The Ed Show for Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
Show: THE ED SHOW
Date: July 8, 2015
Guest: Shawn Henry, Maria Cantwell, Richard Farley, Dennis Kelleher,
Alphonso David, Catherine Pugh, Tyler Coates, Eric Deggan
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans. Welcome to the Ed Show
live from New York. I`m Ari Melber in for Ed Schultz, as Ed would say
"Let`s get to work."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Tonight, cyber melt down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The United assault now confirming they got a major
computer glitch that is affecting the entire worldwide Tweet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All stocks at the NYSE were halted for trading.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECY: There`s no indication that malicious
actors are involved in these technology issues.
MELBER: Plus, busting bank.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: Wall Street`s Congress debts
brought to our economy to its knees. Congress repealed most of Glass-
Steagall in 1999.
SEN. BYRON DORGAN, (D) NORTH DAKOTA: We will in 10 years time look back
and say we should not have done that.
WARREN: The support of the 21st century Glass-Steagall Act.
DORGAN: Remember that term, too big to fail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: A lot of big stories today but we begin with an update on the
technical problems that froze Wall Street and grounded airplanes today.
United now saying it is recovering operations after suffering what they are
saying is a router issue. Officials called it a glitch. But it left
thousands of passengers stuck in airports all across America. Trading
meanwhile at the New York stock exchange, well that ground to a halt at
11:32 a.m. Eastern Time. Stocks continued to trade on other exchanges.
The NYSE saying it was an internal technical issue and not the result of a
cyber breech. That`s what they think at this point, trading a New York
stock exchange reopened. Well, hours later 3:10 p.m. Eastern to be exact.
That was only 80 minutes before the whole thing had to close.
Now, the DOW finished down about 259 points to decline of just 1.5 percent.
The federal government striking a note of restraint today. Law enforcement
officials are saying, they have no reason to believe this was any kind of
cyber attack. President Obama was briefed and the head of Homeland
Security also spoke out today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SECY. JEH JOHNSON, HOMELAND SECURITY: It appears from what we know at this
stage that malfunctions at United and the stock exchange were not the
result of any nefarious actor. We know less about the Wall Street Journal
at this point. Except that their system is back up again, as is the United
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Now these problems at the stock exchange come at the time when
regulators have struggled to cope with the transformation of trading from a
basically human centric endeavor to one that is run almost exclusively on
many markets by computers. Now you might remember the May 2010 flash crash
when the market plunged nearly a thousand points in minutes and whipped
right back up, we`ve been a lot in the story.
But first, Get out your cellphones out. We want to know what you think.
Today`s question, "Do we rely too much on technology?" And yes we are
asking you to answer probably on your smart phone your technology. But you
can go to pulse.msnbc.com/ED to cast your vote. We`re going to the result
later in the show.
Now let`s get right to it with Ron Insana from CNBC. Obviously a big day
over your neck (ph) to the woods for folks who aren`t day traders, explain
what happened and why?
RON INSANA, CNBC REPORTER: Well Ari, as far as we know it is as simple as
was described by the New York stock exchange. They had a technological
problem that ended up. It started really at the beginning of the day.
They thought they had fixed it and at 11:32 when it cascaded to such an
extent that they halted trading in all the stocks that trade on the New
York stock exchange.
Now as you mentioned all the same stocks trade on a multiple other stock
exchanges so they continued to move. The New York stock exchange was shut
down for three and a half hours until they could find the source of the
problem, fix it and have the stock market at the particularly at the New
York stock exchange up and running normally. They say all systems are norm
al now. They as you said reopened at 3:10 Eastern Time finished up the day
and we close just off the lows of the session, and the DOW better 250
MELBER: Yeah, but one way to look at this is to say "OK, if for whatever
reason, one exchange, even one as iconic and symbolic as the New York stock
exchange goes down the rest of the market seems to price in that is
something they can handle." So, how many exchanges would have to go down
to set off some other side of cascading events?
INSANA: Well, these days. I mean, there are close to 20 separately
functioning exchanges in the U.S., whether their market-making operations,
a technical term for dealers who effectively buy and sell securities are
from their customers or on behalf of customers. So we have a variety of
different exchanges. The NASDAQ is entirely separate from the New York
stock exchange. There are independent exchanges that exist now. So this
is vastly different environment than say 15 or 20 years ago when 85 percent
of all the volume in New York stock exchange stock traded on the floor of
the big board and there were close to 3,000 people on the floor. Today the
New York stock exchange is about 25 percent of all the volume and many
stocks, in fact most of them trade away as well as trade on the floor. So
you`ve got to see more than one exchange go, or you would have to see
something like a cyber attack to make people far more nervous than they
might otherwise been today.
MELBER: Yeah. Well, you mentioned cyber attack and we`re about to speak
next to a former FBI official who can get into a lot more detail on that.
But just broadly what was the mood there in the early period when people
didn`t know, does Wall Street feel it might be vulnerable to a real cyber
INSANA: Well, I think everybody feels that. When you talk to CEO`s, and
CFO`s, a Fortune 100 companies they spend a lot of money on intrusion
protection, defending their systems. Whether its through front door,
whether it`s though a vendor, whether -- to any kind of a loophole an
fierce (ph) type could get through, trying to prevent that from happening.
So after United and after the New York stock exchange both experience
technological problems I was on talking this morning on MSNBC. I mean, it
clearly it will cross people`s mind this could have been some sort
coordinated cyber attack. Turned out not to be at least as far as we know.
And so, as a consequence, yes, everyone worries about this. Every business
in America sees bad actors in their system, whether state sponsored,
whether their rogue players, whether they want money or just to disrupt
activity, they are in there every day and companies are trying...
INSANA: ... to beat them back every single day. Including places like the
New York stock exchange.
MELBER: Ron Insana, thank you so much.
INSANA: Thanks Ari.
MELBER: Joining me now as promise Shawn Henry, he`s currently President of
Services CrowdStrike, also the former Executive Assistant Director of the
FBI with work in cyber. So, we heard the word glitch a lot today. How do
investigators in this area determine in that early stage between a glitch
and something that might involve an attack?
SHAWN HENRY, PRESIDENT OF SERVICES CROWDSTRIKE: Well, there investigators
working with those who actually have responsibility for administering that
network. We`ll look for signs that there`s been some type of incursion.
But honestly those administering the network know relatively quickly if it
is something internal.
In this case we heard a couple of things. There is network connectivity.
There are issues regarding software updates. These networks globally
they`ve got some fragility. There are a lot of moving parts and
periodically there are things that are going happen to cause those things
to go down. Not unlike when our electric power goes out because a tree
branch hits a line or, you know, a generator blows up somewhere. So, you
know, these things happen, unfortunately. And we`ve become so reliant on
the technology you can see what that cascading impact is.
MELBER: Yes, but when you say they know. I mean, does that mean that even
a highly sophisticated potentially state sponsored attack still in its
operation, doesn`t have the ability to disguise itself?
HENRY: Well, you`ve got people that are administering networks on a
regular basis. And you`ve got human beings that may know that they pressed
the wrong button. Or they updated something that should have been updated
or didn`t test it in a small part of the network prior to deploying it
across the broader network. So you will periodically know if there is a
human being that is involved in this type of update that results in a
technical flaw, some type of a conflict on the network. You will know. If
nobody is aware, nobody in the administration of that network has any
understanding of what may have happened or why it happened, they will start
to look much deeper looking for indicators that there`s been a compromise,
indicators of attack, looking signs of reconnaissance or malware that`s
been exploited on that network.
MELBER: White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked about this
today. It was a big story in Washington even as people figured out that it
wasn`t the worst case scenario. Take a listen to him today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECY: I can assure you that beneficial
even on days when these kinds of questions are not lingering in the air,
are very vigilant about their need to adapt to an environment in cyber
space that is filled with malicious actors.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: You know, I`m sure they are vigilant but there`s a lot of evidence
that this still isn`t being taken as seriously as the threat it may pose.
I don`t have to tell you that. We often have you on to tell us that. But
the cybersecurity, safety legislation was held up on the hill and didn`t
get out of final vote there. FBI Director Comey has been pushing
decryption which is not the same as cyber but the same where your former
colleagues have basically been telling the politicians in Washington, they
need to modernize. Do you think you are going to get heard more after
HENRY: Well, I think again it`s unfortunate but it takes people being
impacted by something before they take it seriously. That is just the way
things are. There are a lot of priorities in government and they`re folks
that are focusing on a lot of different issues. This is a serious issue.
What we saw today though it appears to be a technical glitch. These are
the type of things adversaries are looking to do and quite frankly have the
capability of doing. And if you look across a couple of different
companies where this may have occurred and magnify that by, you know, five
or ten or a hundred what that impact would be on this country and globally
what that would be.
I don`t know that we`re doing enough to identify all the adversaries that
we`re talking government to government. To have other adversaries
understand what the red lines are and what the repercussions are for a
disruptive type of attack or an attack that has a devastating impact on our
economy or national security. I don`t know that`s happening. There are
certainly pockets of success but it`s not been broadly addressed as it
needs to be.
MELBER: Yeah, you mentioned that it`s got to happen to people within the
care. On sort of reminded of the Reagan maximum right. It`s a recession
if it`s someone else`s job, a depression if it`s your job. It seems like
it`s a glitch if it`s someone else`s flight or money. It`s more than a
glitch if Americans start losing their own money or feeling their own
security there online and off. Shawn Henry thanks for joining us tonight.
HENRY: Thanks Ari.
MELBERL: And at home remember to answer tonight`s question at
pulse.msnbc.com/ED. We`re going to have the results after the break.
Now coming up, Elizabeth Warren`s latest move in the Senate could be a big
speed bump for the Clinton campaign. We`re going to explain that next.
It`s a big economic story.
And later, a shakeup at the Baltimore police department. This is Breaking
News and we`re going to explain it all straight ahead
MELBER: All right. Here`s where we stand on tonight`s Bing Pulse Poll.
The question, "Do we rely too much on technology?" Thinking about today`s
glitches. You guys are pretty clear on this one. 71 percent yes, only 29
percent of you saying "No", while sending in your result online. We will
keep you posted on the results all hour, just keep going to
We got a big story up next. So stay with us.
MELBER: Welcome back to the "Ed Show." And we`re returning to a story
that has a lot of people cheering today, an effort to stand up to Wall
Street. An idea that`s been kicking around from labor unions to occupy
Wall Street is now getting a big push on Capitol Hill. A new bill to break
up investment banks and reinstated the depression air law that regulated
them. The Glass-Steagall Act.
In this idea has some big names behind you right now. Senator Elizabeth
Warren and Maria Cantwell and the Democratic side and John McCain adding
some bipartisan regime (ph), the bill would basically force big banks to
separate their traditional banking practices like saving and checking from
the risky practices often associated with the meltdown like speculation and
some investment banking. When Congress repealed this original regulation
back in 1999 some senators did warn of the consequences including Byron
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DORGAN: The fusing together of the idea of banking, which requires not
just safety and soundness to be successful but the perception of safety and
soundness. To merge it with inherently, risky, speculative activity is in
my judgment unwise. We are with this piece of legislation moving towards
greater risk. We are almost certainly moving towards substantial new
concentration and mergers of the financial services industry. That is
almost certainly not in the interest of consumers. I think we will in 10
years time look back and say we should not have done that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: We should not have done that. That is what a lot of people have
come to say and many agree with those warnings. John McCain in fact
explains his support for this new bill with a history lesson. "Since core
provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act were repealed in 1999." He says "A
culture of dangerous greed and excessive risk-taking has taken root in the
banking world. Big Wall Street institution should be free to engage in
transaction with significant risk. But not with federally insured
deposits." Some Capitol Hill aids are saying the political winds are now
shifting towards this kind of reform. But let`s be clear it`s worth noting
to the similar proposal didn`t even get a floor vote in the last Senate.
For more we bring in one of the principal author of this new bill. And I
should mention my old boss Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington State.
Good evening Senator.
SEN. MARIA CANTWELL, (D) WASHINGTON: Ari, good evening.
MELBER: Nice so see you. Why don`t you tell us what you`re trying to do
here and why you think it has any chance of passing in an institution that
as, you know, many people feel is run by the banks.
CANTWELL: Well, first of all I`m glad you played that clip by my former
colleague Senator Dorgan. The only thing he got wrong in that clip is he
said it would take 10 years. When actually the 2008 meltdown, if you add
that it was only nine years. So, Senator Dorgan`s comments were right.
There`s no reason why you should mix the savings of U.S. consumers with the
risky investment of those on Wall Street. Separate those so that we don`t
have another implosion and cost our economy $14 trillion, which is what the
Dallas Fed said that whole implosion cost us.
So, the reason why we have a chance now is that consumers are seeing that
we passed Wall Street reform in the Congress, the Dodd-Frank bill and they
see that Wall Street is up here every day trying to roll it back, delay it.
Stop its implementation. And these guys are just getting bigger and bigger
and the risk of this happening again is very present.
MELBER: What do you say to folks who believe? Well, the problem in the
financial meltdown was more about mortgage, risk that was spread out and
including consumers about sort of exotic derivative transactions and other
things that people didn`t really understand, that is to say it is not
something that would have been prevented by this division even if your
propose division would be a good thing.
CANTWELL: Well, those are the activities the banks want to pursue. That`s
a different than holding my capital or my neighbor`s capital or the savings
that we want to invest in a bank. That`s not putting them at risk. What
Americans know today is that they did not get a bailout. And so, they see
Wall Street with record profits going about their business, continuing
these same transactions. And what they see is their kid may not be able to
go to college. They may not be able to buy a home. They may not be able
to retire when they want to. So the advent of everything that`s happened
since is not a solution yet for the American people. So, I think they are
going to be all ears as ho how Wall Street is trying to stop the reforms.
And what -- people are really understanding is the complexity of something
what was called the vocal rule is so complex. And Wall Street will still
be able to beat it. It is better to go back to the bright line we had for
decades in this country.
MELBER: Right and then you don`t play as much chicken with the regulatory
agencies and the whole food making process which is you point out and that
your colleagues Senator Warren has pointed out has definitely slow down at
the FCC. I want to ask you more broadly on the politics here. You know,
John McCain is an interesting person, definitely known as the party leader
to have on board. What about a similar type of person on the Democratic
side? Have you spoken with Hillary Clinton about this? Would you like her
to endorse your bill?
CANTWELL: Well, I have not spoken to Hillary Clinton about this particular
proposal we`ve introduced. I will say we got Angus King who`s an
independent to join on board. But I do think that people should ask
Secretary Clinton about her views on banking reform. In the past I`ve had
my conversation with here about that. And I expect that she will be tough
on this issue, that she will say to Wall Street that, you know, we`re not
going to take the same kind of risk that we took in the past.
MELBER: Senator Maria Cantwell as always nice to see you and thanks for
CANTWELL: Thank you Ari.
MELBER: Now for more on this battle we want to turn to two policy experts
with different perspectives. Richard Farley, an accomplished Wall Street
lawyer and author of Wall Street Wars and also with us Dennis Kelleher CEO
of Better Markets. Good evening to you both.
RICHARD FARLEY, PARTNER PAUL HASTINGS LLP: Hi, Ari.
DENNIS KELLEHER, CEO OF BETTER MARKET: Thank you for having me.
MELBER: When you hear what Senator Cantwell said there and her concerns,
sounds reasonable to most people. What did she get wrong?
FARLEY: Well, I was very eager to here the question she didn`t ask which
you proposed to her, which is what precisely, would be outlaw under this
new Glass-Steagall that would have prevented 2008. And the answer is
nothing. You can make a risky loan in the form of a loan or you can have a
risky loan in the form of a security. It makes absolutely no difference.
And if you have too much leverage and not enough diversification and not
enough due diligence on where you make that loan, whether a bond or a
traditional loan, it doesn`t matter one bit. So, that the fact of the
matter is you are not de-risking the system from prohibiting banks from
doing both activities when in fact there are great synergies and great cost
savings that make a cheaper for borrowers to have the system as it is.
KELLEHER: Well, the fundamental flaw in that non analysis is that all
risks are the same. It`s like saying a tandem trailer down on a highway at
90 miles an hour with no air bags with a driver who`s drinking poses the
same risk as somebody in a Prius (ph) going 30 miles an hours and a vehicle
rated highly safe. Not all risks are the same. So the point of the Glass-
Steagall proposal and financial reform generally is to do two things. One
is to eliminate some of the highest risk activities by the biggest too big
to fail banks. And the other part of it is to not just eliminate them but
to reduce them and to reduce the consequences of failure of this handful of
two big to fail banks primarily.
Remember there are only 24 banks in the United States today with more than
100 billion dollars in assets. There are 6,500 banks. We`re talking about
less than 24. And they pose the biggest threat, as we saw in 2008. And as
Senator Cantwell said is going to cause -- and did cause tens of trillions
of dollars in damage to American families from coast to coast. And the law
is meant to put in place protections between the high-risk behavior of Wall
Street and wallets of hard-working Americans on Main Street.
FARLEY: Well, first of all it`s absolute nonsense to say that the largest
banks are the most risky. In fact historically it`s been the smaller
banks, poorly managed engaging in risky activities that are not diversify
that pose the most risk.
Now, when we heard ad nauseam about the London Whale, which was a pimple
(ph) on the balance sheet of J.P. Morgan. We have all this scare mongering
about how unsafe the banks are when in fact they are as safe today than
their been in a generation.
MELBER: What about the general point here though that if you want to do
this stuff no one is saying it`s barred. No one is saying it is
criminalized but you have to do it separately and not anywhere near the
federally insured consumer in money.
FARLEY: It starts with a fallacy that the loans that can be made are less
risky than the bonds that can be issued or the investments you can hold in
the same securities we`re telling you that you can`t underwrite. The bill
doesn`t eliminate risk. It just doesn`t.
KELLEHER: Of course the bill doesn`t eliminate risk.
FARLEY: Or reduce risk like eliminate. The bill doesn`t reduce risk.
KELLEHER: The goal is not to eliminate risk, OK. There is going to be
risk when lending is involved.
FARLEY: No, I said it doesn`t reduce risk.
FARLEY: But bridge (ph) further.
KELLEHER: But to suggest the -- a risk in a home loan is the same as the
risk when J.P. Morgan Chase takes $350 billion of taxpayer backed deposits
and puts into one of the highest risk derivative bets called the London
FARLEY: The home loan is riskier.
MELBER: Wait, wait. Dennis go ahead. The benefit is.
MELBER: Go back to you. Dennis finish.
KELLEHER: Right. Look, it`s farcical to say that all risks are the same
or that the small community bank with $25 billion in assets is the same as
J.P. Morgan Chase with the 2.5 trillion in assets.
FARLEY: It might be riskier.
KELLEHER: But there are two basic kinds broadly speaking banks. There`s a
bank that`s incredibly socially useful that takes deposits to the federally
insured, pull those -- that resources and then lends them out for mortgages
for cars, for homes, for education and for business to grow of all sizes
small, medium and large.
Separately there are these gigantic banks largely on Wall Street that do a
little bit of that but mostly engage in incredibly high risk trading and
investment banking. And you are right Ari. All the law is saying, Dodd-
Frank and the new proposal is saying, you can gamble all you want. You can
take all the risk all you want. But just can`t do it with taxpayer backed
MELBER: Right doing with.
KELLEHER: And can`t do it in way that you are going to be bailed out.
MELBER: I want to go back. Do it with your own darn money. I want to go
MELBER: Because you`ve heard Senator Cantwell there says she`s hoping for
MELBER: You are a Wall Street lawyer. You know these guys. You work with
these folks. Do you think they who have been into Hillary Clinton would
see this as a deal breaker, a relationship ender if she endorsed this kind
MELBER: Do you think she`ll do it?
FARLEY: ... breaker. No and hoping she won`t.
KELLEHER: Well, you know, what`s really interesting Ari, is that the
Congress and politicians are catching up with the American people. The
polls show that a vast majority on a bipartisan basis see Wall Street as
the danger. They see it has not been regulated properly and want it to be
so. And so, what you are seeing is everything from Ted Cruz to Bernie
Sanders actually talking about.
FARLEY: Yes. And you`re responsible.
KELLEHER: Regulating the high risk on Wall Street.
FARLEY: He is correct in that.
KELLEHER: What we really need here is layers of protection between Wall
Street and Main Street structural regulatory and supervisory.
MELBER: And that is the big issue. It is a big debate.
FARLEY: Thanks today Ari.
MELBER: You can hear me wrapping both of you because you both care a lot.
But we are out of time. But we`ll do this again. It`s certainly
important. I think it is something to the Senator`s point that Hillary
Clinton is going to be asked about.
Richard Farley and Dennis Kelleher, thanks for joining us.
KELLEHER: Thanks for having me.
FARLEY: Thanks Ari.
MELBER: Still coming up, a big shakeup in Baltimore. We have reaction to
the mayor`s big change at the police department and the governor of New
York making a move on how the investigations of police-involved shootings
work. Something that`s been covered a lot. Change there today. We have
MELBER: Welcome back. And the debates over policing in the past months,
many noted these problems can`t be solved by simply trying to blame
individual officers or suspects or fixating only on individual cases.
Instead many say what`s needed is a structural reform of how police
shootings are investigated.
Well, here some news folks. Today that is happening. New York Governor
Andrew Cuomo announcing a new independent system for investigating police
shootings of unarmed citizens instead of DAs and police investigate
themselves. He`s empowering the state attorney general as acting special
prosecutor for those killings.
Now that would remove the conflict of interest that can exist when
prosecutors are asked to investigate the officers that they work with every
other day on every other prosecution. The debate has ranged from Ferguson
to Baltimore and was huge if New York after officers killed Eric Garden
with a chokehold and the local prosecutor didn`t indict them on murder, or
manslaughter, or excessive force. They were indicted on anything.
Garner`s mother is welcoming today`s move as step forward but calling for
independent investigation of all police killings regardless of whether the
civilian is armed.
The New York attorney general first asked for this authority back in
December, many police groups and prosecutors have been opposing it. And
Governor Cuomo did not initially embrace it publicly but there were growing
calls for some kind action. In fact the influential music model and
businessman Russell Simmons was leading street rallies on the issues. And
first said back in December and Governor Cuomo called him to promise an
executive order. It took another six months but that appears to be what`s
And now we go Alphonso David whose counsel to Governor Cuomo and has been
working intimately on these issues. Tell us about these efforts and what
will change in a system that many defended is perfectly adequate to
investigate police-involved shootings.
ALPHONSO DAVID, COUNCIL TO GOV. CUOMO: Hi, Ari. Thank you. Well, the
executive order that the governor issued today is a landmark executive
order. In that for the first time in the history of the state every
district attorney will now have to seed jurisdiction to the attorney
general. The attorney general will have jurisdiction over every case when
unarmed civilian is killed by a law enforcement officer or where there are
substantial questions as to whether or not that civilian was armed and
dangerous at the time of his or her death.
We have had executive order issued in the past in the state. But certainly
not an executive order that applies to every single county throughout the
state and certainly we`ve never had an executive order that applies to this
issue. The governor feels passionately that it is important to instill
public trust in the criminal justice system. And so, he felt that it was
important to pass and sign this executive order.
MELBER: Alphonso, do you think there will be more prosecutions because of
this? And why does it expire after one year if it is such a good idea?
DAVID: Well, I think it`s too hard to tell at this point. And somewhat
premature to determine whether or not we will have more or less
prosecutions. I think one of the principle issues that the governor was
focused on is addressing the public perception that there is lack of trust
in the criminal justice system. With respect to the time frame the
governor is hoping that New York legislature will pass comprehensive
criminal justice reform legislation next year. And in the interim he`s
signed an executive order to allow those cases to be handled by an
independent special prosecutor. But the governor hopes that in the state
at some point, within the next year we will have comprehensive legislation
that addresses this issue.
MELBER: Just briefly. So if they don`t pass that, do you have him renew
DAVID: Yes, the governor had said that the executive order will be renewed
if we do not achieve comprehensive criminal justice reform in the state.
And of course over the next few months, before the legislature comes back
into session, this executive order will go into effect. So if there are
any cases that transpire over the next few months. In Niagara County, in
Buffalo, in Long Island, the special prosecutor will have the jurisdiction
to go in, to handle those cases, to investigate those cases, to prosecute.
MELBER: You`re right.
DAVID: If appropriate and to present them to the grand jury.
MELBER: Well, I got to tell you. We`ve covered a lot of heartbreaking
cases here and sometimes the day to day news gets more attention than the
big structural reforms. I know you have been working on this for a long
time. So thank you for making time for us on a busy day. Alphonso David,
Counsel to Governor Cuomo.
Stick around. We had a lot more of the Ed Show coming up after this.
MELBER: Breaking News this evening on policing in Baltimore. Moments ago
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced she is firing Police
Commissioner Anthony Batts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE, (D) BALTIMORE: It is clear that the focus
has been too much on the leadership of the department and not enough on the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: This is obviously big news. Now for Baltimore what it means
immediately as Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis will become the
interim commissioner for the police. Commissioner Batts was in charge of
course during all the recent unrest in Baltimore over the death of Freddie
Gray who died in police custody. Officer they`re currently facing charges,
six of them related to Gray`s death.
Joining me now is Trymaine Lee MSNBC National Reporter who has covered this
a great deal. Your thoughts on this big change means?
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC NATIONAL REPORTER: It hard to imagine a scenario under
the current circumstances with the homicide rate surging coming off the
heels of the unrest after the killing of Freddie Gray that a head wouldn`t
fall at some point. I think now it is interesting timing, the police union
issue with the scathing report saying that the police department actually
hindered itself and that they could have helped prevent some of the unrest
and looting in wake of the killing. But also as community groups are
rising in anger because of the blood being spilled in the streets. I think
in the first six months the homicides are up 40 plus percent. At some
point something was going to give.
Now I think yet talking with not green (ph) assault but the police union
obviously had been undermining to some degree not politically of the
administration. So, whether it`s pressure from internal fresh from the
police where community something had to give.
MELBER: Yeah. As, you know, from covering this -- a lot of these issues
look different depending when you start the clock. If you start the clock
the moment of street riots you say well look people are making threats.
People are making violence, people are making a bad situation worse and
that`s certainly true. If you start the clock a year or two or 10 back and
look at the rates of stopping and frisking of innocent people, and people
never charged on anything and the police brutality cases which we all
covered at the time the frequency with which force was used against these
individual, the frequency with which the police even settled these cases.
You said, oh the police in some of them were part of the -- of driving the
LEE: We`ll certainly. In this police he came in 2012 and Baltimore
undoubtedly had issues that go far beyond 2012. But I think we`re still in
this kind of shadow of the Ferguson effect. I mean, we saw what happen in
Ferguson the response to protest. So certainly city leaders and either the
police and mayor didn`t want to be overly aggressive. The optics would
have been terrible for them to respond in a manner anywhere near what it
looked like in Ferguson.
But to that were there directives to stand down in certain positions where
they could have put their officers in danger. That`s what the police union
is inserting. Again these police departments have these long histories of
various abuses being heaped upon the community. And when it comes back
full circle, you know, sometimes your friends become allies and allies
become enemies. So here we are in this new state.
MELBER: All right, a big story tonight at Baltimore Trymaine Lee. Thank
you for your analysis there. And I want to turn right now to Maryland
State Senator Catherine Pugh joining us by phone. Senator, what can you
tell us about what happen and whether you think this is a step forward?
SEN. CETHERINE PUGH, (D) MARYLAND. Well, let me just tell you that there
was a vote of no confidence by the police union. The mayor has made a
decision to let the police commissioner go. And I think when we talk about
how we move our cities forward and how we get back on track in terms of
reducing crime in our city. It was probably the right thing to do. You
know, I can`t sit in judgment of what decisions the mayor makes but I can
say there`s been a strong concern in our neighborhoods and communities
about how we get the trust back in the community of the police and the
police trusting the community to work with them. Even (inaudible) crime.
MELBER: But certainly you can judge some of these policies. That is your
job as the public official to evaluate what the police department in
concert with this administration have been doing to address these problems.
In your view can you point to anything specific can you think Commissioner
Batts had done that meant he should end his tenure?
PUGH: Well, let me just say this. I am co-sharing a commission and look
at police behavior and make recommendations in the future in terms of how
we develop a policing system in the state of Maryland that works for the
community and works for the police. We are just now in our preliminary
stages of that commission. So we don`t have any preconceived notions in
terms of what legislation may come out of that or what the outcome of this
study and we`ve working together of the (inaudible) would be.
But what I can say to you is that while I can`t sit in judgment of
decision, I can speak on behalf of the community that feels disenfranchised
as it relates to what`s happening in our neighborhoods and communities.
When you talk about the continued spike in crime in our communities of a
shooting, we just had three -- four shootings last night, three that
resulted in deaths. That brings us some major concerns in the community.
When you talk about the police department that`s not 24 hours and has now
decided to be 24 hours that raises some concerns in our community. That
becomes a concerns of the leadership. When those who are under your
leadership lodge a no vote of confidence, then that`s an issue.
PUGH: And that something that has to be done with and I think that`s what
the mayor has done.
MELBER: Right. State Senator Catherine Pugh on a big -- excuse me a big
Breaking News tonight there in Baltimore. Thank you for your time. Also
on a somewhat related note. We want to give you a programming update on
the story we brought you earlier.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing the new system for investigating
police shootings for of unarmed citizens. Instead of having DAs and police
investigate themselves. We`ll coming up Reverend Al Sharpton is going to
be interviewing Governor Cuomo himself. Reverend Sharpton is a civil
rights group the national action network were a key part in this issue and
they are going to talk about what led to this policy change at 6:00 Eastern
tonight. So stay tuned for that.
Now still to come on the Ed Show the story behind the Cosby story. We`re
going to look at how comedian Hannibal Buress brought the allegations into
the spotlight, that`s next.
MELBER: And as promise we have the result of tonight`s Bing Pulse Poll.
Tonight`s question, "Do we rely too much on technology, on a day full of
tech glitches?" 74 percent saying "Yes." Keep voting till the end of the
hour at pulse.msnbc.com/ED.
And we, we`ll be right back.
MELBER: In tonight`s Two-Minute Drill. An apple a day doesn`t always keep
the doctor away. An NBC player blaming he`s poor performance right now on
his iPhone. Matt Bonner has been a three point specialist for the San
Antonio Spurs. He averages over 41 percent from the arc. That is a
basketball term, which is last season he shot 36.5 percent. That is the
second lowest percentage of his career for three-pointers. Bonner says it
is because he developed tennis elbow in his non shooting arm. He told the
Concord Monitor he thinks the injury came from using that extra large
iPhone 6 saying "It was a strain to use it, you have to stretch further to
hit the buttons and I honestly think that`s how I ended up developing it.
He says the Spurs coach told him he suffered a similar injury after playing
a game on his phone.
All right. Stick around we got a lot more coming up, after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANNIBAL BURESS, COMEDIAN ACTOR: My favorite place to travel is New
Orleans. Mostly because you can drink in the street. That`s a big deal to
be able to drink in the street. I love going into a bar, hey, give me a
Jameson ginger ale, it`s a go. I don`t like this place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: That`s comedian Hannibal Buress. He`s a rising star but you may
be seeing a lot more of. He just landed his own show on comedy central.
Which lunch the career of Jon Steward and Stephen Colbert. But Buress is
also widely known for a very serious reason. His seemingly random bit
about accusations against Bill Cosby ignited much of the recent firestorm
against that embattled star.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BURESS: I`ve done this bit on stage and people don`t believe me. People
think I`m making it up. I think Bill Cosby has a lot of rape allegations.
Google Bill Cosby rape allegations. That`s not funny. That (inaudible)
has more results than Hannibal Buress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER And that might have been a passing or even random line in a joke.
But Buress has been on stage there in Philadelphia essentially breaking a
taboo and treating those accusations against Cosby as fact drove tons of
new attention to the issue. As one report were counted "Footage of that
joke went viral and suddenly word of Cosby`s troubled past hit the
Many cheered the role of a comedian as a truth teller. If the looser
standards of comedy provided scrutiny on Bill Cosby that journalists and
prosecutors failed to apply, so be it. Others argued that the chain of
events was troubling. For example, Cosby accused in Barbara Bowman
publicly asking why was it only when a male comedian called Cosby a rapist
that the accusation took hold. A fair question. We want to note Cosby has
never been criminally charged, he has denied wrongdoing of this allegation
in the past and his spokes people have said the comedian has no comment at
this time on new allegations. Now since this comedy bit, Buress was down
played his role in Bill Cosby`s fall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This Bill Cosby thing, you kind of got it started. You
were the one that spoke about Bill and it snowballed and really put a crimp
in his dating life.
BURESS: It`s definitely a weird situation, man. I get a lot of messages
from people about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Joining me now, two cultural critics, designer (ph) Tyler Coates
and Eric Deggans who`s covered this story for NPR. Good evening and Eric,
what does it say in your view about the way these accusations have worked
and failed to be taken seriously for so long that this comedian pushed them
ERIC DEGGAN, TELEVISION CRITIC NPC: Well, what I would say is, number one,
Hannibal`s bit and the fact that it went viral was the tip of a groundswell
of relooking at these allegations about Bill Cosby. There was an extensive
biography book called "Cosby" that came out around that time and got people
talking about it because it didn`t deal with these issues. And Cosby
himself was mounting sort of a return to comedy tour. He had a special
teed up on Netflix and people were starting to look at him anyway.
But I think Hannibal was able to articulate a feeling, particularly amongst
younger black people who hadn`t grown up necessarily with Cosby as the
pudding pops guy or as the patriarch of the Cosby Show. They knew Cosby as
the guy who criticized their youth culture, the guy who told them to pull
up their pants, the guy who was the moral scold. And Hannibal sort of
articulated well, why are you telling us this when you have these awful
allegations in your past and that came at a time just when people were
taking another look at Cosby`s life and career and it kind of all exploded.
MELBER: Yeah. I mean Tyler, there is something so powerful about jokes
that are definitive and that call out hypocrisy.
TYLER COATES, DEPUTY EDITOR DECIDER.COM: Absolutely. I think, you know,
what Eric made a really good point about how this is a younger generation
that is re-evaluating Cosby and it`s coming from a comedian who`s very
popular among young people. This isn`t someone that a lot of older Cosby
fans know but this is someone who is on broad city, he`s a regular which is
a hugely popular show on comedy central and I think that it also plays a
part of how, you know, the social justice activism that happens on the
internet, it kind of relates to the younger generation who doesn`t view
Cosby in that way that maybe your idea of growing up with the Cosby Show or
even her parents generation who grew up with his comedy specials.
MELBER: And Eric, when you think about this though in the point I
mentioned earlier, this isn`t a situation of he said/she said. This is he
said/she said, she said, she said, she said, count to 35. And at a certain
MELBER: It seems to me as both the lawyer and a journalist that law and
journalism sometimes fall down on this job because of the rules about how
we treat claims. And there`s an important truth-seeking function to that.
But I think when the story is all said and done about Bill Cosby, Eric, we
have a lot of evidence to suggest that the story was missed for a very long
time because people were not listening to what so many different women
throughout the years were asserting.
DEGGAN: What I would say as a corrective that the story was told in some
places, but the public wasn`t ready to hear it and accept it in a
widespread fashion. "People" magazine did a lot of journalism around
allegations in 2004 and 2005. The lawsuit that was settled that produced
this deposition that we`re now talking about this week, that happened back
in 2005. There was -- the "National Enquirer" did stories, but I don`t
think people were ready to hear that about Bill Cosby until we were in that
moment that again Hannibal articulated so well.
And we do see this with "The daily show" and with "The nightly show" and
comics, Stephen Colbert. They`re able to make connections that sometimes
journalists can`t make.
DEGGAN: Because we do have to stick to the facts and we do have to worry
about being very scrupulous about what we say. And they can make some
connections that we can`t necessarily make. But what`s interesting about
this deposition is it revealed that only if you assumed that only what he`s
admitted to in the deposition is true.
DEGGAN: It`s a very different picture of Cosby, a guy who holds back
medication from a prescription so that he can give it to women that he`s
having sex with outside his marriage. Even that is something that`s so
different than the image of Cosby that we had before, that it`s very
jarring and it`s forced people to face some very uncomfortable allegations
in a way that maybe they couldn`t before.
MELBER: Now, that`s really well put. And Tyler, does this speak to some
of what younger comics are successful with, which is really having an overt
political critical function?
COATES: I think so, you know, there`s an article in "The Atlantic" a
couple of months ago about comedians being the new public intellectual. It
has a lot to do with the generational divide. You know, a lot of people
are getting their news from Comedy Central and "The daily show" and Stephen
Colbert. And I think comedy to be successful needs to push buttons and
raise questions and then kind of deal with the fallback later. And that`s
I think what Hannibal Buress did very well with this. Maybe he didn`t
intend it to be filmed and didn`t expect it to him and it certainly caught
him off guard as it did. I think Bill Cosby`s people. But it`s something
that we haven`t been able to avoid talking about in the last six or eight
MELBER: Right and there was an audience out there ready to listen to him
as an authority. Tyler Coates and Eric Deggan, thank you for your time
tonight. That is our show "The Ed Show" I`m Ari Melber filling in for Ed
PoliticsNation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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