'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Tuesday, October 18th, 2011
#ShowPlug 1: #OWS marches to Manhattan DA's office to demand charges against cops who pepper-sprayed women, decked protestor
#ShowPlug 2:Not to be coy, but I'll identify special guest as show starts. Also @RevJJackson joins me after intervening to save medical tent
#Show Plug 3: @OccupyTucson and AZ's bid to shut it down with $1000/day fines. Guest is spokesman Craig Barber
#ShowPlug 4: WSJ concocts "survey" showing #OWS is pro-violence. Poll is by Fox News fake Democrat, former Citibank employee Doug Schoen
#ShowPlug 5: @JoshuaHol land of Alternet on that, and new Con meme pushed by Rove, Limbaugh, Rubin: #OWS is racist and anti-semitic.
#ShowPlug 6: @TheHermanCain apologizes for Electrified Border Fence "Joke" - then immediately says he favors an Electrified Border Fence!
#ShowPlug Last: And @RichardJustice of Hou. Chronicle joins me to try to talk me out of my World Series prediction.
#ShowPlug Supplemental: Our special guest is Felix Rivera-Pitre of @VOCALNewYork - slugged by police who accuse HIM of assault #OWS
watch whole playlist
#5 'Law & Order', Felix Rivera-Pitre
YouTube, Current.com (excerpt)
#5 'Protest Veteran', Jesse Jackson
YouTube, Current.com (excerpt)
#4 'First Amendment Fine!', Craig Barber
#3 'Smearing Occupy', Joshua Holland
# Tweet of the Day: @NickEvancich and Time Marches On!
#2 Worst Persons: Harold Camping, Rep. Michele Bachmann & Ed Rollins, Herman Cain
#1 'And The Winner Will Be...', Richard Justice
printable PDF transcript
Topics: Major League Baseball, NYPD, Occupy Together, Occupy Wall Street
Categories: From the Show, Show Transcripts
Guests: Craig Barber, Felix Rivera-Pitre, Jesse Jackson, Joshua Holland, Richard Justice
KEITH OLBERMANN: Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? The battle of the medical tent. The NYPD runs another tone-deaf, late-night raid against Occupy Wall Street.
(Excerpt from video clip) PROTESTERS: We shall not, we shall not be moved.
OLBERMANN: An unexpected hero - the Reverend Jesse Jackson, stopping by, helps avert conflict. Our special guest, Jesse Jackson. Occupy strikes back. The march to the Manhattan D.A.'s office seeking prosecution for the punch. Our guest, the victim of the punch. And prosecution for the victims of the spray. Occupy Tucson. A different battle in Arizona, not clash, but cash.
(Excerpt from video clip) CRAIG BARBER: Instead of trying to break us up with pepper spray and batons like they did in Phoenix, what they're doing is they're utilizing a strategy of financial attrition.
OLBERMANN: The protest where the punishment is a fine of up to $1,000 per protester, per day. The right-wing smear campaign begins.
(Excerpt from video clip) STEVE DOOCY: What's interesting now is the American Nazi Party and the Communist Party have actually come out and endorsed this particular occupation.
(Excerpt from video clip) MAN: Why are our leaders turning a blind eye to anti-Semitic, anti-Israel attacks?
OLBERMANN: Plus, a Wall Street Journal poll suggesting a third of Occupy favors violence. A poll conducted by a guy who works for Fox News, who used to work for Citibank. World Series, why I like the Cardinals over the Rangers. And Herman Cain apologizes for the electrified border fence joke. Until he stops apologizing for it.
(Excerpt from video clip) HERMAN CAIN: It is probably not a joke you are supposed to make if you are a presidential candidate. I apologize if it offended anyone. Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea culpa.
OLBERMANN: Mea culpa, but you are a liar.
(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: I don't apologize for using a combination of a fence, and it might be electrified. I'm not walking away from that.
OLBERMANN: All that and more now on "Countdown."
(Excerpt from video clip) JOHN TRAVOLTA: It's electrifying!
OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York. This is Tuesday, October 18th, 385 days until the 2012 presidential election. Occupy Wall Street on the march tonight to the office of New York City - or New York County - District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., marching to protest a sucker punch thrown at a demonstrator last Friday. A demonstrator who thinks he may have been singled out for attack because he's gay. He'll join us.
The fifth story on the "Countdown" - legal struggles between Occupy Wall Street and New York police and prosecutors, while Occupy protests continue throughout the country.
And another big bank reports big profits. Today it was Bank of America, with a third quarter profit of $6.2 billion. The bank had dropped $7.3 billion in the same quarter last year. It seems to have made most back without the $5 monthly debit-card fee it is trying to impose now on customers.
Yesterday we told you that New York City voters had supported Occupy Wall Street in a poll. A new Siena poll shows that's also true for voters in New York State. Nearly 60 percent agreeing that Occupy Wall Street represents the 99 percent, less than a third disagreeing, and they think the protesters have the potential to cause riots like those in Cairo this year. Some of those New Yorkers must surely be identifying with the one percent because 49 percent say they view the protests favorably and 38 percent say they don't. But no comfort for Wall Street in these numbers. Twenty-four percent view the financial cartels favorably and two-thirds do not.
As for Manhattan district attorney Vance and his deputes, they are out of favor with Occupy Wall Street tonight, with protesters demanding an investigation into what they say was an unprovoked assault on Felix Rivera-Pitre, an openly HIV-positive activist. Rivera-Pitre was hit on the head Friday by NYPD deputy inspector Johnny Cardona. Rivera-Pitre insists the attack on him was unprovoked. Witnesses agree. The NYPD, surprisingly enough, does not.
Mr. Rivera-Pitre has been charged with attempted assault on a police officer, obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. He has been in hiding to avoid arrest. He will be our guest on this program in a few moments.
Pepper spray victim Kaylee Dedrick is also looking for justice. She was sprayed in the face by Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna during a march last month, the incident that more than any other ticked all of this off. Dedrick wants the inspector reprimanded. Her attorney, Ron Kuby, who's also Rivera-Pitre's attorney, wants more than that.
(Excerpt from video clip) RON KUBY: The videotape, on its face, makes out a case for third-degree assault.
OLBERMANN: In Zuccotti Park today, another link between organized labor and Occupy Wall Street, as teamsters ask for volunteers to help walk a picket line with them outside Sotheby's Auction House.
And in Zuccotti Park late last night, another link between past protests and today's. At issue, Occupy Wall Street's medical tent. protesters say police demanded that they take it down, adding they would take it down themselves if the protesters refused. And when the protesters refused, they linked arms around the tent with civil rights and economic-rights veteran Reverend Jesse Jackson singing a song that dates back to at least the labor struggles of the 1930s.
(Excerpt from video clip) PROTESTERS: We shall not, we shall not be moved/We shall not, we shall not be moved.
OLBERMANN: The NYPD backed off. Reverend Jackson will be here as well in a few moments. Elsewhere in the movement's news today in Atlanta, Mayor Kasim Reed has extended an executive order allowing protesters to stay in the city's Woodruff Park for at least three more weeks without police interference. Protesters had said they were willing to be jailed rather than end their occupation. And in Miami, protesters remain outside the Miami-Dade Government Center for a third day. They insist they will not leave unless they're forced to.
As I said at the top of the program, activist Felix Rivera-Pitre was punched in the head Friday. You saw it on the videotape by NYPD Deputy Inspector Johnny Cardona during a march through New York's Financial District. The NYPD says Mr. Rivera-Pitre provoked that attack, tried to elbow Deputy Inspector Cardona in the face. Mr. Rivera-Pitre's attorney, Ron Kuby, denies that. Mr. Rivera-Pitre has been sequestered to avoid arrest. He's been good enough to join us now. Thanks for coming in.
FELIX RIVERA-PITRE: Hi.
OLBERMANN: They want you for assault on a police officer. What's the theory of the crime? That you brought your face down on the inspector's fist? What's the idea here?
RIVERA-PITRE: Well, that is a very good theory, but I don't see what else it could possibly be. I mean, I was walking away from the cop.
RIVERA-PITRE: There are different versions of this video, from different angles, and they all show me walking away from him.
OLBERMANN: Backing away, clearly.
RIVERA-PITRE: Backing away, clearly.
OLBERMANN: He turns you around and slugs you? Right?
RIVERA-PITRE: Yes. Exactly.
OLBERMANN: Did you try to elbow him? The police say you tried to elbow him first or spray something on him? Did you try to do anything to him at all?
RIVERA-PITRE: No, I didn't, actually. I - there is one of the videos that shows that actually, he tried to grab me the first time, I just yank away and I keep walking.
OLBERMANN: So when you moved, they can then say, "Oh, he tried to elbow me?"
OLBERMANN: Right. But it doesn't mean you did it. It just means that's their excuse for charging you with something presumably.
RIVERA-PITRE: That would be the worst. I mean, I move away. It's not even toward him.
RIVERA-PITRE: And I keep moving constantly, you know.
RIVERA-PITRE: Away from him. I don't see - I mean, and about spraying him with something - unless the daisies I carried to the park that morning will be able to spray something, I didn't have anything. I was bringing daisies to the park.
OLBERMANN: An attack with daisies. I mean, the NYPD wouldn't know what to do with an attack with daises or anything that was natural or good. Let me ask you a question about what the crowd did after this happened. What was your reaction? They sort of - they protected you, didn't they?
RIVERA-PITRE: I have been protected since the moment I struck the floor. I don't know what happened. I know I was struck a couple of more times. I don't know by who. I'm not quite clear.
RIVERA-PITRE: I was totally dumbstruck. And I think that would be the most -
OLBERMANN: That's where the word comes from. Sorry.
RIVERA-PITRE: I hit the floor. Somebody grabbed my arm, and I was starting to be dragged. And people in the crowd started screaming, "Save him, save him." And when the cops heard that, they grabbed my legs and it was like a tug of war, like - this way, that way. And I didn't know what was happening. At that point, I couldn't fight. I had to let go.
RIVERA-PITRE: And the crowd was able to actually fight tooth and nail for me. And I was taken out of there, like, in a mosh pit kind of thing and they took me out like a rock star type of -
RIVERA-PITRE: It was amazing in a way, but at the same time, it was scary. It was - and since that moment, I was not left alone. Nobody ever has taken eye away from me.
OLBERMANN: When this happened, how long had you been involved in Occupy Wall Street? Was it a short time?
RIVERA-PITRE: It was a short period. I - it was September 23rd, the first time I actually was in a protest - and that was actually by mistake because I was just walking down University Avenue when they're coming from Union Square downtown. The protest was so peaceful, I didn't know it was a protest until the cops starting to beat up people, literally, like - arresting people, being very forceful. Like, ten cops just for one person. It's like an excessive amount of force. And what I think - what makes it more - the cops have a beef with me because I was able to get away or, actually, the crowd was able to get me away. And all of the people were being attacked. I mean, they were - it amazed me that this cop actually got out of his comfort zone, out of his protection zone just to get at me.
RIVERA-PITRE: That's what's really amazing. I don't know if it's because I am so much of a - excuse my French - a pansy. I don't know. I mean, some people were questioning, "How do you know he is gay?" Most people could tell just by looking at me, like, I am just as gay as the Judy Garland fan club. But the reality is that - he didn't do what they were doing in procedure. He kind of, like, thought he could get away just - I don't know. They were actually - when anybody would be arrested or something, they would be hit or something and attacked - the cops are good at making a circle and not letting this person - nobody reaching him. And he didn't follow that protocol they were using over and over that day.
OLBERMANN: Extraordinary. Felix Rivera-Pitre - activist, grassroots leader with the New York community group Vocal-NY - wanted by the New York police after was hit in the head by a deputy inspector during the Occupy Wall Street demonstration. I am glad your sense of humor is intact, and thanks for coming in and telling the story with us.
RIVERA-PITRE: Thank you.
OLBERMANN: All the best.
All right, before we get to our next guest - some early signs of breaking developments in Manhattan's SoHo district tonight where Occupy protesters are chanting, "Where is Cuomo? Protecting the one percent?" at an event attended by Governor Cuomo of New York. Witnesses report a heavy police presence. We will keep you posted as and if developments warrant.
My next guest will be new to the Occupy Wall Street saga, but not to the cause of equality and justice. Reverend Jesse Jackson marched, of course, with Dr. Martin Luther King. He's kept marching ever since. Founder and president of the Rainbow Push Coalition. Reverend Jackson was also a Democratic presidential candidate in 1984 and '88. Served as a shadow Senator from the District of Columbia from '91 to '97.
His activism spreads across the country and the globe. He helped win freedom for the captured American pilot Lieutenant Robert Goodman from Syria in 1983, and he spoke in front of a huge London rally opposing the Iraq War in 2003. He's now lent his presence to Occupy Wall Street in Zuccotti Park. It's always a pleasure and an honor to have Reverend Jesse Jackson with us. Good to see you, sir.
JESSE JACKSON: Thank you, sir.
OLBERMANN: You're an old hand at this. What do you think of this movement so far?
JACKSON: Well, it is growing. The message is in front of the language. The message is, "These are canaries in the mines, saying there's some pain down here." And they should be responding to, not reacted toward.
I cannot help but connect it with Dr. King leading a march at Poor People's Campaign in 1968 to occupy the Mall. We were to come to the Mall, in multiracial, multicultural groups and stay there to the point of being civil disobedience, to shift the focus from the war in Vietnam to the War on Poverty. So, the occupation movement started in 1968 after Dr. King was killed. So, this really is an extension of Dr. King's action. He argued this - the deeply entrenched force required to radical, sacrificial action to make things happen. What one sees here is a kind of a radical, sacrificial, non-violent discipline action, and it's going to make things happen.
OLBERMANN: What happened last night at Zuccotti Park - how did you come to be there and what occurred relative to the medical tent? I think the story is sort of a microcosm of the whole thing.
JACKSON: It's been a big weekend. The King dedication, I went to the Freedom Plaza yesterday and to the McPherson Park, so I came into New York, to meet the leadership, to get a sense of where things were. And after I met the leadership - much of it of the Occupation Wall Street - I came to the park. I saw this police gathering, over near the medical tent.
So, I went to where the crowd was. And the people saw me right there, "Jesse, Jesse." So, I went to where they were. And they were going to move the tent, really unprovoked. So I joined. I was prepared to go to jail with the protesters at that point and police - they backed away, and everybody won. They need not to have torn that tent down last night. And so I am delighted we were able to make some small, measurable contribution.
OLBERMANN: And it seems like - maybe I am saying things that shouldn't even be said in this circumstance, because it's gone so well in terms of publicity and public relations for this event - but this seemed like, last night, the first really smart, politically savvy move by the New York Police Department for a change. They actually did the right thing and also the right thing for their own reputation.
JACKSON: The fact is the protesters are fighting for - police are losing their jobs. I mean, the protesters - the police should be joining the protesters because they are fighting for the public-sector workers' jobs. I really - also, since we're on this - they should really have porto-toilets out there for the people, just because the protesters are really doing the right thing for everybody. They're bringing attention to enormous greed that's bankrupting cities and bankrupting states and creating this global confusion. They don't have porto-toilets there, a place for them to shower, or for them to refresh. And that is like taking the side of the oppressive forces. And that's not right.
OLBERMANN: It is important to say that a lot of businesses in the area have been extraordinarily good about letting the protesters use their facilities.
JACKSON: They have been.
OLBERMANN: And they've been - I mean, to the point where even the guys in Zuccotti Park seemed to be a little bit surprised about this. Where do you think this can go? Does this have a potential to leap into a forefront that none of its, sort of, predecessors in the last 10, 20 years really got to where it's a part of the consciousness?
JACKSON: It's certainly big enough, and the need is there. Part of what drives any great movement is need. Rosa Parks sat down in the front of the bus the need to overcome indignity and barbarism was there, and the humiliation was there.
Here, the students and the student-loan businesses are now creating credit-card debt. Students cannot - many cannot afford to go to school with good minds. Others get, yet they can't stay. And others get their guaranteed debt not their guaranteed jobs. So, students need to fight back. There's a need. Twenty-five million looking for a job, real stuff.
And in many ways the protest is a metaphor for what's happening say in Queens or Brooklyn, people's homes are going. So, I think that it's so real, those who lost jobs, homes, student-loan debt, and in the face of all of these losses, they see Wall Street rising, with government subsidies wealth. So, I think that the content is there for sustained movement.
OLBERMANN: Do you see there - what's the group that's not involved in the Occupy movement that's likeliest now to become part of it? Because it seems to me like this is a fairly well-educated group - a diverse group - but kind of more in the group of college graduates who have not been able to get work and people beyond that, professionals in various fields. It seems to me that the absolute middle class - what's left of it - has a real strong connection to what's going on down there. Some sort of bridge there could treble the numbers overnight.
JACKSON: We met - the Rainbow Coalition met with some black ministers last week. They have a role in this because they're facing church foreclosures. Their members are facing home foreclosures. They've had the biggest losses in the job recession. So, they have a role to play. Latinos are facing historic levels of deportation. They have a role in this.
And so, I think that there are layers yet to come forward and if this matures into precise political action like - revive bank hearings to reassess the failing of banks. Revive hearings on the insurance companies. Revive plans for a job plan that corresponds with the nature of the problem. I think if it matures to political action, it will have big meaning. There are some who want to stay away from politics. Well, that kind of cynicism is not transferring into power. Those who don't want you to have power hope you don't vote. This kind of action must mature into political power.
OLBERMANN: Reverend Jesse Jackson, always a pleasure, sir, and congratulations on the good timing last night. Well done.
JACKSON: Thank you. Thank you, sir.
OLBERMANN: Always a pleasure. The pushback began a month ago, now it is getting heavy. In Tucson, its fines of up to $1,000 a day, we'll go there next. On Fox News, its charges that the Occupy protesters are racists and anti-Semites and pro-violence. They know this is true because they have a poll. That's next, this is "Countdown."
OLBERMANN: Breaking news, The New York Times reports that the police commander who sprayed protesters with pepper spray, a Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna - that set off all of the publicity and gave Occupy Wall Street its first credentials and first credibility - faces an internal disciplinary charge that could cost him ten days' pay, so-called "Command Discipline," according to a law enforcement official speaking to The New York Times. We'll have more information as it becomes available this evening.
The Occupy event, where the threat is not the police, it's bankruptcy. Occupy Tucson and the $1,000 fines from Arizona. The right-wing smear starts. Occupy is racist, it's antisemitic. One of Fox's in-house fake Democrats cooks up a poll for The Wall Street Journal, saying many Occupy protesters favor violence. Did I mention he also used to work for Citibank?
The late report of elbow inflammation in the pitching arm of the man who opens the World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals tomorrow night. Our preview and my prediction.
And this guy is a doozy. He has now apologized for the joke about the electrified border fence, and insisted he still favors the electrified border fence.
OLBERMANN: "Congress shall make no law bridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people to - peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
In our fourth story - despite those words in the First Amendment, several cities - including Tucson, Arizona - have begun enforcing petty laws with hefty fines in an attempt to financially force the Occupy protesters to break up. Starting Saturday, police in Tucson began writing criminal citations to anyone in Armory Park past 10:30 P.M. prevailing local time. Fifty-three citations were issued on Saturday, 32 Sunday, and between 30 and 40 on Monday. Each citation comes with a penalty of up to $1,000 in fines, up to six months in jail, up to three years on probation. And, yes, many protesters have received several citations.
Tucson authorities stressed to the protesters that the law does not prohibit their right to peaceably assemble, but prohibits camping in the park. The Arizona constitution, though, takes all this one step further which makes the citations seem even more egregious. According to Article Two, Section Five of that state constitution, "The right of petition, and of the people peaceably to assemble for the common good, shall never be abridged."
Similarly, Occupy Dallas participants were forced to relocate from Pioneer Plaza to a park outside City Hall after Dallas city officials informed them that to obtain a permit to gather in the park, the group needed an insurance policy - a $1 million insurance policy. Joining me now one of the organizers for Occupy Tucson, Craig Barber. Good to talk to you again, sir.
BARBER: Thank you, Keith. Thank you for having me back.
OLBERMANN: How do you fight accumulating $1,000 fines?
BARBER: We fight it any way we can. We've put out posts on our website and our Facebook letting the public know what is going on about the $1,000 fines, about the misdemeanor charges that are being handed out every night. And we've linked to our city council web page, which has their email addresses and their phone numbers, encouraging the public to demand that the charges against the occupiers be dropped and also that TPD - the Tucson Police Department - stop using these tactics to intimidate the protesters.
Fortunately. from what we've been hearing from our attorney from the National Lawyers Guild, who has an avenue of contact with the city, they have been getting flooded. Their phones have been getting flooded and their email boxes have been getting flooded. So, our community is definitely behind us in this and they have been showing it. And, additionally, we have been hearing from this attorney, the tone that he has been hearing from City Hall has been changing. Again, nothing publicly coming out one way or the other as far as policy is concerned, but definitely a more conciliatory tone.
And another avenue that we're taking right now is as we speak, Occupy Tucson is marching down to City Hall. There's a city council meeting occurring right now. We're holding a rally out in front of City Hall and we're also sending in representatives from Occupy Tucson to participate in the public-speaking aspect of that meeting.
OLBERMANN: Given the state and Federal Constitutional citations that I just read, do you - in addition to community pressure and the possibility of some sort of negotiated settlement with the city - do you have legal action that you can take?
BARBER: The attorney from the National Lawyers Guild, who has been helping us out all along, has advised me that he thinks we have a very strong case for our actions in the park being protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. And he thinks that it's definitely a protected right, what we are doing - the spirit of the law as far as the city code, which is, you know, providing or putting the curfew on the park, which is preventing us from being in there after 10:30 - he thinks that the spirit of the law is not encompassing what we're doing. We are expressing our first-amendment rights. And he is researching what actions he is planning on taking as far as what injunctions he might file, what lawsuits he is planning to file. And he says that he thinks we are in a very strong position, constitutionally speaking.
OLBERMANN: In the interim, are you going to stay in the park?
BARBER: Absolutely. We're not moving.
OLBERMANN: The group in Cincinnati, Occupy Cincinnati, had to file suit in federal court saying the city officials were violating their first-amendment rights. They got 200 citations, they were each at $100 roughly or thereabouts. Is the prospect of a federal suit also an option for you guys or are you working just state-wise?
BARBER: All options are on the table at the moment. We are not going to negate any avenue at all. And again, our attorney is researching what those options are right now. And as soon as he lets us know, you know, what he thinks the best course of action is, that's what we're going to take. But, I mean, what we are seeing is an absolutely absolute lack of leadership from our elected representatives locally. They've been hiding behind the bureaucracy. We've only seen press releases from the chief of police, we've only seen press releases from the Parks and Recreation Department, and these are not the city officials which set policy. These are the city officials of the bureaucracy who are there to enforce the policy. There's been an absolute silence in the public forum from our elected representatives.
And this is a movement, you know, encouraging people from all ethnicities, all genders, all, you know, economic backgrounds, all ages to come out and participate in this. And you would think that these are the types of constituents that these politicians would want to come out publicly on the side of, and I think they're missing a golden opportunity. I mean, you look at LA - the city councilmen of LA came out strongly and publicly in support of the Occupy LA movement - and that halted LAPD dead in their tracks when they were going to go in there and bust them up. And it's just chilling and disturbing to see an absolute lack of leadership on behalf of the city local government here in Tucson.
And I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we have local elections coming up, and they are being afraid that, you know, if they come out on the side of this, that it will reflect poorly on them. And I think that's just a completely misguided belief. Coming out on the side of the people, the working class people and the poor people and the unemployed people of this country can only help their cause, can only show the public that, you know, they are 100 percent behind their constituents and I believe would give them a landslide re-election. They are really missing the opportunity here.
OLBERMANN: Wouldn't be the first time. Craig Barber of Occupy Tucson. Great, thanks, good luck.
BARBER: Thank you so much.
OLBERMANN: Another means of attack, make up a poll that suggests the protesters are violent, or anti-Semitic, or racist, or all of the above. Only next time, don't have it made up by a guy who used to work for Citibank. The latest pushback, next.
OLBERMANN: Further developments from The New York Times' report that the New York Police Department has found that the Deputy Inspector, who sprayed those four women with pepper spray at the beginning of the Occupy Wall Street movement, faces internal disciplinary actions that could cost him ten days' worth of pay.
To quote The Times, "The Internal Affairs Bureau reviewed the incident and found that Inspector Anthony Bologna 'used pepper spray outside departmental guidelines.'" That, according to the police department's Chief Spokesman Paul Browne.
Also, the Times is reporting that the Manhattan District Attorney's office, to which Occupy Wall Street was marching earlier this evening, has opened an investigation into the matter. And, of course, yesterday, one of the women who was being pepper sprayed - been pepper sprayed - accompanied by her lawyer, met with the prosecutors and urged them to take actual legal action and file criminal charges against Inspector Bologna.
But for now, he is supposedly out for internal disciplinary action. A so-called "Command Discipline Action" - 10 days' pay, rather than 10 days' vacation pay, which had been reported elsewhere.
Meanwhile, of course, as you have noticed, the right wing seems to have woken up to some of the power of Occupy Wall Street. It's responding by smearing the movement calling protesters "violent and anti-Semitic and racist."
In our third story tonight - conservatives lash out, starting with Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, insisting the media is overlooking, what she calls "the protesters' rampant anti-Semitism." She wrote, "In the millions of pixels devoted to the radical Occupy Wall Streeters, virtually nothing has been said about its anti-Semitic elements." Possibly because there aren't any. As proof of these elements, she points to a sensational new ad which - no surprise - was conceived by Republican insiders.
(Excerpt from video clip) MAN #1: The small, ethnic Jewish population in this country, they have a firm grip on America's media, finances.
(Excerpt from video clip) MAN #2: Why are our leaders turning a blind eye to anti-Semitic, anti-Israel attacks? Tell President Obama and Leader Pelosi to stand up to the mob. Hate is not an American value.
OLBERMANN: The board of the Emergency Committee for Israel, which created that ad, is made up of leading conservatives including William Kristol. And the group has got the majority of its funding from New York hedge fund manager Daniel S. Loeb, who last year compared President Obama's Wall Street supporters to "battered wives." Right-wing pontificators now doing their best to spread the smears. Rush Limbaugh actually contending that the 99 percent movement is - the title is - in fact coded anti-Semitism.
(Excerpt from video clip) RUSH LIMBAUGH: Occupy Wall Street now, 99 percent, that leaves one percent, roughly the percentage of Jews in the population, too. And Wall Street and bankers have been anti-Semitic code for Jews.
OLBERMANN: Rush was assured there would be no math. Joining Limbaugh in the "this is the first time I have ever claimed to be defending a minority group" is Republican strategist Karl Rove. In a Wall Street Journal editorial he writes, "It's a series of events populated by a weird cast of disaffected characters ranging from anarchists and anti-Semites to socialists and LaRouchies."
Today, The Wall Street Journal followed that up by publishing results of a study that found nearly a third of protesters would "support violence to advance their agenda." And the pollster responsible for that analysis? Doug Schoen, one of the great sell-outs of the century - and the last one - one of the lost souls who goes on Fox and claims to be a Democratic analyst and who has also conducted "strategic research for a long list of corporate clients, including Citibank," one of the companies that's come under a little criticism from the protesters.
Joining me now for analysis of this, Joshua Holland, senior writer and editor at AlterNet and author of "The 15 Biggest Lies about the Economy." Thank you for your time tonight, sir.
JOSHUA HOLLAND: Thanks for having me, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Karl Rove, Bill Kristol, Jennifer Ruben pushing the same message. And now it's sort of being echoing back with the castrati - Mark Levin on radio and Rush Limbaugh. This is a standard of Republican echo chamber. We'll get to watch all elements of it. Correct?
HOLLAND: It is, but I've rarely seen them so inflamed. I mean, it's hilarious to see Jennifer Rubin saying this is a story that hasn't gotten a lot of attention because, of course, the right-wing media has been all over it. And it's been pretty much ubiquitous.
OLBERMANN: What is the evidence supposedly, I mean, given that Occupy Wall Street still fills an - amazing when you see it - amazingly small space. It really is about four or five times the size of the studio that I'm sitting in, which isn't very big to begin with, and in it hundreds of people showed up for a Yom Kippur service the other day. I mean what was that suppose to be? A diversion from the true anti-Semitism?
HOLLAND: Well, they were covering it up. Look, the thing is that you can go down to a group of people, of Americans, a regular grassroots people who don't have media training - and I don't care if it's a Shriners convention or a GOP convention - and you can find some freaks, and you can find people who harbor odious ideologies. And if you select those few people and then focus on them, you're creating a dishonest narrative. It's nut picking, it's cherry picking a story to create a narrative.
I went down to my local Occupy action in San Francisco and I spoke to some people who are extremely cogent and had sophisticated economic analyses and knew exactly what they wanted. They weren't representative of everybody down there. So, it would be dishonest for me to say every protester shared that view, but they were just as representative as the few people that Jennifer Rubin is choosing to focus on. It's intentionally dishonest.
OLBERMANN: And it'd be as diverse as a Republican debate, probably, in terms of intellect and the nuts involved in the process. Do you think - looking at this - is this directed at anybody besides those who already believe this is true? My old line that I love is "For people who like this sort of stuff, this is the sort of stuff they like." Is it just reinforcement?
HOLLAND: Well, I think it's an intentional effort to drive a wedge between the working class, who've seen their economic security devastated, and the activist groups who are trying to, you know, bring attention to these issues that have been long ignored. Occupy Wall Street has already had a great impact because we are talking about inequality, we're talking about unemployment. We are talking about youth unemployment. The right wants to talk about the deficit and pretend those things don't exist. So, you know, we are refocusing. We're seeing the conversation refocused by these protesters. And that's a great and valuable public service already.
OLBERMANN: Just to be clear, I wasn't claiming authorship for people who like this sort of stuff. That was Lincoln originally. I just stole it from Lincoln.
HOLLAND: Don't steal from Lincoln.
OLBERMANN: You have to steal from somebody. All told, does this strike you as another part of, also, the conservative shadow strategy? In the Bush presidency, he was criticized as being illegitimate because of the 2000 election. So, Obama is then painted as an illegitimate president. And then Bush acted unconstitutionally regarding domestic spying. So Obama was acting unconstitutionally about fill in the blank. The tea party was called out for racist undertone, therefore you have to find something similar about Occupy Wall Street?
HOLLAND: I think that that's part of it. I mean, we had polling about tea partiers' views about race. So, we weren't just selecting the nut jobs in those crowds, although I would say that there were legitimate gripes that those people's views were amplified more than they might have been. But I do think that there's some turnaround. And they're saying, "Look, we can smear the left and we can call them the real racists," which is a long-term conservative project anyway.
OLBERMANN: Joshua Holland of AlterNet, author of "The 15 Biggest Lies about the Economy." Great, thanks for your time, sir.
HOLLAND: Thanks for having me, Keith.
OLBERMANN: The guy who predicted the end of the world on May 21st has a new prediction, Friday. Hope you didn't just send out the dry cleaning. "Worst Persons" ahead.
OLBERMANN: DuMont Presents "Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour: 'Round and 'Round She Goes" will not be seen tonight so we can instead bring you "Countdown." It is live weeknights here at 8:00 P.M. Eastern, 5:00 Pacific. Our primary replays are at 11:00 P.M. Eastern and 11:00 P.M. Pacific. We call it "our little miracle."
Herman Cain apologizes for the electrified border fence joke. He then reiterates his support for an electrified border fence.
First, the "Sanity Break." And this day in history is weak, so instead, let's resurrect the Tweet of the Day. This is fabulous. From Nick Evancich: "I don't think @KeithOlbermann actually went to Columbia, I think he went to Columbia College #poser #liar" Yeah. I went to Cornell. Better luck next time, Barney Fife. Goober says hey.
"Time Marches On!"
Goober says hey.
We begin in Antarctica, where it's the time of year for penguins to begin to build their nests. They search for the perfect rocks to construct a good-looking one. Penguin found a shortcut to getting the best rocks, he steals them from his little neighbor. Batman, come quick, the penguin is up to no good. Somewhere Burgess Meredith is smiling. But even in the penguin world, you don't cheat a cheater. When another penguin makes a move for the thief's rocks, the thief is not having it. Keep marching, penguin.
We stay in the animal kingdom. Poor puppy, all he wants to do is play fetch. Come on, play with me. All right, fine, I can do it myself. That's right, auto-fetch. Brilliant. Now if he learns how to use the can opener, he could take over the planet and we're finished.
And we end with the world's youngest Star Wars fan. Twelve-month-old Trent just made a new friend. And just like Trent, nobody can understand a word his friend is saying. Still better than Episode I.
"Time Marches On!"
Michele Bachmann has a battle of wits with her ex-campaign manager. Quick, everybody get under the protective plastic sheeting, this is going to be like a Gallagher concert.
"Worst Persons" and a World Series preview ahead on "Countdown."
OLBERMANN: Why a former "Worst Person" in the World, who dragged one of the great baseball players of our time to a Glenn Beck event claiming it was politically neutral is gonna manage his team to another World's Championship. Our Series preview.
First, the "Worst," Herman Cain says he wants an electrified border fence. Says, "no, he doesn't, it was a joke." Gives a non-apology apology for the joke. And then goes right back to saying he wants an electrified border fence. Next.
OLBERMANN: Oddsmakers favor the Texas Rangers over the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series starting tomorrow night. I'll tell you why they're wrong. And Richard Justice will tell me why I'm wrong. Next.
First, because these next miscreants are always wrong, here are "Countdown's" nominees for today's "Worst Persons in the World."
The bronze to Harold Camping. You remember him, he's the guy who correctly predicted that the world was going to end on May 21st of this year. I'm sorry, incorrectly predicted it. That wasn't the end of the world, just the start of a stroke that Mr. Camping had 18 days later. Camping has since explained that May 21 was Doomsday, but only the invisible kind. That the unbelievers would suffer torment for the next five months, and then everything would actually go ka-boom on October 21st, which is Friday.
Even for this latest prediction, the fraudulent Mr. Camping has left himself wiggle room. There won't actually be mass death he says, just people going to sleep and not waking up. Which means - if you don't go to sleep on the 21st his prediction is no longer binding. Your mileage may vary. Offer not open in Wisconsin, Idaho or Ohio. Shipping charges higher west of the Rockies. Member FDIC. Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis.
The runners-up - Michele Bachmann, and her former campaign manager, Ed Rollins. What's this called again? Oh yeah, a hissing contest.
Bachmann in New York Times about Rollins, "When it comes to personnel issues, I act professionally and respectful of former employees. I just assume that's a two-way street. It's disappointing when it's not." Times guy points out Ed Rollins has rarely been professional or respectful towards former employers. Bachmann in The New York Times again, "I guess I should have done that Google search."
Which finally provoked Mr. Rollins to reply. Rollins in National Review, "Well, if I would have Googled her, I would have found out she had six chiefs of staff in five years."
But our winner, good old Herman Cain. Not for the latest discovery from his past, his claim in an article last December that Jesus Christ was a conservative sentenced to death by a "liberal court," which is nonsense since - as conservatives always like to point out - liberals are too weak to support the death penalty.
No, we're sticking to this week, in which Mr. Cain has now flip-flopped twice about whether or not he was joking about building an electrified border fence between this country and Mexico. You'll remember he stated it very seriously last week in Tennessee, then by Sunday was insisting it was a joke, and we were all bad people for not getting it was a joke. That turned out to be only part two in a four-part saga. Here's part three.
(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: It was a joke and some people don't think it was a good joke, and it is probably not a joke you are supposed to make if you are a presidential candidate. I apologize if it offended anyone. Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea culpa.
OLBERMANN: So, there you have it. It was a joke, and he gave an if-then, it's your fault if you're offended, weasel non-apology apology, but it's over. No electrified fence. No electrocution of people just trying to get into this country. No, wait a minute, he's still talking. Part Four!
(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: I don't apologize for using a combination of a fence, and it might be electrified. I'm not walking away from that. I just don't want to offend anybody.
OLBERMANN: Same news conference. Apologize for crazy idea. Insist you still believe in crazy idea. So, he made a joke, but the electrocution of illegal immigrants? The electrified fence? He's still in favor of that. I'm sorry in advance if the following seems derivative to you, but - that man is an idiot. Herman Cain, once again in favor of electrocuting illegal immigrants - remember, he's just one little "Mc" short of being McCain - today's "Worst Person" in the World.
OLBERMANN: Long ago, but direct, predecessors of the St. Louis Cardinals - the original St. Louis Browns of the American Association - won the original version of the World Series, as long ago as 1886.
The direct predecessors of the Texas Rangers - the second Washington Senators - won absolutely nothing there, or, for that matter, after they moved to Texas 40 winters ago, until they took the American League pennant last season, and again last weekend.
Thus, in our number-one story, it is something of a cultural clash as the two teams meet in the 2011 World Series, beginning tomorrow night in St. Louis. Being as how I used to host the World Series for Fox and for NBC, I thought we'd give you a preview.
Oddsmakers like Texas, largely because, in the six-game League Championship Series against Detroit, right fielder Nelson Cruz hit a record six home runs, and the Rangers line-up is so powerful that Cruz may only bat seventh in the order.
The Cardinals, on the other hand, only managed to make the last playoff spot in the National League after the Atlanta Braves enacted the fastest collapse in NL history. For the most part, St. Louis starting pitching has been dreadful in the post-season. In a sport where an earned run average of 4.0 is a little high, the Cards' starters have had an ERA of 5.43 this season.
The problem is, the teams' personas - Rangers slug, Cards can't pitch - are not borne up by the statistics. St. Louis starters and their lousy ERA of 5.43 - Texas starters in the post-season have had an ERA of 5.58. In the post-season, the Cardinals have batted .288, the Rangers just .259. The OPS - the team's on-base percentage plus its slugging percentage - Rangers .764, Cardinals .793.
There are some other hidden facts about St. Louis. They did manage to knock off first the odds-on favorite Philadelphia Phillies, and then the boutique pick, the Milwaukee Brewers. And they were the top offensive team in the National League. And they led all of baseball in hitting on the road. And mighty Nelson Cruz of the Rangers, with six home runs in the last six playoff games - in the first round of the playoffs he batted 15 times and got only one hit. So, that's why I'm taking the underdog Cardinals.
Once again, to tell me how wrong I am, I'm joined by Richard Justice, the national baseball writer of The Houston Chronicle. Good evening, Richard.
RICHARD JUSTICE: Hey, Keith.
OLBERMANN: This prediction pains me. I mean, Ron Washington and Dave Anderson and C.J. Wilson are baseball friends of mine and Tony La Russa is not. Do you take Texas or do you take St. Louis?
JUSTICE: I am going to take Texas. But it pains me to say that, too. I was around the Cardinals the last week of the season. I love what they did. You know, we talked about that - they were three out with five to play. You don't do it if you don't love the middle of their line up - with Halladay and Pujols and Berkman. David Freese has stepped into this moment. Chris Carpenter is one of the nicest guys in baseball. I just feel that this is Texas' year, I feel the back of the rotation.
I think Matt Harrison is going pitch great. They have two guys in their bullpen that a lot of people don't know - Scott Feldman and Alexi Ogando - are going to be a big difference in that. And also, I just think Michael Young or somebody who hasn't had a big role so far - Adrian Beltre - they're going to step in and they're going to make the difference. But I tell you what - this is one of the World Series that you could argue both sides very easily.
OLBERMANN: You mentioned Matt Harrison. Why would the Rangers be starting three straight left-handers in Texas against St. Louis when all of the St. Louis power except Lance Berkman is right-handed, and that would allow - since it will be in the American League park and there's a designated hitter - the Cardinals have this, sort of, semi-regular named Allen Craig whose a right-handed power hitter, they plug him in that line-up. Doesn't make any sense to me.
JUSTICE: No, it doesn't except they go this way. They are C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis. Five times they took the mound in September with losing streaks there and they stopped him immediately. They are the two guys they counted on the last two years, and also Matt Harrison has been more - actually been more effective against right-handed hitters. Berkman is the guy, like you said, they most want to neutralize, but, you know, the way it's shaping up, they are going to come back and those guys will pitch in Busch Stadium.
OLBERMANN: There's a fellow named Pujols they have to worry about, too, I think he may be a factor in this. About Nelson Cruz, who has been anointed the greatest baseball player of all time in the last six games. He seemed to have hurt himself, the oblique muscles seemed to have been pulled in the last game against the Tigers. Is he actually healthy? And even if he is, what happens if he doesn't hit six home runs?
JUSTICE: That's the X factor in Chris Carpenter, we don't know about his elbow. We don't know about Josh Hamilton's groin. These are all the things - guys are playing beat-up at this time of year. I think they're all counting - the two managers are all counting on adrenaline to carry them. You know, those are things that may very well decide the series. And you know how it is - that you don't know the guy was hurt until he gets to spring training and says, "Oh, by the way."
OLBERMANN: In terms of the experience here, Ron Washington, who we mentioned, the manager of the Rangers and most of this team is returning to the World Series for a second time in 13 months. But on the other hand, Tony La Russa is taking the Cardinal team to a third World Series in eight years and for the sixth time in his career as a manager. Which kind of experience do you think matters more in this series?
JUSTICE: Well, Tony La Russa's managed 5,000 games. He's going to go to the hall of fame as one of the great managers ever and one of the great communicators with his players. People kind of don't know what he's like, he's like a Knute Rockne talking to his guys every day. So, I don't compare any manager to him.
Having said that, Keith - Ron Washington has been in baseball for 40 years, one of the most respected guys ever. His guys love him. I am telling you, Keith, when Nolan Ryan got there, he was probably going to fire Ron Washington. He sat back and watched, he saw how much his players loved him and responded to him and how Ron communicates with them. So I think in that case, we've two great managers in this series and both are right for their teams.
OLBERMANN: The Cardinals have beaten Roy Halladay, Zack Greinke, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, that's four Cy Youngs, the League MVP, playoff series MVP and the World Series MVP. Does that mean anything?
JUSTICE: No, it doesn't. They beat all of those guys, too, to get - just to get to the playoffs. You play the game that's in front of you. You know, I don't think so. I think this is going to come down to C.J. Wilson, does he make his pitches? Does Colby Lewis make his pitches? If Chris Carpenter can pitch three times, the Cardinals have a great chance.
OLBERMANN: And whatever happens it will be the third straight World Series with a Molina brother and a different one catching, which is obviously a record. Richard Justice, The Houston Chronicle, it's always pleasure. Enjoy the series. I wish I was there.
JUSTICE: Thank you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Thank you, sir. That's "Countdown" for Tuesday, 385 days until the 2012 presidential election. About an hour and a half until Herman Cain changes him mind on that fence again. I'm Keith Olbermann. Give yourself a round of applause for getting through another day of this crap. Good night and good luck.