Show: THE ED SHOW
Date: November 7, 2014
Guest: Alayne Fleischmann, Matt Taibbi, John Fugelsang, Salamishah Tillet,
Kristal Ball, Dan Thorn, Sarah Pisciuneri
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC HOST: A bombshell article by Matt Taibbi in
Rolling Stone as shedding light on the large-scale criminal activity on
Wall Street that led to the 2008 financial collapse.
The new information stemmed from whistleblower Alayne Fleischmann.
Fleischmann is a former transaction manager for JPMorgan Chase. She`s
actually here on set and will join us in just a moment.
Fleischmann saw firsthand the blatant criminal activity JPMorgan Chase was
taking part in. As a Transaction Manager, Fleischmann`s function is a
quality control officer.
As Taibbi pointed out, "Her main job was to help make sure the bank didn`t
buy spoiled merchandise before it got tossed into the meat grinder and sold
out the other end."
Fleischmann did her job. She repeatedly her told her managers JPMorgan
Chase was buying a bogus mortgage-backed securities, red flags were all
over the place, overstated incomes, old dates they were described in a
Rolling Stone as the very bottom of the mortgage barrel. They were like
used cars that had been towed back to the lot after throwing a rod.
Chase ended up selling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of these bad
mortgages as top rated investments. After Fleischman repeatedly raise
flags, she was laid off quietly in early 2008.
Now Fleischmann is a central witness in one of the biggest cases of white-
collar crime in American history. What`s even worst in JPMorgan Chase`s
criminal activity is the refusal of the Justice Department to take
meaningful action against the bank.
JPMorgan Chase ended up paying roughly $6.5 billion dollars in penalties in
the end for their massive mortgage fraud that they knew all about. It
comes out to roughly 104 days of pretax profits for the mega bank. It`s
nothing more than a slap on wrist.
Joining me now is Alayne Fleischmann, JPMorgan whistleblower and former
Transaction Manager at JPMorgan Chase, also with us Matt Taibbi,
contributor to Rolling Stone Magazine.
Matt, before we get start to Ms. Fleischmann, you wrote this piece
following up on your book of course which took on similar themes but this
is pretty much of a bombshell because now we have Ms. Fleischmann here for
the first time to talk about the extraordinarily detailed account of what
went wrong here.
So, for those of us who are non-financial experts, tell us just plainly for
the layperson, what the heck happen there and then we`re going to ask Ms.
Fleischmann to detail what she saw.
MATT TAIBBI, ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE: So basically what was going on during
the pre-crash period, there was this boom in the housing market. I`m sure
everyone remembers. Everyone was buying houses.
A lot of companies like Countrywide, mortgage companies were going into
neighborhoods. They were going in -- especially into low-income
neighborhoods and giving out mortgages to anybody and everybody with a
pulse, whether or not they can`t afford them.
TAIBBI: And banks were buying up these mortgages. They`re essentially
throwing them into a big pool, grinding them up to the hamburger and
selling them as securities to investors. People like pension fund holders,
retirees, hedge funds, insurance companies. People were buying these loans
and they didn`t know that they were a very poor quality very often.
TAIBBI: And so we knew this but we haven`t had a person like Alayne to
explain to us this process until now.
DYSON: So they were getting beaten on both ends, the people who were being
taking advantage of because they couldn`t afford to carry mortgages were
getting dissed (ph) and the people who were buying those financial
instruments were get dissed (ph) themselves.
TAIBBI: Sometimes they were the same people.
TAIBBI: That`s what so interesting, you know, you might have a person who
couldn`t afford to buy a big house and they also were a state worker who
had a state pension that was buying mortgage-backed securities. So they
would get twice or even three times because their taxes ended up going to
pay for bail outs or in this case to help pay for the settlements for the
banks into pay.
DYSON: Well it`s a bad application, Ronald Richie (ph) won twice and three
TAIBBI: That`s right.
DYSON: Ms. Fleischmann, you`re heroic and near, you know, incredible job
of exposing what`s going on here certainly has brought you reprises,
certainly has brought you blowback.
So, even before we get into what was going on there, tell us how you
managed to hold on since you`ve been quietly laid off, difficulty finding
work. What`s going on in your life right now?
ALAYNE FLEISCHMANN, JPMORGAN CHASE WHISTLEBLOWER: Well for me it was more
the -- at some level there are just certain things that I won`t take part
in. So, I`ve always stood by -- even when I initially wrote the letter, I
knew when I did it. I`m not going to be able to keep my job after doing
this and things are going to be difficult.
But at some stage it was better to do what I felt needed to be done and
just accept whatever comes from that.
DYSON: Sure. Tell us -- I mean, you know, in the kind of thriller like it
is because when you read this pieces of extraordinarily thrilling moment
there, except for the people who get beat up on which is the most of
America. So tell us when you first begin to notice these discrepancies and
the disparities that led to your being, you know, outraged and then feeling
that something is wrong here.
FLEISCHMANN: Well, I mean the first time that something was wrong was when
they brought in this diligent supervisor who wouldn`t let us do e-mails.
He wouldn`t e-mail anyone. And if you e-mailed him he would come out and
yell at you.
So the first question is what`s going on? You know, we have this policy of
not recording what we`re doing. Then what happens, we had this poll (ph)
come in where suddenly all of these red flags started coming up. They were
way too old for loans that we would ever buy, which means that either
they`ve already been dumped because there`s something wrong with them or
they were bought and actually even sold back because they`re so bad.
FLEISCHMANN: And we -- I and diligence managers were raising these flags
and it seems like no matter what we did, there was just this push to get
the loans through. And, unfortunately that included just yelling at and
berating these diligence managers who were saying no to buying loans.
Really I just keeping going with that until they finally give in and clear
the loans even though they clearly didn`t agree that they shouldn`t have
FLEISCHMANN: And then sold to investors because we knew there were serious
problems with them.
DYSON: Right. So, let me turn then to Matt. You`ve gotten the statement
from JPMorgan with their side of this case, can you tell us...
TAIBBI: They didn`t comment on the case.
DYSON: So they said no comment?
TAIBBI: They basically said we`re going to let her say what she wants to
So, Alayne tell us what happened when you alerted JPMorgan to what was
going on? I mean, did they -- did anybody in the chain of command act as
if they were concerned about this, outage by it, or in any of the way
committed to trying to get it right?
FLEISCHMANN: No, and that`s what I couldn`t understand at the time because
first we had all irregular deal warnings and for some reason they just feel
on deaf ears. And then even while we were in the closing for these loans,
I actually stopped the meeting and said, have you talked about the
securities issues, you know, their problems with these loans? You can`t
put them in a poll.
And then because I felt like it wasn`t working that was why I wrote down
this long letter that really said out not only the problems with this
particular poll that we`re buying but all the general problems I was seeing
across the diligence process.
And -- sorry, as you`re asking nothing came from it.
DYSON: So, did you anticipate after writing that letter -- you anticipated
that there would be come push back from JPMorgan Chase but did you
anticipate that you`d at least or at least feel that you`d expect that
you`d have some support from outside sources justice department and others
who would help you alone?
FLEISCHMANN: I was certainly surprised -- I mean, for four years I didn`t
hear anything at all. So -- so that time I thought, well maybe they just
didn`t sell these to investors and I, you know, it worked. Although I
always had this feeling that they were probably were sold.
When I met with the SCC for the first time in 2012, four years after the
crisis, they actually wanted to talk about a different deals, so I kept
bringing up GreenPoint and what had happened and they had my letter but
they didn`t seem interested in it.
FLEISCHMANN: It wasn`t until the DOJ came along that -- suddenly that
they`ve really broke the whole thing wide open.
TAIBBI: And there`s an important point here which is that -- in the old
days when, you know, somebody in Alayne`s position would send a letter to
her superior saying, "We had serious problem with this product. This
merchandize is defective. We cannot sell this stuff to investors."
TAIBBI: That would stop the process in the old days because people would
be afraid of proceeding because there would proof, that they knew that
there was a problem...
DYSON: But why in this case?
TAIBBI: Because we`re living in new world where these companies can ignore
these kinds of things. They know they`re going to get away with it. They
know that the worst case scenario is that they`re going to pay a fine and
so they don`t worry about it. They just proceeded and they did this anyway
and that was what just shock to her I think.
DYSON: Well what -- tell us then, what is about this culture that has made
that kind of perception for those who are doing the wrong? "Look, I`m not
going to stop. I`m going to keep then what I`m doing." There`s going to
be some changed in the culture itself that tolerates that kind of
So, what`s happened in the last five-six years, you know, even before that,
when the -- before the crash came that allowed people to kind of feel they
could get away with it?
TAIBBI: Well, the main thing is that these banks are so enormous now that
they know that government really can`t effectively do anything to them
because they`re too afraid of imperiling the world economy -- the economy,
at least that`s the excuse.
DYSON: Well that`s what Eric Holder basically said, right?
DYSON: That these banks, if they`re not too big to fail, they`re certainly
too big to prosecute because if you do the infrastructure economically is
going to off to (inaudible).
TAIBBI: Right. Exactly, and that`s -- I think that`s a huge factor in why
these companies feel emboldened to do one wrong thing after another. We`ve
seen it since the crash, there have been scandal after scandal and they`ve
been worst each time. So...
TAIBBI: ... they certainly know they`re not going to get in trouble.
DYSON: Well, Ms. Fleischmann, knowing that there`s this big
infrastructure, knowing that there`s a lot of malfeasance going on, knowing
that people feel that, "Look I`m not going to get busted because I`m going
to get keep doing it". What made you stand out? What made you want to
FLEISCHMANN: Because this can`t be the template for how we deal with these
sorts of crimes. And the important thing is to remember their crimes, when
you sell these investments and you don`t tell people about the problems --
I mean, it`s exactly the same as stealing. And the worst thing is that the
people you`re stealing from are retirement plans, pension funds for one
You have these people who make a lot of money stealing from ordinary
hardworking Americans and it`s just something that as a society, you can`t
have a system or people can keep doing that without any repercussions, it
just doesn`t work.
DYSON: Were they intimidating you? Was there hostility directed toward to
you or some kind of implicit threat?
FLEISCHMANN: While I was there or after...
DYSON: While you were there and then even after it but while you were
FLEISCHMANN: Certainly, it`s known that that`s not going to go over well
and it`s, you know, you`re supposed to go along and...
TAIBBI: I think Alayne knew also that her time was short after she wrote
FLEISCHMANN: Yeah, I mean I went through a lot actually after I wrote that
letter and part of what happened is I was really shut out of everything
that you should normally being able to do or see which is really part of
what shows the case that there was sort of this attempt then to make sure I
couldn`t see anything after that.
DYSON: Did you feel any parallel not -- with Snowden-- I mean, with NRA,
did you feel that there was parallel tract going on there?
FLEISCHMANN: I would never -- people like Snowden or people in a sort of
military contacts. They take on a risk that I can`t even imagine because
really there`s a chance of jail or even, you know, Espionage Act has a...
FLEISCHMANN: ... capital punishment. So I`m...
FLEISCHMANN: ... I`m happy not to be in that boat.
DYSON: Well, but it is the military industrial complex. So in that sense,
the financial industries have become so massive that like the military they
seemed to be invulnerable to certain kinds of rebuff. Did you feel at any
point that your life was threatened or that you were, you know, really
FLEISCHMANN: It`s scary to go through and it`s partially you`re in the
middle of this, you know, billion dollar litigation and you`ve got the DOJ
on one side and one of the most powerful institutions on the other side. I
mean, it feels it was a little bit between -- like being between sort of a
bear and a lion with a steak on your head. It`s...
FLEISCHMANN: ... one of the most things that where you just don`t really
know what to do and there is no one who`s really on your side.
DYSON: Well, tell us Matt then, I mean in your article you talked about
the Department of Justice. Now, is this how it`s set up, the banks are
doing the thing over here, the Department of Justice as you argue should be
the arbiter of what`s right and wrong and certainly when the whistle is
blown, they should come in and then impose fines, clean up the situation,
what do you think went wrong here?
TAIBBI: Well, I mean I`ve been asking this question for years, I cover the
stuff a lot, and I remember I had this very telling moment where I was
talking to a former prosecutor and I said, why aren`t any of these people
in jail and I brought up the example of a bank that it laundered money for
a drug cartel and he said, well these aren`t really crime crimes. And it,
this is part of the psyche I think in the modern regulatory system. They
have view these things as violations as not really being crimes.
But what Alayne was saying is exactly true. This is stealing and this is
taking hundreds of millions of dollars in ordinary people. And meanwhile
on the other side, we`re putting people in jail who are doing real-time,
for stealing incredibly small amount of money, you know, an ordinary street
And so the government I think has lost its perspective. I think they don`t
recognize that it`s really important to send the signal to the whole
country that we, you know, justice is blind and it will do the same thing
over here that we do over here and that`s exactly what they`re not doing.
DYSON: Right. Ms. Fleischmann, would you encourage your coworkers or
former coworkers to behave at the similar fashion as you have to be
courageous and to call out the wrongs that are going on?
FLEISCHMANN: I would and not just the JPMorgan but all of these banks.
When you read the complaints, if you know the industry and you know, you
know, security isn`t how they work, to me it`s -- I can`t see how it`s
possible that they were untold (ph) crimes at these other banks.
And, also what a lot of people don`t know is that, the criminal securities
fraud is really quite similar to the civil securities fraud. I mean, the
only thing you need is a bit more intent, you have to sort of meant to do
the fraud, and then you have to prove it beyond reasonable doubt like any
other criminal trial...
FLEISCHMANN: ... but those are the only real differences.
So a real question is, how is it that you can have these multibillion
dollars settlements for civil fraud and not a single person has done
anything criminal? It`s hard to understand.
DYSON: Before we let you go, what do you hope comes from all of these?
FLEISCHMANN: What I`m hoping for and I`ve haven`t had a chance to do it
yet is actually get out and get people to start writing to their
representatives. And it sounds boring but at the end of the day I think,
you know, we`re not really in the realm of law, this is politics and they
need to start telling their governors and their congressman and senators
that this is unacceptable and they want to know what they`re doing about
DYSON: All right. Alayne Fleischmann and Matt Taibbi, thanks for your
Up next, Republicans play nice in the capital this week. More on their
motive is next.
Plus, backlash over Victoria`s Secret ad campaign.
The Rapid Response Panel weighs in ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I would enjoy having
some Kentucky bourbon with Mitch McConnell.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R-KY) MINORITY LEADER: Drop a couple of cherries on
top of it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The President is meeting with congressional leaders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We hope to give him a lot of ideas that maybe he`ll
look to it.
MCCONNELL: We`ll see.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was not a truly earnest to kumbaya moment.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R-OH) HOUSE SPEAKER: So my job is not to -- to get
along with the President.
OBAMA: We can surely find ways to work together...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hell no you can`t.
MCCONNELL: My relationship with (ph) the President has always been
BOEHNER: If you play with matches...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... kumbaya moment.
BOEHNER: ... you take the risk of burning you self...
OBAMA: It`s time for us to take care of business.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Welcome back to the Ed Show.
Republicans went to the White House today to the play nice. It seems like
a large dose of political theater considering the GOP has been the party of
Senator Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner have been the stars
of the blocking President Obama show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: The President`s job is to faithfully execute the laws. In my
view, the President has not.
The President regularly ignores the law. He brags about it.
MCCONNELL: Our top political priority over the next two years should be to
deny President Obama a second term.
BOEHNER: His arrogance and incompetence right down the line.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Ain`t no party like the Republican Party because the Republican
Party knows how to block.
President Obama was ready to put the obstruction aside and invite its 16
top ranking law makers to join him for a bipartisan meeting.
Prior to the gathering the President outlined what they hoped to get out of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Everything that we do over the next two years is designed and
geared towards ensuring that folks who work hard in this country are able
to get ahead.
Now, obviously we`ve had a significant midterm election. As I said at the
press conference, my attitude has been and will continue to be, that good
ideas don`t necessarily come from just one party. And I`m looking forward
to seeing the leaders of both Democratic and Republican caucuses this
afternoon. And to have a chance to share with them both what I think we
need to be doing to build on the economic momentum that we already have and
make it even stronger.
But I`m also going to be interested in listening to them in terms of areas
where we think is possible to work together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: The top issues in this reelection were jobs and the economy.
Republicans are focused on passing more major bills once Congress begins
its post election lame-duck session on Wednesday. At the top of the list
is a $1 trillion spending bill to keep the government running beyond
December 11th, when current funding runs out.
Remember these are the same Republicans who shutdown the government last
fall. They`re going to force Boehner`s jobs bills through the Senate.
Republicans are still in denial about Obama`s economy. The Labor
Department reported this morning, employers added 214,000 jobs in October.
The nation`s unemployment rate ticked down to 5.8 percent, that`s a six-
year low. Employers have now added at least 200,000 jobs for the last nine
straight months. It`s the longest stretch since 1995.
The U.S. Civilian Labor Force also hit a new post-crisis high of more than
156 million. That means more Americans are back to work. Will the
Republican Party officially start taking credit for the U.S. economy today?
Aside from the economy, the GOP has a few obvious goals for the next two
Senator Mitch McConnell`s mission (ph) to chip away the affordable care
act. Speaker Boehner also made it clear his party has no plans to let up
on their efforts to repeal the President`s health care law. Here`s what he
said during his first news conference since the election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: Finding common grounds can be hard work but it will be even
harder if the President isn`t willing to work with us. If the President
continues to act on his own, he is going to poison the well. When you play
with matches, you take the risk of burning yourself, and he`s going to burn
himself if he continues to go down this path.
The House I`m sure, at some point next year we`ll move to repeal Obamacare.
Our job is to make the American people`s priorities our priorities. They
don`t like Obamacare, I don`t like it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Republicans on both chambers also put President Obama on notice
that they plan to twist his arm on the long delayed Keystone XL pipeline
that the GOP wants approved.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: When you say energy these days, people think of the Keystone
pipeline but that`s only part of it.
The employment figures connected with Keystone are stunning if we would
just get going.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: When you take a step back and think about American kitchen table
issues, Tuesday`s results are surprising. There was an alarming number of
voters who cast ballots against their own self interest. States where
people are receiving the most public assistance consistently put
conservative law makers who are against their so-called entitlement
programs in the office.
People benefiting the most from the Affordable Care Act elected Senators
who oppose it. And even vow to repeal it the first chance they get. You
got to wonder whether the Republicans who voters put into power will work
for the American people, or will continue to work against President Obama.
Let me bring in now John Fugelsang, political commentator and T.V. host,
our hero to the rescue here. Do the Republicans really want to work with
Obama here Brother John?
JOHN FUGELSANG, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND T.V. HOST: Of course they don`t
Reverend, though I have to take issue with you using the word theater.
I`ve lived in New York, I worked in the theater, theater actually creates
jobs, these guys don`t.
DYSON: Right. And they`ve got skills. Actors, right.
FUGELSANG: Well, and these guys all have a very separate set of
challenges. President Obama needs to do whatever he can to help the
FUGELSANG: He needs to help struggling Americans. He, I think believes
that no one who works full-time should still live in poverty...
FUGELSANG: ... and we know that if you work full-time at minimum wage and
none of the 50 states can you afford a two-bedroom apartment.
FUGELSANG: So, President Obama has to help the people he`s entrusted to
help, he also has to try and take care of his own legacy and make the
Republicans let themselves be crazy enough to help a successor.
The GOP`s got a bit of a trickier challenge. They have to continue their
mission which is to redistribute wealth to the upper 2 percent...
FUGELSANG: ... and make social conservatives think that`s a good thing.
FUGELSANG: They also have to do something, make something happen to work
with the President, yet the risk they run is they will be called the
teasers by Tea Party members who don`t actually know what appeasement
DYSON: Exactly right, well look, if they -- if they conceive to the
appeasement, so to speak, and they work with the President, then they, you
know, invoke the ire, evoke the ire of the Tea Party but if they don`t and
they allow the Tea Party go again, in 2016 I`m thinking of look -- kind
FUGELSANG: Well, exactly right...
DYSON: Fringes to the American population.
FUGELSANG: Yes, and they know it too. And that`s why -- I think the real
big winners of this election were people who want you to forget George Bush
FUGELSANG: ... apathy and comedians. So, you know, I`m not shedding a
tear over this because we lost, you know, when God closes a Michele
Bachmann door he opens a Joni Ernst window. But these guys are in a very,
very difficult position because they have not been on the side of working
This President in 2011 put forth a jobs bill that was 60 percent tax cuts
and they still filibustered it, and my friend they`re about to become very,
very sorry that Harry Reid did not kill the filibuster rule.
DYSON: No doubt, or at least boxed it into a corner. But let me ask you
this question, how is it that people who have benefited from the policies
that Obama has put forth, despite their ostensible connection to a left-
wing liberal guy, the point is, in those red states where they`re voting
against their own self-interest, Obama has hooked them up and help them
out. Why? Can you explain to me why that occurred?
FUGELSANG: For the same reason that the red states take more in federal
dollars than they give back and yet they call it a folk`s takers. Its
cognitive dissonance and voting against our own self-interest belt (ph).
FUGELSANG: And, you know, I mean it`s kind of like, like -- kind of like
Calvary and they`re just going to pillage this man who`s trying the most to
help them while instead...
FUGELSANG: ... fighting very, very hard to make sure that millionaires get
another tax cut. Because essentially when you`re a poor person who votes
Republican that`s really all your vote`s going to, oh and they`ll tell you
things about abortion to make you feel better.
DYSON: Yes no doubt. Well look, the Republicans are also pressuring Obama
in regard to immigration. Let`s take a listen at what they said earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: What held us back last year was a flood of kids coming to the
border because of the actions that the President had already taken. And
let me tell you what, the American people from the right to the left
started to look at this issue in a very different way. That`s why I made
it clear, the President, if he continues to go down this path of taking
action on his own is inviting big trouble.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Now if we put the truth meter here, what do you think that`s going
to swing toward?
FUGELSANG: Well I mean obviously that`s a lie. However there is one
element of truth in it. Those folks coming to the border are not coming
here because of the President`s policies. They`re coming here because of
President Reagan`s policies this President has continued, I`m talking about
the drug war.
FUGELSANG: Not too long ago I had the privilege of performing for our
troops that are stationed in Honduras and El Salvador. You didn`t know we
still had troops in Honduras and El Salvador? We still do, we`re still
fighting the drug war, we are still making narco terrorist, very powerful
men by our policies of criminalization and those folks that were rushing
the border, they weren`t Mexicans they were Central Americans, fleeing
violence in Central American.
So, what Boehner said was a lie. The real problem he has is that you can`t
win the White House without 65 percent of Latino vote and the only
Republican who knows this is Marco Rubio. He tried with the gang of eight
last year to bring forth a immigration -- a rather draconian immigration
reform bill. Got it rubbing forth from his own party and now he`s talking
about gay marriage everyday. So, they`ve got a real Latino problem on
DYSON: He`s going to turn the poppy again. So, you dabble in comedy which
-- so tell us which new elected official are you most looking forward to,
shall we say clowning?
FUGELSANG: Oh wow, I mean, you know, I mean over in local elections in
Colorado, the Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt who I had the privilege of
debating on the show with Ed a few times and was elected. He`s pretty
hilarious. Obviously Joni Ernst is going to be terrific for comedians.
I mean it`s, you know, I appreciate that she was able to run on the virtues
of castrating pigs but I think when non-millionaire Iowans look at her
record two years from now, they`ll discover that she`ll all squeal and no
bacon. She`s going to be terrific to watch. Really watching Mitch
McConnell have to work is going to be the greatest joy I think for a lot of
DYSON: They might be asking where is the beef? So -- but look if Obama
pushes the issue of immigration reform could that really lead to him being
impeached? Because it seems these Republicans are pretty serious about
figuring out a way to marginalize him and that might be the (inaudible).
FUGELSANG: No, they`d love to impeach him and I think that nothing could
protect Obama`s legacy more than if they tried, it be really delightful to
watch these men impeach our first Black President for the crime of trying
to help people...
FUGELSANG: ... and, I`d like to see the President do more to make
Christians stop hating undocumented citizens in our midst. Jesus wouldn`t
call these people illegals, if you dry (ph) 56 you`re an illegal and the
simple fact of the matter is that undocumented immigrants are paying state
and local and federal tax, state and local taxes and sales taxes as well.
And it`s Ronald Reagan who granted amnesty not Barrack Obama.
Why the DNC doesn`t drill this as a talking point all day is beyond me but
they seemed -- some of them pretty devoted to loosing this election and the
fact is, if you`re going to criticize the President for amnesty, you got to
throw out your Reagan love doll.
DYSON: No doubt about that, amen Reverend. John Fugelsang thanks for
joining us here tonight.
Coming up the Rapid Response Panel weighs in on the backlash against
Victoria`s Secrets new perfect body campaign.
Plus, Friday night dance fever, the stars of this viral video join me
But next I`m taking your questions Ask MED Live is just ahead. Stay tuned.
DYSON: Welcome back to the Ed Show. We love hearing from our viewers,
tonight in Ask MED Live our question is from Ruth. Do you think President
Obama will "give away the store" to the Republicans?
I sure hope the heck he won`t. Look, don`t learn the wrong lesson from
this President Obama, it is not to retreat from your beliefs, we knew that
the Republicans were dead set against you from the very beginning. It is
to reinforce the common values that you share with most citizens in
America. Redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor. Make sure that
people whose backs are against the wall are supported.
Make sure that Obamacare continues to thrive and make sure that you give an
opportunity for young people to get educated in our nation. As the jobs
numbers go up and the unemployment goes down, make sure you address those
for whom it is not gone down precipitously but also represent the best of
American nation, you`ve done that greatly please don`t give it up now.
Our next question is from Aria. Do -- what advice would you give to people
who don`t vote and say that all politicians are the same?
They are the same to those who don`t vote because you got to get off your
couch, get off of your hind part. Get up and go to the polls. People
died, blood in the streets for all Americans to be able to have that right
to vote. Don`t throw yours away, don`t say it doesn`t make a difference,
because if it doesn`t make a difference it`s a self-fulfilling prophesy.
You can`t complain if you ain`t stood in the rain to make sure that those
politicians feel your pain. I didn`t mean to go Jessie Jackson on you or
either Jigga but you got to do it.
Stick around, the Rapid Response Panel is next.
HAMPTON PEARSON, HOST, CNBC MARKET WRAP: I`m Hampton Pearson with your
CNBC market wrap.
Stocks end mix but little change this Friday. Jobs added 19 points to the
DOW. The S&P is up a fraction, the NASDAQ falls by six points.
The big story today the economy, adding 214,000 jobs last month, fewer than
expected. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate falling to 5.8 percent, a six-
And JPMorgan in the headlines for variety of reasons today, also says it`s
cutting 300 more jobs this year than previously planned.
That`s it from CNBC, first in business world wide.
DYSON: Welcome back to the Ed Show. The consumer has spoken. Victoria`s
Secret launched their Perfect Body Campaign in October amid immediate
criticism for their narrow -- no pun intended definition of perfection.
Over 28,000 signatures flooded into an online partition demanding the
retailer apologize for and amend their marketing. This week the company
dropped the perfect body wording opting instead for a body for everybody.
The slogan swap appears on the website but not in stores. The lingerie
company has been shy to comment to the change, of course the partition
calls for apologize. Meanwhile other companies have been writing the waves
set of by Victoria`s Secrets backlash.
An underwear company caught the attention of mega producer Shonda Rhimes in
the re-imagine Perfect Body Campaign. This isn`t the first time the
consumer has taken control of the product.
Dove is celebrating 10 years of warping the super model and often supper
skinny ideal of beauty. The hair and skin care line introduced the real
In 2006, they tackled photo alteration in their evolution commercial. The
decision who abandoned large-scale photo modification has paid off for
companies like Aerie which saw sales jump after the deciding to keep their
The response, although silent from Victoria`s Secret is a triumph for vocal
consumers. But whether it`s the signal of the lasting change in
advertisement remains to be seen.
Joining me now on our Rapid Response Panel, Salamishah Tillet, Assistance
Professor of English and Africana Studies of the University of
Pennsylvania, and co-founder of a Long Walk Home, and author of Sites of
Slavery. And co-host of "The Cycle", Kristal Ball.
KRISTAL BALL, HOST, "THE CYCLE": I don`t how I`m going to keep at that.
DYSON: You know what? No competition both of you doing your things. But
I want to ask Professor Tillet, why did this particular Victoria`s Secret
campaign set off such a powerful response and garnered so much attention.
SALAMISHAH TILLET, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: Well, I think it`s both the
image with the labeling perfect, right? So it is assumes a number of
things, it assumes that all girls and women should be adhering to this body
type and this racial type. I think that`s the other problem.
The critique is mostly about being thin or ultra thin but I think to have a
perfect or an ideal, it`s constructed against a negative. And in this case
it would be the women of color...
TILLET: ... women of color whose body type don`t fit this, women of color
whose hair type don`t fit, all of these things that Bell Hooks would call
the anti-aesthetic. So I think that`s one thing.
I think the other thing is that, this campaign was led by young women. The
critique of the campaign was led by young woman and I think this is a
really -- it`s a complicated moment for women who are coming of age. Told
on one hand that they`re supposed to be fully empowered, be is super smart,
be is supper strong, be is supper clever and yet when it comes to your body
that`s the only area that you`re not supposed to go according to your
natural inclinations, right? You`re supposed to police it and be ultra
TILLET: So I think it`s a concept of interest that appeals to a consumer
and they`re saying, you know, stop for this moment. This is horrible.
It`s harmful and we`re not going to take it anymore for this moment in
DYRSON: Right, right, right. Raise up the window we`re not going to take
it anymore. So, that being the case Kristal, how was it that young women
find their way between -- on the one hand Beyonce feminism...
DYSON: ... or Emma Watson feminism where these a young attractive
extraordinarily talented young women who were the face of a movement that
is against the very things that their body scream. I`m perfect, I look up
like this, I`m flawless.
So how do you in one sense tell them about what Professor Tillet just said
and at the same time acknowledge that there`s work to be done?
BALL: Yeah, well I think actually what`s happening online in particular is
part of that. Because when you see a company like Victoria`s Secret,
having to respond to consumer outrage directed at them from young women,
that makes all companies see and realize that they are going to be held
accountable. And to think twice before they put this sort of imagery and
And that -- this isn`t the first time that we`ve seen women in particular
create a movement online and force the company to change. We have
Lululemon`s CEO have to resign after making comments about how some women
size just weren`t intended for his pants...
BALL: ... so we`ve had multiple instances not to mention the backlash
against Rush Limbaugh after he called Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute.
BALL: So, women are increasingly powerful online and making their voices
heard. And I do think that that is ultimately going to make companies
realize that they can`t get away with the stuff anymore.
DYSON: Right. You know, Professor Tillet, in light of the fact that we`ve
had years and years of bills (of) in and off (of), this multiracial
multicultural ads, don`t people get it now. You can wear your hair the way
you wants to. Natural is not simply straight as a ruler. Beauty is not
simply a bone thin ideal. How do we come to the point where we`ve got to -
- do we have to constantly be vigilant in fighting a narrow conception of a
TILLET: Well, I think it`s depending on what product is being sold, right?
So you could have Cheerios commercial and then you can have women with the
natural hair or brown skin selling that because it supposed to be, and that
is progress, right? A domestic ideal -- a domestic product that is being
sold. When you`re selling sex and sensuality and...
TILLET: ... an ideal of beauty that Victoria`s Secret is so determined to
make its money off of.
TILLET: I think it`s still going to feed into a very old school, maybe
Victorian in some ways notion of beauty and femininity.
BALL: Well, in that, I mean that`s putting our finger right on the problem
because a lot of these beauty product companies, they make their money by
convincing us that we`re not good enough in some ways, so we have to have
to their product to make it better. So, I mean that that`s the whole thing
right there. Is that they`re making money off of women having negative
body image issues.
DYSON: Right. And despite your remarkable brilliance and your eloquence,
you two are -- I don`t know commercials for what, extraordinary...
BALL: For Michael Eric Dyson.
DYSON: ... and at the same time you fit the perfect body because perfect
bodies are the bodies you posses. That`s what is perfect about them (ph).
Salamishah Tillet, Kristal Ball, thank you so very much tonight.
TILLET: Thank you.
BALL: Thank you Dr. Dyson.
DYSON: Coming up, Dr. Ben Carson lands himself and tonight`s pretenders
with the very important announcement. Stay tune.
DYSON: In Pretenders tonight, paging Dr. Ben Carson, the good doctor will
air a 40-minute long ad introducing himself to the American people this
weekend in 22 states. It`s his opening bit for the Republican nomination
for president. In light of this Fox News has kept ties with Carson as a
The documentary is entitled "A Breath of Fresh Air". Here`s a promo for
Dr. Carson`s ad.
There is a reason no words re in that ad because if there were it might
sound something like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN CARSON, AUTHOR: I have to tell you, you know, Obamacare is, really I
think the worst thing that is happened in this nation since slavery. And
it is in a way, it is slavery in a way because, it is making all of us
Well, you know, my emphasis is that marriage is an institution established
by God himself and when you look in the New Testament you see that the
marriage relationship is used to help us understand his relationship with
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a metaphor.
CARSON: So when you start distorting that I mean you`re really going
pretty deep into the finger in your eye to God.
I think what`s happening with the veterans is a gift from God to show us
what happens when you take layers and layers of bureaucracy and place them
between the patients and the health care provider.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Ben Carson has a long disturbing history of absurd and ignorant
rhetoric. If Dr. Ben Carson thinks he would be a breath of fresh as
President of United States of America he can keep on pretending.
DYSON: Time now for the Trenders. Keep in touch with us on Twitter@edshow
and on Facebook and you can find me on Twitter at Michael E. Dyson.
The Ed Show Social Medial Nation has decided and we`re reporting.
Here today`s top trenders voted on by you?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get in my belly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The number three trender, hard to swallow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Discovery channel is promising us to go where
American television has never gone before.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re going to get me inside of a snake.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Discovery`s latest stunt has animal activist
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The network is promising filmmaker Paul Rosolie will
indeed be eaten alive by a giant snake.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re crazy (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To top it off, he`s drenched in pig`s blood.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A petition on change.org says this is animal abuse to
the highest degree.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to resist the urge to say, my anaconda don`t.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s absolutely no science, there`s no reason for
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The number two trender, otter delight.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This adorable, noisy ball of fur is known as pup 681.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s so fluffy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chicago`s Shedd Aquarium welcomes a new marine
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was found separated from her mother on a beach
near Santa Cruz, California.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is now taking her in,
nurturing her back to health.
TIM BINDER, V.P., COLLECTION PLANNING AT SHEDD AQUARIUM: And she`ll stay
in here until she`s learned the skills necessary to basically survive on
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re teaching 681 how to be an otter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her day consist of swimming, and playing, and eating.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And today`s top trender, shake it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dan Thorn is shaking things up the WVNS in West
SCHULTZ: He is a dancing machine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ed`s not the only dancing anchor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just put you on television dancing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This anchor`s smooth moves made him a YouTube star.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Videos of him dancing and singing the songs during
commercial breaks has gone viral.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is just me being myself.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No matter how goofy his face, miming to Taylor Swift,
Sarah Pisciuneri ignores Dan Thorn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You stay classy (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s just still a guy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on dance a little bit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: I`m joined now by Dan Thorn and Sarah Pisciuneri who are both
anchors and reporters at WVNS 59 News in West Virginia. Dan, tell us about
these videos, is this part of your typical routine when you have a break in
DAN THORN, ANCHOR, WVNS 59 NEWS: Yes, we have a really good relationship
off camera so we like to keep things very loose. I wouldn`t really say
that it`s a ritual in-between commercial breaks, it`s just a way for us to
have fun and we just rolled on it because we`re enjoying some music and
just went with it.
DYSON: Yes, Sarah you don`t seem to be too impressed by his dance moves
there. Are you a budding critic, do Dan`s commercial break antics distract
you or you just don`t think he`s a great dancer?
SARAH PISCIUNERI, ANCHOR, WVNS 59 NEWS: I don`t -- neither really, I just,
you know, you never know where these things are going to end up or who`s
going to see what you`re doing, you know, so I think me not reacting with
me just being really cautious and, you know, when in doubt, you know, just
err on the safe side I guess. You know, because you really never know as
we`ve seen who`s going to see this.
DYSON: Well OK. So that now that you`ve been cautious and you never know
who`s going to see it and you`ve seen everybody`s seen it now. Give us
your weigh in for us. Give us what your honest opinion is of Dan`s
PISCIUNERI: I don`t think he`s a bad dancer, I think he is -- it`s fun
dancing. You don`t have to be a good dance to be fun. So...
THORN: I don`t claim to be a professional either.
PISCIUNERI: I don`t think he`s a bad dancer at all.
DYSON: So, Dan did you expect this kind of reaction from the public? I
mean you`ve gotten quite a bit of viral hit from this.
THORN: No and that`s the God honest truth, we had no idea this was going
to take off the way it did. We were trying to connect with our viewers, I
posted some videos on Facebook. It`s which, where it originally took off
and then celebrities started sharing it and that`s when it really, really
took off. And then they were like trying to look for it on Youtube so I
posted it on Youtube to my channel and then, it just continued to grow and
grow and grow, that`s the honest answer.
DYSON: Right. So Sarah what do you have to say about people who say that
your non-reaction is the real reason the videos went viral. You said you
were being careful, but a lot of people think, well because of your non-
reaction it kind of spurred the interest in the videos on even more.
PISCIUNERI: I mean, I have to say I agree with them, because when we
watched it back after the show was over, I was like, "Let me see that I
want to see what that looked like." And I was laughing at myself, I
thought it was hilarious. Is so funny.
THORN: It`s got to be funny. It`s just cool to see the Yin and the Yang
DYSON: Yes no doubt. So Dan look, you want to bust the move for us before
we go right now?
THORN: Bust the move. Do you want -- yes (inaudible). I might need my
iPad you know.
That`s a little sample in for you, that`s all.
DYSON: Dan it`s not disappointing.
THORN: I`ve been told that those are painfully Caucasian, that`s what I`ve
DYSON: I don`t know. You might have a little soul in you there and you`re
meeting our expectations but so is Sarah with her look at you again. Dan
Thorn and Sarah Pisciuneri thanks for your time tonight.
That`s the Ed Show. I`m Michael Eric Dyson in for Ed Schultz.
PoliticsNation with the Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.
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Show: THE ED SHOW