tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 30, 2013 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
partner. if it's not, i know i don't. the democrat in the white house made an offer. time for the republicans to match it. if they want a partner in growing this economy, they'll act. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening, from new york. i'm chris hayes. tonight on "all in" a verdict in a trial the likes of which this country has not seen in 150 years. literally. why it matters to every american what wikileaker bradley manning was charged with and what he was convicted of today. also tonight religious scholar raza aslan, being the subject of the most embarrassing interview fox news has ever done. plus, shocking video of white youths rye rotting and running rampant through the streets of huntington beach, california. do we need to have a national
dialogue about the violent destructive white youth culture in this country? i think we do, and it's a conversation you won't want to miss. we begin tonight with president obama who took his campaign-style jobs push to chattanooga, tennessee, today, where he presented himself as a principled idealistic fighter for the middle class who maybe also happens to have the most remarkably poor short-term memory in all of washington. the president using today's barnstorming speech to extend his hand to republicans to offer them a deal even as it's a remote possibility. >> i'm willing to work with republicans on reforming our corporate tax code as long as we use the money from transitioning to a simpler tax system for a significant investment in creating middle class jobs. that's the deal. and, wroyou know, i'm just goino keep on throwing ideas out there to see if something takes. >> that last ad lib line from the president, of course, reflective of the ongoing tension with the republican party opposed to almost
everything that has the president's name attached to it. >> sometimes there were ideas that historically had republican support and for some reason suddenly republicans didn't want to support them anymore. there are a growing number of republican senators who are trying to work with democrats to get some stuff done. that's good news. the bad news is that rather than keep our focus on what should be our priority, which is growing our economy and creating good middle class jobs, we've seen a certain faction of republicans in congress hurt a fragile recovery by saying they wouldn't pay the very bill that congress racked up in the first place, threatening to shut down the people's government if they can't get rid of obama care. >> not to disappoint, republican senator ted cruz today openly advocated for a government shutdown in a speech for theerer t heritage foundation. he said the 1995 government shutdown when bill clinton was president and newt gingrich speaker of the house, the one that has never been repeated
because it thoroughly backfired on republicans, that one, cruz said that one was not a bad idea. >> i think the received wisdom that '95 was a disaster i think is completely wrong. i think it was important that republicans stood for principle and it actually led to some serious solutions to the fiscal and economic challenges facing this country. >> meanwhile, house speaker john boehner's reaction to the president's proposal to cut corporate taxes was an odd one. boehner's spokesman saying, "the president has always supported corporate tax reform. republicans wan to help families and small businesses, too. this proposal allows president obama to support president obama's position on taxes and president obama's position on spending while leaving small businesses and american families behind." that statement exactly articulates the problem. to republicans it's about whose idea it is and not the idea, itself. it doesn't matter if republicans like the idea. if the president likes it, too, they're not having it. if republicans want lower corporate tax rates and the
president wants lower corporate tax rates, why doesn't that open the door to at least a negotiation over the thing both sides agree on? joining me now is congressman jason chaffetz, republican from utah. congressman, last week we had harry belafonte on the program who squashed his beef with jay z on our program. i'm hoping to go two for two here. i'm going to ask you if you're interested in taking the president up on his offer in the cut in the corporate tax rate, some near term spending on job creation in exchange for the cut on the corporate rate. >> hey, look, if the president has an idea in the economy, of course we're going to be an come dating and listening to him. not going to blow it out of the water because he said it. we want to broaden the base, lower the rates and keep it revenue neutral. what the president is advocating is he wants to increase revenues and that's where it becomes inpalatable. i want to talk more about the
economy. >> the revenue increase would be a very short-term spike in the revenue that would be based on how the base was broadened. it would be revenue neutral, my understanding, in terms of the way details are worked out. it would be revenue neutral over the life of the reform. would you be interested in something like that? >> i get very concerned about a tax increase. that's the way i perceive it. now, even gene sperling, head of the white house national economic council said there were no details released in the president's plan today, so i want to see the meat on the bones. democrats are very quick to criticize paul ryan and others for not offering details. well, i would lob that same criticism back at the president today. let's hear some details on this, but do we need tax reform? of course, we're going to engage in that. probably going to happen in the fall. but i think the direction of the president, at least as he initially laid it out, i disagree with the policy, not the fact that the president offered it. >> congressman, hooere's what i have to say about this. i have a tremendous amount of admiration for the discipline of the tea party caucus in the house, as a kind of ideologue,
myself. i have to say, the way i read the situation is i am so thankful for people like yours a yourself and other principled conservative republicans in the house for saying no to grand bargain deal after grand bargain deal after grand bargain deal because what it's meant is things the president has wanted to do that would really anger folks on myself on the left like changing the way social security benefits are calculated or l lowering the corporate tax rate, none of that gets done. in some ways you're the best ally i have in the u.s. government to make sure these deals don't get struck. >> that scares the living daylights out of me. >> that's my point, though. my point is if you take yes for an answer, you're going to get policy that's closer to the things congressman chaffetz like than the things chris hayes likes, yet the republican party seems incapable of saying yes. >> i disagree with that. i sponsored a bill that said people who are a plying for and trying to get federal grants, if they haven't paid their federal
taxes then they shouldn't be able to get those grants. guess what? that was then-senator obama's idea. i took that bill, i sponsored it. i passed it in the house of representatives. it's sitting there in the united states senate. i can point only to the democrats for holding this up, but there's an idea that was originally barack obama's idea. i love it. how come the white house isn't helping me pass something that was the president's idea? and if there's a criticism of house republicans for being obstructioni obstructionists, what is it president obama believes in that the republicans have suggested? certainly there's got to be something. >> lowering the corporate tax rate. he wants it bring it down. i don't want to lower the corporate tax rate. lefties don't want to lower the corporate tax rate. republicans want to lower the corporate tax rate. that's exactly the kind of thing there's common ground on. >> it depends what you're going to do with it. he wants to broaden the base by letting go of loopholes, then he wants to raise revenue. we don't want to raise taxes. the president wants to raise taxes. that's the difference.
>> the concern about raising taxes is an ideological opposition to raising taxes in any way, shape or form? >> no, look, we just fundamentally do not believe that we're one tax increase away from prosperity in this country. and there are lots of things we can do to move the economy forward. look, i am not one. i can't speak for everybody, but i am not one who's going to simply dismiss it because the president offered it. he's the president of the united states. of course i'm going to listen to his ideas. i want him to listen to our ideas as well. it won't be a one-way street. >> the idea is he keeps hearing from the house of representatives as 40 votes to repeal obama care and i feel that maybe has a little bit of an effect on how seriously, how much the white house thinks they're getting a good give and take here. congressman jason chaffetz, i appreciate you coming on today. i'd love to have you back any time you want to come. joining me now, david kay johnson, a columnist for taxanalyst.com. david kaye johnson, this is what
you hear in the argument about corporate tax rate. both from kind of center left economist, establishment types, republicans. they say, look, we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. it's making us competitive. everybody believes we should bring it down. everybody believes in tax reform. are they right? >> well, we do live in a competitive world, chris, and other countries have lower rates. just lowering the rates doesn't solve anything. there's a proposal here in the president's speech today which had basically nothing new in it for a minimum tax on foreign earnings. trust me, it will take somewhere between two and five years for the tax engineers to figure out how to turn that into the maximum tax. >> right. >> and pay less -- >> that's an iron law of tax policy. the minimum becomes the maximum. >> that's exactly right. >> so my question to you -- here's the problem i have with the way we talk about tax reform. people talk about tax reform like there's going to be some process in which a bunch of martians come down and make a tax reform system that is completely unencumbered by all
of the industry capture and all of the corruption of washington that's produced the already existing tax code that everybody claims to hate. >> right. this is not about tax reform. this is about the president trying to maneuver a position where the republicans lose control of the house in 2014. he can't have any legacy of the kind he wants if the democrats don't get back the house. and this idea that this is tax reform, they're going to talk about in the fall, it's not tax reform. it's tax overhaul and tax giveaways. it is not reform. it's overhaul. >> okay. what do you mean by that? what's the distinction between those two things? >> well, this is really about the 2,700 companies that own 80% of the business assets that get something like 93% of all foreign tax credits that defer paying their taxes into the future and then loan the government the money to collect interest on the taxes they didn't pay so we end up as losers -- >> wait, is that a real thing?
is that a real thing? >> oh, yeah. oh, yeah. they actually profit off their taxes. i wrote a column for "national memo" and for tax analysts detailing how this happens. how you make money off the tax system. so here's a suggestion, chris. if you want to get a real debate about taxes, let's eliminate the corporate income tax and talk about how to make up the revenue somewhere else. in theory, that would lead to a huge inflow of capital into this country and a flourishing of jobs. by the way, i don't think that's what it would lead to. it would take the issue away from the republicans if the president would get out there and say, let's debate getting rid of the corporate income tax. >> i've heard liberals who say this. this is an insufficient way. we have this statistic here which i think at some point came from a david cay johnson article i read about the gap between the actual rate, 35%, and the effective rate, what corporations pay, 12.6 %. when they trod out the 35%, that's smoke and mirrors. are you in that camp of, like, hey, let's go -- let's do it, let's get rid of this thing that
no one's collecting anyway and talk about how we get the revenue out of the folks that are wealthy. >> well, sadly you can't do it all by itself. you would have to do other things that i suspect the very wealthy would not like. remember, it's the top tenth of 1% that own all the means of production in the country. and they're certainly going to be against any higher taxes, even if it means lower corporate taxes because those big companies aren't paying that much now to begin with. why would they want to give up that sweet deal? >> right. >> here's the issue that obama can take, however. there's significant amount of evidence that the cost, or what economists call the incidence of the corporate income tax, who bears it, it's not passed forward to customers. it used to be by owners. there's a lot of ef evidence now it's being born by workers through lower wages. >> fascinating. >> we're not seeing wage growth. if that's the case, then, yeah, the democrats should change the ball game by bringing up a new argument. >> david cay johnston, thinking outside the box. using the term, means of production. getting through the segment. pulitzer price winning
journalist david cay johnston. thank you very much. >> thank you, chris. why today's verdict in the bradley manning case matters to every american who uses the internet, coming up. uh, i'm in a timeout because apparently riding the dog like it's a small horse is frowned upon in this establishment! luckily though, ya know, i conceal this bad boy underneath my blanket just so i can get on e-trade. check my investment portfolio, research stocks... wait, why are you taking... oh, i see...solitary. just a man and his thoughts. and a smartphone... with an e-trade app. ♪ nobody knows...
it's possible that somewhere in the world right now some member of an al qaeda affiliate is reading an article from "the new york times" based on leaks to the "times" reporters. so the question is, is "the new york times" guilty of aiding the enemy? what if aman al zawahiri is watching "all in" and taking notes? a surprising ruling in court today on just what it means to aid the enemy, next. the same ag! it's red lobster's rlunch. seven selections made for your lunch break, like shrimp tacos and grilled shrimp salad with soup. all just $7.99. come in today for rlunch and sea food differently. ♪ yer always after me lucky charms! whoa. i forgot how good these taste!
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for the first time since 1863, an american stood in court accused by the united states government of, quote, aiding the enemy. today a judge shocked a lot of people watching the case by finding private bradley manning not guilty of that charge. which carried with it a possible life sentence. manning was, however, convicted of 20 of the government's 22 charges. he will be sentenced tomorrow, and despite being found not guilty of aiding the enemy, the most serious charge, he still faces over 100 years in prison. the judge agreed with the government almost every step of the way in the trial of bradley manning, but on the charge of aiding the enemy, she rejected the government's audacious line of thinking which every american should be thankful for. you see, when navy s.e.a.l.s raided osama bin laden's compound in pakistan in 2011 they managed to take a number of computers and files. when they went through the computers, the government claims they found digital files containing wikileaks cables, cables that bradley manning leaked.
thus the government argued members of al qaeda, likely osama bin laden, himself, had read some of the wikileaks cables and they were certainly not alone. i read many of those wikileaks cables along with millions and millions of other people across the world. in fact, anyone with an internet connection could have read the wikileaks cables and many did. the government argued that the presence of cables leaked by bradley manning on those computers proved that he had knowingly aided the enemy. the government's legal reasoning was because manning released the documents that were subsequently published in "the new york times," for example, that he aided the enemy because he released the cables knowing al qaeda could potentially have an internet connection, and therefore, read them. by that line of thinking "the new york times" or the "washington post" or even your humble msnbc host could be prosecuted for aiding the enemy if, say, one of those papers' articles or maybe a clip from the show were found on an al qaeda computer. it's a genuinely shocking argument coming from the government, an argument that for today, at least, a judge rejected. joining me now is liza goiteen,
co-director of the liberty and national security program at the brendan center for justice. okay. am i being hyperbolic here? can it possibly be the case that the government's assertion in aiding the enemy charge was as massively problematic from a precedent perspective as it appears to be? >> i don't think you're being hyperbolic, i think you're being underbolic. i'm not sure what the opposite of that is because i don't think that the judge rejected that line of reasoning. i think what the judge said, yes, government, you're right about where i should set the bar but you didn't get over that bar. basically the judge said if the government had proven bradley manning knew al qaeda was using the internet and looking at websites like wikileaks beyond a reasonable doubt, then the government would have prevailed on that charge. >> the judge is saying there's nothing wrong with the -- the full text, any person who aids or intends to aid the enemy with
supplies, money or other thing, knowingly harbors, protects, gives intelligence to, communicates or corresponds with or holds intercourse with the enemy, directly or indirectly, that gives intelligence to here." this isn't related to classified information. that could be things that are not classified if the government can prove its case that it gave intelligence to. >> the definition of intelligence used in this case was information that is helpful to the enemy that is true at least in par. in fact, in closing arguments the government made the argument that any information that casts the united states in a negative light could be helpful to the enemy because the enemy could use it to recruit new members. by that theory, anyone who posts on the internet information that casts the united states in a negative light -- >> oh my word. >> -- has knowingly given intention intelligence to al qaeda. i think somewhere, even the judge i guess realized this broke down. unfortunately, until we can see
her opinion, hopefully there will be a written opinion then we'll have a better sense of -- >> let's faulk abotalk about th charges. the espionage charges. under the espionage act which is just a horrible law passed in 1917. this awful point in american politics. red scare. raids. all sorts of nuttiness going around. it's been rarely used. it's used in this case. did the government have to show that bradley manning actually wanted to essentially act as a spy for him to be convicted on this? >> not at all. and it is a statute that was designed for spies. i don't like spies. i'm fine with, you know, putting spies in prison. the problem is that recently, and really only under this administration has the government started to regularly use the espionage act to go after people for disclosing classified information, not to the enemy, but to the media. and not with any intent to harm the united states. >> so rather than chalking a mailbox and ending up in a
parking lot be you're with a double agent from a foreign intelligence service and slipping them a thumb drive or a dossier of documents, you go to "the new york times" or go to wikileaks or some third outlet. the government is now saying that second thing, not the classic thing that we understand as spying, that also counts as spying. >> that counts under the espionage act. now, as recently as 2006, there was a judge who said the government has to prove bad faith on the part of the defendant in order to get a convict under the espionage act because that's really what the intent requirement was supposed to be in the statute, but the judge in john kereku's case rejected that. judge lynn rejected that in bradley manning's case. we're seeing that, that the motive -- >> a new precedent. about the motive. exactly. >> that's right. >> the final thing i want to get from you is this. you know, defenders of bradley manning have been quite vocal and active and very well organized, and i'm quite sympathetic in some ways to people's pointing out the
absolute difficult to justify conditions under which bradley manning was held, ten months of solitary. the three years before he faced trial. the overkill of the prosecution. it also does seem to me the army isn't going to walk away from some private first class giving away 800,000 documents, right? my question to you is, as sentencing starts tomorrow and there is no minimum sentence, he faces 100 years. what do you think justice is in this case? >> i think justice is to take in account those very things that were considered irrelevant. i think they shouldn't have been considered irrelevant, but they were considered irrelevant at the guilt phase. that is his actual motive and the actual harm that the disclosures caused, or in this case really didn't cause. those factors will be relevant at the sentencing hearing and, you know, i think some sentence is appropriate. i actually believe that. >> he has pled to a sentence that would give him about 20 years. i have to say -- >> up to 20 years. >> up to 20 years. i mean, i'm not a sentencing judge, but clearly that would be a disincentive for future actions if that's the thing the army is worried about.
liza goitein from the brennan center for justice. thank you. after a riot in a nice seaside community in california, the question really must be asked, are white youths out of control? a very special "all in" discussion coming up. and didn't know where to start. a contractor before at angie's list, you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare written by people just like you. no company can pay to be on angie's list, so you can trust what you're reading. angie's list is like having thousands of close neighbors, where i can go ask for personal recommendations. that's the idea.
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[ bleep ]. >> those shocking images are from huntington beach, california, where at the conclusion of the u.s. open surfing on sunday, a white mob began rioting. the angry crowd vandalized property, broke the windows of businesses, looted some stores and brawled with each other on the streets of downtown huntington beach. police used rubber bullets on the unruly mob and arrested at least seven people including a firefighter from anaheim. you probably haven't heard much about the white riot in huntington beach. that's because the story of white criminal culture is not a story the mainstream media will tell you. once you scratch the surface, these stories are everywhere you look. billionaire hedge fund manager, steve cohen for instance. how many times this week have you heard about the federal charges he's been slapped with
for tradie ining violations? jpmorgan chase, a company run almost entirely by white men. that financial giant quietly paid $410 million in a settlele after being accused of manipulating the power markets. the sad truth is that the white power structure in this country has no clue, no clue how to solve the problems within the white community. look, i don't want people to be suspicious of white men, but the huntington beach riot underlines a stark truth about white culture. the fact is 84% of white murder victims are killed by other white people. we really do have a question whether white leadership, where they are on this issue. conversation is sorely lacking an appeal for the moderate white community. after all, no one forces white people to throw haymakers after their surfing competitions. when white youth are raised with so much privilege and so few boundaries, these young while white men reject concepts of self-control and not being a jerk. some people may feel like i'm ster stereotyping. i don't care. i'm dealing with reality.
the white community needs to ask itself, how are we going to deal with this problem? finally, there is one brave writer in the mainstream writer raising that question. gt gawker" columnist, court jefferson. "whites in america have been out from under their european ancestor's boot heels for centuries. california specifically outlawed preferences for nonwhites in state hiring and education nearly two decades ago. so being oppressed is no longer an excuse for behavior like this. how long must we wait for the white community to get its act together?" joining me now, court jefferson, author of a column "a dangerous and irresponsible culture." court, you're not going to hear this kind of thing in the ma mainstream media. what inspired you to rip off this taboo and talk about the problems with white culture? >> you know,time a fern of color, chris, but first and foremost, i consider myself an american citizen and resident of southern california. seeing what the mob did in huntington beach on sunday night, i just felt there was no
way i could sit on the sidelines anymore in good conscience and watch so many white youths debase themselves the way that they are. and so i think that sometimes people have to stick their necks out. i don't want to use the word martyr, but i guess i'm kind of a martyr on this front. >> you know, there are people that are going to tell you that it's just a few bad apples. if you look at the video, you can't say this whole group, you know, this has nothing to do with white people, it's just a few bad apples. what do you say to that? >> to that i say if that's your actual belief, you're living with your head in the sand. i used it live in new york city and would occasionally go to hoboken, new jersey's, st. patrick's day parade. there were so many young white men there vomiting in the str t streets, urinating in the streets. >> it's a sight i've seen. i've seen it myself. there are college dorms you can go to. every other room there's a bong, there are people talking about how much they enjoy drugs. a drug culture that people -- and white elders don't say anything about it. they kind of wink and they nod.
>> you're looking at a -- they're learning -- the thing is that these young people are learning this kind of behavior in lacrosse camps, learning this kind of behave at college spring break. they're learning this kind of behavior at ivy league fraternities where drug use and binge drinking are normalized behaviors. these kinds of places are kind of the hives of moral debasement that are leading to, i think, the -- with what we're seeing which is this white crime skornlg. >> here's my question to you. people are going to say this is someone who has a personal problem with white people. do you have a personal problem with white people? is this animus? >> no, i think any time that you tell the truth, there's going to be those people who come out and think you're doing it for some insidious reason and say that you're a racist. i kind of knew that some white people were going to say that this is just -- i'm sorry, i knew that some white people were going to call this playing the race card. but it isn't playing the race card. my best friend is white. my mother is actually white.
my prom date in high school was a white woman. she was very white, actually. she used to ride horses and do that whole thing. obviously very deep -- i have very deep roots in the white community that this isn't hatred for whites. this is just tough love. i felt it was time that somebody told the truth to these people. it's a hard conversation, but it's one we need to have. >> i'm glad we're having it. my question to you, cord, what is it going to take to get the white power structure, prominent rights, hillary clinton, joe biden to speak out on this type of thing? to start talking about the st. patty's day parade, the drug culture on campus. take the first step and condemn the huntington beach riots? >> you know, i wish that i knew. i wish that i knew. when i look toward the white leadership, when i look toward the justin biebers of the world and rush limbaughs of the world andhannitys of the world, i hear them talk about the problems in the black community. i have yet to see them take a serious, long look at the problems in the white community
and look at these kind of violent offenses that are going on within white neighborhoods and college campuses all the time. that's been difficult to watch, and so to them i would just say, a physician, heal thyself first. i'm glad people like you are stepping up in the white community and looking at this problem for what it is which is a serious, serious issue. >> we appreciate that. cord jefferson, west coast editor for gawker.com. thank you. >> thank you. if you watched that segment and thought that's an absolutely ridiculous premise and an absolutely terrible way to talk about millions of people who share nothing, nothing, except their general broad pigmentation? you are correct. and remember that the next time you hear those same arguments, but with a different word in place of the word white. that's the memo. we'll be right back wi with #click3. t the mercedes-benz you've always dreamed of. but hurry...because a good thing like this won't last forever. here you go, honey. thank you. [ male announcer ] see your authorized dealer for an incredible offer on the exhilarating c250 sport sedan. ♪
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all that and more. what it's like to play a starring role when reza aslan joins us next. i want to share the three awesomest things on the internet today beginning with the global czar of grandiose outdoor activities. russian president vladimir putin has wowed the world with his epic displays of manliness. he's tranquilized tigers, pulled ancient artifacts from the sea. he's gone horseback riding. and he's even dared not to wear a shirt while doing so. now he's gone on a fishing expedition in siberia. wouldn't you know, the russian president managed to pluck this sizable pike right out of the water, rewriting the old soviet proverb, "in russia, fish catch you." one aide warned putin the fish might bite him. putin's response, "i will bite him myself." according to kremlin, putin's pike weighed 46 pounds which prompted the russian interwebs to erupt in conspiracy theories in good old-fashioned.
the second awestest thing on the internet, the reminder we live in age of the wearable face computer. no one looks good wearing google glass. if you can't afford it, who cares really. the newest technology has given rise to a specific type of person commonly known as the glasshole. see also glasshat. little surprise over the last few months we've seen various elected officials test drive the technology. 86-year-old congressman dingell remarking this is quite a machine when trying on a pair. how true that is, when used for something other than awkward photo op. using it at training camp. left raiders kicker sebastian jen kousky tried off, too. you certainly are no glasswipe. the third awesomest thing on the internet today comes courtesy of old media stallworth, the "chicago tribune." i'm going to go out on a limb and saw the quu chicago tribune"
won the day. gizmodo reports, for 15 whole minutes this was offered on the "tribune's" home page. headline, test, test, test. look at kitty. test, test, test. that failed or was a tremendous success based on your point of view. obviously a mistake was made here. if this was the daily header and photo featured in print edition throughout the country, the news industry wouldn't be in crisis. william randolph hurst used to say a hitten cloaked in a copy sells papers. find the links for tonight's "all in" oun our website, allin.com. we'll be right back. these are good. told ya! i'm feeling better already. [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. enjoy the relief!
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no. [ male announcer ] share more. save more. at&t mobile share for business. ♪ as of 3:30 this afternoon, the top selling book on all of amaz amazon.com, the head of george r.r. martin's "game of throes can ", ahead of stephen king's "joyland" and ahead of "twilight of elites" was reza aslan's "zealot." biography about a first century jewish teacher and iconoclast named jesus in which a great deal of the story that informs the book is not new necessarily. the reason why this book jumped from number eight over the weekend to number one, the reason why according to the book's own publisher that sales increased 35% in 2 days is an astonishingly odd interview on foxnews.com. the website buzzfeed.com is
suggesting just might be the most embarrassing interview fox has ever done. . >> you're a muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of christianity? >> well, to be clear, i am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the new testament and fluency in biblical greek who has been studying the origins of christianity for two decades who also just happens to be a muslim. >> it still begs the question, why would you be interested in the founder of christianity? >> because it's my job as an academic. i am a professor of religion including the new testament. that's what i do for a living, actually. i am a historian. i am a ph.d. in the history of religions. this isn't a muslim opinion. i'm not sure what my faith happens to do with my 20 years of academic study of the new testament. i do think it's, perhaps, a little bit strange that rather than debating the arguments of
the book, we are debating the right of the scholar to actually write it. my job as a scholar of religions with a ph.d. in the subject is to write about religions. >> you're putting yourself as a scholar, and i've interviewed scholars who have written books on the resurrection, on the real jesus, and who are looking at the same information that you're saying and saying your information is somehow different from theirs is really not being honest here. >> i don't think my -- ma'am, my information is not different from theirs at all. i'm afraid that it sounds like you haven't actually read my book or seen what i've said about the resurrection or about jesus or about his claims. i think you might be surprised in what i say. >> joining me now is religious scholar reza aslan, author of the book "zealo"zealot. : the life and times of jesus
the nazareth." this has been sucked up in the viral whirlwind. you're benefiting from the whole thing because the book is out everywhere and everyone's seen the sbrinterview. in some way, the best interview you did in the entire publicity tour for this book. >> well, that may be true. it certainly has allowed the book to be read by a different audience, a kind of audience that probably would not be interested in this kind of book. i am grateful for that. but i think at this point what's really fascinating to me, just from, you know, an academic perspective, is that this is no longer even about me. it's not about fox news. this has become a much needed larger discussion in the country about media and journalism and, you know, scholarship and faith in the role of religion in society. as a writer, as a thinker, i'm just absolutely thrilled that something that i thought would just be a small interview has launched this public discussion in this country. i'm really happy about that. >> reza, let me ask you about
your personal trajectory. i listened to the interview you did with terry gross of "fresh air." i did not know the backtoir, you were raised in a nonpracticing muslim household. a young immigrant who had been in the country quite a few years as a kid and sort of moved away from christianity and ended up later finding islam as your faith. and how did that trajectory -- because i think that is an interesting, important part of this story, right? >> yeah. >> how did that end up informing the work produced in this book? >> that's actually a really good question, chris, because i feel as though i have this unique perspective in talking an the historical jesus. both because, you know, i saw it from the inside, you know, as a worshipper of christ, as someone who believed that jesus was god incarnate, and, again, from somebody who was perhaps not burdened by those kinds of
doctrinal issues, the baggage of dogma. it allowed me to look at jesus with a fresh set of eyes but to still, nevertheless, understand the importance that this man plays in the lives of billions of people. and i've said this before, but i just want to say it again, i have nothing but compassion for lauren green. i totally get where she is coming from. if i were 15 -- if i were my 15-year-old evangelical christian self, i'd probably be a little bit afraid and feeling a little bit attacked, too, but, again, that's not my intention at all. >> well, here's the question about the book. i've seen other -- i want to read you a quote from alan jacobs, about your credentials which has now become a topic of discussion among conservatives. there's a fair question of what new are you adding to the literature, who kind of value to framework are you operating out of? as you talk about the historical jesus and the context?
he says "reza aslan is not a new testle scholar. his book is educated amateur summary and synthesis of a particularly skeptical but quite long-established line of new testament scholarship presented to us as simple fact." what do you say to that? >> i think the opinion about the scholarship is perfectly fine. that's a good opinion. i actually cite all the scholars who disagree with every single point that i make in the book. and i cite all the scholars who agree with me. i mean, it turns out that people have been writing about jesus for a very, very long time. and so, you know, i'm immersed in that studies. but to the credentials part, and i really hate doing this because there is nothing more annoying than somebody having to talk about his credentials, but all right, here we go again. my bachelor is from santa clara university, in scripture and tradition which is fancy talk for new testament. i have fluency in biblical greek. master's of theological study from harvard.
my ph.d. course work was all done in history of religion. dissertation, about' jihadism as a social movement, . i am an expert in the history of religions, and please, god, please let me never have to say those things again. >> all right. i will not make you say that again. i want you to stick around because there is a disturbing new chapter to the anthony weiner scandal that does not involve photos or text messages. when we come back, we'll talk about the sudden barrage of attacks on weiner's wife and the cultural fear behind it. oppore walmart's education benefits to get a degree, maybe work in it, or be an engineer, helping walmart conserve energy. even today, when our store does well, i earn quarterly bonuses. when people look at me, i hope they see someone working their way up. vo: opportunity, that's the real walmart.
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schmeckle-gate, when huma abedin, connected to the chief financier of al qaeda is his wife and has top security clearance. >> this is a great point. >> why are we debating this? >> actually what brooke points to, that's the real abedin story. it's not about weiner's weiner. >> also assisted -- >> that was a lip from sean hannity's weekend special, titled "saving america" by putting as many people on the stage as we can. his guests' claims that anthony weiner's wife has ties to the muslim brotherhood. still with me, reza aslan. join that slur against huma abedin is of fairly long vintage, actually. the as far as i can tell is a michele bachmann rumor that she started. take a listen to her as she
kicks this off. "the deputy chief of staff, huma abedin has three family members, her late father, her mother and her brother, connected to muslim brotherhood." this is mccarthyism. >> this is the fox perspective. this is demonizing muslims and specifically american muslims if you go back to the so-called ground zero mosque. i mean, the hysteria was off the charts. it was going to be a training ground for terrorism. any opportunity they get is really just smear and fear, much like the race baiting after the george zimmerman verdict. this is all sort of the same package. >> i was not that surprised to hear that on fox. i was surprised to read this in "the new york times." >> yes. >> this is maureen dowd this weekend. i'm not exaggerating that my mouth opened. i'm serious. i could not believe this was in the paper. "when you puzzle over why the elegant huma abedin is propping
up the eel-like anthony weiner, you must remember one thing, huma was raised in saudi arabia where women are treated worse by men than anywhere else on the planet." strong argument? weak argument? linda? >> stupid argument. i would say. it's interesting that this is not just, you know, fox news and it's not just michele bachmann. this is an industry in this country that's islam-o-phobic. i don't know what they want me to think about huma abedin, a crazy monster? t if you want to talk about the oppressed side, huma abedin was in the state department. she is a woman who made her choice in who she wanted to marry. she married a person not of her faith. >> right. >> and she is a very elegant woman. it's not our business why she's staying. this is a larger conversation about how we talk about adultery
in this country. this is not about huma abedin. let's talk about why weiner is showing his -- >> the fascinating thing to me, at this point, huma abedin is probably the most high-profile muslim woman in america right now. that's what's remarkable about the fallout from this entire scandal and people are attaching to that so quickly as soon as she becomes a public figure. >> well, actually what's even more interesting is that if, you know, huma has this secret muslim agenda, it's not going so well. i mean, i like hillary clinton a lot, but she is no friend to the palestinians. her husband, anthony weiner, his views about the palestinians are despicable. this is a man who has said that there is no such thing as an occupation of the west bank. he has called palestinian ambassadors terrorists. so huma, if you've got this secret muslim agenda, wyou have to work harder. okay? it's not working. >> what's also interesting to me
about this, i just, i think i thought this would ebb as we got further -- i really did. as we got further from 9/11. and yet it doesn't -- it does, i think, when i talk to people, just normal people out in the country. it seems like it's much lower. but it does -- it hasn't in fox and other places. >> there's an obama connection, right? so years and years, you know, he's secretly a muslim or how this scary allegiance to islam. he we don't know his true allegiance. it all comes back to obama. >> is it better now than in the aftermath of 9/11? >> absolutely not. 12 years later, it's worse. we never saw mosque opposition post-9/11, never saw witch hunt hearings in congress post-9/11. we haven't seen republican debates that were specifically focused on the -- >> george bush, to his credit, said we're not going to go after this religious. >> reza aslan.
author of the book "zealot." linda sarbour. and eric bohelert from media matters. the "rachel maddow show" starts now with the one and only melissa harris perry sitting in for rachel. >> good evening, chris. thanks for that great show tonight. >> thank you. thanks to you at home for staying with us the next hour. rachel has the night off, but if you are watching rachel, we will be joined later this hour by the chief of staff of san diego mayor bob filner who tonight has been accused of sexual misconduct by an eighth woman. that will be the interview tonight. and you are going to want to see it. but, we begin here with a surprise victory. this was barack obama in january 2008 on the night he won the iowa democratic caucuses. senator obama was not supposed to win that night. senator hillary clinton was favored, but she came in third behind both senator john edwards and that new guy from illinois, the