'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Monday, October 3rd, 2011
ShowPlug1: Special #OccupyWallStreet edition of Countdown: roundup of today's "Zombie" March in NYC + "Occupy" activity nationwide
ShowPlug2: With @RDevro Ryan Devereaux of Democracy Now, economist Jeff Madrick of @RooseveltInst + @MMFlint Michael Moore 1sthand reports
ShowPlug3: Moore also on where "Occupy" goes from here and how the movement can present its message without sullying it
ShowPlug4: Rick Perry self-destructs over Ranch name, kinda sounds like Neverland, only it isn't. @JimiIzreal of NPR, The Root, joins me
ShowPlugLast: Are you ready for some Unemployment? Hank Williams Jr benched after Hitler/Obama comparison + Bloomberg doesn't get #Occupy
ShowPlugApplogy: got my guest's spelling wrong: @jimiizrael of NPR on the end of Gov. Perry's campaign, Or: Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch
watch whole playlist
#5 'Occupy U.S.A.', Ryan Devereaux
#5 'Occupy U.S.A.', Jeff Madrick
#4 'Moore From The Street', Michael Moore
YouTube, Current.com (excerpt)
#3 'Tomorrow the World?', Michael Moore
# Time Marches On!
#2 Worst Persons: Michael Bloomberg, Hank Williams Jr., GOP supporters
#1 'Losing the Race', Jimi Izrael
YouTube, Current.com (excerpt)
printable PDF transcript
Topics: Election 2012, GOP Primary, Michael Bloomberg, Occupy Wall Street, Rick Perry
Contributors: Michael Moore
Guests: Jeff Madrick, Jimmy Israel, Ryan Devereaux
KEITH OLBERMANN: Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? Occupy Wall Street, now with 60 percent more zombies. The Monday after the protests turned from mainstream-media trivia to the lead story - the Battle of Brooklyn Bridge.
(Excerpt from video clip) POLICE OFFICER: I am ordering you to leave this roadway now. If you do so voluntarily, no charges will be placed against you. If you refuse to leave, you'll be placed under arrest and charged with disorderly conduct.
OLBERMANN: Whereupon the police turned and walked down the bridge, seemingly leading the marchers off the roadway. Which is when 700 protestors were suddenly arrested in the NYPD trap.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: Take the bridge! Take the bridge! Take the bridge! Take the bridge!
OLBERMANN: Week Three of Occupy Wall Street with chronicler Ryan Devereaux - himself swept up by the NYPD - with economist Jeff Madrick, who went there for a first-hand look. And with Michael Moore.
(Excerpt from video clip) MICHAEL MOORE: They think their power is derived from their bank accounts.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: They think their power is derived from their bank accounts.
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: But our power is derived from the people.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: But our power is derived from the people.
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: All the people.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: All the people.
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: Not the 400.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: Not the 400.
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: All the people.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: All the people.
OLBERMANN: Not that everybody gets it.
(Excerpt from audio clip) MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: The protesters are protesting against people who make $40,000, $50,000 a year, and are struggling to make ends meet.
OLBERMANN: Uh, no Mayor, sorry. Thanks for playing. And speaking of which -
(Excerpt from video clip) HERMAN CAIN: The name of the place was called "N - - head." That is very insensitive. And since Governor Perry has been going there for years to hunt, I think that it shows a lack of sensitivity for a long time of not taking that word off of that rock and renaming the place.
OLBERMANN: I'm so sorry, Rick Perry, but you're not a winner here on the program. Please take your winnings, and please take the home version of the GOP Primary Game. GOP - which it turns out, only about half the people in the GOP know what the letters stand for. All that and complete coverage of Occupy Wall Street now on "Countdown."
OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York, this is Monday, October 3rd, 400 days until the 2012 presidential election. And while Congress returns from recess to dither over program cuts and President Obama's jobs bill, what began as Occupy Wall Street here in New York has become a national movement, with only this as a specific mantra - "We are the 99 percent and we are too big to fail."
Many are inspired by that thought and the belief that while one percent of the country may hold an enormous share of the nation's wealth. The other 99 percent might be able to change that through direct action on the nation's streets. The fifth story on a special edition of "Countdown" - also the fourth and the third - the Occupy movement, now appearing in a city near you. Inspired in part by the Wisconsin protests opposed to union-busting Governor Scott Walker, and the freedom movement across the Middle East known as the Arab Spring.
Nothing more direct than being accosted by a flesh-eating zombie in New York's financial district. Occupy Wall Street showing a sense of humor, making up as corporate zombies today. The living dead not looking to eat the living, not this time. Not when some many delicious greenbacks will do.
And in Manhattan - Manhattan's Zuccotti Park, to entertain the protesters - a figure from demonstration's past.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing? Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
OLBERMANN: Of course, Peter Yarrow - of Peter, Paul and Mary - singing a song that was a hit - albeit originally for The Kingston Trio - in 1962. And if "flowers" in this case are progressives willing to take to the streets - and the number and scale of this weekend's protests mean anything - the flowers seem to be coming back. In Boston, where hundreds marched near the Federal Reserve Bank yesterday, and more protestors marched today. In Durham, North Carolina, where hundreds inspired by Occupation Wall Street gathered yesterday to protest income inequality
(Excerpt from video clip) WOMAN: I think that part of the problem is that we just have a small percentage of people in the United States who own the majority of wealth, and they also own the majority of power to make decisions that affect other people's lives.
OLBERMANN: In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Saturday - where more than 500 protesters marched in solidarity with Occupation Wall Street - and in Denver, where protesters gathered at the state capitol to shout their opposition to bank bailouts and, more importantly, to corporate greed.
But the biggest of the weekend's demonstrations took place Saturday in New York, where protesters looking to march across the Brooklyn Bridge were met by a phalanx of police. What happened shortly after is a matter of dispute. And of some urgency. Some of the demonstrators surged across the pedestrian walkway in the center of the bridge. Many more tried to cross on the roadway to Brooklyn. The NYPD says it warned the protesters they would be arrested if they crossed on that road. And in fact, the police department released videos on YouTube showing a supervisor saying just that.
(Excerpt from video clip) POLICE OFFICER: I am ordering you to leave this - this roadway now. If you do so voluntarily, no charges will be placed against you. If you refuse to leave, you will be placed under arrest and charged with disorderly conduct.
OLBERMANN: But - in a video shot and released by the protesters themselves - the supervisor's instructions can't be heard over the protesters chanting.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: Take our bridge! Take our bridge! Take our bridge! Take our bridge! Take our bridge! Take our bridge! Take our bridge!
OLBERMANN: When the police then turned and walked up the roadway, hundreds of protesters followed. Some thought they were being escorted across. Instead, some 700 protestors were arrested. Many said they thought they had been tricked into following the police. Let's start the coverage with some conversation about the battle of Brooklyn Bridge. And I am joined by Ryan Devereaux, reporter with the radio and TV news program "Democracy Now." Thank you for coming in.
RYAN DEVEREAUX: Thank you for having me on, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Okay, so you were there and you saw what happened to the demonstrators. It essentially also happened to you, at least for part of the time. Do you know - did the protesters always intend to cross the bridge on the roadway as well as in the walkway? What was the intent - any idea?
DEVEREAUX: Well, Keith, I was at the front of the protest - at the front of the march, I should say - as I approached the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge on the Manhattan side. And there was disagreement among protesters as to whether to take to the pedestrian walkway down the middle of the bridge, or occupy the space that's usually relegated for cars. This disagreement led to a buildup at the base of the bridge - and you are talking about a march with thousands of people - built up quickly.
There was a chant of "Off the sidewalk, into the streets." That chant got louder and louder. I did see the police take the megaphone, but that chant was deafening and there were thousands of people there. And it was clear the police couldn't keep those numbers back. They stepped aside, and the marchers moved through onto the walkway - I'm sorry, onto the road.
OLBERMANN: Do you sense that the protesters thought they were entrapped by the police, or was it just - is this genuinely the result of confusion, of people not being able to hear each other?
DEVEREAUX: I've certainly interviewed a number of protesters who feel - and have explicitly said - that they felt they were entrapped. I can imagine if you were even just a little bit further back than I was, you would see the police walking right next to you, seeming to escort the crowd the same way they had escorted the crowd through the preceding blocks.
OLBERMANN: And when we say 700 people were arrested, was it - as the video we're showing now suggests - one at a time, people taken down to the pavement and cuffed or plastic cuffed? How did it - were people penned in? How did it happen?
DEVEREAUX: Well, as the protest moved its way across the bridge, we got about maybe a third of the way there - to the first archway - and that's when we realized that there were policemen lined up in front of us and police vehicles in front of us and the policemen who were on the side of us were moving up to the front.
The first arrests were heavy-handed, to say the least, and they seemed to be random. They were plucking people out of the crowd, but they weren't doing it quickly. It was one by one, slowly. It didn't make sense as to how they were choosing the people they arrested.
I should say one of the first people I saw arrested was a member of the National Lawyers' Guild, he was wearing a green hat which signifies that they're a member of the Lawyers' Guild. They're there to be legal witnesses to what happens. He seemed to approach the police officers and was then cuffed and arrested.
And then - to my understanding - I was released because I had a press pass which - my understanding, the arrests that followed were more orderly and slow.
OLBERMANN: Obviously, you left this, sort of, in progress because - as you suggested - they corralled you as well as everybody else. Was there only - in the aftermath of that yester - or Saturday, and then what happened, it was yesterday and today - was there only anger by the protesters about police treatment or was there some gratitude that once again - as with the pepper spraying last week - the police certainly unintentionally put the whole thing back on the front page?
DEVEREAUX: Well, you know, talking to protesters after the crackdown, you know, people were stunned at the numbers. That's for sure. Seven hundred people. When I saw it when I got home and looked at the numbers, I couldn't believe it. But people seem energized by this. The same way that they were the weekend before, when 80 people were arrested. It drew more attention and, you know, when people get arrested, when they spend time in jail together, when they stand up for something together, it creates a formidable bond.
OLBERMANN: Yeah. When suddenly you have the sense that you're going to be arrested for walking on what, theoretically, are publicly-owned streets. Yeah, exactly. Ryan Devereaux, reporter for the radio and TV news show Democracy Now, again, thanks for coming in.
DEVEREAUX: Thank you.
OLBERMANN: When protests against the Vietnam War began in the mid-1960s, academics held teach-ins in colleges and universities around the country so students could learn the history of the conflict and figure out which side they were on. On Sunday, an economics teach-in took place in lower Manhattan, led by Nobel Prize-winning economics professor Joseph Stiglitz and Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick, a regular - of course - on this program. Economics 101 and its application to our ongoing crisis from two of the nation's finest economists, supported by the now-traditional chorus of protesters who repeated every word.
(Excerpt from video clip) JEFF MADRICK: In the early 2000s -
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: In the early 2000s -
(Excerpt from video clip) MADRICK: George W. Bush -
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: George W. Bush -
(Excerpt from video clip) MADRICK: Was able to cut taxes in 2001 and 2003 -
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: Was able to cut taxes in 2001 and 2003 -
(Excerpt from video clip) MADRICK: He said we would get rapid growth and job creation -
OLBERMANN: Jeff Madrick joins me now for a teach-in and what he saw and taught in Zuccotti Park, along with the Roosevelt Institute, his affiliation thereof. He is the author of the "Age of Greed." Welcome back from the barricades.
MADRICK: Thank you. It's good to be here.
OLBERMANN: How did you make arrangements for you and Mr. Stiglitz to go down there and teach, and why did you want to go?
MADRICK: You know, there are people who are aware of us down there, and they actually contacted us. It's not as - there were no educated people there, or no people who read newspapers.
OLBERMANN: Thank you for dispelling that delusion.
MADRICK: Nothing, In fact, it was quite surprising how - even to me, who did this as a kid during the Vietnam years - how courteous the kids are, how eager they were to get knowledge, the good questions they asked. I am not trying to sugarcoat this. This was a real teach-in.
OLBERMANN: Up until about a week ago, the protesters, particularly in the local press, was portrayed as this kind of incoherent group of self-advertising radicals. Did you get any of that sense? Did you get any kind of that - or, you know, that the teaching was going over people's heads or they weren't interested or anything?
MADRICK: No, it was very much the opposite. They were very interested. They tried to understand. We went down there because we think the facts - by and large - support their case, whether that case is built on instinct or extreme disappointment, frustration, fear. They are generally correct in the direction they're moving, and we wanted to give them the information they needed. And they wanted that information. I saw very few crazies protest for the sake of protestation.
OLBERMANN: I saw something, and we haven't had a chance to talk about it. It only happened about an hour and ten minutes ago. I saw something on CNN tonight that made the back of my head blow off. I had to glue it back in.
A reporter went down there for her first television show in her new series, and portrayed all of these protesters as being there as opponents of the bailouts of the banks and big business and explained that - since the government made interest on those things - "Don't you realize this actually helped the economy and helped the government." Did I miss something? Is this - Occupy Wall Street was about the bailouts? Is that true?
MADRICK: Occupying Wall Street is about the failure of Washington to do the right things regarding Wall Street. The bail-outs - the bailouts did not force the banks to lend, did not deal with all of these people who lost their homes and are underwater, all of those things they had to. Let's not oversimplify too much. We needed those bailouts to unfreeze markets, but they were just not executed - executed well.
But there is one issue after another that these young people are interested in. They are not only talking about bailouts, but they are - in the broadest sense - talking about justice. When one percent of the people make 20 percent of the money and - 30 years ago, they made 10 percent of the money - and a Great Recession follows, it is not a coincidence. There is a cause and effect. And I would love the people at CNN to start recognizing that, or at least have some people telling them, or their viewers, that.
OLBERMANN: Do you, in response to this, if you're watching - you said, having participated in these things in earlier times on your own - when you're seeing this, there are some protests that are very specific and have a very finalized goal. "Get us out of Vietnam," a thousand other - even the manufactured tea party one had some specific goals - that they don't have an agenda with a checklist that says we want these 23 things done by the end of the month. Is that necessary?
I mean, as the old joke goes, do you know how electricity works? The answer is, no, yet you still use your dryer and everything else. Right? I mean, is there anything wrong with a protest movement that is not sitting there with a set of immediate demands?
MADRICK: I think - there was a kind of beauty - a beautiful democracy in all of this. And it's very noticeable. There are people called facilitators. Everybody is very kind to each other. There is not a hierarchy, and yet there's an efficient system. "Let's do the teach-in over here." They shout out - there are these shout-outs, these echoes, which you've talked about. "Let's determine who is going to speak in which order for the general assembly," as they call it. But there are people with a variety of their agendas, a variety of their interests.
I think, in time, an agenda will evolve for some of these people. I think there were the splinter groups that follow one - one piece of the agenda and another piece of the agenda. So, frankly, I think at some point, there should be an agenda.
But I must say, I was very taken with the kind of beauty of the lack of hierarchy, and yet, the efficiency and the caring. You could not get away from a sense that these people cared. And when I walked, I spoke to the general assembly - which was rather dramatic because you have this echo and echo and echo - and I walked off and these people would say, "Thank you, thank you, thank you."
And they had more dramatic speakers than I, but they were thanking me for information, for caring about them and they, in turn, showed caring. I think caring about the country. And, again, I don't think I am sugarcoating this. They care about what's happening. And essentially - centrally - they are correct.
OLBERMANN: The economist Jeff Madrick of the Roosevelt Institute, the author of "Age of Greed." As always, bringing light to complicated situations, this one included. Great thanks, Jeff.
MADRICK: Thank you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: And you know who else went to see Occupy Wall Street firsthand? Michael Moore. On this event and on the Occupy movement in other cities and media coverage in a time when the protestors immediately post videos to YouTube, and so do the police. Michael is next on "Countdown."
OLBERMANN: He has now been there, he has now led them in call and response. Occupy Wall Street and then the nationalized Occupy movement with Michael Moore. The mayor of New York reacts. Unfortunately, he shows he does not know who the protesters are protesting, nor does he any idea what stockbrokers make these days.
Catsup? Ketchup? Catsup? Ketchup? What do the letters GOP stand for? I'm not being metaphorical here. I mean, literally. 'cause it turns out nearly half of all those in the GOP don't know. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, turn out the lights, the party is over. Call in the dogs and tamp down the campfire at N-head Ranch 'cause Rick Perry is toast. Ahead on "Countdown."
OLBERMANN: I spoke with our next guest, Michael Moore, 12 days ago, before he went to Zuccotti Park to witness "Occupy Wall Street" first hand. Tonight he's back to describe what he's seen and offer insight and how to harness the movement's energy as it continues to spread nationally.
Our fourth story tonight, as the fledgling movement takes shape, the rest of the media - besides Michael and me - finally take notice. And Mr. Moore tells us what it was like to take turns leading the crowd in this call and response.
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: They are thieves!
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: They are thieves!
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: They are gangsters!
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: They are gangsters!
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: They are kleptomaniacs!
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: They are kleptomaniacs!
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: They have tried to take our democracy!
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: They have tried to take our democracy!
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: And turned into a "kleptocracy"!
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: And turned into a "kleptocracy"!
OLBERMANN: Michael noted one major change since the movement began.
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: It's good to see the media has finally showed up.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: It's good to see the media has finally showed up.
OLBERMANN: And unfortunately, it was CNN. He told protesters this was just the beginning of something big.
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: All great movements start with just a few people.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: All great movements start with just a few people.
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: Whether it was the few people that were in the bar, the Stonewall bar down in the village.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: Whether it was the few people that were in the bar, the Stonewall bar down in the Village.
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: That was a smaller crowd than this.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: That was a smaller crowd than this.
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: And look at what that's led to.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: And look at what that's led to.
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: Everyone will remember -
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: Everyone will remember -
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: Three months from now.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: Three months from now.
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: Six months from now.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: Six months from now.
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: A hundred years from now.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: A hundred years from now.
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: That you came down to this plaza.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: That you came down to this plaza.
(Excerpt from video clip) MOORE: And you started this movement.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: And you started this movement.
OLBERMANN: As promised, joining me now - the filmmaker, activist and author now of "Here Comes Trouble," Michael Moore. Thanks again for coming in.
MOORE: Thanks for having me. It's very bizarre to watch that because unless you're there - see, they don't have - they don't allow amplification in the park. So, they have the system, as you've explained on the show. Everyone relays to everyone in the back what's being said. But It sounds like a cross between either a priest saying mass -
OLBERMANN: Exactly. Catechism.
MOORE: The "Dominus vobiscum." Or a scene from "Life of Brian" where they're all there - you know, Jesus was saying, "You are all individuals!"
OLBERMANN: "We're all individuals!"
MOORE: "We're all individuals!"
OLBERMANN: The one guy says, "I'm not." Or the other one at the back, where somebody in the back goes, "I think he just said blessed are the cheesemakers."
MOORE: Yes, right. But I agree with your last guest, though.
MOORE: Yes, down there, it is such a wonderful experience to be there. The people are kind. The people are good to each other. They are attempting a form of democracy where there isn't, like, one leader that's telling them what to do and then they are supposed to follow along. But - but everybody, you know, gets to sort of have their say. And it's interesting to watch. It's great to - I've been down there three times now. And I've - I've been really impressed with what I've seen.
OLBERMANN: How much do the protesters owe the NYPD? Given that there's not been - there's not been, apparently, any serious injuries as a result of this. Obviously they could turn overnight. That would be the dumbest question in the world. But right now, the NYPD made this into certainly a local story, and New York being the media capital of the world, anything that's a local story in New York gets some sort of attention nationally.
MOORE: You can see though, having been down there and having been part of this, when you say the NYPD - the grunts, the actual patrol officers, the street - the guys that you and I know that we deal with - and you've worked in many cities. This is actually one of the better cities when it comes to the average police officer.
OLBERMANN: Yes, sir.
MOORE: Treating you well and doing well and - you know, and you have your bad apples definitely - but what you have here is management of the NYPD - the white shirts and Ray Kelley and these guys that are really the ones down there itching for a fight - and you can see that a lot of the patrol cops are like, "What's going on? Why are we doing this?" And they are, you know, it's - I gotta believe that they have overplayed their hand here.
They made a huge mistake and frankly, it was great news today when the bus drivers of New York City said they will not go to another one of these demonstrations - because they were told to bring buses there to take the protesters away when they were arrested. They will not take protesters away in buses any longer - these union guys and women - and I think that's - that's really a good thing. In fact - in fact, I personally would like to - would like to - I'll rent the truck or the bus to take away the white shirts of the NYPD next time they do something.
OLBERMANN: Yeah. You might be able to get - since the transit workers union came out to side with the Occupy Wall Street crowd last week, that was an inadvertent - nobody could have forecast 700 arrests. It was an inadvertent value to that association. But now one thing I keep hearing a lot of complaints about the lack of specificity and Jeff Madrick just pointed out that it - that it sort of represents the organic nature of this.
But - the origination point here is to me, on this - never has anything in the history of mankind gotten better without somebody first standing up and going, "This is wrong. I don't know how to fix this. If I knew how to fix it, I would be fixing it, but I know this is wrong." That's the - is that what's happening in this? Do you think?
MOORE: Yes. And that's enough right now. That's enough just for people to say, "I'm sick and tired. I've had enough. I'm coming down with other - I'm going to participate with other people in this." The demands - that will come, that will evolve. But the people are complaining about this, even some in the liberal press.
MOORE: Have complained about this. And I just - they - frankly, they sound like our parents - our parents when the Beatles were on "Ed Sullivan."
OLBERMANN: "A bunch of noise."
MOORE: "I can't understand any of those words. Why don't they play something you can dance slow to?" I mean, it's like - 'cause they're - 'cause, first of all - yes, the majority of them started this are young people.
MOORE: But I want them - these young people, these young people - you went - did you - you went to Cornell? You grew up here, though, in New York.
MOORE: Remember the SUNY system?
MOORE: You could go to school for practically nothing. You can go to UC system out in California -
OLBERMANN: You can go to Cornell for practically nothing because of a branch of SUNY being connected to that. That's a land grant.
MOORE: Exactly. So - so, that's what we grew up with. These kids are being told - at 22 - you've got to go out into the real world with a crushing debt - $40,000, $60,000, $80,000 in debt.
OLBERMANN: Right. You got a mortgage at 18 and you didn't even get a house for it.
MOORE: That's right. So, they believe their future has been stolen from them. And that's why they're there. And God bless them for being there.
OLBERMANN: All right, is this a new force in the political equation that we have, or is this something external to our political equation?
MOORE: I don't think actually it's either. I think it actually is where the majority of Americans are at. Those people down there represent, really where the majority - seventy-two percent of the country now. All of the polls are showing, over seventy percent want the rich to be taxed. They want regulations put on Wall Street. They want those who committed crimes on Wall Street arrested. That's were the majority - the mainstream of this country is actually where these kids, and these other people are at, down there in lower Manhattan.
So, frankly I just think they are just the first ones. It had to start somewhere. You know, somebody had to burn the first bra. I mean, always - at first, when a new movement starts - the people who are the ones who are out there, you know, get attacked, "Oh, look at that," you know.
OLBERMANN: It's a bunch of noise.
MOORE: But, you know, even though that happens, the majority - the majority of women, say - for instance, in the women's liberation movement felt even back then that women should be paid the same as men.
MOORE: Women should have equal rights.
OLBERMANN: It needed somebody has to express it.
MOORE: Somebody's got to kick start this thing. And it has been kick started here in lower Manhattan down there in Zuccotti Park.
OLBERMANN: All right. Which is the segue to our next topic after break, which is - where does it go from here? And with the NYPD now putting on its own videos of confrontations with Occupy protesters on YouTube. Where does the media battle about this go from here? Back on those topics with Michael Moore next.
OLBERMANN: Ever since 1792 - when the stock traders who used to gather under the buttonwood tree at the foot of what had been de Waal Straat in old New Amsterdam decided to move their business indoors - the battle of Wall Street versus Main Street has been shorthand for the conflicts of the interest of the people who make money by speculating it with those who earn money by working for it.
As we continue our Occupy Wall Street coverage with Michael Moore, and with tonight's third story, it's thus - perhaps - no surprise that the movement is now headed for Main Street. Demonstrators have marched and chanted in Boston, Chicago, Albuquerque, Raleigh, Los Angeles, L.A. tonight, matter of fact, and Denver.
Tomorrow, it's Philadelphia. Thursday, D.C., and a separate event in Houston. On the 15th, Phoenix and Pittsburgh. Also being planned rallies in smaller cities - Santa Fe, Little Rock, Mason City, Iowa. Japan and Europe might be next.
Michael, that's literally where it goes from here.
MOORE: That's right.
OLBERMANN: Figuratively, where does it go from here, do you think, based on your experience and what you've seen in your three trips down there?
MOORE: I think that - that not only is this going to continue, these cities that you mentioned, this is going to - this is what's so wonderful about this - there really isn't anything driving this other than what - what Wall Street has done. And what - and what those who are in charge of our economy have done. They've - they've wrecked so many lives. They - like I said, they have overplayed their hand in such a bizarre way. They weren't just happy enough with having multi-billions, they wanted tens and hundreds of billions, maybe even trillions, and so -
OLBERMANN: Kleptomania, as you say.
MOORE: They're kleptomaniacs is what they are. They're - they're out of control. I think it really is some kind of a sociopathic illness. And - and they now want us to live in a kleptocracy where the kleptomaniacs run the show. This is going to spread. I've - I said this last week. I said it two weeks ago when I first spoke with you. And the mainstream media was trying to just poo-poo this. "Oh, it's just a few down there, don't worry." Well, what happened on Saturday not just here, but as you said in Boston and L.A. and Chicago and elsewhere, and now Wednesday, I just heard is going to be National Student Walkout Day.
OLBERMANN: Oh, boy.
MOORE: This is going to start to organize on college campuses.
OLBERMANN: Okay, great.
MOORE: And these students have - I have a niece that goes to one of the UC schools out in California. They're talking about raising their tuition from an already - this is just tuition. Not room and board, but it's already at something like $16,000 a year - or a semester, whatever - now they want to raise it to $21,000. Students out there are already protesting this.
But this is going to dovetail with so many things - people who have lost their homes, the 50 million who don't have health insurance. But all of the different - the disparate groups of people who have been affected by the greed on Wall Street, they have had it. And I will tell you, President Obama - he'd be smart right now to not just give another speech, but actually have his Justice Department either have a special prosecutor or investigation and go after the people that stole this money. The people want a perp walk. They want to see people led away in handcuffs with a coat over the head.
OLBERMANN: That's right.
MOORE: And - because that's - that's going to be some form of justice. But, let me tell you, these people who are down there and myself included - in Liberty Plaza down there in Zuccotti Park - it's not just about getting a bill passed in Congress now. It's not just about arresting one banker or the head of Goldman Sachs having to testify again. This is something much larger.
We oppose the way our economy is structured. The economic system, itself - at its core - is unfair. It's not just and it's not democratic. And we live in a democracy and we have to have full democracy now. Not just voting for politicians. "Oh, yeah, I live in a democracy because I get to vote." I, you, everybody else here, wants a say in how this economy is run. We are affected by it in our daily lives and people are not going to tolerate this any more.
OLBERMANN: All right, without a message, obviously, there's no movement. I think we agree this is organic, but there are lots of imperative messages that never go anywhere for - for want of a better word - for lack of packaging, messaging, salesmanship.
You are one of the few people who has a feel for both of these things - for the imperative message and the way to present it to people. Do you have advice to the Occupy crowd about for want of that better term, packaging what they're doing from here on in?
MOORE: I think that what they're doing and actually I'd rather listen to them. I'd rather - I'd rather take their advice because I've been down there at their assemblies and I have heard some incredible things. There are - they are concerned about the short-term goals - tax the rich, jail the bankers, a-a moratorium on foreclosures so no one's thrown out of their home, re-introducing a real health care bill that covers everyone, truly covers everyone. These are - these are what should be the short-term goals.
But the larger, long-term goal is these people, especially the young people, no - do not want to grow up, do not want to live in a society where the upper one percent owns everything - including our political system - and the other 99 percent are supposed to scramble for the crumbs.
They reject that system outright and - and I think - I think what's going to come out of this is that - is that, not that a new political party is going to form, but a movement that says, "We are the 99 percent. We are the country. We are part of - of not just this country, but the greater world that's being affected by this. We are the 99 percent, the one percent in a democracy do not call the shots."
I think the 99 percent do. And that's where this is hopefully going to - where it's going to head.
OLBERMANN: Amen. So, I should go?
MOORE: You should go.
OLBERMANN: I'm going to go.
OLBERMANN: I'm going to go. At this point, we're working out the details.
MOORE: All right - man, they'll - they'll be really happy to see you down there.
OLBERMANN: Fill in for me when I don't make it back. Michael Moore - the new book I should mention, because he mentions it whenever I have a new book - is "Here Comes Trouble: Stories From My Life." Thank you, Michael.
MOORE: Thank you very much, Keith.
OLBERMANN: And, okay, here you go. Go Tigers.
MOORE: All right, you said it. I can't believe it.
OLBERMANN: I know.
MOORE: There's hope.
OLBERMANN: "No, thanks" on the Yankees.
Still more on Occupy, New York's mayor reacts and is pretty much clueless about who's protesting, who they are protesting and how much the people he thinks they're protesting earn. And speaking of "Here comes trouble," time to call Rick Perry a cab because the party is over at the N-head Ranch. No, no. If you've gone hunting at a family getaway called the N-head Ranch, you can't become president. Sorry. Ahead on "Countdown."
OLBERMANN: "Wrestling Night" on DuMont Television with Jack Brickhouse at the Marigold Garden in Chicago will not be seen tonight so we can instead bring you "Countdown." Whenever you are watching us, we are live at 8:00 P.M. Eastern time, and as good as we think the show is at time, at any venue. Live gives it a certain uh-oh excitement that cannot be replicated.
Rick Perry self-destructs thanks to the name of family hunting camp that kind of sounds like Neverland Ranch, but not really. Coming up.
First, the "Sanity Break." And on this date 50 years ago, CBS television premiered the reworked version of a new situation comedy originally called "Head of the Family" starring its creator and writer, the great Carl Reiner. Except Reiner's pilot hadn't worked at all and the show was recast. Reiner became - not the star, but the star's boss - kind of Milton Berle character - from whom the new lead star worked. He was a guy from Broadway after whom they named the new show, "The Dick Van Dyke Show."
"Time Marches On!"
Damn it, I just fell over an ottoman. We began in the cat world with cat walking on a leash like a dog, that must be the most bizarre thing about this cat. Oh, no, it's not! Meet Franken Louie, the world's oldest cat with two faces. The Mitt Romney of cats! Born with exactly one extra face, Franken Louie has defied the odds, and at 12 years old, is being inducted into the "Guinness Book of Records." He says it's the most thrilling moment of his 18 lives.
Homer Glen, Illinois. Hello! It's the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Midwest pumpkin growers gather for the second annual Monsters of the Midway Pumpkin Growing Competition. Grower Don Van Howdy said "Howdy Doody" to $5,000 and the championship belt. His pumpkin weighed in at 1,424 pounds. Gonna make a lot of pie! Van Howdy said he was initially inspired to start the growing of pumpkins when he first saw John Boehner.
Finally, we end as we always do with a ranch-dressing drinking competition. Thirty-two ounces. How quickly can you do it? The prize, $300, and a year of free subs from CHeBA Hut in Eugene, Oregon. 'Cause the perfect thing to follow a vat of ranch dressing is a year's worth of meat, cheese and bread - with ranch dressing on it. The winner was Cole Herbst, he finished the dressing in just over 20 seconds. It's believed he has some sort of hidden valley in his stomach where he keeps all the dressing.
"Time Marches On!"
Now, what was the name of the ranch in your ranch dressing, Governor Perry? I'm sorry. What did you say? Oh, dear. Oh, my. Yeah, he may not know it yet, but that was a wrap for Governor Perry's national aspirations. Even in this country, even in this year, even with tea partiers. Ahead!
OLBERMANN: We'll take you live to President Rick Perry's news conference from the western White House at the - what the hell's the name of the ranch? No, that's not gonna happen. The end of the Perry campaign, whether he knows it or not. First - The Worst. Not only did Hank Williams Jr. compare President Obama to Hitler, but even Fox kind of called him on it, and ESPN has already benched him from Monday Night Football. Wow.
OLBERMANN: Has anybody ever gone from the next President of the United States to "What was his name again?" faster than Rick Perry? A hunting camp, whose name probably means the end of his candidacy next.
First - because, sadly, there is always an inexhaustible supply of candidates for this distinction - here are "Countdown's" top three "Worst Persons in the World."
The bronze going to Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York. Asked about Occupy Wall Street, this is - on the whole - not an evil mayor. Sure he overrode two votes by residents here to term-limit mayor so he could get himself a third term, but occasionally he exhibits a disconnection from everyday life that is breathtaking. It almost makes you feel sorry for him, such as in this radio interview.
(Excerpt from audio clip) JOHN GAMBLING: Mr. Mayor, let's see. Let's talk about Zuccotti Park and the protestors. How do you end that thing there?
(Excerpt from audio clip) BLOOMBERG: Well, the protestors are protesting against people who make $40,000, $50,000 a year and are struggling to make ends meet. That's the bottom line. Those are the people that work on Wall Street or in the finance sector - and people in this day and age need support for their employers. We need the banks. If the banks don't go out and make loans, we will not come out of our economic problems. We will not have jobs. And so anything we can do to responsibly help the banks do that, encourage them to do that, is what we need.
OLBERMANN: Yeah, 'cause the banks stopped making loans the day the protesters hit the street last month. And the big company stopped adding all those new jobs that had lowered unemployment to 2 percent, and the protesters are explicitly protesting the day traders, and the secretaries, and the hot-dog cart operators are struggling to make ends meet. By the way, $40,000, $50,000 a year on Wall Street, Mayor? The median salary for stockbrokers is $88,000 a year.
Runner up - Hank Williams Jr., the country singer who has long proved that - whatever genius is - it is not necessarily hereditary. He matched wits with the hosts of "Fox and Friends" this morning. It was, of course, a scoreless tie. Hank didn't like John Boehner's golf game with President Obama.
(Excerpt from video clip) GRETCHEN CARLSON: You mean when John Boehner played golf with President Obama?
(Excerpt from video clip) HANK WILLIAMS JR.: Oh, yeah. Yeah. And Biden, and Casey. Yeah, uh-huh.
(Excerpt from video clip) CARLSON: What did you not like about it? It seems to be a really pivotal moment for you.
(Excerpt from video clip) WILLIAMS JR.: Come on. Come on. That'd be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu, okay?
(Excerpt from video clip) CARLSON: Okay.
(Excerpt from video clip) WILLIAMS JR.: Not hardly. And the country this shape is in - the shape this country's in, I mean. Huh, no, I don't -
(Excerpt from video clip) BRIAN KILMEADE: So, yeah, I don't understand that analogy, actually.
(Excerpt from video clip) STEVE DOOCY: Well, it's - it's out there.
(Excerpt from video clip) WILLIAMS JR.: Well, I'm glad you don't, brother, 'cause a lot of people do. You know, they're the enemy. They're the enemy.
(Excerpt from video clip) KILMEADE: Who's the enemy?
(Excerpt from video clip) WILLIAMS JR.: Obama! And Biden! Are you kidding? The three stooges.
OLBERMANN: Three stooges, two guys - addition is a hell of a drug. In case you missed Hank's comparison of Obama to Hitler, Gretchen Carlson actually kind of called him out on it.
(Excerpt from video clip) WILLIAMS JR.: No, I'm not gonna sugarcoat it. We're polarized. You know that.
(Excerpt from video clip) CARLSON: You didn't, you didn't 'cause you used - you used the name of one of the most-hated people in all of the world to describe the - I think - the president.
(Excerpt from video clip) WILLIAMS JR.: Well, that's true. Yeah, that is true. But I'm telling you like it is.
OLBERMANN: Hank would've won tonight, but this evening ESPN announced it was "extremely disappointed" with his comments and would thus not be running his rendition of the opening song for Monday Night Football tonight or maybe again ever. Are you ready for some unemployment?
So, our winners then, the supporters of the GOP. That's the GOP, the Republican Party.
For once, this is not about their policies, not about their lives, not about their class warfare against the not rich, not about their redirection of billions of taxpayer dollars to corporations. It's about those initials - GOP.
Vanity Fair and CBS News did a kind of "News-Poll Lite" with goofy questions - "What does GOP stand for? - and your choices were "Grand Ol' Party, Government of the People, Grumpy Old People, God's Own Party and Gauntlet Of Power." Only 51 percent of Republicans got it right. Only 51 percent of the GOP knew what the GOP stood for. Thirty-four percent of Republicans thinks it stands for "Government of the People." Tied for third was "I don't know" at five percent. "Grumpy Old People" also got five percent of Republicans and "God's Own Party" got four percent. "Gauntlet of Power," one percent.
GOP supporters who don't know what GOP stands for - I always thought it was "Goblet of Poo" - today's "Worst Persons in the World."
OLBERMANN: Five years ago during his re-election campaign, Senator George Alenn referred to a staffer from a rival campaign as "macaca." He lost, but he did win himself the eternal fame of having created the "macaca" moment.
In our number one story, Rick Perry now has his own "macaca moment." Not a verbal gaffe in an off-the-cuff speech or anything, but the name of his family hunting camp painted in large letters at the entrance. A name containing the "N" word. And he may not know it yet, but - even in this America - you can't be president if your hunting camp's name had the "N" word in it.
Located in west Texas near the governor's hometown, the hunting camp was and still is known by locals as the - uh - "(N-word)-head Ranch." That was the name long before Perry's father began leasing the land for hunting trips designed to introduce his son to local political figures. Someone also painted that name on a five foot by three foot rock at the entrance.
Rick Perry claims his father painted over it shortly after leasing the land. It did not fully obscure the writing though, so the rock was eventually pushed down to obscure the name completely. However, unnamed locals interviewed by The Washington Post claim that it took several years before the name was even painted over. One Republican candidate who chose to comment on the camp's name - Herman Cain. He went on several Sunday talk shows and called into question not only the name of the camp, but how long it took for the rock to be obscured.
(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: The name of the place was called N - - head. That is very insensitive. And since Governor Perry has been going there for years to hunt, I think that it shows a lack of sensitivity for a long time of not taking that word off of that rock and renaming the place. It's just basically a case of insensitivity.
(Excerpt from video clip) CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: It was painted over?
(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: Yes, it was painted over, but how long ago was it painted over?
OLBERMANN: Republican pundits quickly pounced claiming Cain was playing the race card whereupon Mr. Cain backed off. Today he said he accepted Rick Perry's explanation on behalf of the African-American community.
(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: His question was - was I satisfied with Governor Perry's explanation about the name on that ranch where he went hunting? And I said, "Yes, I am." All I said was the mere fact that that word was there was insensitive. That's not playing the race card. I am not attacking Governor Perry. Some people in the media want to attack him. I am done with that issue.
OLBERMANN: Well, that's clear. Joining me now - writer, NPR contributor, blogger for "The Root" - Jimi Izrael. Thanks for your time tonight, sir.
JIMI IZRAEL: Keith, my man, what's good?
OLBERMANN: Let me ask you this bluntly. Even today, even with the resurgence of racism, that's it for Perry. Isn't it? I mean, you can't be president when you hunt or you've hunted at the family place? Hmm-hmm head ranch? Can you.?
IZRAEL: Well, I think you're making too big of a deal about it. You know, it's just a name. It's like Deadman's Curve or Jonestown. You know, so clearly, your sensitivities are honed a little too sharply, Keith. No, no, but seriously.
OLBERMANN: That's based on my background, Jimi, what can I tell you?
IZRAEL: Right, right, right, right. It's hard out here for a black man, but, seriously, it's - I think this could very easily be his "macaca" moment. You know, he doesn't have - see, the other part of this is, you know, what do we expect from him? He's kind of like the Cosmo Kramer of the GOP. He keeps stepping into mess despite his best intentions. So, I don't know. He could recover.
OLBERMANN: Mr. Cain sort of brought this from, I guess, sort of an obscure place, relatively obscure place in The Washington Post into the mainstream yesterday - mainstream media coverage and it became a huge thing and I thought it might have been the first commendable thing he's done and then he backs off and accepts this explanation on behalf of everybody who looks like him? Do I have this right?
IZRAEL: Well, I am just glad I know who represents African-Americans everywhere because we've been looking for him and I have got some questions for you, Herman. That said, Herman Cain wants points. He wants points any way he can get them. He's never been this black in his entire life. You know, so suddenly - the Sharptonian outrage, it doesn't wash with me - and you got to know that whenever you are in the same bag with Al Sharpton and Herman Cain, you know, you're like one clown short of a circus. No, I am not buying it. Sorry, Herman. Your black credentials are turned down, brother. Re-apply, and we'll have them look at your application.
OLBERMANN: Were you surprised that the right in this equation yelled not at Rick Perry, but at Herman Cain, at first?
IZRAEL: For sure. Yeah. I mean, it's the kind of thing where it's like, "Man, you know, Look out for - look out for us, man. Just shhh, be quiet." I mean I wasn't surprised. But it's just one of those things. Like I said, Herman Cain is just trying to get some points the best way he can.
OLBERMANN: Why do people think - not that it's okay to have this as a place name somewhere in this day and age - but that there seemed to be no real immediate effort to do anything about it? I mean this sounds like it took more time to get this rock turned over and painted than it did to, you know, fix things at the Augusta National Golf Club. Why do people do it this way? Not - I am not asking why isn't everybody not-racist, but if you can't be non-racist, shouldn't you at least be smart about being non-racist?
IZRAEL: So, what? Keith, what am I? I'm the spokesperson for all white people? How do I know what white people do and why they do it or don't do it? You know - so I don't know. I mean, it's - maybe they were busy. Who knows?
OLBERMANN: They were busy.
IZRAEL: They were catfishing. What do they do - the hillbilly - hand fishing?
OLBERMANN: Mud fishing or hand fishing. Yeah I don't want to talk about that at all, under any conditions.
IZRAEL: Yeah, mixed company, right?
OLBERMANN: Yeah, human beings and other folk, we don't want to talk about this. The White House had a comment today saying the name was clearly offensive. But - was that enough? Why doesn't anybody seemingly take a stand except guys like you and me on something like this?
IZRAEL: Because Obama's got bigger fish to fry. He wants to stay above the fray and out of the mud. That's where I want my president, too. I don't care what color he is, period.
OLBERMANN: Does this continue? Should I say, put it this way: Who continues this? The Republicans or the Democrats - about Rick Perry?
IZRAEL: I don't know. I think maybe the comedians. There's no - there's no - there's no politics here. You know, it portends to a bit of insensitivity. But what do we expect from this guy? Like I said, he hasn't lost any respect. I mean, he hasn't gained any respect to lose.
OLBERMANN: There you go.
IZRAEL: So, I mean, what? What do you want? Chris Christie's next up. If we can get a good sports bra on Chris Christie then he's next up.
OLBERMANN: Hey, now. Jimi Izrael of NPR and The Root, great, thanks for your time tonight, sir.
ISRAEL: Stay out of trouble, brother.
OLBERMANN: Nah, it's too late for that. That's "Countdown" for this - 400 days until the 2012 presidential election - and tomorrow night continuing coverage of Occupy Wall Street with "Countdown" contributor Mark Ruffalo.
I'm Keith Olbermann. Give yourself a round of applause for getting through another day of this crap. Good night and good luck.