'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Thursday, October 27th, 2011
Special bonus podcast and YouTube (Keith talks to KGO-AM radio about Occupy Oakland)
#ShowPlug 1: The Climbdown: Oakland mayor @JeanQuan reopens Plaza to #OccupyOakland, says police will be "minimal," says city supports it
#ShowPlug 2: NYPD still hitting, still arresting - but they let #OWS march ON nyc streets without permits for first time. Turning points?
#ShowPlug 3 (Corrected) #OccupyOakland Marine #ScottOlsen now breathing on own; still facing surgery. Alternet's @JoshuaHol land from Oak
#ShowPlug 4: #OWS hero Sgt Shamar Thomas on NYC; @MMFlint Michael Moore on crunch time for mayors + sophistry that "1%ers" can't help 99%
#ShowPlug 5: And do you know who Vlad Teichberg of @GlobalRevLive is? You should. He's one of the reasons you see it all live-streamed
#ShowPlug Last: Billo's explanation for positive #OWS poll #s he insisted wouldn't happen? If you don't exploit workers, you become Cuba!
#ShowPlug PS: New polling: 71% of NY State residents support #OWS right to protest. That's 71% of NY State REPUBLICANS.
watch whole playlist
#5 Breaking news on Occupy protests, Sgt. Shamar Thomas
YouTube, Current.com (excerpt)
#5 Breaking news on Occupy protests, Joshua Holland
#4 'Protestors vs. Pols', Michael Moore
#3 'The People's Mike', Michael Moore
YouTube, Current.com (excerpt)
# Time Marches On!
#2 Worst Persons: Bill O'Reilly, Herman Cain, Gov. Rick Perry
#1 'Webolution', Vlad Teichberg
YouTube, Current.com (excerpt)
printable PDF transcript
Categories: Show Transcripts
KEITH OLBERMANN: Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow?
(Excerpt from video clip) PROTESTERS: New York is Oakland, Oakland is New York! New York is Oakland, Oakland is New York!
OLBERMANN: New York marches in solidarity with injured Occupy protester Scott Olsen.
(Excerpt from video clip) JOHN PENLEY: I'm like many other veterans who of the Vietnam era are getting older, are unemployed, are homeless, are out on the street. I was extremely angry - I mean outraged - at what I saw happen last night in Oakland, California.
OLBERMANN: About-face in Oakland - Mayor Jean Quan's legal adviser Dan Siegel says "I think a big mistake was made - a big mistake." He is considering resigning. The mayor claims she did not know the raid was happening.
(Excerpt from video clip) JEAN QUAN: I didn't know what day. I was actually hoping it wouldn't be until I got back.
OLBERMANN: But tonight, the protest resumes. Frank Ogawa Plaza reopened to Occupy, with a "minimal police presence"
(Excerpt from video clip) QUAN: Oakland is a very progressive city. We support the goals of the whole Occupy Wall Street movement.
OLBERMANN: Oakland's skull fracture victim Scott Olsen - upgraded to fair condition, now breathing on his own, says his roommate Keith Shannon, but now also facing surgery. New York, on Night 40 -
(Excerpt from video clip) PROTESTER: Who do you serve, who do you protect? Who do you serve, who do you protect?
OLBERMANN: Fourteen more arrested, as Marines in uniform join the protest, NYPD lets Occupy Wall Street actually march on the street and then hits them with batons - even the Marines.
Support, stronger than ever - 71 percent in New York state support Occupy's right to protest. That's 71 percent of New York's - Republicans. Michael Moore, as the sincerity of some in the one percent - advocating for the rights of those in the 99 percent - is questioned.
His answer? He writes, "How can you claim to be for the poor when you are the opposite of poor?! It's like asking, 'You've never had sex with another man - how can you be for gay marriage?!'"
Occupy: Day 41 - with New York protester Sergeant Shamar Thomas. With AlterNet's Joshua Holland in Oakland. With Michael Moore. And with Vlad Teichberg. Who? One of the keys to Occupy Internet streaming, without whom you would, perhaps, never have seen this - from last night.
(Excerpt from video clip) PROTESTERS: Shame! Shame! Shame!
OLBERMANN: All that and more, now on "Countdown."
OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York, this is Thursday, October 27, 376 days until the 2012 presidential election.
And there is news breaking at this hour from Oakland, California. Scott Olsen, the Iraq Marine veteran whose skull was fractured Tuesday night by a police gas canister during the suppression of Occupy Oakland has just awakened.
His roommate, Keith Shannon, telling "Countdown" that - while Olsen cannot yet speak - his parents say he's been able to write a little. Earlier in the day, his condition had been upgraded from critical to fair. More details on Olsen in a moment.
While Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has told Occupy protesters they can return to the plaza there, Occupy Oakland is calling now for a citywide general strike for the second of next month.
The fifth story on the "Countdown" - the Occupy movement digging in and pushing back as it comes under increasing pressure to, literally, fold up its tents. Plus - what appears to be another incident of police violence against protesters during an otherwise peaceful march last night in New York.
First, more on Scott Olsen. As we told you, according to Keith Shannon - after having been sedated since he walked into an Oakland hospital after his skull was fractured on Tuesday night, Olsen came out of the sedation this afternoon and awakened, not yet able to talk, but off of the ventilator and breathing on his own. He may yet go into neurosurgery in the next day or two to relief pressure on his brain. It's not apparent what the latest development says about the likelihood or unlikelihood of surgery. Olsen's parents are at the hospital - obviously having arrived from their Wisconsin home.
As "Countdown" reported last night, Olsen was struck on the head, apparently by a tear gas canister fired by police of some kind during the Tuesday raid in Oakland. Olsen's uncle, George Nygaard told reporters he was disgusted.
(Excerpt from video clip) GEORGE NYGAARD: Now, he gets wounded by people that we call peace makers - and police. I'm simply enraged, angered and saddened all at the same time.
OLBERMANN: In New York last night, Occupy Wall Street protesters marched in solidarity with Occupy Oakland, blocking traffic in some cases as they surged up the streets.
(Excerpt from video clip) PENLEY: I was extremely angry - I mean, outraged - at what I saw happen last night in Oakland, California.
OLBERMANN: In the vanguard, a group of veterans - including Sergeant Shamar Thomas, the Marine Corps veteran of the Iraq War who appeared on this program last week after he had defended protesters from police during a weekend protest in Times Square. His efforts were needed. A camera caught at least one incident in which an NYPD officer appears to be beating a helpless protester - center of your screen.
And Sergeant Thomas says he defended other protesters last night and was struck in the back with police batons for his efforts. He'll join us in a few moments.
And the NYPD Sergeant Union tonight issued a warning to Occupy Wall Street - if one union member is hurt in an Occupy demonstration, the union says it will file civil lawsuits against individual protesters and any group supporting Occupy Wall Street in its camp in Zuccotti Park.
Other New Yorkers taking an entirely different view of the protests - near total support of them. According to a Quinnipiac University poll, 58 percent of New York voters agree with Occupy Wall Street's views - just 28 percent disagree. And when it comes to Occupy's right to protest - 82 percent support it, only 13 percent do not.
Among the supporters? Seventy-one percent of New York's Republican voters.
In Oakland, Occupy protesters struggled again with police and each other, as a fence was erected to allow the campsite at Frank Ogawa Plaza to be cleaned - this, after Tuesday's protests, which led to those 100 arrests and the unknown number of injuries.
Mayor Quan, whose resignation or repentance I called for last night, held a news conference after that event in which - forgivably or not - she clearly appeared to be out of touch with the situation in her own city, both before and after the police broke up the camp.
(Excerpt from video clip) QUAN: I don't know everything. I'm still listening... I don't do the tactical planning... I didn't know what day. I was actually hoping that it wouldn't be until I got back. ... It seemed that that was done as peacefully as possible. And - but, I'm now hearing that maybe there's one or two incidents that we don't know... I'll have to - we've asked the police department to assign and officer to investigate -
OLBERMANN: After that news conference, but before Occupy called for a general strike on November 2nd, Mayor Quan also released a statement, in which she praised the efforts of 99 percent of the police, called for a minimal police presence at the plaza - at least for the short term - and claims she understood the impact of the violence on the community: "I want to express our deepest concern for all those who were injured last night. And we are committed to ensuring this does not happen again. Most of us are part of the 99 percent and understand the spirit of the Occupy Wall Street movement. We are committed to honoring their free speech right."
Across the bay, Occupy San Francisco's camp was quiet this morning after police first gathered in force nearby and then pulled back. Protesters say police gave them written notice that a planned raid on the camp had been called off. No reason given.
In London England, Canon Chancellor Giles Fraser of St. Paul's Cathedral, who had welcomed protesters to his historic church, has now stepped down from his post. No reason given. The church is considering legal action to have protesters camped outside that church removed.
Egyptian revolutionaries, from the Tahrir Square protests in Cairo, say they will march in support of Occupy Wall Street tomorrow.
And in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Occupy protesters gathered outside the private Walden Club, where House Speaker John Boehner was taking part in a fundraiser - seats going for up to $10,000 apiece. The protesters said they wanted politicians to work for their jobs, instead of raising money for their campaigns.
(Excerpt from video clip) SCOTT BURNETT: For too long we've been apathetic. For too long, we let the people with money make the decisions. And it's - it's time for that to stop.
OLBERMANN: Sergeant Shamar Thomas, the Iraq War veteran who marched with Occupy Wall Street last night - took a few blows to the back from police for his efforts - joins me once again. Good to see you, sir.
SHAMAR THOMAS: How you doing, Keith?
OLBERMANN: Were you part of an organized veterans group last night? Were you there for Oakland? Why were you there last night?
THOMAS: Well, I was there in support of Oakland and because a Marine was injured - Scott Olsen. What happened was - I actually have a different account set up, and I set up accounts were - I told people I am gonna - you know, go down there in support of Oakland. So, there were veterans, you know, in uniform and not in uniform that met me down there and - you know, marched with me.
OLBERMANN: How many roughly - do you have any idea how many of you guys were there?
THOMAS: The rough number - I would say at least 25 veterans. But a lot of them weren't in uniform, and a lot of them didn't stand just in, you know security. There were certain veterans that were like, "We'll just stand in the back just to keep your back." So -
OLBERMANN: Did you - have you heard the criticism from the right wing that there can't possibly be any military people involved in this? That those must just be uniforms bought at an Army Navy store?
THOMAS: That - that has been a really big deal. Especially over the Internet that - that we are all fake veterans. That we were there and planted. But - my whole family has served, I have served. I don't lie about my service. And the veterans that were down there are true veterans and have - you know, a lot of them have served in Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
OLBERMANN: I was a little confused - and I'm sure you're even more so, having been there - I was a little confused at the police response last night. 'Cause there seemed to be two different parts of it. They seem to be just as willing to crack batons - as you would know, much more than I. But at the other part, they didn't - they did not succeed in stopping the protesters from going on the street without a pre-planned schedule and permit and everything else.
So, they were - were they being, like, very concerned about the small details of individual people but not that concerned about the whole march?
THOMAS: Well, what happened initially was that - the people that were out there, we were peacefully protesting - honestly, staying on the sidewalks and say somebody would take - you know, slip off of the sidewalk - I saw a police officer, you know, push a man down for, you know, slipping on the street.
And so, what happened was - there were different acts of brutality from the police. And people decided that we were just gonna to take it to the streets - and that's were the street came from - just the brutality. Honestly, being there and seeing what was going on - I even stood in the street and told people, "Hey guys, get on the sidewalk. Get on the sidewalk. We don't want any of this." And when - I saw the police continue - they started bringing out the nets, everybody was like, "What are these nets for?" - and different things like that. It just incited people. Their actions incited people.
OLBERMANN: It was amazing, though, that - at that point, when everybody went into the street - that's when the police got out of the way, right? Towards - the last part of that march was fairly free-form, wasn't it?
THOMAS: Well actually, we were going against traffic. So, they couldn't - they couldn't amass anybody to stop us. So - and we kept - we didn't have a planned route. So, we just kept making turns to - they couldn't keep up with us, pretty much. It wasn't that they didn't want to, they tried. And they even had, like, different barricades at certain points where - they had motorized scooters come in. And I actually saw a policeman rev up his scooter to try to hit one of the protesters from getting by. So, the actions out there last night were - it was unbelievable
OLBERMANN: Yeah, they didn't, so - they didn't back off? They just failed, essentially, last night?
THOMAS: They just failed. Yes.
OLBERMANN: And to that point, there's some - there's some level of people not listening that we've seen throughout this, in many different stages - from mayors to presidential candidates to all sorts of others. The NYPD Sergeants' Union threatened to sue people if anybody gets hurt. That's one of the craziest sounding things I've ever heard. What's your reaction to it?
THOMAS: My reaction to it is - you know, if you're willing to sue people, you should be more willing to do your job more professionally. Not to say that all cops aren't professional. But, what I saw last night just reaffirmed why I do what I do, and why I'm speaking out. Because, honestly, you know - I thought what I said would have an effect - honestly, because it got so much attention - but to see the faces of anger on these cops hitting people, I had to - you know, I stood in front of some protesters there - I saw, like, women and I stretched my arms out and the cops started beating me in the back - and I was holding the protesters back. So, you know, to be a part of that was like - "Come on, is this really professionalism? Is this really what you're really out here doing?" It's unbelievable.
OLBERMANN: They will be the last to hear you, but everybody else has already. So, congratulations on that and be of good cheer with the rest of it. Sergeant Shamar Thomas, the Iraq war veteran who's now defending his country men at Occupy Wall Street from the NYPD. Thank you, sir.
THOMAS: Thank you.
OLBERMANN: For more now from Oakland, I'm joined by Joshua Holland, senior writer and editor with AlterNet, author of "The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy" and himself an Occupy Oakland protester. Joshua, thanks for your time tonight.
JOSHUA HOLLAND: Thanks for having me, Keith.
OLBERMANN: So, we - let me just reiterate the breaking news about the condition of Scott Olsen. As I said, his roommate, Keith Shannon has told us that he's awakened, that he hasn't been able to speak yet, but has been able to make communications by writing. They say his spelling seems to be a little bit off but there are very hopeful signs coming out of that. What is that - I mean, I'm sure that news has not spread through the community yet because it's less than half an hour old - but I imagine that will have a very positive impact on what's going on there?
HOLLAND: Well, news very quickly with social media. I think everybody is very pleased that - you know, he wasn't - he appears to be coming out of the woods - and this has certainly girded the movement. I mean, on Tuesday there was an enormous amount of violence, there were maybe 500 protesters out there. Last night, I would say that there was three times that number.
So, you know, these aggressive police actions I think have the opposite of their desired effect. They may think this is going to dissuade people from coming out and exercising their free-speech rights. It is the opposite. Every time I go down there, I see bigger crowds than the time before.
OLBERMANN: What is going on there tonight? I mean, there is some confusion about this. Are they, in fact, moving back into Ogawa Plaza? Is it going to be open 24 hours a day? What's the plan?
HOLLAND: So far, Mayor Jean Quan has reversed herself. She's promising a minimal police presence. A tent is back in the plaza, at least one. I haven't been there today. I'm gonna go out after this. There's a planning meeting for the general strike that you that mentioned at your opening on November 2nd at 5:00 o'clock, and then they're going to have a general assembly at 7:00 PM.
OLBERMANN: Any particulars on the general strike? Is there any indication of the level of support - general strikes have not been traditionally big things in the United States - certainly not since about the 1980s or '90s, I would think?
HOLLAND: Well, they're illegal in many contexts when they're called by unions. This was just passed at the end of last night's general assembly and I think that the planning session today is going to define some of those - those questions.
OLBERMANN: All right, a couple of questions on Mayor Quan and the police violence. She said that the police presence will be minimal from here on in. Any idea what that means? Does the Occupy group have any idea what's that suppose to mean?
HOLLAND: I mean, it's - the difference is night and day. On Tuesday, there were hundreds of riot - riot - you know, police in riot gear. Last night, there were just a scattered handful of police officers around the plaza. They were calm. They were not dressed up for war. You know, this is a complete reversal on the mayor's - on the part of the mayor.
And I should point out that, you know, Oakland has very severe problems with its police department. It's been under a federal consent decree since 2003. It had to settle a civil lawsuit in 2003 for using wooden bullets and chemical weapons on anti-Iraq war protesters. And just two weeks ago, the Federal Monitor issued a report that found that almost 30 percent of the time that Oakland police - police department officials - officers drew their weapons, it was "inappropriate and unnecessary." So, this is a really problem-plagued department.
OLBERMANN: I was on the radio in San Francisco with my old friend Gill Gross this afternoon, and he said that he interviewed somebody who was involved in this - with what the mayor said about not - she wasn't in town, she wasn't responsible for the planning of Tuesday night. She's never been to Oakland. She doesn't know what a policeman is. There was a simple sort of reaction to this of - "Are you kidding me?" - because, A) if that's true, maybe she shouldn't be mayor, because she doesn't have any control over the situation, and, B) if it's not true - it's not true and she's making up a story. Do we have any idea what the truth is?
HOLLAND: Well, I don't think we can know for sure, but I think it's important to remember that this is a very progressive community. I am sure if you did a poll here - you mentioned the polling in New York - you would see 90 percent support. This is not a popular action. I mean, you know, these images of violent crackdowns are not playing well here. There was just a recall petition filed for Mayor Quan. So, I believe she's distancing herself from the events Tuesday - and doing so rather clumsily.
OLBERMANN: Yeah, but if - regardless of how clumsy it might be, is it a climb down on her part? And if it's a climb down, do you think Occupy Oakland - and those who support Occupy Oakland - are willing to say, "Okay, you get one climb down?"
HOLLAND: It's a fluid situation. As far as - as far as it looks right now, it's a dramatic reversal. A climb down - they're standing down. I mean, the amount of violence that there was on Tuesday was really remarkable. Things are peaceful now in Oakland. So, I don't know if it will remain that way. I don't know if they'll tolerate a larger camp, but - so far - we're seeing just a really dramatic reversal from the stance that the mayor's office had taken earlier.
OLBERMANN: Indeed. Joshua Holland of AlterNet, on the breaking developments in Oakland. Again, great thanks.
HOLLAND: Thanks, Keith.
OLBERMANN: More mayors than just Jean Quan are facing the dilemma of what to do when the protesters are right, but the bankers own their city and their tax base. And the latest attack on Occupy from the lunatic right-wing fringe - anybody who makes any money and still supports Occupy Wall Street is either faking it, or a hypocrite. Michael Moore joins me on both subjects, next.
OLBERMANN: Michael Moore on the Occupy dilemma approaching a lot of America's mayors - not just Jean Quan of Oakland. And the nonsense argument that people who make money are not sincere when advocating for those who do not.
The Occupy joke goes, "The Revolution will not be televised - it'll be on the Internet." We'll meet the man who, as much as any other, is responsible for that.
The bizarre New York Times story that says his own campaign staffers got an email saying they must never, ever, actually talk to Herman Cain - unless he talked to them first. Well, I can abide by that. And Rick Perry's spokesman says the Governor may skip some of the remaining Republican debates. I'm supposed to notice now? Michael Moore, next on "Countdown."
KEITH OLBERMANN: It's crunch time for Occupy. Not for the protesters. In our fourth story tonight - for the nation's mayors. We don't have major metropolitan agricultural cities in this country anymore. Ours are predicated on business and finance and the tax base to which they contribute.
So, mayors from Nashville to LA to Oakland have been under increasing corporate pressure to break up protests, and their talk is now getting tougher. Michael Moore joins me in just a moment.
First, to Nashville, where Occupy leaders say authorities have given them an ultimatum - get out by 8:00 PM tonight or be arrested. The group is now assembling, pledging to stand its ground.
(Excerpt from video clip) JAMES MARKS: We are all one country together. We don't - they can't run us off for that. This is public property. We have freedom of speech. This is part of our Constitution. They can't tell us that.
OLBERMANN: Across the country, though, cities are doing just that. In Atlanta, Mayor Kasim Reed has ordered protesters to be out within two weeks. This, after police in riot gear arrested 52 people yesterday. Just hours after those protesters were released today, Occupy Atlanta leaders still vowing not to go anywhere.
In the west coast, Los Angeles city officials - who had first embraced the Occupy movement - are now indicating the protesters have worn out their welcome. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa saying today that the encampment "cannot continue indefinitely." In response, protesters issued a statement vowing to - "continue indefinitely."
Meanwhile, since protests started in Chicago, more than 300 people have been arrested there for trying to spend the night in Grant Park. And yesterday, a group marched to City Hall carrying a petition with more than 12,000 signatures demanding that Mayor Rahm Emanuel allow them to camp there. His staff accepted the petition, but he has yet to respond.
Meantime, New York's Mayor Bloomberg has said he hopes the coming cold weather will do his dirty work for him. And events in Denver could be the first indication of whether or not he might be right. A major snowstorm hit Colorado yesterday. At least two protesters went to the hospital with hypothermia. Still, leaders there are vowing to remain and have put out requests for winter supplies.
As promised, Michael Moore, author of the new book "Here Comes Trouble." Good to see you, sir.
MICHAEL MOORE: Good to see you. I just came from downtown, from Occupy Wall Street. It's a bone-chilling rain out there right now.
OLBERMANN: And you got caught in it.
MOORE: Yes. But I tell you - the place is still packed with people, and - you mentioned about the upcoming winter. There are a couple of representatives that have come from Occupy Anchorage to advise here how to - how to do cold-weather camping in the park. And there's - and there's now an ice company here in New York that has offered to provide large blocks of ice if they wanted to make igloos there to stay warm in. So, I don't think the weather is going to be the problem for Mayor Bloomberg.
OLBERMANN: Do we know - do they have or might they rush through the city council - a resolution against igloo construction in Manhattan?
MOORE: No igloos -
OLBERMANN: I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they tried it.
MOORE: Well, you know, I mean - this just - this just shows - it's interesting, when you were going through the list of cities there, those are all pretty much - if I can do my political thing correctly here - they are all run by Democratic Party mayors.
OLBERMANN: Yep, uh-huh.
MOORE: So, this is a problem because - you're gonna have Democrats breaking up these modern-day Hoovervilles. Now, this is what's gonna happen throughout the fall and winter: You are going to have these encampment - hundreds, hundreds of them across the country, like you had in the early 1930s. Those - those - if people don't know what Hoovervilles are, young people watching or whatever, they can look it up. There's good documentaries on it - but basically, people in the early part of the Depression formed these encampments, right on the National Mall. Of course, a famous incident where General MacArthur, on the orders Herbert Hoover ...
OLBERMANN: The Army - the Bonus Army
MOORE: Yes but -
OLBERMANN: There was one in Central Park - they had several of them in Central Park.
MOORE: ... Central Park, 59th Street - they were all over Manhattan, they were all over the country. And - and historians feel now - they had the same sort of thing - "Well, what do you want?" And other than the Bonus Army - they wanted their bonus - but everybody else - "What do you want?" Well, what does it look like we want? There's a Depression ...
OLBERMANN: We have no homes and no jobs - yes.
MOORE: ... It's, like - what a ridiculous question. But - they said that the time, it wasn't quite - it wasn't organized, or wasn't this, or wasn't one leader behind it or whatever. But now, what we know is those Hoovervilles helped to really usher in Roosevelt and his ability to pass a New Deal. Because - because there was so much sympathy amongst the public for the people in these encampments.
OLBERMANN: Well, to that point, are we - did we just get - do those who support this just get a template of what could happen to, particularly, liberal and Democratic mayors who take action - from the story in Oakland? Because Jean Quan's legal adviser - her number-one legal person in City Hall - after Tuesday night, said "This is a terrible mistake. I am thinking of resigning from working with her again." She got - not just from me calling on her to resign - but she just got crucified in the west coast, and particularly in the Bay Area. And she did a 180 on this. She's now done everything but bring them milk and cookies
MOORE: Right. And I hope that - that she does bring the milk and cookies.
OLBERMANN: Not a bad idea.
MOORE: In fact, I'm actually going there tomorrow. I'm going to Oakland and - and I'm going to stand there with people there, because this is a non-violent movement, this is a peaceful movement. The only violence that really has been perpetrated here has been by certain police in certain cities. Even the own - the acting police chief there of Oakland doesn't even know who the 18 different police forces in the Bay Area fired those rubber bullets.
OLBERMANN: Do you think that's a coincidence? You think that's why they had 18 different police forces, so nobody knew what the other one was doing?
MOORE: Well, then, that's very smart thinking on their part. I think, too - if I could broaden the Democratic Party problem here to a national scale.
OLBERMANN: Yes, please.
MOORE: You've got these nine Republicans running, all right? And, of course, we all laugh, and there's the joke about - you can make about each one of them. And we know that our fellow Americans, at the end of the day - they're not going to go in the voting booth and vote for crazy. Even though they might be upset at Obama, they're not going to go crazy.
So, it begs the question then. If this is the party of the rich - the Republicans - if this is the party of wealth and Wall Street, the party that brought about the crash of '08, why don't the wealthy - why aren't the wealthy - making sure they have a Republican that's running that's gonna win?
It doesn't look like they're concerned at all about making sure they've their man on the Republican ticket unless - unless they believe they've got their man on the Democratic Party ticket?
MOORE: And if that's the case - okay, well - then we are in for a longer haul than just igloos in the winter here in Manhattan.
OLBERMANN: But, as you say - as the Hoovervilles helped paved the way for Roosevelt to go much further to his own left than he had ever been - as a governor of New York or any other office ever held - there is always that other side. Political pressure is a horrible thing to see, except if it's on your side.
MOORE: And - and - and Barack Obama has a unique historical opportunity to - to be the representative of those who are now the majority in this country, the majority who support Occupy Wall Street, the vast majority that want taxes raised on the wealthy, the majority who want an investigation of the '08 crash and people put in jail if necessary. That's the majority of the country. So, Barack Obama needs - one thing he needs to hear from this whole Occupy movement is - "Look, you know, if you really want to take a - take a leap into the deep end here, we've got your back."
OLBERMANN: Yeah, the deep end is only about two feet at the moment.
MOORE: Yeah, right, yeah. It's not that scary anymore.
OLBERMANN: I want to get into this nonsense about how - you're part of the one percent and I'm part of the one percent, and therefore we should be ignored when we say anything in defense of the rights for everybody else, but we have some commercial first. How fitting. We'll pick it up with Michael Moore right after this.
OLBERMANN: Two quick headlines from different ends of the coasts. The Los Angeles Times reports that neurosurgeons are saying that Scott Olsen will - or they believe - he needs brain surgery at some point. As we told you earlier, exclusively, here on "Countdown," Scott Olsen awakened this afternoon from sedation and was able to write a few words, although he is not yet been able to speak. He, of course, the injured Marine hit with a gas canister by police in Oakland on Tuesday night.
And from Occupy Wall Street - you may have heard earlier that there's gonna be, in Oakland, a general strike on November 2nd, or an attempted one at least. From OWS: "We support the call of Occupy Oakland for a national day of protest, a general strike on November 2nd, 2011." So, there is gonna be attempt at a general strike in New York City as well, and Occupy Wall Street is hoping to make that a national event as of November 2nd.
Back with Michael Moore. In our third story on the "Countdown" tonight - after claiming Occupy was anti-Semitic, racist, a front for the Muslim Brotherhood and ACORN under a new name, the newest attack is - you can't believe Occupy because some of those who supported it - like Michael or Alec Baldwin or David Letterman or me - make a nice living.
Michael's posted, at Michaelmoore.com and Daily Kos, an account of his rags-to-riches trajectory of his career that followed his breakthrough movie "Roger and Me" about GM and Flint in 1989. The latter recounts how sudden wealth and good fortune affects, or doesn't affect, class consciousness and what some people have called class warfare. Skeptics and critics of Michael - and there are a few - wonder how a man with wealth can stay true to his roots and not just go with the money flow.
And, before I talk about you or me, let's talk about - let's talk about the sophistry just in - inculcated into this. Anybody supporting people who make less money than they do is either lying or a hypocrite. Huh?
MOORE: It'd be like, if, because I've never had sex with a man, therefore - "What are you doing supporting gay marriage?" You know? I mean, Women got the right to vote because only men actually could vote for that amendment to give women the right to vote.
I mean - historically, obviously, people come from all - all places in support of the things they support and, frankly, what I've said is - is that, you know, they ridicule or - Kanye West or others for going down there. And I'm thinking, you know - first of all, he doesn't have to be down there. He's down there actually working against his own personal financial interest because he's down there supporting a tax increase on him. And if anything, he should be thanked for that.
Because, generally, what the society - what the system - does is, as soon as they give you money, you are supposed to get in line, be part of the club and parrot what you're supposed to say. And - and so I think what drives them crazy about people like you or me or David Letterman or whatever - it's an odd argument to make on their end, because they're all about money and then if we make - if one of us comes from the other side and we do well, it seems a little hypocritical on their part. But, I think - what they are worried about is that you or I, with money, are dangerous people.
OLBERMANN: Right, because we can't be bought 'cause we already have the money.
MOORE: Can't be bought, and - and nobody can come down here and say, in the next segment, "Keith, we don't want you to do that - what you were going to do."
MOORE: Because I don't - you know, where I'm fromin , you know, in Michigan we call it, you know, "F You" money, basically - because it allows you to have that freedom. But - it's an odd - it's an odd thing. And it often comes from people who obviously have a gazillion dollars, themselves -
OLBERMANN: Well, yeah. What was that all about? That was you with Piers Morgan, this guy on CNN the other night - "You have to confess that it's bleeding obvious you're part of the one percent." - I think the British call this - would call this - guy a ponce, I believe, is the term - which is kind of this guy posing as an intelligent man. He makes $12 million a year. And his question to you was "Why aren't you admitting you're part of the one percent?"
MOORE: Yeah, well - yeah. I don't - I was confused by what the whole point of that was because it - I thought he was trying to give me a compliment, I thought he was saying, "Well, hey, you do well and you are down there in the rain in Zuccotti Park."
OLBERMANN: No, no.
MOORE: It wasn't a compliment - maybe.
OLBERMANN: Is there a problem here? These people assume that if you're involved in something like this, or anything else that is trying to help people who don't have that level of money - frankly, if you want to define it - this amount, or not having this amount - that anybody who does this is somehow, necessarily, anti-capitalism? I'm not - anti-capitalism is the wrong umbrella to it. It's the idea that weighted capitalism, fixed capitalism - in which there is no way for anybody who's not already gotten money to make money - is what everybody's opposed to.
MOORE: It's a rigged game right now. It's a rigged casino where only the top are getting away with this, and everybody else really doesn't have a chance. I mean, you showed it last night - the stagnation of wages over the last 30 years, nobody's seen and increase in that. Many people have seen a decrease - a loss of benefits, et cetera.
Look, I feel blessed and very privileged. And some years I have really good years, 'cause the movie does well. Other years, like last year, I didn't make a movie or write a book, so - you know, I didn't do that well.
OLBERMANN: But - but one thing you wrote about - in the post, in the letter - was that this - your adherence to this - comes from - what? Sunday school and bible class and the little fundamental golden rule things. Isn't it - that what it is?
MOORE: Yes. That we were taught that - we're gonna be judged by how we treat the least among us. And that if you do have the good fortune smile upon you - you have to do even more. So, you have a greater responsibility to stand up for those who are the have-nots. And - and - I knew the folk singer Harry Chapin in the final years in his life - I don't know if - do you remember Harry?
OLBERMANN: Of course.
MOORE: And he did 200 concerts a year. One hundred of them were benefits. And I said, "How do you do that?" And he said, "Well, I just - my philosophy is, one for me, one for the other guy." And I - that kind of stuck with me, you know, my whole life and I just thought, "Boy, what a great way to live, if I ever get lucky enough to do that."
And so, right away, with "Roger and Me" - my first film - I just - I gave away half the money, and uh - and proudly paid my taxes and told my guy - the tax guy -
MOORE: The accountant dude - H&R Block - oh no, no commercials - I said "No deductions, other than the mortgage. No deductions. I want to pay my full share here because I am proud to be an American, and I'm proud to spend that money as a citizen of this country." And right now, if any conservative is watching that, that just made their head explode because -
OLBERMANN: What? You can't money make money off that without those deductions. What are you, crazy?
MOORE: And they hate having to pay for and fund this great country.
OLBERMANN: Exactly - except for them. Except for the parts they use.
MOORE: Except for the parts that they use. Right, and the parts that protect them. The parts that are not investigating them. The parts that are not regulating their Wall Street. Oh, yeah - no. They are all for that.
OLBERMANN: Michael Moore, who eventually will sit down here and we'll do a literary-type interview with me on his great new sort-of-autobiography "Here Comes Trouble," and we'll finish up on the subject of Felix Unger money at some point - "F You" money. Now headed for Oakland. Safe travels and give my best to everybody there.
MOORE: Thank you very much, Keith. Thank you.
OLBERMANN: Not that Michael's medium or mine are passé, but we are clearly adjuncts to the real reporting done about Occupy. One of the key figures behind the extraordinary live stream of the protests worldwide joins me, ahead on "Countdown."
OLBERMANN: More breaking news, on an extraordinary, busy night for it - from Occupy Oakland. The website, The Bay News - is that correct? - The Bay News reporting that, at 7:00 PM Pacific time, Mayor Quan - Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland - will address the General Assembly of Occupy Oakland - which, two days ago, the police raided throughout and sent one protester to the hospital with a broken skull.
And now Mayor Quan, who took considerable heat - and justifiably so - for what the police did in the name of her city, will be, apparently - in a matter of hours - speaking at Occupy Wall Street at 7:00 PM Pacific, 10:00 PM on the East coast.
With a new political force, of course, Occupy Wall Street has also created a new media. One of the men behind that joins me ahead.
First, the quick "Sanity Break," and on this date in 1918 was born the actress Teresa Wright, who at the age of 24 solidified her place with a sweet and moving performance as Mrs. Lou Gehrig in the movie "Pride Of The Yankees."
Forty-six years after the film came out, then-Media Director Rick Cerrone of the Yankees contacted Mrs. Wright and asked her if she'd like to throw out the first pitch during ceremonies commemorating Gehrig's famous, heart-breaking retirement speech. That's when she revealed she had never held a baseball in her life and knew nothing about the game. She participated anyway, and within weeks she had become a Yankee fan so ardent that she was learning to keep score while attending their playoff games at the age of 80.
"Time Marches On!"
We begin in Russia. Another day, another badminton match between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and former President Vladimir Putin. Wait - what? That's right, in an attempt to promote badminton to Russian youth, Medvedev posted this video on the official Kremlin blog. There's an official Kremlin blog. Looks like a great match, too. And the best part is - it wasn't shirts and skins, so Putin didn't strip this time.
We stay in Russia, where tough times means they can't afford those fancy cameras that'll take a photo whenever you run a red light. So, they went with the next best thing - a cat on a traffic light. Run a red light and you have to deal with Frisky up there. The only problem is, you can't see the red light. Green means go, yellow means go slow, backlit kitty means stop. In Soviet Union, kitty stops you.
Finally, we end with the TMO "Also Adorable" Clip of the Day. Upside down puppy snoring, cute baby giggling - it's why the Internet was invented. Is it just me, or do they both sort of remind you of Winston Churchill?
"Time Marches On!"
As his worldview is collapsed around him by Occupy Wall Street, Bill O'Reilly's lungs are aching and he's gasping for air. A positive poll about Occupy, he explains, is only that way because people don't understand that if you don't let employers exploit workers, you instantly turn into Cuba. Coming up.
OLBERMANN: Who is this man and why is he key to the Occupy protests? You've watched any part of it online? You largely have him to thank.
First, the "Worst" - "Silence, who dares to come before the mighty Cain?" The ex-staffer who claims he and his colleagues were told, "Do not speak to Mr. Cain unless he has spoken to you first." Huh-boy.
OLBERMANN: One of the key figures behind the extraordinary Internet access to Occupy - how and why the only weapon the protesters will ever use is a camera - he's next.
First - because that's kind of the philosophy behind what we do here - here are "Countdown's" top three nominees for today's "Worst Persons in the World."
The bronze to Billo the Clown. His Tuesday prediction on the political whorehouse that is Fox News - that the media would stop covering Occupy - failed before he got home from work that night. His other forecast - that approval for the movement in polls would plummet, would crash when a New York Times survey came out, indicating only 27 percent of Americans disagreed with Occupy's points. Worse still, that 66 percent of Americans feel money and wealth are not distributed fairly in this country.
This set him off worse than a wet falafel. "A key word in that question is distributed, because wealth is not distributed in America. There's no central authority that doles out salaries and investment returns. You either earn it, steal it, inherit it, or win the lottery. There's no distribution." Bill doesn't understand the meaning of the word "distribution," as in the sentence: "The scattered loofahs were distributed evenly across the Thai strip club."
He went to Marist College. He played football. Well, he was a punter. "The problem is that many Americans simply don't understand what's at stake here. The Occupy Wall Street movement is basically socialistic. It essentially wants the government to control who gets what." Wrong. It doesn't want the government to control who - namely the already-rich - get more of the "what." That's what they want. "There's no question that capitalism isn't perfect or fair. Some people who get wealthy do so by exploiting workers, that's always happened. But the alternative is Cuba. Or Greece. Do Americans really want that?"
The only alternative to "exploiting workers" is becoming Cuba or Greece? I used to think there was some kind of skewed intelligence going on over there. Now I think it's just "skewed" - with a comb over.
The runner-up? Herman Cain, your pretend candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. He may be the first guy ever at the top of the polls, or nearly so, to see his campaign end. But don't tell him.
The New York Times reports from inside the Cain campaign of " ... that email to the staff about traveling in a car with Mr. Cain: 'Do not speak to him unless you are spoken to,' the memo said. 'I found it odd,' said a former staff member who liked to prep Mr. Cain for appearances while driving.
"Setting up offices was also something of a trial. 'When I told people, 'You'll be getting offices and phone lines,' I'd have to postpone that,' the former staff member in Iowa said. 'It was like they were running for sophomore class president.' [Former Cain Iowa staffer Kevin] Hall added, 'We couldn't even get our own email addresses,' for the campaign."
But you could get plenty of smokes. You could always get smokes from the big guy.
But our winner? Another, apparently, pretend candidate - Governor Rick Perry of Texas. Spokesman Mark Miner said the Governor is considering not participating in all of the remaining 17 Republican debates. Miner insisted that this was a time-management issue, and has nothing to do with the amazing job of self-destruction Perry has performed at some of the previous debates.
(Excerpt from video clip) RICK PERRY: Is it the Mitt Romney that was on the side of against the Second Amendment before he was for the Second Amendment? Was it - was before he was before the social programs, from the standpoint of he was for standing up for Roe v. Wade before he was against verse - Roe versus Wade?
OLBERMANN: Sure enough, Rick. Perry might skip some of the remaining debates? His performance at those debates is thus not expected to suffer. Governor Rick Perry of Texas, today's "Worst Person In The World."
OLBERMANN: You will not be able to stay home. You will not be able to plug in, turn on and drop out because - in our number-one story - the revolution will not be televised. In the case of the Occupy Movement, it will, in fact, be on the Internet.
The movement began with a post on the website AdBusters on July 13: "On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months."
After the movement used the web to launch itself, it used it to grow itself - forming over 400 Facebook groups sporting more than 200 thousand members, with at least one group in each state; a website devoted to the sole purpose of getting people together to form their own local Occupy movements and finding others to join; countless Occupy Twitter accounts, keeping members and observers abreast of every second-by-second development, as well as tweets of support from those who are not able to attend the protests, and a video site that features streaming video of live events, as well constantly-uploaded videos shot by protesters on the ground. Making sure that the video we showed earlier of last night's New York march in solidarity with Oakland - creating response from the Oakland playbook by the NYPD - was seen by the world. Joining me now, the man responsible for that video, as well as many others as part of - I can't even say global - Globalrevotution.tv, Vlad Teichberg. It's good to meet you, sir.
VLAD TEICHBERG: Good to meet you too.
OLBERMANN: Would this thing exist, were it not for social media and the capability to use live stream on the Internet?
TEICHBERG: Well, the fundamental problems that are facing us are cut pretty deep. So, whether there would be informational revolution or not, something probably would have been happening. But, the one thing information revolution did is, it made all of us more equal. It's very similar to when the Gutenberg press was invented. Something has changed. And now, everybody has access to the same information, and we're becoming equal. So, the same needs for the hierarchy we had before is disappearing.
OLBERMANN: The police pursuit in Los Angeles of Rodney King began just before midnight, Saturday, March 2, 1991. It was televised at about - the tape of it was televised - about 10:20 PM on Monday March 4th of that year. That was about 45 hours after the beating started. It was not the lead story, and when it went on TV, the media did not know Rodney King's name. That's a 45-hour span of 20 years ago.
As we sit here right now, it had not yet been 45 hours since Scott Olsen was hit by the canister in Oakland. In that time, we've had protest marches in other cities. Oakland's mayor has now done a 180 and is now going to see Occupy Oakland tonight. Occupy was readmitted to - to protest in Oakland. There is an internal police investigation and the possibility of a general strike in two of the larger cities in the country. Is there any way to overstate the importance of the speed of the live-stream concept, and of the Web in general, to this movement?
TEICHBERG: It's very important. I don't think it's the most important thing. The most important thing is actually the conversation we're having about the future of our society. I mean, all of these tools are there to facilitate that conversation. The important thing is the debate that's happening in every square across our land, about where we are going to go next.
OLBERMANN: How do you do this financially because - as unbelievably easier, financially, as it is now to do something like this now than it would have been five years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago - it still - it still costs, doesn't it?
TEICHBERG: Yes and no. I mean, yes, it costs something. But it costs very little. We're using this company called Livestream, which provided us with free accounts to do streaming. We basically needed a laptop, a web cam and a hot spot. That's all it takes.
OLBERMANN: And you get - you use your own editorial judgment as to what's going out? Do you put it all out simultaneously? How do you do juggle all this, when so many things are happening simultaneously?
TEICHBERG: You can't hit edit in real time. I mean, so there's no - that's part of the reason why this medium is so perfect for what we're doing. Because it actually tells the truth. Because there's no question that we've edited it. It is what it is.
OLBERMANN: But don't - do you ever have to make a decision between, you know, events in Boston and events in Europe - I remember the night of the raid in Boston, you were bouncing back and forth when Boston dropped out to various other sites.
TEICHBERG: Sure. That's why we want - what's going on right now with our group is that we started this in New York. And this worked in New York really well. It stopped us from being overrun by the police. It allowed us to show the world that we are human beings just like them and so on and so on. Now, we started - we're not equipped to go out and shoot everywhere. So, we basically convinced Livestream started offering these accounts to everybody.
Because what happened with us, actually, is very interesting. Advertisers said they don't want to advertise on our channel. And Livestream, the company, had to make a choice - they either censor us, or they take a financial loss and provide us with a free account - with no advertising - and they chose to do the right thing. And then they chose to do, for everyone - so, anyway, so - the bottom line is - suddenly, these options to stream became available to every single occupation around the country - in the world.
And we just started when the campaign, basically three weeks ago, was telling everyone in Occupy to start setting up a media center. And that's how it happened. So basically, we're actually not in charge or control of anything, except people are starting to do it. The only thing we need to do now is we need teach people how to do it well.
OLBERMANN: Right. Last thing, tell me what you used to do for a living. It seems to be somewhat ironic, and even funny, in this context.
TEICHBERG: Well, I used to be a derivatives trader. It has come up quite a lot. I mean, and the thing is - people asked me a lot about this. I went into derivatives trading back when - before it became a toxic cesspool it became. In the beginning, it was presented to us just like the mobilization was. As something that would make the world a better place. Of course, that - combined with corruption and greed - it became something else.
OLBERMANN: Well, now - I think you're on to something that actually is going to make the world a better place. Vlad Teichberg of Globalrevolution.tv - I said it right this time, thank goodness. Great thanks for your time and even greater thanks for what you are doing.
TEICHBERG: Thank you.
OLBERMANN: Let's recap the night's many breaking headlines. Injured Occupy Oakland protester Scott Olsen has awakened from sedation. He can make himself understood by writing, not yet by speaking - so his roommate tells "Countdown." The LA Times quotes neurosurgeons who say they still think he's gonna require surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.
The mayor of Oakland, Jean Quan, will - according to Baycitizen.org - address the general assembly of Occupy Oakland tonight at 7:00 PM Pacific. And that group has called for a general strike in protest of the police violence on November 2nd in Oakland. Occupy Wall Street has endorsed that call.
That's "Countdown." I'm Keith Olbermann. Good night and good luck.