tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC May 29, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT
headquarters in new york city. racist tweet. growing calls for abc to cancel tv star roseanne barr's show. she tweeted a racist message, comparing one of obama's top senior aides to the child of the muslim brotherhood and "planet of the apes." starbucks are shutting their doors for bias training, but can people change? do we have ingrained biases that we may not even know exist? plus, 4,645, that's how many puerto ricans died during and as a result of hurricane maria. that staggering new death toll from harvard university experts who have been studying the storm's impact. the official government death toll you might recall 64. we'll get to that in just a moment. we start with the swift and
fierce backlash, racist tweet from roseanne barr. igniting quite the firestorm in the early hours of this morning, by targeting obama aide valerie jarrett in that tweet. the television star writing, muslim brotherhood and "planet of the apes" had a baby, vj, valerie jarrett. the controversy exploded online, forcing an apology from barr hours later. she writes, in part, i apologize to valley jarrett and to all americans. i am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. i should have known better. forgive me. my joke was in bad taste. the damage at that point done. a wave of support for jarrett calls for a boycott of barr's hit sitcom. one of the producers on the show, actress wanda psychsykes, announcing she's not returning next season. barr is infamous for her
offensive rendition of "the star spangled banner" back in 1990. but has she gone too far this time? is this the end of barr's show and her tv comeback? eddie gloud is an msnbc contributor. rene graham is a contributor with the "boston globe." she's written about the starbucks controversy which we'll get to. the tremain lee is an msnbc correspondent, taking part in tonight's msnbc special on race as well. i invited you in to talk about the starbucks story, stores shutting down this afternoon, but we've got the story with roseanne that's developing quickly. have we gotten to a point where even a comedian can just send any sort of racial tweet out there, any sort of offensive tweet out there, and apologize and it's no big deal? >> well, i don't think so.
we still will have to measure the consequences of her tweet. we know that wanda sykes said that she quit. she was a consulting producer for the show. we'll have to see how abc responds. what we do know is this is -- it's not just a tweet, it's a kind of cumulative effect of roseanne barr's vitriol. there's a sense in which people have represented the return of the roseanne show as a kind of ode to the trump supporter. what we see at the heart of it is really a kind of attempt to mainstream very bigoted and racist views. and i think she represents this. she embodies it. this latest tweet may be the last straw to break the camel's back. we'll see what will happen. >> we also have eric duncans with us, a media analyst for -- we don't have him yet, i'm sorry. we're getting eric up though in just a few moments. the "roseanne" star initially
seemed to defend her comments. tweeting, it's a joke and muslims are not a race. shortly after, however, she tweeted, i apologize, i'm now leaving twitter. then still decidedly on twitter, she elaborated, i apologize to valerie jarrett and all americans for making a bad joke. i should have known better. forgive me. my joke was in bad taste. just showed you that tweet a few moments ago. show runner whitney cummings, she has declined to return to the show. this is what she said in a statement a short time ago. in part, i was the "you can't say that anymore" and now this is the word we use. they were like, yes, but that's not how people in this town this age and this income bracket talk. i learned it's not about what we would say, it's about what they would say. rene, again, just as eddie just noted there, roseanne's character's a trump supporter on the shot. how much of this can we attribute to a tone that has been set in the country by the
president of the united states himself? >> oh, think there's no question that roseanne is echoing a tone of the president himself. she's a supporter. and in making a racist comment, let's be clear, this was not a joke, this was a blatantly racist comment. in making that comment, she's just echoing what trump supporters do every single day, and they take their marching orders from the president himself. >> we should note, again, this is all developing very quickly, as you indicated, renee, this is not the first time roseanne barr has said something wildly offensive on social media, not the first time she's said something in an interview as well, which she's had to walk back. tremaine, not to put you on the spot, i know you're in philadelphia for this town hall tonight. we're going to talk about that in just a moment. you have spent a fair amount of time over the past few months working on the special tonight, talking to people about race in america. how surprised should we be by
all of this and have we become a bit dissensitized? as i was walking up here before the start of the broadcast, i thought, if this had happened three years ago, scratch that, two years ago, maybe 18 months ago, a network would have canceled the show like that, and there would have been a flurry of apologies but so far crickets. >> i'd tell you what, we can't afford to be surprised. after all, this is america being america, whether it's 1619 or 2018. for many people the experiences of living everyday life in america is fought with racism and prejudice and slurs and slights. some big, some small. as you mentioned three, four years ago, you know, while baltimore and ferguson was happening, right, we all became aware that the big issues of systemic racism and police violence and brutality especially. as you mentioned every single day, there are smaller micro aggressions. things that don't rise to the level of sometimes police even being called. but still those little slights
like a thousand splinters every single day. as you mentioned, we went out all across america to talk to folks about their experiences. if we're ready to toss to that sound, let's take a listen. >> the fact that a woman could call and instigate this kind of ripple effect is a problem. what happens to accusers who set these things in motion? how is it they have so much power? they must be held baccountable for these accusations that jeopardize the lives of human beings. >> because it happens so often, they often seem benign and people suggest, you know, just move on. it was just an incident. are you sure it's about race or not. but those things tend to linger. and folks in america who experience this every single day are left to bear the burden of that trauma. whataccusers. people who throw these petty slights around. either way, the folks who experience it the most, they're
left to carry that burden. >> we should note here, this roseanne barr/valerie jarrett back and forth, not really so much a back and forth since valerie jarrett was just minding her own business. she's actually going to be a part of the town hall tonight. "everyday racism in america." hosted by joy reid and chris hayes. dr. gaud, this controversy with roseanne, this is happening as starbucks closing stores across the country to conduct this mandatory racial bias training. can racial bias be undone? in a few hours of training? >> oh, absolutely not. i think the ceo of starbucks recognizes this as a kind of just beginning. first gesture. look, i don't like to use bias talk, unconscious bias talk. i prefer racial habits. habit talk. because habits can change. we're habituated to think about
race in particular sorts of ways. when you think about -- when you think about 4,600 people dying -- of color, dying in puerto rico it reflects how their lives are valued or less valued. when we think about that styles and cuts that tremaine talked about. the 1,000 cut mentioned in his debate with will buckley that black folk have to endure every day whether it's in the store, in the grocery store, whether it's with the politician, whether it's with television, whether it's with your neighbor. that these things kind of -- shall we say, they accumulate and orient people to each other. they sully and poison the environment. so what starbucks is doing is just moment. what we need to see what we need to see and see it very clearly is how are they addressing policy. policy that allows for those habits to be activated. how are they thinking about those bodies that walk into the shop, the stores, that trigger fears. why did the manager at the starbucks in philadelphia suddenly decide that within two minutes these two black men were
a threat? how do you create policy to effect the way in which they behave and then change their behavior by way of those policies? i like to talk about racial habits more than bias. at the end of the day, this has to be a first step, not just simply a publicity stunt, a first step in ongoing training. if that makes sense. >> no, it makes a lot of sense. racial habits. that is a phrase that dr. glaud is introducing into the lexicon here. really quick, racial habit, eddie, the difference between developed racial habits and racism, what's the difference? how do we differentiate? >> so we like to think of the racist as the loud racist, the roseanne barr, the donald trump, kkk person. racial habits are different. we learn race by navigating one's environment. people learn race by driving around their city. because the city has been zoned in such a way where black people live on one side, white people live on the other, brown people live in another. then as you drive around, you
see different resource allocation. you see as you cross the tracks in the south, you're from the south, you know what happens. the neighborhood suddenly looks different. we're accustomed into believing some people are valued in certain ways as opposed to another just by moving around space. think about schools. think about the choices people are making in terms of their neighborhoods. racial habits animal every aspect of our lives. it's not just simply the loud racist. it's everyday ordinary people. every last one of us are habituated into understanding race in a particular sort of way in this country. so it can't just simply be a kumbaya moment. it can't be a moment of training where we close the store down for one hour. if we're going to uproot habits, we have to do serious work to finally address this ugly stain that's been on the nation's soul since its founding. >> the original sin as it's been referred to by many. you've written a number of articles about this incident.
one in particular caught my attention. nothing will ever change. this is what you wrote in part. "the boston globe." nothing will ever change until a majority of white people in this nation stop perceiving black existence as sinister and suspicious. talking about racism may hurt white people's feelings, but their unchecked racism continues to endanger our black lives. that is -- that's not optimistic. i mean, that is very much an accurate assessment of where we are. how do we get to a better place? >> well, e think what starbucks is doing is a start. you can't undo in an afternoon what hasn't been undone for centuries. you know, if you're talking about the comment about, you know, the 1,000 cuts that james baldwin mentioned. he said that 50 years ago and we're still having that same conversation. because those conditions continue to exist.
so, you know, again i think what starbucks is doing is important, but, you know, you can't -- i agree, there's no such thing as unconscious bias, you know. if you see two black men, you might feel, well, i wonder if they're up to something. but once you decide to call the police, that's a very conscious act. that's what you need to get to. try to teach people history and have them be better towards each other. what happens at starbucks is what needs to happen in all of america. it's not going to be a one-day process. the proof is going to be in what happens in the weeks and months and years after today. >> tremaine, you're there in philly where this whole thing started. i should say the latest chapter started. what are people that you're talking to, what are they staying about starbucks response? what are they saying about today's racial training? here's a part of the story that i feel like has gotten lost to a certain extent. these two guys who could have sued and bought their own starbucks instead what do they
do, they decide to settle and take the $200,000 and essentially donate it to charity there. that part of the story continues to impress me. what are folks telling you on the ground? >> people are echoing some of the sentiments we just heard. at once it's a great opportunity to talk about a really serious issue in america that so many of us face every single day. on the other hand, there's certain it is just a pr move, they seized on and kind of controlled the narrative as opposed to digging any deeper on the serious issue. as eddie mentioned, this idea of the other side of the tracks. streets that you don't go down. when you go in between those black spaces and those white spaces, you see black folks especially trying to navigate. and sometimes unsuccessfully. one thing i learned from talking to so many folks, a lot of us kind of recognize this, is your class doesn't matter. your education status doesn't matter. whether you're like two young men in the starbucks in philadelphia. you know, meeting for -- make
some business happen. it doesn't really matter. you can't educate your way out of racism and the way you experience it. for so many people, it always goes back to some sort of criminality. your black skin and your black body in certain spaces is automatically criminal. when the police are called, it not only escalates the moment but we've seen time and again, particularly with the latest string of black folks being killed, it escalates to there's a real feeling your life is in danger, which your life may very well be in danger. there's a term we've heard in police circles, a movement. it elicits fear in the men and women who respond with guns. when you talk to people on the ground this is a moment to be seized upon, should be celebrated in a sense that a major american company is stepping up to have this conversation. whether it's about our racialized habits or racism or systemic oppression. we hope to reveal some of that today with our town hall that will air tonight at 9:00. we're really looking forward to this robust conversation.
there's always this feeling no matter what you do it's not enough because the issue is that deep, that heavy, craig. >> tremaine there in philadelphia, thank you. doctor, thank you. always learn something from you when you join me. i want to bring eric up for the first time. we've got our media analyst in front of a camera here. msnbc media analyst. simple question here. abc, are they going to have to cancel "roseanne"? >> i think they're going to find some way to weasel out of that. because the show was such a tremendous hit. it drew something like 27 million people in the very first reboot episode that aired. it was i think the most watched scripted show of the tv season. they're going to try to find a way to avoid canceling it. but be forewarned something like this might happen -- >> would the same have been true, eric, two years ago?
>> i think the same would have been true two years ago. because we know in hollywood money talks and everything else tends to walk. you know, that show drew so many viewers that i think abc's going to try to hold on to it. you know, critics have warned that, you know, roseanne barr, the person, seemed to be unstable and often said inflammatory things on twitter and that that was at so many point going to get the show in trouble. and now it appears that that has happened. >> eric, what about advertisers? oftentimes in cases like this we'll start to see some advertisers jump ship or become quite skittish about advertising. >> well, i think that's going to be the biggest problem. and that might be the reason why abc might think twice about the show. it doesn't matter how many people watch the show if advertisers are leery about having their products associated with the show. one thing we've seen in the past, for example, when laura
ingraham said something that a lot of people objected to on her fox news show, there was a boycott organized of the advertisers by some folks who are interested in the issue. it made an impact. and so the question now is what kind of pressure will abc face. what will people do to express their displeasure with what she said. already we've seen that wanda sykes, a combic who served as a consulting producer on the show, has tweeted she's not going to work on the next season of the show. will other people follow suit and refuse to work with her? and will advertisers not want to have their products associated with the show? all of this is yet to be seen. >> eric degen, msnbc media analyst, thank you so much, mr. degen, do appreciate your time. just a reminder, tonight's special, msnbc town hall everyday racism in america, hosted by joy reid, chris hayes. tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern, only on msnbc.
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maria was and how eight months later the official government death toll could be so wrong. when hurricane maria hit, we know it was bad. the official government death toll was 64. while tragic, turns out it was likely far, far worse than that. at least 4,645 people died in puerto rico. that's according to a study out today. a reminder, trump last october specifically noted the low death toll at the time comparing it to hurricane katrina. >> every death is a horror. but if you look at a real catastrophe like katrina, and you look at the tremendous -- hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that die, and you look at what happened here with really a storm that was just totally overpowering, nobody's ever seen anything like this, what is your death count
as of this moment, 17? >> 16. >> 16 people certified. 16 people. versus in the thousands. in texas and in florida, we get an a-plus. i think we've done just as good in puerto rico. >> how would you rate the white house response? >> i'd say it was a 10. >> according to fema, 1,833 people died in the aftermath of katrina in 2005. puerto rico lost more than twice that number. two people who know puerto rico very well both join me now. both reported from puerto rico after the storm. gabe actually on a flight back here in a few hours. mariana, let me start with you, on the study, lay out for us what the findings were and how they got to these numbers. >> craig, this new harvard study surveyed more than 3,000 random households across puerto rico and they found this stagger
figure. almost 5,000 people on the island who died from hurricane maria-related deaths. we're talking about a mortality rate according to this study of 14.3 per every 1,000 people across puerto rico. and this survey found that a third of those deaths were because of delayed or interrupted medical care. we're talking about people with chronic illnesses like diabetes. we're talking about cancer patients that were intended to, in time, or were in areas where the power grid broke down and that may have led or, in fact, led to their deaths according to this new study. >> mariana, the folks who conducted this study, did they explain how there could be such a difference between the official government death toll and their figure? >> i didn't speak to the people who conducted the study directly, but i have been on the ground and i have spoken to doctors on the ground, craig,
and what happens is if a person in the months following the hurricane, so from september to december 2017, which is the range of the survey, if people died because they didn't receive any medical care, they weren't accounted for in that 64 maria-related deaths that the government is putting out as the official figure. so that's why you have such a huge dispirit. we're talking about 70 times the number of people who died from what the island government is saying to what this new study is revealing. >> gabe, has there been any sort of response from officials on the ground there to this new study? >> yes, craig. so the governor of puerto rico just held a news conference and he said look the government of puerto rico has commissioned another study. this one by george washington university. that's supposed to come out this summer. they welcome the study coming out from harvard. the federal affairs administration also just put out the statement, also saying it's
welcoming the release of the harvard university survey and we look forward to analyzing it. as the world knows the statement says the magnitude of the disaster kaulgsed by maria resulted in many fatalities. we've always expected the number to be higher than what was previously reported. >> so they've never believed it was just 64? >> journalists that were down there in the aftermath of hurricane maria, they were pressing the government on this. because look, hearing that this number came out more than 4,000 deaths possibly. we always knew the number was going to be higher. it's just a matter of how staggering that this number is. it's something that the local officials, the mayor of san juan, has pressured the government down there. she calls the study unthinkable now. and that, you know, she's drawing attention, that this was a crisis in management from local officials. so certainly, you know, president trump giving that grade in the -- you know, immediately after the storm.
how could this be underreported for so long right? the governor has repeatedly said it's difficult to count this. that's what he said in the weeks and months following the storm. that's why they say, they commissioned this other study by george washington university. but hurricane season starts in just a few days, craig -- >> you're on the red eye down there, right? >> the question is will puerto rico be able to sustain itself if there is another massive storm? there's been a lot of changes. they've tried to rebuild part of the power grid in the last couple of months but frankly, yes, there's a town down there, moradis, still 20% of the town, so many months after hurricane maria, 20% still does not have power. yaba cowa, in the southwest part of puerto rico, it is still devastated. the folks down there, they hear 4,600 deaths. there were hospitals without power following -- in the weeks and months following the storm. the electric company took, you
know, -- it's the infrastructure down there, many experts say, cannot withstand the storm of a magnitude of hurricane maria. and did they build it back up enough in order to face this hurricane season? >> can you sit tight? i think we've got a congressman on the phone. sit tight. i want to sit with the congressman who's on the ground there in puerto rico. this is illinois congressman rudy gutierrez. been to puerto rico nine times since the hurricane. today he is in a city just west of san juan there. congressman gutierrez, you're there on the ground. these numbers, eye popping, shocking to us. are they as surprising to you on the ground or does this figure -- this 4,600-plus figure, does it sound about right based on what you're seeing and folks you're talking to? >> yes. let me just say there are two gutierrezes who knew they were wrong. gabe and i both knew they were wrong. because we were both here.
massive shutdowns of hospitals. roads that you can't transit. traffic cams, i just want you to think about this, when the sun went down at 6:00, there were no lights on. and you just -- traffic came to a total -- now how does an ambulance get somewhere ? what they want to do is say mother nature came on one day and let's see who died within 24, 48 hours. well there was another hurricane. and it was the devastating hurricane of the lack of the federal government's response here in puerto rico. let's be clear. the response in puerto rico was not the kind of response we've had in houston. thank god for the people of houston. it wasn't the kind of response that we had in florida. thank god for the people of florida. puerto rico had hospitals shut down with no electricity. now, i just want to say one moment to the american public.
think about it. today, it's ten months after. i just visited last night a whole neighborhood, 500 neighbors strong, without electricity and it's ten months after the hurricane, nine months after the hurricane. and that -- if you turn on the radio in puerto rico, there's a radio station wkaq. >> yes. >> it's every night for an hour and a half. >> congressman, you and i both know if something like this had happened in illinois or not even one of -- not even your district but a major metro area in this country, people would be in the streets. there would be riots. and it would almost being hard not to justify their anger. but in puerto rico, there's no anger. >> you know what. >> i think we just lost him. we'll get congressman gutierrez
back. but -- oh, go ahead, congressman, you're back, sorry, go ahead. >> people want to go home. people want to go home. this is the only home. this is their country. this is the place they love. they don't want to leave here. and so they move forward and they work and they persevere. but i got to tell you something, this is on the federal government. the responsibility. yes, the hurricane caused deaths. but it was -- that's mother nature. it was the nature of this president of the united states that comes down here to minimize the -- and then leave and say we did a great job. grade himself with an "a" or a 10. look, the hospital, still -- remember something, we lost 5,000 doctors in the last ten years. the hospitals still are not all up and functioning on the island. there's a lot of elderly people
here. we're going to continue to work. we're going to continue to persevere. we're going to continue to put the electrical grid up. but even the government of puerto rico wants to be in denial. they want to act like puerto rico's a first world country. well, guess what, it doesn't have the infrastructure of a first world country. unfortunately it doesn't have the relationship with the united states as it should and our federal government. >> congressman gutierrez, thank you. gabe, i know you're getting ready to head down there in just a few hours. what are you looking for specifically? >> you know, what congressman gutierrez said, you know, struck a nerve in the sense that yes, we -- the fact the numbers were underreported is not surprising. but the scope of it is. you know, the fact that it was now -- could potentially be more than 4,000 according to the study. what i'm looking for down there is, is puerto rico ready for the start of hurricane season.
fema says it now has warehouses full of supplies. they say they're changing now. they're going to be more prepared by having more distribution points throughout the island. craig, the challenge in puerto rico is that the electrical infrastructure is concentrated on the southern part of the island. yet the power's generated for the population center in the northern part of the island. you know, experts say, you know, could they really have rebuilt that whole system. or is this just a band aid. and what happens with another monster category 4, 5 storm. will this government, the local government and the federal government be able to handle it. to congressman gutierrez's point, the army corps has said that the biggest reason, the biggest challenge for the response to puerto rico was the logistics. this is an island, you know, so far away from the u.s. main land. and you said, you know, would have ha happened in a major metro area. the fact that puerto rico is so far out there is a legitimate
concern. it's a challenge to be able to mobilize that many people down there. and the economy down there, the infrastructure, what happens if there's another massive category 5 storm and we're going to be asking the governor and fema whether they can withstand another storm of this magnitude. >> safe travels to you. thanks to mariana as well in miami. come back tomorrow, if you can, if you get down there and get a signal up. as several states in the south recover from subtropical storm alberto, they're bracing for more heavy rain and flash flooding. this just in from maryland. some sad news here. officials just confirming a few moments ago they have found the body of that national guardsman, sergeant eddison hermond is his name, this is a picture of him. he went missing during rescue efforts when flash flooding practically washed away ellicott
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signs today that the u.s./north korea summit is back on track. president trump in a tweet this morning writing in part meetings currently taking place concerning summit and more. the vice chairman of north korea heading now to new york. kim yong-chol would be the highest-ranking north korean official to visit this country since 2000. a summit between president trump and kim jong-un, it had been scheduled for june 12 in singapore but the president canceled last week over what he called, quote, open hostility and rhetoric from north korea. i want to bring in our guest, former director for korea affairs at the national security counsel during the bush and obama administrations. also msnbc diplomacy contributor
ambassador christopher hill, former u.s. ambassador to south korea. mr. ambassador, i'll start with you, sir. prior to this morning's tweet, the president indicated saturday that the talks were back on. this is part of what president trump said. >> it's moving along very nicely. so we're looking at june 12th in singapore. that hasn't changed. and it's moving along pretty well. so we'll see what happens. >> mr. ambassador, should we start packing our bags for singapore? >> yes, i think you can -- you can pack your bags for singapore. i'd make sure you get a refundable ticket though. i would -- i'd say look, there's no question that the pace has picked up. first of all, we're not seeing a lot of back and forth in the media. clearly that had helped derail the thing. we're not hearing john bolton
talk about his libya model and we're not hearing the north koreans either. so that's a good sign. i think the appearance of kim yong-chol in new york, that is going to be interesting. he's obviously going to talk to mike pompeo and maybe others. i think that kind of shows that the services within north korea that have to get on board, and i think he's part of that process. i think having the logistics team go to singapore is also a good sign. those issues are not insurmountable. by the way, singapore is just about the most organized place in the world apart from the msnbc newsroom. so i think if the third issue of course is i think the most important thing, and that's sung kim meeting one of our old nemesises in the delegation,
choe son hui. they'll figure out what we can say in a joint way. if there's something to what the north koreans are doing here we'll find out because they will -- they'll have to agree to say it in a joint communique. if they don't want to say it, well then, we probably have a different summit on our hands. sung kim was a veteran of those almost four years. this was a time when just talking with the north koreans met with so much derision back in the u.s. but i guess, you know, we've decided to do that now, given that frankly there isn't anything else that anyone wants to do. so let's see how sung does with this. we'll probably hear pretty soon whether there's a joint communique or not. >> sue, the stated goal here, at least from our perspective, continues to be denuclearization. it would seem to a lot of folks over the past few weeks our definition in this country of denuclearization is different from the north korean definition from denuclearization. is that an accurate assessment? how could that be? >> well, we've always had
different definition. whenever we talk about the denuclearization of north korea, you talk about unilateral. but when they talk about denuclearization, they often say of the korean peninsula, if the region's security is guaranteed, if the u.s. hostile policy ends, and of course that has implications for u.s. alliance commitment relationship with south korea. usually our troop presence in south korea, it has implications for that. north koreans also met u.s. extended nuclear umbrella we have over south korea and japan. as ambassador hill said, you know, ambassador sung kim is in korea and they're having discussions. we're having yong-chol arrive in new york where he'll have discussionings with secretary pompeo. we'll see if we can narrow this gap. >> all right, ambassador hill, sue, thanks to both of you. we will be talking about this a fair amount over the next couple of weeks.
i do hope you'll come back and join me. reaction, meanwhile, continues to roll in, to roseanne barr's controversial tweet. barr comparing a former aide to president obama. and now her co-star sara gilbert responded on twitter of course. roseanne's comments do not reflect the beliefs of our cast or crew or anyone associated with our show. we'll keep a close eye out. remind, you can watch tonight's special, msnbc's town hall, everyday racism in america, hosted by joy reid and chris hayes. 9:00 eastern tonight right here on msnbc. due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin, i'm up for that. eliquis.
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joins me now. matt, "the new york times" today reporting that the president's conspiracy theories erode trust in institutions including the media. t president -- catapulted him to political relevance. take a listen. >> i'm starting to think that he was not going there. meredith, he spent $2 million in legal fees trying to get away from this issue. and if we weren't lying, why wouldn't he just solve it? i wish he would, because if he doesn't, it's one of the greatest scams in the history of politics, in the history, period, you are not allowed to be president if you're not born in this country, he may not have been born in this country. >> we'll get back to matt in just a moment, we have some breaking news to pass along to you, that was fast, abc announcing a few moments ago that roseanne has been
cancelled. roseanne's twitter statement was abbore rent, repug nantd and inconsistent with our values and we have decided to cancel her show. i got to call you out here, buddy, you said 45 minutes ago that this would not happen. what do you think changed? >> oh, boy. i mean, obviously, the executives at abc i'm hoping will say more about this decision and how quickly they reached it. i really -- i guess my cynicism about how hollywood works has been overturned a little bit here. i thought they would try to stand by the show more because they seem to have made it a big part of their fall schedule, and it was incredibly successful. this shocks me. but, you know, i think a lot of people are going to feel that
this is something that sent a message. you put this kind of, you know, messaging out there, that there will be a price to be paid. and abc seems to have moved very, very quickly to make this happen. >> we should probably remind our viewers and listeners precisely how all of this went down. this was the tweet, if we can get it up here, this was the tweet early this morning, it's since been deleted, this is the tweet at 2:45 a.m., muslim brotherhood and planet of the apes had a baby, vj. and roseanne, clearly aware of the firestorm she started, twittered, i apologize to valerie jarrett to all americans. i am truly for making a bad joke about her.
my comedy was clearly in bad taste. one of the things that struck me after all of this started going down, here's a network that's home to the likes of shonda rhimes, that's home to a place, the show "black-ish" a spinoff now, a network that has demonstrated in the past that would seem to be on the outside at least, a commitment to diversity on the air and in terms of production. how much of that do you think may have played into this decision? do you think you may have seen or heard of shonda rhimes picking up the phone and asking the likes of ben sherman and other folks at abc and saying hey, come on, we can't allow this? >> shonda rhimes, while she still executive produces shows on abc, has moved her company to
netflix, so i don't know if that's exactly how things work there for her at least anymore, but it's worth noting that abc is owned by disney, and clearly disney has a brand that's all about inclusiveness and being family friend lly and i can certainly imagine people seeing that and saying that is so count to counter to the brand that disney and abc stands for, that we can't have roseanne as part of our tv family anymore. i can imagine more that happening. >> ahead of tonight's prime time special, reverend al, i follow you closely on twitter, you might have been one of the first folks who called for abc to canning se cancel this show a few hours ago, how surprised are you at
the speed with which the network cancelled roseanne? >> i am pleasantly surprised because i think it's important we do not normalize this kind of blatant racism. we're at an age where we're getting far too comfortable with racism and islamophobia, and not only is disney supposed to be a family friendly network that owns abc,oisney gets a lot of stock controllers, that could not in good conscience saying how can you have stock with a company that permits that kind
of racial di diatribe. i think it's -- roseanne has the right to be a supporter of whatever politics she wants but to take this kind of obvious racial rhetoric to compare a learned, respected public servant like valerie jarrett to an ape reminds us all of the history of blacks being called monkeys and i think that disney and abc did the right thing and i think they opened the door now to see other things that they're doing as we're looking at starbucks tonight and others in the private sector, that we're saying you cannot normalize bias and bigotry. >> reverend al, here's the things, and you and i both know this to be true, in our business, you're driven by ratings, you're driven by advertisers. this was a show that was highly
rated, they had picked it up for a second season, and apparently the folks at disney, the folks at abc didn't care about that so much as they care about some of the things you just mentioned. what do you think the message is for other folks that tweet things that are offensive, but that still very much have a megaphone of voice in our society, what's the tick away with the speed of which roseanne was taken off of abc? >> the speed will show a lack of tolerance that people will be able to be main stream figures that are able to get high ratings and use that to offset theirffset
-- when you use -- it is the responsibility of those that we su subsidize with our viewer dollars and our viewer ship to say that should not be tolerated. you can go home and behave any way you want but you cannot have a large platform and poison the culture of this country. >> one of the things we were talking about earlier in the broadcast, we were talking about that to a lot of folks we live in an age where the standard of acceptability has changed, what you can say, what you can tweet, things that two or three years ago would have seemed unthinkable. now seem to happen on a somewhat regular basis. does what's happening here, does it change that at all? or is this -- is this an anomaly? >> i think that we must make
sure that it is not an anomaly. we're in an age of a president that has in many ways main streamed and made acceptable at a presidential level this kind of dog whistling and this kind of in some cases blatant behavior. but it should not be allowed to spill over where we can demonstrate immediate power and that is with consumer dollars and like i said, with public investments of stock in some of these companies. just like people must demonstrate that at the voting booth, to deal with this fact, that we're dealing in a climate that is openly hostile and you're right, this was not the climate three years ago. we had incidents, we have incidents from imu surksimus an
but to have a constant normalization where people are just blatantly taking out their feelings of hatred, racism and islamophobia and gender inequality and homophobia is totally unacceptable. we can debate in the town square, but we cannot stand there and subsidize you be an apostle of hate in our commercial commodities that we support with our consumer dollars. >> katie tur is standing by to pick up our breaking news, again, abc canceling roseanne, after those comments she made about obama senior adviser valerie jarrett. >> stay where you are, rev, i