows that someone who wants to make them look bad could be
filming them at that event. If they`re smart, they`ve got somebody from
their own side who wants to make them look good filming them too. If
they`re really interesting, if they`re running for a really big office,
they will also know that the news media will be there covering them to see
whether they look good or look bad or just otherwise they look newsworthy.

In this last national election cycle, we also saw the dramatic impact
of citizen cell phone video, where not professional trackers, or campaign
staffers, or professional journalists, but just average Joes with the
incredible photographic power of your average cell phone were able to
capture moments on the campaign trail as they happened. And even though
whoever shot the video didn`t work for anybody who had a, you know, skin in
the game, or they didn`t have an editor breathing down their neck to get
some news story posted, that individual who shot the footage on their
individual cell phone camera recognized that they caught something
newsworthy and then they either fed it to a news organization or they
themselves uploaded it online and waited for the fire storm to hit.


MITT ROMNEY: There are 47 percent who are with him, who are
dependent upon government, who believe that they are a victim, who believe
the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they
are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That
that`s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And
they will vote for this president no matter what.


MADDOW: Mitt Romney`s infamous 47 percent remarks from the 2012
presidential election, shot by a bartender at that event, on his cell

Candidates now know that they might be recorded at anytime. Somebody
might have a cell phone running. If they believe, if that person believes
that something that the candidate said is inflammatory, or dangerous, or
otherwise newsworthy, that person will be able to take that tape that they
recorded on their phone, and upload it to the Internet, link to it online,
tell everybody what they found.

Candidates know that now. But now, now we have had an additional
incremental technological development that itself doesn`t feel like a huge
revolutionary leap, it is really an incremental development, it`s something
that has been, you know, pointing in this direction for a very long time --
but what has just happened is something that a lot of people in politics
feel like is the equivalent of the car without a steering, the self-driving

Yes, we had cruise control all of these years, but there is something
qualitatively different between setting your speed on the freeway and just
hitting auto pilot and your car takes you home. In media technology, that
leap that just happened, is that anybody with a cell phone can now, for
free, broadcast live video of what they are seeing at the impact moment
they are seeing it.

So, what used to take a satellite truck and an uplink in terms of
broadcasting a live political event now instead looks like this, and
specifically looks like this.

There have been more complicated versions of this technology in the
past. There is a thing calls UStream. The Web site YouTube had a variety
of this. There is something called String Wire that we have used at NBC.

But what has happened now that has landed with such huge political
splash is that everybody with an iPhone can really super easily broadcast
live video. I mean, at least it`s pretty easy. It`s an app called

If you, right, here we go, if you follow me on Twitter right now, you
should be able to see what my cell phone is streaming right now. With this
technology, you can show everybody in the world, far free, digitally
everything you are seeing right now.

Hi, Jackie. Hello. Hello, folks. There`s folks hello -- hi, you
guys over there in the dark. Here`s what the rest of the studio looks
like. Here, look, I`m wearing jeans and sneakers, can`t see that on TV.
Can`t see that on TV. Can see that on Meerkat.

And when you`re done streaming whatever you`re looking at, you, on
your phone, can keep a record of it on your phone, but everybody else who
was watching it them while you just did it saw it live and then it sort of
poof, it just exists as an ephemeral thing, it goes away. But whatever you
recorded on your phone, you can keep.

So, from here on out, once this app, Meerkat or whatever else, that`s
just like, that will be invented now, once it spreads across the country
and everybody has this on their phone, everybody -- hi, hi -- end stream,
yes, every time a politician from here on out because of this, every time a
politician is outside their freaking bathroom, they`re basically on live
TV. Anybody around them has a cell phone, that politician could be
broadcast live right in that second to potentially an infinite number of

Literally any time you`re anywhere other than the bathroom, and maybe
in the bathroom if you got your own cell phone in there, got help us.

MSNBC political correspondent Kasie Hunt has gone through a lot of
shoe leather as a reporter chasing politicians around. She`s kind of a
correspondent who occasionally has to corner people in elevators, and
badger them to sit down for interviews and she waits through their rallies,
hoping they will say something interesting that she can then upload and put
on the news.

Well, today, Kasie Hunt conducted live broadcast interviews from her
phone with New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and White House Press Secretary
Josh Earnest, as the political establishment pretty much collectively
freaked out this week when this Meerkat app started blowing up and every
iPhone in the country became the equivalent of a network satellite truck,
providing a live feed of anything within reach of this very simple device
that lots and lots and lots and lots of people have. Ek!

Kasie Hunt joins us next. Stay with us.



before? No?

first Meerkat interview. And I guess Meerkat interview that anybody that
press secretary has done. So, little early morning history.

HUNT: A little bit of early morning history, and you have not joined
the service yet?

EARNEST: I have not joined the service yet, but we`ll see how this
goes and maybe we`ll consider joining.


MADDOW: MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt conducting the first over Meerkat
interview, with a White House press secretary, with Press Secretary Josh
Earnest today. She also today interviewed Democratic Senator Cory Booker
of New Jersey using the same technology.

This Meerkat thing is the newest way to live stream video from your
cell phone to the world. It is sort of frighteningly easy, and very fast,
and free to the user, and all of a sudden, this week, it has freaked out
most of the political establishment by how big it has gotten so quickly.

Joining us now is MSNBC political correspondent Kasie Hunt.

Kasie, it`s great to see you. Thanks for being here.

HUNT: Thanks for having me, Rachel. It`s good to see you.

MADDOW: How do you get Josh Earnest to be interviewed like that with
absolutely no filter, not take-backs, it`s live immediately? How do you
get him to do it?

HUNT: Part of me still not exactly sure, Rachel. But no, it was
actually -- it was pretty casual. I was at the White House briefing on
Monday. And I Meerkated a little of it of the briefing itself. I really
got a really good reaction.

There are a lot of people, I surprise, who just felt like I was
offering them a public service. You know, some said, I haven`t watched the
White House briefing in years. So, I just sent Josh an email and I said,
hey, do you want to do an interview on this new thing called Meerkat, and
he came back and said, you know, hey, I think we`d be interested and the
White House was willing to play ball with my pitch, which was, you know,
hey, let`s do -- let`s try something new, let`s get outside of the box a
little bit, talk about, you know, what the White House has done with social
media, as well as some of the other implications that surround it.

So, you know, my thanks to Josh Earnest for being game for trying
something new, and, you know, obviously, we weren`t 100 percent sure how it
would pan out necessarily. We had to jerry-rig some of the technology to
sure we could even get a recording of it. But thankfully, it all worked
out in the end. We had about 360-plus viewers at the peak.

MADDOW: Which is not earth shattering, the number of people
watching. But I feel like 00 I feel like the thing that is -- that t is
hard for me to explain to people who don`t see the way the inside of the TV
news business works, but you and I both know what it takes, both of terms
of money, organization, organizational capital, persuasive power and
occasionally just logistical luck to broadcast a live event out in the
field. It costs a lot of money, and it takes a lot of work, and a lot of
people being involved in it.

This makes it possible for live events anywhere in the world to
effectively be broadcast to an audience that could include millions of
people. I feel like it`s substantially going to change what is accessible
to the average viewer.

HUNT: I think it`s really going to change the political system,
Rachel. I mean, in many ways what you were outlining before about this
being really incremental as compared to many other technologies is true.
But it`s the confluence of all of these things, it`s a cellular network
that can handle all this stuff, it`s a cell phone in everybody`s pocket,
it`s the fact that we`re all networked already on Twitter and Facebook and
connecting with those people is really easy. And it`s really going to
change how these politicians operate.

If 2012 was the Twitter campaign, I think that 2016 is really going
to be whether it`s the Meerkat campaign or the Periscope campaign, or
Stringwire, it`s going to be defined as an easy live streaming video. And
the reality is that it`s not just reporters.

As you were pointing out, this is going to be regular people as well.
I mean,the Obama administration had, in fact, started taking away cell
phones from some of its attendees at its fundraisers. They argue sometimes
that it`s a security risk, but there also was that incident where the
president when he was a candidate was caught on cameras making remarks
about guns, God and religion that ultimately came back to haunt him, and
that was something that was theoretically closed to the press.

And when you think about all of the people in the vicinity of these
candidates over the course of essentially an 18-month campaign, we are
looking at a lot of live streams and a lot of potential pitfalls.

MADDOW: Exactly. Nothing will ever be closed to the press ever
again unless you can remove people`s cell phones from them, which most
people feel like they`re grafted to their bodies anybody.

HUNT: They are.

MADDOW: I think this is a big deal. It`s going to change our jobs a
lot, but I think it`s gong to change the sort of democratization of
information around politics really fast.

MSNBC political --

HUNT: I mean, I think --

MADDOW: Yes, go ahead, Kasie. Sorry.

HUNT: No, I was just going to say, I think the one thing is that it
might not necessarily be 100 percent positive, either. Just because we
have this ability to broadcast in this sort of democratic way doesn`t
necessarily mean we`re going to get more transparency from these
candidates. I think if anything, Twitter drove Mitt Romney for example who
I cover very closely in 2012, that drove him further away from reporters,
and I think many reporters that saw that documentary and recognized that
person, but were sort of unable to communicate that to the broader public,
in part because they were so afraid all of the time that these tweets were
going to go out and push them off message. I mean, they were so focused on

I think that in many ways, this is going to prevent people from
getting that sense of authenticity from being very close to a candidate
because people are going to be so concerned about this technology.

MADDOW: It will make them put up their guards, but it will mean that
there is no place where they can be assured they`re not on live TV.

HUNT: Right.

MADDOW: It`s a huge deal.

MSNBC political correspondent Kasie Hunt, really appreciate it.
Thanks. Congratulations on that scope today.

HUNT: Thank you.

MADDOW: All right. Lots more ahead tonight, including one of the
most powerful advocacy videos I`ve ever seen, and a presidential candidate
who this week forgot something really, really, really important. At least
I think he forgot it.

Plus, the Friday night news dump.

All ahead -- stay with us.


MADDOW: When Eric Holder announced back in September that he was
stepping down as attorney general, he was the fourth longest serving
attorney general in U.S. history.

The longest one is this guy William Wirt, who was attorney general
for more than a decade. Second longest serving A.G. was Janet Reno, who
served the whole time, Bill Clinton was president. The third longest
serving A.G. was Homer Cummings who served under FDR. And then, there was
Eric Holder.

But Eric Holder has now been waiting so long for his replacement to
be confirmed by the Senate that he`s moved in the ranking. Yes, he now
beats Homer Cummings, and is now the third longest serving attorney general
in history because the Republican-led Senate refuses to hold a vote to
confirm Loretta Lynch as his successor.


ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: There is no place I would rather
be in my closing days as attorney general than here, with you all, or at
least what should be my final days. Given the Senate`s scheduling and
delays, and considering about Loretta Lynch`s nomination for a vote, it`s
almost as if the Republicans in Congress have discovered a new fondness for
me. I`m feeling love that I haven`t felt for some time. And where was all
of this affection in the last six years, you know?


MADDOW: Attorney General Eric Holder speaking earlier this week.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Senate, he had said that Loretta
lynch`s confirmation vote to succeed Eric Holder would happen this week.
It did not happen this week.

Now, the number two Republican senator, John Cornyn, says his party
feels zero pressure to confirm Loretta Lynch as the next A.G. Literally,
that was his quote to reporters. Reporters asked them how much pressure
Republicans feel to finally vote on the new nominee for attorney general,
his answer was, quote, "zero". Zero pressure. Why worry? It turns out
they like Eric Holder and they`re like keeping him around indefinitely.

Today at the White House, "Huffington Post" reporter Sam Stein got
President Obama on the record about this unprecedented delay for an
attorney general nominee. Watch what president says here about how
Democrats in Congress ought to handle this.


now been lingering in this limbo for longer than the five previous attorney
general nominees combined makes no sense. We need to go ahead and get this

SAM STEIN, THE HUFFINGTON POST: What do you think is behind it?

OBAMA: Well, you know, the Senate dysfunction is part of it. But
part of it I think is just a stubbornness on the part of Republicans to
move nominees, period.

STEIN: Well, they say they got -- they`re holding up her nomination
until they get to the human trafficking bill with a controversial abortion
provision in it. Would you encourage Democrats to let the bill go through
so you can get a confirmation?

OBAMA: You don`t hold attorney general nominees hostage for other
issues. This is our top law enforcement office. Nobody denies that she`s
well-qualified. We need to go ahead and get her done.


MADDOW: You don`t hold attorney general nominees hostage for other

That has been his policies, no-hostages policy with the Republicans,
on shutting down the government, on shutting down the Homeland Security
Department, on hitting the debt ceiling and all the other things where they
have tried to force his hand, the Obama strategy for Republicans taking
hostages is no, no, we don`t play that. We wait you out. You get nothing
by threatening to harm parts of the country or government. The answer is

And tonight at the White House, he told Senate Democrats to take that
same strategy on Loretta Lynch. No games. No trades. Do not play. Just
get a vote on her.

You don`t hold the attorney general nominee hostage for other issues.

Loretta Lynch was nominated for this gig 132 days ago. Next week,
the Senate plans to tackle the Republican budget plan. A week after that,
Republicans tell us that they plan to go on vacation for two weeks. The
whole Senate is going on vacation for two weeks after next week.

Republican aides telling "Politico" today that they do not expect any
movement on the Loretta Lynch confirmation vote until maybe the middle of
next month, at the earliest, and she has already waited longer than any
attorney general nominee in history.

And so, Eric Holder is now creeping up on Janet Reno`s record for his
-- in terms of the amount of time that he has served in office, because the
Republicans who hate him more than life itself, they won`t let him go.
Stranger than fiction.


MADDOW: Coming up, we got a stunt, a political stunt so effective
that the other side is howling and wants people arrested for having what
they just did. What they just did is one of the most effective advocacy
videos I have ever seen on any subject. And that`s next. Stay with us.


MADDOW: Last week, in one of the most painfully hip neighborhoods in
New York City, someone redid a store front. They put signs on the window
offering pistols and shotguns and rifles for sale. They hang up a shingle
that said gun store.

And in came people. New York has had tough laws on guns going more
than a century. In New York City, they even had strict limits on toy guns
for 60 years since the 1950s.

But last week, all of a sudden, up popped this new gun store with
signs for pistols, shotguns, and rifles for sale in New York City. And
people came in to see what`s in stock, the handle the guns, talk about what
they might want to buy.

But those conversations with the guy in the store got weird pretty
fast. The whole thing got weird fast. And they were taping while it all
happened. And here is some of what they got. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, how are you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, how are you doing?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re interested in a gun, right?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, cool. You look for something for like target
practice or --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More for protection.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m pro-Second Amendment, you know? So, it`s
like it`s hard to find that around in New York City, you know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like I was showing your wife. The first gun I
showed her was this revolver, it`s the easiest gun we use. You know, it`s
our most popular one. A .22 caliber, six inch revolver.

It`s also a gun that a five-year-old found in his parents` bedroom
went down and shot his nine-month-old baby brother with it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you said shooter, five-year-old kid, what is
that --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the one. This is the one that the kid

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Collectors love this one. Adam Lanza`s mom had
this in her collection too, until he took this and several other guns and
killed her and went down to Sandy Hook, killed six teachers and 20 innocent
children -- 20 little kids gone like that. He walked into a McDonald`s in
San Diego, killed 21 and injured 19.

It`s one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history. A.09
millimeter, semi-automatic, 40 caliber compact, 45 caliber, 9 millimeter
sub machine, 12 gauge pump action shotgun.

Why don`t you have a closer look?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was pretty blind sided by just the entire
history of every gun in the store.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It made me actually think I`m not going to buy
that gun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It made me think twice, and I would not buy


MADDOW: Every gun has a history, let`s not repeat it.

Just a remarkable stunt that they pulled off in New York City. And
the guns rights groups are freaking out about this.

The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association is calling for a
criminal investigation. They said the guns in that store looked illegal to
them. They say they want people arrested. People did not have gun
licenses and they were handling guns in New York City, which was a felony.
These people in this gun shop, they were breaking the law.

But the group that pulled this off, they apparently knew what they
were doing. They`re called States United to Prevent Gun Violence. They
say the guns in the store were not actually real guns. They were fake,
realistic fakes. They say they followed all of the laws. They had someone
from the NYPD watching all of the time.

They set it up as an experiment to make a point, all right? So they
would not run afoul of taping people without their consent, they didn`t let
people just randomly walk in off of the street. They recruited people who
were expressed an interest in buying a gun. Those people did want to buy a
gun. They were told they were taking part in a marketing experience, and
those are the people they sent in to that shop.

But these were those folks` real reactions.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It made me actually think I`m not going to buy
that gun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It made me think twice, and I would not buy


MADDOW: States United to Prevent Gun Violence posted this video
three days ago. Nearly 2 million people have watched it online already.
And now, the NRA is freaking out, calling for an investigation, wanting
people arrested, who appeared in this video.

The real reason the NRA is freaking out obviously is not because they
are horrified by people handling guns in New York City. It`s because
they`re freaked out by the new approach they`re going to have to contend
with politically in this video, right? We`re used to seeing messages about
gun safety that put us in the position of victim.

This ad puts you in the position of the shooter. If you`re thinking
about buying a gun so you will be safer, then this ad want you to imagine
your hand on the same trigger that the Newton killer pulled. It wants you
to imagine your hand on the same trigger where a little kid killed his
sister by an accident or a toddler killed her mom in Walmart.

This is super aggressive advocacy. Changing laws about guns in this
country has been really hard to do, recently it`s been impossible. But
something like this aims to change not laws but individual minds about the
wisdom of buying guns.

Maybe they can. The NRA seems pretty worried that they might.


MADDOW: A long time ago in an office not all that far from this
studio, when I wore glasses all day long because I was not on TV, I had
these guys. I had these little dusty Mexican wrestlers with inadvertently
webbed hands and feet and they sat on my desk, and they just sat their all
day watching me work. And I think they born themselves into my mind.

Well, now, they have a chance to fulfill their true and righteous
purpose. Right here, next.


MADDOW: OK, Mexican wrestlers still to come, I swear.

But first, one more thing. This is the time of year that governors
all across the country introduce their state budgets. Republican Governor
Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is finishing up his time as Louisiana`s governor.
He very obviously wants to run for president, but one of the problems for
both of those things, his time as governor and his wannabe time as
president is that his state, Louisiana, has a terrible budget crisis right
now. Bobby Jindal is heading toward the exits, but he is leaving his state
short on cash by more than $1.6 billion, which is a lot of money for a
state of that size, and among other things, it is embarrassing for him to
talk about on the campaign trail.

And so, in these last months of his governorship, while he is running
for president, he`s cutting everything he can, which has now raised an
interesting question as to whether or not one of the things he can cut is
Louisiana`s participation in picking the nominees for president next year,
because Governor Bobby Jindal in his new budget has forgot to include any
money for Louisiana to hold a presidential primary for 2016. There is no
set appropriation for paying for that primary and he has cut the amount of
money he gives to the secretary of state`s office there by so much that the
secretary of state says there is literally not enough money in the budget
to pay to run those primaries.

You know, Bobby Jindal isn`t exactly a front runner in the 2016 race,
but if he was going to have a chance at winning any state, it would be his
own unless his own state just won`t be voting at all because Bobby Jindal
made it so they can`t afford to.

As with most things involving Governor Bobby Jindal, this is either
the dumbest possible thing anyone could do while running for president, or
it is somehow secretly genius, and we mere mortals just don`t understand
it. I`m betting on the former, but hoping for the later.


MADDOW: Are you ready? Are you ready? Because it`s happening.

Time for the Friday night news dump.

Producer Julia Nutter, who is playing this evening?

JULIA NUTTER, TRMS PRODUCER: Tonight, we have Soo Han from Carmel,
Indiana. He emigrated to the U.S. from South Korea at age 10. He grew up
in Amish Country in Pennsylvania, and he`s a high school orchestra teacher.

MADDOW: Oh, Soo, it`s very, very nice to meet you. Thank you for
being here.

SOO HAN, CARMEL, INDIANA: Hello. I`m freaking out. This is
awesome, and a dream come true. So nice to see you.

MADDOW: I have to ask you what the orchestra teacher part, how many
of the instruments in the orchestra can you personally play in order to
like have the kids be competent.

HAN: I have to play enough to teach them. My advanced orchestra
students kind of cringe when I start reaching for an instrument to play for
them, so -- but enough to teach them and they`re amazing kids, so I need to
do very little.

MADDOW: Well, that`s awesome. I was in orchestra when I was in
junior high and it was really fun, until all the kids in the band, which is
a much more bullying culture, picked up our orchestra teacher`s car and put
it on the tennis court. They physically picked it up and put on the tennis
court, and he couldn`t get it out. He was very sad and that was the end of

HAN: I love you even more now that I know you were in orchestra. I
didn`t know that. What did you play?

MADDOW: I played everything poorly.

Anyway, you know how this works. Three questions, if you get two
right, you will win, Julia?

NUTTER: This very fancy mini cocktail shaker.

MADDOW: Woo-hoo!

And if you get all of the questions right, or if you don`t really get
very many right at all but you need extra credit or a consolation prize, we
do have something that we found in our office, but tonight, it`s a little

Julia, what is tonight`s random swag?

NUTTER: Soo has two options. He can take these little action
figures that you used to have on your desk at Air America.

MADDOW: Yes, they`re Mexican wrestlers. They`re very poorly made
and they`re a little dirty.

NUTTER: Yes, this one has a little cape. It`s cool.

Otherwise, Soo can have these posters that we made as props during
the government shutdown in 2013.


Soo, I will tell you, even though the props aren`t awesome, one of
them does have a really nice T-square attached to the back of it that you
would also get to keep.

HAN: Great.

MADDOW: We also need to brick in the disembodied voice of Steve
Benen from Maddow Blog. Steve determined if you get the right answer.

Steve, meet Soo. Soo, meet Steve.

STEVE BENEN, MADDOW BLOG (via telephone): Good evening.

MADDOW: Good evening.

HAN: Good evening. Love you articles, Steve.

BENEN: Thank you.

MADDOW: All right. Soo, first question, here we go, we`re going to
go right to it. Monday, we described a brand new Gallup poll which asked
people what they think is the most important problem facing the country
today. In that Gallup poll, what did the highest number of respondents
identify as the most important problem that our country has right now.

What is --

HAN: Government.

MADDOW: -- (a), the threat of terrorism, (b), income inequality,
(c), the government, or (d), the zombie apocalypse?

HAN: I wish it was d, but it`s not. It`s c, the government.

MADDOW: Steve, did Soo get that right?

BENEN: Let`s check the segment from Monday`s show.


MADDOW: The highest percentage of respondents say that biggest
problem in the country is the government.


BENEN: The correct answer is C. And Soo is one for one.

MADDOW: All right. Well done. You`re 100 percent so far.

We`re going to go to question two. We have had an eye on the U.S.
nuclear negotiations with Iran all week. I should say happy Iranian new
year, by the way.

On last night`s show, we did report that as the Iranian nuclear talks
are getting down to the nitty-gritty, another U.S. official has recently
been seen at the talks taking a leading role alongside Secretary of State
John Kerry. Who is that other U.S. official who suddenly is very visible
in those talks?

Is it (a), Attorney General Eric Holder, (b), Ernest Moniz, (c), Vice
President Joe Biden, or (d), Vice President Emeritus Dick Cheney?

HAN: I was traveling yesterday and yesterday`s show was the only
show I missed. Ahh!

I`m just going to pick my favorite person on that list and say (c),
Vice President Joe Biden.

MADDOW: Steve, what`s the right answer?

BENEN: Let`s check out the tape from last night.


MADDOW: All of a sudden, we`re not just seeing John Kerry leading
things for the U.S., now, who is that guy on the left? Now, we`re seeing
the only man in U.S. government with hair better than John Kerry`s hair,
also involved at the talk level. Our energy secretary, who is himself a
nuclear physicist, Ernest Moniz.


BENEN: Yes, I`m afraid Mr. Cheney is not involved, and Mr. Biden is
re not involved. Mr. Moniz is, and the correct answer is b. And Soo is
not correct.

MADDOW: All right. Soo, you totally had a good reason for missing
that one. You got one last chance. This one is a visual one. So we`ve
never done this before. Hope it works.

Today`s show, we reported on Republican Aaron Schock and his somewhat
shocking resignation from Congress in the face of lots of questions about
his finances related to his travel. One of the things that reporters have
used to track his travel spending is his rather legendary Instagram
account, which he now seems to have deleted I should mention. But before
he deleted it, we were able to capture some of it.

Which of these images was not an image from his Instagram account?
Was it (a), this one, which makes him look like an extra for "Magic Mike"?
Was it (b), this one, which shows him surfing in Hawaii? Was it (c), this
one, shows him, I don`t know, maybe ice climbing or something? I don`t
know. Or was it (d), this one which shows him being shaved by another
dude? Which one of those was not from his Instagram account?

HAN: Oh, my gosh. This is tough. I`m going to say (a), because I
think that a was a shoot from a magazine, that cover he did, not his

MADDOW: Steve, do you have the answer for us?

BENEN: Let`s check the segment from Tuesday.


MADDOW: Also a famous star turn, yes, that`s him, on the cover of
"Men`s Health." Congressman, really?


BENEN: So, (a) was the magazine cover photo, just like Soo said, and
he is correct.

MADDOW: Soo, not only did you get that right, but you got exactly
the trick of it right. That was spectacular.

Julia, did Soo win the cocktail shaker?

NUTTER: Yes, he wins the cocktail shaker?

HAN: Yes.

MADDOW: And because you have not only the right answer but you have
the right explanation, do you want either of the cruddy items we found in
our office?

HAN: I would love both. I used to listen to you on Air America when
you first came on.

MADDOW: Thank you.

HAN: But just so that I can hang it up for the entire world to see,
I`m going to choose the sign. Rachel, can I please ask you to sign it
before I get it?

MADDOW: Oh, yes, I will sign your sign big time. And we`ll send you
the T-square, will even throw in a few more of these signs if you wish.

Soo, thank you so much for playing. It was great to meet you. If
you want to talk about the viola clef, anytime, I`m available any time.
Thanks, Soo.

HAN: Thank you.

MADDOW: Thanks.

Yay! That was great.

If you want to play the most awesome game in basic cable news, or
rather the only one, send us an e-mail, All you have to
tell us is who you are, where you`re from and why you want to play the news
dump. The stuff we`re finding around the office is getting weirder and
weirder all the time. But it could be yours.

First, though, I`m told the warden wants to see you.


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