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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  September 4, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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that does it for us tonight. now time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." while the same people who urged us into the mistaken war in iraq continue to urge us to return to that war and expand it, president obama met with nato leaders today to try to agree on a strategy for dealing with the islamic state. >> we've got to look before we leap. >> president obama is now at the nato summit in wales. >> maybe one of the most consequence shall meetings of the allies in decades. >> seeking to build a coalition to fight isis. >> we meet at a crucial time in the history of our alliance. >> he and the british prime minister -- >> hosting a joint op-ed in the times of london. >> saying we will not be cowed by barbaric killers. >> make no mistake about the resolve of this government. >> if you're serious about taking isis to the gates of
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hell, you're going to have to go to syria. >> these are evil barbarians, they can't be negotiated with. >> we're going to have to squeeze it out of existence. >> the international community has an obligation. >> the european public is dead set against nato doing anything. >> the west post iraq is very wary. >> the isil threat is a regional threat. >> regional partners will be critical. >> we need the sunni arab countries there to step up. >> not only a military strategy, but a diplomatic strategy. >> put inside syria and iraq, political systems that work. >> it's going to take time. >> the al qaeda threat to the united states is as direct and is as real as isis. >> the world faces many dangerous threats. >> the pressure to act is only increasing. with the washington drumbeat for a new war in iraq and syria growing by the day, anti-war
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protesters marched outside the nato summit today in newport, wales, where president obama, british prime minister david cameron and other nato leaders tried to come up with a strategy for what cameron called squeezing the islamic state out of existence. >> we need to show real resolve and determination. we need to use every power and everything we have in our armory, with our allies, with those on the ground, to make sure we absolutely do all we can to squeeze this dreadful organization out of existence. >> u.s. military forces conducted air strikes against the islamic state today near the mosul dam in iraq. also today, the u.s. central command released video of past air strikes that helped break the islamic state siege in a town about 100 miles north of baghdad. the air strikes were conducted in coordination with ground operations by local militias and
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kurdish fighters. the pentagon said the strikes were conducted under authority to support humanitarian efforts and support iraqi forces. the iraqi military declared the town liberated on sunday. the u.s. has conducted a total of 127 air strikes across iraq since august 8. joining me now, michael boyle, associate professor at la salle university who wrote about the u.s. response for the new york tiles. e.j. dionne, columnist for "the washington post," and jay emberger, a contributor to foreign policy who wrote about the relationship between al qaeda and the islamic state. e.j. dion, what should be the discredited voices who supported the war in iraq are now finding every microphone they can in washington to urge us into not just another iraq war but an expanded version that would include syria.
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>> well, i think what you're seeing is -- i see the debate just a little differently. i see some of those discredited voices saying why didn't president obama get in there yesterday or the day before? why isn't he doing more? and i think you said it last night, they have taken the word "dithering" when they are really saying, gee, obama is thinking too much about this. i think what you're seeing from obama and a lot of other people is a view that, look, isis is dangerous. there are a lot of english speakers there. it's one reason why david cameron is so worried. they may have a base in britain. the question is, how do you go about, you know, going after them? what president obama is trying to do is not unlike what the first president bush did. he does not -- he doesn't want to send american troops. he's willing to use air power,
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but he wants sunni muslim allies fighting along with shiites in iraq to push them back. so he's not trying to launch a big american ground war there. and i think that makes this quite different from the iraq war. but i do think that you're right to ask questions about rushing to war. i for one would like to see congress take this up as opposed to just ducking the question until after the elections. >> first of all, let's listen to what john mccain said about this on fox news. >> isis, what are we going to do about them? >> kill them. they've got to be destroyed. >> i would also like to listen to what the foreign policy expert on "duck dynasty" said about this same issue. let's listen to that. >> you either have to convert them, which i think is -- would be next to impossible. i'm not giving up on them, i'm
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just saying either convert them or kill them. one or the other. >> jay, i didn't really hear a difference between john mccain and the "duck dynasty" guy. >> i'm not going to debate the "duck dynasty" guy. i think that's probably not a productive avenue. but i will say that, you know, i live inside this kind of bubble, the kind of terrorism community where we talk about this stuff and we're exposed to this stuff every day. when i step outside that bubble and i've been talking to people who don't do this every day, i am hearing a lot of anger and frustration i haven't heard over the last several years. >> michael boyle, to we have the capacity to eliminate the islamic state? because that's what david cameron says we're going to do, joe biden says we are determined to do. john mccain too. we can just kill every one of
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them. >> i think we have the capacity if we were willing to invest a substantial military operation, ground troops and a multiyear commitment. my concern is i don't think that they're gaining the kind of assets that they need to. we cannot hold territory with air strikes. one problem that we have is the administration keeps saying we're going to destroy isis. that's fine, but you can't hold territory without ground forces or without having local allies and they haven't articulated a strategy to reclaim that territory. so this is a case where the rhetoric is outrunning the policy. >> e.j., there is the option that america never chooses in these situations, which is to do nothing. >> that is an option. just in terms of a point michael boyle made.
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i think there is an inconsistency in the rhetoric we're using, language like crush them, go to the gates of hell, joe biden's terms. and yesterday president obama said we want to reduce this to a manageable problem. that's a very different kind of rhetoric. i do think there are times in the past where we have avoided war. it struck me that with all this talk about, gee, there's all this disorder on president obama's watch. well, there's a big war between iraq and iran on president reagan's watch and we didn't feel an obligation to get involved in that. after our marines were blown up in beirut, i don't think they should have been there in the first place, president reagan pulled out the rest of the marines and we didn't choose to engage there. so sometimes we choose not to engage. eisenhower decided not to fight the french war in vietnam and
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that was good decision. i think in this case, because we are engaged in this effort to contain terrorism, whether it's al qaeda or now isis, obama sees that as part of the same mission. it doesn't mean, as i say, that we're going to send american troops there, because i do not think there is the support in the united states or a desire on the part of the administration to send american troops back into iraq in numbers a whole lot beyond where they've already sent a certain number of advisers and people to protect the embassy. >> if we aren't going to send american troops and the idea that they're hatching in nato is to kill everyone we can possibly kill in the islamic state, how many people is that? how many people are involved in this movement called the islamic state and related movements? >> well, the islamic state itself has fighters numbering in the low tens of thousands is the best estimate i've seen. we don't have real good clarity on that. i don't think we can necessarily
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kill our way to a solution, but certainly lethal force is an option we have in the toolbox. it's a very complicated situation. it's a difficult problem. there are a lot of moving parts and one thing we don't have a good handle on is we're just starting to see signs now that they are trying to sort of mobilize themselves outside of iraq, outside of syria with cells in europe. we've seen some arrests. at the same time, it's very obvious from their strategy that they want us to get involved in a broader war there. so, you know, i think any discussion of our military options has to at least acknowledge and take into consideration the fact that this is what they are trying to get us to do. >> why are they trying to get us to do that, in your view? >> this is basically the same strategy that al qaeda articulated back in the day. there's -- in part, it's because they believe the muslim world will galvanize against us.
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in part, they believe we will overextend ourselves economically and eventually topple. i think al qaeda did its level best to implement that strategy, and it did not succeed. but that doesn't mean that we aren't spending more money than we need to on this, that we aren't making some choices that would be better made in other directions. i will say, a lot of my colleagues, a lot of my peers have been very quick with prescriptions for this problem and i've been very slow to make any kind of recommendation, because i really see this as just, you know, a very, very complicated problem and whatever we do is going to have -- whether it's we do something or nothing or something in between, there will almost certainly be some blowback and some negative repercussions to it. >> and it would certainly
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include unintended consequences, unforeseen in any of the worst case scenarios, we've always experienced that with actions we've taken in that region. >> i agree. this is a very difficult problem with a lot of moving parts and there are a lot of unintended consequences that can follow from it. if we do follow isis to the gates of hell as vice president biden suggested we would, that may lead us to engage in air strikes in syria. if that happens, we may be faced into an unsavory alliance with assad, where we have to say you've killed 190,000 of your own citizens and used chemical weapons, we need your messing to engage in air strikes. i think the obama administration is being very careful before marching into syria. does this make sure that we stick with assad after the syrian civil war ends? if not, what is our position in terms of going after isis? i don't see any easy way to do that. >> the islamic state seems to have unified washington politically. we have rand paul now, who was previously against taking
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actions in this kind of arena, saying absolutely we should be bombing and willing to go inside syria, if necessary. >> i think there's -- rand paul has probably looked at recent polls that show even in just the last couple of months, republican opinion has moved toward a much more hawkish position and what looked like a very attractive, noninterventionist libertarian position a couple of months ago is less attractive. one of the reasons isis has unified people more than say the iraq war is i think there was a consensus in the country after 9/11 that it was a legit object of national policy to go after al qaeda and try to prevent another attack. obviously the attack on bin laden was popular. i think people who support this or are sympathetic to doing something see this in connection with the war against -- or the
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fight against al qaeda, not as a re-creation as the old war in iraq. >> thank you all for joining me tonight. >> good to be with you. >> thank you. >> thank you. coming up, guilty verdicts in if corruption trial of former virginia governor bob mcdonnell and his wife. a wipeout for the mcdonnells. we'll have a report from when those verdicts were read. and remembering the first woman to host the "tonight" show and the first woman to have her own late night talk show, joan rivers, who died today at the age of 81. and later, how can you protect your private pictures and what legal remedies do you have when your private photographs are stolen as apparently they're all going to be stolen eventually and all eventually appear online.
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former virginia governor bob mcdonnell and his wife today had to listen to a virginia jury say that they were guilty 20 times today when the verdicts came back. that's next. [ hoof beats ] i wish... please, please, please, please, please. [ male announcer ] the wish we wish above all...is health. so we quit selling cigarettes in our cvs pharmacies. expanded minuteclinic, for walk-in medical care. and created programs that encourage people to take their medications regularly. introducing cvs health. a new purpose. a new promise... to help all those wishes come true.
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said only this -- >> governor, anything to say to >> governor, anything to say to the people of virginia? governor, do you have anything to say? anything to say for all the virginians watching out this? >> all i can say is my trust remains in the lord. >> joining me now is kelly o'donnell who was inside the courtroom when the verdicts were read. and paul butler, a former federal prosecutor and law professor at georgetown university. kelly, take us inside that courtroom. it's very -- maybe one of the only suspense dramas left in public life is the announcement of the jury. this was a long verdict that they had to go through with so many multiple counts, over 25 counts they had to read off between husband and wife. what was that like sitting through that?
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>> well, there was real tension today, lawrence. and i had a chance to see the jury early in the morning. you can never really get a sense of what's going on in their minds. they had worked over three days, an 17 hours. it was complex. on some counts it involved the former governor and his wife, a count involving one or the other in some instances. so it was hard, tedious work. when the court was brought into session for the reading of the verdicts, it was strikingly emotional when that first count was a signal for what else to come. guilty for bob mcdonnell, guilty for his wife. there was a heaving sob that then seemed to pick up and cascade with each of the successive counts. from family members, real emotion. it was one of those moments where you just don't know what the jury is going to do, and when the reality of it confronts you, you can just feel that emotion. now, underneath all of this, lawrence, was a five-week trial, lots of witnesses, lots of information, all about the relationship the mcdonnells had
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with a virginia businessman, johnny williams, who had provided them with gifts and loans worth about $180,000, with the intention of getting the governor's influence to boost a company johnny williams had that made diet supplements and to get state help for that company. that was the prosecution's case. the main defense argument was that the marriage of the mcdonnells, which was laid bare in this trial was so damaged that they couldn't have conspired because they were barely talking. clearly the jury rejected that idea. there were a couple of counts where the mcdonnells were found not guilty. they had to do with false statements to banks, technical things. the overwhelming impact is this was a really sweeping conviction for both of them with serious jail time they will face in
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january when we learn the sentencing. >> kelly, the verdicts were front loaded with guilties. they had to listen to the word "guilty" seven times when they got to the first not guilty announcement. in a courtroom like that and it starts to keep going in one direction like that, the momentum seems to be -- today could you feel that momentum after the second round of guilties, that this is going to keep going in this direction this >> very much so. very much so. in fact, the first time when i heard not guilty associated with maureen mcdonnell, i looked around thinking did everyone else hear not guilty? that involved the former governor having direct contact with johnny williams. later on, there was an instance where both of them were not found guilty on certain counts. it almost seemed like there
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would be no counts come back not guilty. once you hear it on conspiracy, you understood that the jury saw there had been an agreement. the exchange, the power of the office for practical things, not so practical in the material sense, but actual things. we're talking about catering for their daughter's wedding, use of a ferrari at a country club, a shopping spree in new york. things that are high living on a public servant's bank account. that was apparently the problem. they were under great financial strains, and they took these gifts, which under state law was not specifically against the law. that's why this is a federal case. you can expect virginia law will change over time to reflect some of this. but very damning for someone who, as you know, lawrence, had been talked about as a potential
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presidential candidate or a short lister for a vp slot on the republican ticket, having had a fairly successful time as the republican governor of virginia. that term ended in january and his life is very, very difficult tonight. lawrence? >> paul butler, some of the worst legal analysis you can hear on television is from political pundits. we've had a lot saying what's the big deal here? where is the quid pro quo. what did the governor do for this fie? he left him have an appointment here and there. explain what he was convicted of and how it is different from bribery and what that jury actually found him guilty of today. >> so he was convicted of a number of conspiracy charges, as was mrs. mcdonnell. a technical crime called theft of honest services. but what it meant was, this businessman was giving him all this bling-bling, these rolex
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watches, sending him on shopping sprees. he says that all he was doing as governor is what he would doing for any business. he was promoting the business in ways that he promotes any business of the state. the jury just didn't buy that. what they're saying is, this isn't business as usual. the defense subtext is, everybody knows this is how politics works. you scratch my back, i scratch yours. the jury said in virginia, no more. >> paul butler, the federal officials, they live under rules that say they cannot accept these kinds of gifts under any circumstances. there's no ambiguity about it. they all know it. but this governor seemed to think at some point that this was going to be okay. his guide seem to be more virginia law and he maybe had an ignorance of what federal law
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said. >> it wasn't an obvious case for federal prosecution. as kelly said, the virginia law hadn't quite caught up. i think now it will. of course, the governor is bound by federal law. so a number of these investigations of governors, including governor christie in new jersey, it's the feds who are moving forward. >> thank you both very much for joining me tonight. >> great to be here. coming up, today's big development in what is now the new senate race to watch this year in kansas. and later, photo hacking and keeping private photos private. t kick-starts the careers of 41 entrepreneurs.
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kansas since the 1930s. but today, the republican secretary of state in kansas said that the democrat, chad taylor, must remain on the ballot. he says that taylor failed to follow kansas election law because he did not declare that he is incapable of serving in the united states senate. chad taylor said he will challenge the decision to keep his name on the ballot. but this afternoon, the secretary of state, who is a member of pat robertson's honorary statewide campaign committee said, this has nothing to do with party. the law is the law. joining me now is steve kornacki. steve, it looks like this might be a case of the law is the law. >> yeah, i've seen the law is the law in other states and
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courts have stepped in and done some funky things. in judge, they allowed frank lautenberg back on a ballot 30 days before the election. if he name appears on the ballot, what is that threshold? he'll get some votes, but the question is at what point does it make a difference between orman winning this thing and not just having enough anti-pat robert votes out there to carry it? >> the law seems to indicate to get your name off the ballot, you have to certify -- after you've been nominated, you have to certify you're incapable of serving in the senate. even if that happens, they turn to the party and say give us another name. so it's kind of -- it looks like the first read of kansas law is it's got to be a name in a democratic slot. >> the interesting thing is chad taylor said he had communication with the secretary of state with
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his office asking him if it was permissible and how to do it. he's saying basically i wouldn't have done this unless the secretary of state's office told me it was okay. >> yeah. but it seems the best case scenario now for what they seem to believe trying to do, which is the democrats in kansas seem to be saying look, we can't win. let's see what we can do to get the independent to win. the best thing for them is just to leave that name on the ballot that presumably everyone will know by november. this guy isn't really running. there will be enough press attention to that in kansas. it would seem the kansas voter would be able to understand that by november, by tonight. >> the interesting thing, chad taylor was not a name in kansas politics. the district attorney from the topeka area, he barely got the nomination. there were two names on the ballot. neither one of them spent any
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money. the national party, the state party was not behind either one of them. chad taylor won that with 53% of the vote. this is the highest profile thing he's done is dropping out of this race. you're looking to parallels trying to see what kind of effect it has to just have a name -- i can think of -- there was a special election where a republican actually dropped out of the race about a week before the election and enforced the democrat. her name was still on the ballot. there was a conservative candidate too. she got about 5% of the vote as i recall. >> that's in a much narrower time frame. steve, it turns out you have the big get of the week already on video because you've already interviewed greg orman. suddenly the hottest senate
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candidate in the country. let's listen to some of that. >> i'm fiscally responsible and socially tolerant and never felt like i had a perfect home in either party. i've tried the republican and democratic party historically, but if we're fog to change things in washington, we have to attack the two-party system and stop supporting it. >> steve, you're way ahead of us on this story, you had him on last month knowing this was coming. but would you say he handled that interview? he seemed to -- sounded like a genuine independent. >> yeah. he sounded like somebody who knows how to win an election in a state that has. sent a democrat to the senate since the great depression. i asked him who will you vote for in race for governor of kansas? he wouldn't even go on the record and say who he's going to vote for. he said he doesn't think it's
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his place to share publicly how he votes. so it's obvious he will go through his campaign and will not say during his campaign i will vote to make the democrats the majority party or the republicans. democrats are making the bet that he's likely to vote for him after this election and they need him, they're making the bet that he's likely to do that. the risk in all this for him is that because of that, because the democrats dropped out of this race, because the democrats are kind of doing this wink and nod thing here that he gets tarred as the de facto democratic candidate in kansas. so i doubt he's going to change his tune at all. he's going to keep trying to talk that way and separate himself from the democratic party as much as he can. the question is, do voters continue to treat him as independent or treat him as a
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democrat? if he's just a democrat in kansas, he gets in trouble this year. >> republican senator pat roberts' first statement last night linked him to harry reid. steve, thank you very much for joining us. his show is "up" on the weekends here on msnbc. i will be watching this weekend as always. coming up, the reporter who conducted what turned out to be joan rivers' last interview will join me. this is charlie. his long day of doing it himself starts with back pain... and a choice. take 4 advil in a day or just 2 aleve for all day relief. honey, you did it! baby laughs! who's more excited about back to school sthe moms? staples? or the dads?
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this is me. and it's because of my regimen, which is a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, and plastic surgery for dinner. >> that was joan rivers with me here on "the last word" a few years ago. we'll have more about joan next. r accounting firm's mobile plan. and "minus" our expenses. perfect timing. we're offering our best-ever pricing on mobile plans for business. run the numbers on that. well, unlimited talk and text, and ten gigs of data for the five of you would be... one-seventy-five a month. good calculating kyle. good job kyle. you just made partner. our best-ever pricing on mobile share value plans for business. now with a $100 bill credit for every business line you add. [ inhales deeply ]
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i wish i could tell you it gets better, but it doesn't get better. you get better. i've gone up, i've gone down, i've gone bankrupt, i've been broke. but you do it, and you do it
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because -- because we love it more than anything else. what we do is a calling, my dear. we make people happy. it's a calling. >> melissa rivers announced this afternoon that her mother, joan rivers, died peacefully at mt. sinai hospital in new york city today. joan was 81 years old. in a statement, she said, my mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh, although that is difficult to do right now. i know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon. >> can we talk? i went into a store today and i said what do you have to go with this suit? she gave me a bottle of cheap wine. why should a woman cook, so her husband can say my wife makes a delicious cake to some hooker? gwyneth paltrow, i just love to
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see anything straight. that dress has more creases than my face did before botox. they sent a stretch limo for us and it got stuck and wouldn't move for 2 1/2 years. i'm thinking the germans killed 6 million jews and you can't fix a [ bleep ] car? >> welcome back to the network, joan. >> joining me now is tim, senior editor for the daily beast. tim, what was your conversation like in july with joan rivers? >> good evening. it was absolutely wonderful. it was one of the most pleasurable interviews i've done for many years. it was in the russian tearoom in new york. it was in a very lovely banquet. she had been followed all day which a tv crew.
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when you read the piece on the daily beast, she talked about everything. sex, her feelings about mortality, her feelings about melissa, her daughter who she loved very much and was very worried about leaving should she ever die. by i should say, there was no sense that joan was frail that day. she wasn't ill. she was in good form. she was very unusual for a comedian. she was as good off stage as she was on. the jokes were always there. she was extremely funny. extremely serious when she wanted to be serious. just, as you know yourself, just one of those all-around zinging interviews. when you leave the room, you're like thanks, joan, that was wonderful. >> there's always a remarkable energy driving everything she said, both in her act and when she was trying to be funny privately. >> absolutely.
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she told me on more than one occasion that what she most feared was not working. joan rivers loved to work. i don't know if you saw the wonderful documentary that was made about her in 2010 called "a piece of work." but that showed you that she was getting off planes, getting onto stages. that was the most important thing to her, being in the game, staying relevant. she didn't have to work at being relevant. she was absolutely couched in pop culture. look what she did for e's "fashion police." there she is, 81 years old, addressing a much younger age and they adored her. if you can ask what gave her her focus, it was working and staying working. she loved it. when i asked her about retirement in july, she said, why would i do that? she got up every day and she worked. she just had supper with barbara walters the night before she saw me, and she queried with barbara, she said you're going to go crazy.
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you'll see somebody doing a terrible interview on tv saying i should be do that. so joan loved to work. she lived for it. she also lived for her family, who she absolutely adored. if you talked about death with her, the prospect of death, what worried her about dying and mortality was the prospect of leaving melissa and cooper, her grandson. >> well, she thought of everything and she joked about everything, including her funeral in her 2012 book, she wrote this about her funeral. she said --
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>> tim, can we expect some of that in joan's funeral? >> if we don't have some of that in the funeral, i think we can expect thunder claps from heaven to ring out. so yes, respect joan rivers' last wishes. she clearly wanted to die in the way she lived, which was dramatically and on the edge. look what we had here. she's still singular amongst comediennes and many people took a pin to the great balloon of hollywood ego and said, enough already. she never thought she was rude. she thought she was telling the truth and she lived very -- she didn't live extravagantly. the irony of joan rivers is i said to her, look, if you retired, you could give it up, joan. you're always well off. she said, i've always been salaried.
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i interviewed her once in her gorgeous apartment, and it was amazing, a butler brought us brandies on a silver platter. but she worked for every penny and she was serious about working for every penny. she had the old school trouper thing about her. so yes, give her that funeral. otherwise we'll all suffer weather wise on sunday. >> tim, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you very much. when we come back, what you and every celebrity apparently need to know about keeping private pictures private. huh, fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. everybody knows that. well, did you know the great wall of china wasn't always so great? hmmm...what should we do?
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and when we look at venus today or michelangelo's david, we don't think how shameful and embarrassing for the models to have their naked images on display publicly for 500 years. but when americans are offered more recent images of naked people, the puretism, that is the foundational perversity of the united states of america, always controls the dialogue. and so when celebrities' naked photographs are stolen and exhibited for public view, shock is the mandatory public reaction instead of recognizing that we were all born into this world naked and human beings have been sharing naked imagery of human beings for as long as we have been able to create imagery. and we always will share naked imagery of human beings. but we just can't seem to find our way to the obvious conclusion that what is normal is not embarrassing, and naked is normal and naked imagery is normal and not shameful in any
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way and should not be embarrassing in any way. in today's world of electronic sharing of naked imagery, what are the best ways to keep that sharing private? and what are the legal remedies for violating that privacy? joining me now, an attorney who specializes in internet law, including so-called revenge porn. mitchell, what is the state of the law on this stuff? what kind of control do people have of images of themselves that are stolen or revealed against their will? >> thanks, lawrence, for having me. there are two issues here. one is the criminal aspect, one is a civil aspect. there are people working to criminalize the posting of these private photographs in states across the country. and that is one aspect of it. the problem right now is that this behavior, although wrong, falls within the gaps in the criminal laws which did not have
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this behavior in mind. the other side of it is the civil side, which is a remedy that the individuals who were victimized by this would have against the websites that actually post these -- host these photographs. the revenge porn industry is growing. it is a big money maker. and the problem right now is that as the federal law is written, these websites are largely immune from being sued by the victims. >> what is the revenge porn industry? who is making money in that? this is porn where a couple has created these photos, then the couple breaks up and one of them decides i'm going to make this public because i'm angry at him or her. >> yeah, revenge porn is a subset. i prefer the term involuntary porn, because there isn't always a revenge aspect to it, as is
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the case with jennifer lawrence. people can have their phones hacked into somebody that doesn't know them. so people take these pictures and the problem is when they take the pictures, once they're reduced to electronic form in particular, they become vulnerable to hacking or distribution by the ex-boyfriend or by anybody. and what happens is that these websites are set up to host this type of image, and people can upload those images anonymously. the we believe sites make it a point not to track the ip addresses, so there's no way to figure out who did it. then they post these pictures on the website. some of these sites have tens of thousands of photographs of thousands upon thousands of women and men also. >> who owns the copyright to these private photographs?
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>> that's a complex issue. if the photograph is taken by the victim him or herself, then they own the copyright. if the photograph is taken by the boyfriend or girlfriend, they technically own the copyright. so although there is an exemption in the federal immunity for intellectual property claim such as copyright, it becomes problematic when the pictures were not taken by the victim. so the victim can try to sue the website itself if she owns the copyright. the problem is trying to figure out who to sue. these people who run the websites are very keen on invading the privacy of everybody else, but take great steps to remain anonymous themselves. they hide behind proxies and host the websites on foreign computers and that sort of thing. so determining who to sue becomes a big problem. and there's also the coast. the cost and the blow back that you get if you file a lawsuit.
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there can be significant blow back. >> thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> you're welcome. >> chris hayes is up next. a devastating verdict. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. in a devastating rebuke to politicians today, those that this abuse power, a jury in richmond, virginia, today found a former virginia governor and his wife guilty of a series of felonies that could keep the couple in prison for the rest of their lives. both bob and maureen mcdonnell wept openly in court. the jury found him guilty on all 11 counts of conspiracy, she on nine counts leaving their stunned families in tears.

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