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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

September 24, 2014

Guest: Zach Beauchamp, Nicholas Kristof, William Adams

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Rachel, some of the more fun days I had in
the Senate were the days when Ruth Bader Ginsburg was using my office as
her waiting room for her Senate confirmation hearing.

RACHEL MADDOW, "TRMS" HOST: Am I right that she could beat up anybody who
we`re talking to right now?

O`DONNELL: Absolutely. And she -- and, Rachel, also the little fact that
she loves the job. That`s the other big factor there.

MADDOW: Nobody is going to tell her what to do. That`s exactly right.

Thanks, man. I appreciate it. Thanks.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.

Well, President Obama got a unanimous vote at the United Nations today,
while the United States Congress continues to refuse to vote on anything.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Substantial air strike --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Against ISIS targets late today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By the United States and Arab coalition members.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Financial and communication targets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Airstrikes alone are not going to get this job done.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Another strong message against ISIS. ISIS sends one

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The horrific beheading of a French tourist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By an ISIS ally in Algeria.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The barbarians have taken over again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A disturbing but not surprising reaction.

heart of darkness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president led a meeting of the U.N. Security

OBAMA: Resolutions alone will not be enough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need the real commitment.

OBAMA: You come from a great tradition.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Focusing in on young people who might be tempted to

OBAMA: That stands for education, not ignorance. Innovation, not

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They want to stop the flow of foreign fighters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Individuals being radicalized.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Crushing an ideology is one of the most difficult

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He called out the oil-rich nations who helped
propagate this.

OBAMA: To explicitly, forcefully and consistently reject the ideology.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want to have their cake and eat it, too. It`s got
to stop.


O`DONNELL: In Syria, it was the third night of air strikes on targets
including oil facilities that the Islamic State uses to collect as much as
$2 million a day in oil revenue. Today, the president tried to enlist the
United Nations in the war against the Islamic State.


OBAMA: No God condones this terror. No grievance justifies these actions.
There can be no reasoning, no negotiation with this brand of evil. The
only language understood by killers like this is the language of force.

So, the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to
dismantle this network of death. Today, I ask the world to join in this
effort. Those who have joined ISIL should leave the battlefield while they
can. Together with our partners, America is training and equipping the
Syrian opposition to be a counterweight to the terrors of ISIL and the
brutality of the Assad regime.

But the only lasting solution to Syria`s civil war is political -- an
inclusive, political transition in response to the legitimate aspirations
of all Syrian citizens, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of creed.

Cynics may argue that such an outcome can never come to pass. But there is
no other way for this madness to end, whether one year from now or ten.


O`DONNELL: And so, the president who was elected on the promise of getting
the United States out of war in that region told the world today that we
may be on the verge of another ten years of war there.

After that speech, the president chaired the Security Council for the
second time in his presidency where he masterfully led the council to
unanimously approve a resolution to prevent suspected foreign fighters from
exiting or transiting the territories of members of the United Nations, and
to increase international cooperation in tracking foreign terrorist


OBAMA: Resolutions alone will not be enough. Promises on paper cannot
keep us safe. Lofty rhetoric and good intentions will not stop a single
terrorist attack. The words spoken here today must be matched and
translated into action, into deeds.


O`DONNELL: British Prime Minister David Cameron announced today that
parliament will be recalled Friday to vote on joining the U.S. for
airstrikes against the Islamic State.

Of course, the leaders of the United States Congress and the president have
no intention of inconveniencing Congress and demanding that they do their
constitutional duty and vote for or against this new war in Syria.

Joining me now, NBC News foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, and Zach
Beauchamp of Vox.

Ayman, to the oil revenue that they went after, $2 million possibly a day
in oil revenue, how does the Islamic State get that? If that can be
stopped, what does it do to their capacities?

of President Obama`s strategy to degrade its capability. Obviously, ISIS
is trying to function like a state. They are paying salaries. They are
trying to collect revenues in some of the areas under their control.

They`re selling this oil on the black market. They`re getting it on the
black market it legally, withdrawing and trying to sell it illegally. Some
of it is being sold into Turkey illegally. And ultimately, that revenue
then comes back for them to purchase weapons, to try to equip their
fighters and to keep a semblance of a state functioning in areas they

O`DONNELL: Zach Beauchamp, any surprises today at the United Nations?
Given the fairly limited nature of the resolution being about foreign
fighters and how to control their movements, getting a unanimous vote on
that may have been within of the only things they could have gotten a
unanimous vote on.

ZACH BEAUCHAMP, VOX: That`s right. No one is particularly surprised that
everyone opposes people from their country going in and fighting for a
radical jihadi organization. The difficult part at the U.N. would be
getting any kind of international law authorization for U.S. military
involvement there, particularly in Syria, and with the air strikes that
have been announced and started recently. Russia is very supportive of the
Assad regime, and the Assad regime`s position is if the U.S. is in Syria,
it should be cooperating with Assad, which we don`t want to do.

O`DONNELL: I want so listen to something the president said today directed
at the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Let`s listen to


OBAMA: We recognize as well that leadership will be necessary to address
the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. As bleak as the landscape
appears, America will not give up on the pursuit of peace. Understand the
situation in Iraq and Syria and Libya should cure anybody of the illusion
that the Israeli conflict is the main source of problems in the region.
For far too long, that`s been used as an excuse to distract people from
problems at home.


O`DONNELL: So, Ayman, there`s the president of the United States,
diminishing the importance of the Arab-Israeli conflict, as it relates to
the rest of what we`re seeing there. And that is, of course, the American
line and it`s the Israeli line on these things, that it`s really just used
as an excuse for people in the region.

How does that go over in that room where many of the people in that room
don`t think it`s an illusion? They think it`s a serious factor in what`s
happening there?

MOHYELDIN: It would not go double play well in the Arab world. The
Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the epicenter of co-centric circles of
problems that had been confounded over the years. Now, when you talk about
dealing with ISIS, it may seem on paper a far stretch from the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict.

But when you look at the grievances that have allowed this ideology to
exist for decades and to become more and more extreme, it`s not just the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it`s autocratic regimes. It`s religious
fanaticism. Those are co-centric circles of this problem.

You can deal with ISIS militarily. You can bomb oil wells. You can hit
targets. But at the end of day, the key is to try to drain the ideology.
That`s not going to happen unless you address some of the core issues
across the region, including the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

O`DONNELL: He also said something many Israelis might not have wanted to
hear today. Let`s listen to that.


OBAMA: The violence engulfing the region today has made too many Israelis
ready to abandon the hard work of peace. And that`s something worthy of
reflection, within Israel, because let`s be clear, the status quo in the
West Bank and Gaza is not sustainable.


O`DONNELL: And, Zach, clearly, the president wanted to be heard in the
Arab world on that particular point.

BEAUCHAMP: That`s right. The president is trying to toe a very thin line
here. He`s trying to say the conflict is an American priority. This is a
big deal given the total collapse of the American-led talks this year and
the war in Gaza this summer.

So, what he`s trying to say here in this particular case is look, the
Israeli government hasn`t done nearly enough in order to try to promote
peace and really make concessions to health, security and freedom. And
he`s trying to put a degree of diplomatic pressure on them as well I think,
as appeal to the Arab countries who as Eamon just correctly pointed out,
will not be thrilled with this prior rhetoric.

O`DONNELL: Ayman, I found it I think virtually impossible for a reasonable
person to sharply disagree with any line in the president`s speech, which
was well-considered, it was thoughtful, but did not include the element
that has been talked about in this country, a great deal ramping up to
this. And that is will this kind of military intervention work. That
wasn`t part of the discussion today.

MOHYELDIN: And that is a really good point, Lawrence. At the end of the
day, nobody is expressing support for ISIS. Nobody is expressing they want
that ideology to spread. At the end of the day, the debate is how you`re
dealing with it. It`s not separate from the Syrian conflict. There`s a
lot of hypocrisy that has sat by idly, watch 200,000 Syrians being killed,
not taking up arms to try to prevent it from happening, but then as soon as
ISIS comes on the scene and they suddenly realize there`s an immediate
threat to their interest, suddenly you see a coalition forced pretty much
overnight, involved in military strikes.

Again, we go back to the issue, which is it`s one thing to stalk about
stopping ISIS, but at the end of the day, there is an ideological problem
that is not being ignored, I really would have liked to hear President
Obama address, not just the funding that`s coming out of this part of the
world, but more importantly what can the U.S. do to try and reform, to put
in good governance, to try to get these countries to reform themselves so
that these people cannot recruit, and cannot spread their ideology.

It`s not happening. We`re returning back to some of the mistakes we made
in the past supporting autocratic regimes. That`s going to feel the
ideology even more.

O`DONNELL: Zach Beauchamp, as much as Ayman might want to hear that, it`s
hard to figure out. If you had to sit down and do speech writing to that
group today, how he could possibly work in a word in any way against the
kind of regime in Saudi Arabia that is helping him tonight.

BEAUCHAMP: Right. And, you know, the really sad thing about this is in
2011, there`s a tremendous uprising between the Arab spring, of Arab
protests against the government, these autocratic governments we`re just
talking about, but now, given the Arab spring in a real way has given rise
to ISIS and other militant groups such as in Libya, another clear example,
you know, the fallout of the Arab spring is extremely dangerous and has
been dealt with through cooperation with the regimes that the United States
in the long run hopes would have been overthrown through these kinds of
protest movements.

It`s a very, very depressing place to be in the three years after everyone
had such tremendous hope for the region and the direction it was going.

O`DONNELL: Ayman Mohyeldin and Zach Beauchamp, thank you both very much
for joining me tonight.

BEAUCHAMP: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, how President Obama mentioned the killing of Michael
Brown by a Ferguson police officer today at the United Nations.

And, America`s new war allies. Nicholas Kristof will join me on that.


O`DONNELL: John Crawford made a life-ending mistake. He stood in a
Walmart examining something he was thinking about buying. Have you ever
done that? I`ve done that.

But if you`re black in America, you can get killed for doing that and
that`s exactly what happened to John Crawford. That`s next.



OBAMA: I realize America`s critics will be quick to point out at times we
have failed to live up to our ideals. That America has plenty of problems
within its own borders. This is true. In a summer marked by instability
in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of
the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri, where a young man was killed
and a community was divided. So, yes, we have our own racial and ethic


O`DONNELL: At the United Nations today, with the president trying to solve
problems in the other side of the world, he had to admit that America has
problems of its own that we are far from solving. Today, the Justice
Department announced they will launch an investigation into the death of
John Crawford, a 22-year-old African-American man who was shot and killed
by police at an Ohio Walmart in August.

The announcement came after a grand jury declined to charge the officer
involved saying he was justified in his actions. On August 5th, Mr.
Crawford was shopping at the Walmart in Beaver Creek, Ohio, when he picked
up a BB gun designed to look like an assault rifle, took that off the
shelf. That prompted another shopper to call 911.

Police said they open fired after Mr. Crawford failed to comply with
commands to drop that so-called weapon that he was holding at Walmart.

Joining me now is MSNBC national reporter Trymaine Lee, and MSNBC
contributor and political science professor at Columbia University, Dorian

Dorian, this is one of those stories of black in America. We have
countless images we could put up on the screen now of white Americans
carrying real rifles, real weapons publicly in stores around the country,
blatantly -- sometimes simply to demonstrate that they can do it.

And here was someone who was doing something many of us have done, standing
in a Walmart, thinking about buying something, holding it in his hands.
Never waving it around, aiming it at anybody, nothing like that. He gets
shot and killed by police for that.

DORIAN WARREN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Lawrence, there are two important facts
for this.

Number one, let`s put it in context. Walmart is the largest retailer in
the country. So what if he were in that store shop for a gun, number one?
Number two, Ohio --


O`DONNELL: And this was called a BB gun. It`s not really a rifle or gun,
as we know. But they do in other sections of the store have real guns.

WARREN: Yes, in other sections they have real guns. It`s the largest gun
retailer in the country.

So, what if he was really shopping for a gun? He was not. This was a toy

But number two, Ohio is an open carry state. So, why the suspicion that
ultimately leads to this black man`s death in this case versus, for a white
American who often can walk around in Ohio, like you said, we might have
images but Ohio is an open carry state. So why the suspicion that
ultimately leads to this black man`s death in this case versus, for a white
American who often can walk around in Ohio, like you said, we might have
images that we could show, rallies, Walmart store, wherever it is, this is
shopping while black. And the result is death.

O`DONNELL: We`ve got the video up there now. There`s a spot in the video
where we can show him, where he`s holding this. He`s walking down the
aisle. He stops at the end of this aisle. Stops and stares at something

And this is what gets him shot and killed. Standing there like that.
Turns out another white shopper saw him with that, called 911, and police
are watching him just about now is when they start to watch him at the
other end of the aisle. And you will see, as he stands there, you will
actually see him fall at some point from being fired on by police.

The -- there`s a spot that is -- it`s a 911 call that got all of this

Control room, is that -- where are we in the video? Are we going to see
the shooting take place here now? Because I don`t want to cut away from
that to the 911 call.

All right. This is the other piece of video that will show the -- what
happens to him as he`s standing there in that aisle. Bang, he`s down. He`s

He never turned toward anyone with that weapon. There`s the police officer
who shot and killed him running down the aisle. That gun was never aimed,
never turned towards that police officer.

That police officer asked absolutely no questions. All he needed to see
was a black man with that in his hands.

Let`s listen to the 911 call that got this started.


911 DISPATCH: Beavercreek 911, what`s your emergency?

RONALD RITCHIE: I`m at the Beavercreek Walmart. There is a gentleman
walking around with a gun in the store.

911 DISPATCH: Does he got it pulled out?

RITCHIE: Yes, he`s like pointing at people.


O`DONNELL: And there`s absolutely no evidence that he`s pointing at
people. So much so that this same person who made that call, Ronald
Ritchie, the call that was going to eventually end the life of this man, he
has since said, quote, from him, "at no point did he shoulder the rifle and
point it at somebody."

And so, Trymaine Lee, the person who started this with the 911 call has
corrected himself and says what the video shows, which is there was at no
point any threatening motion from this.

TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC NATIONAL REPORTER: I think it`s another thread in this
big American quilt that is American history is the fear of black men is so
pervasive, that all it takes the appearance of any kind of threat or
movement or not. This young man had picked a toy gun off the shelf of the
store he was shopping at. And that`s what it took.

Now, police said he refused to drop the weapon. But as you see in the
video, we can`t hear the video, of course, we can`t hear any audio, but it
doesn`t appear he shoulders it or makes any kind of move.

But, again, so protesters in Ferguson, protesters in the Eric Gardner in
New York, protesters have been protesting for justice for the lives of
young black men taken so soon. This is still playing in the background,
because what does justice for black people in America look like? Can you
shoot black people down with seeming impunity? And again, police officers
not indicted, not charged.

O`DONNELL: I want to read a statement by the Republican governor of Ohio.
This is really important. He said, "After talking with the attorney
general and watching the video myself, I agree with his decision that a
review by the U.S. Department of Justice is appropriate. This is a tragedy
for the Crawford family and I share concern of many of the community that
this matter must be handled with upmost seriousness and respect."

So, Dorian, there is the governor of Ohio saying he`s not satisfied with
what local Ohio investigators came up with in this case.

WARREN: And that`s right. And as we know, as Trymaine just said as well,
this is not an isolated incident. This is a systematic pattern of lethal
use of force against the suspicion essentially of being a black person in
public, whether in a store, on the streets. There needs to be a systematic
look at this.

The Justice Department needs to step in and find justice for this young
man, but we also need a systematic look at our policing policies across our
cities and across the country, and then figure out evidence-based ways to
revise the way we train police. The way we hire police, what they should
do when they`re confronted with a potential suspect?

And the differences between confronting black suspects that are presumed to
be extraordinarily dangerous from white suspects that are presumed to be

O`DONNELL: Trymaine, on this program, we talked before about the talk that
black parents have with their children about how to be extra careful in
public and how absolutely normal conduct like running and other things can
be misinterpreted.

So, now, do we add to the talk, do not ever touch a toy gun or anything
that looks like a gun or a weapon of any kind that looks like a Walmart or
any other store that legally sells those things.

LEE: I think unfortunately that talk we talk about so often reflects this
sad state that we continue to be in America. That we want everyone to be
Americans. We don`t b all the hyphens, the African-Americans, the Indian-

But when we have to raise our children to be reminded when you`re out in
public, you were different. When you are interacting with the police, you
are different. If you are standing in a street corner, you are different.

When you are in the Walmart shopping, you are different. Make sure you
have your receipts. Make sure you don`t make any movements. Make sure
you`re extra polite and your pants are pulled up to your belly button.

Again, it`s such a sad state. Before we get to the details of these cases
and they go through the justice system, and people feel they get justice or
they don`t get justice, but the idea that we have to continue to tell our
young black people. But one thing that I think is interesting, and I would
be interested to hear with more white parents, are white families having
this talk about respecting each other and seeing each other as equals.

O`DONNELL: Trymaine Lee and Dorian Warren, thank you both very much for
joining me tonight.

Coming up, Nicholas Kristof will be here to discuss the new allies that the
United States is using in the war against the Islamic State.

And, Bob Costas got a lot of attention for things he said here last night.
We`re going to have more of what Bob Costas had to say. It`s coming up.



OBAMA: The United States of America will work with a broad coalition to
dismantle this network of death. And in this effort we do not act alone.
Already over 40 nations have offered to join this coalition. Today I ask
the world to join in this effort.


O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Nicholas Kristof the author of "A Path Appears,
Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity," it`s by Nicholas Kristof and his
wife Sheryl WuDunn.

Nick, the President is trying to steal your title. He`s trying to make a
path appear in a place where the path he`s talking about has never appeared
despite the efforts of all sorts of angles from military to diplomatic.

think he did need to go ahead and strike in Syria. I`ve been critical even
in the NASA. I thought today`s speech was actually quite strong. And
partly it was nuanced because he didn`t overpromise. I mean, one of the
dangers is that -- look, you can quite easily degrade ISIS. It`s really
hard to defeat it. And I think that talking about defeating it, you know -
- when you know look, we`ve been after the Taliban for 13 years and
yesterday and they`re still going. And Afghan President our handpicked in
a leader there just denounced us for, you know, for being the problem.

So there are all kinds of risks we have it, I think he was right to order
the air strikes. We need the dirty dozen of Sunni allies we have there,
but boy, it`s a mess.

O`DONNELL: Talk about the dirty dozen of these allies because, I mean,
here we are saying, you know and it`s true. I mean, there`s nothing in the
region as bad as ISIS -- I mean that`s pretty easy to establish.


O`DONNELL: But you know --

KRISTOF: But these are not saints.

O`DONNELL: That`s right. I mean you don`t want to be a woman in Saudi
Arabia or some of these countries that are allied with us.

KRISTOF: It was kind of ironic that as the President was denouncing states
-- or people who distort Islam, who engage in beheadings --


KRISTOF: who repress women --


KRISTOF: Well, I mean that`s Saudi Arabia. They behead people. They
give women no political or economic role and even other countries, you know
Turkey is busy repressing journalist right and the left. Back in Bahrain
is kind of a Sunni regime but it`s a Shia majority and it`s been brutally

Qatar has been allowing money to fund in towards Jihadist. You know, at
the same time though, the President is absolutely right, that we can -- the
perceptions are all wrong if it`s us against Sunni extremists. We -- it
needs to be -- we need to have Sunni allies on our side. It`s just that we
kind of have to hold our nose at the same time.

O`DONNELL: This book is about doing the impossible. This is one of those
books that is about optimism, it is about here is a problem that seems
intractable, be it poverty or clean water supplies, the different things,
the different incredible challenges people face around the world. And --

KRISTOF: You know that -- let me push back because it`s not impossible.
The -- I mean I think we, in journalism, so much focus on all the problems
of the world. We don`t seem to adequately acknowledge actually how much
progress there is been on some of these global challenges, you know.
Illiteracy, girl`s education of blindness is something that I think I guess
is one of that`s horrifying things to see in a developing world. For $40
you can repair the trachoma of somebody give them side again. Those -- all
those things are you know, ultimately incredibly optimistic and inspiring.

O`DONNELL: Yes. What I mean is -- the problems that feel impossible, they
feel enormous, they feel impossible, it is kind of what was being discussed
at the U.N. today. And it is inconceivable that there would be the kind of
change of hearts and minds that you need in that region in order to have
the dust clear and some kind of fair, civilized world be there. But we
lived through a period where it was inconceivable with the Berlin wall
would come down.

How many of inconceivable things that a part-time collapse? We saw those
things happen and this book captures that kind of optimism that has seen
the impossible happened.

KRISTOF: Yes. And I mean one of -- I do think that we have the tool box,
proven tool boxes that needs address these problems. One of my objections
to the International Policy Processes that we overemphasized the military
tool box --


KRISTOF: We haven`t emphasized enough that the education tool box, the
female empowerment tool box.

O`DONNELL: How do we do that at the same time? Because the military is
under way now and that`s going to stop for a while --


O`DONNELL: Which means you`ve going to be able to do this at the same


O`DONNELL: How do you do that when the bombs are falling?

KRISTOF: No, there different time of horizon so you need to use that
military tool box right now in Raqqa and Syria. At the same time, you have
four millions Syrian refugees in Lebanon, in Jordan, in Turkey. You need
to make sure that those kids are getting an education. That those girls
have some involvement in society or learning skills, can involve themselves
in society.

And you know we have to think about this right here at home. The education
escalator in this country is broken, too. We can`t just worry about
education of Syrian refugee, but also about the incredible inequities right

O`DONNELL: The book is "A Path Appears." Nick, thank you for opening our
eyes to optimism we need this these days.

Nicholas Kristof, thank you very much for coming to us tonight.

KRISTOF: My pleasure.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Bob Costas is in the "rewrite" tonight, thanks to
what he said right here last night.


O`DONNELL: ESPN suspended Sport Commentator Bill Simmons for three weeks
for failing quote "failing to meet the company`s journalistic standards."
Simmons was talking about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and what Roger
Goodell knew about the tape of Ray Rice punching his wife in that elevator.
And here is what he said.


BILL SIMMONS, SPORT COMMENTATOR, ESPN: Goodell, if he didn`t know what was
on that tape, he`s a liar. I`m just saying it. He is lying. I think that
dude is lying, if you put him up on a lie detector test that guy would
fail. And for all these people to pretend they didn`t know is such f******
bullshit. It really is -- it`s such f****** bullshit. And for him to go in
that press conference and pretend otherwise, I was so insulted.


O`DONNELL: I personally have never heard of Bill Simmons until right now,
but I`m adding him to the list of my favorite sports commentators.

Next, Bob Costas keeps it clean in the rewrite.


O`DONNELL: In the rewrite tonight Bob Costas gets the very last word.
Now, watch what happened when I tried to wrap up my interview with Bob
Costas last night.


O`DONNELL: Bob Costas, we could keep this going all night, but I got to
David Axelrod out here.


O`DONNELL: Thank you very much.

COSTAS: I think you should.

I will say this. The Viking teammate who said of Adrian Peterson.


COSTAS: He`s a great father, statistically, he`s great at fathering
children. That`s not the same thing as being a great father. And anyone
who can`t see the difference between legitimately disciplining a kid and
beating a kid to the point where the authorities have to step in, and the
kid is 4-years-old, no cultural or regional differences explain that away.
It`s a crime, and a horrible crime.

O`DONNELL: Bob Costas, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

COSTAS: Thanks, Lawrence.


O`DONNELL: OK, so there I was wrapping up the interview, thanking Bob
Costas and he suddenly just throws in the most talked about thing he said
in the entire interview.

Now, Bob was great every minute of that interview, by judging by twitter,
that final comment about the distinction between simply fathering children
and being a great father got the biggest reaction of the night.

And when you`re a guest on a show like this, you never get enough time to
say everything you want to say, which is why I created a segment called
"the very Last Word" which some of you have never seen because that segment
is not on the TV show. It appears online at

The idea of "the very Last Word" is because guests never get to say
everything they want to say, let`s give them a chance to finish their
thoughts without the pressure of a commercial break closing in on them. So
waiting for them, as soon as they walk out of this room is Evan Puschak
with his hand held camera. And last night, Senior Producer Quiana Burns
sat down with Bob Costas to ask him a few questions for his very last word

Bob addressed the objections that some people raise about sports
commentators offering social commentary after incidents like Ray Rice being
caught on video knocking out his wife.


COSTAS: Like it or not, sometimes issues do not only intrude with sports
but sports sometimes becomes the best place to talk about it. Domestic
abuse now, sports provides as horrible as these incidents are, the best
opportunity for a widespread cultural conversation because it`s such a
common denominator. The NFL appeals across demographic lines, across
gender lines, across generational lines. It opens up an opportunity across
the conversation.

When people object to me for others, judiciously and carefully talking
about issues that intersect with sports at the right time, in almost every
case they`re not saying this doesn`t belong here. They`re saying something
I disagreed with doesn`t belong here. If you said something they agreed
with or wanted to hear, it wouldn`t be an intrusion at all. They`d say
good for you.

So I don`t be just ingenuous. What you`re really saying is you don`t like
what I`m saying for whatever reason not that it doesn`t belong there.


O`DONNELL: Quiana asked Bob Costas about gun culture in sports something
he`s been criticized for commenting on in the past. His answer is the best
defense of gun safety laws that I`ve ever heard and uses the example of
Greg Hardy, the defensive end of the Carolina Panthers who`s been convicted
of two counts of domestic violence.


COSTAS: Let me put it this way. If someone says, you`re not going to have
insurance on your car, you ought to wear a seat belt, you ought not to
don`t text and drive, you ought not drink and drive. There ought to be
traffic laws that keep people safe, you ought to take your driver`s license
that cars ought not to be equipped to go at speeds that belong in NASCAR

The auto club doesn`t say that`s the first step towards taking our cars
away and we`ll all be back in horses and buggies.

No one says if someone says, you know what, nutrition is something we
should think about. You mean you`re going to stop me from having a
hamburger on the 4th of July. Not one Taco Bell or McDonald`s has been
closed down since Michelle Obama told us to eat vegetables. It`s just a
good idea all right.

Guns, as the NRA is always saying, should be in the hands of law-abiding
responsible citizens. They should be the ones most concerned with how much
irresponsible gun use there is.

Doesn`t it alarm somebody that Greg Hardy, who was found guilty of domestic
abuse as part of the complaint, threw his former girlfriend on to a couch
on which was arrayed a bunch of shotguns and assault weapons, according to
her testimony. Now, thank God they weren`t used.

Is it necessary in order to have a second amendment that Greg Hardy has an
arsenal? Or is there some middle ground here? Is there some common sense
middle ground? And if somebody mentioned that that`s possible, does that
mean they want to repeal the second amendment? I don`t think so.

Once you say guns, everything else goes out the window, at least to a
certain point of the country. Am I hostile to the second amendment?
Absolutely not.

Am I hostile to someone having a gun to protect their home and family? Or
even carrying a license gun on you certain conditions or certainly sporting
purposes? Of course not.

But if we`re talking about just professional sports, I`ll sit and wait for
somebody to give me an example of an athlete who, by having a gun, turned a
dangerous situation around for the better. I`m not talking about someone
right to have one at home just in case. Or to use it for sporting
purposes. That`s not what I`m talking about. Give me an example of a
dangerous situation athlete with the gun that turned the situation around
for the better, OK, happy ending.

While you`re searching for that, I will begin to read an almost endless
list of criminality, tragedies, folly, all associated with athletes having
guns. Because they use them irresponsibly. They had irresponsible
attitudes toward them, there`s -- that`s what I was talking about when I
mentioned a gun culture. If somebody thinks they going to stick of Gluck
in their waist hand to go to a club, they have the wrong idea about guns
and they`re going to the wrong clubs.


O`DONNELL: You can see more of Bob Costas` very last words at

Now, when you`re watching the show, you can actually tweet @thelastword
suggested questions for our guests on "the very Last Word." Then after the
show, go to the website. When we get it up, we got the posting up of "the
very Last Word," go to and then you can see if your
question gets to answered.

And next, remember the situation, who could forget him? Well now, he`s the



MIKE SORRENTINO, ACTOR, MTV: The safe part, we got the safe part down
pack. What file (ph)? Magnums.


O`DONNELL: That`s Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino from MTV Jersey Shore,
back when people knew who he was. The Situation and his older brother pled
not guilty in Federal Court today for filing bogus tax returns on nearly $9
million in income. According to prosecutors, the brothers listed luxury
cars, expensive clothes and personal grooming costs as business expenses on
their taxes.

No, Mr. Situation, tanning salons are not deductible.

The wisdom of "Will I am" is next.



WILLIAM ADAMS, ACTOR: Every guy every girl in the hood had the same
opportunity to be the next Bill Gates, the next Michael Dell, the next you
know, Steve Jobs. That should be like the -- that`s should be America`s
freaking -- number one freaking priority.


O`DONNELL: That is "will I am" speaking with Ronan Farrow earlier today
about the Global Citizen Festival this Saturday in Central Park which will
be televised here on MSNBC at 3:00 p.m. Eastern.

Joining me now, Ronan Farrow the host of "RONAN FARROW DAILY."

RONAN FARROW, HOST, MSNBC: Always a pleasure, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Ronan, so I learned only in your interview today that
apparently we, or perhaps just the guests can say "freaking". I did not --

FARROW: Although he did use a stronger version of that --

O`DONNELL: He did? OK.

FARROW: -- which was silence, sadly. But the impact of the statement is
still there. Actually he is a surprising voice on this; he`s really
eloquent and he`s really detailed on education policy. And you know what,
it`s at the heart of what we should be caring about right now. There
always see this that we`re ranked as last on the industrialized nations in
terms of education equality. That`s the same thing.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to more of your interview with him today.

FARROW: Absolutely.


ADAMS: There was a movie called "Waiting for Superman." And Waiting for
Superman talked about the educational system in America and how poor it is.
More in particularly, the thing that really hurt me was one of the schools
that they talked about was a school of my mom went to and the neighborhood
that I come from. And the thing that really crushed me is the title was
"waiting for superman." Here`s a factious character they`re waiting for to
solve real problems. So like wow, they didn`t say wait -- they`re really
waiting for Bill Gates or their waiting for like, rich people.

They`re waiting for like -- our waiting for our government, it said they`re
waiting for superman, which really hit home. So, I started putting
together a bunch of people to help me, you know, change Roosevelt in the
neighborhood that I come from.

These kids were, like really, really in a muck and now our kids are 3.2 and
4.0s. I mean, our kids are awesome, like seriously. Our kids are going to
China if they keep their GPA up and they do. They`re part of the first
robotics program if they keep their GPA up and they do. They go to M.I.T.

FARROW: And how do you think your tech endeavors can give back to some
goals of combating poverty that are going to be on display in the next

ADAMS: Right now in the hood a kid -- there`s some kid out there right
now, he`s going to be the next Kobe Bryant, the next Lebron James. And
that kid is going to be awesome. Maybe there -- the next Jay-Z right now,
you know they think (ph) of MC right now. There`s that guy in the hood
right now.

But there`s no fighting preparing to be the next Steve Jobs in the hood or
Bill Gates. And it`s not hard because they all have iphones, they all have
laptops. So that should be, like, the thing that we`re all focused on to
turn these kids in the hood, both men and women, every guy and every girl
in the hood has the same opportunity to be the next Bill Gates, the next
Michael Dell, the next, you know, Steve Jobs, all Americans, these people
are American, right?

And they built big huge companies and Dr. Dre -- let Dr. Dre and beats be a
sign of just how big you can make it.

FARROW: Science and technology education.

ADAMS: Yes, that`s the new -- that`s should be the new hustle. It`s the
new language. I encourage kids in the hood to take a computer science
course, aim to want to create apps, aim to be a part of this conversation.
It`s not just in the hood where there`s a drought for education around
science and technology, engineering and mathematics. It`s even in the good
hoods now, like we`re behind.

FARROW: William, I want that message to be heard. Thanks for your time.


O`DONNELL: Ronan, what message are you trying to deliver on Saturday

FARROW: Look, I think the important thing is this is an opportunity to use
some star wattage to get out of the usual BS that these platforms used for
and actually try to mobilize social of change and hopefully some
sustainable infrastructure around social change.

You can`t buy a ticket in this concert. You got actually perform discrete
actions that are targeted some of these polices goals like changing
education in equality to get it on this. You accumulate points through
doing that and that`s how you get on in the audience.

O`DONNELL: And how many people are you expecting?

FARROW: I think there`s going to be a couple thousand in the park there.

O`DONNELL: Yes. I know its starts at 3:00 o`clock, how long is it a lot of
people involved on this. Who are the people involved on this concert?

FARROW: We got No Doubt that the roots are playing, a whole lot of big
names there. And this actually, we`ll have the entire event starting at
3:00 in the afternoon covered on MSNBC all the through the evening. It`s
going to be a good time, I think. And I think more substantive than you
usually see from this kind of celebrity activism.

O`DONNELL: And you will be there. Alex Wagner will be there. Chris

FARROW: Chris Hayes is going to be there.

O`DONNELL: All right. That`s going to be fun.

MSNBC`s live coverage of the Global Citizen Festival is this Saturday
beginning at 3:00 p.m. according to my teleprompter and according to Ronan

Ronan, thank you very much.

FARROW: Lawrence O`Donnell here, you`re a gentleman and a scholar.

FARROW: It`s always a pleasure.

O`DONNELL: Really appreciate it.

Chris Hayes, the co-host, Ronan`s co-host on Saturday, Chris Hayes is up


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