tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC July 19, 2013 9:00am-10:01am PDT
hands after federal judge. kevin orr says nothing will change in regard to city services and paybacks but one of the biggest and controversial issues to be worked out in court is the fate of benefits for nearly 10,000 city employees an pensions for 20,000 retirees. orr contends he recommended the chapter 9 filing for the safety and welfare of detroit's citizens. >> does anybody think it is okay to have 40-year-old trees growing through the roofs of dilapidated houses? does anybody think that they should call the police and not be able to come on time because they're already out on calls? >> once the fourth largest city in america, detroit has now fallen to 18th. the city's population has dropped by 63% since 1950 from nearly 2 million residents to around 700,000. 78,000 buildings are abandoned and the median home value is just $45,000, meaning that it is lower than the median income in
america. the homicide rate is at its highest level in 40 years and residents wait an average of 58 minutes for police to respond to their calls. more than five times the national average. less than 9% of crimes are solved by detroit's police, and 2 in 3 ambulances are out of service. unemployment is at 16.3%. more than double the national average. 40% of the city's street lights don't work. detroit is quite literally trapped in the dark age. the following months or perhaps years will determine if bankruptcy marks the final act or the beginning of a new detroit. joining me today, host of her own show on msnbc, melissa harris perry, former national committee chair and founder of democracy for america, former vermont governor, howard dean. "wall street journal" and contributor and author of "but mama always put vodka in her sangria," julia reid and editor
of buzz feed, ben smith. governor, to you first. those statistics are devastating. i wonder as someone who used to run a state what do you make of this? >> this is really complicated. you have to do this. the analog is private second sector, you can bring order to the city's finances immediately or fairly quickly. then you'll sort out these really difficult claims. these folks who have earned their pensions are going to lose something. the question is how much. i imagine that the controller or whoever kevin orr's title is went to each of them and none of them would be very flexible. now this is the process you have to go through. detroit's going to come back. it is going to come back. when you have a median home price of $45,000, people are going to go buy those houses sooner or later but you've got to have a government to run the place. >> that part about having a government. we can talk about the microstory of detroit but it seems to me that detroit as always is
standing in or all kinds of things about america. in the case of detroit the reason that the tax base becomes so small is because of a loss of population. right? folks move out, they're not there to pay taxes on the homes and that kind of deterioration is what you see in the numbers you suggested. but this lack of tax base is also exactly the thing that many republicans would impose on us even when our cities have sufficient populations, even when our communities have sufficient populations. this is what it looks like when government is small enough to drown if your bathtub and it is not a pretty picture. >> julia, you just sounded a note of confidence that you think detroit will come back. >> earlier today we heard former governor john engler call this detroit's katrina. i was in new orleans before katrina and i'm still there now. it took me a long time to commit to moving full time to that city because it was on the same inexorable sort of slide, slap into the river that detroit is.
you don't want a hurricane of massive proportion to wreck a city but you learn to take your silver linings where you can. this can be a real catalyst for detroit. we had no business -- at least they've still got some -- they've got major industry still there. we had nothing but like -- literally the only economic base in new orleans was tourism. so now we have all these entrepreneurs. we have something called -- i'm sure melissa is familiar with -- called idea village where these guys come to new orleans and give seed money to entrepreneurs which we never had -- no entrepreneurial spirit in new orleans before katrina. you need those kind of people to come and use detroit as a lab. because it is not the only city on the verge of bankruptcy is the other thing. you need brilliant minds to descend on the city like -- like they have in new orleans. we have great educational minds there. rebuilding the school system. this could be a real fabulous wake-up call for them. >> i know, ben, that detroit is trying to attract and has attracted some high-tech
start-up business. there is also the question of scale. if you look at manufacturing jobs in detroit, in 1950 there were 296,000 manufacturing jobs. in 2011 there were 27,000. it is i think the story of the big three auto companies is a good one but there is the question of sort of what fills the manufacturing gap not just in detroit but in cities across the country and the rust belt. >> i'm not surevy an answer. new york city almost went bankrupt in the '70s. you had these powerful figures in finance that muscled the banks. i do think you've got to separate the government a little from what's happening on the ground. these debts which have been accrued over years and decades are totally crushing. there are signs that on ground in detroit, there are people buying these incredibly affordable homes now. i think there is at least an
argument, even though the government is a catastrophe, elements of civil life -- >> but you can't have to wait 50 minutes for an ambulance or police car. >> as much as the story of new orleans recovery is in part a story about entrepreneurs and idea village, it is also the story of many millions of dollars of federal government funds that came -- i mean. it is not idea village is paving the road finally in mid city. right? so i think again to the extent that we take it -- again there's the micro question of how does detroit get out of this. do i think $20,000 homes. median price is $45,000. there is really a bunch of nice structures you can buy for $20,000. but people have to have a reason. >> we're into the going to get manufacturing jobs back. that's a national phenomenon. we put millions into detroit, too. thank god barack obama bailed out the auto industry or they
would have nothing. what is going to make this work is young people creating their own reality in detroit. >> that's another thing that happened in new orleans. we had youth flight. every single person who's wanted to get out of towns and had the means to do it left. tl tulane university tripled. people wanted to come there sglp they are still running the school system. >> some of the brightest minds in education are using new orleans as a pea ttri dish. >> that's an active part of the american imagination in new orleans. being a new orleanian and not being -- you film a show here. being there is like it is almost like -- i won't say a civic duty, i think you probably feel a certain amount of pride living in that city and being someone that's stuck there. >> look, it is an actual thing to be a new orleanian but the
same thing we could say about detroit. detroiters are in this great e dyasper all over the country. new orleans must be there because that's our -- we are the port city. right? it matters that we exist in that space. similarly i think we have to ask what is it about detroit that becomes the kwiquintessential tg beyond the romanticism of detroit and brings people back into those houses. and that we do that rebuilding in a way that's just. the other struggle that continues in new orleans is that even as this rebuilding occurs, it doesn't always occur in ways that are just and equitable. >> today detroit is 82% black. in 1950, it was 82% white. i want to ask you about the pension question. half of that $18 billion in debt is pensions. "usa today" contends that the
municipal bankruptcies also tend to have something that unites them, a decision to make unrealistic and inflexible pension promises for the public workers. as pension costs skyrocket driven up by elected officials long gone when the bills come due, cities are forced to raise taxes or cut services to meet their obligations. frustrated city residents move elsewhere. somehow detroit needs to be restored to its proper status. more important, the rest of the country needs to learn its lesson. >> this story is not about detroit. it is about a failure of democracy. we see public officials all over the country making stupid short-term decisions so they don't have to make tough longer-term decisions. they all do it. virtually all of these folks -- not all of them because bloomberg hasn't for the most part but there are a lot of n m people in both parties have kicked the can down the road. congress does it every day. they will not make hard decisions about money. if you don't want a give a pay
increase. that's not just detroit. republicans are doing it just as much as democrats. >> labor leaders are signing off on deals that they maybe ultimately can't deliver. >> that's true. it is all short-term politician. >> there was some contention that maybe detroit sort of experienced this auto boom and thus promises were made thinking the manufacturing would continue. >> the promise was thinking somebody would save their butt and stay in office. >> we saw how that ended. you. it is a fascinating, on some levels tragic, but perhaps hopeful story about a great american city. by will continue to follow it. darrel issa. next on "now."
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in a summer full of explosive reports and sizzling leaks, the so-called scandal over the irs' targeting of political groups was supposed to be a roman candle setting ablaze the night sky with political pyrotechnics. >> we are waiting for what could be a bombshell hearing today if the reports are correct. it is going to look into the irs targeting scandal. >> darrel issa, the republican chairman of the committee, has said they have new testimony, they've interviewed some new witnesses who have evidence that issa claims tomorrow will reveal that this goes way higher up in the government. he has not said to you or anyone else, i don't think, that he can
tie it in to the white house. not at this point. >> watch tomorrow -- well, what he has said to me today is make sure we watch tomorrow's hearing because he is going to present the evidence to prove it. >> all right fop prove what. >> that they can get it right all the way up into the white house before it was all revealed. >> really. for months one of the most generally outraged members of congress and also the chair of the house oversight committee darrel issa insisted it was a politically motivated operation. he even suggests it went to the highest ranks of the u.s. government. >> this was the targeting of the president's political enemies effectively and lies about it during the election year so that it wasn't discovered until afterwards. for years the president bashed the tea party groups. he was very public against these groups and on his behalf, perhaps not on his request -- on his behalf the irs executd a delaying tactic against the very groups that he talk about.
>> but as of today, no sparks, no roman candles, and very little sizzle. the problem with issa's accusations -- and it is kind of a big problem -- is that recently reveal documents show the irs with a wasn't just targeting tea party groups, they were also targeting progressive groups. the revelation would seem to put to rest theories about a consheco conspiracy against the president's enemies. though issa's campaign lives on. yesterday he penned an op sed in "usa today" asserting the irs tea party trail leads to d.c. after the hearing, russell george testified the irs simply failed to provide him with documents to show him targeting progressive groups. is excessive micromanagement the same thing as targeting the president's inms.? especially when it seems like some of the president's friends were being targeted, too. when the irs employees were
asked whether they knew of any political motivation behind the micromanagement, issa's roman candle of a scandal started looking pretty dim. >> based on your own personal experience did you ever receive direction from anyone in the white house concerning your handling of the tea party applications? >> no, sir, i did not. >> do you have any knowledge, personal knowledge of the president digging through, white house dille through other people's tax returns? >> no, i do not have any personal knowledge. >> do you have any knowledge? >> no, sir, i have none. >> do you have any reason to believe that this decision to have the irs chief counsel's office review tea party cases was motivated by political bias? >> no, i do not. >> were any of you intimidated or contacted or influenced in any way, shape or form by the obama campaign committee to do anythi anything, mr. hall? >> no, i was not contacted. >> no, ma'am, i was not.
>> when issa was leaving the hearing yesterday he appeared to be looking for something. quite possibly the scandal itself. melissa, we pose the meta question. is there a there there -- here. and it seems to me that there's not a lot of there there. >> as you were speaking you said the fact that they were both tea party groups and progressive groups means that some of the president's friends were targeted. i thought yeah, but those hoe progressive groups that could be out to get the president more than the tea party. this was a ready made kind of scandal in that people dislike the irs. if you have a story about the irs doing something bad, being directed to do something bad by the white house, people aren't going to really like that. it will be less the retraction
of it or the saying there's no there there will never penetrate as far as the initial scandal belief. that would be durable even going into the next election. so in that sense they may have scored one here. but i think in terms of our actual concern as american citizens about whether or not the irs is actually doing something that's politically motivated, which we should all care about, even on the left, i do believe there is very little evidence that that seems to be going on. >> i think -- the question is obscured by did obama direct this. nobody thinks actually db maybe darrel issa does, but nobody thinks obama's sitting around like nixon and gone mitchell drinking scotch at 3:00 in the morning, say going get those guys, i hate them! that isn't happening. i myself think i would like a real calm investigation of this. not all this obfuscation. those same people who said no, obama did not direct us to do this did say in other parts of their testimony they were told to report to washington with some of this information. i just think if i were a
progressive or a take partier, neither of which i am, i would feel better if we had an investigation. this is the arm of the government that takes our money -- all of it, pretty much lately. and they're getting ready to have more power when the health care law kicks in. i think it is crazy to say darrel issa is an idiot, we don't care about this, there's no there there. let's prove there's no there there. how about that idea? >> we have the fast and furious, benghazi, this. he is a proven entity as far as scandals. >> let's take him out of the equation. we are really talking about the irs. >> but when you do look at the facts, it looks like tea party groups numbers wise came under more scrutiny. you look at the spent -- election spending by social welfare groups which includes 501c3s and 4s. 81% of that money came from conservative groups. that's where the action is.
>> you are right to be freaked out with the irs and what they are doing. look at the nsa lev ratirevelat. i don't think it is unimaginable that these things happen. it happened 30 years ago. but i think it is a situation where the rules are so unclear. that's where you get abuses of power is where brewercrats don't have clear rules to follow. it is such a mess right now over what happened kind of political money can be regulated. the supreme court's left it basically in shambles and very difficult to clarify. >> i hadn't considered it until relatively recently because i don't like this irs monkeying around in all this stuff. they may actually be trying to do their job. what the supreme court did when they gutted campaign finance reform is basically allow people to make charitable donations ostensibly not for political purposes but they're bending the rules. so somebody's going to say wait a minute, you can't give -- get charitable deductions for giving to political campaigns which is
essentially what the supreme court has muddied the waters on. >> they are taking deductions -- >> they're certainly getting the secrecy. >> even the change in the rules where it says partially or exclusively. >> so what the irs is basically trying to do is stop abuses. and have you a clown running the investigation which doesn't help their credibility. >> there's another alternative here which is to say maybe no non-profits hud have the same sp free speech rights as corporations. not whether the irs attempted to do their job actually went after one set of groups or another. maybe we also need to ask -- it would i think challenge the question ofindividual deduction. it might have more interest in
impacting public policy. >> should you be getting a charitable -- i want to get to this point. >> i'm just saying. >> governor, i'd love to know your thoughts on this. on a certain level does it even matter if it is a clown show or not? darrel issa has his message. he's fund-raising off of this. >> but that's the problem with the republicans. they always cater to their base and they can't win. >> darrel issa in the first three months, $290,000, from april 1st to now, $700,000. >> this is where the republicans are really screwing themselves. it's a wing strategy to raise money but they can't do it by making these ridiculous charges again an again and again. barack obama won, in part, because mitch mcconnell said my only mission is to make sure the president of the united states fails. that disgusts most reasonable americans. so yeah, the base is going to get all cranked up. their base is shrinking every day as they die off and they're not being replaced by 35
year-olds who think the way that the tea party not. 35 year-olds are ecumenical, inclusive people who are going to build a different kind of america than the republican party represents. so this is all fine and good for the republican base. it is exactly what their problem is and the smart people in the republican party understand that they can't have darrel issa and mitch mcconnell as their spokesmen if they want to succeed. >> i still think there needs to be an investigation of the irs. i don't understand why -- okay, you can make this into a republican issue or make it into the issue that darrel issa is a buffoon. i still think for most american people, 35, otherwise, care about if the irs has got their act together. i don't think it is a terrible thing just to get to the actual facts of this. >> i agree. i think that's right. >> i think part of the problem is every time we get some version of -- >> get somebody except darrel issa. >> the trouble is ken starr was the last independent counsel and he was a buffoon as well.
>> look. to melissa's earlier point, the balm here from the republicans is we need to stript irs of its funding, get rid of the script and people will just mail in their taxes and we'll yut source it to the u.s. postal service? >> we need to totally deregul e deregulate -- >> we need to make sure there is truth in lending. i love the republican position, let us declare as much as we want as long as we delayer wcla we are. >> what i have -- my take-away from the irs scandal, non-scandal, whatever you want to call it is that these guys seem to be strapped bureaucrats that are really confusing guidelines as far as designating whether you are 501c4 or not. answer is not as house republicans want to cut the
budget. >> they also suspected correctly that people were badly abusing this court decision. >> we have to leave it there but when we come back, christine quinn is often linked to incumbent mayor michael bloomberg. based on the mayor's three-peat, you think that might and good thing? we'll discuss the highs and lows of the bloomberg era and what it means for the road to city hall when kristin kwchristine quinn live ahead in the studio just ahead. good student and multi-policy discounts could save you hundreds of dollus. engineer: uh geico's discounts could save you hundreds of "doll-ars." it sounds like you're saying "dollus." dollus. engineeif you could accentuate the "r" sound of "dollars." are...are... are... engineer: are... arrrrrr. arrrrr. someone bring me an eye patch, i feel like a bloomin' pirate. geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. honestly, i feel like i nailed that.
to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills. ♪ yup. another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap. she is not only new york's first female city council speaker, she's also its first openly gay speaker, not to mention the current leader in the city's crowded may jorl race. with the new challenger making headlines, can christine quinn become new york's first female and openly gay mayor. we'll ask her next on "now." i'm here at my house on thanksgiving day,
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talking a lot without doing much. who might that be aimed at? christine quinn, city council speaker and leading candidate for new york city mayor is the first out of the gate with a tv ad running on broadcast and cable channels across the city. "new york times" poll yesterday found quinn leads the field with 27%, nine points ahead of former congressman anthony weiner. quinn recently accused the disgraced comeback kid by using a kardashian to compare.
>> we all think people deserve second chances. none of us are perfect. the thing about second chances is one, you need to earn them. two, we need to really look at what people were doing before their fall from grace and if you compare anthony weiner's record, he passed one bill in congress. >> the race will also and test of new york city's love/hate relationship with its current mayor, michael bloomberg, though he's stop first of an official endorsement. quinn's critics point she's too cozy with the mayor. according to "new york" magazine, with all the democratic candidates mostly aligned on a host of issues, the key question isn't about the big cultural political issues, abortion, gay rights, gun control. the new unsettled battleground is economic liberalism. and on that front quinn is taking heat from the man in third place, public advocate bill deblasio.
his central promise, is that new york has become dangerously split between rich and poor. he contends that a vote for quinn is a vote in favor of the ever expanding wealth gap exacerbated under mayor bloomberg. but with less than two months to go quinn has maintained her position at the top of the pack and her political chops are on par with the maestro himself. a recent profile of the speaker recalled a fund-raiser a few years ago where "bill clinton told the crowd that his wife had described quinn to him by saying you will not believe how good this woman is. she is even a better politician than are you." joining me now, democratic candidate for mayor, christine quinn. >> thank you for having me. >> wow! better than bubba. doesn't actually get better than that. >> not in my profession. >> just make a t-shirt with that. i want to ask you how the
entrance of the disgraced comeback kid as we're calling him, anthony weiner, has changed your strategy. >> it hasn't actually changed my strategy very much because my strategy was always about to talk about what new yorkers care about -- my record. now my record stands in sharp, sharp contrast to anthony weiner's record. i balanced eight budgets on time. i've passed numerous pieces of legislation, improving the quality of housing, protecting tenants. three-quarters of new yorkers are tenants. i was endorsed yesterday by pro-choice new york in part because of the legislation i've passed in new york to protect a woman's right to choose and i could go on and on about legislation. but anthony really can't. >> anthony can talk about legislation. but when it comes to actual legislation he has sponsored -- >> right. i'm referring to ones i've passed. >> i think in some ways the scandal surrounding the new york ballot which is to say wiener and spitzer has almost clouded -- i think to those of us who really want to debate
about the issues. it is frustrating insofar as we are talking about scandals passed and new york does -- there are questions about the governance of new york city. on that note i want to ask you about some of the stuff bill deblasio has brought. the share of new york city income going to the top percent spiked dramatically. in 2002 the top 1% in new york city earned 27% by total income. by last year, they earned 39% of total income. that is worrisome to people who want to see an equitable society. >> it is more than worrisome. now look, this is a national problem but new york has it tremendously also as a problem. it is an enormous issue. but part of running for mayor and just being mayor isn't about identifying the problem. that's really important and talking about it. it is about getting things done to try to solve that problem. so one of the things you need to do to address income inequality is do everything you can to
create and sustain good jobs. i passed a living wage and a prevailing wage law that raised salaries of workers who get paid or are associated with city dollars. i working with my colleagues brought more manufacturing and high-tech jobs to the city during the recession. nobody else can say that. but more important, i've been working with our city university and the high-tech sector to turn cuni into a pipeline for those google jobs because we need jobs in new york and we need new yorkers to get those jobs. so it is critical to get inkoco inequality under control and part of that is helping to grow good middle class jobs and make sure new yorkers are qualified to have them. achbd's got a lengthy record in that area. >> what about the housing piece? it is not only about having a good job, what can it get you? rents rose 25% between 2005 and
2011. >> one of the worst assaults ever on the middle class in new york city, make no mistake, was when the past new york city council and the state legislature weakened rent protection. that reduction in our tenant laws may have cost us hundreds of thousands of middle class affordable apartments. what i'm mayor i'm going to be a tenant mayor. i'm going to go to albany with the tenants and we are going to fight to strengthen rent protections to bring back affordable housing units. but i also have a plan to build 40,000 new middle income housing units across the city over the next ten years. it's $300 million from our capital budget. given where rates are and how well managed our capital budget is, i would borrow half of it new and i've identified specifically where else in the capital budget i can find the other money. that's going to be another real help to helping middle class people get homes they can afford. we also need to beat on slum
lords. we have 100,000 apartments that are dilapidated. we need to hold landlords accountable fixing those up. the state housing law i passed has started that. in eliminating tens of thousand of danger violations. we've taken the slum lords to court and in 98% or so of the times they have hae to pay fhad pay for it. >> conservative unite against slum lords. i've been privy to slum lords in my youth. i want to ask you sort of about the tutelage of bloomberg. you're your own woman and i don't mean to undermine any of those achievements but bloomberg has essentially shaped the 21st century mayoralty and how we think of new york city and i wonder what you think are the most important lessons you've laerd in his administration. >> you've not to give mayor
bloomberg a ton of credit for having big ideas. sometimes they are ideas i've agreed with. bringing cornell to roosevelt island. that's one of the reasons we're doing so well in tech. bringing a stadium to the west side of manhattan i disagree with but he thought big and he wasn't afraid to fail or to succeed and that's a great quality. sometimes we hold ourselves back, we limit ourselves sglep's so . >> he's sort of uncensored. #realtalk. in some ways it's been very controversial. i think he's said a lot of things that have angled people. it is refreshing to hear a politics that is not just on talking points. >> certain things like stop and frisk he went over the line but he says what he means and means what he says. i think that vision of an elected official, a mayor, who thinks also outside of the limits of city government. he's concerned about what illegal guns are doing to our city, particularly our children. he doesn't say i can't do
anything about it. he pulled mayors together, made it a national issue. same thing on immigration. i want to follow that lead. let's not stay just in the laws of the city, let's push the envelope and move the urban agenda forward. i'm not about waiting for other people to solve our problems. >> municipalities, state houses, that's where the rubber meets the road and that's where change actually happens. speaking of moving, this is a test amount to what a hard-core campaigner you are. you have the picture from the "new york post"? first of all of, nice guns. i'm impressed. >> thank you. >> i barely allow friends into the same exercise classes. you let the "new york post" publish the photo. you are a hard-core campaigner. is this how you get the stress out? >> it is. it is. one of the things about spinning or soul cycle for folks who haven't done it, the muse sick really loud. so if you're hard and you're screaming to let out stress, no one can hear you.
but i hope in a more serious way a message in that story gets out, i hated exercise the whole life. was the gal the gym made money off. i bought the membership and i never went. i'll be 47 later this month. about three years i started spinning and i love it. if you are the person who thinks i'm never going to get hooked on exercise. just keep trying. you you'll end up like me 46 and hooked on spinning. >> let me just say also if you get to city hall -- i would underscore that "if." i know a lot of people are hoping you do get to city hall. you may want to blast the music really loudly. if you are screaming at people or you yourself are skreechling, no one will hear. >> another benefit of music. >> new york city council speaker christine quinn. >> thank you very much. thank you. it is summer, it is friday, for many americans that means it is time to gather around ye old grill. we will examine the country's love affair with hot, hot beat when bon appetit's adam
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grilling and the backyard barbecue is a past time that, like baseball, has become synonymous with the american summer. it is a tradition that's stitched into the fabric of american culture. adam rap pa report writes in had his new defin if i have barbecue guide "the grilling book," there's something about grilling, something that suggests that everything is about to get a lot better, that you won't be cooped up in a
house or apartment but that you'll be outside under the open sky. your friends or family will be joining you. you'll soon have a cold beer -- that sounds so good -- or a glass of wine in your hand and of course you'll be laying something absolutely delicious on that soon-to-be blazing hot grill. joining us, editor in chief of bon appetit, my friend adam rap rappaport. let me first ask you this question. as it is 101 degrees in here, we are flanked by two incredible women from new orleans. the governor of vermont where it is 99 degrees. 99-degree meet index in burlington. nobody i think wants to go outside and grill in this heat. >> no, but our friends from new orleans are like -- this isn't hot! you new yorkers are sissies! we know heat! you think this is humidity? we'll talk to you about
humidity! i think tomorrow it is going to only be 90. >> it is true though that grilling is kind of like -- it has meaning beyond just a great method of cooking. >> it is not that tuesday night dinner where you get home and just want something on the table. it is saturday, you have that drinky your harnd, you can finally exhale. whether you are a great griller or bad griller, you are still having fun. i think that's what americans love about it. it is as much about the ritual and it is the meal. >> julia, you've written about food rituals. in new orleans you have north, south and in between. do you grill in new orleans? >> oh, sure. i keep harking back to katrina. but there is a really legendary restaurant called antoine's in new orleans i have been saying for years were freezing their fish and meat. sure enough, after katrina they
found this defrosting meat. set up the grills and fed the natural guard. >> what is your favorite thing to grill? i know you can grill basically everything but when are you finally echailing on that saturday, beer or wine in hand, what's the rappaport specialty? >> at the end of the day i'm a meat guy. i make amazing barbecued spare ribs. i put that in quotes. they say "grilling ain't barbecues." that chimichurri should be in your fridge all summer. unless you want to be out there for seven hours, i don't. do them a day ahead, season
them, dry rub, slow bake them, then finish them on the grill. i know they are not authentic like memphis ribs or anything -- but they're awesome. >> i have a question. are people less intimidated by approaching grilling than they are from sort of learning to cook in the kitchen? >> yes. first of all, as howard might attest to, all men think they know how to grill. i'm not saying they do but they think they do. >> they're like, it is the men's domain. >> i was finally done in by my daughter who didn't want knee actually do the grilling. i am just allowed to brush the grill, clean it. >> i was telling these guys earlier. near my hometown in mississippi there was little news grief. this guy shot his grilling buddy. he said i told him to keep his hands off my grill. >> the great state of mississippi. >> we do not encourage violence. but there are -- >> but people get emotional. >> it is more than like -- as we
said, just a cooking thing. it is an exercise in manhood. >> it is very primal at the end of the day, cooking over fire. >> people have their own methods and they don't want you to mess with them. >> my father was terrible. i love my dad but he'd always burn the steak. he'd put the top on the grill. >> what do you mean? i always put the stop on the grill -- >> with steak you should never put the top on! >> is that the most common grilling mistake? >> especially with the gas grill. the only way to get the heat is putting the top down. then you're baking, you're not actually grilling. if you put the top down are you basically roasting it through and that's the big problem. it is fine for some things where you want that slower cook like wings or chicken. nobody wants medium rare barbecue chicken. it's okay. what i like about this book, there are just basic guidelines and tips. like you don't have to -- the recipes are one thing. just get the basic techniques
down, whether you want to do asian, middle eastern, anything, flavoring comes second. that's what you use recipes for. >> two questions on tougher stuff. fish and vegetables. now people like to eat a little healthier. >> as do i. i can pretty much throw any vegetable on. bobby flay give me one great piece of advice years ago. cut them thick enough so they don't fall through the grill. or get a basket. second thing, fish, we have this great recipe for fish in foil packets. you put a flounder or halibut in foil. >> governor dean specializes in grilled asparagus which is to tricky for me.
>> with maple syrup from vermont. >> it sounds awful but it is actually delicious. >> when the governor is cooking, it is dlishelicious. >> it is equaled "the grilling book." it is a real beautiful book. i can't wait to come over to your house and have you cook for me. adam rappaport, thank you. thank you to our panel, melissa, howard, julia and ben. i'll see you back here monday. "andrea mitchell reports" is coming up next. the legendary nascar race track with drivers from the coca-cola racing family. coca-coca family track walks give thousands of race fans the chance to get out, get moving, and have fun... all along the way. it's part of our goal to inspire more than three million people to rediscover the joy of being active this summer.
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