Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: February 4, 2015
Guest: Phyllis Bennis, Michael Kay, Alan Diehl, Jordan Schultz, Bruce
Beck, Eve Ensler
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Rachel, no one would have noticed were it
not for you.
RACHEL MADDOW, "TRMS" HOST: Well, I`m a little fixated. I`ve got to
O`DONNELL: Great job. Thank you, Rachel.
O`DONNELL: Today, King Abdullah of Jordan called for a relentless war
against the Islamic State. Last night, the king ordered the executions of
two terrorist prisoners in response to a 22-minute video showing a
Jordanian combat pilot being burned to death. Now, the White House is
considering its next move.
ADM. JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: President Obama said today that the
U.S. was going to double down on the efforts to defeat and degrade ISIS or
ISIL. What does that mean?
REPORTER: What does that mean?
KIRBY: You know, we don`t talk about future operations, Jim. There`s been
a long concerted effort here over the last seven months to degrade and
destroy their capabilities. Nothing is going to slow down about that.
We`re going to continue to put as much pressure on them as possible, with
our partners in Iraq and in Syria.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We did see reports that the
Jordanian government did carry out the execution of two prisoners. These
were two individuals that did go through the Jordanian justice system.
REPORTER: So, the White House is not criticizing this, unlike the European
EARNEST: Jean, I refer you to Jordanian authorities.
ASHTON CARTER, DEFENSE SECRETARY NOMINEE: We need partners on the ground
to beat ISIS.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Do you believe that we need to have a
strategy to combat ISIS?
MCCAIN: What do you understand the strategy to be?
CARTER: Mr. Chairman, in Iraq, the force that will keep them defeated is
the Iraqi security forces. That`s our strategy is to strengthen them.
We are trying to build the force that will keep them defeated, and that`s
going to be a combination of moderate Syrian forces and regional forces.
MCCAIN: Well, it sounds like - -it doesn`t sound like a strategy to me, it
sounds like a series of goals to me.
O`DONNELL: There is one remaining American hostage held by the Islamic
State. In a "Foreign Policy" magazine article entitled "Can the Islamic
State`s Last Hostages be Saved?", a report says a rescue by elite military
forces could be the only realistic hope of survival for the group`s one
known remaining American hostage, a 26-year-old female aid worker who the
U.S. government believes was alive as recently as two weeks ago. A former
office with the military`s Joint Special Operations Command said that even
with fully accurate intelligence on the woman`s location, a rescue
mission`s chances of success would be less than 50 percent.
Joining me now, Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies in
Washington, and Michael Kay, an international affairs correspondent and
former senior British officer and military strategist.
Michael, this question of now that we`re down to, as far as we know, one
American hostage left, and maybe 20 overall is the rough count they think
they have, the Islamic State, the question is coming up again, is a rescue
MICHAEL KAY, INTL. AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: I would actually put it less
than 50 percent, Lawrence. I would put it maybe at 10 percent. There`s a
very good reason for that. It`s because ISIS has become very adept at
moving themselves around, they don`t stay in a location more than two or
three days. That`s key for Special Forces who are trying to get fixation,
or a target fixation (INAUDIBLE) to any form intelligence.
What`s absolutely which they`re lacking as well is what`s called human,
which is human intelligence. Human intelligence is a huge part of allowing
Western forces to be able to operate effectively against targets, whether
in Afghanistan or whether it`s in Iraq. There`s a vacuum in Syria, because
everyone has been brainwashed by the ISIS ideology, especially in the areas
that they are operating in, whether Aleppo or Raqqa, (INAUDIBLE) which is
coming right down in the middle of Syria.
So I think the chances are very, very slim. John Cantlie is the other guy
that is also very prominent in the news is the U.K. journalist that ISIS
have been using quite uniquely in terms of his skill set of being a
journalist, and being able to spread that propaganda with an English voice
to the West.
What`s interesting here, Lawrence, we are down to about two. One of the
key things that ISIS can do is they can infect and recruit by leveraging
Western media with these hostages. But they`re down to the last two.
So, I think in terms of what we do next, in terms of how we counter their
ideology, we have to look at what their critical capabilities are. This is
one. The other one is using social media. The other one is leveraging
disenfranchised individuals and foreign countries. And then the last one
is socio-economic problems. And I think the non-military options that we
need to be looking at in terms of this holistic approach to counter ISIS.
O`DONNELL: Phyllis Bennis, in "The New York Times" today, there was a
piece by Kenneth Pollack which begins by saying, American forces appear to
be turning the tide against the Islamic State. Do you see it that way?
PHYLLIS BENNIS, INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES: No, unfortunately I don`t.
I think we have to be very clear that, as President Obama himself has said
over and over again, there is no military solution here.
The fact is, you cannot bomb terrorism out of existence. You don`t bomb
terrorism, you bomb cities. You bomb people. And you kill them. That
doesn`t, in the long run, or even in the medium term here, that doesn`t end
the horrific realities of what ISIS is doing to people in that region.
We`re looking at a scenario, we`re getting new figures that have come out
in some of the congressional hearings, indicating that the Pentagon claims
they have killed somewhere in the area of 6,000 ISIS fighters, maybe that`s
accurate, maybe it`s not. I`m not sure. But they also admit that
somewhere between 4,000, 5,000 just foreign forces have already replaced
those dead fighters for ISIS. That`s not even counting additional local
fighters who have been recruited by the numbers among other things, of
civilians who have been killed in the bombings.
So, the notion that somehow we are degrading ISIS is not the case. You
cannot use a military weapon to try and go after an ideology. I think what
Michael just said is right, except I think it has to start with take away
the military option.
You don`t sort of add on to it and hope it works. The military option has
failed. It failed in Iraq for over a decade. It`s failed in Afghanistan
for over 13 years.
Remember, Lawrence, we were told that the numbers of al Qaeda forces in
Afghanistan, because the U.S. had been so successful, was down to somewhere
between 50 and 100 guys. And yet we kept at that time, it was still over
100,000 troops in Afghanistan for those 50 guys.
And in the meantime, while we have killed however many members of al Qaeda,
al Qaeda-like organizations and organizations that grew out of al Qaeda
like ISIS have sprung up throughout the region. So, calling that a victory
is a very mistaken approach.
O`DONNELL: Michael, to be care to Kenneth Pollack, he does say that a
military mission alone cannot be successful. It does require political
elements and all sorts of healing politically within Iraq that we see no
In addition to the very, very public things like these beheadings and then
this burning video that we saw, we have a report from the United Nations
about what the Islamic State is doing that we don`t see, that they are not
seeking Western publicity for. The United States saying the Islamic State
militants are selling abducted Iraqi children at markets as sex slaves and
killing other youth, including by crucifixion or burying them alive.
This is not a group that is trying to win hearts and minds. This is a
group that is working it seems entirely on fear.
KAY: Let`s be absolutely clear here, Lawrence. ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh, the
Arabic acronym, it is a cult.
If you`re a Sunni, you`re not safe. If you`re a Shia, you`re not safe. If
you`re a Christian, you`re not safe. If you`re Yazidi, you`re not safe.
If you`re a Jew, you`re not safe.
If you are Russian, you`re not safe. If you`re European, you`re not safe.
If you`re American, you`re not safe. If you`re Saudi, you`re not safe. It
goes on and on.
The point is, this is a global threat, and a global threat requires a
multifaceted and a multilayered and multilateral response. Not just
regional. Regional is key and they should be taking the lead. Saudi
Arabia should be taking the lead. UAE should be taking the lead. Jordan
should all be there. Egypt, pivotal. But we also need Russia.
We need international legitimacy to try and work on a political road map, a
political roadmap cannot be sanctioned unless you have agreement on the
permanent five on the U.N. Security Council. Without Russia`s buy-in, we
won`t be able to get that. Assad is a critical component of this problem.
Going back to what Phyllis was saying, I don`t share exactly that view. I
think the military do have a role, but whatever the military does has to be
fused to a political road map. And without that political road map, any
military action is short-term.
It is useful. We have just seen Kobani. Kobani has been liberated by the
Syrian Kurds on the ground and by coalition airstrikes going in. I mean,
Kobani is leveled from the air strikes, I mean, that`s another conversation
BENNIS: That`s the same conversation.
KAY: But what we need is a political road map. So there are geopolitical
problems that we have to get around. Russia, Ukraine, we have to look at
Iran and the nuclear problem. Saudi Arabia and exporting Wahhabism. Let`s
leverage Egypt a bit more. We need to galvanize this and we need to work
our way, a coordinated effort to attack ISIS globally.
O`DONNELL: And, Phyllis, all of these elements have been floating around
these issues for years, everything that Michael just identified. And
certainly American strategists have never been able to come up with
something cohesive that held onto every one of those moving parts at the
BENNIS: And I think part of the problem, Lawrence, is precisely the focus
on the military. You`re right that these ideas have come and gone. We`ve
seen them in various proposals, but they all say when we start to have a
policy based on vengeance, we`re hearing it again after the horrific murder
of the Jordanian bomber pilot, we are hearing again we have to destroy
them. You can`t build a strategy out of vengeance, which is what we`re
starting to hear once again.
Unfortunately, as long as the focus remains on the military, the other
issues that are so important, questions of what do you do about a cease-
fire, how do you get a cease-fire in Syria? How do you work on an arms
embargo on all sides?
I absolutely agree with Michael. We need to be engaging with Russia. We
need to be engaging with Iran. But you don`t do that. You`re not going to
get Russia to sign on what`s known as a Chapter 7 resolution at the United
Nations that would set the stage to authorize more military force.
You might have a chance to engage Russia if you said, let`s not talk about
the military, let`s talk about how to get a cease-fire. The United Nations
is taking the lead in trying to make some arrangements for temporary cease-
fires in some small areas of Syria as starting point.
We should be supporting that, instead of saying new bombing in Syria, let`s
see what we can do to encourage cease-fires. Maybe a cease-fire in some
areas could lead to talk of an arms embargo. That`s not going to happen
right away either, but we need to have that on the table, something we`re
moving towards, because otherwise, we keep falling into the same trap that
George Bush posed to us, that we either go to war or let him get away with
That`s never the choice. It wasn`t the only choice then. It`s not the
only choice now.
And as long as we keep the focus on what is our military going to do, how
many new ways can we talk about, we`re going to fail at the political side.
We will not win support from Iraqi Sunnis, as long as we are bombing Iraqi
Sunni towns. When the hospital in Fallujah gets bombed, we`re not going to
win supporters away from ISIS, we`re driving people right into their arms.
O`DONNELL: Michael Kay, quickly before we go, what do you expect from King
KAY: It`s the million dollar question. And, again, I think Jordan, on its
own, isn`t going to be able to kill this problem. Jordan has to reach out
to Saudi. Jordan has to corral the regional partners to be able to get
everyone around the table and say, politically what are we going to do
I do think there are ideas to explore, leaving off from Phyllis. One of
them is decentralized governance. The mission in Afghanistan in the last
12 years was about centralized government, what`s about extending the reach
from Kabul out to the provinces, the districts. That doesn`t work when you
have effectively a country full of tribal units that transcend national
So, maybe decentralized governments coming out of Damascus might be a way
forward. But again, hugely complex issue that needs military and political
O`DONNELL: Michael Kay and Phyllis Bennis, thank you both very much for
joining us tonight.
KAY: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Thank you.
BENNIS: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, another tragic and deadly plane crash in Asia.
And later, the biggest loser in the world finally speaks. The Seattle
Seahawks coach who called the play that gave the Super Bowl to the Patriots
told Matt Lauer what that moment felt like.
And in the "Rewrite" tonight, the bravest kissers in the world. The guy
sitting behind them in that photo -- oh, get that photo back up. That guy
hitting behind them in that photo now wants to put those women in jail.
And later, the brilliant Eve Ensler, the author of "The Vagina Monologues"
will tell us what she has planned for V-Day this year.
O`DONNELL: Tonight, medical examiners are using family dental records to
identify the rest of the victims of a deadly commuter train crash that
happened just north of New York City last night. Witnesses say an SUV was
sitting on the track when the crossing arm came down on the rear of the
vehicle. The driver got out to check for damage, then inched forward into
the path of an oncoming train.
Tonight, the death toll stands at six. The names released so far include
that driver, 49-year-old Ellen Brody, mother of three, 53-year-old Eric
Vandercar, father of two, and 69-year-old Walter Liedtke, a curator at the
Metropolitan Museum of Art.
NBC News Jeff Rossen explains how tragedies like this can happen.
JEFF ROSSEN, NBC NEWS (voice-over): Right now, officials are investigating
the deadly crash in upstate New York, trying to figure out exactly what
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a loud bam, like an explosion-type thing.
And then once we jumped off on the side, there was another explosion.
ROSSEN: And it`s happened before. Check out this dramatic video from
inside a train crash just outside of Orlando last May that demolished a
sports coupe. The car stalled on a railroad crossing just before the gates
came down. The driver got out with seconds to spare.
Just last month in Houston, a mother, father, and six children escaped
injury when this freight train struck their car and another crossing.
Officers say the conductor sounded the horn several times, but the two cars
didn`t move in time.
And then in Glendale, California, an SUV stuck on the tracks caused this
commuter train to derail. Hitting trains on both sides of it, killing 11
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Almost like a pretzel. I came off the chair and I was
just tumbling basically the hallway.
ROSSEN: According to the Federal Railroad Administration, more than 230
people were killed in nearly 2,100 collisions nationwide last year alone.
Vehicles stopped on the track for any number of reasons. For mechanical
failure to intentional thrill seeking. But what if you get stuck on the
Experts say you should be aware that trains cannot stop quickly, so don`t
expect them to stop on a dime. Get everyone out and immediately off the
tracks. Leave your possessions in the car, don`t take anything with you.
And once you`re out, experts say you should actually run toward the
direction of the oncoming train off to the side. It may seem
counterintuitive, but you`re running away from the collision site and any
flying debris from your car.
O`DONNELL: That was NBC`s Jeff Rossen.
Coming up, the tragic video of the TransAsia plane crash.
O`DONNELL: In Taiwan, 12 passengers from TransAsia Flight 235 are still
missing tonight after the commercial plane crashed after takeoff.
Automobile dash board cameras captured the final moments as the wing and
tail of the plane hit a freeway and fell into the river below. The plane`s
final communication was a mayday sent to air traffic control, which one of
the pilots said they had, quote, "an engine flameout." Thirty-one of the
58 people on board were killed, but 15 survivors, including a 2-year-old
child. They were pulled from the wreckage, and taken to local hospitals.
Search and rescue crews have recovered the black boxes and an investigation
is under way. This is the second TransAsia plane to crash in less than a
Joining me now is former investigator for the NTSB and Air Force, Alan
Diehl. He is the author of "Air Safety Investigators."
Alan, what do you make of that mayday message engine flameout?
ALAN DIEHL, AIR SAFETY EXPERT: Clearly, Lawrence, they lost one of their
engines. It`s been reported that it was probably the left engine. That`s
very interesting, because when you lose an engine, you`re not supposed to
turn towards the engine that`s failed. They tell you to raise the dead
engine, in other words, lift that wing.
This captain was in a very precarious situation. He had buildings to his
right and he had to make a calculated decision to turn into that dead
engine and save the people in that building and abort the aircraft, but
running at great risk of losing control of the aircraft.
O`DONNELL: So, Alan, when you look at that video, you`re seeing what you
believe is a deliberate turn, not a plane out of control turning against
the will of the pilot.
DIEHL: Lawrence, it`s obviously very hard to tell and the recorders will
tell the story. We always say that the flight data recorder tells you what
happened. The cockpit voice recorder tells you why.
But there may have been some conversation, and I`m speculating here, that
captain, we can`t turn right, the buildings or something like that.
DIEHL: That`s why they may have consciously turned to the left against the
basic rules about never turn into a dead engine. Never turn in that
O`DONNELL: But that could have been, if deliberate, a life-saving decision
for other people. In other words, making that calculation, we absolutely
must not go into the building, that could lead to more loss of life.
DIEHL: Exactly, Lawrence. We know that Captain Sullenberger had that same
decision over Manhattan there. That`s one thing that all pilots try to do
is protect the people on the ground, as well as their passengers.
But we don`t know, at this point we don`t really know. It`s possible there
may have been a malfunctioning propeller system on that left engine. When
you lose an engine, they`re supposed to go into what`s called feather, and
the blades align with the swoop stream, or the air stream, and that reduces
That may not have happened. It looked like that. I couldn`t tell from the
photographs or videos, but maybe there was a mechanical problem with that
left engine. We still don`t know so much about this, Lawrence. We`re only
speculating at this point.
O`DONNELL: But there are scenarios which you could lose that engine and
safely proceed, even at that point in takeoff?
DIEHL: Absolutely. They climbed to 1,300 feet. Again, this is data
reported. And normally, that would be enough to safely conduct an
emergency procedure, and take the aircraft around and land it.
But obviously something very wrong happened. We don`t know if perhaps --
I`m speculating here, but on the leeward side of those building, but may
have caused turbulence, causing more problems. But we don`t know if
there`s a mechanical factor on top of basic engine failure, if that
propeller did not properly feather, we may have had a real difficult
situation for anybody to handle.
O`DONNELL: I was on a flight once out of Washington, D.C., it was a two-
engine plane, lost an engine, and it felt like the plane was going in
reverse. It wasn`t, but that`s the shocking sensation in the loss of
momentum from just the loss of one engine.
DIEHL: Absolutely. Of course, you want to twist towards the dead engine.
That`s what you try to avoid as a pilot.
O`DONNELL: Alan Diehl, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
Coming up next, an NBC News exclusive. The Seattle Seahawks coach talks
about the play that lost the Super Bowl, the play that he called.
And in the "Rewrite" tonight, how brave do you have to be to kiss your
girlfriend in public? Well, if you do it in Russia, there`s a guy there
who might want to send you to jail for that.
O`DONNELL: In the "Spotlight" tonight, the worst call ever by a head coach
in a Super Bowl, or was it? With 26 seconds left to go in the game on
Sunday night, the Seattle Seahawks were 36 inches from a second straight
Super Bowl victory win. Coach Pete Carroll sent in the play that gave the
ball and the game to the Patriots. Instead of doing what the world
expected, handing the ball to star running back Marshawn Lynch to pick up a
yard, Pete Carroll ordered a quick pass over the goal line that was
snatched by the Patriots` Malcolm Butler.
As great as that moment felt for Patriots` fans, and as horrific as it felt
for Seahawks` fans, imagine, imagine how it felt for the man responsible
for tossing away a Super Bowl victory.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT LAUER, MSNBC`S "TODAY" SHOW: Take me back to when you weren`t right.
I watched your expression as you saw that play unfold. And you bent over
at the waist and my heart broke for you. To be perfectly honest. How were
you feeling inside?
PETE CARROLL, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS HEAD COACH: Immediately, I mean, within the
instant of the turnover, the gravity of what just happened, and I
understood. And there`s only a second or two before you stand up and start
looking ahead and getting ready for what`s coming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: You can see more of Matt Lauer`s exclusive interview with Pete
Carroll on the "TODAY" show tomorrow morning.
Joining me now from Seattle is Huffington Post sports columnist Jordan
Schultz and here in New York WNBC`s lead sports anchor Bruce Beck.
Jordan, you`re in Seattle. I imagine exactly no one in Seattle has gotten
over this yet.
JORDAN SCHULTZ, HUFFINGTON POST SPORTS COLUMNIST: Lawrence, you`re 100
percent right there. I was actually at the game in Phoenix, and Patriot
fans were getting ready to leave, because the game was over. And so I`m
here to tell you that I can`t possibly defend, as a Seattleite, and a
lifelong Seahawks fan, to be honest, what happened on the one-yard line.
He said 36 inches, I think it was even closer.
Regardless, Ricardo Lockette had 11 catches all season long in the regular
season. If you`re going to throw that play, you`ve got to go on a -- roll
Russell Wilson out, a much less risk play, throw it up to Chris Matthews,
100 yards of the game, he`s 6`5", and live to play another down there.
Obviously he didn`t do that, and here we are.
O`DONNELL: Bruce Beck, there`s a very interesting kind of revisionist
history coming up here now, defending this call, saying look, this -- if
incomplete, it stops the clock, they needed the clock to stop, so that they
could regroup for what would be that handoff that gets you the yard.
BRUCE BECK, WNBC-TV SPORTS ANCHOR: Pete Carroll said we`re going to run
the ball, but it wasn`t on that down.
BECK: It`s unthinkable. It makes no sense. Give the ball to your
workhorse, give it to Marshawn Lynch. You`re at the one-yard line. He`s
got 100 yards in the game. They couldn`t stop them. I liked the other
option with Russell Wilson maybe doing a little play-action, and running to
the left, a little bootleg.
But do not throw the football, especially to the middle of the field. If
anything, throw a fade. The ball is not going to be intercepted. You
still have a chance.
O`DONNELL: Yes, that`s the thing, Jordan, is that you`re throwing it into
a crowd on this play.
O`DONNELL: And what you and Bruce are talking about is, OK, if you are
going to toss it, you`re -- there`s a way to do this that will get you
either an incompletion or a touchdown. This wasn`t that way.
SCHULTZ: It really wasn`t. And you know, I`m glad Bruce mentioned the
play-action with the run. Seattle with the read option, which they really
did not use at all in the game. Russell Wilson, 849 rushing yards this
season, led the NFL for quarterbacks, sixth all-time in a single season for
a quarterback. That would have been a safer play.
And look, I only had one-time timeout, they had three downs, under 30
seconds. They were a little worried about time. They wanted to waste a
timeout or waste a play so that Tom Brady potentially wouldn`t have a lot
of time to lead New England down the field. But at that point you`ve got
to get in the end zone.
And I thought, which was talked about in a big study by 538 today, an
article saying that hey, Bill Belichick didn`t call a timeout, you really
bailed him out because New England was in such dire straits. Really the
only thing that could have happened for them to lose the game, Seattle was,
what happened. And the chances are so slim. It was a terrible mistake
that you can`t justify.
BECK: And, Jordan, I like the fact that they didn`t call timeout because
you`ve got the lead. And an all-wise coach named Lou Carnesecca at Saint
John`s who went 526 and 200.
SCHULTZ: St. John`s.
BECK: Once said to me --
SCHULTZ: Let them play.
BECK: -- when you have the lead, you don`t call timeout. And Belichick
almost created confusion for Seattle, thinking maybe something is going on
BECK: Might have put a shadow of doubt in their minds. I think it was a
SCHULTZ: Yes, but -- you know what was interesting, Lawrence, sorry to cut
you off, is that -- and to Bruce`s point, not calling a timeout, but also
Seattle was number two in power situations this year. New England was dead
last in defending it. And they said, Pete Carroll said, Darrell Bevell
said, we don`t want to run against their goal line package. That was to
create the confusion that Bruce was talking about, by not calling a timeout
that Belichick was able to install.
O`DONNELL: And Bruce, what about this? By the way, the three of us I know
I`m next to zero about NFL stats, but I know this. I learned this today.
O`DONNELL: In this entire season of NFL play, on the one-yard line,
quarterbacks threw 66 touchdowns, with zero interceptions until the final
26 seconds of the season.
BECK: I know. That just amplifies this mistake. Is it the worst in Super
Bowl history? I`d say yes. Is it the worst in sports history? You can
look at the Miracle at the Meadowlands in 1978 when Joe Pisarcik fumbled
the ball and Herman Edwards scooped it up. You can look at Grady Little
with the Boston Red Sox against the Yankees in the 2003 ALCS game seven
when he left Pedro Martinez on the hill, going into the eighth with a 5-2
lead. But you can`t say anything tops this.
O`DONNELL: Jordan, what about coach`s response and what he said to Matt
Lauer, how is that playing in Seattle?
SCHULTZ: Not well. I mean, there is a sense that Seattle -- Seattleites
are appreciative of Pete Carroll kind of falling on the sword and really
showing class here. And that I think is commendable. But, you know,
Darrell Bevell, the offensive coordinator, is ultimately responsible.
And whether or not Carroll will admit that it was Bevell`s idea, I have a
hard time understanding that the offensive coordinator for the last three
years, Darrell Bevell, was not involved in this and that it wasn`t his
play. But to even entertain a throw here, especially on a slant route with
that much traffic is just beyond words to me.
O`DONNELL: But, Bruce, I`ve got to say, I love the attitude that he
expresses to Matt Lauer. I love mental set where the worst thing in the
world has just happened and he immediately, his brain immediately goes
into, OK, what do we have to do next.
BECK: I think Pete is a class act here.
BECK: I mean, this could have been his legacy. Two NCAA championships.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Yes.
BECK: Two Super Bowl titles. Jordan, that`s amazing stuff when you think
about it. Instead, he`s looking at one of the biggest, you know, mistakes
in the history of the Super Bowl and in all modern sports. But I think he
can handle it. This is a guy who`s seen the high note. He`s seen a lot of
BECK: He was a guy who was fired in New England. As a matter fact, New
England is saying we finally won a Super Bowl with Pete Carroll.
BECK: Because he helped get them the Super Bowl.
SCHULTZ: Well, you know --
O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Jordan. Last words. You deserve it. You`ve earned.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Really quickly. Well, with Pete Carroll, this happened, a
similar situation at USC. They lost to Texas in the `05 title game.
Reggie Bush was the Heisman Trophy running back, was a fourth in two, he
gave it to another running back who let -- who went on to be an NFL player,
but not the Heisman winner. They lost the game and he was blamed a lot.
He will get over this, to Bruce`s point. But to me, the bigger story is
legacy. The legacy that they could have had back-to-back titles for the
first in a decade. It`s almost impossible and who knows when you have
O`DONNELL: Jordan Schultz, who has absolutely no plans to get over this,
thank you very much for joining us tonight.
SCHULTZ: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Bruce Beck, thank you very much.
BECK: Good to be with you.
O`DONNELL: Thanks for coming across the hall. Thank you.
You can see more of Matt Lauer`s interview with Pete Carroll tomorrow
morning on the "Today" show.
In the "Rewrite" tonight, how kissing can get you in big trouble in Russia.
O`DONNELL: And now for the good news. Four firefighters in Greenfield,
Wisconsin, went above and beyond the call of duty on Sunday when they were
called to help a 50-year-old man who suffered a cardiac incident after
working too hard removing snow in his driveway. After rushing him to the
hospital, the firefighters then returned to the man`s home and shoveled the
rest of his driveway.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM KONIECZKA, FIREFIGHTER: At the time it seemed like an obvious thing to
do. I talked with my partner a little bit about it, and, you know, it was
just a nice thing to do, I think, to make their life a little bit easier
when they were having a little bit of a crisis.
JON COHN, FIRE CHIEF, GREENFIELD, WISCONSIN: Informally, we created a
mission statement that was do the right thing. And this is the epitome of
what we`ve done, and our members have embraced it and they continue to do
the right things and this happened to get noticed. There`s an appetite for
good news and we provided that.
KONIECZKA: A lot of us firefighters love our job and want to keep doing
what we`re doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: You can see more of that good news interview on our Web site
Coming up in the "Rewrite" the bravest kissers of the year. So far.
Followed by the brave playwright and activist Eve Ensler.
O`DONNELL: In the "Rewrite" tonight, the bravest kissers of the year.
We`re only 35 days into 2015, and the frontrunners for bravest kissers of
the year are a couple who kissed on an airplane. Just kissed. No Mile
High Club stuff. Just a little flash of PDA.
Now how brave is it to kiss your girl on an airplane? Not very. Unless
the airplane is in Russia, and you`re a lesbian kissing your girlfriend.
And you`re doing it just to humiliate a viciously homophobic St. Petersburg
councilman, who you have deliberately captured in the background of your
A club owner whose screen name is Kseniya Infinity posted this photo that
she took on a light from Moscow to St. Petersburg knowing it would drive
St. Petersburg councilman Vitaly Milonov crazy. Vitaly Milonov who
actually was already crazy, was the architect of Russia`s anti-gay
propaganda law signed by Vladimir Putin in 2013.
Councilman Milonov recently reacted to Apple CEO Tim Cook`s announcement
that he is gay by insisting that Tim Cook should be banned from Russia for
life. Milonov said, "What could he bring us, the Ebola virus, AIDS,
gonorrhea? Ban him for life."
When Milonov later discovered that he`d been photo bombed on that airplane
by a lesbian couple on the flight that the photo -- and that the photo had
gone viral, he told Agence France-Presse, "The lesbians went through with
this photo session due to their stupidity. It shows that all LGBT people
are mentally ill. They have overdosed on so-called European values."
And Milonov vowed to retaliate saying, "They should have to do a photo
session in a police station."
This brave couple knew just how crazy Milonov is when they took this photo
and posted it. They knew that Milonov would love to get them thrown in
jail for something, anything. But they did it anyway. And they`re
thrilled that they did it. Along with her posting of the photograph,
Kseniya said, "The whole flight from Moscow to St. Petersburg, Milonov said
nothing to us. We staged the photo shoot in front of him and he hid behind
his tablet when he realized we`re -- when he realized it. We`re all super
happy. Him, probably not so much."
Many people on Russia`s most popular social media sites simply could not
believe that the photo was real, so Kseniya uploaded more photos and said,
"Lots of people are asking me about my last post. Did we really go and
kiss in front of Milonov? Was it really Milonov? Maybe it was just
somebody who looked like him. What was the flight like? And so on. Here
are my answered. Yes. It was really Milonov. As fate would have it he
was sitting in the row right behind us."
If you would like to enter the LAST WORD`s bravest kissers of the year
contest, please go to Russia and find Milonov and outrage him, at least as
much as this photo does.
O`DONNELL: We have breaking news at this hour about a computer hack that
could affect you. The FBI tells NBC News that the bureau is investigating
a computer hacking attack against one of America`s largest health insurance
Anthem says it does not appear that personal banking or health information
was stolen -- does not appear yet. But the hackers did get access to
personal information, including names, birthdays, Social Security numbers,
street addresses, e-mail addresses and employment information, including
income data. Anthem says it will notify victims of the attack.
We`ll be right back.
O`DONNELL: "When you rape, beat, maim, mutilate, burn, bury, and terrorize
women, you destroy the essential life energy on the planet."
Eve Ensler wrote those words in her play "The Vagina Monologues" 19 years
ago. She then used the worldwide success of the "Vagina Monologues" which
has been translated into 48 languages in over 140 countries to fight
violence against women around the world. She created V-Day, a global
activist movement to end violence against women and girls, which always
finds a way to seize our attention on February 14th.
This year on February 14th, V-Day will continue its fight with the third
One Billion Rising global event.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISATOU TOURAY, ONE BILLION RISING: Everywhere you touch, you either check
the Internet, you read the papers, call other countries, you hear everybody
talking about One Billion Rising against violence against woman, One
Billion Rising for justice, and so many other issues that lead to violence
against women. That is such a magical. The energy was so extraordinary.
DIYA MALIKA, ONE BILLION RISING: I`m rising because I`m one of those
individuals, one of the billion women that has been sexually assaulted.
KHAMLA BHASIN, ONE BILLION RISING GLOBAL COORDINATOR: Justice has been
part of our struggles all the time because we have always struggled against
injustice. This time when the entire world together for One Billion
Rising, ask for justice. It obviously became bigger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Eve Ensler, founder of One Billion Rising and a
Tony Award winning playwright.
Eve, where does it feel like you are in this movement? Meaning, beginning,
middle, you know, somewhere toward not an end, but real progress?
EVE ENSLER, ONE BILLION RISING: It`s such a good question. I ask myself
really that all the time. I mean, sometimes it feels like we really move
forward, sometimes it feels like we`re just beginning. I don`t see the end
ENSLER: But I think one of the things I have really experienced of the
last three years of this campaign, One Billion Rising, and now One Billion
Revolution, is we have definitely seen an escalation in the energy, the
attention, the response, and the kind of coalition building that`s
happening around the world. And that`s very exciting.
I think it`s hard to tell because I think as we progress more women come
forward to tell their stories so it may seem as if more women are being
violated. So it`s hard to tell, is it that we`re having progress or is it
that we`re moving backwards? At the same time, having just toured the
world in the last few months, I am seeing so much grassroots uprisings
around the world. I was in the Philippines, I was in Taiwan, I was in
India, I was in Brussels, I was in France.
And I think what`s happening right now is we`re at a tipping point. I
think if we really move forward, if we really say this is the moment where
violence against women cannot be denied ever again, and we have the kind of
uprising that we had last year, and we -- it`s very clear from everything
that`s coming in right now, that this movement has taken fire around the
world. It is going to be the biggest rising we`ve ever had, in villages,
in towns, in cities.
I mean, cultures were riding in today who are up in Oregon, and they have
put posters for -- cultures are rising to end violence against women.
We`re seeing vets, women vets who are being raped in the military, doing
vets across America. We`re seeing the restaurant workers who have been
working with One Billion Rising who are rising because of the minimum wage.
$2.13 an hour restaurant workers are still making.
So they rely on tips, which makes sexual harassment the largest and the
highest in the restaurant business. And they are rising to end low wages
and end tipping as a dependable wage. So we`re seeing also this great
coalition and this great intersection of looking at economic rights,
looking at gender rights, looking at racial justice, looking at
environmental justice, and a kind of coming together into one story of
O`DONNELL: I last saw you after a great -- another great evening of
theater, OPC, which you had at American Repertory Theater, and you did a
great conversation with the audience, and I sat there and I wondered, you
know, Eve does all this activist work every year, year in and year out,
whether she has a new play coming out or not. And then -- and somehow you
find the time somewhere in the day to continue to write brilliantly.
That`s -- I mean, OPC is another enormous theatrical burst from you. And I
just don`t -- tell me how you manage this time, how do you get these things
ENSLER: You know, I was so privileged. I get to be in this ginormous
movement and campaign with extraordinary activists around the world. Many
of whom have just flown into New York for our big uprising on February 7th
at the Hammerstein Ballroom. I mean, my sisters are here from the
Philippines, from Kenya, from Congo, from Afghanistan.
And I look at the amazing, brave, daring, extraordinary work they`re doing
on the front lines, in situations that seem absolutely untenable, and let -
- they`re transforming consciousness. So it seems to me that gives me an
abundance of energy and an abundance of, to be honest, hope because I see
the kind of grassroots uprisings that are happening across the planet.
O`DONNELL: You also talked that night, though, about how vulnerable you
can be to the news, how too much of what we do here can just kind of break
you down emotionally and so you have to fight against that in order to
continue this larger fight.
ENSLER: Well, you know, I was talking to someone about this today. I
think one of the problems with America, sometimes, and I really feel this
when I come back here, is this kind of individualism. You know, us, me,
me, me. And I think the anecdote to that is really thinking about the
bigger story, the bigger we. And what we are privileged with, and many of
us in this country, is time and the ability to think and when I feel
overwhelmed by the stories I`m hearing, I try to turn that into action.
I try to do that into doing something in terms of lifting -- the world.
And changing at least 1 percent a day and making it a little better. And I
think that`s why I really strongly suggest that people --
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Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL