ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
July 30, 2013
Guests: Jason Chaffetz, David Cay Johnston, Elizabeth Goitein, Cord
Jefferson, Reza Aslan, Eric Boehlert, Linda Sarsour
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good evening, from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Tonight on ALL IN:
A verdict in a trial the likes of which this country has not seen in
150 years, literally. Why it matters to every American what WikiLeaker
Bradley Manning was charged with and what he was convicted of today.
Also tonight, religious scholar Reza Aslan is here to talk about being
the subject of what`s been described the most embarrassing interview FOX
News has ever done.
Plus, shocking video of white youths rioting and running rampant
through the streets of Huntington Beach, California. Do we need to have a
national dialogue about the violent destructive white youth culture in this
country? I think we do, and it`s a conversation you won`t want to miss.
But we begin tonight with President Obama who took his campaign-style
jobs push to Chattanooga, Tennessee, today, where he presented himself as a
principled idealistic fighter for the middle class, who maybe also happens
to have the most remarkably poor, short-term memory in all of Washington.
The president using today`s barnstorming speech to extend his hand to
Republicans to offer them a deal even as it`s a remote possibility.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m willing to work
with Republicans on reforming our corporate tax code as long as we use the
money from transitioning to a simpler tax system for a significant
investment in creating middle class jobs. That`s the deal.
And, you know, I`m just going to keep on throwing ideas out there to
see if something takes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That last ad lib line from the president, of course,
reflective of the ongoing tension with the Republican Party opposed to
almost everything that has the president`s name attached to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Sometimes there were ideas that historically had Republican
support and for some reason suddenly Republicans didn`t want to support
them anymore. The good news is there are growing number of Republican
senators who are trying to work with Democrats to get some stuff done.
That`s good news.
The bad news is that rather than keep our focus on what should be our
priority, which is growing our economy and creating good middle class jobs,
we`ve seen a certain faction of Republicans in Congress hurt a fragile
recovery by saying they wouldn`t pay the very bill that Congress racked up
in the first place, threatening to shut down the people`s government if
they can`t get rid of Obamacare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Not to disappoint, Republican Senator Ted Cruz today openly
advocated for a government shutdown in a speech for the Heritage
Foundation. He said the 1995 government shutdown when Bill Clinton was
president and Newt Gingrich was speaker of the House, the one that has
never been repeated because it so thoroughly backfired on Republicans.
That one, Cruz said that one was not a bad idea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I think the received wisdom that `95 was a
disaster I think is completely wrong. I think it was important that
Republicans stood for principle and it actually led to some serious
solutions to the fiscal and economic challenges facing this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner`s reaction to the
president`s proposal to cut corporate taxes was an odd one. Boehner`s
spokesman saying, quote, "The president has always supported corporate tax
reform. Republicans want to help families and small businesses, too. This
proposal allows President Obama to support President Obama`s position on
taxes and President Obama` position on spending, while leaving small
businesses and American families behind."
That statement I think exactly articulates the problem. To
Republicans, it`s about whose idea it is and not the idea, itself. It
doesn`t matter if Republicans like the idea. If the president likes it,
too, they`re not having it.
If Republicans want lower corporate tax rates and the president wants
lower corporate tax rates, why doesn`t that open the door to at least a
negotiation over the thing both sides agree on?
Joining me now is Congressman Jason Chaffetz, Republican from Utah.
And, Congressman, last week, we had Harry Belafonte on the program who
squashed his beef with Jay-Z on our program. I`m hoping to go two for two
here. So, I`m going to ask you if you`re interested in taking the
president up on his offer in the cut in the corporate tax rate, some near-
term spending on job creation in exchange for the cut on the corporate
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: Hey, look, if the president has an
idea in the economy, of course, we`re going to be accommodating and
listening to him. Not going to blow it out of the water just because he
But with that said, I`m not interested in a tax increase. We as
Republicans have long said we want to broaden the base, lower the rates and
keep it revenue neutral.
What the president is advocating is he wants to increase revenues and
that`s where it becomes unpalatable. But I do think we should have a
discussion. I want to talk more about the economy.
HAYES: The revenue increase would be a very short-term spike in the
revenue that would be based on how the base was broadened. It would be
revenue neutral, my understanding, in terms of the way the details are
worked out. It would be revenue neutral over the life of the reform.
Would you be interested in something like that?
CHAFFETZ: I get very concerned about a tax increase. That`s the way
I perceive it. Now, even Gene Sperling, who`s the head of the White House
National Economic Council said there were no details released in the
president`s plan today, so I want to see the meat on the bones.
Democrats are very quick to criticize Paul Ryan and others for not
offering details. Well, I would love that same criticism back at the
president today. Let`s hear some details on this, but do we need tax
reform? Of course, we`re going to engage in that, probably going to happen
in the fall.
But I think the direction of the president, at least as he initially
laid it out, I disagree with the policy, not the fact that the president
HAYES: Congressman, here`s what I have to say about this. I actually
have a tremendous amount of admiration for the discipline of the Tea Party
caucus in the House, as a kind of ideologue, myself. I have to say, the
way that I read the situation is I am so thankful for people like yours a
yourself and other principled conservative Republicans in the House for
saying no to grand bargain deal after grand bargain deal after grand
bargain deal because what it`s meant is things the president has wanted to
do that would really anger folks like myself on the left, like changing the
way Social Security benefits are calculated or even lowering the corporate
tax rate, none of that gets done.
In some ways, you`re the best ally I have in the U.S. government to
make sure these kind of deals don`t get struck.
CHAFFETZ: Well, that scares the living daylights out of me.
HAYES: That`s my point, though. My point is if you take yes for an
answer, you`re going to get policy that`s closer to the things that
Congressman Chaffetz like than the things Chris Hayes likes, and yet the
Republican Party seems incapable of saying yes.
CHAFFETZ: No, I disagree with that. I sponsored a bill that said
people who are a plying for and trying to get federal grants, if they
haven`t paid their federal taxes, then they shouldn`t be able to get those
grants. Guess what? That was then-Senator Obama`s idea. I took that
bill, I sponsored it. I passed it in the House of Representatives. It`s
sitting there in the United States Senate.
I can point only to the Democrats for holding this up, but there`s an
idea that was originally Barack Obama`s idea. I love it.
How come the White House isn`t helping me pass something that was the
president`s idea? And if there`s a criticism of House Republicans for
being obstructionists, what is it President Obama believes in that the
Republicans have suggested? Because certainly there`s got to be something.
HAYES: Lowering the corporate tax rate. That`s a perfect example,
the corporate tax rates of 35 percent. He wants to bring it down to 28
percent. I don`t want to lower the corporate tax rate. Lefties don`t want
to lower the corporate tax rate.
Republicans want to lower the corporate tax rate. That`s exactly the
kind of thing there`s common ground on.
CHAFFETZ: It depends what you`re going to do with it. He wants to
broaden the base by letting go of loopholes, then he wants to raise
revenue. We don`t want to raise taxes.
The president wants to raise taxes. That`s the rub. That`s the
HAYES: The concern about raising taxes is just an ideological
opposition to raising taxes in any way, shape or form?
CHAFFETZ: No, look, we just fundamentally do not believe that we`re
one tax increase away from prosperity in this country. And there are lots
of things we can do to move the economy forward.
Look, I am not one. I can`t speak for everybody, but I am not one
who`s going to simply dismiss it because the president offered it. He`s
the president of the United States. Of course, I`m going to listen to his
But I want him to listen to our ideas as well. It can`t just be a
HAYES: I think the idea that he keeps hearing from the House of
Representatives as 40 votes to repeal Obamacare and I feel that maybe has a
little bit of an effect on how seriously, how much the White House thinks
they`re getting a good give and take here.
Congressman Jason Chaffetz, I really appreciate you coming on today.
I`d love to have you back any time you want to come.
CHAFFETZ: Thank you. Thank you.
HAYES: Joining me now is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay
Johnston, president of Investigative Reporters and Editors, and a columnist
David Cay Johnston, this is what you hear in the argument about
corporate tax rate. Both from kind of center-left economists,
establishment types, Republicans, they say, look, we have the highest
corporate tax rate in the world. It`s making us competitive. Everybody
believes we should bring it down. Everybody believes in tax reform.
Are they right?
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, TAXANALYST.COM: Well, we do live in a competitive
world, Chris, and other countries have lower rates. But just lowering the
rates doesn`t solve anything. There`s a proposal here in the president`s
speech today which had basically nothing new in it for a minimum tax on
foreign earnings. Trust me, it will take somewhere between two and five
years for the tax engineers to figure out how to turn that into the maximum
JOHNSTON: -- and pay less --
HAYES: That`s an iron law of tax policy. The minimum becomes the
JOHNSTON: That`s exactly right. So --
HAYES: So my question to you -- here`s the problem I have with the
way we talk about tax reform. People talk about tax reform like there`s
going to be some process in which a bunch of Martians come down and make a
tax reform system that is completely unencumbered by all of the industry
capture and all of the corruption of Washington that`s produced the already
existing tax code that everybody claims to hate.
JOHNSTON: Right. This is not about tax reform. This is about the
president trying to maneuver a position where the Republicans lose control
of the House in 2014. He can`t have any legacy of the kind he wants if the
Democrats don`t get back the House.
And this idea that this is tax reform, they`re going to talk about in
the fall, it`s not tax reform. It`s tax overhaul and tax giveaways.
It is not reform. It`s overhaul.
HAYES: OK. What do you mean by that? What`s the distinction between
those two things?
JOHNSTON: Well, this is really about the 2,700 companies that own 80
percent of the business assets that get something like 93 percent of all
foreign tax credits that defer paying their taxes into the future and then
loan the government the money to collect interest on the taxes they didn`t
pay so we end up as losers --
HAYES: Wait, is that a real thing? Is that a real thing?
JOHNSTON: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. They actually profit off their taxes.
I wrote a column for "National Memo" and I`ve written columns for tax
analysts detailing how this happens. How you make money off the tax
So here`s a suggestion, Chris. If you want to get a real debate about
taxes, let`s eliminate the corporate income tax and talk about how to make
up the revenue somewhere else. In theory, that would lead to a huge inflow
of capital into this country and a flourishing of jobs. By the way, I
don`t think that`s what it would lead to. It would take the issue away
from the Republicans if the president would get out there and say, well,
let`s debate getting rid of the corporate income tax.
HAYES: I`ve actually heard liberals who say that, right? OK, this is
an insufficient way. We have this statistic here which I think at some
point came from a David Cay Johnston article I read about the gap between
the actual rate, 35 percent, and the effective rate, what corporations pay,
which is around 12.6 percent. So, when they trod out the 35 percent,
that`s just -- you know, that`s smoke and mirrors.
HAYES: Are you in that camp of, like, hey, let`s go -- let`s do it,
let`s get rid of this thing that no one`s collecting anyway and talk about
how we get the revenue out of the folks that are wealthy.
JOHNSTON: Well, sadly you can`t do it all by itself. You would have
to do other things that I suspect the very wealthy would not like.
Remember, it`s the top tenth of 1 percent that own all the means of
production in the country. And they`re certainly going to be against any
higher taxes, even if it means lower corporate taxes because those big
companies aren`t paying that much now to begin with. Why would they want
to give up that sweet deal?
JOHNSTON: Here`s the issue that Obama can take, however. There`s
significant amount of evidence that the cost, or what economists call the
incidence of the corporate income tax, who bears it, it`s not passed
forward to customers. It used to be borne by owners. There`s a lot of
evidence now it`s being born by workers through lower wages.
JOHNSTON: We`re not seeing wage growth. If that`s the case, then,
yes, the Democrats should change the ball game by bringing up a new
HAYES: David Cay Johnston, thinking outside the box. Using the term,
means of production, getting through the segment.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, thank you very
JOHNSTON: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Why today`s verdict in the Bradley Manning case matters to
every American who uses the Internet, coming up.
HAYES: It`s possible that somewhere in the world right now, some
member of an al Qaeda affiliate is reading an article from "The New York
Times" based on leaks to "The Times" reporters. So, the question is, is
"The New York Times" guilty of aiding the enemy? What if Ayman al-Zawahiri
is watching ALL IN and taking notes? A surprising ruling in court today on
just what it means to aid the enemy, next.
HAYES: For the first time since 1863, an American stood in court
accused by the United States government of, quote, "aiding the enemy." And
today, a judge shocked a lot of people watching the case by finding Private
Bradley Manning not guilty of that charge, which carried with it a possible
life sentence. Manning was, however, convicted of 20 of the government`s
He will be sentenced tomorrow, and despite being found not guilty of
aiding the enemy, the most serious charge, he still faces over 100 years in
prison. The judge agreed with the government almost every step of the way
in the trial of Bradley Manning. But on the charge of aiding the enemy,
she rejected the government`s audacious line of thinking which every
American should be thankful for.
You see, when Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden`s compound in Pakistan
in 2011 they managed to take a number of computers and files. When they
went through the computers, the government claims they found digital files
containing WikiLeaks cables, cables that Bradley Manning leaked. Thus, the
government argued members of al Qaeda, likely Osama bin Laden, himself, had
read some of the WikiLeaks cables.
And they were certainly not alone. I read many of those WikiLeaks
cables along with millions and millions of other people across the world.
In fact, anyone with an Internet connection could have read the WikiLeaks
cables and many did.
But the government argued that the presence of cables leaked by
Bradley Manning on those computers proved that he had knowingly aided the
enemy. The government`s legal reasoning was because Manning released the
documents that were subsequently published in "The New York Times," for
example, that he aided the enemy because he released the cables knowing al
Qaeda could potentially have an Internet connection, and therefore, read
By that line of thinking "The New York Times" or "The Washington Post"
or even your humble MSNBC host could be prosecuted for aiding the enemy if,
say, one of those papers` articles or maybe a clip from the show were found
on an al Qaeda computer.
It`s a genuinely shocking argument coming from the government, an
argument that for today, at least, a judge rejected.
Joining me now is Liza Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and
National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice.
OK. Am I being hyperbolic here? Can it possibly be the case that the
government`s assertion in aiding the enemy charge was as massively
problematic from a precedent perspective as it appears to be?
ELIZABETH GOITEIN, BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE: I don`t think you`re
being hyperbolic, I think you`re being under-bolic. I`m not sure what the
opposite of that is -- because I don`t think that the judge rejected that
line of reasoning. I think what the judge said, yes, government, you`re
right about where I should set the bar, but you didn`t get over that bar.
So, basically, the judge said if the government had proven Bradley
Manning knew al Qaeda was using the internet and looking at Web sites like
WikiLeaks beyond a reasonable doubt, then the government would have
prevailed on that charge.
HAYES: So, this judge is saying there`s nothing wrong with this legal
theory. And again, I should be clear here -- the full text of aiding the
enemy statute, any person who aids or intends to aid the enemy with arms,
ammunitions, supplies, money or other thing, without proper authority,
knowingly harbors, protects, gives intelligence to, or communicates or
corresponds with or holds intercourse with the enemy, directly or
indirectly, that gives intelligence to here."
We should be clear -- this isn`t related to classified information,
GOITEIN: That`s right. Yes.
HAYES: That could be things that are not classified if the government
can prove its case that it gave intelligence to.
GOITEIN: So, the definition of intelligence used in this case was
information that is helpful to the enemy that is true at least in par. In
fact, in closing arguments, the government made the argument that any
information that casts the United States in a negative light could be
helpful to the enemy because the enemy could use it to recruit new members.
So, by that theory, anyone who posts on the Internet information that
casts the United States in a negative light --
HAYES: Oh my Lord.
GOITEIN: -- has knowingly given intelligence to al Qaeda. I mean, I
think somewhere, even the judge I guess realized this broke down. But,
unfortunately, until we can see her opinion, hopefully, there will be a
written opinion then we`ll have a better sense of --
HAYES: Yes. So, let`s talk about the other charges. Let`s talk
about the espionage charges -- under the Espionage Act, which is just a
horrible law, passed in 1917. It is awful point in American politics, red
scare, raids, all sorts of nuttiness going around. It`s been rarely used.
It`s used in this case.
Did the government have to show that Bradley Manning actually wanted
to essentially act as a spy for him to be convicted on this?
GOITEIN: Not at all. And it is a statute that was designed for
spies. I don`t like spies. I`m fine with, you know, putting spies in
The problem is that recently, and really only under this
administration has the government started to regularly use the Espionage
Act to go after people for disclosing classified information, not to the
enemy, but to the media, and not with any intent to harm the United States.
HAYES: So rather than chalking a mailbox and ending up in a parking
lot where you are with a double agent from a foreign intelligence service
and you`re slipping them a thumb drive or a dossier of documents, you go to
"The New York Times", or you go to WikiLeaks or you got to some third
outlet. The government is now saying that second thing, not the classic
thing that we understand as spying, that also counts as spying.
GOITEIN: That counts under the espionage act. Now, as recently as
2006, there was a judge who said the government has to prove bad faith on
the part of the defendant in order to get a convict under the Espionage Act
because that`s really what the intent requirement was supposed to be in the
statute. But the judge in John Kiriakou`s case rejected that. Judge Lynn
rejected that in Bradley Manning`s case.
We`re seeing that, that the motive of the defendant --
HAYES: A new precedent. Right, about the motive. Exactly.
GOITEIN: That`s right.
HAYES: The final thing I want to get from you is this. You know,
defenders of Bradley Manning have been quite vocal and active and very
well-organized, and I`m quite sympathetic in some ways to people`s pointing
out the absolute difficult to justify conditions under which Bradley
Manning was held, 10 months of solitary. The three years before he faced
trial, the overkill of the prosecution.
It also does seem to me the Army isn`t going to walk away from some
private first class giving away 800,000 documents, right?
HAYES: So, my question to you is, as sentencing starts tomorrow and
there is no minimum sentence, he faces 100 years. What do you think
justice is in this case?
GOITEIN: I think justice is to take in account those very things that
were considered irrelevant. I think they shouldn`t have been considered
irrelevant, but they were considered irrelevant at the guilt phase. And
that is his actual motive and the actual harm that the disclosures caused,
or in this case really didn`t cause.
And those factors will be relevant at the sentencing hearing and, you
know, I think some sentence is appropriate. I actually believe that.
HAYES: He has pled to a sentence that would give him about 20 years.
I have to say 20 years --
GOITEIN: Up to 20 years, yes.
HAYES: Up to 20 years.
I have to say -- I mean, I`m not a sentencing judge, but clearly that
would be a disincentive for future actions if that`s the thing the army is
Liza Goitein from the Brennan Center for Justice -- thank you.
GOITEIN: Thank you.
HAYES: After a riot in a nice seaside community in California, the
question really must be asked, are white youths out of control?
A very special ALL IN discussion coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Those shocking images are from Huntington Beach, California,
where at the conclusion of the U.S. Open in surfing on Sunday, a white mob
began rioting. The angry crowd vandalized property, broke the windows of
businesses, looted some stores and brawled with each other on the streets
of downtown Huntington Beach. Police used rubber bullets on the unruly mob
and arrested at least seven people including a firefighter from Anaheim.
You probably haven`t heard much about the white riot in Huntington
Beach. That`s because the story of white criminal culture is not a story
the mainstream media will tell you. Once you scratch the surface, these
stories are everywhere you look.
Take billionaire hedge fund manager, Steve Cohen, for instance. How
many times this week have you heard about the federal charges he`s been
slapped with for alleged insider trading violations?
What about JPMorgan Chase, a company run almost entirely by white men.
Well, that financial giant quietly paid $410 million in a settlement after
being accused of manipulating the power markets. The sad truth is that the
white power structure in this country has no clue -- no clue how to solve
the problems within the white community.
Look, I don`t want people to be suspicious of white men, but the
Huntington Beach riot underlines a stark truth about white culture. The
fact is 84 percent of white murder victims are killed by other white
people. We really do have a question whether white leadership, where they
are on this issue.
Conversation is sorely lacking an appeal for the moderate white
community. After all, no one forces white people to throw haymakers after
their surfing competitions. And when white youth are raised with so much
privilege and so few boundaries, these young while white men reject
concepts of self-control and not being a jerk.
Some people may feel like I`m stereotyping. I don`t care. I`m
dealing with reality. The white community needs to ask itself, how are we
going to deal with this problem?
Finally, there is one brave writer in the mainstream writer raising
that question. Gawker columnist, Cord Jefferson, handed out a healthy dose
of truth following the Huntington Beach riot. "Whites in America have been
out from under their European ancestor`s boot heels for centuries.
California specifically outlawed preferences for nonwhites in state hiring
and education nearly two decades ago. So being oppressed is no longer an
excuse for behavior like this. How long must we wait for the white
community to get its act together?"
Joining me now, Cord Jefferson, West Coast editor for Gawker.com,
author of the aforementioned column, "A Dangerous and Irresponsible
Cord, you`re not going to hear this kind of thing in the mainstream
media. My question to you is what inspired you to finally rip off this
taboo and talk about the problems with white culture?
CORD JEFFERSON, GAWKER.COM: You know, I am a person of color, Chris.
But, first and foremost, I consider myself an American citizen and resident
of Southern California. And, seeing what the mob did in Huntington Beach
on Sunday night, I just felt there was no way that I could sit on the
sidelines anymore in good conscience and watch so many white youths debase
themselves the way that they are --
HAYES: You know --
JEFFERSON: -- And, so I think that sometimes people have to stick
their necks out. I don`t want to use the word martyr, but I guess I`m kind
of a martyr on this front.
HAYES: You know, there are people that are going to tell you that
it`s just a few bad apples. If you look at the video, you can`t say this
whole group. You know, this has nothing to do with white people. It`s
just a few bad apples. What do you say to that?
JEFFERSON: To that, I say that if that`s your actual belief, then
you`re living with your head in the sand. I used to live in New York City
and would occasionally go to Hoboken, New Jersey`s, St. Patrick`s Day
Parade. And, there were so many young white men there vomiting in the
streets, urinating in the streets, getting in fist fights in the streets.
It was a sight to be seen.
HAYES: I have seen it. I have seen it myself. There are college
dorms you can go to. Every other room there`s a bong. There are people
talking about how much drugs, how much they enjoy drugs. A drug culture
that people -- and white elders don`t say anything about it. They kind of
mink -- they wink and they nod.
JEFFERSON: You`re looking at a -- they`re learning -- the thing is
that these young people are learning this kind of behavior in lacrosse
camps. They learning this kind of behave at college spring break. They
are learning this kind of behavior at Ivy League fraternities where drug
use and binge drinking are normalized behaviors. And, these kinds of
places are kind of the hives of moral debasement that are leading to, I
think, the -- with what we`re seeing, which is this white crime scourge.
HAYES: Here`s my question to you. People are going to say, you know,
this is someone who has a personal problem with white people. Do you have
a personal problem with white people? Is this animus?
JEFFERSON: No, I think any time that you tell the truth, there is
going to be those people who come out and think that you are doing it for
some insidious reason and say that you`re a racist. I kind of knew that
some white people were going to say that this is just -- I`m sorry, I knew
that some white people were going to call this playing the race card.
But, it isn`t playing the race card. My best friend is white. My
mother is actually white. My prom date in high school was a white woman.
She was very white, actually. She used to ride horses and then do that
whole thing. Obviously very, very deep -- I have very deep roots in the
white community that this is not hatred for whites. This is just tough
love, and I felt it was time that somebody told the truth to these people.
It`s a hard conversation, but it`s one we need to have.
HAYES: And, I`m glad we`re having it. My question to you, Cord, is
what is it going to take to get the white power structure, prominent
rights, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden to start speaking out on this kind of
thing to start talking about the St. Patty`s day parade, to start talking
about the drug culture on campuses. To start -- to even just take the
first step and condemn the Huntington Beach riots?
JEFFERSON: You know, I wish that I knew. I wish that I knew. When I
look towards the white leadership, when I look toward the Justin Biebers of
the world and Rush Limbaughs of the world, and Sean Hannitys of the world,
I often hear them talking about the problems within the black community.
But, I have yet to really see them take a serious, long look at the
problems within the white community and then look at these kinds of violent
offenses that are going on within white neighborhoods and my college
campuses all the time. That has been difficult to watch.
And, then, so -- to them I would just say, a physician, heal thyself
first. And, then I`m glad that people like you are stepping up in the
white community and really sort of looking at this problem for what it is
which is a serious, serious issue.
HAYES: We appreciate that. Cord Jefferson, the west coast editor for
Gawker.com. Thank you.
JEFFERSON: Thank you.
HAYES: If you watched that segment and thought that`s an absolutely
ridiculous premise and an absolutely terrible way to talk about millions of
people who share nothing, nothing, except their general broad pigmentation?
You are correct.
And, remember that the next time you hear those same arguments, but
with a different word in place of the word white. And, that`s the memo.
We`ll be right back wit with #Click3.
HAYES: It has been called absurd, demented, embarrassing, cringe
worthy, illogical and offensive. Fox News interview with religious Scholar
Reza Aslan was all that and more. We will find out what it is like to play
a starring role in the "Plan 9 From Outer Space" of cable news web
interviews when Reza Aslan joins us next.
But, first I want to share the three awesomest things on the internet
today beginning with the global czar of grandiose outdoor activities.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has wowed the world with his epic displays
of manliness. He has tranquilized tigers. He has pulled ancient artifacts
from the sea. He has gone horseback riding. And, he has even dared not to
wear a shirt while doing so.
Now, he has gone on a fishing expedition in Siberia. And, wouldn`t
you know, the Russian president managed to pluck this sizable pike right
out of the water. Rewriting the old soviet proverb, "In Russia, fish catch
One aide warned Putin that the fish might bite him. Putin`s response,
"I will bite him myself." According to Kremlin, Putin`s pike weighed 46
pounds, which is prompted the Russian interwebs to erupt in conspiracy
theories in good old-fashioned origin. As Putin put it, the Kremlin mush
have weighed the pike the way they count the votes.
The second awesomest thing on the internet today, a reminder we now we
live in age of the wearable face computer. No one looks good using Google
glass, but if you can`t afford it, who cares really. The latest technology
has given rise to a specific type of person commonly known as the glass
hole. See also glass hat.
So, it should be a little surprise over the past few months. We have
seen various elected officials test drive the technology. An 86-year-old
congressman John Dingell remarking, "Oh, this is quite a machine while
trying on a pair." How true that is, when used for something other than
awkward congressional photo op.
Later, punter, Chris Kluwe, using Google Glass at training camp and
the footage he is getting is pretty cool. Chris is returning a kick off
and punting even left Raiders Kicker Sebastian Janikowski tried out, too.
But, this we say, "Hands off, Chris Kluwe, you certainly are no glass
wipe." Not to mention, a more believer ambassador for the for the wonders
than Michele Bachmann.
And, the third awesomest thing on the internet today comes courtesy of
old media stalwart, the "Chicago Tribune." In fact, I`m going to go out
(inaudible) for the "Chicago Tribune" has won the day.
That is because as Gizmodo reports, for 15 whole minutes this was
offered on the "Tribune`s" home page. Headline, test here, test, test,
test. Well, look at kitty. Test, test, test. That test either failed or
was a tremendous success all depending on your point of view.
Now, obviously, a mistake was made here. But, I have to say, if this
was the daily header and photo featured in print edition all across the
country, the newspaper industry wouldn`t be in crisis. Mr. William
Randolph Hurst used to say an adorable, "Kitten cloaked in a big headline
engineered copy, sells papers. You can find the all the links for
tonight`s "All In" on our website, allin.com. We will be right back.
HAYES: As of 3:30 this afternoon, the top selling book on all of
Amazon.com, the head of George R. Martin`s "Game of thrones", ahead of
Stephen King`s "Joyland" and way, way, way ahead of "Twilight of the
Elites: America After Meritocracy" now in Paperback.
Reza Aslan "Zealot: The Life And Times Of Jesus Of Nazareth."
Biography about a first century Jewish teacher and iconoclast named Jesus
in which a great deal of the story that informs the book is not new
So, the reason why this book jumped from number eight over the
weekend`s number one, the reason why according to the book`s own publisher
that sales increased 35 percent in 2 days is an astonishingly odd interview
on foxnews.com. The website buzzfeed.com is suggesting just might be the
most embarrassing interview Fox has ever done.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAUREN GREEN, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You are a Muslim, so why did you write
a book about the founder of Christianity?
REZA ASLAN, AUTHOR OF "ZEALOT" BOOK: Well, to be clear, I am a
scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the new testament
and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of
Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim.
GREEN: It still begs the question, why would you be interested in the
founder of Christianity?
ASLAN: Because it`s my job as an academic. I am a professor of
religion including the New Testament. That`s what I do for a living,
actually. I am a historian. I am a Ph.D. in the history of religions.
This isn`t a Muslim opinion. I`m not sure what my faith happens to do with
my 20 years of academic study of the New Testament.
I do think it`s, perhaps, a little bit strange that rather than
debating the arguments of the book, we are debating the right of the
scholar to actually write it. My job as a scholar of religions with a
Ph.D. in the subject is to write about religions.
GREEN: You are putting yourself as a scholar, and I`ve interviewed
scholars who have written books on the resurrection, on the real Jesus, and
who are looking at the same information that you are saying and saying your
information is somehow different from theirs is really not being honest
ASLAN: I don`t think my -- ma`am, my information is not different
from theirs at all. I`m afraid that it sounds like you haven`t actually
read my book or seen what I`ve said about the resurrection or about Jesus
or about his claims. I think you might be surprised in what I say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is religious scholar, Reza Aslan, author of the
book "Zealot: The Life And Times Of Jesus The Nazareth." He is also an
Adjunct Senior Fellow of the Council On Foreign Relation. Well --
REZA ASLAN, RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR: Hi.
HAYES: The hilarious thing is that this has now been sucked up in the
kind of like viral whirlwind. And, now, you are actually benefiting from
the whole thing because the book is out everywhere and everyone`s seen the
interview. So, in some ways, right, probably, the best and most important
interview you did in the entire publicity tour for this book.
ASLAN: Well, that may be true. I mean it certainly has allowed the
book to be read by a different audience, a kind of audience that probably
would not be interested in this kind of book. And, I am grateful for that.
But, I think at this point what`s really fascinating to me, just from, you
know, an academic perspective, is that this is no longer even about me. It
is not about Fox News.
This has become a much needed larger discussion in the country about
media and journalism and, you know, scholarship and faith in the role of
religion in society. I mean as a writer, as a thinker, I`m just absolutely
thrilled that something that I thought would just be a small interview has
launched this public discussion in this country. I`m really happy about
HAYES: Reza, let me ask you about your personal trajectory. I
listened to the interview you did with Terry Gross of "Fresh Air" and I was
fascinated, you and I have met. I did not know the back story of the fact
that you were raised in a basically non-practicing Muslim household.
You then convert into Christianity at a young age, as a young
immigrant, who had been in the country for quite a few years as a kid and
then sort of moved away from Christianity and ended up later finding Islam
as your faith. And, how did that trajectory -- because I think that is an
interesting, important part of this story, right?
HAYES: How did that end up informing the work produced in this book?
ASLAN: You know, that`s actually a really good question, Chris,
because I feel as though I have this unique perspective in talking about
the historical Jesus. Both because, you know, I saw it from the inside,
you know, as a worshipper of Christ, as someone who believed that Jesus was
And, then, again, from somebody who was perhaps not burdened by those
kinds of doctrinal issues, the sort of the baggage of Dogma. And, it
allowed me to look at Jesus with a fresh set of eyes but to still,
nevertheless, understand the importance that this man plays in the lives of
billions of people.
And, I`ve said this before, but I just want to say it again, I have
nothing but compassion for Lauren Green. I totally get where she is coming
from. If I were 15 -- if I were my 15-year-old evangelical Christian self,
I had probably be a little bit afraid and feeling a little bit attacked,
too; but, again, that`s not my intention at all.
HAYES: Well, here`s the question about the book. And, I`ve seen
other -- I want to read you a quote from "Alan Jacobs, writing at the
American Conservatives, he wrote out your credentials, which has now become
a topic of discussion among conservatives.
And, probably, I think there`s a fair question about what new are you
adding to the literature. What kind of value to framework are you
operating out of as you are talking about the historical Jesus and his
context? And, part of it seems like point scoring because they do not like
But, he says "Reza Aslan is not a New Testament scholar. In "Zealot"
he is writing well outside his own academic training. His book is educated
amateur summary and synthesis of a particularly skeptical but quite long-
established line of new testament scholarship presented to us as simple
fact." What do you say to that?
ASLAN: Well, I mean I think the opinion about the scholarship is
perfectly fine. That`s a good opinion. I actually cite all the scholars
who disagree with every single point that I make in the book. And, I cite
all the scholars who agree with me. I mean, it turns out that people have
been writing about Jesus for a very, very long time.
And so, you know, I`m immersed in that studies. But, to the
credentials part, and I really hate doing this because there is nothing
more annoying than somebody having to talk about his credentials, but all
right, here we go again. My bachelors from Santa Clara University is in
Scripture and Tradition, which is fancy talk for "New Testament." I have
fluency in biblical Greek.
My master of theological studies is in the history of religions from
Harvard. My PhD course work was all done in history of religions. My
dissertation which was about Jihadism is a social movement was given to the
department of sociology and my degree is in the sociology of religion, but
I am an expert in the history of religions and please God, please let me
never have to say those things again.
HAYES: All right. I will not make you say that again. I want you to
stick around because there is a disturbing new chapter to the Anthony
Weiner scandal that does not involve photos or text messages. When we come
back, we will talk about the sudden barrage of attacks on Weiner`s wife and
the cultural fear behind them.
BROOKE GOLDSTEIN, ATTORNEY: What is amazing to me is that we are
spending time debating Schmeckle-gate, OK? When Huma Abedin who has
connections to the Muslim brotherhood, who was connected to the chief
financier of Al-Qaida is his wife and has top security clearance.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: She has a great point. Wow!
GOLDSTEIN: Why are we debating this when --
MONICA CROWLEY, FOX NEWS COMMENTATOR: Yes. And, actually, what
Brooke points to, that is the real Huma Abedin story is. It is not about
Weiner`s wiener. It is about Huma Abedin and her attach to Islamic --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was a clip from Sean Hannity`s Weekend Special, title
"Saving America" by putting as many people in the stage as they can and
which his guest repeated baseless claims that Anthony Weiner`s wife has
ties to the Muslim brotherhood. Still with is Reza Aslan, author of the
book "Zealot: Life And Times Of Jesus Of Nazareth. Joining me in the table
are Linda Sarsour, Executive Director of the Arab American association of
New York and Eric Boehlert a Senior Fellow at Media Matters For America.
That slur against Huma Abedin is of fairly long vintage, actually.
The as far as I can tell the source of this was a Michele Bachmann rumor
that she started. Take a listen to her as she kicks this off. "The Deputy
Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin has three family members, her late father, her
mother and her brother, connected to Muslim Brotherhood. Her position
provides her with routine access to secretary and to policy-making. These
were just shear-base McCarthyism.
ERIC BOEHLERT, SENIOR FELLOW AT MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA: Yes. Yes.
HAYES: Correct that originally.
BOEHLERT: Well, and it is tied into races ordeal last week with his
interview. I mean this is the Fox perspective. This is demonizing Muslims
and specifically American Muslims. If you go back to the so-called ground
I mean, the hysteria was off the charts. It was going to be a
training ground for terrorism. There is going to be a shrine to terrorism.
So, any opportunity they get is really just smear and fear, much like we
saw the race baiting after the George Zimmerman verdict. This is all part
of the same package.
HAYES: I was not that surprised to hear that on Fox. I was surprised
to read this in "The New York Times."
LINSA SARSOUR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE ARAB AMERICAN: Yes.
HAYES: This is Maureen Dowd this weekend. I`m not exaggerating that
my mouth opened. I`m serious. I could not believe this was in the paper.
"When you puzzle over why the elegant Huma Abedin is propping up the eel-
like Anthony Weiner, you must remember one thing, Huma was raised in Saudi
Arabia where women are treated worse by men than anywhere else on the
planet." Strong argument? Weak argument? Linda?
SARSOUR: Stupid argument. I would say. It`s interesting that this
is not just, you know, Fox News and it`s not just Michele Bachmann. This
is an industry in this country that`s Islam-o-phobic. I don`t know what
they want me to think about Huma Abedin. Do you want me to think she is a
crazy monster Muslim brotherhood enemy? Or do you want me to think she is
the poor unfortunate woman.
I mean the Islamaphobes got to get in a room together and get their
talking point straight. And, I think if you want to talk about the
oppressed side, I mean Huma Abedin has one of the most senior positions in
the administration with secretary --
HAYES: In the state department.
SARSOUR: -- in the State Department. She is a woman who made her
choice in who she wanted to marry. She married a person not of her faith.
SARSOUR: And, she is a very elegant woman. And, it`s not our
business why she`s staying. And, this is a larger conversation about how
we talk about adultery in this country. This is not about Huma Abedin.
Let`s talk about why Weiner is showing his --
HAYES: And, Reza, I mean the fascinating thing to me is that at this
point, Huma Abedin is probably the most high-profile Muslim woman in
America right now. Right? I mean that`s what`s remarkable about the
fallout from this entire scandal and people are attaching to that so
quickly as soon as she becomes a public figure.
ASLAN: Well, actually what`s even more interesting is that if, you
know, Huma has this secret Muslim agenda, it`s not going so well. I mean,
I like Hillary Clinton a lot, but she is no friend to the Palestinians her
husband, Anthony Weiner, his views about the Palestinians are despicable.
This is a man who has said that there is no such thing as an occupation of
the west bank. He has called Palestinian ambassadors terrorists. So Huma,
if you`ve got this secret Muslim agenda, you got to work harder. OK? It`s
HAYES: Well, I think what`s also interesting to me about this, is
like I just -- I think I thought that this would ebb as we got further -- I
really did. As we got further from 9/11. And, yet it doesn`t -- it does,
I think, when I talk to people, just normal people out in the country, it
seems like it`s much lower. But, it does -- it hasn`t in fox and other
BOEHLERT: There`s an Obama connection, right?
BOEHLERT: So, years and years, you know, he`s secretly a Muslim or
has this scary allegiance to Islam. He is a mentoring candidate. We don`t
know his true allegiance. It is all tighten to that just like to -- but it
does not comes back to Obama --
HAYES: Is it better now than in the aftermath of 9/11?
SARSOUR: Absolutely not. It has been 12 years later, it`s worse 100
times over the day after 9/11. We never saw mosque opposition post-9/11.
We never saw witch hunt hearings in congress post-9/11. We haven`t seen
republican debates that were specifically focused on the Islamist --
BOEHLERT: And, George Bush, to his credit, came out.
HAYES: Yes and that was something.
BOEHLERT: He said "We`re not going to go after this religious."
HAYES: And, we have not seen that. Reza Aslan. Author of the book
"Zealot: The Life And Times Of Jesus Of Nazareth." Number 1 in
amazon.com. Not bad. Linda Sarsour from the Arab American Association of
New York and Eric Boehlert from Media Matters. Thank you all. That is
"All In" for this evening. The "Rachel Maddow Show" starts right now with
the one and only Melissa Harris-Perry sitting in for Rachel. Good evening,
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY: Good evening, Chris and thanks for that great
HAYES: Thank you.
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