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PoliticsNation, Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Read the transcript from the Friday show

February 22, 2013

Guests: Ed Rendell, Maria Teresa Kumar, Toure, J.D. Heyman

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris. And thanks to you
for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, portrait of failure. Remember this? This is when
Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate last August posing in
front of a battleship in Norfolk, Virginia, what a visual, what a team.
The pro military duo. Now, neither man actually served in the military.
But the GOP was desperate to cling to its reputation as the party of
national security.

Just four days earlier, the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier
arrived in that same port for a massive overhaul including upgrades to its
nuclear reactors. But now, those repairs have stalled. The Pentagon has
stopped the upgrade indefinitely because of next week`s catastrophic budget
cuts, that Republicans refuse to stop on Tuesday. President Obama will
head to that Navy yard, Navy shipyard to go after Republicans have their
hypocrisy. He will rip the GOP for this disaster in the making, budget
cuts that will start next Friday will hurt our recovery and cost up to 700
thousand jobs.


that these kinds of arbitrary automatic cuts would have an adverse impact
on families, on teachers, on parents who rely on head start programs, on
our military readiness, on mental health services, on medical research.
This is not smart way for us to reduce the deficit.


SHARPTON: Not smart? The president was just being gracious. These
cuts are crazy. But Republicans are not letting them happen simply to
protect the rich. The American people don`t want any of these cuts that
are about to kick in next Friday. Eighty nine percent oppose spending cuts
on education. Just 10 percent want the cut. Eighty three percent oppose
spending cuts for food and drug inspections. Just 14 percent want them.
And 81 percent oppose spending cuts for roads and infrastructure. Just 17
percent want them.

It`s simple. Americans like their teachers teaching, their roads
paved and their food safe. And they are willing to raise taxes on the rich
to protect these things. Republicans better get on board with that or get
out of the way.

Joining me now, Melissa Harris-Perry and E.J. Dionne. Thank you both,
first of all, for coming on shot tonight.



SHARPTON: Melissa, the president has the apprehend politically but
the Republicans haven`t been moved. What is going to happen?

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. I mean, if you think about what we are looking at
with this sequester versus what the president laid out in the state of the
union, just two weeks ago, right, where he lays out a vision for building
our infrastructure, building our roads, keeping the nation`s safe.

And here you have Republicans who are willing, not just to make budget
cuts, I mean, that`s what they long said, but they are willing at this
point to do it with a hatchet, with a chainsaw, right? No reasonable, like
expectation of actually looking at what can go and what can stay and how
much we need. But simply going in and lopping it off.

HARRIS-PERRY: E.J., when you see the confusion, let me give you an
example. Senator Aaron Hatch shows he really showcases the GOP confusion
because on one hand he says to "the Salt Lake Tribune," I`m for
sequestration, hatch said. We`ve got to face the music now or it will be
much tougher later.

But check out what he said in the very next paragraph. Hatch said
sequestration would lead to an economic disaster in Utah. He said it would
be devastating to our nation`s readiness. Now how can Republicans be for
something they think will be an economic disaster, E.J.?

DIONNE: You are asking me to explain that statement? If you shorten
the quota, it would sound like I`m for disaster. You know, this is a very
weird situation where in the sequester cuts were made to be so bad and dumb
that we would never go through with them. But apparently they weren`t bad
or dumb enough.

And I think there`s a real problem in the argument that Republicans
are making underneath this which is they are saying, well, we dealt with
tax increases at the end of last year. That`s it for tax increases.

No. The fact is, we have had way more in cuts already that President
Obama agreed to, you know, in the $2 trillion range or more. And we have
only had $640 billion in revenue. Obama says look, we need at least
another, you know, half a -- $500 billion of revenue, and that would still
put us at way below what Simpson and Bowles said we need on revenue. And
he has got to match package in cuts and tax increases. And if Republicans
actually just agreed to what Obama put on the table, they could declare a
big victory because the ratio for spending cuts would still be enormous.

SHARPTON: Isn`t that part of the myth, Melissa? They are saying,
well, we raised taxes. We gave revenue, but they didn`t give the revenue
that president had requested. They came in like about 600 something
million, as E.J. said, and we needed a lot more revenue than that, even
more than what he would have originally asked for.

HARRIS-PERRY: And I think that`s the key. It is not even so much
they didn`t come in where the president wanted them to be or what president
asked for. They didn`t come in where the country need them to be.

And part of what -- and I know E.J. knows this and talked about it as
well. We are actually already beginning to close the gap on the deficit.
But you know, this narrative is, if the deficit is growing and exploding
and out of control, but we know two things. One, the main thing that will
take care of the deficit is economic growth. As the pie grows, as there
are more people working, and as those people are paying into the system,
then the deficit will begin to close. But all of these choices in the
sequester will shrink the economy rather than grow it.

And the second thing is, that the policy particularly the president`s
healthcare policy, are already on the road to closing our deficit, to
narrowing it and making it smaller because it is going to affect healthcare

SHARPTON: No doubt about it. E.J., when you alluded to that in your
column -- I want it read E.J. to E.J. because I think this is an important

Republicans want it place as much distance between themselves and the
2012 election as they possibly can. From their perspective, the more
months we put away on these dumb fake emergencies, the better. As Obama`s
clout slowly diminishes, so will his opportunities to press his priorities.

It is always about bringing down president Obama. There is always a
little personal interaction here, E.J.

DIONNE: I think is personal. And I also think it has to do with
policy and ideas because every moment we spend -- we`re sitting here
talking about this fake crises, and it is a fake crisis, when we ought to
be talking about other things. Like how do we get people back to work, how
do we raise equality, how do we create upward mobility? And I think that
part of what is going on here is that if we go through with these cuts, we
are going to pull money out of the economy at a moment when we shouldn`t be
doing that. We haven`t -- the economy is on the right path but it is not
growing fast enough.

And the last thing we need to do right now, is to sort of suck some
oxygen out of it. Yes, we can talk about long-term deficit reduction. But
let`s not do it in a way that going to keep us from growing and therefore,
as Melissa suggested, ultimately make the problem we have worse.

SHARPTON: Now, Melissa, I raise the same question to President Obama.
He was on my radio show yesterday, that E.J. addressed, personal,
political. Let me play for you what the president said he thinks is the
reason they are not uniting and trying to protect the country. They are
really trying to protect the rich. Listen to the president.


OBAMA: Their basic view is that nothing is important enough to raise
taxes on wealthy individuals or corporations. And they would prefer to see
these kinds of cuts that could slow down a recovery over closing tax loop
holes, and that`s the thing that binds their party together at this point.


SHARPTON: Now, they must have struck a nerve because over at FOX
News, they went wow and they have been playing, interviewing, and let me
show you the response. Here is a tape from FOX News on their response with
what the president said on the radio show.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president seems to go back to this. Just
demonize the opponent repeatedly. He does that often.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this is a classic example of this
administration`s way of selling this to the American people, is you good
out there and fear monger. And every Republican is evil, rich and white.
And I`m fighting them so be on my team.


SHARPTON: I missed the line where he called every Republican rich and

HARRIS-PERRY: Or evil. I mean, he also -- so the president is -- has
proposed in that state of the union, he proposed, for example, raising
minimum wage to $9 an hour, right? Something that would create a living
wage in this country, and we need to have a national debate about that.

Congress right now need to be talking about, how do we raise minimum
wage to $9 an hour. How do we pass common sense gun legislation? How do
we rebuild infrastructure in this country so we are not a crumbling empire?
But instead of doing any of that, we are talking about whether we will
continue to fund our government at the most basic level because of this
fake crisis.

SHARPTON: Including national security.

HARRIS-PERRY: Exactly. And what you see the president doing over and
over again is something we call, keep it Obama, he constantly rises above
whatever petty or individual things are to try to talk about policies and
the characterization of that sentence or those clear sort of observations
as something that is saying that the Republican party is evil, rich and
white, that is a projection. The president did not say that.

SHARPTON: Maybe it`s the way he walks.

Melissa Harris-Perry and E.J. Dionne, thank you for being here. Have
a great weekend.

DIONNE: Good to be with you.

SHARPTON: Don`t forget to catch Melissa Harris-Perry at 10:00 a.m. on
Saturdays and Sundays.

Coming up, sweet sixteen. Why Joe and Hillary had Republicans running
scared, even in the deep of the heart of Texas.

And we are going Hollywood. The Oscars this Sunday night with some
politics and some serious issues hitting the red carpet.


SHARPTON: And the hot brigade is losing it bashing the president
wasn`t good enough for rushing the game. Now they`re bashing America.

A fun Friday show tonight, stay with us.


SHARPTON: The message on the right for the past four years is that
President Obama doesn`t get America. That he apologizes for the country.
That he somehow ashamed.


have the same feelings about American exceptionalism that we do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: The question of whether or not
President Obama has apologized for the United States --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wish this president would learn how to be an

administration doesn`t understand America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the question plagues Obama is not issues or
his record or position, is he pro American.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Obama gives speeches, trashing
his own country.


SHARPTON: Now, Limbaugh says the president has been trashing his own
country. Well now, is Limbaugh who is doing the trashing? Yesterday, he
said he was ashamed of America. And today, he is not backing down from
that statement.


LIMBAUGH: It is interesting you ashamed that we have sunk and
distended to this level. In our politics, in order for the left to be able
to advance, they require ignorance.


SHARPTON: He is ashamed. The American people must be ignorant. And
get this. His buddies on the right are backing him up.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: It is embarrassing when the president
is a demagogue who goes around the world apologizing for America. This is

HERMAN CAIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Listen to what rush said. It`s
insulting to continue to insult the intelligence of the American people.
And I don`t have a problem with what he said. Look, 51 percent of the
voters elected Barack Obama, 49 percent of us are not that stupid. That`s
what he is saying.


SHARPTON: Some pretty funny language from a party that is accused the
president of being ashamed of this country. These guys need a whine party.
W-h-i-n-e, not w-i-n-e.

Joining me now is Chris Hayes.

Chris, is this all part of the denial since the election. I mean,
conservatives just can`t accept how America is changing?

an instinct that people have. Just average citizens, when the election
doesn`t go your way to be frustrated, angry and angry at the can country
and angry at voters who voted him in. I know I felt that way in 2004,
right? When Bush was reelected, I think people felt I`m a left, right?
They felt angry and people made jokes about moving to Canada. So, I think,
there was --

SHARPTON: Well, I was still trying to get the recount from 2000.

HAYES: Right.

SHARPTON: But go ahead.

HAYES: But the point, I`m pointing that like as individuals, we all
have that feeling.


HAYES: The point is that I think everyone understands is that impulse
is not an impulse you want to stoke, right? Like we are all in this
together. The part of the marjoritarian (ph) democracy is that sometimes
you lose and you share the country with the people that don`t agree with
you and just kind soldier on in the minority and that`s just wait it works.

SHARPTON: Yes. But - All right, Mike Huckabee, let me just use this
for an example for my next question. Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich was
on Mike Huckabee`s show, and they were talking about the different
president - the different President Obama was from president George
Washington. Listen to what they had to say today.


president than our first one. George Washington was so adamant that we
would not have a king. And I thought, gosh, we`ve done pretty well until
2008 and now I think we may have ended up with one.

Washington`s desire to be a good citizen, his desire to be a positive
force. I think would he look at some of the current shenanigans, he would
look at the grotesque manipulation of the sequester and he would think it
was disgustful. That it was everything that he stood against as a citizen
because he really believed you should put the country first, not partisan
advantage and as a citizen. He believed in partisan advantage and not
factional skirmishing.


SHARPTON: No. I mean, that - I mean, you know, in all due respect,
Newt, that is the biggest bunch of hog wash. First of all, what has this
president done that has shown any partisan over the country? He is getting
bashed by guys on the left. I disagree with him on drones and other things
that have said in Afghanistan. You disagree with him.

What are they talking about? And how has he operated like a king?
Then tell me this great analysis, Newt, of George Washington. I mean, I
respect he is the first president. But I can give you a whole lot of
things that were not noble about the policies of the George Washington.

HAYES: There is nothing cheaper or easier than to re-inanimate the
corpse of a beloved historical figure 240 years after the fact and tell
everyone he wouldn`t have agreed would present day politics. It`s, you
know, what George Washington would make to the sequester? And in some
ways, that`s not the point.

I do think that what you see in the way the Republican party treated
Barack Obama from the first day is a feeling fundamentally that he is
illegitimate. Whether it is because of his birth certificate, whether he
is illegitimate because acorn stole the election or that is deep
illegitimacy and then actually stands back before Barack Obama to a basic
conservative view that they are fundamentally the majority of the country
and natural order of things is that they run the country and Democrats and
liberals are minority. And anything other than that is a profound
illegitimate expression of the natural state.

SHARPTON: Don`t forget Herman Cain. Even if we are the majority, 51-
49, we are just dumb, stupid and ignorant.

But let me bring you to something that is even more to me, offensive.
The battle over the minimum wage, here we are talking about real people,
real wages, the difference between people being able to bring the
respectable income home, regardless of their partisan affiliation. $9 an
hour is as reasonable as you can get. Many of us want it higher than that
and told the president that in a meeting yesterday. But he put out there
what he thinks is achievable. They are fighting against that, Chris.

HAYES: And minimum wage is the perfect example of the Republicans
being on the wrong side of public opinion and being frustrated and angry
about it, right? Because minimum wage bills in Republican state have
passed. Minimum wage polls high which Republican voters, right? So, if
you are a Republican, there are two options, right? You tell yourself that
you`re on the right side of American opinion. And then, when it turns out
you aren`t, you have to conclude that people are stupid, the people are
dumb, the people want free handouts and that the place Republicans have
retreated to. The minimum wage is a perfect example of that kind of
policy. It drives them crazy because it is against everything they believe
in, A. And B, it is very popular.

SHARPTON: Seventy one percent of Americans support minimum wage.
They are not stupid. They are people that need more income.

HAYES: Right.

SHARPTON: And I think that it is -- at the end of the day, that if
you cannot deal with the needs of the people, then you are the one acting
like a king and not in the personal democracy.

HAYES: There is a tradition of hostility and skepticism of democracy
and the conservative traditions that goes all the way back and it is
manifested at different points in time. And I think when conservatives
lose elections, particularly when they lose two elections in a row,
national elections, what you see is kind of anti-democratic strain begin to
infect their thinking. And I think you are seeing this come out. And if
conservatives want it win elections; they need to nip that in the bud.
Because that does not win you any votes to go around calling people stupid.

SHARPTON: Well, I think that`s right. But, I also think when you
look at what we are fighting, when you look at the fact that we`re talking
about stop the sequester, protect jobs, first responders, even national
security, and they say we`re not even going to get close loop holes. We`re
going to protect yachts and private jet loop holes, what are we talking
about? How insulting is it to the American people? Oh, that`s right.
We`re ignorant.

Chris Hayes, thanks for coming on the show tonight. Come, and don`t
forget to catch up with Chris Hayes, Saturdays and Sundays at 8:00 a.m.

Still ahead, top Republican says Hillary Clinton could take Texas in
2016. And Biden is also looking good. How is that White House been
looking, Senator Rubio?

And up next, thought the communist witch hunt in Congress in the
decades ago? Think again. There`s a new Ted scare.


SHARPTON: There`s a lot of name of-calling in politics these days but
doing the scare of the 50s, a Republican senator took it to a dangerous


SEN. JOSEPH MCCARTHY (R), WISCONSIN: One communist on the faculty of
the university is one communist too many even if there is only one
communist in the state department. Even if there is only one communist in
the state department, there will be still be one communist too many.


SHARPTON: Senator Joe McCarthy became notorious or falsely accusing a
government official of being communist. He was eventually sentenced for
his attacks and left Washington in disgrace. No modern senator would want
to act like McCarthy, or so you would think.

"The New Yorker" Report that before Ted Cruz came to Congress, he was
naming names down in Texas. In 2010, Cruz was talking to a tea partiers
about Harvard law school which he and President Obama attended. He said
President Obama would quote would have made a perfect president of Harvard
law school because quote "there were fewer declared Republicans in the
faculty when we were there than communists. There was one Republican. But
there were twelve who would say they were Marxists who believed in the
communist overthrowing the United States government," end of quote.

Wow. He compared President Obama to someone who wants to overthrow
the government. And he still is lobbing these attacks now that he is in
the Senate.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I think President Obama is the most radical
president we`ve ever seen. But I think an awful lot of Republicans fail to
stand for principle and contributed to getting us in this mess.


SHARPTON: Someone`s definitely radical. But it`s not the president.
Senator Cruz, are you now or have you ever been even remotely serious about
these accusations? Nice try. But we got you.


SHARPTON: The old saying goes, "Don`t mess with Texas." But Hillary
Clinton could turn the lone star state upside down. That`s how the country
looks in November of last year. Twenty six states went blue for President
Obama. Twenty four were red for Romney. But today, folks in Texas are
starting to look a little blue, and it`s all over Hillary.

The Texas GOP chair predicts that if Clinton runs for president in
2016, she could turn the solid red state a nice state of purple. He said,
and I`m quoting, if she is the nominee, "I would say that this is a lead
republican state, but not a solid republican state." I don`t know anyone
nationally who is scoffing at this.

The national party leadership is aware and tells me they`re taking it
seriously. In other words, Houston, the GOP has a big problem.

Joining me now, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and Maria
Teresa Kumar. Governor, led me go to you first. Texas hasn`t voted for
democrat for president since 1976. Forty years later, could it go democrat

FMR. GOV. ED RENDELL (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Sure, well, the demographic
make-up of Texas, you know, Rev is changing dramatically. It`s becoming
more and more Hispanics. And you combine those Hispanics with African-
Americans and then the working class whites who Hillary Clinton has appeal
to and you saw in the 2008 campaign how she knocked it out of the park with
working class whites. She could put together a coalition that could really
seriously threaten to take Texas.

I think it is not out of the question at all. I think that`s true for
the Louisiana, Indiana, and a number of states that are viewed as sort of
traditional republican states. I think they are would be in play. I think
Montana would be in play. You know, so I think --

SHARPTON: So, you think she could take states like that? I mean,
those are big red states. I concede she`s popular but do you think she
could sustain that popularity and take states like that, Governor?

RENDELL: Well, sure. I mean, Bill Clinton carried Montana once, as
you recall, Rev.


RENDELL: Barack Obama carried one electoral vote in Nebraska. It is
not unheard of. And I think as Texas continues to change every four year
increment, it`s becoming more and more likely that it`s going to go blue.
Go blue for Senate. Go blue for governor. But even go blue for president.
I think Hillary is the one to do it. Because in addition to Hispanics who
love her and African-Americans, she does appeal that I was working class
white woman dramatically so.

SHARPTON: Maria, the Hispanics loves Hillary, will Hispanics
overwhelmingly vote for Hillary in Texas and around the country if in fact
she runs.

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, VOTO LATINO: Hillary has an incredible brand
recognition among the Latino community and more importantly among Latinos
who actually are the ones that lead the demographic in the polls. But
let`s go back a little bit to Texas.

Reverend, in Texas alone, you have 3.8 million eligible Latino voters.
Of those 3.8, 2.1 million are unregistered eligible Latino voters. You
actually pair that with a lot of single women in Texas and you have an
incredible coalition in the likes that you haven`t seen in Texas in a long
time. There is an organization down there Annie`s list, that`s basically
the name sake of the former governor from Texas, Ann Richards.

And they have an incredible pool of not only bringing in money but
also pulling in money but also bringing in grass roots organizations. And
I can tell you that if Hillary says that she tosses her name in the ring,
they will going to activate not only bringing in funding from local from
within Texas but also from outside the state to be sure that she wins.

SHARPTON: I`m not so sure because don`t underestimate...


SHARPTON: .Vice President Biden, there is still speculation that Biden
could run. And Biden, he was out yesterday rallying for gun control
legislation and talking about the threat of political survival for
supporting gun control or look at this.


VICE PRES. JOE BIDEN (D), UNITED STATES: I say to my colleagues, who
will watch this, and listen to this, I say to you, if you`re concerned
about your political survival, you should be concerned about the survival
of our children and guess what, I believe the price to be paid politically
to those who refuse to act, who refuse to step forward.


SHARPTON: I mean, he`s been a real power broker. He`s leading the
charge in the push for gun control. He has been instrumental in the budget
negotiations. He was the first in the administration to openly support
same-sex marriage. And he actively lobbied the president for troop draw
downs in Iraq and Afghanistan. I mean, wouldn`t Biden be a formidable

KUMAR: And let`s not forget, he was also a champion for Obamacare and
he was also -- finding himself into the immigration debate. However, I
think what Vice President Biden right now is doing is he`s trying to create
a legacy. Because in the likelihood that Hillary runs, I doubt that he
would actually match himself up against her. However, she decides not to
run, and I think he is clearing the path for himself to absolutely run.

He has an incredible name recognition increasingly among the Latino
community. Because he`s gone in all, he was the main surrogate to go down
to Florida several times, Colorado several times, Arizona several times and
even Texas. All recognizing that he is looking for the Latino vote. But
again, if Hillary runs, I don`t believe that he would actually throw his
hat in the ring. He`s looking more of a plan B, let me leave a very good
strong legacy.

SHARPTON: Governor, now I concede again, that former Secretary
Clinton is very popular. She announced this week she will going to go out
and start speaking. They say they`ll going to get $200,000 a speech, even
more than they get for her husband. She is eight points in the polls above
Marco Rubio. Six points over Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan. Nationally, she even
is four points over Chris Christie. But is it a mistake if she does not,
in a year or so, come out and deal with some issues and not deal with
inevitability which is some of which a lot of people felt caught her in

RENDELL: Yes. There`s no question. I think if Hillary wants to be a
candidate for president, she has to come out February or March of next year
without any ifs, ands or buts about it, Reverend. And I think she will.
Look, Joe Biden is been a terrific -- he was a terrific United States
senator, he is a great American and Joe has appeal in many segments of the
party in the coalition that builds our party. But in the end, you can`t
buy history.

And if Hillary Clinton runs in 2016, history will be on the line. And
secondly, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton basically have the same fund-
raising base. If you look at the top hundred Biden fund-raisers and the
top hundred Hillary Clinton fund-raisers, basically the same person. And I
think those fund-raisers would be with Hillary. So, it is very tough for
Joe. I sort of agree, if she runs, I don`t think he does run. But I also
believe there is a legitimate chance that Hillary may not run.

SHARPTON: I do too.

RENDELL: In which case Joe Biden is doing all the right things.

SHARPTON: Well, Governor Ed Rendell and Maria Teresa Kumar, thanks
for your time tonight. Have a great weekend.

KUMAR: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Don`t forget, this is all speculation. We just got this
president re-elected. We have a lot to do with President Obama.

Ahead, we are throwing our own Oscar party here at POLITICS NATION.
The academy awards got a little political this year. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Still ahead, when politics took over Hollywood. But --
goes to the Oscars. That`s next.


SHARPTON: At the academy awards on Sunday night, we will see a lot of
talk about how Hollywood got serious this year. Some of the biggest movies
tackle the toughest and most serious issues in our politics and our


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We here highly resolve that these dead shall not
have died in vein. That this nation under God shall have a new birth of
freedom, the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall
not perish from the earth.


SHARPTON: "Lincoln" offers lessons on how Washington gridlocked and
"Django Unchained" re-imagined the legacy of slavery.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`m curious, what makes you such a mad dingo

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`m curious what makes you so curious.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What did you say, boy?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Calm down, butch. No offense given.



SHARPTON: It`s the year that politics won Hollywood. Next.


SHARPTON: Sunday night, the academy awards. Big night for both movie
buffs and political junkies. Oscars top contenders this year take their
story lines from some of the most important and controversial issues of our
time. Gridlock in Washington after the end of the civil war in "Lincoln,"
and "Argo" is turmoil in the Middle East.



UNIDENTIFIED MAN: More than 60 American citizens continue to be held
as hostages.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: If we go, then we need to go now.


SHARPTON: In "Zero Dark Thirty," torture and the hunt for Osama bin


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Can I be honest with you? I have bad news. I`m
not your friend. I`m not going to help you. I`m going to break you. Any


SHARPTON: This year, Oscar got political.

Joining me now is Toure, co-host of "THE CYCLE" on MSNBC and J.D.
Heyman, executive editor of People Magazine. Thank you both for being



SHARPTON: J.D., what got into Hollywood this year?

HAYMAN: Well, you know, it`s interesting. It was a great year for
movies and it was also just an exceptional year for political movies. I
think Hollywood tends to reflect what is going on in the culture.
"Lincoln" coming out really at the time of President Obama`s reelection.
That seem to mirror where our country was and our fascination with
politics. It`s a topic that everybody is very much obsessed with. And I
think that is reflected in these nominees.

SHARPTON: Toure, when you look at the reality, I mean, let`s look at
the fact that when you look at the movie, "Argo," in an interview with CNN,
former President Jimmy Carter said "Argo" is accurate enough. Let me play
for you what former President Carter said.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Ninety percent of the contributions to the ideas
and the consummation of the plan was Canadian. And the movie gives almost
full credit to the American CIA. When I left office, I ordained that we
would not reveal any American involvement in the process, but to give the
Canadians full credit for the entire heroic episode, and that prevailed for
a number of years afterwards. But I think it is a great film and it tells
a dramatic story and I think it is accurate enough.


SHARPTON: I mean, to be a great film Toure, does it have to be
accurate? Don`t some of these films take on history?

TOURE: Does it have to be accurate to be a great film? No. Do some
of them take liberties with history? Absolutely. Hollywood does
dramatizations, we all know that. But when they take liberty, artistic
license that we are talk about to the service of emotional truth, trying to
make you feel like it was very difficult to get out of Iran. I have no
problem with that. What Django does, it tries to make you feel like
slavery is very difficult by adding things like mad dingo fighting which
obviously we know didn`t happen, or make you feel like, these people are
under attack, assault, physically, spiritually and every sort of way. I
have no problem with that.

That`s what Hollywood is supposed to do. Take a story and make you
more interesting and make you feel it. And that`s what "Django" does.
That`s what "Lincoln" does. That`s what "Zero Dark Thirty" does to certain
extent. That`s what all of them do, Argo. So, you know, I have no problem
with that.

HEYMAN: I was just going to say, and the filmmakers are very candid
about that in each one of these cases. I mean, Ben Affleck knows that, you
know, there wasn`t a tarmac chase at the end of that situation. He wanted
to heighten the dramatic effect and give you the sense of tension that
those people actually did feel. And we all understand there`s a distance
between art and reality.

SHARPTON: But when people, J.D., watch the Oscars Sunday night, and
you have all of these films that really emanate from some historic and
political place, what are we saying to the American public?

HEYMAN: Well, I think we are saying two things. One is I think we
were saying these are very interesting important movies and they`re popular
movies that did well. So it says the American people whatever you might
think or actually interested, in politics, and in their society and how
those things interact. I mean, the other thing I think we are saying is
that, you know, the public is sophisticated enough to distinguish between
drama and reality. I don`t think anybody is going to walk away feeling

And of course, we can also talk about how politics directly impacted
some of these films. "Zero Dark Thirty" was impacted by Washington. So,
you know, these things will play out for some time, we will be talking
about this Oscar season for a long time.

TOURE: I think that`s right but a little bit to add to that, I think
a lot of people feel like because of the election of Obama, that they are
able now to deal with heavy racial issues because they feel there is a
separation, that was them and this is us. So now we can take on a movie
like slavery and not feel like we are also being indicted as part of why a
movie like the "Help" was embraced by a lot of people. We might find it
disgusting but people feel like, we elected Barack Obama --

SHARPTON: I wanted to know where was Freddie Douglas (ph) --

TOURE: Who I absolutely agree.

SHARPTON: Even though I thought it was a good movie.


TOURE: I absolutely agree. I wanted to see Freddie Douglas, I wanted
to see some black people in "Lincoln." Because all of the black people are
just in the back, it just almost kind of a dealing with the situation. Not
having agency trying to make changes. When we are dealing with -- post war
moments. We`ve gotten rid of Bin Laden.

We feel like we are getting out of Afghanistan. You know, we`re out
of Iraq. Then we can deal with movies like "Argo" which deals with the
Middle East a war I think. "Zero Dark Thirty." We could deal with those
post war moments.

SHARPTON: J.D., I heard you --

HEYMAN: That`s right. And I would add to that. You know, it is
going to be a long time in Hollywood. You have to go back really to the
70s to see this kind of diversity of movies that are hitting really hard
topics. Now, Hollywood is not perfect, like American society isn`t
perfect. It doesn`t necessary reflect, you know, exactly accurately the
reality of our lives.

But these are kind of bold movies and I think they signal a really
promising future like we have been through something politically. We have
been through something economically and we are ready to handle serious
topics. Everything is not shiny happy all the time.

SHARPTON: You have torture. I mean, you have everything, a lot of
things that were out there and they succeeded.

TOURE: And even your show in clips from "Silver Linings Playbook,"
dealing with mental health problems with a lot of Americans are dealing
with. Hollywood deal with some serious issues this time. But I don`t know
if we can really make too much about that as a friend of mine in Hollywood.
Why do we have two slavery pictures at the same time? He said, it is
probably a coincidence.

SHARPTON: Well, and I don`t know whether or not we see the diversity
in Hollywood enough to really not also sometime look at Hollywood and say,
I mean, red tails, look at the story that Schultz (ph) told about what he
had to go through to get that story out. So, I think that yes, you`re
right, America is not perfect. Hollywood is not perfect.

I`m glad to see some of these themes out but I would also like us to
really draw a line where we are making it clear, what is entertainment,
what is documentary? But at the same time, people will going to look at
Box Office. So, it is a balance that they are trying to strike, J.D., that
we really need to try and perfect.

HEYMAN: Well, you know, absolutely. It is a business and often times
it is grossly misrepresent the reality of American life, and we would all
agree. I just think that our audiences are becoming more sophisticated in
a good way. I mean, "Lincoln" was certainly not a perfect representation
of that time in history but I don`t think I can think of a movie in recent
times that`s really brought people into the process, the political process
that was going on at that time in such a real and interesting way.

You know, Django obviously takes a lot from movies from the early 70s.
But it also plays with very important themes and it puts, you know, a
strong black character, a strong black relationship front and center in a
movie that`s incredibly entertaining and I think those are really great
strides forward.

TOURE: Look, we know this is entertainment. We all know that. You
want to see history? Go see a great documentary like Central Park 5 and
then you`ll actually get history --


SHARPTON: George Lucas I think did great with "Red Tails." But
Django, look at this. Let me show you something from Django.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You know what a bounty hunter is?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You kill people.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And they give you rewards.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I need your help. I`m looking for the brittle
brothers. However I don`t know what they look like. But you do. Don`t


SHARPTON: That was the probably to me one of the most energetic parts
of the movie, Toure and J.D. You know why, J.D.? Because they play JB,
James Brown.


HEYMAN: That movie had one of the all time best sound tracks in a
long time.

SHARPTON: James brown, you can`t miss. Don`t worry. The more things
change, the more they remain the same. J.D. Heyman, Toure, thanks for your
time tonight.

TOURE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: The latest issue of People is on the stands now. And you
can catch Toure on "THE CYCLE" weeknights here on MSNBC. Both of you have
a great weekend and enjoy the show.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


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