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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Thursday, March 19th, 2015

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Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: March 19, 2015
Guest: David Axelrod, Richard Wolffe, Beth Fouhy, Jonathan Capehart,
Glenn, Nicholas Menditto, Aaron Romano

ARI MELBER, MSNBC: We have apologies to Sean Hannity, it turns out
President Obama really can reach out to Benjamin Netanyahu.

Also social media taking down yet another political career this week, and
Mitt Romney is planning to go topless for charity, of course.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bibi backtracks?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That he no longer would support a Palestinian state.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL: I want a sustainable peaceful
two-state solution.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And his comments on election day about Arab voters --

NETANYAHU: I`m very proud to be the Prime Minister of all of Israel`s
citizens, Arabs and Jews alike.

JON STEWART, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: How dare you gin up racist fears.
That`s our thing.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: State police have now launched an investigation --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After a black UVA student was left bloodied by agents
of the States Alcohol Beverage and Control Agency --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I go to UVA! I go to UVA!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was very disturbed by the pictures I saw yesterday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The agents involved, they`re on administrative leave,
there was no crash.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The director of the Secret Service on Capitol Hill
today --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sought to debunk reports that his agents crashed a car
into a White House barricade.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The video shows a vehicle at a speed of approximately 1
to 2 miles per hour.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did not deny reports that the agents were drinking --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I must reserve judgment on these matters until the OIG
investigation is completed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt Romney talked about his greatest regret of the
2012 campaign.

MITT ROMNEY, FORMER GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Make a greater effort at
communicating to minority voters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt Romney probably should have heeded to his own
words.

ROMNEY: You make mistakes in language and you wish you could clear those
efforts --

KATIE COURIC, JOURNALIST: Like --

ROMNEY: That --

COURIC: Binders full of women.

ROMNEY: They brought us a whole binders full of women. Well, I mean
that`s pretty straight forward, I mean it`s a binder, I write in that
notebook which resonates --

COURIC: Do you wish you had said it differently?

ROMNEY: No, I don`t think I lost any votes for that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ll never be royals as the sun goes --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prince Charles and the Duchess Camilla, they`re
rounding up their visit to the nation`s capital.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it`s fair to say
that the American people are quite fond of the royal family, they like them
much better than their own politicians.

CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES: I don`t believe that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Good evening, I`m Ari Melber, in for Lawrence O`Donnell, let`s
start with this. I think Sean Hannity and Marco Rubio can finally rest
easy tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, TELEVISION HOST: They can`t pick up a phone and call the
prime minister of our closest ally, and the only democracy in the region?

Don`t you think there`s someone --

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Well --

HANNITY: Really radically wrong here?

RUBIO: There is, as I said again, he is showing more respect for Iran than
he is for the Prime Minister of Israel.

I have no idea why he is more willing to speak to the Iranians and show
more respect for Iran than he is willing to show respect for our strong
ally in Israel and Netanyahu --

HANNITY: Right, so --

RUBIO: Our commitment is to the state of Israel. This president has
threatened that to his personal animus towards the Prime Minister.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: OK, but this afternoon, President Obama did call Prime Minister
Netanyahu and he congratulated him on his victory.

And the President reportedly also raised the 11th hour campaign reversal by
Netanyahu on the two-state solution.

A reversal which then Prime Minister Netanyahu seemed to reverse again
today in his first post election interview, pretty interesting stuff, this
was with Andrea Mitchell on "Msnbc".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NETANYAHU: I don`t want a one-state solution, I want a sustainable two-
state solution, but for that, circumstances have to change.

ANDREA MITCHELL, JOURNALIST: But you were re-elected on a mandate --
certainly Israeli voters, your supporters believe you were re-elected on a
mandate against a two-state solution.

NETANYAHU: If you want to get peace, you got to get the Palestinian
leadership to abandon their pact with Hamas and engage in genuine
negotiations with Israel for an achievable peace.

We also have to make sure that we don`t have ISIS coming into that
territory. It`s only two thousand miles away from our boarders, thousands
of miles away from yours.

So we need the conditions of recognition of a Jewish state and real
security, in order to have a realistic two-state solution. And I`m talking
about what is achievable and what is not achievable.

To make it achievable, then you`d have to have real negotiations with
people who are committed to peace. We are, it`s time that we saw the
pressure on the Palestinians to show that they`re committed too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Strong statements there. Tonight, we go right to David Axelrod,
former advisor to President Obama. Do you take the Prime Minister at his
word there?

DAVID AXELROD, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, MSNBC & FORMER ADVISOR TO BARACK
OBAMA: Well, look, he made a pretty definitive statement on the eve of the
election in Israel, that there would be no Palestinian state under his --
on his watch.

He didn`t add 16 codicils and caveats to his statement, he didn`t qualify
it in any way. But I said look, I was asked yesterday about this, and I
said, you know, one thing about Bibi Netanyahu is, every day is a new day.

And he says what he needs to achieve his political objectives, and he
obviously achieved his political objectives. And now he`s skinning back,
but it creates a problem of trust.

And you know, it`s hard to take these things back. You know, one hopes
that he`s sincere about it. But I think the world is going to look with
some skepticism because of what they just witnessed.

MELBER: How could they not? I mean, I guess what`s most interesting to us
here is, when you were working for the President and you walked through
these situations, how do you decode and analyze such a rapid reversal as it
pertains to the trust that you want to have between these two allies going
forward?

AXELROD: When we were -- well, when I was there and in years subsequent to
that, it never was entirely clear what Prime Minister Netanyahu`s
commitment to the two-state solution was.

In fairness, there was -- there were difficulties on the Palestinian side
as well. But --

MELBER: Sure, but are you --

AXELROD: Sure, but there are some questions like that --

MELBER: Are you saying at that time, David, you and other advisors weren`t
sure that he was committed to begin with inside the Obama White House?

AXELROD: Well, I think it`s pretty clear that he has been -- he has been
less than enthusiastic about moving forward in this process, and there have
always been barriers.

So, you know, I was -- I would say that I was at least somewhat skeptical
about his commitment, and I think most Israelis probably are somewhat --
were somewhat skeptical about his commitment even before his statement the
other night.

But -- so we`ll see, you know, what unfolds from here. But history is not
very encouraging, and you know, words really do matter.

You can`t just throw them out one day and take them back the next day. You
can`t do that on a repeated basis and then have any basis for trust moving
forward in a process that`s very difficult to start with.

MELBER: Certainly, especially in a conflict like this where both sides are
under so much pressure to sell any deal they might reach to their
respective political constituencies at home.

Stay with me, David, we also have Richard Wolffe and Beth Fouhy here.
Richard, I want to play for you another very interesting part of the Prime
Minister`s exchange with Andrea Mitchell on the relationship with the
President and the heat that Bibi Netanyahu received over that famous visit
to the U.S. Congress.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITCHELL: Why should President Obama trust you when you came to Congress
to lobby against his negotiations with Iran?

NETANYAHU: I think there`s an unbreakable bond between Israel and the
United States. The President said that I`ve said that. My coming to the
U.S., I didn`t mean any disrespect or any attempt to partisanship.

I was merely speaking, Andrea, of something that I view could endanger the
survival of Israel, and I felt it my obligation to speak up there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD WOLFFE, JOURNALIST: You know, yes, no disrespect to the sitting
president. I just think that he`s trying to destroy my country. I mean,
you know, there`s such disingenuousness there.

I think it`s a wonderful performance, but he -- Netanyahu is a
sophisticated enough player in politics as David has said, but also
observer and expert in American politics.

That he knows exactly what he was doing. He had ample opportunity to dial
it back if he didn`t want to deliver that speech, those communications went
back and forth well before ever became public.

He knew what he was doing and why he was doing it for a Republican audience
in Washington, but also for his conservative audience back home and by and
large it worked for him.

BETH FOUHY, SENIOR EDITOR, MSNBC: Yes, I mean, I was going to say
something very similar. I mean what we saw with the Prime Minister is very
similar to what we see with many American politicians.

You tack to the base to win and then you pivot back to the center, and
that`s what he did in this interview with Andrea Mitchell, and kudos to her
for getting it.

He suddenly said all the right things again. He would consider the two-
state solution, he was very proud that Arab Israelis had voted, and they
had -- some of them had voted for him.

So it was pure politics as you were saying. I mean I think really, the
more boring pure politics we saw this week where the Republicans who were
thinking about running in 2016, lining up in tweets and in statements and
so on.

Just thrilled that he won. Not simply because they support him and his --
and his leadership in Israel, but because it was -- they saw it as a rebuke
to the President.

And that`s what they really wanted.

MELBER: Right, and you mentioned that he was going to the right or to the
base in the home-stretch, which is familiar to any student of politics in
any country.

And yet, David Axelrod, there`s more to it than that, because in a
parliamentary system, what he also did was cannibalize some of the other
smaller parties support to get his support.

And that means to some degree he would argue that he will have a freer
hand, and yet the way he did that was objectionable to many people.

Let me read from Jeffrey Goldberg, who is known as a -- as a very
sympathetic writer to Israel, I think it`s fair to say.

But he writes, "Netanyahu wasn`t just dog-whistling here, he didn`t refer
to people in Israel`s north who don`t have Jewish interest in heart.

Instead he screamed in the home-stretch, "the Arabs are coming!" and it`s
doubly cynical because the Arab vote wasn`t actually Netanyahu`s main
concern.

He won this election by consolidating the support for his conservative
Likud Party at the expense of other right-wing parties.

Arab voters had nothing to do with that, except his props and his campaign
of scaremongering." David, the President, we`re told tonight raised that
issue directly in his discussions with Netanyahu.

AXELROD: Yes, I wouldn`t be surprised if he did, because that was such an
inflammatory gesture on the part of Netanyahu. And you know, what
happened, Ari, was, he came here, he did make a speech to Congress.

Richard was right, it was really aimed at that audience, that conservative
right-wing audience -- not conservative, but right-wing audience in Israel.

It didn`t have the effect that he hoped, and then he stepped on the gas in
the end, because he was concerned about the polls that had him trailing.

And he did cannibalize those right-wing parties, now he`ll have a right
wing and religious party coalition there. In the last -- in his last
cabinet, he had some moderate influences, there won`t be those influences
this time.

So as you say, it`s a little worrisome as to whether he will tack to the
center or he`ll stick with the base that he`s put together now.

One thing that interest to me about your open is that, I wonder if Sean
Hannity was as outraged when Bibi Netanyahu announced that he was coming to
speak to Congress without picking up the phone and calling his strongest
ally in the world, the President of the United States, and doing what
protocol called for.

MELBER: Right --

AXELROD: And I don`t remember hearing those same expressions of outrage at
that time.

MELBER: I don`t either. And Beth, for all the phone wars that are being
waged politically, Netanyahu also feels that the Republicans will remain a
bulwark against any deal in Iran.

FOUHY: Apparently, he hopes so --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right --

FOUHY: I mean, he sort of tempered that a little bit with Andrea Mitchell
again today. He wasn`t quite as definitive as he was before Congress, when
he said, you know, this is a bad deal and we can`t possibly take the deal.

He was sort of dialing it back a little bit today and saying well, you
know, we could maybe live with a little bit, and he made the point that
Iran threatens not only Israel but the rest of the Middle East too.

So he -- again, he was pivoting away from that hard right tack he took with
Congress and with his own people.

Back to speaking again to probably the President to the American people,
that he`s really not that hard-line of a guy.

MELBER: Yes, it`s just fascinating for students of politics because he did
this very explicitly in a message to us, to Americans in a -- in a TV
interview with a celebrated American --

FOUHY: Right --

MELBER: Journalist and foreign policy expert. So he is clearly continuing
to telegraph to both audiences in both countries.

Panel stays, we`re going to come up -- coming up, we`re going to talk about
a staffer for Scott Walker who is now the latest to succumb to the freedom
of speech forum that we now know as social media.

And first, in a new interview, Mitt Romney talking about his regrets to not
reaching out to who? To more minorities in 2012. And he says he`s going to
go shirtless for his charity fight with Evander Holyfield.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I think that there`ll be a lot of Democrats, they`re paying good
money --

COURIC: To watch Mitt beaten up --

ROMNEY: To see me get beaten up --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER: There is a new political action committee supporting a Clinton
presidency, not a big shock there, but it`s not for Hillary, it is for
Bill, sort of.

Billforfirstlady2016.com is a new political PAC, it`s publishing videos and
spreading social media messages all in support of Hillary Clinton`s
campaign by arguing that Bill would make a great first lady, or a first
"first lady".

The group is raising money to support Hillary Clinton for president, but in
one video, a caricature of former president Clinton says hey, they always
said Hillary wore the pants, now I`m wearing the dress.

Stay tuned on that.

And coming up next, Mitt Romney talks about his biggest mistake and it`s
not those 47 percent comments.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER: Mitt Romney is back, and it turns out he can be more interesting
when he is not a candidate. He sat down with Katie Couric and spoke about
the different approach he would take if he ever runs for office again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: One thing is that I would spend a great deal of time taking my
message to Hispanic Americans and to other minority groups in this country;
African-Americans, Asian Americans.

And describing why it is the conservative principles are best for them and
for their families. That`s something I wish I ought to spend a lot more
time doing.

We ought to take an ad dollars as well and responded to some of the attacks
that came our way, some of them by the way below the belt.

There were things that were said in some of the ads that came against us in
Hispanic media, but also in English media. But we`re not accurate and we
should have fought back harder against those things and shut them down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: David, Richard and Beth are back with me. Beth, that struck me as
probably honest or candid and that he is going back over the things he
didn`t like, that he thinks contributed to his loss, which is not the
political answer you always get.

FOUHY: Yes, it did strike me as very candid, but it also sounded a little
bit cynical. I mean he had that option in 2012, if he really wanted to
take his message to those constituencies, he could have done it.

But clearly, the decision was made that they were not going to vote for
him, that the best way for him to win was to maximize white voters, older
voters, the more traditional Republican voters.

And that was going to be the way to do it. So they specifically did not
woo the constituencies he`s now saying that he wished he had.

MELBER: Yes, and David Axelrod, that`s not the only old ground he ran back
over. I want to give you the benefit and the chance to respond to what he
said about an account from your book, take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COURIC: David Axelrod writes that you called the President to concede and
congratulate him. The President told him and others who were in the room
that you said "you really did a great job of getting out the vote in places
like Cleveland and Milwaukee."

He then told them after he hung up, in other words, black people. He
thinks that`s what this was all about. Now, your aides have said that
never happened.

So what was your recollection of that conversation?

ROMNEY: You know, I remember going into the room with a few of my staff
people, picking up the phone and being as gracious as I could possibly be
at a very difficult time and congratulating the President on winning.

I may well have said, what a good job they did turning people up, because
they did. But I -- by the way, I don`t even know what happened in
Milwaukee, so some of those -- some of those quotes are obviously
misunderstanding.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Do you think you misunderstood what he was trying to get across?

AXELROD: Well, I wasn`t on the conversation, I just relayed what the
President said. And look, I said when I was being asked about this before,
I think -- I`m sure Governor Romney was being gracious.

I don`t think he meant to be offensive when he said this. But you know,
you are at the end of a long campaign, there are two people who are looking
through -- either through a different prism, and that`s the way the
President reacted.

But let me just go back to a previous point, Ari. It wasn`t benign neglect
that alienated Romney from minority voters in this country or Hispanic
voters.

There were some things that he did in order to secure the nomination that
exacerbated that chasm.

One of them was to say that he was going to, you know, have people self-
deport, and to -- he ran to the right of the whole Republican field on the
issue of immigration reform.

So the real question is, was that a mistake? Does he regret doing that?
That to me is much more substantive than that -- well, they didn`t try hard
enough.

MELBER: Right, and he also took a pop at Hillary Clinton, let me play this
for you, Richard.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: What you see here is Clintons behaving badly. I mean we`ve seen
this before. I mean it`s always something with the Clintons.

Which is that they have rules which they describe before they get into
something, and then they decide they don`t have to follow their own rules.

And that I think it`s going to be a real problem for her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: What did you think of that attack there?

WOLFFE: Oh, I think for a Republican who maybe is campaigning if not for
president, maybe treasury secretary. It`s shooting fish in a barrel,
right?

MELBER: Right --

WOLFFE: Take a swipe at the Clintons, take a swipe at the Obamas, foreign
policy and you`ve checked all the box there, I mean why is he doing this
interview apart from the prospect of stepping into a boxing ring?

I do think that, you know, Mitt Romney is doing this sort of -- it`s not
quite an apology tour, but it is a rehabilitation tour --

MELBER: A softening, yes.

WOLFFE: I remember at the end of the 2004 election, which was traumatic
for John Kerry, now Secretary of State, so he`s campaigning led somewhere.

But he -- John Kerry at the end of it, would try to tell reporters how in
fact, he wasn`t aloof and he was really human, and you`re confident
fighting that last battle.

There was a great "Newsweek" writer who was shown a personal letter from a
fan by John Kerry, saying look, this person loves me. And I think that`s
what Mitt Romney is doing here.

But he`s also still saying I`m still a force to be reckoned with, I can
land a political punch, so I`m not that bad on the campaign trail if you
ever need a treasury secretary.

MELBER: Right. And I appreciate that bit of political history, Richard,
because I can confirm John Kerry is human --

(LAUGHTER)

And indeed --

WOLFFE: And you know, that`s great --

MELBER: Yes, well, while I have you here, I want to go to another
important story which is not just Romney`s past, but important thing
happening that despite mounting criticism of all that GOP obstruction of
the President`s Attorney General nominee today.

Senate Republicans announced -- this is new, that they won`t hold anymore
votes this week, which means the 130-plus days of delay will continue.

And this fight is now heating up further. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: The first African-American woman nominated
to be Attorney General is asked to sit in the back of the bus when it comes
to the Senate calendar.

It is beneath the decorum and dignity of the United States Senate.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: What is beneath the decorum and dignity of
the United States Senate is for him to come to this floor and use that
imagery and suggest that racist tactics are being employed to delay Miss
Lynch`s confirmation vote.

Such inflammatory rhetoric has no place in this body and serves no purpose.
It was offensive and unnecessary and I think he owes this body, Miss Lynch
and all Americans an apology.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: David Axelrod, what do you make of all of this fight over your
former boss` nominee here who has been held up longer than most modern
Attorney General nominees.

AXELROD: I don`t know, but I go back to our previous discussion. You
know, it`s not -- it wasn`t just the candidate in 2012 who had difficulty
with minorities, it`s the Republican party at large.

So if they`re interested in repairing that breach, I don`t think holding up
the nomination of this very qualified candidate, who Republicans and
Democrats, whatever -- however they`re going to vote, agree is well
qualified for this office.

Holding her hostage to this debate isn`t going to help those relationships.
And I think that`s why they reacted so tenderly to Durbin`s attack.

I think it`s a sore point for them and they`re making a mistake.

MELBER: David Axelrod, whose book is "Believer: My 40 Years in Politics",
thank you Richard Wolffe and Beth Fouhy --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks --

MELBER: Thank you both for joining me tonight.

FOUHY: OK.

MELBER: And coming up, the harsh world of social media, how one wrong move
is costing people their political careers, and a new social media tool
upping the ante.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER: Instagram photos of Congressman Aaron Schock`s extravagant
lifestyle help pave the way to his resignation this week.

The photos and his pricey office decoration led to allegations that he
misused public funds for travel and private plane trips.

Schock`s announcement overlapped with the resignation of another
Republican, this time strategist Liz Mayer, and she was working for
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his PAC.

But what did she do? Well, she just tweeted about politics. She had a
series of tweets that were written back before she was hired by Walker, and
they were basically politically incorrect.

But ultimately legitimate criticism of Iowa Congressman Steve King and the
Iowa caucuses themselves.

And if tweets and Instagram photos aren`t enough, there is also a new
technology that many are saying could truly revolutionize politics.

It is a free live video service called Meerkat, remember that word,
Meerkat. It basically puts the power of TV broadcasting in the hands of
anyone with an iPhone and a Twitter account.

As former top Obama aide and communications strategist Dan Pfeiffer put it,
"literally, every minute of every day of the campaign will be available
live to anyone who wants it, no matter where they are."

Joining me now is Mic.com editor and social media expert Elizabeth Plank,
comedian and xoJane contributor Peal Glen(ph) and "Washington Post"
columnist and Msnbc contributor Jonathan Capehart.

Good evening everybody.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, JOURNALIST, WASHINGTON POST: Yes, right --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, good evening, hi.

MELBER: Liz, let me start with the easy stuff, which is Liz Mayer,
Republican, whether you agree with what she said or not, she used the
internet and tweeted a say in a sarcastic way.

You know what? The Iowa caucus shouldn`t really be first in the nation,
shouldn`t have so much power. Are there a lot of people who say that and
whether you agree or not, it wouldn`t normally seem like a fireable
offense.

ELIZABETH PLANK, SENIOR EDITOR, MIC.COM: Well, look, this social media is
a new thing, right?

I mean it`s existed, but technology has existed for a long time and it`s
been innovating in different ways and taking different directions.

But ultimately we can`t blame the internet or blame technology for people`s
bad behavior. It`s up to everyone to know that everything that they tweet
is going to be on the record.

MELBER: But was this --

PLANK: And --

MELBER: Bad behavior?

PLANK: Well, I think it`s up to politicians -- sorry, not up to
politicians, but up to the public to find that out. And also I mean it --
look, if you -- you can be fired for many reasons.

And if the representative doesn`t want her representing him anymore based
on those tweets, then he can do that.

MELBER: Let me read a little bit from Liz here, because this is what she
said, now afterward -- and she went back to Twitter, so she has not been
pushed completely off --

PLANK: Right.

MELBER: -- platform. But she wrote, look, --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

-- "For my part, yea, I`ll try to rein in the snark. I suspect, tho,
that, for some, that won`t be enough because some don`t want to discuss
policy."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

And I read that as her digging her heels in to part of this, which is,
she doesn`t is, she doesn`t probably feel she should be fired for having a
position about when Iowa gets to vote.

PIA GLENN, COMEDIAN AND ACTRESS: Right. And, you know, I admire that
she is sticking to it, in a sense. I think we all make these decisions as
we will.

And I think it`s significant that her position changed. You know, you
could get a new job, a new -- you know, a new political affiliation even.

And someone would dig up everything you`ve everything tweeted. And
they will read into the tone, they will read into every syllable of that
tweet.

And that`s -- I don`t think that that is inflammatory or threatening
at all, what she said. However, it is up to interpretation. If that tone
wasn`t acceptable or wanted --

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, I don`t blame her
for sort of digging in her heels, because it`s not like she sent out a
racist tweet, a bigoted tweet in any way, that she demeaned anyone.

She was just talking politics. And it got her -- it got her fired.
She was tweeting about substance. And if Scott Walker is, you know, isn`t
strong enough to have someone on his campaign who`s got strong views, well,
then, that`s on Scott Walker.

Now, having said that, I understand why he --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

-- kicked her to the curb, Because he`s groveling for every vote he
can get in the Iowa caucuses. It`s the first contest.

So, politically speaking, I understand why he did it. But I also
understand why Liz is digging in her heels, because she did nothing --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

-- wrong.

MELBER: Right. And you mentioned the contrast to actually catching
someone with new technology doing something objectionable.

One of the most famous incidents of this was George Allen, who`s a
popular Republican senator of Virginia, rumored to be a good presidential
candidate -- and I`m going to play it in terms of the video piece of this -
- then this happened --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. GEORGE ALLEN (R), VIRGINIA: This fellow here, over here, with
the yellow shirt, Macaca or whatever his name is, he`s with my opponent.
He`s following us around everywhere.

(LAUGHTER)

And it`s just great. We`re going to places all over Virginia. And
he`s having it on film. And it`s great to have you here, so welcome.
Let`s give a welcome to Macaca here.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: So, he`s using the epithet and using it publicly. I think,
if you want to analyze the moment, he thinks that`s fine for that audience.

And the smattering of applause suggests they were probably fine with
it in a moment. But the video, and this is what goes in that new
technology, Meerkat. As soon as it goes out there, it takes a life of its
own.

CAPEHART: Right, it takes a life of its own. And the thing that`s
more insidious about what he did there, he was using a word that the people
-- they didn`t know what that word meant.

It was a -- it was a foreign word. And so, he -- yes. So, he was
some sort of -- I mean, I could say -- I could say a curse word in Italian
right now.

You might not know exactly what I`m saying. And the audience might
not know what I`m saying, especially the FCC.

But, you know, unless you speak that language, you won`t know. And
someone who saw the video and understood that word said, "Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Wait a minute, he just used the bigoted term for this guy who`s taking the
video."

GLENN: Intentionally and jovially.

MELBER: So, yes. And so, Pia, you`re big online as well and you play
on different platforms. Do you think a sort of constant live video
streaming service -- that`s what we`re talking about here that`s so new, is
it good or a bad thing.

GLENN: I personally don`t think it`s a good thing. I can see, and I
look forward to dissent online.

(LAUGHTER)

But I don`t think it`s a good thing. I think that context is so
important. I always preach that context matters.

That if we`re going to be -- I mean, it`s akin to selective
surveillance, when you get to put forth someone`s actions, someone`s words,
someone`s comments.

See, those of us -- I know and you know there`s a camera right there.
I`m` aware, I`m here, thank you for the invitation. But not everyone is
living their life in front of the camera and needs every single thing
they`ve said recorded.

I mean, you wouldn`t have wanted to hear what I said last night. And
I hope --

(LAUGHTER)

-- you wouldn`t beyond Meerkat, quite frankly.

PLANK: But it is that conversation that we`re having about Meerkat
now. It`s the conversation that we had about Facebook in 2008, or the
conversations that we had about Twitter in 2012.

So, to me, it is, you know, probably going to be the big thing in
2016, the big trend. But how politicians are going to use it, that`s
what`s going to matter.

MELBER: Well, and you mentioned that Jeb Bush, just today, went on
that service for the first time and did live video on it.

PLANK: Was it good.

MELBER: I don`t know because --

(LAUGHTER)

GLENN: I know.

PLANK: I don`t want to know.

MELBER: -- it`s so new, our producers couldn`t get it because it was
live and then it goes away.

PLANK: Right.

MELBER: All right, everyone, stand by. This week, we`ve learned how
awful people can be to each other on social media. More on that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: How do you make Obama`s eyes
light up. Shine a flashlight in his ears.

(LAUGHTER)

That`s pretty good.

Somebody send Obama some life hex on how to be a good president. Ha,
ha, like I bet that would help, LOL. Now, the LOL is redundant when you
have the "ha ha."

I`m all right with the President wearing jeans. I`m not all right
with the President wearing those jeans.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

MELBER: Many chuckle when celebrities or the president read those so-
called mean tweets about themselves. And freaking out over celebrities may
be no big deal in the big scheme of things, but what about the cultural
impact here on everyone else including, especially, children.

Well, there is a powerful new anti-bullying video that explores this
darker side of life online, an issue that`s getting more attention from
politics and pop culture, to playgrounds around the nation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS 1: Is it racist if I don`t like black people
because of how much I hate Sierra.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS 2: You`re a huge loser.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Ethan, are your parents brother and sister,
because your face looks retarded.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS 3: No one likes you. Do everyone a favor, just
kill yourself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Back with me is Liz Plank, Pia Glenn and Jonathan Cape hart.
We talked about the politics of this.

We also wanted tonight to talk about everybody else. Most people
aren`t super into politics and thinking about Iowa, but a lot of people and
kids are living online.

Let me start with one stat and get your thoughts, Pia, on high school
students, say, --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

-- 15 percent of high school students say they`ve experienced some
kind of cyberbullying in the past year. And, among adults, 40 percent of
people feel they`ve experienced some kind of cyberbullying.

Yes, bullying, and kids being tough and terrible --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

-- and cruel to each other isn`t new. But is there something really
wrong here. And is the culture or adults, if you want to put it that way,
are we doing enough to prevent it.

GLENN: I think, as you stated, bullying is not new. It`s always been
a reality. But the act that people have to -- you know, making it spiral
out of control is incredible.

And that, to me, is the determining factor that -- the access and the
platforms, that someone could be sitting at home.

If someone pulls your hair on the schoolyard or calls you a terrible
name, it`s between you guys and Jungle Jim -- if someone says -- I mean,
these are terrible things that are said, typed off in 140 characters, and
there`s a detachment, there`s a time factor, and there`s how widespread
they get.

If you`re sitting at home and read a terrible thing about yourself, I
think there`s an element of just trying to live your life, going about your
business, going about your day, that children and adult, everyone, you can
be smacked in the face by -- this is a terrible thing.

MELBER: And Ashley Judd was talking about this in a recent interview,
Liz. Take a listen to what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASHLEY JUDD, ACTRESS: Or, apparently, I`m a whore. I`ve been called
the "C" word. I`ve been told I should -- the way things happen on social
media is so abusive.

And everyone needs to take personal responsibility for what they write
and not allowing this misinterpretation and shaming culture on social media
to persist.

And, by the way, I`m pressing charges.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: What do you think of that.

PLANK: So, Ashley Judd actually wrote an op-ed on "Mic" today,
detailing her own history with incest and rape and being molested. So, the
fact that she received those rape threats and death threats -- I mean,
takes another life of its own, given her history.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

And I think it really highlights just how -- I mean, it`s so
innocuous, right. Her tweet was about sports. It was a -- it`s like a
sports thing, which, like men, tweet about all the time. Women do, too.

But for her to experience that kind of level of vitriol really, to me,
exemplifies the kind of crap that women deal with and how different it is
for them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Men get attacked because of the Things that they say with their voice.
And women get attacked because they have a voice. And so, I`m happy that
she`s speaking out about it.

MELBER: And another piece to this online, Jonathan, is, of course,
the fact that these are businesses, right. Every place, whether it`s
social communication between people or articles or whatever are companies.

And they`re not always using any kind of good standard. They`re just
trying to get whatever is popular.

Let me read from something interesting from Monica Lewinsky. This is
at a cyberbullying event. Just today at "Ted Talk" event. She said,
"Look, a marketplace has emerged --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

-- where public humiliation is a commodity and shame is an industry.
How is the money made. Clicks. The more the shame, the more clicks. The
more clicks, the more advertising dollars."

"We`re in a dangerous cycle. The more we click on this gossip, the
more numb we get to the human lives behind it," she goes on. But,
Jonathan, what do you think of that because you also --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

-- write for a more serious Web site but you`re familiar with the fact
that there is tremendous corporate pressure for anything that has a big
audience.

CAPEHART: Yes, although I work for a company, "The Washington Post"
that wants clicks for the content that we put out. And we`ve got
standards, where anyone who puts out a racist, bigoted, mean-spirited
tweet, is going to have a talking to, if not, be fired.

I think what Monica Lewinsky raises is a real issue because there are,
maybe, entertainment magazines or just individual people who are building
their audiences and pulling in advertisers.

That way, the more outrageous they get, the more clicks they get, the
more money they get. And it just feeds the bullying culture.

You know, I think it`s also -- what`s happening here is, the platform,
you can send a mean tweet to someone and it could be shared, basically all
over the world.

Remember Tyler Clemente or Tyler Clement, the guy, the student in New
Jersey whose roommate put a camera --

MELBER: Yes.

CAPEHART: -- and filmed him in a personal situation, and then sends
an e-mail out to everyone saying, "Hey, tune in to this to watch this."
And he ended up killing himself.

I mean, that`s what we`re talking about. It`s the platform, and it`s
also the anonymity that people feel comfortable -- you know, you could pull
someone`s hair, call them a name and I know exactly who did it.

(LAUGHTER)

But with the Internet, I could make up a name and send out a horrible
message or a tweet to someone, like someone did to that young woman --

MELBER: Right.

CAPEHART: -- in that thing, and you`d never know who it was.

GLENN: You can make up 50 names. Because we have people with
multiple accounts.

CAPEHART: Right.

GLENN: And the CEO of Twitter made a statement recently that they are
aware they have not done enough to handle our --

PLANK: They said they screwed up.

GLENN: Right. And they`ve said it. And that`s a good beginning.
Now, we know what to do.

But there are -- we have this protocol -- when I say "we," I mean
women communities, black people community -- all of -- it`s a lot of ethnic
minority, it`s a lot of gender codification.

But, unfortunately, that`s what it has come to. Do we have a support
system in place amongst ourselves to handle this. Because there are people
creating multiple accounts just to troll.

And it`s easy to say, "Oh they`re just trolls. Brush it off."

CAPEHART: Although it depends on what you write. So, one day, the
people who are protecting you could turn on you if you write something or
say something that runs against the conventional wisdom. And I`ve dealt --

MELBER: Is there something you want to say, Jonathan.

(LAUGHTER)

GLENN: Yes.

CAPEHART: Yes. And I`ve dealt with that all this week, given the
piece I wrote in "The Post" about "Hands Up, Don`t Shoot."

The people, the very people, who were cheering me on for the last year
and a half on pieces that I was writing about, unarmed African-American men
being killed by police, are now calling me "Uncle Tom," "house negro," all
sorts of -- all sorts of things, because I happened to read the Department
of Justice report and to write a piece talking about what it said.

Meanwhile, what`s weird is that the people on the right, who were
calling me all sorts of racist, bigoted names, not all of them, but a lot
of them are racially-tinged e-mails or Facebook postings or tweets, are now
calling me, "Oh, you`re a great guy. You`re one of the good ones."

PLANK: Right. But disagreement is one thing, and abuse is another
thing. And I`m not saying that you didn`t go through that but --

CAPEHART: No, no. But it`s been abusive.

PLANK: Right. Exactly. But why aren`t companies doing something
about it. I mean, Twitter, you mentioned Twitter. Twitter is worth
billions of dollars.

To me, it`s so weird that they haven`t gone to the length that it
takes to crack down on -- to crack down on people opening 50 Twitter
account, like that should be an easy thing to fix and they`re just not
putting to priority.

GLENN: And directly address the hoops we have to jump through in
order to report this.

PLANK: Right.

GLENN: I woke up today to a delightful message about how I should
die. I don`t even know what it was in response to. Sometimes, they just
come like a --

(LAUGHTER)

I have no idea.

MELBER: I know. And you see the host of issues. And a lot of these
companies, they say, "Well, we`re like utilities. We`re just platforms.
We don`t want to take --

GLENN: Right.

MELBER: -- responsibility for it." And they`ve gotten in trouble
with that and the issues you raised, or everything from that to the ISIS
accounts that are finally getting cracked down.

GLENN: Right.

MELBER: So, it doesn`t feel like it`s going to be enough on this
modern era to say, "Hey, we`re just hosting a conversation with no
responsibility."

This has been an interesting conversation to host, though, here. So,
thank you very much, Pia Glenn, Jonathan Capehart and Liz Plank. Thank
you.

Coming up next, Charles and Camilla meet Barack and Joe. And, later,
the push --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

-- to expunge marijuana convictions for people living in places where
pot is now legal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, are headed to Louisville,
Kentucky tomorrow morning, where Charles will give a speech on the
environment. The royal couple ended their visit in Washington --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

-- today with a big meeting in the Oval Office with President Obama
and Vice President Biden. NBC`s Peter Alexander has more on their trip.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PETER ALEXANDER, NBC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
Capping off a full first day in D.C., their royal highnesses enjoyed an
exclusive Washington reception.

On the National Mall earlier, these tourists came to see a president
but wound up running into a future king. Prince Charles and Camilla toured
the Lincoln Memorial and paid tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

At Mount Vernon, Britain`s heir to the throne took in George
Washington`s favorite view while Camilla turned heads.

(SCREAMING)

These students, including 13-year-old, Bridget Moynahan, basked in the
royal moment.

BRIDGET MOYNAHAN, STUDENT WHO MET CAMILLA AND PRINCE CHARLES: I was
like, "Can I have a hug." And he`s like, "Sure, OK, yes."

(CHEERS)

ALEXANDER (on camera): That`s a royal hug. Does that make you a
princess or something.

MOYNAHAN: It`d better.

ALEXANDER: No hug here but, at least, we got an answer.

KATE MIDDLETON, DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE: Hello.

ALEXANDER (voice-over): Just hours after the Duchess of Cambridge
apparently revealed Prince George will become a big brother by the mid to
end of April.

Prince Charles, are you excited to be a grandfather again.

PRINCE CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES: Oh, yes.

ALEXANDER: For the proud grandparents, the short trip across the
pond, that`s already making a splash.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: That was NBC`s Peter Alexander in Washington. And coming up,
- if pot is legal where you live, --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

-- why are pot offenses still holding so many people back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NBC News is reporting the Islamic state is claiming credit for
yesterday`s attack at a museum in Tunis. The claim of credit appears to
have aired first on the radio station of an Islamic group that supports
ISIS.

What we still don`t know is if the Tunisian attackers are part of the
larger ISIS group there in Tunisia or some kind of lone wolf group.

And a program, "Taking the Hill." Be sure to watch "Taking the Hill"
with Patrick Murphy. That`s this Sunday at 1:00 Eastern. Congressman
Tammy Duckworth will be there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

You can legally smoke marijuana recreationally in Colorado, --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

-- Washington State, Alaska and the District of Columbia. And in
another 15 states, possession of small amounts of pot has been
decriminalized.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

But that patchwork still leaves a big gap for people with prior pot
convictions, which means that, in many parts of the country, people
continue to pay a price today for infractions that are no longer illegal
anymore.

And while usage rates are similar among race and class in this
country, blacks are four times as likely as whites to be arrested for
marijuana possession. That`s according to the ACLU.

But, now, the top court in Connecticut has a solution. It just
unanimously held that, when it comes to prior pot convictions, quote, "The
legislature, as determined, --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

-- such violations are to be handled in the same manner as civil
infractions, like parking tickets. There`s no plausible reason why
erasures should be denied in such cases.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

And, now, many are wondering if that ruling in Connecticut could lead
to other states following suit around the nation. Joining me now is
Nicholas Menditto, the defendant who won the Connecticut Pot Amnesty Case,
as it`s been called. And his lawyer, Aaron Romano.

Hello to you both. Aaron, how did you think to bring this argument.
Where you surprised and excited to win unanimously.

AARON ROMANO, ATTORNEY: Hello, Ari. It`s great to be here. We were
very pleased with the result.

Unfortunately, it did take four years for this case to make its way up
to the High Court in Connecticut. And we`re very grateful that the High
Court agreed to uphold the law --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

-- as it stands in Connecticut. So, now, Mr. Menditto and many other
people in Connecticut can clear the records.

MELBER: And, Nicholas, to be clear, in your case, as has been
reported, you have other prior convictions in addition. So, why was it
important for you to try to get the pot convictions expunged.

NICHOLAS MENDITTO, POT AMNESTY CASE DEFENDANT: Yes, well, it helps a
great many other people out there who only have pot convictions on their
record. And, sometimes, they go to get a job and it`s on their record, and
it looks bad.

So, now, they can get it off their record and go on with life.

MELBER: And in your case, in your situation, --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

I understand you have a medical marijuana card there in Connecticut,
where it is legal which, you know, changes the access, --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

-- reduces the stigma. How has that affected just you in your own
life.

MENDITTO: It`s helped me -- it`s helped me with my PTSD. It`s helped
me -- I`ve had three back surgeries. It`s helped me get off pain meds.
And it`s --

ROMANO: It`s really a -- Mr. Menditto was able to make a serious
transition. There was an issue that he had that developed --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

-- from the three back surgeries that he had. He was overprescribed
Oxycontins. As a result of that, he developed an opiate addiction, which
caused him to have those run-ins with the law that you referenced, Ari.

And since he`s able to have his medical card and use Cannabis legally,
he was able to transition from this opiate addiction, and exit that, and be
clean using his medical marijuana.

So, it`s been a fantastic progression for Mr. Menditto. And there are
studies out of California that also talk about Cannabis being a successful
exit drug for other people who are addicted to Opiates.

MELBER: And on that point and the larger impact, --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

-- Nicholas, another thing here, of course, is that it`s hard for
people that don`t have good records to get jobs. Has that been an issue
for you or, in terms of this ruling, do you think that will help other
people remove that barrier once they`ve paid their debt.

MENDITTO: I definitely think it`ll help. And, yes, I think it helps
me, too, you know. I mean, it gets the drug stigma off my record, you
know, because I don`t really have other drugs arrest on my record too much,
so --

ROMANO: You know, the irony of it, Ari, is that, now, Nicholas
Menditto`s name is attached to this court case title. And so, everyone
knows, if they just Google his name on the Internet, it`s going to come up
that he had his record erased.

However, now, it is public knowledge. So, Mr. Menditto really
sacrificed his own self for the better good of others who, now, can have
their records erased without that additional stigma of being able to be
Googled and identified as people who have criminal records.

That, really, is the irony.

MELBER: I think that`s a fair legal point. Because, certainly,
others can benefit once you have the press, as you say -- and another thing
I was going to mention, in 28 states, if you have any pot-possession
conviction, you have trouble getting financial aid, a lot of people think
that`s backwards as well, if we want people to come out of this experience
and go to school, get a job, move on, et cetera.

Nicholas Menditto and Aaron Romano, thank you both for your time.

MENDITTO: Thank you.

ROMANO: Oh, thank you very much, Ari.

MELBER: Thank you. That is THE LAST WORD for tonight. You can find
me on Instagram or Twitter at AriMelber.

And Chris Hayes is up next.

END

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