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tv   Four Seasons Total Documentary  MSNBC  November 28, 2021 4:00am-5:00am PST

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well, this is it. this is where it all happened. imagine that. my garage door made history. this is where the big press conference took place.
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i don't even know how to explain 2020. it was a crazy, crazy year. >> bad things happened in philadelphia. bad things. >> former vice president joe biden to become the 46th president of the united states. >> i had to idea what we would be in for. >> i thought it was a fake. i thought my friend were messing with me. >> a philadelphia landscaping company has been thrust into the national spotlight. >> the entire thing was supposed to be anonymous. >> it put me in shock to see my name on the president's twitter. we probably got thousands of calls. >> you have 950 new messages. >> we had a lot of haters. >> i remember asking, did we make a mistake? there were just way too many
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trees. here's the other thing, and i think we'll discuss this with the board when we have the zoom. my name is marie siravo, i'm 65, and i'm the president of four seasons total landscaping. we do ground maintenance, irrigation, seeding, flowers, snow removal. it's kind of boring. >> paul is on the phone. >> i think the most challenging part of starting the business and being in business was being woman owned. nobody took you serious. you're on the property, you have cameras. >> yeah. >> our other maintenance men on other properties, they connect with us, we help them, they help us. >> if i had a dollar for every time i got asked, did i have a husband? i have a wonderful husband. he just had his business and i had mine. this is my life, other than my
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family, this is my entire life. we want to make sure that if we do purchase this, it's meeting our needs and that we don't know also need another building. i have three boys. michael's the youngest. mike took one of the general manager role. i had to let go a little bit, because i want my hands in everything. >> how many people get the chance to go to work every day with their mother? >> the first thing we do is fix everything with food. this is part of our italian culture. >> some days are like phenomenal. and then some days she can't figure out how to use the printer and it's frustrating. >> mike! i need some help. >> we have some days where our horns lock. and he forgets i'm still his boss, but i try not to use that card, because i need him to learn everything that's in my head. >> i started.
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from the very bottom, being a laborer, learning everything, to basically working underneath the supervisor and shadowing him. i pretty much worked from the ground up to where i am now. you get it? ground up. other than that, like, that's not scheduled work, so -- >> basically, mike and shaun, they run the daily operations. >> i really do depend on mike. we're partners with his mother in this business. >> shaun and i met when we were in college and he was an upper classman. i looked up to him as like a role model. he was almost like a big brother to me. >> mike and i have been through a lot together, both personally and professionally. we're both in recovery, which is a big thing we have in common. >> if you can do it with somebody else who has the same goals as you do, to become a better person on a daily basis, it makes it easier. >> they're like two old souls. they work together so well. i know they both have the company's best interest at heart. sometimes it takes a little, you
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know, i've just got to let him be him and back up, and he comes around. so is this what people want to hear about? in this documentary? >> in addition to nevada, the race for the white house has not been called for pennsylvania. >> confusing pennsylvania is going to be. >> president trump is still leading in that state by about 108,000 votes. >> for days after the election, there wasn't a clear winner and it left everybody stressed. >> philadelphia became ground zero for the election battle. the convention center in the center of philadelphia is where all the votes started being counted. crowds started gathering outside. you had trump supporters and biden supporters and they were facing off against each other across the street. >> people were dressing up as the constitution, people were dressing up at mailboxes, they're holding signs saying "we the people," progressive versus conservative america, in one place, these two streets outside the philly legal center.
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trump's legal team turn up at the philly convention center. pam goes to address the crowd, and the count every vote protest across the street turn up the music really, really loud. so you cannot hear a word that pam says, because it's completely overwhelmed by the sounds of beyonce. >> everybody was biting at each other, every post and tweet and instagram you saw, people were arguing and it just was very uneasy. and then, the phone call. >> my phone rang around 8:45 a.m. i was in a men's bible study in doylestown, pennsylvania. >> hello? >> so i didn't answer. and then my phone immediately rang again. so i excused myself and walked outside. and it was a trump staffer. they were asking if we would be amenable to them having a press
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conference at four seasons total landscaping. i just thought, why not? >> by about 9:45, the deal was sealed. it's just insane, out of all places, it's here. >> we're a landscaping company. we're experts in ground maintenance, irrigation, seeding, planting, not press conferences. conferences.
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suddenly this tweet comes through from donald trump. lawyer's press conference at four seasons philadelphia at 11:00 a.m. i sprang into action, grabbed all my stuff, made phone calls to the editor. >> i go down to the four seasons hotel in downtown philadelphia. >> i think i was at the door when the second tweet came through. four seasons landscaping philadelphia. i think my initial was just one of utter confusion. >> it's like, of course it's
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there. there's landscaping there. and i thought, it's the four seasons hotel, the entrance area with the landscaping. >> my assumption was that he had mushed the keypad somehow and accidentally typed the word landscaping. >> i got a phone call from the four seasons hotel, and he said, marie, i've got one question, are they coming to you or are they coming to me? >> trump deletes the second tweet and a third tweet comes in, and it says, big press conference in philadelphia, four seasons total landscaping. why would the president's lawyers hold a press conference at a landscaping company? >> this story starts with donald trump tweeting that would be a press conference on saturday morning at the four seasons in philadelphia. no, not the hotel, but four seasons total landscaping. it remains unclear whether the trump campaign booked the whole thing in error or not. >> why did you pick this place? it was just a head scratcher. this was just the beginning of how surreal this event was. it's not prominent, why is it here? i mean, you had more questions
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than you could possibly have answered. >> with trump, it was always difficult to get answers about the truth. sometimes it was because people didn't know the answers. often it was because they were lying. i spent weeks and weeks interviewing everybody i could and hitting dead end after dead end after dead end. nobody really knew how they ended up at a landscaping place in a part of town that, you know, normally is not where campaigns host these things. i set out try to answer what i thought was a simple question. what the hell had happened. and the longer that i dug into it, the crazier and crazier it was. >> mistake or not, they held their press conference at the loading dock of the landscaper. here's what it looked like. that's quite an image. projects power. >> obviously, they screwed up. they called the wrong place, and they just thought, well, let's just go with it. >> we are on an industrial strip
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with a crematorium across the street and an adult video and bookstore up the street. >> there was a level of excitement among our staff that we would be hosting the president's campaign staff here. but that was quickly followed by dread. >> an obvious screwup in booking, but they all played along, pretended that was the master plan. >> there are two different theories that i had and other people had as well. one, i thought that maybe they had -- someone thought that they could book the four seasons hotel. someone on the campaign made the president think that it was a possibility that it would be held there, and that, you know, once he tweeted that, they googled around and found that the closest thing found four seasons to the four seasons philadelphia happened to be this landscaping place. the other theory, it was this perfect storm of minor screwups
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from various people at various levels of the campaign. and somehow, maybe through a connection or an accident, they ended up here. >> i met the campaign staff here at about 9:30. it was a pretty quick set-up. obviously, you saw what was on tv. i'm pretty proud of the space that we were able to curate in such a small amount of time. i mean, it was a landscape construction yard. >> normally, you might have police outside on the perimeter, but it was just private security. and they asked us to put our news organizations down on a clipboard, and then they would call us in. and they made us look like it might be exclusive, like we might not all get called in. every time they called a news organization, the six to eight trump supporters would boo. >> request that a republican -- >> the media is whores! the media are all whores!
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>> the biggest part for me was seeing giuliani pull up in two black suburbans. i thought i was dreaming. nobody famous has ever been here. and it was almost like it was in slow motion, like him walking into the office. >> i actually wasn't going to come here. and i got a phone call from my son, anthony, and he said, mom, this is bigger than we think. and he sends me a picture while i'm talking to him. and rudy is sitting at my desk and the plaque in front of my desk says boss lady. i looked at my husband and i said, i think we better get over there. >> we demand a fair election! we demand a fair election! we demand a fair election! we demand a fair election! >> there was a crowd of people, both biden and trump supporters were there they were going back and forth with each other and the cops showed up and the entire front road was shut down.
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and that's when it got very nerve-racking for me. >> it was just overwhelming. i looked around, tried to figure out who everybody was. the press conference was about to start. i stood on top of a press conference so i could see and i just watched. >> in the final weeks of the trump campaign, officials told me that keeping rudy business became like a full-time job. they had to devise places to send him, specific aides to keep with him and that would make it so that he was not kind of running wild, creating whack-a-mole problems for them. >> rudy giuliani is undermining the confidence inspect american election skpm therefore undermining our national security. >> rudy giuliani was considered to be a great force of law and order. he was one of the heroes of 9/11. >> and i think that's part of why it was so disturbing to watch him unravel and to watch him debase himself in support of
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this guy who they thought that he was better than. >> by the way, do you have any idea that the state department -- >> shut up! shut up! >> hold on. >> shut up! you don't know what you're talking about. you don't know what you're talking about, idiot. >> he was kind of a mess. but he was always around. and he was always loyal, and that was the only thing that really seemed to matter to the president. >> he is a great guy. he knows it's a witch hunt. that's what he knows. he's seen a lot of them. >> rudy followed his press coverage very carefully and he was very aware of what the view of him was in mainstream circles. >> he was nothing but respectful to us when he was here. shook all of our hands, took pictures with us, greeted all the cops. but, you know, i think going on tv, i don't know if, you know, something changes. >> he once told me my view of my legacy is, quote, fuck it. >> what a beautiful day.
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thank you. thank you for coming. i'm here on behalf of the trump campaign, as an attorney for the president, to describe to you the first part of a situation that is extremely, extremely troubling. >> so rudy giuliani comes out and launches into this speech about how the election was stolen and how there are very grave allegations of fraud. he has witnesses behind him. >> people who have seen alleged fraud, people who will be testifying in lawsuits. he presents this guy, darryl brooks, later to learn that he's exposed himself to children under age. >> so it became clear pretty quickly that there was nothing really there. there was no big revelation. he wasn't exposing some big fraud that had taken place in philadelphia. the election wasn't stolen. >> while rudy was speaking, i was off to the side with mike and marie bicep just kind of looked at each other and were in awe of how long this was going on.
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>> i know, i know you won't accept it because of your hateful biases, but see if you can try thinking rationally. >> now, some of those ballots have been manufactured in advance by the democrat machine of philadelphia. it wouldn't be the first time they did it. >> i didn't think anybody took this real seriously. >> how can i possibly tell you there's fraud or no fraud. >> you just said -- >> somebody yells out, do you know, they've called the election for biden. >> who was it called by? >> who was it called by? all the -- oh, my goodness, all the networks? wow! all the networks? >> all the networks! when have the networks decided the election, something to that effect. and we're all thinking, all the time. networks call the elections all the time. >> you can see this ripple among the crowd of journalists as they try figure out what to do.
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and i'm kind of standing there thinking the same thing, do i need to stand here and listen to rudy giuliani or go back to philadelphia where people will be celebrating the election. and you see people start to pack up their stuff. >> many of them had to leave, because the primary story wasn't that rudy giuliani was challenging the election results, the story was that biden had just won the presidency. if somebody asks me, where were you when they called the election for joe biden. i would say, well, i was in the parking lot of four seasons total landscaping. >> thank you. >> the president's lawyer left as the news came in that joe biden had been declared the victor. perhaps this is why they chose the industrial state. they wouldn't be heard or welcome here in downtown philadelphia. a city in a state which delivered donald trump the white house four years ago, pennsylvania is now the state which pushed joe biden over the
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line. >> i just thought, sure, we said, yeah, and it was going to be over. period. >> we would have done this for either political campaign. we just wanted to be helpful. and we just had no idea what we were in for. >> hey, did you see my press conference today? it was at the four seasons, fancy. >> yeah, sounds fancy, but it was at a landscaping company called four seasons. was that a mistake? >> what?! no! >> we heard from all different types of media outlets and people wanting to know more about what happened. >> i got calls from "the washington post" -- >> chicago times. -- >> "the new york times". >> "usa today". >> yahoo! news. >> netflix. >> hulu. >> abc. >> nbc. >> fox. >> cnn. >> the bbc. i started seeing that this was going further and it was going into europe. >> german newspapers. irish newspapers. you name it, they were all calling. >> my e-mails have not stopped.
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you getting e-mails? >> nonstop. >> are you? >> yeah, it's insane. it was supposed to be anonymous -- yeah, yeah right. that's why i said yes. otherwise, if i thought it was turning into this, i would have thought twice. >> on the day after the press conference, it was nothing but chaos. we couldn't even use the office phone for two weeks, because it. >> you couldn't even get a thought processed. >> you have 1,010 new messages, of which three are urgent. >> hey, for four seasons total landscaping. i understood that there is a special on bullshit this week. >> new message, two. >> hi, do you provide services like dismantling our democracy? >> deleted. >> you guys are fucking gross. delete. >> you're fucking traitor.
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>> deleted. >> the things they're saying about us are amazing. i can't even believe this. wait until you hear this one. there's a big conspiracy theory, we're burning ballots across the street at the crematory. people's minds, they're just delusional. >> that was one of the hardest parts for me. i never had to deal with that level of hate. i'm talking hundreds and hundreds of e-mails i just got, basically saying to go eff yourself, i'm going to burn down your building. it created a lot of fear for what the future holds for four seasons total landscaping. >> it's frightening, because 28 years could go down the tubes. i remember asking my husband, joe, are we going to survive this? are we going to get out of this in one piece? people don't get it, that being in business is not a picnic. i remember them coming to take my car in the middle of the
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night, bringing a generator home because they shut my electric off, because i couldn't cash my checks. i had a tough time borrowing money when i bought this building. i had to put my house up for the bank to give me the mortgage. so i had the shot of losing both places. >> do i want to see something that she built just disappear? or was i going to keep the legacy going? trying to operate a business through all of this, i don't even know what word to use to describe this. >> people were taunting us, laughing at us, mocking us, and we needed to figure out a way to let them all know that we were in on the joke and that we were laughing, too. >> all, all the networks! >> when you surround yourself with good people, good things happen. i think it started to turn when michael and sean started to run with this on instagram and facebook and they made a joke
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out of everything, because it was funny to us after, that they picked us out of everybody in the world, they picked our place. >> if this whole thing blew up, i would recover from it. i would go and work somewhere else, but a family business that was 28 years in the making might not recover from something like this. and i felt responsible, because these people are my family. >> understanding the joke and being in on it, it was just like almost a waterfall of memes that you can make. >> we got put into a corner, and we used our humor to get us out of it. >> we were making thousands of people laugh all over the entire -- not only nation, but world. >> it went from being majority negative and getting hate to then the total opposite, overnight. >> they ended up doing this in kind of a rinky dink parking lot, no offense to the landscaping company. the real winner wasn't the campaign, it was the total landscaping company which has
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really come out of this on top, just owning social media over the last month. >> like true entrepreneurs, we wanted to capitalize on this international attention and sell t-shirts. >> we went from being a landscaper to selling merchandise. we just started filling orders day and a night. >> we've done approximately $1.5 million in sales revenue. that's a lot of t-shirts. we've been getting a lot of fan mail. people have been sending us christmas cards with our zoom background on them. >> can you believe somebody made this? they made us our own lego set. there was a diorama of our company in berlin -- that amazed me. who would want this? >> somebody made a virtual reality four seasons. >> we had people showing up on our doorstep, knocking, asking for t-shirts. we even had one employee that was leaving and somebody offered them $50 for the stained sweaty t-shirt off their back. we had hundreds of visitors coming in the first couple of
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days following our social media revamp. >> suddenly, we had fans. it was surreal. >> would you look at all of these people out here. it's like every day, this is insane. people have referred to us as a philly landmark. we've had so many families out front -- >> we even had two sisters, one lived in bethlehem, pennsylvania, the other in new york city, and they met here with a blanket and a picnic basket and had their thanksgiving dinner together here. i really think that the four seasons hotel thing was a blessing for us. if our name had been marie's landscaping, none of this would have happened. >> well, the family at four seasons total landscaping appears to have taken this in their stride. go online now, and you can buy a range of "make america rake again" and "lawn and order" merchandise. >> i reached out to the four seasons hotel. my reporting concluded that
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nobody from the trump campaign or any campaign had reached out to the four seasons hotel about campaigning any kind of event. >> i love the narrator that it was a mistake and they meant to book the four seasons hotel. >> there was no mistake. this is exactly where the press conference was supposed to be. >> they had surveyed some areas along the i-95 corridor and our site was one of the ones that they determined would be secure with quick access on and off the highway. >> and it was free. that's another important thing. the trump campaign blew through $1.1 billion of. they were near broke before the presidential election. they didn't have any money. and that's why it couldn't have been at the four seasons hotel. they would have charged them. >> that's why it was at four seasons total landscaping. there's your inside track. cause they didn't want to do it anywhere else. >> this has given me something that i can't even explain to you. it's worth more than money. because this was not about money. at all.
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this was about our story. >> it's an american underdog story. i think we were able to turn something that appeared to be disastrous for a small business into something positive. >> before the press conference, four seasons total landscaping was struggling. almost like living from paycheck to paycheck. going from being almost a local city landscaping company to now being globally recognized. it's amazing. but we are just honored to be able to give back, being able to help the next person out. we did a toy drive this christmas with toys for tots. me and sean went in ourselves and delivered them to the hospital. >> thank you, ladies, so much. i really appreciate it. >> for them to get that joy, that was the best part for me. you know? i'm very proud of myself for that. >> when we get on the zoom, i want you to take over this.
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>> yeah, i got you. >> we're at the end of the line for me and my career, but i know when i hand those keys over to michael, he's got it. he's proved himself. michael has shown every day how much he's grown as an individual, as a father, as a husband, as a son. >> he's a phenomenal mother. she's always there to support me. it's like always having somebody with their hand on your back, pushing you to greatness. >> for him to step into my shoes and take over my role, i have so much faith in him. i know he can do anything. >> my distinguished guests and
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fellow americans, this is america's day, this is democracy's day, of history and hope, of renewal and resolve, through a crucible through the ages, america has been tested anew and america has risen to the challenge. >> the most amazing thing in my life has happened. i'm in a super bowl commercial. >> looks good, guys. sclnlg it's often, right place, right time. fiber gets that. from graphic design to web development, we're even a pr expert for things like, i don't know, booking a press conference. fiber has the freelancers to get you where you want to be. >> is this a lobby? >> this is not a hotel. this isl
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marie and michael are here to tell us what life has been like since that infamous day. plus, the director of that amazing documentary shares how it all came about. and we'll take a deeper look into how the big lie metastasized from giuliani's post-election press conference. that's all coming up next, right here on msnbc. don't go anywhere. t, right here on msnbc. don't go anywhere. limu emu... ♪ ♪ superpowers from a spider bite? i could use some help showing the world how liberty mutual customizes their car insurance so they only pay for what they need. (gasps) ♪ did it work? only pay for what you need ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ spider-man no way home in theaters december 17th ray loves vacations. but his diabetes never seemed to take one. everything felt like a 'no'. everything. but then ray went from no to know. with freestyle libre 2, now he knows his glucose levels when he needs to.
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and at that point, they wouldn't really taste like your mom's short ribs. no one can deliver your mom's homemade short ribs. that's why instacart helps deliver the ingredients. we're a landscaping company. we're experts in ground maintenance, irrigation, seeding, planting, not press conferences. >> why would the president's lawyer hold a press conference at a landscaping company? >> it was a pretty quick set-up. obviously, you saw what was on tv. it was a landscape construction yard. >> we just had no idea what we were in for. >> oh, my goodness, all the networks! >> i remember asking, did we make a mistake? >> we had a lot of haters. >> you have 110,000 new messages. >> it created a lot of fear of
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what the future holds for four seasons total landscaping. >> we got put into a corner and we used our humor to get us out of it. >> all, all the networks! >> they made a joke out of everything, because it was funny to us. >> it's an american underdog story. >> on the morning of november 7th, 2020, then president donald trump sent out a series of tweets announcing that his campaign would be holding a press conference at the four seasons in philadelphia. not the four seasons hotel, but four seasons total landscaping. the family-owned business located in north philadelphia industrial park just off of i-95. it became host to one of the most surreal moments of the 2020 election and the subject of the "four seasons total documentary." the director of that documentary, christopher stout, the owner of four seasons total landscaping, marie siravo, and her son and director of operations, michael siravo all
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join me now. guys, great to have you here. this was an incredible documentary. i cried, i laughed, i was rooting for you at the end and so glad to finally have the ability to talk to you. marie, i wanted to talk to you and see how you're doing in all of this. how has this been for you and how is the business and family doing now? >> everybody's doing great. and i'll be honest with you, this was the ride of a lifetime. i'm at the end of my career and i -- i'm happy that i made the decision i made when we were in -- you know, when we were initially called to hold the press conference here, and i never could have imagined that it could have turned out like this, but it has been such a year for us, because we've had one thing after another have happened, people have embraced us around the country and around the world. messages we've gotten, i couldn't be happier. and then, you know, to get to a
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year and a documentary i it's just amazing for us, we're thrilled. >> chris, let's talk about that documentary for a moment. how did you decide on doing a documentary about this? how did you connect with the family? and how did you manage to get through to them with all of the thousands of phone calls and messages that they were receiving on any given day? >> obviously, the whole world wanted to know the mystery. why did the president's lawyer hold a press conference at a landscaping company? clearly, this was this big question, the million-dollar question that needed to be solved. and outlets from all over the world were reaching out to them. but i actually had sort of an inside track. as it turned out, a friend of mine was brothers with sean middleton, the director of sales at four seasons, so i was actually able to get on the phone with them before anyone else did. and when we got on the phone
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together, i got the sense that every outlet wanted to know, you know, why did this happen? why was the press conference held there? and for me, i was a lot more interested in actually getting to know them as people, and seeing how their experience has been, just having their world turned upside down. they were such a fish out of water. and for me the conflict just called to me as a filmmaker. you know, what the hell happened? >> michael, i wanted to play for you this clip from the documentary, just after the press conference, with rudy giuliani. watch this moment. >> that was one of the hardest parts for me. i never had to deal with that level of hate. i'm talking hundreds and hundreds of e-mails. i just got, basically saying to go eff yourself, i'm going to burn down your building. it created a lot of fear of what the future holds for four seasons total landscaping. >> so michael, the future has played out a little bit. tell us, are you still getting messages like that? how do you handle the messages,
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if at all, that you're receiving now? >> complete opposite messages. they're filled with like love and appreciation for the way that we spun this and making it an almost comedic -- you know, if anybody ever comes and stops through here, we hand them stickers, whatever we can. it's crazy to even think that for us, that there are fans. that's the hardest part for me. it's just like, there's actual fans of a philadelphia-based landscaping company, you know, it's just -- it's still hard for me to grasp. but i always tell people, if you're in the area, stop through, we'll take pictures, we'll do what we can, if we have time. yeah, i love it. >> christopher, you had such an intimate insight into making this documentary. what surprised you the most while you were making this film? >> i mean, i think to mike's point, the thing that surprised me the most was this outpouring
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of love that four seasons received after the press conference. i mean, they sold $1.5 million worth of t-shirts. that's just incredible. you can actually still buy those t-shirts now. people were making christmas cards featuring the garage doors as their zoom background. those two sisters that came to four seasons to have their thanksgiving there, clearly, this moment resonated with people. and it created just such an outpouring of love and suddenly, four seasons total landscaping sort of meant something to people. and it became this american people that people could actually share with together. and it kind of created this online community. >> i'm going to go out on a limb and say there's probably going to be some wedding proposal there at some point. let me ask you really quickly, marie, let me ask you about the -- because it's become such an iconic location, has any
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other political party or campaign has reached out to hold a political event there? and if so, what would you say? >> unfortunately, no other political campaign has approached us, but we would have said "yes." because, you know, knowing where it got us here, and all the excitement that we've had, we would do it again, we would do it again. the outpouring and the embracing that we've had, the way people have treated us, the end result was just -- it may not have been business enhancing, but the treatment that we got, and truthfully, everywhere we go, somebody knows us. it's exciting. it's really exciting. you work your whole life, and what a way to go out, you know, i'm at the end of my career and this is just amazing to me, that people stop me and say, you look like the girl from -- the lady from four seasons. i am the lady from four seasons, and it's just funny. it's just, you know, it's
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amazing. >> michael, i know the future of this company so important to you and your family. we heard christopher there talk about how you turned this bad situation into a positive one with the merchandise. have you given any thought about the future of the company and what you can do if you even plan on expanding it from beyond just doing landscaping and now the merchandise, you know, perhaps even become an event space one day? >> yeah, i think the main goal for me is to obviously create more jobs. keep growing to the next level. that was always my plan prior to all of this excitement and the conference. our niche landscaping. it probably always will be. i'll do the same thing that i did the first time around, it's just take one day at a time, one week at a time, and just kind of go from there. if something gets put in our opportunity to do something, yeah, i don't see why not. >> well, we're going to be rooting for you for whatever you decide to do in the future.
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christopher stout and michael and plea siravo, thank you so much for this absolutely brilliant and wonderful documentary. up next, how the election-fraught narrative pushed by rudy giuliani and four seasons total landscaping became a defining belief among republican voters. the growth of the big lie, coming up next. oters. the growth of the big lie, coming up next skin that never holds you back. don't settle for silver. #1 for diabetic dry skin #1 for psoriasis symptom relief and #1 for eczema symptom relief. gold bond. champion your skin. what makes salonpas arthritis gel so good for arthritis pain? gold bond. salonpas contains the most prescribed topical pain relief ingredient. it's clinically proven, reduces inflammation and comes in original prescription strength. salonpas. it's good medicine.
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this is a gross miscarriage of the process that would assure that these ballots are not fraudulent. it's a fraud. an absolute fraud. >> i think that it is a corrupt, stolen election. >> i have never seen this amount of voter irregularity. >> the election is being stolen. the evidence is overwhelming. >> i'm not sure that every vote was counted, and not in the right way. >> they say i lost. i didn't lose. the election was rigged. >> how does anybody trust the election results? >> so the election lies pushed by the trump campaign at four
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seasons total landscaping in november of 2020 have only kept growing ever since. joining me here to talk about that, one of the producers on "four seasons total documentary," olivia nuzzi, the washington correspondent for "new york" magazine, along with msnbc political analyst, kimberly atkins stork. great to have both of you with us. let's start with that moment, when you look at that time that rudy giuliani was standing there, peddling the allegations of voter fraud and that the election was stolen, just as the networks were calling the election for joe biden, it almost seems comical, and you want to laugh a what you were seeing there, but given how this has now resonated among republicans, what is that moment in time mean for where we are as a country? >> one way you could look at it as -- i wouldn't say a break with reality, when people would talk about the wheels being off of the trump white house, i would always say, like, there were wheels? so four seasons was not a breaking point, because things
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had been insane, the election had been all about conspiracies for a long time. the administration had been about conspiracies. donald trump's entire political career was about conspiracies. but that it was just kind of this formal moment where they officially made conspiracies and insanity their strategy going forward. and what followed that was the insurrection. so even though this was just this hilarious weird historic event at this landscaping company, by mistake or foreplanning, it still -- there's a kind of grimness to the whole thing in knowing what came after. >> so, kimberly, to that point, when you look at where the polling is today on this, you know, some polls suggest as much as 68% of republicans believe
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the election was stolen. they believe the big lie. it's even higher for people who use fox news as their main source of information or who trust it. i think it's like in the low 80s. how do you begin to even counter the big lie, when you have that many people buying into it? >> it's difficult. and to be sure, this was amp amplified by donald trump and his campaign. but it goes back so much farther. we have to show that the big lie and why it was able to take hold is for decades, particularly republicans, have used this idea of protecting against fraud. fraud that's never existed, that's never been proven, in order to make voting more difficult. to pass laws with everything but from stripping voters' names from polls, from requiring i.d. requirements, where we know that it's more difficult for black people, brown people, poor people, to get them, and they tend to vote democratic. that's been happening for a long time.
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you have the stripping of the voting rights act where it happened even more. so that was the kindling donald trump's big lie was able to set a fire and really lead to this. it's a slow buildup and that's why it's so much harder to fight back against now. >> and in the months leading up though fateful day at four seasons total landscaping, the trump campaign was -- trump was sort of throwing out different reasons why he would eventually lose. once it became clear to him, i remember talking to advisers in the white house and on the campaign, once he started to accept that it was a possibility, which took a really long time, given what the polls said, and how things were going in the country with the coronavirus, he started to kind of amp things up with spitballing about things that were going wrong, who was taking the election from him. the fact that fraud was forthcoming, basically. so give himself an excuse in the event that he did lose. >> you talk about conspiracy theories. there was this one moment in the
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documentary that i think is very foreshadowing. it's when marie starts receiving phone calls and messages and one of them was a conspiracy theory. watch. >> the things they're saying about us is like amazing. i just -- i can't even believe this. okay, guys, wait until you hear this one, there's a big conspiracy theory. we're burning ballots across the street at the crematory. >> kimberly, that seems like a harbinger of the conspiracy theories that we are now inundated with around this election, because of moments like that. >> absolutely. when there are -- when there's no uniform source of information, information sources are diversified, and when so much misinformation is just being feudal into this election and the past several elections, that's what happens, people believe what they want to believe. they believe far-fetched things as long as it confirms their own
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biases. that's where you see that kind of thing run wild. and that's what we're seeing today. people are dug into their corners and believing whatever supports their side. >> kimberly atkin stork, olivia nuzzi, thank you so much. we're using the hashtag fourseasonstotal. so please join in. i'm ayman mohyeldin. good night. today on "velshi," news of the omnicron covid variant is coming in fast as more countries confirm cases and drug companies rush to test their vaccines against it. we'll have the very latest from a top biden administration official and one of the country's foremost vaccine experts. plus, we'll hear from one woman who's fighting on the front lines against the redistricting apocalypse. find out what she's doing. and we're expecting a big week ahead from the january 6th select committee, we'll get you up to speed who knows being subpoenaed, who's cooperating, and what's going on with all of


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