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tv   Ayman  MSNBC  January 29, 2022 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

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some republicans are crying identity politics over president biden's promise to nominate a black woman to the supreme court. but is their problem with identity or the identity? plus profit over principle. why spotify is choosing the joe rogan hill to die on. then, for a political party that hates cancel culture, gop lawmakers seem to love cancelling culture. we're going to dive into the latest efforts to ban books from classrooms in this class. i'm ayman mohyeldin, let's get started. all right. so, the ink isn't even dry on justice stephen breyer retirement announcement, and yet some republicans are already up in arms about his replacement. and while there's still a lot -- and i mean a lot -- we don't know about president biden's first supreme court pick,
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there's one thing we actually know for certain. >> while i've been studying candidates' backgrounds in writing, i've made no decision except one. the person i will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity. and that person will be the first black woman ever nominated to the united states supreme court. >> now, this isn't exactly new information to be clear. biden was simply reiterating a pledge he made during his presidential campaign. but, as you can imagine, in washington, d.c., that did not stop republicans from falling over themselves to criticize a nominee that hasn't even been named yet. members of the gop say biden's promise would bring identity politics into the supreme court. just take a listen to mississippi senator roger whitaker here. >> the irony is that the supreme court is at the very same time hearing cases about -- about this sort of affirmative racial
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discrimination. >> yes. >> and -- and while adding someone who is the beneficiary of this sort of quota, the majority of the court may be saying writ large, it's unconstitutional. we'll see how that irony works out. >> i'm not sure if senator whitaker here has some sort of psychic powers, but how exactly would he know so much about the qualifications of someone who hasn't even been chosen yet. to be clear, presidents pledging to pick supreme court candidates from a specific demographic is not a new phenomenon. several republicans have done it before. back in 1980 then presidential candidate ronald reagan promised to name a woman to the supreme court. and of course republicans' favorite, president trump in 12020 made it clear his replacement for justice ginsburg would be a woman. that ended up being amy coney
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barrett. here's what senator whitaker said to barrett at the time. >> i have five granddaughters, and i think you're going to be an inspiration to those five granddaughters. >> so, clearly the senator understands the power of representation and what it means. so, don't young black girls in this country also deserve to have that kind of inspiration? shouldn't they be able to see themselves reflected on the nation's highest court? but let's be honest here for a moment. let's be clear. the issue here isn't identity politics. the court has always been intertwined with identity from its inception in 1789 until 1967 when thurgood marshal joined the bench, the entirety of the court was made up of white men. it's not really the idea of taking identity into account
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when making an appointment some republicans are criticizing. it's the identity itself. it's that it's going to be a black woman. take a look here at some of the names being floated to replace breyer. these are highly qualified judges. let's consider judge ketanji brown jackson. she sits on the u.s. court of appeals for the district of columbia circuit, and is widely considered to be one of the front runners for that vacancy. do you know who served on the d.c. circuit of appeals before his appointment as a justice? brett kavanaugh. we've got a lot to discuss. let's bring in my saturday night panel. an initiative aimed at putting a black woman on the supreme court. mark joseph stern is a staff writer for "slate" where he covers the supreme court. and margaret cho is a comedian and host of the margaret cho podcast. it's great to have all of you with us. kim, let me get your thoughts on
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this. your organization has been advocating specifically for this moment. did you expect this kind of response from republicans? >> we expected this type of response but remain disappointed. you know, to be completely honest with you, the conversation is being framed all wrong. we should be thinking about how is it that we are going to be sure that the senators are equipped to provide their constitutional duty to advise and consent and make sure that this judge has the judicial disposition and the -- and the experience to be an excellent addition to this -- to the supreme court. we have -- >> margaret -- >> if you just look at the slate of judges that are already before us and the names that have already been circulated, these women are phenomenal. they're imminently qualified. we have federal defenders. we have civil rights leaders,
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prosecutors. it is a beautiful and diverse slate of nominees. and frankly, if we were to take any one of their cvs and put the name john smith at the top of it, we wouldn't even be having this conversation. >> that's probably such a good point. it's probably the most heartbreaking thing in all of this, that people are talking about these justices or these potential justices purely, as i mentioned, because we know it is going to be a black woman regardless of what they're qualifications are. and that's absolutely ub unacceptable. margaret, twitter was full of bad takes after this announcement, including this one from the new executive director of georgetown center for the constitution. he suggested another possible nominee on twitter, an indian american jurist, but said he wouldn't fit into the latest intersectionality hierarchy, so, quote, we'll get lesser black woman. what's your reaction to that? >> i mean, i don't understand why we're trying to argue about
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this. what we're trying to do basically here is expand the diversity of the court, expand the diversity of all of these judges. i think that it's a very difficult time, and we're sort of, like, arguing something that's not -- it's not valid to what's happening right now. this divides us even further. i'm so excited about the possibility of a black woman on the supreme court. this has to happen now. and this is a really important step. >> mark, your most recent piece touches on the conservative backlash. you write that republicans are laying the groundwork to single out whoever this next justice will be, as unqualified and inferior for decades to come. think we're imagining things? just ask justice sotomayor. and it's true the way they have portrayed her as unqualified persists until this day. how can the court's history show us what we might see in the coming months? >> well, republicans have been
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running this same playbook against women of color nominees for the federal judiciary since the very first woman of color was nominated to the federal courts in 1966, constance baker motley, an incredibly talented jurist who had argued ten cases before the supreme court, won nine of them, litigated in the jim crow south in defense of black people, risking her life to vindicate constitutional rights. and yet when she was nominated to a district court in new york, republicans complained that she was not qualified. the white men who ran the american bar association said that she didn't have the real qualifications to be a judge. it was nonsense back then. it was nonsense today. it was certainly nonsense when republicans trotted out all these lines against sonya sotomayor in 2009. i want to be clear about something here. obama never ever said he would nominate the first latina to the supreme court. he never said he had a specific
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criteria for who he would pick, but when he picked sonya sotomayor, republicans and republican commentators accused her of being an affirmative action hire, of being a mediocrity who only secured her spot because of her race and gender. this is a woman who served on district court, extensive trial experience, served as a prosecutor, served on a court of appeals. she was one of the most experienced judges in the entire judiciary, but republicans accused her of being unqualified. i think it is long past time that we take these complaints seriously and just agree any woman of color nominated to a position of power is deemed presumptively unqualified and mediocre by a large segment of the population. >> kim, to margaret's point about diversity, diversity isn't just lacking in the supreme court. it can be felt throughout the judiciary, even though biden is working to change that on the u.s. court of appeals.
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what does this lack of diversity tell the next generation? do you ever see a world where this could be turned around? >> so, sri to applaud this administration for the steps they've taken, the historic nominations we've already seen. however, it remains a lot more work to do. you know, black women remain 1.6% of the -- of federal judges, and, you know, it's not just future generations. it's also current. our current american people, how can we have faith in a judiciary that is not a true and accurate representation of the people these justices are sworn to serve? and i want to highlight, these are lifetime appointments that are taking place. so, we need to pay attention. what i really love about this question and want to lift up is while it's critically important we have these conversations about the supreme court, we still have 120 vacancies that we need to fill.
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and so while we are still having these conversations about the supreme court and keeping an eye on, you know, this president's nominee or the hopeful nominee, we need to make sure we continue to nominate and fill these vacancies to ensure that we're able to make our stamp on the teem that we do have to make this judiciary a fair representation of this country. >> kim, put the justice nomination on the side for a second. let's talk politics of this. could democrats energize the base with a historic appointment. president biden in the polls is struggling right now. could this be a turn around moment for this year with this appointment for his base? >> i think this is our moment. the answer to that question is absolutely. when we stand ready, she will rise is the only initiative that is singularly focused and ensuring we nominate and confirm the first black woman to the supreme court and we increase diversity on the entire federal
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judiciary. and we are determined and ready to get our votes ready and on the phone with our senators to make sure that we are continuing to further diversify the federal judiciary and seeing our first black woman justice on the supreme court. >> margaret, the flip side to that is that republicans are already planning to use this against democrats in the midterms. they're targeting vulnerable incumbents and trying -- and tying them -- or tying to them what they've already decided is just a liberal justice. could that be a winning strategy for them? how much do you think the supreme court factors into how people vote? we know that it worked for republicans because trump campaigned on promising to appoint pro-life justices, despite the fact that people rejected so much about his personal beliefs, yet they went along with the fact that he was going to put pro-life justices on the supreme court. and he did deliver for them. >> right.
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but i think that because of that, now we understand how important the supreme court is and how these are lifetime appointments. and this affect us for generations. and so i think that what this does really for republicans just gives them more of a chance to show their racism, to show what they're actually thinking because when they oppose these issues just blindly because of race, because of gender, it really shows what they're thinking and who they are. and i think there's nothing better than the truth when it comes to that. >> mark, i've got to ask you something that stood out to me. after breyer's announcement, the justices released statements, these cordial statements. they almost seemed like they read out of a signed yearbook of a graduating high school senior. chief justice roberts called breyer a reliable antidote to dead air time at lunches. both justices thomas and sotomayor praised their friendship with the departing
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justice. justice kagan said she will miss him every day. kavanaugh called breyer a fierce patriot. and justice berry called him a model of civility. even pete williams remarked these usually routine statements seemed especially warm and friendly. and it's kind of conjured in my head the departing senior in high school. the truth is it's not going to change the fact that you have a supermajority of conservatives on the bench. >> right. this is a one for one swath. the court's ideology will remain the same. at the same time, you know, breyer was very much a conciliatory voice. i wrote when his retirement was announced that i thought he was too conciliatory. he was too eager to search out compromises and that he was too willing to sacrifice his own principles in order to get some kind of trade-off with the right wing bloc, trade-offs that have
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been increasingly difficult to secure in a 6-3 court. it doesn't surprise me that so many of the justices seem to love him. in addition to his rather charming personality, he has been working alongside some of them for more than 20 years. i think it's easy to forget that the justices of the supreme court have to see each other day in and day out, year after year, decade after decade. and i think there's just something about the human brain that develops coping mechanisms that teaches you how to like someone you would otherwise hate when you have to constantly be sitting right next to them and dealing with them in super froth situations. so, i think breyer excelled at the human relations aspect of his job. i think he probably disagrees with everything sam alito has ever said but figured out how to be friendly with him, how to be chums with him. that's something his successor might not do. it's not something sonia sotomayor has done.
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she is not willing to make those kinds of compromises. we will see if a more sharp elbow justice takes the seat. >> all right. mark and margaret, please stick around. kim, thank you for sticking with us tonight. coming up anti-vaxxers were outraged after a boston hospital deny aid heart transto a man who isn't vaccinated against covid-19. plus if republicans hate cancel culture so much, why are they encouraging it across the country. the latest on the nor'easter and what we're learning, the breaking news story. blizzard warnings still issue frd new jersey to maine. at this moment 2.5 feet of snow hitting some areas in the northeast. massachusetts hardest hit, over 88,000 people right now without power. let's go to chris pallone who is in boston. chris, we spoke an hour ago, and we're not necessarily in the best at math sometimes, but that number is lower than we spoke an hour ago. >> yeah, that's right. under 90,000.
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you might be able to hear there's a wind gauge here on long wharf that is blowing pretty hard right now. this wind is expected to continue into tomorrow. and even from an hour ago when we last spoke, the temperature has definitely dropped. so, that is not great news for people who get their heat through electricity who do not have power tonight. so, the power crews have made progress. they have brought that number down from a peak of about 120,000 customers without power. most of those people are on cape cod and on the south shore of massachusetts heading down towards cape cod. but there are scattered outages. the governor of massachusetts thanked people for staying off the roads. he wants them to stay off until tomorrow morning so these plows can clean up the roads, get the place ready for school and work on monday. >> saving grace. this is the weekend. chris pallone in boston for us. thank you so much. more ayman with ayman mohyeldin right after this break. ayman w ayman w right after this breaklf days.
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they're calling for unvaccinated people to not even be treated in hospitals. we need to, like, deny these people medical treatment. we need to shame these people. we need to make these people feel bad. but they don't do that with anything else when it comes to health. they don't do that with people that are overweight. they don't do that with people who smoke. they don't do that with people who take drugs.
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>> all right. so that was notorious anti-vaxxer joe rogan making it clear to the world yet again that he shrimp does not know what he is talking about. those comments are from his podcast last fall but they've received a lot of attention this week after a boston man was denied a heart transplant because he was unvaccinated. in reality, the story is much, much more complicated. most transplants around the country have similar requirements, flu shot, hepatitis b vaccine, a lot more. do you know what else is required? lifestyle behaviors for transplant candidates to optimize the patient's surveillance juvenile after transplantation. that because during and after a transplant procedure, the immune system is drastically suppressed. these requirements are not
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punitive. doctors are not, as joe rogan said, they're not trying to shame a patient. this is to um prove a patient's chance of survival. a transplant is a gravely serious operation, and transplanted organs are precious resources only given to those with the best chance of success. so, joe rogan, people aren't trying to shame you. you've proven to be quite shameless yourself. anti-vaxxers have made their choice. they just don't want to face any consequences for them. margaret cho and mark joseph stern are back with us. mark, the vaccination requirements are there for a serious reason. what do you make of this story? am i off base here? >> i think you're exactly right. it's not shocking to see someone like joe rogan peddling this information. but i think it's become clear in recent years that there is a culture of victimhood on the american right wherein many leading conservatives seem to
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believe that they are constantly being attacked and alienated and ostracized and persecuted when no such thing is occurring. and they are just in fact retreating further into their own paranoia and delusions. joe rogan is an example of this. and we have a number of judges on the federal bench today who feel the same way. i wrote an article not long ago about the escalating number of judges complaining about cancel culture in their provisions. almost all appointed by donald trump. here we have a vaccine that is safe and effective that is being used in transplant patients to ensure they have a good chance of survival, they are as healthy as can be when their immune systems are suppressed. and this is suddenly framed as persecuting someone for political reasons because they don't want to take this most basic step to protect their own chances of survival after an operation. that is not a sense of paranoid
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victimhood, i don't know what it is. and like you said, joe rogan has no capacity for shame. if he did, i would just hope that he understands he is killing his listeners with his nonsense, quite literally. and i hope that someone intervenes to help them because otherwise they may well die. >> what's incredibly frustrating about this, margaret, is that wouldn't you think that an emergency of this scale might make a person in such a vulnerable position do what was necessary to get the transplant and survive? i mean, after all, this guy, the patient here who's getting this heart transplant, he obviously trusts the doctors enough to replace his heart. so, he trusts the science that these doctors are going to apply him to, and i am pretty confident he does not understand or does not necessarily know every single drug that is going to be applied to him throughout this entire transplant operation. and yet this simple recommendation of a shot in the
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arm to give him a better chance, he doesn't want to take. >> it's because of the politicization of all of this, you know? and it's really -- it's really crazy. and i don't think i would care so much if covid-19 wasn't going to continue to mutate unless we all got vaccinated, unless we all dealt with this, that this is going to keep on getting worse and worse. there will be more and more variants. because this small stronghold of people decided they know science and they know better. and it's not -- it's not political. it shouldn't be politicized. but unfortunately, it has been. and it's really -- it's a really sad thing. >> mark, were you at all surprised at the scope of the reaction to this story and how much it has generated, particularly on the right? and like i said, the fact that it was -- in my opinion, it was taken out of context because this patient is receiving a heart transplant. he was not denied a heart
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transplant because he's unvaccinated. it's because doctors want the heart transplant to be successful. and if you reject science and you reject medicine that gives you a chance of it being successful, they know how precious of a resource that heart is. they want to give it to somebody who has a good chance of surviving. >> right. if i can put on my media criticism hat here for a minute, that was a terrible headline. and the framing of that story was wildly irresponsible because it plays directly into these fears and delusions that many conservative leaders are actively cultivating in their followers and supporters, that the vaccine is dangerous but that the government is uzing its power to punish or hoorm kill people who refuse to take it. the ap played right into that dynamic with this headline. and as you noted and explained quite eloquently, it's just not true. it's not the case. all of that said, again, i was not surprised to see the reaction because antivaxism is
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not just a political thing, although it certainly is, as margaret noted. it is a cult. and as is so often true with cults, there are certain tenets of belief here that cannot be shaken no matter how much evidence is thrown at the believer. here we can talk all night amongst ourselves about how ridiculous and irrational these views are, but tragically these individuals have been so deeply infiltrated with this propaganda that nothing can shake them from it. we are hearing stories of people on their deathbeds being asked, will you take this vaccine now. they say no because they are convinced they should not and must not and that it is worth dying for. that really makes me worry about the state of american politics that we have one party capitalizing on that. >> margaret, speaking of and staying on this just on joe rogan here for a quick second. joni mitchell is joining neil young's boycott of spotify, having both their music removed
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due to the false information about vaccines on joe rogan's podcast. what do you make of spotify siding rogen over young and mitchell? is this the company placing profit over principle? what would it take to get the company to change its mind? is this something the company should be considering? i've seen people make the point, you know, spotify is like cvs or any other company that sells stuff that is harmful, including junk food that you can find at a supermarket. why should they be held responsible for what joe rogan is saying. i don't know if i buy that analogy, but people are making that analogy, so i'm posing it to you. margaret, i think you may have frozen. margaret, are you there? all right. so, we are -- yes. margaret, you froze for a second. if you're still there, i don't know if you heard the question i was making, but you want to respond to that about spotify, neil young, and jody mitchell?
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all right. it seems that -- yeah, it seems -- yeah, margaret we're going to try to re-establish connection with you, and we'll come right back. we're going to take a quick break. we've got a lot more to talk about. coming up, why the conservative attack on banning books could have lasting effects in this country. stick around. d have lasting effects in this country. country. stick around [limu emu squawks] woo! thirty-four miles per hour! new personal record, limu! [limu emu squawks] he'll be back. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty. ♪ your record label is taking off. but so is your sound engineer. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. indeed instant match instantly delivers quality candidates matching your job description. visit
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now, if any of you guys ever seen one of these bad things for real? we burned almost every physical book in the country. by the time you guys grow up, there won't be one book left. >> a future dystopian america like in "fahrenheit 451" might not be as far away as we thought. the idea of burning books that led one to question aspects oof life or broader society was once seen as obscene. but is it any different at the
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republican attack abolishing any books they deem. they're at the communist manifesto or low lito. they follow characters that are gay or black or trans, books about coming of age, reckoning with it will real world, problems with gender politics, racial injustice history like the holocaust or slavery. but to conservatives, these novels represent an existential threat to their children. how much of a snow flake do you have to be to be scared of a children's book. the irony in all of this, republicans and right wing talking heads framed the sus estate's decision as an attack on america itself. the pinnacle of cancel culture and senatorship, they called it. they argue teachers and parents
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can explain doctor suess' drawings and put them into proper context. just to be clear here, in their minds, racist imagery is a-okay in school libraries. but books about a young black boy who is proud of his blackness or a pair of gay teens falling in love, apparently those are obscene. falling in love, apparently falling in love, apparently those are obscene. i brought in ensure max protein, with thirty grams of protein. those who tried me felt more energy in just two weeks! (sighs wearily) here i'll take that! (excited yell) woo-hoo! ensure max protein. with thirty grams of protein, one gram of sugar, and nutrients to support immune health.
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that could interrupt your life for weeks. forget social events and weekend getaways. if you've had chickenpox, the virus that causes shingles is already inside of you. if you're 50 years or older ask your doctor or pharmacist about shingles. all right. so, it seems that republicans are toeing the line between cancel culture and actually cancel culture. they're pushing across the country to ban dozens and dozens of books from classrooms has taken flight. the only real connection is that almost all of them center around characters that are people of color, gay, or trans, not to mention critical race theory or the holocaust. margaret cho, mark joseph stern
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are back with us. we saw conservatives up in arms with the suess estate said it would stop selling books because of blatantly racist imagery. they're calling it cancel culture. conservatives are banning books about transgender teens, critical race theory, and police brutality. what's the disconnect here? >> i think it's very obvious that there is some hypocrisy happening here. you have books that are being banned, you know, due to raising up marginalized voices. and it seems like it's a narrative that some members of the gop just don't want out there. and, you know, you see on the other foot that there are books that the gop is up in arms about. there's just been a major mental disconnect here and i think it's rooted in hypocrisy. it's the narrative they want out there, the narrative they feel comfortable with. and i think, ayman, as you mentioned, it speak of snow flake culture. >> yeah, it's incredible, and
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it's coming from the right, the very people who complain that everybody is a snow flake except themselves. margaret, why are these republicans so afraid of students reads these books? what kind of fear could they have of children being exposed to things they deem offensive? >> they just want to keep ahold of the status quo. they want to keep controlling the narrative and keep explaining away white supremacy as being all american. and it's not. it's not at all. and so the more that we can fight this with logic and really express them, this is hypocritical. this is really ridiculous. and what cancel culture really is coming from the left, it's just trying to do is make society fair, to make society understand its mistakes, to acknowledge its mistakes, to acknowledge its systemic mistakes over history and to change them with language. and so they're trying to use
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this against us here. and it's not going to work. >> mark, i remember a number of measures like the florida bill being debated a decade ago when marriage equality waze hot button issue. why are these bills popping up now? you have the one in georgia that passed. i believe it's working its way through the georgia legislature allowing parents or kbifing parents the ability to ban books they deem objectionable. >> i think we have a few things going on here. first of all, we live in an unparalleled and unprecedented time of educational polarization of the electorate, where the more educated you are, the more likely you are to be progressive and the less educated you are, the less likely you are to vote for republicans. that the holocaust happened, that transgender people are not sickos. and by banning these books, by limiting children's education, i think a lot of republican policy
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makers are trying to directly inhibit children's education and insure that they remain as narrow minded as their predecessors and do not defect to the more urbane and sophisticated party. i think it's clear that since the start of covid republicans have latched onto this idea of parents rights. this was about masking in schools, right? we have had so many culture wars in so many states now and on the federal level about whether schools can require children to remain masked to limit the spread of covid. and i think that this book banning bonanza is just an extense of that fight, that this is another way for republicans to draw on that same raw anger and passion parents feel when they believe their children are being corrupted and to sort of keep the party going as it were, to keep people excited about this and angry, to keep them opening their wallets, to keep them going to the polls to vote for people like glenn youngkin
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who's established a tipline for educational misdeeds that parents can report. and of course he was elected as the anti-mask, anti-vax mandate candidate. all of this is connected. >> it used to be, margaret, tv shows. it used to be movies. it seems now the frontlines of the culture wars in this country are school boards, which is not something i would have anticipated in this country. i've got to be honest with you. am i wrong here that now school boards are the new front lines in the culture war in this country? >> i think so because we look out into social media, we look at the way television is, the way movies are, the way music is, there's such great diversity, such expression of so many different kind of art happening that can't be controlled. but in the minds of these conservatives, what can be
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controlled is education and what's being taught in schools. they're trying to grab whatever they can grab. it's not going to work. it's really insane. >> let's switch gears for a moment and talk about a popular tv show, "euphoria," a movie that sits at the intersection of many of the social issues these days that our country is facing, drugs, young adulthood, adolescence, all kinds of social issues. why is this show so insanely popular? and more importantly, why do groups like d.a.r.e. and some conservative writers hate it so much? what's happening here? >> well, the show is a really interesting look at youth culture. the it is an kpaj raegs of youth culture, i want to really stress this. even zendaya herself said the show touches on really difficult topics, topics that are real to people but are traumatic. you have to have viewer discretion when watching the show. it's told from the naur tif of a drug addict.
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there are many people who said euphoria has made me want to do drugs less than anything else i've ever seen. it is a show that scares the crap out of many young people when they watch it in terms of drugs. and groups like d.a.r.e. who have somewhat antiquated views on drug use -- i mean, when i went through d.a.r.e. education in the '90s, it was railing against marijuana, which now is legal in many states and is used medically in many more states. so, d.a.r.e. has this perspective that the show is somehow glorifying drug use, whereas many young people who watch it and take in the message of "ewe phoria" sees somehow scary drugs can be and the violence and dangers of casual and anonymous sex. it really does show the raw reality of a lot of these things in a really interesting way. i think there are groups that an antiquated view on these issues, so they don't understand how
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young people are actually perceiving the show. >> margaret, i've got to ask you before i let you guys go. i'm wondering what tv shows you loved as a teen that was called too provocative. not to put you on the spot, but is there a show you think might have been deemed at the time conservative -- not conservative but certainly controversial? >> yeah, i was a big fan of "six feet under" when i was a teen. and that, too, drew a lot of criticism from the main stream press from parental groups from open and honest depictions of all kinds of violence and psychological issues. i would also note it had very strong lgbtq themes, and "euphoria" does as well. if you look at the groups that are targeted by these parental groups, so frequently they are concerned about honest and fair depictions of lgbtq people,
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especially teenagers who are for the first time exploring their lives and sexualities. that may be what's terrifying these people the most, and i love to see it because they're losing. >> i know. i love you -- i love "euphoria." i wish i had "euphoria" when i was a kid. i feel like it's made me younger watching it because this is a really nuanced view. it's not a special episode of something. it's a very good, honest take on what life is like for younger people. and i think it's amazing. >> couldn't agree with you more on that front, margaret and mark as well, your analysis on these shows and why they get so much criticism i think is spot on. mark joseph stern, margaret cho, greatly appreciate. before we go, as tension builds in russia and ukraine, some are calling for america to be more forceful in promoting freedom and democracy abroad.
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but are we really in a position to lead on this? i'll tell you more after the break. d on this? i'll tell you more after the break. redefine who we are and how we want to lead our lives. basically, choose what we want our future to look like. so what's yours going to be?
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all right. so, before we go, yesterday on my peacock show i responded to a "new york times" opinion column that called on america to defend democracy and freedom around the world. here's my take. so, the standoff in ukraine continues while russia's foreign minister claimed that his country does not want war. the number of troops amassed at ukraine's borders has increased to 130,000. diplomatic efforts to deescalate the crisis are ongoing. the question remains, what do we do now? one answer came this week from brett stevens. he argues that america needs to stand up for freedom and democracy around the world, believe it or not. with regards to russia, he called for the, quote, permanent deployment in large numbers of u.s. forces to frontline nato states, armed shipments to kyiv,
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which so far are being measured in pounds, not on thes, need to become a full scale air lift. he hedges by saying nato troops need not and should not fight for ukraine. still i was left with this question. have we learned nothing from the last 20 years of american foreign policy after decades of disaster in afghanistan and iraq, the only one who is have benefitted from the $14 trillion we spent there seem to be the private contractors. not to mention our efforts in iraq have not been much more encouraging. in fact it's hard to point to any u.s. military intervention in the last 20 years where our involvement hasn't made things worse. meanwhile, america's support for anti-democratic countries like egypt and saudi arabia, including the war in yemen, hardly makes the case that u.s. foreign policy has done much to advance freedom around the world. but beyond the crisis with russia and ukraine, stevens is insuffer bli vague over what
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would it could take to stand up for the free world. he says the u.s. must restore the concept of the free world, the large idea that the world's democracies are bound by shared and foundational commitments to human freedom and dignity. that sounds great, but shouldn't we first make sure we shore up our own foundational commitments to human freedom and dignity right here in the united states. look at this who row show of recent headlines in this country when half of this country is intent on pushing the big lie, making it harder to vote, rejecting legitimate elections, banning books, and forbidding teachers from saying things that the far right find uncomfortable, what moral authority do you think we have to tell other countries anything? and i mean anything? now, none of this is to say that russia is right. i want to be absolutely clear of this. i'm not part of the tucker carlson school of foreign policy that makes vladimir putin out to be the good guy.
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he's not. he's an authoritarian. but before anyone gets carried away with the idea of the u.s. government leading a stern defense of the free world, maybe we should do a better job of defending freedom and democracy right here at home first. and thank you for making time for us. come back tomorrow night at 9:00 eastern on msnbc. congressman david cicilline from rhode island joins us. we're going to discuss his visit to ukraine where he met with senior ukrainian officials to discuss the security situation in kyiv. until we meet again, i'm ayman mohyeldin. good night. ayman mohyeldin. mohyeldin. good night starting at age 45, instead of 50, since colon cancer is increasing in younger adults. i'm cologuard®. i'm convenient and find 92% of colon cancers... ...even in early stages. i'm for people 45 plus at average risk for colon cancer,
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