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PoliticsNation, Monday, May 13th, 2013

May 13, 2013

Guests: Dana Milbank; Ben LaBolt; Meghan Barr, Joe Madison, Lauren Ashburn, Carole Simpson

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Democrats and Republicans are outraged
allegations that the IRS targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny.
Of course, it`s wrong. It`s against everything this country stands for.
But unfortunately, Republicans are, once again, playing politics with this
report and exposing their own hypocrisy.

Today, President Obama vowed to get to the bottom of this mess.


operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is
outrageous, it`s contrary to our traditions, and people have to be held
accountable and it`s got to be fixed. So we`ll wait and see what exactly
all the details and the facts are. But I`ve got no patience with it. I
will not tolerate it and we will make sure that we find out exactly what
happened on this.


SHARPTON: The president won`t tolerate it and he shouldn`t. But here`s
what else we shouldn`t be doing. We shouldn`t be using this as a weapon
against the president. Senator Mitch McConnell says this about the IRS.
This is, quote "just the beginning of the story. This is just one example
of an administration-wide effort to silence critics."

Still, others are calling it Nixonian (ph) hitting at impeachment. And
Rush Limbaugh had says this is president using government to punish people.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The left infests government. This
government is not us. That`s the big problem. This no longer is a
government of by and for the people. This is government governing against
the will of the people.


SHARPTON: Using government to intimidate people? Let`s get our facts

There`s no doubt that what happened was wrong, but politically motivated,
the IRS commissioner at the time that this happened was a Bush appointee.
And I don`t remember this course of outrage from the right back in 2004
when then the IRS probe the NAACP for what many believed was politically
motivated reasons in targeted the group one month before the 2004 election
at a time when President Bush and the NAACP were locked in a long-running

The civil rights group`s chairman, Julian Bond, said he was shocked at this
effort to silence our group just before the election. Where was the
outrage back then? I have been involved with groups and churches who been
overly scrutinized. I`m not talking about amended statements or late, or
back taxes. I`m talking about scrutinized for criminal acts that we felt
were politically motivated.

There was no cry from the right. But I say tonight that if they in any way
are being scrutinized for political reasons, it`s wrong and we should all
stand with them. But they should not misuse it as they look at whether
they have been misused.

Joining me now are Ben LaBolt, former press secretary for the Obama
campaign and Dana Milbank from "the Washington Post."

Thank you both for coming on the show.



SHARPTON: Dana, are you surprised Republicans are outraged for the IRS
apparently targeting the tea party but looked the other way when the IRS
has gone after civil rights groups and left-leaning charity groups?

MILBANK: I`m not surprised in the slightest, Reverend. But this is pretty
much a give me for them. You could predict that this would be exactly how
they would react. That`s not surprising at all. And the real -- the
problem here is that they are going to try to use this to broaden it to
other areas. They have been basically off on a wild goose chase with the
Benghazi hearings and now people are saying, well, maybe this vindicates
all of the conspiracy theories.

That`s what the Obama administration needs to push back against now. I
would like to see the president out there more forcefully than he was today
saying what you were just saying there, that this is completely
unacceptable regardless. You can`t control what the Republicans are going
to natter on about. But he needs to get out in front of this and say, this
is just completely unacceptable.

SHARPTON: Now, then, the President Bushed back today on this and Benghazi.
And I think we got to push back on it forcefully despite the fact that it
hasn`t been done on the other side. Let me show you what he had to day
about the GOP`s focus on Benghazi and whether it was politically motivated.


OBAMA: The whole issue of this -- of talking points, frankly, throughout
this process has been a side show. The fact that this keeps on getting
turned out, frankly, has a lot to do with political motivations. We have
had folks who have challenged Hillary Clinton`s integrity, Susan rice`s
integrity, Mike Mullen and Tom Pickering. That`s given that mine gets
challenge by the same folks. They have used it for fundraising.


SHARPTON: Ben, how do you respond to the fact that we are now looking at
two very serious things being launched at the president that maybe is not
as serious as all of the smoke around it. As the president said today, is
there any "there" there?

LABOLT: Well, it think that`s right. The president drew a line in the
sand between what`s legitimate issue that is outrage about that he is going
to get to the bottom of and what`s been a very political investigation into
the administration in Benghazi. The fact is the administration conducted
an independent review with Ambassador Pickering with chairman Mullen who
attended this issue.

Chairman Issa would not allow the ambassador to testify before his
committee over the weekend. These e-mails that you`re referring to,
Republicans have had an opportunity to review those in March. Speaker
Boehner had the opportunity to show up for the hill briefing that the
administration offered and he declined to do so. Instead, he sent his

Now, the president is taking control when it comes to the IRS issue. The
fact is that Americans have lost so much trust in government over the past
couple of decades. And this is an important leadership moment for him to
take control and say this is absolutely unacceptable. This is an abuse of
power. We are going to find out who is responsible for this and we are
going to hold them accountable. I think that will help Americans reaffirm
their trust in the American government and what it stands for.

SHARPTON: No doubt about it.

Dana, I think that none of us and I`ve being very firm on this about the
IRS, certainly all of us are outraged in whatever and wherever this should
go across the board on either side when people are harassed as I`ve said
I`ve felt that in the past.

But on the Benghazi side, when the problem that many of us are having there
is what Ben just outlined, because they are not being transparent on the
fact that they had some of these e-mails and it seems like there`s a moving
target. First it was Susan Rice, it was the president himself, there was
Hillary Clinton, I mean, does it go about political season, who they are
trying to accuse of being the one who is played the games, changing the
story in Benghazi?

MILBANK: Well, I think it`s simpler than that. That basically, they go
down one blind alley after another. And they find out OK, this one is a
dead end. Where can we go next?

When this investigation began, it was a very legitimate investigation. Did
the United States do or not do something that got these guys killed in
Libya? Could it have been prevented? Was somebody acting irresponsibly.
Basically, it came up empty on that. There were things that could have
been done but nothing that was in an immediate sense and the government has
moved to fix that sort of thing. Instead, they are looking at what was
said in the days after and were they divulging all of the information in an
immediate time frame or did it take them an extra three days or something
and the truth is that is a side show. You can argue about whether it was
politically motivated or not. In the end, it doesn`t matter because the
information was coming out anyway. That`s what is so maddening about the
IRS thing is that they are going to say OK, well, if the IRS situation is
legitimate, then all of these allegations against the administration must
be legitimate.

SHARPTON: Right. But when you look at, Ben, the fact is, as I mentioned
at the opening, in 2004, a month before the election, they go after the
NAACP. The chairman at the time was Julian Bond who was outraged. There
were involved in a battle with that president a month before the election.
No one from the right said this is outrageous, let`s see if it`s
politically motivated. I have seen churches that I have three steps hit
with are you doing campaign, partisan stuff and therefore we want to audit

Let`s go and look it back, the fact that in 2005 the Los Angeles times
reported a probe that many appeared felt that was politically motivated.
The Internal Revenue Service, I`m reading the quote, has warned one of
southern California`s largest and most liberal churches that is at risk of
losing its tax exempt service because of the anti-war sermon two days
before the 2004 presidential election.

What is violating your status if you take a position on peace against war
unless you were telling somebody who to vote for, which ended up not being
the case. The right didn`t scream about that. So I mean, we are seeing
people that are screaming now when we don`t know the whole list that had
nothing to say when it was specific and clearly around an election time.

LABOLT: Well, and they are jumping to conclusions and assuming this was
political when in fact it`s an independent agency. There are two political
appointees in the entire agency and the White House has made clear that the
president learned about this on Friday.

Look, we have got to maintain the independence of the IRS. We have got to
maintain the independence of the justice department. That is the sovereign
contract we have between the American government and the people.

And the president has made it absolutely clear that he`s going to the
bottom of this and hold those folks accountable if they violate any laws.
And I guarantee you that after the facts come out, as we get down the road
to the end of this thing, those people are going to be held accountable and
heads are going to roll.

SHARPTON: Well, I tell you, Dana, that some people choose, one,
conspiracy, others choose another. But if you`re Glenn Beck, you just put
them all together. Glenn beck argued that the IRS, Benghazi, and the
Boston bombings all swing together. So leave it up to beck. He will find
the whole one huge conspiracy in all separate things. But stay tuned,
we`re going to keep o making it live in terms of a discussion and honesty
and fair on this show.

Dana Milbank, Ben LaBolt, thank you both for your time tonight.

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

LABOLT: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Another meteor right wing are recklessly brings the Obama`s
daughters into the debate, it`s sleazy and reckless and won`t be tolerated.

Plus, dramatic new cell phone video of the rescue in Cleveland. We will
have that and news on the suspect`s brothers.

And good-bye to a true television trailblazer. Barbara Walters makes a big


BARBARA WALTERS, TV HOST: The summer of 2014, a year from now, I plan to
retire from appearing on television at all.



SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on facebook
yet? We hope you will. Today, our audience was upset about comments from
a FOX News pundit who is trying to connect the Obama daughters to the phony
GOP Benghazi conspiracy.

Bill says this shows just total lack of class.

Cindy says, kids and family are off limits.

Kathy says, I`m not surprised. It`s just a shame that these sweet kids are
dragged into it.

The pundit who made those comments is even getting heat from his
colleagues. We will tell you more coming up later in the show.

But first, we want to hear what you think. Please head over to facebook
and search "Politics Nation" and "like" us to join the conversation that
keeps going long after the show ends.


SHARPTON: One week ago tonight we learned about a miracle in Cleveland.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: We begin tonight with breaking news here on
channel 3 news at 7:00. City hall officials are confirming reports that
Amanda Berry and Gina Dejesus, two young Cleveland women who have been
missing for long, long time, ten years and nine years respectively have
been found and they have been found alive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: They are alive. It is the Moment that
northeast Ohio has been waiting for. Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus and
Michelle Knight found, held captive in a home within miles from where they
were last seen around a decade ago.


SHARPTON: A week later and we are seeing dramatic new cell phone video
shot by two women driving down the street that day. You can see police
officers breaking down that door that had kept Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus
and Michelle Knight locked inside for so many years.

Amanda Berry, who was first to break out of the house with her 6-year-old
daughter, is visible there on the sidewalk. One of the witnesses described
the emotional moment.


ASHLEY COLON, WITNESSED CLEVELAND RESCUE: Amanda Berry was crying, she had
her kid in her arms. She was saying that she needed help, that they were
in danger. She just kept hugging the cop and saying, keep me projected.
Gina was shaking. She was scared. Amanda was -- she was sad but you could
tell in her eyes that she was like, I`m free, you know.


SHARPTON: Suspect Ariel Castro`s two brothers are also free, out of
custody after being cleared in the case. And they are speaking out about
what they think of their brother.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A monster, hateful. I hope he rot in that jail. I
don`t even want them to take his life like that. I want him to suffer in
that jail. To the last extent. I don`t care if they even feed him, after
what he`s done to my life and my family`s.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel the same way.


SHARPTON: Called a monster by his brother and today we`re learning more
about this monster.

Joining me now is the Associated Press reporter Meghan Barr.

Thanks for being here, Meghan.


SHARPTON: Now, Castro`s brothers are now calling him a monster. I
understand you have reported on other family members who would agree.

BARR: Yes. I interviewed several of Castro`s ex-wife`s relatives and they
described him as a monster. They described a man who had a twisted sense
of humor and a terrifying rage. They said Castro beat his wife
relentlessly. He shoved her down a flight of stairs. He broke her ribs.
He broke her nose. At on one occasion, he actually shoved her into a
cardboard box and closed the flaps over her head.

Relatives also say his wife was kept a virtual prisoner in her own home.
Castro would lock the doors from inside so she couldn`t even leave.

SHARPTON: But at the same time we hear from neighbors that he was a
likable guy, that he showed no signs of this. I mean, this kind of
behavior that is contradictory, this is what is so disturbing to many of
the people in that area that knew him and that watched him play gigs,
playing the bass. I mean, it`s just -- it is like two different people in
one body.

BARR: Yes, two very different portraits of Castro have emerged. Several
musicians that we interviewed who played with him for years of him in this
meringue bands are dumb founded by the allegations. They can`t believe
this is the same guy that they have known for so long. So, it`s very
confusing to people who have known this nice side of him.

SHARPTON: Now, his brother talks about how he was even more shocked
because Ariel Castro knew Gina Dejesus and knew Gina`s father. Let`s
listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ve got his daughter and you go around like it`s
nothing. You even went to the vigils. You had posters. You give his mama
and hug and you`ve got his daughter captive?


SHARPTON: You know, in your reporting, did you get a sense that there were
two sides to his personality by talking to people? I mean -- because as
his brother is saying, he knew her father. He actually went to the vigils,
hugged the grandmother. I mean, he was showed this kind of active citizen
thing, even beyond what would one say about where the investigation is and
he`s a vicious guy on the other side.

BARR: Yes. He actually even played music at fund-raisers in Gina Dejesus`
honor. And so, he really fooled her family members. He fooled the rest of
the community. But there were signs of his violence, actually police
reports released today show that several neighbors accused Castro of coming
after them and threatening them. One neighbor says Castro came after him
with a shovel. So there were signs of this other Ariel Castro, but you`re
right, the two sides really don`t -- they don`t make sense.

SHARPTON: Well, the story continues to unfold but it is does not get any
better at all and I don`t know how it can, given what has happened. Thank
God, though, for a miracle, a week ago that ended at least the captivity
for these three young ladies.

Meghan Barr, thank you for your time tonight.

BARR: Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Coming up, a FOX News pundit goes after the Obama daughters.
It`s too much, it is sleazy, and the organization should be ashamed.

And on a much lighter note, a big announcement in the world of comedy
should have politicians and Donald Trump on notice.

Stay with us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald trump appears on FOX, which is ironic, because a
FOX often appears on Donald Trump`s head.



SHARPTON: Tonight, justice for Kermit Gosnell. He is the Philadelphia
doctor who preyed on poor women and who broke the law on abortion. Today,
found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder. The jury found
Gosnell guilty in the illegal abortions of three babies who police say were
delivered alive and then killed. He was also found guilty of involuntary
manslaughter in the drug overdose, death of a patient who had undergone an
abortion. Gosnell`s clinic made a mockery of the laws governing safe,
legal abortions in the country.

Police say that clinic had blood-stained furniture and dirty instruments.
It was a house of horrors for low-income women who felt they had nowhere
else to go, who didn`t have access to quality health care.

For 15 years before Gosnell was discovered, authorities in Pennsylvania
failed to conduct proper inspections of all of the clinics in the state.
That allowed Gosnell to prey on the poor and of women of color and on
immigrants. Of course, some of the right are trying to use this horrific
case to attack all abortion rights to, claim women shouldn`t be able to
make their own choices about medical procedures that are safe or legal. In
fact, the house Republicans have already used Gosnell to call for the
investigation of clinics all over the country.

But if conservatives succeed in scaling back safe or legal access to
abortion, we will have more Kermit Gosnells, not less. Today, the jury
reached its verdict. Now it`s up to all of us to make sure women keep the
right to control their own bodies.


SHARPTON: The republican obsession with Benghazi has turned a tragedy into
a political side show. It`s ugly. It`s a page ripped out of the old GOP
playbook but some on the right wing media have taken an even a nastier
turn, dragging the President`s daughter into their political smear


ERIC BOLLING, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Think of it for one second, if it was
Alistair your daughter, or if it was a Malia or Sasha or if it was Chelsea
Clinton in Benghazi pinned down with mortars coming in and there`s a five-
hour difference between when they first learned, when the e-mail came out,
that`s Benghazi under fire or four-hour difference between when Obama met
with Biden, between then and the time that one of those precious children
were injured or killed, don`t you think -- don`t you think we`d be asking a
different questions right now?


SHARPTON: Bringing up Malia and Sasha into a discussion on Benghazi,
asking if the President would have acted differently if they were hurt or
killed? It`s offensive. It`s shameful. Today, even FOX contributor
Geraldo Rivera had to call out his colleague Eric Bolling for those
outrageous statements.


GERALDO RIVERA, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: Eric, did you say the President Obama
would have sent help if Malia and Sasha were in Benghazi, did you say that?

BOLLING: No, here`s what I said.

RIVERA: Did you say that? Did you make that outrageous, slanderous remark?

BOLLING: Alright, ready? Do you want to listen or you just want to lob a
grenade? Here we go, I turned to Beckel. I said, Bob, you have a son and
daughter, if it were either one of those, your son or your daughter,
whether it was Chelsea Clinton or maybe Malia or Sasha, if they were there,
would we be asking different questions? That is my quote.

RIVERA: I think that is unbelievable that you went that far.


RIVERA: Because to bring a man`s daughters in -- it just continues a
slanderous angle that helps nobody. I got tears in my eyes because I love


SHARPTON: It is outrageous and it is slanderous. It`s way over the line.
But unfortunately right wing pundits have crossed that line before.

Joining me now are Joe Madison and Lauren Ashburn. Thank you both for
coming on the show tonight.

JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.


SHARPTON: Joe, I want to ask you about this fellow Eric Bolling. Can you
imagine that justification he`s making for dragging the President`s
daughters into this? I mean, he still doesn`t get it.

MADISON: Yes. I can imagine because I know exactly how small-minded
a statement like that is. That`s exactly what it is. It`s small-minded.
And it verges on bullying. In other words, you pick on two kids. You put
them in a hypothetical that no one in their right mind would have even
considered or even dreamed about. I mean, it was a slanderous, it was
wrong, but it was small-minded and that`s exactly what they have become.
Small-minded commentators. I don`t think there`s any other phrase for it.

SHARPTON: But Lauren, you know, even when Geraldo Rivera calls him on
it, he doubles in. And it`s just mean-spirited, it so insensitive, Lauren.

ASHBURN: It used to be that we had a journalistic tradition that said
children of presidents are off limits. And as we have moved forward, that
journalistic tradition has gone by the wayside in many instances and it is
on both sides that this does happen but in these instances, with the
republican commentators are really doing some republican politicians
beating for them.

If you remember, John McCain in the 1990s called Chelsea Clinton ugly and
got an awful lot of flak for that and I think that politicians have wised-
up and now have right-wing commentators saying the things that now they
know they can`t say.

SHARPTON: Joe, it`s not just Bolling. Look at the fact that the
first daughters have been attacked even for going on vacation. Listen to


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: We`ve got the Obamas now, if you include
the spring break vacations, let`s see, the girls got to go to the Bahamas
and all the way out to Idaho to go skiing.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You`re upset that the girls went on vacation,
like the daughters went on vacation?

HANNITY: Of course, we have to pay for the security, which is the
right thing to do. But I mean, not one -- they went on two spring break
vacations. One spring break. Did they have to take two?


REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: They sent these daughters to spring break in
Mexico a year ago. And that was at our expense, too. And now to Bahamas,
one of the most expensive places there. That is a wrong image to be coming
out of the White House.


SHARPTON: Now, Joe, not only are they talking about the vacations, which
is unheard of, this is a sitting congressman actually giving up where they
were on vacation, which is a security risk because he said it at the time
they were there and it was not disclosed to the public.

MADISON: Hey, it`s also coming from a congressman that actually handwrote
-- helped handwrite legislation to make sure that the FAA got money so
they could get out of town. So that they could go back to their --

SHARPTON: Congressman Steve King, by the way.

MADISON: Thank you. But hold on a second, here`s the point. Let`s
be straight up. You know what this is? It`s about them being too uppity.
That`s what it`s really about. And we just don`t want to say it. We
really are too polite. This was not said about the bushes young girls
going on vacation. I don`t recall anybody, look, we`ve had president`s
families that have gone on vacation during wartime.

This is about -- and America might as welcome to grips with it. They are
too uppity, they are living beyond their means and we might as well face
that and start to speak the truth about it. That`s exactly what it is.

SHARPTON: Well, uppity brings a question of race but let`s also deal
with gender, Lauren. They had the nerve to bring up birth control at their
ages. Watch this.


15-years-old, is the Obama daughter, Malia, going to go on birth control?
Are they going to put her on birth control? Because he`s very concerned
with the contraceptives and pharmaceuticals that are going in the mouths of
every other 15-year-old daughter.


SHARPTON: Now, this is another FOX News contributor. Not only are you
dealing with whether they fell their uppity as blacks but when do you have
people stand, sit in their public airwaves asking if the 15-year-old girl
is going on birth control, Lauren? And this is the President`s daughter.

ASHBURN: As a mother of three, this makes me sick. Sick to my
stomach, that someone would have the gall or temerity to bring up the
President`s children and whether or not they use birth control. Where is
this woman coming from? And anyone who attacks or brings up the
President`s children or, for that matter, anyone else`s children about
such a private and personal matter should be, I don`t know, there are a lot
of different things I could say that they should be, maybe wrapped on the
knuckles. I will stick with that one.

SHARPTON: Well, let me say this, Joe, the bottom line is that, they
are so full of venom and hate for this president that his daughters --
nothing is sacred. Nothing is beyond their bounds as far as they are
concerned. They have driven themselves into such a frenzy over this man,
the President of the United States, that they cast all kinds of traditions
and understanding to the wind.

MADISON: They are bullies. They are bullies because that`s what
bullies do. They pick on little girls, little children. They pick on
people they know can`t talk back, shouldn`t talk back, and quite honestly,
the President`s got bigger things to worry about. How small-minded can you
be in a news cycle like we`re facing today with Benghazi, IRS, and you`re
so small-minded that you`re worrying about a public policy issue such as
birth control and then want to prescribe it to one individual, a 15-year-
old girl. I mean, you`re right. It`s hate, it`s hate, it`s hate.

SHARPTON: Well, I think you`re right, Joe and I think that is the
point. The President has a lot to do. But I`m going to tell you, I`m
going to stay on this story. I`m going to fight these bullies every time
they come to the school yard some of us are going to meet them at the
public school yard on the airwaves and expose them.

MADISON: Both of us.

SHARPTON: Joe Madison, Lauren Ashburn, I`m going to have to leave it
there, thanks for your time tonight.

MADISON: You`re welcome.

ASHBURN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: The one and only Barbara Walters made some news of her own
today. She`s retiring. Carole Simpson, network trailblazer in her own
right, joins me to talk about the TV trailblazer, next.


BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": So I have to ask you this very
personal question. You are here --




SHARPTON: Get ready for some more political comedy in late night.
Saturday Night Live weekend update host Seth Meyers will replace Jimmy
Fallon as host of the late night, when Fallon moves to the tonight show
next year. Meyers comes to the desk with more political comedy on his
resume than hosts before him. Two years ago, he spoke at the White House
Correspondents` Dinner. He had everyone rolling, except one person.
Donald Trump.


SETH MEYERS, COMEDIAN: Donald Trump has been saying that he will run for
president as a republican, which is surprising since I just assumed he was
running as a joke.

Donald Trump owns the Miss USA pageant which is great for Republicans
because it will streamline their search for a vice president.


SHARPTON: Ouch. I`m looking forward to some more of that.


SHARPTON: She`s a trailblazer and a national icon. Barbara Walters
is saying farewell. She`s the former co-host of the "Today" show, ABC
World News, "20/20" and current host of "The View." Today after more than
50 years on television, she announced she`ll be hanging up her microphone.


WALTERS: It has been an absolutely joyful, rewarding, challenging,
fascinating and occasionally bumpy ride and I wouldn`t change the thing.
I`m perfectly healthy. This is my decision. I`ve been thinking about it
for a long time and this is what I want to do. I want to leave while
people still saying, why is she leaving instead of, why doesn`t she leave?


SHARPTON: Her groundbreaking career started right here at NBC on the
"Today" show doing, quote, "Women`s interest stories in 1962."


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Did you buy anything for yourself?

WALTERS: I couldn`t afford that much. I bought this thing, which was
the newest fad and it`s something I think is -- this is a nail ring. And
if you`re very -- and you`re rich, you have one for each finger and you can
scratch or scratch your back.


SHARPTON: She worked her way to the top in the 1974, she became the first
female co-anchor of any network evening news. And for 25 years she
anchored and reported for ABC News, interviewing world leaders, athletes,
Hollywood stars, and every president since Nixon. If you were making news,
you talked to Barbara.


WALTERS: Newspapers, radios, television, no descent or opposition is
allowed in the public media.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Some truth about it.

WALTERS: Your English is good. Your English is better than your

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: He gets out of control, throwing, screaming --

WALTERS: Does he hit you?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: He shakes, he pushes, he swings.

WALTERS: What kind of a tree are you if you think you`re a tree?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I hope I`m not an elm. Everybody would like to
be an oak tree. That`s really strong and pretty.

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Being on the campaign trail
and having this incredible opportunity to reconnect with the American
people, in some ways the election was just sort of icing on the cake.

WALTERS: A lot of icing.


WALTERS: Big cake.

What will you tell your children when you have them?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Mommy made a big mistake.

WALTERS: And that is the understatement of the year.


SHARPTON: Her interview style redefined journalism but she wasn`t done
yet. In 1997, she created and began co-hosting the daytime talk show, The
View," a groundbreaking TV show for women, about women, by women no.
Question about it, Barbara broke through the glass ceiling and has left an
incredible mark on the industry.

Joining me now is Carole Simpson, another TV trailblazer, former ABC News
anchor and the first African-American woman to anchor a major network
newscast. Great to have you with us tonight, Carole.

CAROLE SIMPSON, JOURNALIST: It`s great to be with you, Reverend Al.
And you kept your promise. You said you`d have me on your show and here I

SHARPTON: And I`m honored to have you.

SIMPSON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you, what do you make of the news and the impact of
Barbara Walters and what impact did she have on your career?

SIMPSON: Well, she broke the ceiling, as you pointed out, for all of
us. She was -- she started as a secretary at NBC. And worked her way up
to writer, to reporter then to co-host. I mean, her sheer determination,
her perseverance, her -- she just wanted to be the best she could be and be
at the top. And boy, did she ever make it. I have never seen anyone in --
at ABC or NBC -- and I worked with her at both places -- work harder than
she did. And she`s probably now thinking about what she can do over the
next year that she`s going to have to make her retirement come real.

SHARPTON: Now, Sherri Shepherd said on "The View" today about how she
was a groundbreaker. Let me show you what Sherri said.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Barbara, we have to say thank you because you`re
innovative, you start things. You would have never seen two African-
American women on a major network doing a talk show.


SHARPTON: You broke the ceiling in African-American women co-anchoring
evening news. How much of a breaking the ceiling to have African-American
women, women of color, on a popular daytime talk show, how did it change
the industry, Carole?

SIMPSON: Well, I think it has -- since "The View" is still very
popular, to have two African-American women, I think what Barbara has
succeed in doing is letting the world know that they aren`t African-
American women. They are women. They are talking about women stuff and I
think it shows them that we are not all that different. We have the same
concerns and all of those things.

So, I think she`s gone a long way in kind of breaking down the barriers
that we need to say, there are two African-American women on the show. I
don`t think people even think about it when they watch.

SHARPTON: The other thing is, she wasn`t afraid to be tough. She
would always ask the tough questions, no matter who she was interviewing.
Watch this.


WALTERS: You are all often described as famous for being famous. You
don`t really act, you don`t sing, you don`t dance, you don`t have any --
forgive me, any talent.

So I have to ask this very personal question. You are here.



WALTERS: You are a little over weight?

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: More than a little.




CHRISTIE: Well, if I could figure that out, I`d fix it.

WALTERS: You often get very emotional. Are you very sensitive?

GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Are you going to ask the tree

WALTERS: No, I`m not.

BECK: Because I`ve got an answer. Weeping willow.


SHARPTON: I mean, how does she get away with that? She would ask people
things no one else would ask.

SIMPSON: Well, I have been on the other side as an interviewee by Barbara
and she is just amazing. She sucks you right in and she`s so sweet and so
gracious and so charming when she asks a question that when she sends a
zinger in there, you know, it lands, it hits, and people answer it.
Because you don`t want to upset the diva. She is the news diva and
everybody wants to be interviewed by Barbara Walters.

SHARPTON: You know, I had Connie Chung on this show and she talked to
me about competing with Barbara. Watch this.

SIMPSON: It was so --

SHARPTON: They can`t find that tape. Let me go to this one, though,
that I really wanted to ask you about, Carole. She had a knack for making
people cry. Let me show you a little of that.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It was so destructive. It was so destructive.

OPRAH WINFREY, TV SHOW HOST: I don`t know that person.

WALTERS: Why is it making you cry?

WINFREY: Shoot. I wasn`t going to cry here. Um, it`s making me cry
because I`m thinking about how much I probably have never told her that.

WALTERS: You know, there are certain questions I ask you, Mike, about
your father and the tears come to your eyes.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I didn`t know it showed.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I made it after my father died, my passion, that I
was going to make that man proud of me until I die.

WINFREY: Tissue, please? I now need tissue.


SHARPTON: I mean, you say she -- everyone wanted to be interviewed by her.
She asked the questions no one asked. She made people cry. Why did
everybody want to be interviewed by this diva, as you call her?

SIMPSON: Well, she had good ratings. I mean, people watched Barbara
Walters specials, her Oscars specials and so on. So, there was a big
audience. And these people wanted publicity and a Barbara Walters`
interview was something special. But let me tell you how she got people to
cry. With what you saw on the air, maybe you saw a 15 minutes segment.
She may been talking to them for two hours before, you know, she finished
the interview.

So she`s been talking to them a long, long time and getting them to open up
and open up and open up. And so that, there comes that point where she
touches something that is very sensitive and you see the compassion, you
see the emotion of people that you would never expect would be that
emotional. She was great.

SHARPTON: What would be her legacy in the industry?

SIMPSON: Her legacy would be that she will go down in history as the
greatest female television journalist ever. She should be the greatest
television journalist, male or female ever. Because she has done so much
and was wonderful to listen to all of the cuts of tape that you had of her
through the years. I mean, she -- and Al, she succeeded because she
changed with the times. When people no longer wanted to hear interviews
with world leaders, she started going to the celebrity route.


SIMPSON: It wasn`t her choice. She didn`t want to. But to be
relevant, to be successful, she changed with the times and I think that`s
why she lasted 50 years.

SHARPTON: Well, the one and only Carole Simpson, anchorwoman and
teacher, you take care of those students.

SIMPSON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Thank you for your time tonight. We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: Yesterday, hundreds of people were enjoying the Mother`s
Day Parade in New Orleans but at 1:47 p.m., gunshots rang out. Nineteen
people were shot. Two 10-year-olds were graced by bullets. Three people
are now in critical conditions. New video shows the chaotic scene as a
possible suspect appears to be firing randomly. Police now think multiple
gunmen worked together. But this is not new to New Orleans or to many of
our other communities.

At a Martin Luther King Day parade this year, five teens were left with
bullet wounds and in apparent drive by shooting. And right before Mardi
Gras celebration this year, chaos erupted on Bourbon Street. Four people
shot. We must do something about gun violence. We cannot just get used to
hearing the next story. It is bad to hear horrific news. It`s worse when
we get used to it.

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


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