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'The Melissa Harris-Perry Show' for Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Read the transcript to the Saturday show

April 27, 2013

Guests: Irshad Manji, Dave Zirin, Bob Herbert, Irshad Manji, James
Carafano, Jim Riches, Judith Browne Dianis, Amy Chozick, Brooke Gladstone,
Annie Clark, Chloe Angyal, Fatima Goss Graves, Anthony Halmon

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC ANCHOR: This morning, my question. What
happens if Congress holds a hearing and no one comes? Plus, this week in
voter suppression. Tarheel envision, part two. And selling the news to
billionaire ideologues? But first the decider is back. Just as our
response to Boston makes his legacy all too clear.

Good morning. I`m Melissa Harris Perry. It was a beautiful day Thursday
in Dallas, Texas. All five living U.S. presidents and first ladies were in
their ceremonial finest. All assembled for the pomp and circumstance of
inaugurating a presidential library. The grand brick and limestone George
W. Bush presidential library and museum on the campus of Southern Methodist
University was dedicated this week along with the media blitz roll out that
should be aptly referred to as resurrecting the Bush legacy projects.
Which is exactly what a presidential library really is about. I mean it`s
the legacy of whatever the president is, but the man himself spoke briefly,
but directly to that legacy at the dedication ceremony.


GEORGE W. BUSH: But when future generations come to this library and study
this administration, they`re going to find out that we stayed true to our


BUSH: And now when our freedom came under attack we made the tough
decisions required to keep the American people safe.


HARRIS-PERRY: Tough decisions, for sure. Ones exact that you as a visitor
invited to judge at the nation`s 43rd president`s library. If you`re in
Dallas some time soon, say on the sequester long layover, you, too, can
adjudicate former President Bush`s decisions. Because the library presents
you with an interactive video, which lays out stark choices that came
across the desk of President Bush when he occupied the Oval Office.
Questions like how to behave after the nation`s most significant terrorist
attack?. The decisions that had to be made that day, on September 11th,
and the days and months that followed, were unquestionably difficult.

And the answer set a new standard for how to respond to terrorism, because
however you feel about the eight years that President Bush led this nation,
his administration wrote the book on how Americans respond to a terrorist
attack. The response playbook goes like this. First, you thank the first
responders, the police, firefighters, EMTs, nurses, doctors and even the
bystanders that charge up the stairs into the flames of the burning
building with little concern for their own safety in order to help the
wounded. This much deserved national recognition is truly an important
part of our collective healing process. Because it is that hope that comes
from knowing there will always be someone who runs toward the fire, not
away from it, no matter what, that allows us to get back to business as

But then the next thing we do, is we assign blame. The enemy, you see,
must be identified, and his discernible intentions must be named. Since
9/11, when non-state actors took the place of nation states, upon who we
could declare war, the enemy has now become a set of ideas and identities.

Third then, then we must affirm our strength in the face of terror and
declare that we will respond with the entire capacity of the American
state. Those response we will hear from of all of us, soon enough we say -
- oh, yeah, by the way, that bullhorn is on display in Dallas. And even as
Americans are preparing for retaliation, against this new main (ph) enemy,
so too are we expected to be ready to part with some of our rights in the
name of the nebulous and ever flexible priority of national security.

So if you were following the manual in the days since the Boston marathon
bombing you would have seen that almost all of these parameters have been
met. The first responders were thanked and cheered. The enemy was quickly
tied to a well understood narrative about radicalized Muslim youth. And
the full weight of justice has been promised to befall the remaining
terrorist suspect.

That continuity then and now is undeniable, but not inevitable. Because
let`s not forget that September 11th was not the first time that there were
acts of domestic terrorism that this nation had to recover from. There was
the gruesome, inhumane and consistent acts by the Ku Klux Klan that
systematically terrorized an entire people for decades in the U.S. South.
The act of racially motivated terrorism, which devastated the congregants
and neighbors of the 16th Street Baptist Church, on September 15th, 1963,
killing four precious little girls. Or the Oklahoma City bombing that left
168 people dead and hundreds more injured and on and on and on throughout
our history. Each of these events actually had different responses,
different outcomes. But certainly 9/11 was the moment that America at
large, as a collective, recognized that we had been thrust onto a broader
terrorist stage. An age that demands new responses. And it was President
George W Bush who cast what was possible in black and white with the
mentality of either you`re with us or you`re against us. That`s not to say
there shouldn`t -- there should have been leniency for, or that there
should have been no sort of response to what happened in Boston, but 12
years after 9/11, it should be known by know that the way we respond to
terror may in fact require multiple shades of gray.

At my table this morning is Bob Herbert, senior fellow at the left leaning
Public Policy Organization.

BOB HERBERT: Oh, that`s my name.


HARRIS-PERRY: Irshad Manji who is executive producer of Moral Courage
Television. James Carafano who is national security expert of Heritage
Foundation and Dave Zirin, who is sports editor for the left leaning
magazine, "The Nation" magazine. So good to have you all here. James, I
want to start with you, because -- I want to start with this idea that
George W. Bush administration gives us our first way of thinking about how
we`re going to respond.


HARRIS-PERRY: What do you think that legacy is?

CARAFANO: Well, first of all, I`d say, I`m thrilled to be sitting over
here on the far left of the table.


HARRIS-PERRY: That`s right. On my left hand site.

CARAFANO: So, you know, you brought up a really good point. Because I
actually wrote a textbook on homeland security, and one of the things I
went back (ph) the history, and the truth is, is that every generation of
Americans going back to a colonial era worried about being murdered in
their beds. And every generation of Americans have to kind of figure that
out for their own, and actually some of the most egregious are real lessons
learned, in World War I., what Woodrow Wilson learned in World War One,
shredded the Constitution, and it makes actually anything we did post 9/11
look pretty modest. So, I will say, in comparison to what we did in World
War I, World War II and even in some respects in the Korean War, what we
did post 9-11,was not anywhere near the record of abusing the Constitution.
And I think ...

HARRIS-PERRY: But it`s -- if you (inaudible) to remember that right, that
in World War II we have Internment Camps for Japanese citizens, because we
understood their identity as essentially making them basically enemy
combatants, even though we didn`t have that word. But at the same time,
that we can say, OK, so, it wasn`t -- it wasn`t that -- it wasn`t
Internment Camps, I think we also have to be careful to recognize how
problematic some of those policies were, Dave.

DAVE ZIRIN, SPORTS EDITOR, THE NATION: Yeah, I think not as bad as the
bomber raids isn`t the best ...


ZIRIN: .. tag line for the Bush administration.

HARRIS-PERRY: That could be one of the exhibits in Dallas.

ZIRIN: It could have been worse. I mean look, I`m a sports writer by
trade. That means one of the things I get done in the last ten years, is
get to know the family of Pat Tillman. The story of Pat Tillman, the NFL
player turned Army ranger who died in an instance of friendly fire in
Afghanistan. Pat Tillman was someone who thought the war in Iraq was
illegal. And I agree with Pat Tillman about that. And his family was lied
to by the Bush administration about the circumstances surrounding his
death. And George W. Bush gave speeches about Pat Tillman and his heroism
that were lies. So, every time I hear about George W. Bush and staying the
course, and his principles, I keep wondering why he`s not on trial for war
crimes for lying to the family of Pat Tillman, for lying to the families of
the people who are crippled at Walter Reed, for the families that have died
in the Middle East. And I wonder very strongly why the Obama
administration has chosen continuity instead of a break with the policies
of the Bush administration.

HARRIS-PERRY: Wait a minute. It`s interesting, that point, which I think
is one that is a critique often leveled against President Obama, especially
on the left, is this idea that whatever was -- whatever happened in the
George W. Bush administration became the new normative. It became the
normal way to respond, so that we now see many of the scripts in the
context of 9/11 emerging again, for example, post Boston.

BOB HERBERT, SENIOR FELLOW, DEMOS: Well, we make all of this stuff becomes
all right because it`s been put in the context of a war. I mean we
declared war against terror, which is a war against the tactic, which is
silly. And you know, so now we have militarized everything. Every time we
have an act of terror, including the one up in Boston, we see it as -- I
don`t know, an attack against the state or something as opposed to an
attack against individuals. And we see it as an act of war instead of as a
crime. And when you make something an act of war, you lose all
perspective, if it`s not really an act of war.

HARRIS-PERRY: James, in fact, is that -- is that right, this war versus
crime here?

CARAFANO: Well, I would say two things, most in defense of President Bush
and defense of President Obama. Is post 9/11, we forget. As we didn`t
know what was coming next. And in many sense they were ad hocking it all
the way. And I wouldn`t disagree that, say, this is just continuity. I`ll
give you a good example. Where I`m actually extremely proud of Secretary
Napolitano, which -- and you flash in the screen, the color coded alert
system. It was, you know, a good risk is, you know, understandable,
actionable and credible. It was none of those. It`s a nutty idea. You
act at the airport -- you heard -- the color code is orange. Nobody
stopped -- oh my god, what do I do? It was nuts.

HARRIS-PERRY: All right.

CARAFANO: And when the secretary came in office, you know, this is one of
the things we talked to her, we said, this is really nuts. And to her
credit, she got rid of it. Even knowing that some people may criticize her
in the department for, saying, oh, we are not serious about the war, terror
war, because you got rid of (inaudible). It was a dumb idea that was done
as a knee jerk reaction in 9/11, which we stopped doing, and I`m proud of
things like that.

HARRIS-PERRY: Irshad, I want to -- so what`s up with this notion that part
of what happens here isn`t evil. And I think that`s useful, like,
sometimes I think the left, it`s easy to look at George W. Bush like he`s a
bad guy. He`s stupid. He`s evil. He`s all these things, that you create
a caricature, and instead, say, we just didn`t know. He was, you know, as
we would say in political science, he was muddling through because it
wasn`t ...


HARRIS-PERRY: Right, because it was an unknown moment.

MANJI: As Obama said during his speech at the opening of the GWB library.
Yes, we often don`t know. And wouldn`t it be a refreshing change for any
politician to stand up and say, actually, I don`t know the answer to that.
And we are doing the very best we can. And stay tuned and give us your
feedback. But we are -- you know, we are trying. But wait a minute, Bob,
I want to get back to you for just a minute, because I think you made a
very, very interesting point about how post 9/11, the notion of individuals
have taken a back seat to the notion of the state and groups being
identified. But I would say, and you sort of alluded to this in your
question to me, Melissa, that even progressives have fed into that cycle.
So, for example, we can never forget, of course, the ugly debate around the
so-called Ground Zero mosque. What I noticed ....

HARRIS-PERRY: It wasn`t much of a debate. Yes.

MANJI: Well - but actually, what I noticed was that during that time,
people would be for or against the project based only on how offended they
felt by people who disagreed with them. So, it had very little to do with
the merits of the project, but rather who I hate ...


MANJI: ... and who ticks me off the most. I would suggest that now we
have enough distance from 9/11 that we can actually use our freedoms to do
something more constructive than hate. And that is ask questions. So ...

HARRIS-PERRY: So, let`s take a break.


HARRIS-PERRY: No, we`re going to come back. This is exactly where I want
to pick up. Is are we asking the right kind of questions in a moment like



REP. DANA ROHRABACHER: I call to order this joint hearing of the Foreign
Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and emerging threats as well on
subcommittee on terrorism non-proliferation and trade. Today`s topic is
Islamic extremism in Chechnya, a threat to the U.S. homeland? Question?


HARRIS-PERRY: Yeah. That happened. He almost looked a little bit like he
was smiling. Right? Because it happened yesterday in our nation`s House
of Representatives. That`s our tax dollars at work, all because the two
suspects in the Boston marathon, only one of whom is still alive, mind you,
and one of whom is a long-time U.S. resident and the other one was a
citizen are off Chechnyan decent? Not, the Czech Republic. OK. And so,
what were the distinguished congressmen told at this very important (ph)
put together hearing? The Islamist presence in the Chechnyan region poses
little strategic threat to the United States. Great. And also Chechnya is
not the Czech Republic. So you say we should be asking questions. Are
these the questions we should be asking, Irshad?

MANJI: I have no idea ...


MANJI: ... what questions he was about to launch into. And quite frankly,
I was asleep by the time he got to that point. But just before the break I
was saying that I think that we`re far enough now from 9/11, that more of
us can use our freedoms to be asking questions. And back to the so-called
Ground Zero mosque debate. For example, did anybody vocally ask, will
there be segregation between men and women in this mosque? Now, if there
was racial segregation, I have to believe that many more progressives would
have been questioning the merits of the so-called Ground Zero mosque. But
very few, if any asked, what about segregation between men and women? And
in fact, just so you know, I asked that after the dust settled to the imam
who was fronting this. And he admitted that there would be. Imagine if
that had been the case during the debate. So why didn`t we ask more
questions? And why is it that people who claim to be critical thinkers and
you find a lot of progressives who do claim that about themselves, so
easily fall for the opposite, which is (inaudible)?

HARRIS-PERRY: So, I mean I think what is useful here, Dave, is this idea
of -- so, you know, I`m not sure -- I`m a little nervous about asking
questions about the internal politics of ...

MANJI: But it`s not internal. It`s about America`s values. It`s about
what we -- what we stand for as a country and if we don`t stand ...


HARRIS-PERRY: But state values don`t get to dictate religious practices
within worship service.

MANJI: But public values -- public values ought to be brought to bear on
the debate itself.

ZIRIN: I mean, this speaks to one of the other aspects of the post 9/11
world. And that`s Islamophobia and the idea of the collectivization of
punishment. And this is one of the things that I think needs to be part of
this discussion. Is that you have these two men from Boston who are from
literally ground zero of white people -- of Caucus Mountains.


HARRIS-PERRY: Caucasian!

ZIRIN: Yeah, from the Caucus Mountains.

HARRIS-PERRY: That what it means -- from the Caucus!

ZIRIN: And you see that one of the immediate reactions, I`m sure you heard
this too, a lot of my friends, brown and black in Boston, were like, I`m
scared to go outside. I`m scared of the celebrations. I`m scared of the
reactions. And we live in a country where if you are white and you commit
a transgression, it`s an individual punishment, an individual gaze, an
individual focus. But if you are person of color, it becomes
collectivized, and I think that`s the weirdest response I heard was on (ph)
they said, we`re going to find out in Boston, this is one we didn`t know --
is if it was foreign terrorists or home grown murders. And you see that
dichotomy. It`s about a collective military response or a Justice
Department response with, unfortunately, the crap rolling down the hill ...

HARRIS-PERRY: So, let me ...

ZIRIN: ...on the shoulders of brown and black people.

MHP So, I want to play this. This is just days after September 11th.
This is September 20th, 2001. This is President Bush. And I want to play
this, because I think it`s not just sort of a feeling that this is true. I
mean, we heard our president say exactly this. You`re with us or you`re
against us. Let`s listen.


GEORGE W. BUSH: We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one
against another. Drive them from place-to-place until there`s no refuge or
no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to
terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make.
Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.


HARRIS-PERRY: So, in this case the state that provided safe haven was, you
know, Massachusetts.

CARAFANO: No, I think that`s actually a good point.


CARAFANO: I`m actually proud of America post Boston. We weren`t near as
wacky as we were post 911, and I think part of that is because we`ve had
the experience of the last ten years. And I thought you made a really good
point. And we`ve been at this business for ten years. We know what right
and wrong is. And so, one of the -- so there were some people after Boston
and immigration is a good example. Yet, people jump up to a great (ph)
extent that we have an immigration bill because of Boston. I didn`t get
that. And the other people say, oh my god. We literally can`t look at
this immigration bill because of Boston. Well, I didn`t get that either.
So, I am really disappointed with the people who try to play politics with
the tragedy of Boston. But I`m kind of proud American overall, who -- you
focus on the right things, that people in Boston did an amazing job. And
the rest of us, actually weren`t totally completely wacky afterwards.

MANJI: That`s right. That`s right. I think a lot of elite assumes, you
know, that people, people, not politicians, but ordinary people are dupes.
We`re not. We`re not.


MANJI: And, you know, I know ...

HARRIS-PERRY: Wait a -- we`re not dupes, but I guess -- I have -- I`m
nervous about sitting in a moment when there are prisoners at Guantanamo
Bay who are starving themselves to death ...


MANJI: Yeah.

HARRIS-PERRY: ... because of our practices there and saying, I`m proud of
America`s response in the past ten years, post 9-11, because we have
figured out what`s right and wrong. Because I keep thinking, well,
actually the American people, maybe. Like actually what I`m talking about.
-- I`m actually prepared to say the American people are not -- maybe not
the worst of . -- but as an American state, and we are complicit in it
because we are a democracy that chooses our leaders, we can`t just ignore
that our --


HERBERT: After Boston, you`ve got Lindsey Graham saying that the war
against the radical Islam continues and that radical Islam is on the march.
Presumably because of these two very dangerous characters, no doubt, up in


HERBERT: But that is not radical Islam on the march.

HARRIS-PERRY: Right, these are -- these are -- these are two young men who
happen to have a Chechnya past. And what -- and that doesn`t necessarily
brings us to that point. They`ve hanged out -- you`re going to take a
quick break, because I want to bring somebody to the table specifically who
lost someone in 9/11, so that we can have a conversation in part. Because
I want to be sure I`m not missing this. It looks different when you are in
fact victimized by it. When we come back.


HARRIS-PERRY: So even as we here in media debate the response to the
Boston bombings, there`s a sense that people in the country are beginning
to move on. But what about those who aren`t able to simply move on? Those
survivors whose lives were changed forever because of the loss of limbs and
those people whose loved ones were killed or injured? A perspective on the
personal and how it impacts policy. Joining our conversation now is former
New York Fire Department deputy chief Jim Riches. His son Jimmy was also a
firefighter, who was murdered in the terrorist attack of September 11,
2001. Thank you for being here today.

JIM RICHES, FMR. FDNY DEPUTY CHIEF: You`re welcome. I`m glad to be here.

HARRIS-PERRY: So, Jim, start by telling me a little bit bout Jimmy, who
was himself was one of those people who ran in, and not out.

RICHES: Yeah, he was 29 years old. He was a police officer for eight
years before he went off to fire department. And he was working in Lower
Manhattan engine four that day. And it was one of the first ones in the
tower. And he was in there trying to help people. He had three younger
brothers. And he was the hero before 9/11. He was the hero after 9/11.
And he`s someone that brightened up the room. We miss him terribly. I
mean we miss him. And I`m sure these families in Boston.


RICHES: He`s not at any marriages, he`s not at any weddings. He hasn`t
seen his little nieces and nephews born. And his life was taken away at
such an early age. And that pain never goes away, and there`ll never be
any closure. We miss him terribly.

HARRIS-PERRY: So, when you saw the stories out of Boston, the little boy,
eight years old, who was lost in that moment, does it bring it back?

RICHES: Oh, yeah, it brings it back, you know, all the -- you know, all
the time. Every day we live with it. We look at they found the landing
gear (ph) down by the mosque yesterday. That`s the thing. And that`s, you
know, there`s human remains. There`s a thousand families that have never
had a burial at all. And they are probably strewn out through Lower
Manhattan. And we reached out to Mayor Bloomberg. We want a full
comprehensive search of Lower Manhattan, with the JPAC, the Joint Prisoner
of War and Accountability Command to help find the remains. And they`re
going to put remains in the basement of a museum, which is - would seem
heartless. They`ve had a flooding down there. They don`t use any common
sense. There`s no accountability. People told us the air quality was fine
down at Ground Zero. Nobody was ever held accountable. These are the
problems that we have. The no-fly list. People are flying wherever they
want to go. The firemen had radios that didn`t work. The building codes
are being built to the less stringent federal code instead of the more
strict city code. They`re going to park buses underneath the World Trade
Center. We were told don`t do it. The `93 judge told them not to do it.
They`re going to go ahead and do it. They need to be held accountable,
all of the people that are coming up with these plans.

HARRIS-PERRY: So I`ve heard you say the word accountable a couple of
times. And I`m thinking, you know, we sit here in the media, we debate
this question, right? Should we read the Miranda rights to the terrorist
suspects? Are we responding in the right way, have we created good or bad
policy in the past ten years. But for you, this is not just a matter of
policy, and it`s not just a matter of media, right? This is your life.
When you look at how we have responded, post 911, when you look at our
legacy as a country. Have we honored the legacy of those who were lost, of
men like Jimmy? The choices that we have been making?

RICHES: But personally, I don`t think so. I mean -- we -- you know, what
have we done. I mean we`re still -- people are coming in. People are
getting hurt. Terrorists. We do -- we`re trying to do a good job. I mean,
we had the planes up there on 911. What did we do? We promoted the guy
who 45 minutes later, they drove the plane into the Pentagon. He got
promoted to full colonel. I mean, they have to have some kind of
accountability. You have to make sure that this doesn`t happen. What
happened to me, I don`t want to have happened to someone else. And are we
doing it? We`re trying to do what we can. Sure we have them in the
federal trial or military trial, was that in Guantanamo?


RICHES: And they -- had nothing getting done down there. There`s been
about ten trials of people in military court. The federal courts have
handled over 250 cases, they`ve gone the shoe bomber, has come and been put
-- tried and put in jail already. These are still awaiting. And we are
proactive rather than reactive -- we got a shoe bomber, we check the shoes,
we get liquids. Let`s be more proactive, let`s get in there, Napolitano
and everybody else. And if you can`t do the job, step aside and let
someone else do it where we`re going to check the no-fly list and not let
terrorists come into the country and hurt people in Boston the way I was --
Like I was hurt in 9/11.

HARRIS-PERRY: So, did I -- help me to be sure I`m clearly on this, so when
it comes to a trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, do you fundamentally care
if it`s a military tribunal, if it`s a civilian trial or is it just finally
getting this trial done?

RICHES: We finally want to get the trial done. But you know what
happened, that the Republicans and the Democrats, I blame both of them,
they have played political football with this case instead of thinking of
the families. There is totally as late. A lot of parents have died off.
We have no justice. There`s been no justice, he`s been down there
laughing, saying he`s proud that he killed our loved ones, that he`s glad
he killed our loved ones. And I saw in the courtroom, he`s sitting down
there laughing. And we can`t bring him back and try him. The federal
courts have tried over 250 terrorists. They`ve done a great job. I mean
everybody is yelling Miranda rights, this and that. They`re playing
politics with this. Let`s get these guys tried, convicted, and the federal
courts is the better way to do it, because they have a better track record
than the military courts do.

HARRIS-PERRY: Stay with us at the table. I`m going to bring the rest of
the table, because the other group of families, I want to be sure that we
talk about, the families of those who were lost in 9/11 or in Boston, but
also those Newtown families, the families in Chicago and New Orleans, the
day-to-day violence and I want to think a little bit about how we honor
their legacy and memory in terms of the kind of work that we either are or
aren`t doing in terms of policy making.


HARRIS-PERRY: No one hits the snooze button after the wake-up call of a
terrorist attack. Officials understand they must do something, because of
public demands answers. And the media holds them accountable until they
provide some. Compare that to our sleepwalking drowsiness of elected
officials in the face of gun violence, which kills some 86 Americans every
day. After the blaring alarm of Newtown, it looks like our officials
decided to catch a few more winks and ignore the need to make serious
changes in our gun laws. And that is not the only danger there sleeping
on. Last week, a blast of the Texas fertilizer plant in West killed 14,
but it seems to have drawn nothing more than a yawn of disinterest about
workplace safety. Does make you wonder when we will wake up to the clear
and present dangers that we really face. Bob, why can`t we do something on
these issues?

HERBERT: I mean I think because we don`t have any kind of real perspective
on these issues. So we look at terror, and as serious as it is, we feel
like we need to jump on it, we need to do something about it. But we lose
that sense of purpose and resolve when you look at these other issues. And
I also think that part of it has to do with media coverage. There`s really
over the top media coverage of acts of terror. As important as it is, we
just go crazy over it.

HARRIS-PERRY: Wall to wall.

HERBERT: But we have this tremendous violence that goes on in this country
all the time, and we don`t pay any kind of similar attention to it. And
then you talk about workplace safety, which is a grim problem and, you
know, was sort of perpetually with us. And we don`t pay any attention to
that at all.

MANJI: Melissa, a mean has emerged quite justifiably, since the Boston
bombings. If the Tsarnaev brothers had been shooters rather than bombers,
would we be calling it terrorism? And I think that this is such a
penetrating question. The language that we put to what happens around us,
either infrequently or day in and day out. You know, I know a guy who
lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn who used to be in jail for having murdered
somebody with a gun, who has now become part of a group that tries to stop
gun violence. And he says to me that, you know, routinely he sees people
on their stoops, on their steps, just kind of accepting the shots that they
hear around them as if that`s just the way it is. So, you know, maybe
because people have not accepted terrorism, that is to say bombings as the
way it is, but have accepted shootings as the way it is that we somehow
unconsciously, subconsciously assign different value to the lives of the
people who are taken by this kind of violence.

HARRIS-PERRY: But then this is the shame, right? So as much as we`ve been
talking about sort of feeling proud of America and, you know, the ways, in
which we have done some things well and badly, post 9-11. What we have
done badly is to address this kind of violence.

CARAFANO: Well, I thought you said the most important thing of the whole
segment, when you said -- these things happen. And there`s a demand that
politicians do something. And look, I`m the security guy. And it really
is about what are the costs and benefits that you get? What is the best
combination? What`s the best thing you can do to make people as safe as
possible, and let -- without infringing (ph) on the belief to live their
lives as free as possible. And our object is (ph) both well, make you safe
and free. But what often happens is politicians immediately start on I
must do something. And so they (inaudible) rough raft (ph), and they run
with that, it doesn`t matter if it`s the right answer or not. And then the
problem is, we spend ten years trying to unscrew it and figure it out.

HARRIS-PERRY: So, I like to think which of safe and free, that feels
useful to me, but I guess, part of what has been interesting to me is our
willingness, for example, in a post 9-11 moment in a post-Boston moment, to
give up certain parts of our civil liberties. In a way that we`re not
willing to do in terms of, for example, the Second Amendment, right? So,
OK, Fifth Amendment, who cares? But -- but Second Amendment, we`re going
to hold back (ph) even if we`ve got Newtown and Hadiya Pendleton died?

RICHES: Yeah, and, you know, who needs an assault weapon? Not a military
(inaudible)? You don`t need that. You don`t need 16 rounds. I mean this
is what happens with these massacres killing children, young children and
it`s the politicians who have the problem. How are we reading them, his
state doesn`t want gun control. And he`s basically being two faced on the
whole issue. And this is what they have to do -- take it back. You need
background checks and you don`t need assault weapons, like that, but
everybody has a right to bear arms.

HARRIS-PERRY: Sure. Right. But it feels like there`s -- like there`s a
very reasonable place between a right to bear arms and the current sort of
complete deregulation.

HERBERT: Well, politics becomes a stumbling block in all of this stuff. I
mean Americans want some reasonable level of gun control, even those who
are in support for the most of Second Amendment rights. And the same thing
happens when you`re talking about violence and when you start talking about
civil liberties, and that sort of thing. If you interview and individual
American, I don`t think they really want to give up civil liberties in any
kind of gross way. But the politicians approach this stuff differently.
They look at it in a very narrow way. What is best for them? What has to
do with the next election and that sort of thing, and it becomes very
difficult, if not impossible to make progress.

HARRIS-PERRY: I want to listen to President Obama for a moment talking in
West, Texas. Because he says something that I think is useful to us in
this moment.


the people of West, in your eyes that what makes West special isn`t going
to go away. And instead of changing who you are, this tragedy has simply
revealed who you`ve always been.


HARRIS-PERRY: So, it reveals who you are. He`s talking in that moment to
the families, to the community living with this tragedy. But it also
reveals who we are, right, as a country. That we can see this many people
die an injured and shrug our shoulders about workplace safety.

CARAFANO: Well, look, I think we can walk through maybe every major piece
of legislation that we`ve had post 9/11 that -- and make similar
complaints. You can -- you can do the same thing with Obamacare, you can
do the same thing with Dodd Frank. It`s the same thing, which we have to
rush in and do something. And we often don`t work through ..


HARRIS-PERRY: We didn`t happen to rush in on health care. I mean it took
us 35 years to pass anything.

CARAFANO: Yes. We did. We did. We did spend 35 years looking at the
Obamacare, but we didn`t spent 35 years looking at the Dodd-Frank bill
either. I mean -- and the same thing issue with immigration. And I don`t
care where anybody is on the immigration issue. Here`s an 844-page bill
that is the most -- one of the most complicated things you`ve ever seen.
And we have to rush through this, we have to do it, in the 844 ...

HARRIS-PERRY: So -- so, I mean I think you`ve opened up a whole -- a whole
another set of conversations. And so I`m glad, because I want you to come
back. But I will say, I think that it is a mischaracterization to suggest
that in our domestic policy, we have been rushing towards doing something.
In fact, quite the opposite. I think we keep not doing much of anything at
all on most of our domestic policy fronts. Jim, before we go on this
topic, is there one piece of advice you have for Boston families?

RICHES: Oh, the Boston families -- No. I mean, basically, you know,
they`re going to miss their loved ones for the rest of their lives. The
people who had their legs blown off have lives that have been changed
dramatically, but there`s never going to be any closure. They are not
going to walk back in the door and hopefully they`ll just pray. And, you
know, they`re going to miss their loved ones terribly. And there`s nothing
that you can do, but hopefully the politicians and everybody else will take
this -- as some accountability. And let`s get on the right direction --
keep the people who don`t belong here out.

HARRIS-PERRY: So, there`s something you can ...



RICHES: As you have to ask for help. You can`t keep it inside. I mean --
everybody suffers PTSD, not just people in battlefield.

HARRIS-PERRY: Right, and Jim, and also that you have been a voice now
consistently for 12 years keeping Jim`s legacy alive and we appreciate it.

RICHES: And we lost six to 12 firemen down there in Waco. Hopefully, it
will -- OSHA laws and everything else -- check the workplaces and let`s not
lie to the people and tell them that the equality is fine when it`s not.

HARRIS-PERRY: I love this. Accountability, keeping them honest.

MANJI: Yeah.

HARRIS-PERRY: Thank you to Irshad Manji, to James Carafano and to Jim
Riches. Bob is going to stay around for more. But up next, my letter of
the week is addressed to all of those who could not bother to show up.


HARRIS-PERRY: Will wonders never cease? This week our Congress actually
accomplished something. Confronted with a problem facing the American
people they rallied to the cause, found common ground and quickly enacted a
policy solution. By 361 to 41 vote, the House of Representatives yesterday
approved Senate legislation to relieve travelers of flight delays they were
experiencing due to the impact of sequester. Oh, yes, our Congress will
show up and show out in response to the most visible and vocal victims of
their policy making, which incidentally included their own members who, of
course, will be flying back home when the legislative session ends. But
when no one is watching and the victims are marginalized and rendered
invisible by inner tension, like millions of Americans among the long term
unemployed, that is a completely different story. Take a look at this
photo taken by "The National Journal" reporter Niraj Chokshi. This was the
scene Wednesday morning at a congressional hearing held by the joint
economic committee to figure out solutions to the problem of long-term
unemployment. A single member of the committee. And where her colleagues
should have been, empty seats. So, my letter this week is to Republicans
and Democrats, senators and members of the House who were not in that room.

Dear members of the joint economic committee. It`s me, Melissa. Mind if I
call you all JEC? I get it, a legislator`s work is never done. Days
filled with dozens of hearings back and forth of the Capitol for debates
and votes. The obligatory press conferences. I mean you can`t be
everywhere at once. Inevitably some balls are going to get dropped.
You`ve got to prioritize, right? After all, immigration reform is
imminent. There`s a terrorist attack to be responded to and you can`t
forget about those flight delays. Yes, you are there when it matters.
Which normally leaves me with the conclusion, when I look at this photo and
see the testimony about how to get long-term unemployed Americans back to
work, given before a room of empty chairs, that to you this crisis
confronting our country simply doesn`t matter and make no mistake, this is
a crisis. Not just for those who fall into chronic joblessness, but also
for the U.S. economy. It`s what the National Employment Law Project has
called "the real cliff that threatens our economy." There are 4.8 million
people who have been unemployed beyond the six months covered by state
benefits. People who have been out of work so long they just stopped
looking. People whose joblessness marks them for discrimination by
employers averse to hiring the long-term unemployed. Who needs you to be
sitting in that room, in that chair finding policy solutions? They do.
People who in the meantime have only had their dwindling savings fall even
further and are relying on you to strengthen the social safety net programs
that they rely on for their own survival.

Since flight delays have gotten you all hot and bothered about the
sequester, how about doing something about the sequester cuts that slashed
federal unemployment insurance by ten percent? Remember, last year when
talking about what you would do to restore the economy and create jobs, and
how that got you elected, well, now is the time to actually do it. The
absence of long-term unemployed people from the workforce means a smaller
tax base, fewer people contributing to the economy and the loss of valuable
human capital from the labor market, not to mention stresses on the lives
of those individuals, increased risk of mental illness, suicide, divorce,
higher mortality rates, domestic violence and academic under-performance by
their children. Listen, kudos to Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and the
three other Democratic members of Congress who finally showed up after they
recognized the urgency of this issue, because they came to the hearing to
address it. Together 16 of you who had better things to do, this is time
to reorganize your priority list, because if not, voters will be more than
happy to put someone else in those empty seats. Sincerely, Melissa.


HARRIS-PERRY: The Tarheel State, North Carolina, is at it again with its
efforts to suppress your vote, and for that reason we knew it was time for
another installment of "This Week in Voter Suppression." On Wednesday the
Republican-led House approved a bill that will require voters to present a
state issued photo I.D. The bill now moves to the Senate for approval.
And it`s the first of seven, yes, seven voting measures that North Carolina
lawmakers will decide on this year. But voting rights advocates are
fighting back, that includes a group of college students who silently
protested during Wednesday`s House vote. Joining me from D.C to talk out
the latest developments is Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of the
Advancement Project. Hi, Judith.

are you?

HARRIS-PERRY: So, what the hey is going on in North Carolina? What is
happening right now?

BROWNE DIANIS: Well, you know, Republicans took over the state legislature
in 2010 with the help of a wealthy donor named Art Pope. And they hadn`t
controlled it since 1870. And since then they have taken over the
governor`s office. And so, they have gone buck wild, they`ve decided to
basically take -- it was one of the best election laws in the country and
just dismantle it piece by piece. They really want to make it harder.

HARRIS-PERRY: That`s so important. I want to push on that a little bit,
because the point is that North Carolina actually is one of the states that
was doing quite well, right? The Advancement Project sort of monitors the
states, and this is one you would have put in your green column, right?
Like doing well.

BROWNE DIANIS: That`s right. That`s right. We`re talking about 65
percent turnout. They had same day registration during one week. You
know, they have early voting, but now they`ve decided to roll it back
again, it is partisan manipulation of our voting laws to make it harder for
people to vote.

HARRIS-PERRY: So, why? Why now? And why in North Carolina? Why go break
something that is working?

BROWNE DIANIS: Well, you know, the Republicans waited until they could
control the legislature and the governor`s mansion to be able to do this.
And so, they`re setting it up for 2016 to make it harder for people to turn
out, so that they will have a total impact on the upcoming elections.

HARRIS-PERRY: Well, let me ask a naive question. If Republicans want a
majority, why would they want to keep people from being able to vote? What
is it about the voter I.D. or about the felon disenfranchisement, rules,
these seven different rules that they are putting forward ...


HARRIS-PERRY: That make it partisan?

BROWNE DIANIS: Well, let`s take one of them. One of them is that they
will take away one of the early voting weeks. 70 percent of African-
American voters in North Carolina vote by early voting. They want to take
away this Sunday early voting, two Sundays. And the reason that they are
doing that is one legislator said., because I think that there are certain
things we shouldn`t do on Sundays. And one of them is voting.


BROWNE DIANIS: And we know that blacks vote on Sundays two times more
likely than white voters in North Carolina.

HARRIS-PERRY: So, I am having this -- this imaginary moment where we would
have like a sky, North Carolina blue wrestling match and it would be
between Art Pope and Reverend William Barber, who I know is fighting ...

BROWNE DIANIS: I would like that idea.

HARRIS-PERRY: Wouldn`t that be great? Like (inaudible) or something. But
no, explain to me. I know Reverend William Barber is on this. Who is
pushing back against this?

BROWNE DIANIS: Well, I mean so you have, you know, Reverend Barber from
the NAACP is really kind of leading the way. Getting other ministers to
push back against it. And then, you know, there`s democracy in North
Carolina. There`re a number of organizations. But now because the
legislature, the Senate has passed this, we`re going to see an escalation
in efforts. We are going to see that NAACP of North Carolina really
aggressively pushing back on this, because we know that this is all about
making sure that it`s harder to vote for certain people who turned out in
record numbers in North Carolina. The Republicans want to make sure that
they hold power in that state and that they control everything. And we`re
not going to let that happen.

HARRIS-PERRY: Judith, thank you -- thank you so much for joining us. I
greatly appreciate. We`re obviously going to be keeping our eyes on this
as we always do on this issue of voter suppression, because it`s in these
off years that the big (inaudible) always happens.

BROWNE DIANIS: That`s right. That`s right. Thanks, Melissa.

HARRIS-PERRY: Thanks. Thank you to Judith Browne Dianis in Washington and
coming up next, this is a two-hour show. We`re only half way through. And
we`ve got big news about news. Why some of the nation`s biggest newspapers
could be under new management and why you should care. Plus, (inaudible)
is on fire about the Steubenville rape case when we`re back.


HARRIS-PERRY: Welcome back. I`m Melissa Harris-Perry. Eight daily
newspapers, including the fourth and ninth largest papers in the country
are up for grabs in a fire sale after the company that owns them emerged
from bankruptcy needing to dump some of its most precious assets. The
publications are the latest casualties of the recession and the slump in
print advertising has debilitated the American newspaper industry over the
last decade and a half.

All of the papers owned by the Tribune Company, "The Chicago Tribune", "The
Los Angeles Times", "The Baltimore Sun", "The Sun Sentinel" in south
Florida, "The Orlando Sentinel," "The Hartford Courant," "The Morning
Call," "The Daily News". OK, listen. Valued at $623 million but it can be
yours if you have the highest bid.

Among the buyers who have that kind of pocket change lying around and are
exploring the possibility of making investment are billionaire brothers
Charles and David Koch -- sound effects by Dave Zirin -- according to a
story this week.

With me at the table is Bob Herbert, a long time journalist and now
distinguished fellow at; Dafna Linzer, who is the managing editor
of; Brooke Gladstone, host and managing editor of NPR`s "On the
Media", and Dave Zirin, sports editor of "The Nation" and MHP show sound

First, I also want to bring in the reporter on that "New York Times" story,
Amy Chozick, who joins us this story joins us from D.C.

Good morning, Amy.


HARRIS-PERRY: So, Amy, I almost really just want to start first by reading
the Koch statement because, of course, we reached out to Koch Industries
and invite a representative to join us on the show or to provide a
statement. And they provide us a statement, right? So, let me just get
this out of the way first.

Their statement is, "As an entrepreneurial company with 60,000 employees
around the world, we are constantly exploring profitable opportunities in
many industries and sectors. So, it is natural that our name would come up
with connection with this rumor. We respect the independence of
journalistic institutions referenced in the news stories, but it`s our long
standing policy not to comment on deals or rumors on deals we may or may
not exploring."

All right. So that`s where the Koch Industries stands. But newspapers
aren`t actually a very profitable investment. So, why would the Kochs want

CHOZICK: Well, that`s a really good question. These newspapers are facing
such industry-wind headwinds. They are in many ways diminished assets.

And so, you look at newspapers and you say, OK, they`re not economic --
they`re not viable financial investments anymore. So, who are they viable
to? And that is often billionaires with business or political agendas to
advance. It can happen on both sides of the aisle. And, you know, enter
the Koch brothers.

HARRIS-PERRY: So, tell me the story that you tell in "New York Times."
This is sort of not a brand new thing, right? You say that you have
sources who suggest that they have absolutely been thinking about newspaper
accusation for quite sometime.

CHOZICK: Absolutely. I mean, the Kochs aren`t looking at the next
election. They`re looking at a decades-long quest to change the country.
And a few years ago at a seminar, they`re having one this weekend,
actually, with like-minded wealthy conservatives, they laid out a strategy
to get their voices heard. And part of that strategy was educating
grassroots activists, i.e., maybe the Tea Party.

And then another part of the strategy was media. I have sources telling us
that the Koch brothers have opened the newspaper for decades, kind of
enraged of what they see as a liberal bias. And how do they change that?
How do they get their conservative voices heard?

HARRIS-PERRY: So, Amy, I just have to -- I kind of come out to the table
here, because when you said the rage of liberal bias, Bob Herbert snorted
loud. So, what was that response about?

BOB HERBERT, DEMOS: It`s silly that there`s a liberal bias in media.
Obviously, there are liberal voices and there are conservative voices. But
overwhelmingly, media in the United States, television, newspapers and that
sort of thing, the bias shifts towards the right. It`s a center right
media in this country.

HARRIS-PERRY: So what about another possible of bias. Less than
ideological one, left or right, but rather a profit-driven one, right? So
a bias to viewers and readers and money, right, which may not be one
direction or the other ideologically.

BROOKE GLADSTONE, HOST, ON THE MEDIA: It may not be. And, certainly, the
profit motive is baked into the newspaper business in the United States.
So, you don`t -- whenever people say there`s a big conspiracy to provide
this kind of an image or that kind of narrative, it isn`t necessarily one
driven by ideology but rather by the desire to make money.

I mean, Murdoch is a perfect example. He has all sorts of views on
politics, some of which would be considered classically conservative. And
if you look at his entertainment channel, when it first started, it was
absolutely transgressive. I mean, the apoplexy that was generated by "The
Simpsons" could not be believed.

So, it isn`t as if straight conservatism for him. It`s money. He doesn`t
like regulation.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. That`s why it`s fun to follow his Twitter feed, right?
He could really be surprising. Yes.

DAVE ZIRIN, SPORTS EDITOR, THE NATION: Yes, as much as a like denigrating
Rupert Murdoch, I think we have to look at the Koch brothers as being in a
different category, as being very driven activists with a real agenda about
the future for politics in this country. I liken the Koch brothers buying
the Tribune newspapers like spotting someone with diabetes who is ailing
and giving him a big glass of arsenic and saying this is going to cure
whatever ails you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought he was going to say orange juice.

HARRIS-PERRY: Right. I thought it was soda pop or something.

ZIRIN: No, arsenic, hemlock. It`s not going to work. Particularly for
the big city newspaper needs to have credibility on issues that matter to
people in cities. I mean, the city like Chicago, let`s talk about what the
issues are. It`s public education, gun violence, the teachers union, which
had a strike earlier this year.

These are the stories, police brutality, these are the stories that shape
the city of Chicago. And the idea that people would have trust in a
"Chicago Tribune" owned by the Koch brothers, not the editorial side, but
the reporting side, is something that would signal the death of the paper.

HARRIS-PERRY: So I want to bring you in on exactly this point by Dave.
Unpack this for me a little bit, right? The easy conspiracy theory is, the
Koch brothers own it, right? They own the "Chicago Tribune" -- they don`t.
Let me be clear. I`m not reporting I own it.

But if they did, right, the easy conspiracy is, OK, they own it. They now
control not only editorial content but reporting decisions. But it`s
complicated, right? What goes on in a newsroom is complicated to unpack.
How big of an impact would it make if they in fact, they own these

CHOZICK: Well, I think it`s more subtle. You know, you look at their
business interests. They have an oil conglomerate that makes $160 billion
in revenues. So, are you going to see some really tough coverage on
environmental issues? You know, these newspapers in Florida, how are they
going to cover the next oil spill?

I don`t think it`s just political. I also think it`s their business
interest. And again, I think it`s more subtle. I think every newspaper
subtly reflects the agenda of their owner. I think these might even more
so considering what they said to their confidant about wanting to change
the conversion. They`ve got the editorial pages.

You know, people talk about newspapers as being not important anymore. But
name me a political candidate who wouldn`t want the endorsement of these
newspapers in key battleground states.

HARRIS-PERRY: Right. So, I mean, I`m just thinking about this. You know,
there`s a headline from "The Los Angeles Times" about the Koch brothers
saying Koch brothers are now with the heart of GOP power.

And so, the question, Dafna, is, would they be able to print things like
this if, in fact, they believe that? If the Koch brothers were at the
heart of "L.A. Times" power?

question. I mean, that`s also the vanity aspect of owning a paper like
this. And it reminds me, you know, even on the profit issue that you
raised, you know, the New Orleans paper, look at a paper that --

HARRIS-PERRY: Paperless.

LINZER: Right.

I mean, look at a city like New Orleans. You know, very similar issues, in
many ways to the issues we raised in Chicago about gun violence and so
forth. This is a paper that is now publishing three days a week?

HARRIS-PERRY: I don`t know, like every once in a while, the sun rises,
there`ll be one on my front porch, it really just kind of a maddening
thing, when does "The Times-Picayune" come out and when it doesn`t.

LINZER: Right. And they won`t sell the paper. There are a lot of people
who want to buy the paper who want to buy it for public service reasons, to
keep it going every single day. But that paper running three days a week
for advertising revenue is still making so much money that they won`t sell
it. So I think those are also other issues.

I mean, I like to know what Amy thinks about that. You know, thinking
about profits in that way, and thinking about a company that is profit-
driven like the Koch brothers. I mean, they`re not always in it for
nothing. They are making, you know, an enormous amount of money in the
industries that they are invested in.

Why shouldn`t they want to make money here? Why wouldn`t they want to
reshape these papers to make enormous amounts of money, either through
going a digital video route that would alter the brand of the papers
they`re buying or going through advertising and crushing the papers in ways
that will keep profits going?

HARRIS-PERRY: Dafna, we`re going to stay on exactly this topic of sort of
where are the profits in papers when we come back.

Amy, thank you so much for your reporting on this. And we`re going to
continue to keep our eyes on it.

CHOZICK: Great. Thanks for having me.

HARRIS-PERRY: All right. So when we come back, more on this question.


HARRIS-PERRY: Newspapers in need of a few billionaires to throw them a
lifeline have become more of a headline than a footnote in the ongoing
story of the decline of the American newspaper industry. The takeover of
the Tribune Company papers would only be the latest and biggest by what has
become a trend of private equity owners using bankruptcy proceedings to get
into the newspaper business. Traditional papers were already finding
themselves on the old media versus new media faceoff against the Internet.

But in 2009, that slow decline turned into a landslide after the recession
stopped advertising budgets that are the financial lifeblood of newspapers.
That year, ad sales fell by 30 percent. At least 105 newspapers folded and
10,000 newspaper jobs disappeared. That was just the first half of 2009.

Newspapers haven`t fared much better since then. In 2012, print
advertising revenues declined by $1.5 billion, a decrease of 7.3 percent.
An increase in online ad sales wasn`t enough to make up for the print
losses. It wasn`t enough to keep papers arriving on news stands and door

In the last five years, an average of 15 newspapers have disappeared each
year. It`s like football field`s worth of the wetlands, in New Orleans,
our newspaper and our wetlands. So when faced with the prospect of no new
newspapers, some newspapers owned by businessmen who moonlight as
ideologues may not sound like such a bad idea. But that`s only if you
think of billionaires coming to the rescue of newspapers in distress,
strictly as a business problem, instead of the solution. Not so much of
your understanding of newspapers is more in line with Thomas Jefferson,
1787, he wrote, quo, "were it left to me to decide whether we should have a
government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should
not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."

Jefferson`s preference for papers, given that he also had a preference for
slavery, may or may not tell us much, but it does speak to the fundamental
role that newspapers had played from the very earliest days of our nation,
a free press has always functioned as an essential element in the great
American democracy experiment.

So, here`s my question folks, is -- are newspapers, are they over?

HERBERT: Yes, they`re over.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, they`re over?

HERBERT: Yes, newspapers are over. I mean, newspapers that you can hold
in your hands and turn the page and tear sheets and that sort of thing.
You know, even the "New York Times" -- I mean, we can assume eventually
will be essentially an online presence.

But, you know, the real issue is a free press. And sort of the
corporatization of the entire country, not just newspapers you can lose a
free press pretty easily. I think that the answer to a threat to a free
press is television. I think television is still the most powerful medium.
I don`t think it`s used particularly well, although I think MSNBC --
seriously -- this is a good example of how television can be used to great

But I think if television got serious about covering the news of the day in
a broad way, it would make up for the loss of newspapers.

GLADSTONE: Why would we assume that television would get serious?

HERBERT: I`m not assuming that it would.

GLADSTONE: You can say the same thing about any other --

HERBERT: I`m not assuming that it would. But the difference is that
television is such a powerful medium. It`s more powerful platform than
some or others. I wish it would. But I don`t assume it would.

GLADSTONE: It`s diminishing year by year.

HERBERT: But what I think is going to happen is that we`re going to slowly
move a free press for the most part.

GLADSTONE: I just wanted to say one other thing, that Jefferson quote,
which I really love, was followed after he became president, with no one
can believe anything that is written in a newspaper.

HARRIS-PERRY: Exactly. The situation changed his whole perspective on the
idea of the press.

GLADSTONE: And, moreover, he said that people who read newspapers were
less informed than people who weren`t. Then at the end -- who did read
papers -- then at the end of his life, he said we still need them. We
still need them for the agitation that they provide. So, he never gave up
on papers.

HARRI-PERRY: I think that`s a great American love/hate with our
newspapers. Like I both want it to show up and then a lot of times, like
I`ll be carrying my paper around with me, and then read my news on my iPad.

HERBERT: That`s why newspapers are dead.

ZIRIN: Yes. And Will Rogers said if you want free press, you better buy
one. This is -- I mean, and Will Rogers, that`s 100 years. He said this
has been a constant problem, that tension between plutocracy and the press.
And we`ve got to lose this idea that the billionaires in America are like
"Downton Abbey" rescuing our newspapers for the good of the collective
village that is America.

They`re coming in here and they`re playing for keeps. I`m talking about
the Koch brothers. They`re coming in here with an agenda about changing
politics in this country. And I think the reaction has to be, we need a
rebirth of independent media. We need a rebirth of independent journalism.

I think we`re headed towards what I`m going to just call right now, the
Jeremy Scahill era. This is an author, he`s got a new book out now called
"Dirty Wars", about the drone attacks. And what did Jeremy do, he got
himself overseas and reported on it himself and wrote about it.

That`s going to be what we have to do, boot strap investigative muckraking

HARRIS-PERRY: But that goes very much the ability to feed yourself and
your family, right? I mean, there`s a very serious consequence (INAUDIBLE)

ZIRIN: That`s real.

HARRIS-PERRY: -- which is that people still, I mean, I`m just thinking for
example, if I am teaching journalism, what would I teach? Would I`d be
teaching my students to do to come work for you, versus to come work for
"The Nation" versus to come work for NPR?

LINZER: Well, I go back to what Bob said, which is that this is really
about a free press. And it really doesn`t matter I think anymore whether
or not he`s buying a newspaper or journalists are working for any kind of
online venture. What matters is quality, independent journalism that will
help readers and viewers understand issues that they care deeply about.

You know, any place could be a great fantastic place for journalism, online
or in a newspaper anywhere else. When advertisers won`t support a
newspaper anymore or broadcast will support online newspapers or online
journalism, you know, that`s where you really need to go. But I think your
students would be learning the exact same thing. They would still be
learning about why it`s important to have an informed society. Why we have
a society that`s based on checks and balances.

HARRIS-PERRY: But actual skills, right? So, I get part of what I`m
thinking is, you know, the beast that is online is -- I mean, certainly,
all journalism, you`re feeding, feeding.

But the beast that is the online you`re feeding immediately, right? You`re
getting the new -- I mean, obviously, you`re running right now.
There`s something different about the Jeremy Scahill moment, about the deep
reporting -- I`m thinking of the really incredible and devastating story
about Pigford versus Glickman reporting that came out in "The New York
Times" just yesterday. Only a paper can do that, right? Only a paper can
send a reporter, get that deep and get that story.

HERBERT: I disagree. I think you don`t only a paper. I think you can do
it online. But, two, I think you can do it on television. You can do it
more powerfully because you can do it with images.

But you have to have to be creative. It does take an investment. And you
have to have a return in order to pay the salaries, and as you pointed out
to make a living. But it can be done.

And if newspapers go by the board, which eventually I expect them to do,
you are going to find another outlet, because people are going to crave
that information.

ZIRIN: Remember, that was Al-Jazeera`s moment during Arab spring, because
they actually had boots on the ground in the Middle East. You had people
like Donald Rumsfeld who once tried to actually bomb reporters of Al-
Jazeera like actually say, they`re doing the best coverage right now in the
Middle East. Hillary Clinton chided the U.S. media by saying Al-Jazeera is
making you look bad.

Why they were able to do it? They had boots on the ground. They had
bureaus overseas and they were able to bring the story to America.


GLADSTONE: It`s not that. The kingdom is bankrolling them.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, it`s not just creativity and will.

GLADSTONE: They got huge (INAUDIBLE) later for not covering the Persian
Gulf States particularly well.


HARRIS-PERRY: More on this as soon as we get back. I promise.


HARRIS-PERRY: Journalists of color comprise 12 percent of American
newspaper newsrooms. But minorities account for 37 percent of the populace
that those news cover. And as newspapers decline, so, too, do the barriers
to entry that have limited to those voices from being heard in the newsroom
and being read in the papers.

So, Bob, here`s one possible good thing about them falling apart, more
democratic with a little "d" for women, for people of color, for folks
right to get into, for example, the online world, than to the newsroom.

HERBERT: Well, you might be able to get in, but it will be very difficult
to make a living. It`s still the mainstream press that has the most
influence in this society. And blacks and women as well are just
underrepresented, especially in the positions that matter, in the positions
where decisions are made, when people determine what gets covered, how it
gets presented and that sort of thing.

HARRIS-PERRY: I mean, as much as we talk about the overall decline in the
process, there`s more of a precipitous decline of the African-American

ZIRIN: Yes, that`s where I come out of, actually.

HARRIS-PERRY: Of course, you do.

ZIRIN: I was with the "Prince George`s Post" in Prince George`s County,
Maryland. For those who don`t know, Prince George`s County, Maryland, the
only municipality in the history of the United States to go from majority
white to majority black while having higher incomes and being better
educated in the process. It`s also ground zero for police brutality in the
United States, one of the highest police brutality rates in the United

And an African-American press in that context was actually critical. We
would go out and actually speak to families who had complaints against the
police instead of just speaking to the police. It was about perspective.
It was about getting an alternative voice out there.

And I think there are a lot factors. You talk about the economic crisis,
but also the dislocation in the African-American community, the
suburbanization of poverty, the mass incarceration have all served to
weaken what has been known as the black community, and with that the black

HARRIS-PERRY: Although, then you look over here, for example, at the properties, we`ve got, right? The thing is, it isn`t
a locality, right? It`s not Prince George`s, but it is a version of the
black press. It`s a version of voice that again has a lower barrier to
entry for many folks.

LINZER: Right. But I think also, you know, any -- as Bob said, any
mainstream press that can have those kinds of voices and people can also --
you know, people can move up. I mean, one of the things you were talking
about that still kind of entry point in newspapers, you know, allows women
and minorities to be promoted, to move beyond this urban coverage -- to do
national coverage, to cover the White House with a different kind of voice.
It`s important perspective. I mean, you want that. You want women and
minorities covering every facet of our society.

And so, you need places where they can do that, that are absolutely open
doors in every respect.

HARRIS-PERRY: (INAUDIBLE) covered by folks that are non-white men?

GLADSTONE: I think it does. It was making me smile, because people always
ask, why are there so many women at NPR? And I think it`s because when NPR
started, it paid terribly. And basically a lot of those women got in on
the ground floor.

And, of course, now -- I don`t know, it started in 1971. So it`s pretty
old. Some of those women are still there. And I think that it developed a
tradition for that.

HARRIS-PERRY: Of paying poorly?

GLADSTONE: Well, actually, the weird thing is everybody else`s salaries
have gone down so much that we are good.

But in answer to your larger question, it depends, I think. It depends on
whether or not a box is being checked off and that minority or woman voice
is somewhat suppressed or squished into that box so they are not describing
themselves in that environment. And whether an environment actively seeks
those stories in that perspective.

So, and also, as we know very well, not every -- you know, woman is going
to bring necessarily interesting and particular stories, or every black
person care about particular issues that are in the community.


GLADSTONE: So these are purely numbers. You have to start somewhere.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, we do have certain numbers. Thank you to Bob Herbert
and Dafna Linzer and to Brooke Gladstone. Dave, of course, is going to
hang out for more because next, I am going to talk to Dave about what he is
so angry about. It`s about the Steubenville, Ohio, case.


HARRIS-PERRY: Taken individually, each of the headlines this week was a
stunner. But put them altogether and they are downright head-spinning.
Now, I don`t know what it was about this particular week, but somehow it
seemed at every turn, or more literally at every mouse click, was another
outrageous headline about young woman and the indignities that they face
following sexual assault.

The Steubenville, Ohio, high school board granted high school coach Reno
Saccoccia, or Reno Sac, a two-year contract extension the week before a
grand jury will decide whether the coach, among others, failed to report
the sexual assault of a female student by two of his teenage football

Also this week, the National Women`s Law Center joined a Michigan law firm
in filing a Title IX case against the school district alleging that school
authorities pressured a young woman not to file charges against the
school`s star basketball player who sexually assaulted her in 2010. And
Wednesday at Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, classes were canceled
after violent threats were made against students who protested homophobia,
racism and sexual assault on campus.

And those are just a few on the headlines and stories popping up this week.
It is enough to make us say, whoa, what is going on with us here?

Still with us, "The Nation`s" sports editor who is pissed about this, Dave
Zirin. And joining the table now Fatima Goss Graves, with the National
Women`s Law Center, Chloe Angyal, freelance writer and editor of the Web
site, And from Los Angeles, Annie Clark, a sexual assault
survivor and former UNC student who is an organizer of the campaign, Know
Your IX, created to educate students about their Title IX rights.

I`m going to come to you in just one moment, but I do have to start with

You were on fire this week. Your piece for "The Nation" is titled "What
the Hell?"

ZIRIN: "What the Hell?" And "What the Hell" is a quote of a rape
counselor who I spoke to about the rehiring of the Coach Sac as he`s known
up in Steubenville. She`s actually a very modest, quiet person.

And I said, hey, Coach Sac is getting a two-year contract extension. Bam,
she turned into Sam Jackson. She goes, "What the hell."

She was so angry. I could understand why because of the message it sends
to the young women of that community. I mean, we don`t know if Coach Sac
is criminally liable for covering this up. That`s for a grand jury to
decide. But first of all, they couldn`t wait for the grand jury to meet to
find out if the coach was a felon? They couldn`t do that.

And even if he is not, what we know in terms of what players said about,
oh, Coach Sac thinks it`s a big joke. He`s not worried about it. The fact
that he was caught on camera threatening a female reporter, nose to nose,
saying to her, and I quote, "You`re going to get it, and if it`s not you,
it`s going to be somebody you know."

I mean, things like that make you think, OK, this is the person who`s going
to mold the minds of these young children? And, it`s the sort of thing
that yes, absolutely. Like Marvin Gaye said, it makes me want to holler.

HARRIS-PERRY: So, Dave, this kind of anger -- I think it`s in part also
baffling for me.

Annie, I want to come to you because I think part of what is so stunning
here and part of what David is saying about the question of sort of
criminal liability versus the message is that this is about rape culture.
This is saying this is OK. Explain just for folks who are watching that

What is rape culture, particularly on college and high school campuses?

ANNIE CLARK, ORGANIZER, KNOW YOUR IX: Yes. It even starts earlier. It`s
how we socialize our young men and women into thinking that rape jokes,
threats, things like this are OK. And even those small micro aggressions
contribute to this culture where it`s not looked down upon to threaten
women or to rape them.

HARRIS-PERRY: I think that is part of what`s so shocking to me, this idea,
Chloe, that the shame belongs to us as sexual assault survivors. It
doesn`t belong to the boys and men who are the assaulters, who are rapists.

CHLOE ANGYAL, FEMINISTING.COM: Right. Because the rape culture says that
it`s women`s responsibility to prevent sexual violence, because apparently
men just simply can`t stop themselves from raping, men just can`t control
themselves. And so, it`s up to women to prevent it.

So, if it happens, it`s women`s fault, which by the way takes an incredibly
dim view of men, right? Frankly, if men have such poor impulse control,
maybe they shouldn`t be running the world. Maybe we shouldn`t give them
the nuclear launch codes.

What you`re only saying, Dave, is it doesn`t just sends a message to women.
It sends a message to men that if -- and young men -- that if you do
something like this, people in power, people who you look up to will have
your back. They will support you. They will make this all go away.

You can behave in impunity, not because you`re a football star, but because
people in your corner who will go to bat for you, (INAUDIBLE) sports

HARRIS-PERRY: You can`t just have their back, right? We do have legal
protections here.

say, there`s a law that have something to say about all this. You know,
Title IX prohibits sex discrimination and education and that includes the
response by schools to sexual harassment and sexual assault in particular.
So they can`t send those types of messages that you`re talking about. They
have to take steps to address harassment when it occurred.


ANGYAL: Which is the difference between law and culture. By law, they
can`t. By culture they absolutely do. And we all do. It`s not just
athletic. It`s not just college campuses. This is a national and global

HARRIS-PERRY: So, Annie, talk to me a little bit about this, in fact,
although there is this Title IX law, talk to me about what is going on on
college campuses, give me some, walk me through some of the cases that you
all are working on.

CLARK: So, for example, when a sexual assault occurs on a college campus,
schools unclear (INAUDIBLE) are meant to send out a timely warning. A lot
of the warnings address female behavior in saying, you know, don`t walk
alone at night. Make sure you are protecting yourself.

And they don`t address the behavior as a problem. They look at women to
prevent their own assaults.

And so, that`s what we`re seeing culturally happen. But in many of these
cases, when rape cases are adjudicated, the perpetrators are slapped on the
wrist with a book report and the female students, mostly female, some male,
are dropping out of school.

And, again, it goes back to what -- you`re talking about in Michigan, the
message that it sends to students is that you can engage in this behavior.
You can be a repeat perpetrator and you`re not going to be held

HARRIS-PERRY: I was going to say. It seems to be part of what`s going on
here on college campuses is that if you are assaulted by someone from off
campus, if there was some predator, that would be, you know, different. We
don`t think of the predators who are students as predators.

GRAVE: Right. And Title IX has something to say about the school`s
response. And the line isn`t drawn just off campus versus on campus,
right? Because sometimes sexual assault may occur at a frat house actually
off campus, because the school still has a responsibility.

And they have a responsibility not in terms of what they do. They have to
have the right policies in place in the first place. They have to address
the harassment, the online harassment, the in-person harassment that may
follow a student who actually stands up.

ZIRIN: Yes, and let`s go back to the question of rape culture, because
when people ask me what that is, I would say rape culture is not what the
two teenagers did to that young woman in Steubenville. It`s the 50 people,
boys and girls, who stood around and didn`t do anything while it was
happening in front of them.

It`s the normalization of violence against women.

ANGYAL: And the media coverage that lamented the loss.

ZIRIN: Yes, exactly, particularly on CNN whose coverage was so shameful.

So, the normalization of that is what we need to fight against. When
people say, what`s rape culture? I`d say it`s our culture left to its own
devices. It`s our culture that we are not actively intervening in to teach
men not to rape. Shout out to Zerlina Maxwell for making that point.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. Look, when we come back, I want to talk just a little
bit more about this, because it also feels to me like, you know, the top
issue we said when we call something terrorism, we respond right away.

And as a sexual assault survivor, there are ways in which this rape culture
creates an atmosphere of terror and of continued terrorism, and what if we
thought of it that way? Would we respond?

All of that when we get back.


HARRIS-PERRY: We`re back and talking about the issue of rape culture.

Annie, I want to come back to you because you are doing some organizing
right now with young women on college campuses where this is a severe
problem. What exactly is organizing that you`re up to?

CLARK: First, it started out very informally, just reaching out via social
media to other women who had experience similar issues that had been in the
news. And then we really started to look at this problem as not an
individualized institutional thing, but a national epidemic. But something
we just kept coming back to is Title IX and realizing that only were many
universities in severe violation, but it was coming not only from
incompetence at best and willful violation of rights at worst.

And we realized that a lot of sexual assault survivors didn`t know they had
any rights. And when coming forward, they were basically silenced and had
no legal tool or information to arm themselves with.


HARRIS-PERRY: Oh, please, please.

CLARK: I was going to say -- and so, a group of us from Amherst, Alexander
Broadsky (ph) at Yale, Andrea Pinto (ph) at UNC, and a few others were
launching a campaign called Know Your IX, which aims to educate all college
students of their rights under Title IX, by the beginning of the next
school year.

And so, this is just a quick campaign. Obviously, we`re going to do
something a little bit more formal later. But just to get the message out

HARRIS-PERRY: So, part of what is so obscene about this to me, Dave, this
is right at the moment when young women on college campuses are finally up
to their 50 percent, sometimes over 50 percent, and you have campuses
beginning to shrug their shoulders saying, oh, gender problem is all taken
care off, and at the same time, the sweeping problem of rape and of rape

ZIRIN: Absolutely. First of all, Annie and Fatima have just done an
incredible service for your audition, because most people, when they hear
Title IX, they think it`s just about sports and sports participation, when
the actual law actually does not specifically mention sports. It`s about
civil rights in public institutions.

And the thing about civil rights in this country that we know historically
is you use them or lose them. If you are not aware of them and you do not
demand that they`d be enforced, they will not be enforced. And that`s true
for all oppressed groups in the history of the country.

ANGYAL: I have to say, oh, go ahead.

GRAVES: I was going to say, this is why I love this campaign that she and
other students are launching because it will help educate students but it
will also make up colleges and universities stand up and take notice.
That`s enforcement.

ANGYAL: I think that`s so important and, Annie, what you`re doing is so
wonderful. But I have to say this has to stop before college. By the
time, kids get to college, they are 18, they are statistically likely to
already be sexually active. It`s too late. We have to teach kids about
consent when we`re teaching them sex education, which gets back to the fact
that we have to teach them sex education, which is a whole different

HARRIS-PERRY: It`s not a whole different conversation, though, right?

ANGYAL: Sorry.

HARRIS-PERRY: I`m so glad that you brought us there, because, in fact,
yes, our unwillingness to talk frankly about the issues of sex and sex
education leave young people so overwhelmingly vulnerable.

ANGYAL: Left to its own devices, right, unless we take it in hand and
unless we honestly believe -- first of all, unless we talk about the fact
that women have sexual desires and can therefore come to the table or bed
or whatever surface you feel like willingly, enthusiastically,
consentingly, we`re never going to bring out this problem --

ZIRIN: Can I tell you a story? I have an 8-year-old daughter. She said
to me, daddy, the boys at my school are just the sexiest. And I was like
shocked. I said, what do you mean? She said, they treat us terribly.

I said, oh, you mean sexist. And she goes, yes, sexist. And then she
goes, what does sexiest mean?

HARRIS-PERRY: All right.

ZIRIN: And I found like I fumbled an answer to her. But I was shock at my
own lack of conversant ability and frankly lack of comfort in just being
able to speak to her about this, like, how do you raise a young person in
our both simultaneously porned out and repressed culture to both avoid
sexual assault, while not being alienated from their own sexuality. Please
tell me.

CLARK: We need to start in elementary school.

HARRIS-PERRY: Annie, you seem to have a response. Let`s go to you.

CLARK: Yes, I think we need to start in elementary school. I mean,
there`s safe touch programs. We need to start talking about gender in our

If we`re scared to talk about sex in our primary and secondary education
system, by the time, you know, you get to college and there`s sexual
assault rampant, which also happens in the earlier education years, people
are scared to talk about it even more. It`s silencing. I absolute agree.

HARRIS-PERRY: Just like an important point, Fatima, that on the one --
that Dave brings this up. I have an adolescent daughter. And on the one
hand, you want to prepare for the realities of the world without making all
boys the terrifying predatory enemy.

GRAVES: I think that part is key. I worry there will be all sorts of
assumptions that are placed on boys and young men that really have no
place. And so, this why I think schools can play an important role here,
too. Both not only around sex ed, but in talking about how do you act in
online and in-person space? How do you engage your students? What sort of
positive interactions should you be having?

ANGYAL: And that`s why allies, men as allies is so incredibly valuable in
this conversation. Because we frankly -- I mean, you see it in
Steubenville. A lot of the people facilitating this culture are men. A
lot of them are women. But a lot of them a men.

And I think we need to dispense the idea that boys will be boys, which by
the way is just code for rapists are going to rape, right?

HARRIS-PERRY: And it`s also, I mean, I appreciate you brought up to this
place, because there is a kind of -- part of the rape culture, right, if
we`re thinking of rape culture broadly, is this idea that the thing that is
sexy, the thing that is desirable that both men women should desire and
want is to be overpowered.

And it`s part of pushing back against rape culture is consent culture, is
to suggest that consent is sexy. What would be sexier than having a
partner, same sex, heterosexual, whatever, who is like, yes, I am down.
Let`s go, let`s be about it. And that`s part of how we begin to push back.

And thank you to Annie in Los Angeles, not just for joining us today, but
for all of your work. We he much more from Annie on our Web site at She took the time to write for us. Please go take the time
to read from her.

Thank you all for today who hung out with us for the whole show.

To Fatima and to Chloe right here in studio.

Up next, have you ever heard of a Thermofier? No, well our foot soldier
invented it. And it was so impressive that he was invited to the White
House. Our foot soldier of the week is going to talk to me live after the


HARRIS-PERRY: Our foot soldier this week is a young man we want to
acknowledge for his determination to not be a statistic. As a young black
man in Chicago, he made what he calls a transition, and it happened very
recently when he landed himself at the White House.

Earlier this week, President Obama hosted the third annual White House
science fair. One hundred student innovators from across the nation
celebrated science technology, engineering, and math, helping the president
stay true to his 2009 promise of highlighting achievements in these areas.
The same way that he would with an NCAA basketball championship.

Now, have you ever seen one of these? It`s called a Thermofier. What is
this thing you ask? Well, I have its creator and this week`s foot soldier,
19-year-old Anthony Halmon, here from Chicago to explain.

Hi. How are you this morning, Anthony?

are you?

HARRIS-PERRY: Pretty good.

Tell me about the Thermofier. What is it?

HALMON: Well, is a pacifier with a built in thermometer. It has many
displays and features such as this is the off and on button right here and
it has a digital display of the temperature. When the light is off, that
means nothing is wrong and it has a one minute reading. When the light
starts glowing such as this color right here, the orange color, that means
that the baby`s temperature is too high and it`s in case the baby might
have a flu.

HARRIS-PERRY: Now, OK, so, Anthony, as soon as you started talking about
it, one of the floor guys here started cheering because he`s a parent.
Now, you`re a parent, too. Is that part of where this inspiration came
from for you?

HALMON: Yes. The inspiration actually came from my daughter because she
usually gets sick when the season changes, and she like -- she used to get
sick like a whole lot, and I just like had to take her to the hospital
actually without knowing like what was wrong with her. I usually thought
she was hungry but I didn`t have no clue knowing she was actually sick.

HARRIS-PERRY: So tell me about this, you say you made a transition, that
you were in a different place in your life and then you had your daughter,
and now you`re in a place in your life where you end up hanging out with
the president of the United States because you have created something like
this. What created that transition?

HALMON: Yes. Well, first to start off, it was my daughter and the death
of my father in 2010. And I was living a lifestyle with being interacting
with gang-like activities and malicious activities that just wasn`t me.

And, you know, they usually say bad kids do bad things. I don`t believe in
that. I was a good kid doing bad things because I was exposed to those bad
things and I didn`t have anyone to guide me in the right direction, and it
was when I came -- transferred from Hyde Park to Perspective Leadership
Academy, I found a family, I found a second home, and I found people who
care for me. And also with the process, they taught me how to use those
entrepreneurship skills to actually apply them to (INAUDIBLE) 26 principles
as well.

HARRIS-PERRY: So your school made the difference for you.


HARRIS-PERRY: What was it like to meet the president?

HALMON: It was very exciting. I never pictured myself actually being in
the White House and shaking the president`s hand. I felt famous at the

HARRIS-PERRY: Well, I got to tell you, part of what I love about what
you`ve done here is you`ve created something useful, something that people
really need. How did you go from idea to the thing that you`re holding in
your hand?

HALMON: I did it all through my teachers, through the entrepreneurship, my
teacher, Ms. Ann Warshaw (ph) and also my teacher, Ms. Mary Hernandez (ph)
who now works at the NEFI (ph) office, and also Jason Delgado and everyone
at the NEFI (ph) office that actually helped me because I gave up on this
product. I gave up on it like a year after the competition when I didn`t
win the competition because I never saw myself actually producing a product
such as this. I just wanted to do something to just get a grade and to get

But then my teachers came back to me and said, you know, you can also --
you can actually create something out of this. You can change the
environment and change the world with this one little product. You may
think it`s simple, this is a brilliant idea and this is great. This will
make you a great innovator. All you got to do is have the determine did
you and keep demonstrating perseverance.

HARRIS-PERRY: Anthony, thank you for being a great father. Thank you for
being a great student. Good luck at Cornell University where you are
headed off on full scholarship. Thank you for being a role model and a
foot soldier for all of us.

HALMON: Thank you.

HARRIS-PERRY: And that is our show for today. Thanks to you at home for
watching. I`m going to see you tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.
Superstar chef Tom Colicchio is going to be here. We`re talking about
genetically modified food. You are what you eat.

Coming up next, "WEEKENDS WITH ALEX WITT."


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