tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC May 17, 2013 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
pressure of debt which is something you can't quantify. that's one of the biggest scourges and the scandal that we let it go on. really, thank you very much. this is a hopeful promising story. thank you for being here. t"the rachel maddow show" start now. >> happy friday. thanks for being with us. kind of a news day like only happens in the movies. the headline this morning was about a july heist in france. specifically specifically at the cannes film festival. there were jewels under a safe. they might have been things that movie stars were planting to wear at the film festival but that is now less likely. a professional gang of jewel thieves known as the pink panthers have hit this area in france in recent years. police say they do not think this particular heist looks like
the work of the pink panthers but they are not ruling them out yet. and no, that is not my dog pch. this evening, at cannes, shots were fired during live v broadcast. which sent cameras and stars under cover. that sounded like gunshots but did not shoot really bullet. the police said, this looks like a crazy guy. don't get mad at me for saying crazy. that's what the police said in france. the fourth largest city in north america smoking crack. this is a photo supplied by the people who are selling the video. gawker.com was the first source to break the news. their editor saying he travelled to toronto after he was approached to buy the
crack-smoking mayor videotape. the gawk et editor said he see the tape. he is sure it is the mayor in the tape but he did not buy the tape. the price was too high but nevertheless he want you to know it exist. the news is kind of like that today, right? even before you get to today's details in the trial in italy where some of the prostitutes at his parties were allegedly paid to dress up like president obama, for whatever reason. yeah, it is just that kind of day in the news. but in washington today, it is still scandal o' clock. all day long. grilled in a congressional agency with using political sounding words, under scrutiny. the attorney general said he did tell two higher ups at treasury last june he was going to be doing this investigation into how the conservative groups were treated. he told the deputy treasury
secretary and he told the general council treasury that he was starting this inquiry into whether conservatives were unfairly singled out. he told them he was starting the inquiry but obviously not what the inquiry found since he hadn't found anything yet because he was just getting started. republicans seized on this news today because of the timing. saying it is important that there were administration officials outside just the irs itself who knew before the election that there was at least a potential problem with the irs targeting conservative groups. shouldn't that have been disclosed publicly. couldn't that become an issue in the election had the administration disclosed that that investigation was under way before everybody voted. so that what happened today in today's hearing on the irs scandal. don't worry. in case you missed today's hearing on the irs scandal, there will be many more. there will be endless hearings on this. at least it seems. the next ones are already scheduled for tuesday and wednesday of next week. this is the new story that the
republicans and even the democrats this time will make their obsessive 24-hour a day investigative reason for living from here on out. and they have time to do that in part because the other scandal that the republicans have been obsessing on in trying to ring for all its worth for months now, has kind of fallen apart in the last few days. more specifically, it is actually just taken a really hard turn in the past few days. it was this time last week when the benghazi scandal finally crossed over into a mainstream concern, right? instead of just fuelling all caps exclamation point mispelled chain e-mail letters on the right. this time last week abc news blew this story wide open. when i say they blew this story, i mean seriously, they totally blew it. >> now to the white house, challenged today during leadership crisis. a crisis about what the president did on benghazi and we're talking about eight months ago when four americans died.
abc's we've white house correspondent jonathan karl broke the story that created a storm today. >> he did create a storm. the abc report caused all three network newscast to report on the scandal of benghazi. not just for fox news any more and talk radio. it is abc news and cbs news and nbc news. all of cable news. that was friday. then sunday morning, oh, boy, all for sunday morning talk shows. abc and nbc and cbs and fox news sunday all leading with benghazi. wow, thanks, jonathan karl. thanks, abc. now this is the biggest story in the country because of the damning e-mails that abc news said it had obtained. >> saying in an e-mail obtained by abc -- >> obtained. obtained by abc. this is ending up being the key point there. an e-mail obtained by abc. abc said overtly they had
obtained these damning white house e-mails. and then in their reporting, which again blew this whole story into a national mainstream news story for the first time ever, which has taken a week to even dissipate. abc printed what they said were direct quotations from these e-mails that they said they had obtained. we now know that abc had not obtained e-mails because the e-mails they were supposedly directly quoting from were actually obtained by other reporters and than published publicly as part after big document dump by the white house. abc bizarrely decided to update their story but not correct it. decided not to apologize for it or retract the false thing they published. turns out to be the most interesting question in all of this, besides when the heck is abc going to correct this, the most interesting question in all of this turns out to be, if abc was not quoting real white house e-mails, they said they were quoting real white house e-mails. they were not. what were they quoting?
and now it turns out we can piece that together from all of the other news agencies trying to reverse engineer this disaster. this false story that went totally wrong this week. what is now apparent is that the same cooked up false account of something that was supposedly said and done by white house officials in the aftermath of benghazi, that false account was written by with what various reporters describe as congressional and republican sources. hey, i think i found the actual scandal. this is how nbc put it. congressional sources discussed with nbc news a report compiled by house republicans that examined a series of e-mails concerning when and how
talking points were crafted about the benghazi attacks. that itself congressional sources discussed with news agencies, a report compiled by house republican. that kind of sourcing itself is an scandal. this becomes a scandal when we learn subsequently that that report that was given to
reporters was a false report. it made up something that the white house supposedly did, that the white house did not do. and they shot that false report to abc news and abc news bought it hook, line and sinker and published it as an exclusive and all of the beltway media and everyone under politics jumped. because now this finally seemed like a scandal. oh, that's what the right has been so upset about. but the scandal is part of it. this idea that the white house got in right after the benghazi attacks happened and started big footing the whole process to make sure that state department would look good. that's the scandal. that's what was supposedly this big bomb shell that abc broke on friday. that scandal that white house weighed in, in the talking points, to make the state department look good, that did not happen. that only happened in the cooked up dossier that republicans in congress wrote themselves, that they said was the work of the
white house, and then they shocked it to the press. and yeah, part of the scandal here is a press scandal. you know what, when you get used like this and you publish false information, false quotes, you have to correct it. but the bigger scandal, is an process matter. an press matter. it is this very stark fact that somebody in congress or somebody working for somebody in congress, a staffer, concocted a big lie to try to make the white house look desperately bad on this benghazi scandal that they otherwise haven't been able to get traction with. who told the lie? a note to my journalist pals, who got involved in this scandal. if your source lied to you, they are not actually a source. they are a con artist and you are their victim. it means you don't have to protect them any more. they are not a source. when you get lied to. when you are a tool of somebody else's deception, when you get lied to, the person lying to you is no longer a source. they are news. their lie to you is itself news.
and can you report that news. republican congressional offices shopped a false dossier as if it was white house's mails. that a story. the office and staffers and members of congress maybe who did that, that is news. and if you know who it is, you can say so. the other thing i would say to my friend in the media on this, is that it is okay to say that you got something wrong. it sucks it say you're wrong. but if you are wrong, it is better to say you're wrong than to not say you're wrong and hope it goes away. i can prove it. it sucks but you can say it. >> i made an error on last night's show. it is
embarrassing. >> i have a correction to make. i had no idea i made this error because i am now an old person. correction, i screwed up. you can do it. the show has been on the air almost five years now, knock on wood, and under that time we've
gotten stuff wrong. one of the things we played a clip from is me screwing up burials versus gallons. that is freaking a barrel is bi. a gallon you can pick up in one hand. but you guys screwing up a benghazi thing, that is way bigger than this. you have to fix it. you put it in quotes. it was an quote. have to fix it. you have to correct it. so that the status. that is the state basically of washington scandal today. but at times like this in our politics, sometimes it feels like the individual circumstances of each individual scandal unfolding through each individual hearing they feel like the individual circumstances matter less than the overall me meant um comes with washington, you can feel it clicking over into scandal mode, right? hold on, we're going into a tunnel. things are about to look very
different. once you are in scandal mode, it is like if you have a fur wleel drive vehicle and you have to click over into locked hub four wheel drive low. locked hub four wheel drive low is great for getting yourselves out of really sticky situations p . churning through deep mud. if you want it proceed on pavement towards transporting yourself somewhere, four wheel low is not actually going to get you there. that's kind of where we are right now. we're in scandal mode. does the obama administration have a way to get out of scandal mode. or is this indefinite if not permanent now? does the obama administration need to get washington out of scandal mode or is there some way as them seeing this as not all bad for them. and has barack obama the man, or barack obama the politician, even before he was president, ever been through a period like this in his life? in his personal or political
history, has he ever been through this type of trial? does his past tell us anything about what might happen next in joining us is david axelrod. he is now director of the institute of politics at university of chicago and msnbc senior political analyst. thank you for being here. >> thank you. i'm nostalgic listening to the the recounting of the week. i'm missing washington so much. >> yeah, i bet. well you have known president obama for a long time. you've been with him through his political career. has he ever been through a very difficult sort of multifaceted period like this? personally or politically, have you seen him through periods like this before? >> oh, yes. under fact i have experienced with him. first, understand we went through a whole campaign in 2007-2008. principally 2007 in which the whole washington establishment was writingity office in competence. then during the presidency we
have had these episodes. when i watched the news this week, i was getting flashbacks it that week in the spring of 2010 when the oil leak leak erupted. you remember, the president wasn't passionate enough. didn't move quickly enough. his staff are a bunch of idiots. he ought to get rid of this them. this is obama's katrina. fining moment of his presidency. will he ever recover from this. i must say, i don't think there was one mention of the oil leak during the whole 2012 campaign. but washington tends to get itself into a tizzy and every event is treated as if it is the defining event. at least for the number of hours and dayes it goes on for, then the town moves on to its next obsession. and i suspect that that is what is going to happen here. this will play out. we will come out of it.
and i don't think any of these things will have a lasting difining impact. i think the danger of it is that it eats up time and when you're in your second term, everyday is precious and trying to get some things done. ailing and when the town is spinning on these faux scandals, it takes up time. >> is there anything the administration aught to be doing to stop burning up so much time? >> you know, i actually think that they did some -- smart things this week. i think getting those e-mails out quickly this week, reintroducing the media shield act, and in terms of dismissing the director of the internal revenue service and initiating, you know, a process of review, i think those things are all
important. and valuable. and you know, the thing that is also worth reviewing here is there are serious issues behind each of these questions. it is just not what anybody is talking about. there is no doubt that benghazi was a great tragedy and a tragic series of missteps and errors that led up to it in terms of the safety of those people. nobody ever dismissed that. in fact the state department, the review board issued a scathing report. are we going to have more resources to report on the embassy. the irs. and not just happened and why but how do you deal with the 501c4s. are they political or not? i happen to believe they are political. maybe they don't warrant the treatment they get from the irs. though that should be examined
across the board. i've been pleased to see on the ap story that we thousand hanow of born again defenders of the free do. press. we will see if that goes through to vote for a media shield law. if that is what comes from this, that's positive. but none of that is being discussed now. the scandal mania is a stride in washington and that has it purn burn itself out. >> in terms of how quickly it will burn itself out and whether or not new revolutions to continue on, today, the seems like what emerged from the hearing about the irs scandal is the idea the inspector general notifies higher-ups at treasury, so outside the irs, at the treasury agency, that they are looking into the issue of whether or not there was mistreatment in the application process by the irs. they had known and they knew before election season.
does that not open up you guys from the campaign and from the charge you should have let that be publicly known that that investigation was under way. it would have had an effect on the election, effects people, as we see now. >> i didn't know anything about that as it was going on. one of the things, rachel, when you look at how utterly assanine it was -- i mean it made sense from a technical standpoint that a lot of these organizations sprung up in the middle of the election, so it may have been fair to surmise that they weren't really social welfare organizations, but just from a political standpoint, it was ludicrous to do what they do. and there is prima facs facia evidence. and i'm told there were result of the review and people waiting
to react on the review. i don't know if it would have had a great impact. none of these questions were swirling around. maybe it would have. but i suspect it would just energy the joys people that were already energized. ooze i move around the country, i don't know that all of this is kitchen table talk for anybody out here in america. maybe in washington. obviously people are concerned about manipulation of the irs for political purposes, if that's what happened. but you have an inspector general who testified today that that's not what happened. that's not what he believed happened. and so you know, i do think that, yes, there will churn. i think there's a danger for the republicans that if they overplay it, a lot of folks out here for whom this isn't kitchen table talk will say, when will they get to stuff that actually
matters to us. when will they deal with something that has consequence in our lives. >> weren't we going to get to immigration, to gun background checks, and, and, and, and -- >> not to mention the budget. >> david axelrod, msnbc senior political analyst. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> next, i will talk about a man wearing a strange wig in a completely legitimate news context. not only because it is friday, but it is friday of this week and this is when wigs in the news end up being normal. yeah, that's next. we had never used a contractor before
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this is the pursuit of perfection. this is james traf encan't. once a member of congress from ohio. he was thrown out of congress after convicted of taking bribes, racketeering, all kind of stuff. he is an amazing story for a lot of reasons. let's not beat around the bush here. obviously the thing that he is most remembered for is, oh, my god, look at his hair. it is amazing hair. and nobody else in history has ever had hair like that, except apparently this guy. ta da. an american named ryan fogal, who worked at the american embassy in moscow. he was arrested this week while apparently wearing the world's most astonishing and ridiculous wig. that is a still picture from the
video of ryan fogal's arrest released to the russian pleeda. there was video of his arrest and elaborateer. walk that fsb made him do. russians filmed the arrest, filmed him handcuffed, with the wig and hat. filmed him being escorted into a car, into a building and then we see him waiting to be questioned by the fsb. the fsb is what the kgb used to be like, right? than they lay out on the table and show us the spy gear they allegedly caught him with. here is the thing. this is the long oddly transfixing video we got from the russian is last week of ryan fogal. now look at this. this is a documentary from 1986 showing a cia operate of named michael sellers arrested and interrogated in 1986 opinion
look at the video side by side. we see both men taken in for questioning. seeing them sitting awkwardly at this table. almost from the same angle. in both videos we can't see the eye didn identity of the men can them and asking them questions. then there is a table of spy care. multiple eye glasses, recording devices, a loit colored wig that fits into a hat. this arrest this week in hoss could you, this oddly choreographed performed for the cameras arrest for the supposedly american spy in moscow this week is basically an exact replay of the exact thing that russians did to great propaganda effect in 1986. right down to the retro cold war era spy gear that they say they caught him with and showed with such pride in theer. walk video. this could mean that the cia still goes to the same wig store and buys the same wigs for their
spies decade after decade. or it could mean that it is the same wig from 1986 that has been at a filing cabinet at the kgb -- sorry, fsb, ever since. they dug out the wig for the spy versus spy coup just like the cold war all over again. there are a lot of fishy details. first, the austin powers spy kit they allegedly found on the spy. bad wigs, compass, pocket knife, and spy recruitment letter that starts with, dear friend. then offs between $100,000 up to a million dollars for the subject work in spying. come on. if he was going to meet with his target in person why would he write down his spy offer on a piece of paper and have it in his pock snet so he would have no denying it if he was caught
in person. this is not diminished by the fact that russians released audio as well. audio they say is ryan fogal making the same weird up front expensive cash offer for spying over the phone. >> . is that real? the truth is, we don't really know what is going on. maybe ryan fogal is a real spy and that the wig he picked for his spy job. but consider the timing here. they arrested this guy monday night. on tuesday, the russian ambassador who the russian government hates, he was scheduled to do a twitter q & a with the public. he was scheduled to do that 2:30
local time tuesday. and at 2:30 local time on tuesday that is when the russian government released the news they arrested this spy. this guy in the terrible wig. hey, here is the pictures. here is the video. washington post pointed out that timing this week. then the day after they announce ided the arrest, that when john kerry had a high profile meeting in the russian government with the foreign minister. an embarrassing thing to happen right before the meeting, right? then an fsb spokesman reportedly reveals the identity, revealing name of american cia station chief in moscow. wow. we do not know if ryan fogal is a spy. we do not know if that was his real spy gear, real spy wig, or all a plan to make the u.s. look stupid. we do not know. until we know, there is no reason to speculate. but until the saga unrolls, we
agree with james trafica fl t should sue to get his hair back. or sue for royalties when they make the bad movie out of this. . a talking train. should sue to get his hair back. or sue for royalties when they make the bad movie out of this. should sue to get his hair back. or sue for royalties when they make the bad movie out of this. should sue to get his hair back. or sue for royalties when they make the bad movie out of this. should sue to get his hair back. or sue for royalties when they make the bad movie out of this. should sue to get his hair back. or sue for royalties when they make the bad movie out of this. should sue to get his hair back. or sue for royalties when they make the bad movie out of this.
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current chevy owners trade up to this 2013 chevy silverado all-star edition with a total value of $9,250. plus get america's best pickup coverage including 2 years of scheduled maintenance. it tourns out there may be a solution at hand for one of the things that in the obama administration everybody said was going to be impossible to fix. i realize it is totally typical to break it kind of news late on a fry night. but it can't abe voided and it is potentially really important. it is about the very first thing that president obama did when he became president in 2009. his first official act as president was to sign a directive ordering that off-shore prison we've been maintaining in communist cuba
should be shut down. he said it should be shut down within a year. it was the second part to that order though. the president also ordered at the same time that there be a review of every case of every prisoner at that prison to determine what should happen to him. should they be prosecuted, set free, should they be sent home but sent home to rison? should they be held on to for trial for a while longer to pretend they weren't there or why the prison needed to be in cuba? those reviews for every prisoner all ordered by the president at the same time as part of that very first thing that he did as a new president. and it is interesting, since he has been president, not a single new person has been sent to that prison that we keep in cuba. there have been no additional prisoners added. but obviously we have not closed it yet either. there were 2 h 2 people in prison there when president obama took off. there are now 166 men there. only 9 of the 166 have been charged or convicted of any
crime the rest are in this limbo. the limbo that the administration says it wants it end. of all the guys left there, most of them are from one country. when we first opened up this prison in cuba an started sending guys there a ton of them were from afghanistan, from saudi arabia. but almost all of those folks are gone now. not all of them but almost all of them are. the ones who are left are numerically, mostly, from this place. there is 166 guys at guantanamo and 88 of them are from the nation of yemen. of those 88 guys, 59 of them have been cleared by that review process to go home. just like the saudis did and just like the afghans did and most of all the other people from the other countries heavily represented at this prison, these guys from yemen, most of them, were cleared. they were set to start going home in december 2009. until a guy with ties to al qaeda in yemen tried to bomb an american plane with a bomb stuffed in his underpants at
christmas time 2009. that put a hold on plans to send prisoners home to yemen. that eventually led to congressional defacto bans on the u.s. government sending anyone to yemen from guantanamo. so this is something president obama wanted to get done, close this prison. but he has been stuck with this prison that congress won't let him close. he is stuck with a roster of mostly yemen prisoners who are mostly cleared to be released but he is blocked from releasing tlem. and now a majority of the prisoners at guantanamo are refusing food and hunger striking buzz they think there is no end to any of it. but we now know, at least we can maybe know enough to imagine, how this might end. at least how some of it might end. when attorney general eric holder walked into the hearing where he testified for four solid hours this week on scandal-ramma, as the attorney general was walking into the hearing room, a protester yelled at him.
>> mr. attorney general, when are you going to appoint a special envoy to guantanamo. the attorney general did not answer. they never do. the protester was eventually thrown out. but then during the hearing the attorney general did say this -- >> there are steps that the administration can do, and that we will do, in an attempt to close that facility. there are a substantial number of people who can for instance be moved back to yemen. the president put a hold on that given the situation going on in yemen. that is something we have to review. i think the president indicated we will be taking new action in that regard. >> taking renewed action in that regard. not talking about specifically sending people to yemen but he did raise sending people to yemen as something they are looking at doing maybe soon. the l.a. times has sense pulled that thread from that commentary and is pausing with the fact
there is a new government in yemen now. might be what is making this previously undoable thing suddenly maybe doable. quote, of the 866 prisoners approved by presidential task force four years ago for prance fer out of guantanamo, 59 are yemen and there is the important part, their new government wants them back. citing the emergence of a more collaborative leadership under yemen's flu president, the country's officials have been lobbying washington to return their countrymen. so we don't necessarily want them. they desperately want tlem. they have been cleared for release. anybody else sensing that something might be conceivably about to happen here? joining us now is gregory johnson, the author of "the last refuge". yemen, al qaeda and the war in arabia. gregory johnson, thank you for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> why would their government want them back.
>> well, the former president, dictator of yemen, in power for more than three decade, he knew how important closing guantanamo bay was to president obama. and he played politics with it. he essentially held the prisoners ransom a second time trying to get as much from the obama administration as he possibly could. the new government, has very little domestic base of support. so what he need is a lot of international support particularly from the united states, to offset his lack of domestic support. so what he's doing is essentially being a very flexible partner willing to take these off president obama's hands. >> is he doing a good job at this diplomacy? is he asking for the right things and making his offers the right way? >> that's a very interesting point because just last week yemen's minister for human right showed up in washington thinking she was going to lobby for the release of these 59 individuals. her trip was scheduled to be ten days long. she left after three days.
she didn't get the meeting she thought she was going to get. she was very upset with the reaction from the american. very upset with how her own embassy staffed her and she left washington in a huff. >> wow. does that mean there is a bigger hurdle to this than we thought based on the calculations on paper. >> well, there is guantanamo bay. there is always a big hurdle. this is something president obama has been talking about since day two. this is the same week that president obama signed the legislation saying he would close guantanamo, this new group shows up with two former detainees. he tried again at the end of the year, there's the underwear bomber. every time the president makes a move on this, something from yemen comes up, trips him up. >> in terms of the objections to sending whether or not it is safe to send former guantanamo prisoners who have been cleared for release in terms of their raw assessment of dangerousness, however they do that, in terms of whether or not it is safe to send them to a place like yemen,
could this government or the previous government make any meaningful assurances about that. is any of that substantive or is any of it politics this is. >> mostly it has to do with trust. the bush administration sent people back it saudi arabia because it trusted the saudi government. some people back it afghanistan because it trusted in sort of a way, what the afghan government was. there hasn't been that same amount of trust in yemen. and the real irony is that the group in yemen, al qaeda, the group responsible for the underwear bombs, that group has guantanamo detainees in it. but they are not yemenis, they are saudis. >> and why were they operational? because they had room to maneuver. >> that's correct. >> anything in terms of what you see as in terms of operational move to move in what the group has there? is there any chance of meaningful pressure from them from the domestic government? is it all imposed from the u.s. and cia military move pt?
>> that a good question. right now the group is under pressure but most of it is from drones and airstrikes. but the yemeni government right now, we have to remember that arab spring, in egypt meu barry goes to prison. sulla didn't lose, he just stepped down from being the president. he is still a political figure. there is all of these tensions, behind the scenes maneuvering between the different factions and the yemeni government doesn't have complete control over large portions of the country right now. >> gregory, i know you are a yemen expert. not necessarily a guantanamo expert. but if you -- if something was able to be worked out an these 59 guys were shipped from cuba to home to yemen like the yemeni government is arguing for, do you think that would ehe is not blly be the key to closing guantanamo. >> it would be i think a large step towards closing guantanamo. you i think there is a bigger
issue, and that is keeping people indefinitely detained outside the legal framework. and so president obama is very clear that he want to close guantanamo bay. but at the same time, his administration appears to want to continue to indefinitely detain many members outside of any sort after legal framework and so, you can sort of get away with the -- with sort of the reer toal value of closing guantanamo bay while keeping the policies that underlie it in place. i think that's the real initiative. >> they say they only want it for a small number of people but if you have extra detention -- >> exactly. >> gregory johnson, thank you so much. been following you from a far for a long time. nice to have you here. okay, gregory's book is linked at maddowblog.com. all right, we will be right back. what upgraded experiences really mattered... you suggested luxury car service
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then news of the multi million dollar atm cash heist in manhattan and two dozen other cities. today, news of the 300,000 euros of jewelry heisted from a motel near the cannes film festival. even before today's news, it has been a particularly heisty news psych em. if that heisty news cycle spurred your appetite for legitimate mysteries in news, we have got one for you. that's our closing story tonight. it is really good. stay with us. all business purchases. so you can capture your receipts, and manage them online with jot, the latest app from ink.
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otherworldly things. but there are some things i've never seen before. this ge jet engine can understand 5,000 data samples per second. which is good for business. because planes use less fuel, spend less time on the ground and more time in the air. suddenly, faraway places don't seem so...far away. ♪ even a person with very, very good eyesight needs a magnifying glass to look at this, the oxford english
dictionary. this is for people that love the english language so much, you're willing to devote to it serious shelf space and potentially serious eye strain. these two volumes here, this is the compact edition, this is the little one. the one that condenses 20 giant volumes of regular print into two volumes of impossible to read print. one of the reasons the oed is important is that it is a historical dictionary that tells you not only the meaning of the word but traces the evolution of that meaning. when you look through your magnifying glass at what you're looking up, you can see it citing for each definition the first two works of literature in which that word appears. it includes sentences, poetic lines in which the word appears, so you can see where it came from. let's take the word fringy. according to oxford english dictionary, one of the meanings of fringy is, quote, furnished or adorned with fringe or
fringes. covered with fringes. and the oed cites a work called crochet castle as the first example in literature of using the word fringy. 1831. all that surrounded their eyes. as fringy as the morning sky. it is reasonable to be a dork about the oed. whatever book you buy comes with a magnifying glass. it is fascinating and useful. here is how it was first used lines, it is an invaluable resource if interested in the word. here is the mystery in today's news. oed editors, oxford english dictionary editors have been compiling and refining dictionary citations since the 1800s, and use thousands of sources. one of the sources used over and over and over again for dozens of words in the oed, maybe it doesn't exist. maybe it does but they can't
find it anywhere and has the oed editors stumped. if we go back to the word fringy, the second documented use of that word to mean covered with fringes, it is from this. an 1852 book called meanderings of memory. the usage was fluttering as the man tell's fringy rim. all in all, 51 citations in the oed come from this book, meanderings of memory. this book is cited all over the oxford english dictionary to define the earliest usage of words like chapelled, couchward, epistle, revirginize, seriously, skaf aj, vermined. whinge. one of my favorites ever.
but there's crisis as to where it came from. all of those words are sourced to meanderings of memory, which presumably was owned by at least one of the earlier editors of the oxford english dictionary which is why it is all through this book. recently, when modern staff was working on the entry for revirginize, to render verge nal again, to purify or renew, they want to the original source, meanderings of memory, known only as night lark. when the staffer went looking, the book itself is nowhere to be found. chief bib lee og rafr went looking. nobody can find the book and no signs of its existence. the only is from a book seller catalog from 1854. meanderings of memory written and published by a well known
connoisseur. but that's all we've got. 51 word are homeless in history. who is nightlark, what kind of book is meanderings of memory and how come nobody can find it. one of the operating theories is that the book, it is embarrassing, the book is maybe porn. if it was 1852 era porn, it wouldn't have been cataloged in the normal way and would be hard to find. but they have no idea. oed is turning to the public for help. putting out a call to check your shelves, check the remainder table for this important and possibly porny rare book. have you ever seen a copy of this book? can you identify the well known connoisseur mentioned by the book seller? it isn't often dictionary folks come asking us regular people for help. when they do, i feel we should help when we can. obviously they need the help.
please, if you know anything about this, let us know, we will pass it on. that's your weekend assignment. that does it for us. see you monday, very close up, now that you have been good and watched us a whole hour, now you have to go to prison. due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. it's like being buried alive. >> we house the worst of the worst. >> i'm going to ask you one more time and that's it. >> i've been in two riots. >> prison is no good place. >> he grabbed my arm, ran a razor blade down my arm. >> i'm in effect a child molester. >> i'm not going to change my views on the death penalty just because i'm facing the death penalty. >> cable into the base of the chair. you don't go to death watch and come back to live to tell about it.