'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Thursday, November 10th, 2011
#ShowPlug 1: Police attack at #OccupyCal, 39 arrested; organizer Marco Amaral @caloccupation joins us. Is raid on Oakland next?
#ShowPlug 2: Political Interruption as Occupy takes over a Michele Bachmann news conference. Evolving again? W/ @TomEHayden
#ShowPlug 3: "Gov. Perry, name any group of three things. 'Uh uh uh' doesn't count" + Cain's misogyny; W/ @NiaWaPo Nia-Malika Henderson
#ShowPlug 4: MP Tom Watson calls James Murdoch's company mafia-like. Murdoch bristles. Then confirms his company spied on Watson
#ShowPlug 5: Murdoch-Gate is back; Guardian's NY Bureau Chief @EdPilkington assesses today's lies, and tomorrow's story
#ShowPlug 6: POTUS delays decision on infamous KeystoneXL Pipeline - til after election.Victory? w/Oregon @RepBlumenauer
#ShowPlug Last: Worsts: the politician who sponsored a congressional adoption award in 2002... for Jerry Sandusky
#ShowPlug PS: Alas, tis the season @RepBlumenauer has lost his voice. A different guest joins us on Countdown. Get well Earl!
#ShowPlug PPS: Now pinch-hitting for @RepBlumenauer on KeystoneXL Pipeline delay: Countdown contributor @MRuff221 Mark Ruffalo
watch whole playlist
#5 'Occupy Wall Street', Marco Amaral
#5 'Occupy Wall Street', Tom Hayden
YouTube, Current.com (excerpt)
#4 'The Grate Debate', Nia-Malika Henderson
# Time Marches On!
#3 'Heir Today...', Ed Pilkington
#2 Worst Persons: Anthony Loiacono, Sen. John McCain, Rick Santorum
#1 'Slick Response', Mark Ruffalo
YouTube, Current.com (excerpt)
printable PDF transcript
Categories: Show Transcripts
KEITH OLBERMANN: Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? Police attack Occupy Berkeley.
(Excerpt from video clip) MAN: God, oh, my God!
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: Stop beating students! Stop beating students!
OLBERMANN: Thirty-nine arrested. None of them police. A raid on Occupy Oakland expected next.
(Excerpt from video clip) COUNCILMEN: Occupy Oakland must go!
OLBERMANN: That is a group of Oakland city councilmen you hear chanting. Occupy mutates to political interruption - Occupy Michele Bachmann. You should excuse the expression.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: By Americans for Prosperity, a group that takes advantage of legalized money laundering.
OLBERMANN: Yep, Bach-upy!
Keystone XL, x-ed off - the heated sludge pipeline decision delayed, delayed until after his bid to be re-elected.
The fiend of Penn State. You will not believe the award he was given, six months after he allegedly raped a 10-year-old in the school football office. Nor who sponsored that award.
James Murdoch - testifying again.
(Excerpt from video clip) TOM WATSON: Mr. Murdoch, you must be first mafia boss in history who didn't know he was running a criminal enterprise.
(Excerpt from video clip) JAMES MURDOCH: Mr. Watson, please. I think that's inappropriate.
OLBERMANN: Not as inappropriate as when it was then revealed Mr. Murdoch's people spied on Mr. Watson. And one debate, two checks, please. Over here, misogynists:
(Excerpt from video clip) HERMAN CAIN: We didn't hear about it in the previous congress, because Princess Nancy sent it to committee and it stayed there.
OLBERMANN: And over here, moron:
(Excerpt from video clip) RICK PERRY: And will tell you, it's three agencies of government when I get there that are gone - Commerce, Education and the, uh, what's the third one there? Let's see.
(Excerpt from video clip) RON PAUL: You need five.
(Excerpt from video clip) PERRY: Oh, five, okay. Commerce, education and the -
(Excerpt from video clip) RICK SANTORUM: EPA?
(Excerpt from video clip) PERRY: EPA! There you go.
(Excerpt from video clip) JOHN HARWOOD: Seriously?
OLBERMANN: All that and more, now on "Jeopar - " on "Countdown"!
(Excerpt from video clip) KARA SPAK: What is a threesome?
OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York. This is Thursday, November 10th, 362 days until the 2012 presidential election.
It was the epicenter of American protests in the 1960s, where college rebellion took shape. It may have become such again. The fifth story on the "Countdown" - Occupy Cal. Wanton police violence, 39 arrests.
But we begin with something today suggesting Occupy may have morphed into a sea-going political disruption unit. Occupy demonstrators, interrupting a foreign-policy speech by GOP presidential delusionee Michele Bachmann aboard the decommissioned USS Yorktown near Charleston, to protest the role corporate money plays in politics - including this Koch brothers' favorite.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: By Americans for Prosperity -
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: By Americans for Prosperity -
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: a group that takes advantage -
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: a group that takes advantage -
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: of legalized money laundering.
(Excerpt from video clip) CROWD: of legalized money laundering.
OLBERMANN: After the protesters marched off, Bachmann asked, "Don't you love the First Amendment?" Yeah. She also said Occupy had disrespected veterans who were there to hear her speak. As the right so often likes to point out, they fought for the First Amendment. They should be proud.
Now to Berkeley, where - at the University of California last night - police came thundering in after Occupy set up a tiny camp - three tents' worth - on campus. Erick Uribe was one of the protesters.
(Excerpt from video clip) ERICK URIBE: Police approached with full force, with riot gear and batons. They beat the students. We repeatedly yelled that we are non-violent, peaceful protesters, but they were extremely brutal in their tactics with their sticks.
OLBERMANN: Police batons came out again Wednesday night when students set up seven tents. There were at least 39 arrests. The tents were torn down. We'll talk with Marco Amaral, one of the protest organizers, a little later in this news hour. Occupy Oakland also heating up. Protesters there shouting down five city council members who say the Oakland camp is killing local businesses and they want it closed down.
(Excerpt from video clip) SHAKE ANDERSON: We are the 99 percent! We are the 99 percent!
(Excerpt from video clip) DESLEY BROOKS: These are individuals who are not, by and large, from Oakland. They do not care about Oakland.
(Excerpt from video clip) ANDERSON: We are shouting them down, because um - we don't want them to bring back thousands of police officers into our streets.
OLBERMANN: And that might happen, as it did on the night of October 25th. Television station KPIX reporting that plans for a second police raid are already under way. Oakland Acting Police Chief Howard Jordan requesting a substantial number of officers from neighboring counties. In other countries, those are known as mercenaries.
Part of the Occupy theme - crushing educational costs and mortgages - carrying internationally now. At least 20,000 students marching through the streets of Montreal to protest a planned tuition hike there.
While in Portland, Oregon - Mayor Sam Adams announcing a Sunday deadline for closing the Occupy camp there.
Occupy Detroit may need a new location to its camping permit, expiring Monday.
And in Burlington, Vermont - a 35-year-old man died of a gunshot wound at the Occupy camp in City Hall Park. No cause of death has yet been released. Several Occupy protesters telling reporters they believe the wound was self-inflicted.
Occupy also busy in California. South of Berkeley, more than 200 protesters in Santa Cruz - including many UC students - marching Wednesday to protest tuition hikes. In Los Angeles, protesters with Refund California joining Occupy to take over the lobby of the Bank of America office there, with a message familiar to anybody who has been following this movement.
(Excerpt from video clip) AMY SCHUR: We are not resting until our so-called leaders of this state step up and join us in saying, "They got to pay their fair share." Big banks crashed the economy. It's time to make them pay up.
OLBERMANN: And in Harvard Square, a march by a group that can presumably afford to pay up - although that's something of a cliché - students with Occupy Harvard in the first protest that required ID, campus police refusing to admit anyone who did not have a valid Harvard ID card.
Meanwhile, some kind words from Occupy - for Occupy, from New York State Congressman Louise Slaughter as she visited Occupy Buffalo.
(Excerpt from video clip) LOUISE SLAUGHTER: I appreciate that they gave this much. They gave of themselves. They put themselves on the line for the country. That's pretty wonderful.
OLBERMANN: And, as Occupy the Highway marches on Washington - a Washington Post blogger tweeting this, "Two little girls in Rahway, New Jersey, have signs waiting for protesters when they get to the park." - "No longer remain silent." "Standing up for my future.'" Occupy Middle School might be next.
For more now on Occupy Cal, I am joined by Marco Amaral, Occupy organizer and also third-year student with a double economics, political-science major. Marco, thanks for your time tonight.
MARCO AMARAL: Thank you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: What happened yesterday? Were you surprise by the police response? And were they provoked?
AMARAL: No. Sadly enough, I wasn't surprised by the police response. Being an organizer and a protester in defense of public education for these past three years has show me what our university - our UC system - to the extent of what they are willing to do, to have it their way. And this doesn't surprise me at all.
You know, UCPD, along with, you know, the other police departments that they sometimes bring over - Alameda County Sheriff Department, Oakland PD, Berkeley PD, SFPD in the past - you know, they have done these tactics before. They've hit us in the past. They've crushed ribs, they've crushed skulls. But, you know what? The most beautiful thing about - about us protesters, and especially in today's day and age, is that we maintain by a pledge to be peaceful. And that regardless of what it takes - how long it takes - we will win.
OLBERMANN: What was the university's position on -
AMARAL: I'm sorry, Chris. I can't hear you.
OLBERMANN: What was the university's position on the protest and on the police violence?
AMARAL: There you go. Can you repeat that, Chris?
OLBERMANN: It's Keith.
AMARAL: Keith, Keith, I'm sorry.
OLBERMANN: The police violence, what was the university's position on it?
AMARAL: The - on the violence?
OLBERMANN: Did the university have any reaction to what happened with the police - their presence there? I mean, obviously, they called for it, but is there any statement? Because that has to be, in terms of optics -
AMARAL: Right, right.
OLBERMANN: What happened at Berkeley has to be the worst thing you would want if you were running a college, even if it was community college somewhere, let alone Berkeley.
AMARAL: Right, exactly. You know, in the home of the Free Speech Movement, right, you wouldn't expect this to happen. But, you know - go figure. The university did have a response, and the response was - that it is in their policy, in their UC policy, due to prior - prior protests - that encampments are, you know, lead to trouble, basically. Encampments are not sustainable. Encampments cannot sustain themselves. Encampments just lead to more conflicts. And thus, therefore, encampments are not allowed on the UC perimeter, nor within its area. So, that was the response of the administration as to why we couldn't have an encampment - because basically, it wasn't safe. That was their - that was their response.
OLBERMANN: You've called for a general strike - your branch of Occupy - November 15th, in defense of public education. Is it just a student strike? Have you reached out to other schools? Is it self-contained? What do you expect to happen?
AMARAL: Yes. We have called for a general strike on November 15th of - Tuesday, November 15th. And we are calling all UCs, CSUs, community colleges, all public-sector workers, to please come and support - not just the greater Occupy Wall Street protests - but public education, our public services, and to tell our politicians - those people in power, the one percent - that enough is enough.
OLBERMANN: Marco Amaral, a third-year student at Cal Berkeley, an Occupy organizer. Great thanks for your time. Good luck with it.
AMARAL: Thank you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: With me now to shed some light on how Occupy may be changing as it approaches the two-month anniversary, educator and activist Tom Hayden. Thanks again for your time, sir.
TOM HAYDEN: Nice to see you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Well, Occupy at Berkeley, I suppose that had to happen. Protesting the nature of education was a key accelerant in the '60s. Is this a sign that it may become such again in this decade?
HAYDEN: The difference between the '60s and the present is the economy is much worse.
HAYDEN: These students are facing unbelievable tuition increases, closing the doors of affordability to higher education. I went to University of Michigan for $100 a semester. So, they are being economically disenfranchised. And they have been protesting and striking for two years as tuitions have risen. The university seems oblivious. There are a lot of Wall Street investors that are involved with the university system today across the country. Larry Summers was the president of Harvard, as you know.
The legislature has found - found it impossible to raise revenues. For example, they could cut the prison budget, but they are unwilling to do that. They can't raise taxes, because of Prop 13. So, it's coming to a head and this is really - Occupy has come roaring out of the tent this week into the ballot box with these amazing voter rejections of the tea party across the country. And now students everywhere are going on strike. So, it's all about economics, which is much different than the student movements of the past.
OLBERMANN: You brought up the connection to Tuesday's results, particularly personhood in Mississippi and the union-busting law going down in Ohio and the recall the "Papers, Please" law author in Arizona. Explain to me how you see that the - all that being related to Occupy, rather than - I assume it's something more specific than just a sense of the mood of the country.
HAYDEN: It's partly a spirit and a mood. I think there is a unity of energy and excitement that I saw on TV, watching the returns in Ohio last night - with Occupy protesters next to AFL-CIO leaders. That's new. That's different. That's all about the economy. They've moved from occupying tents to occupying ballot boxes, I guess. And I noticed it wasn't so much about electing people and hoping for the best. It was more using the power of recall and referendum to knock down anti-labor, anti-woman laws.
And - you mentioned personhood. If a fertilized egg is denied personhood in Mississippi, I want to ask the question, are corporations far behind? Because they claim personhood under recent Supreme Court decision. It's going to be interesting.
OLBERMANN: Yeah, yeah.
HAYDEN: So, you have students on the march. You have voters on the march, and you have the encampments facing kind of a Valley Forge situation. I was in Boston. It's getting cold out there.
OLBERMANN: And a lot of people are preparing with military-style tents, for instance, at Occupy Wall Street. So, there is a preparation.
OLBERMANN: One other thing - about this event on board the ship, the Occupy Michele Bachmann moment. I mean, a certain element of farce to it, but political interruption - non-violent, brief, in-and-out, take whatever is coming to you at the end of it - is that a useful tactic, or are they risking diluting the message? Or is that something new or are we seeing something morph again?
HAYDEN: It's a bit - I think it's a bit out of control. Remember, this is not directed by anybody. And I've done such things in my own past.
HAYDEN: I hate to judge, but I would say - when a movement gets this stage of excitement going, it can start to overstep what its public support is. The public support is not for shutting down Michele Bachmann, it's for substantially reforming Wall Street, doing something about derivatives, campaign contributions, and, yeah - I would say anything that dilutes from that message becomes a sideshow.
HAYDEN: I don't know how much - I don't know how much that will happen.
HAYDEN: But staying on message when you have thousands of people, in hundreds of places, protesting and marching in all directions is not so easy, but the elections and the universities and the encampments and the focus on Wall Street seems to be holding people pretty much together.
OLBERMANN: Yeah, that is remarkable.
HAYDEN: They have to watch out - they have to watch out for televised incidents. You know what happened with the tea party - they started with a very strong issue, "Taxes are too high." And pretty soon, a lot of their stranger platform planks began to come out and they started to lose support. And on Tuesday, I think, they really took a beating. So staying on message - especially when you have a decentralized movement - is hard. But I think it's essential. Reform Wall Street, period.
OLBERMANN: They have done a good job so far. I guess it was just too -
HAYDEN: Yes, they have.
OLBERMANN: Too entertaining to pass up that one time. The activist and educator Tom Hayden. Once again, Tom, great thanks for your time.
HAYDEN: Thank you, sir.
OLBERMANN: Thank you, sir. Of course, not all politicians need to be interrupted the way Michele Bachmann was. Some are self-interrupting. Governor Perry, can you remember any list of three things, just any group of three of something - three of your previous jobs, three kinds of cats, three American states? Thank you for playing. Here's the home version of the "I actually once ran for president" game, next.
OLBERMANN: "If you want a debater in chief," Rick Perry says after last night's super gaffe, "don't elect me." Nah, we were just hoping for a guy who can remember three things at once. Lost in the booing of the question about sexual harassment to a serial sexual harasser, the misogyny of his use of the name "Princess Nancy" to describe a Speaker of the House.
Mark Ruffalo on the president's decision to not approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Not approve it 'til after the election, anyway.
And as Joe Paterno reportedly hires a criminal attorney, a new shock at Penn State, or - if you prefer - State Penn. The award that the man who destroyed lives and a football program received barely six months after he allegedly raped a child in the football office, and the national political figure who sponsored that award, coming up.
OLBERMANN: The GOP presidential field took to the stage last night, ostensibly to discuss math - as in the economy. It turns out it was another math, as in counting to 3 - 1, 2, 3.
In our fourth story on the "Countdown" - Rick Perry steps in it. And Herman Cain make an apology, and then apologizes for the apology. First, the governor's second major Hall-of-Fame-caliber debate vapor lock.
(Excerpt from video clip) RICK PERRY: And I will tell you, it's three agencies of government when I get there that are gone - Commerce, Education, and the - what's the third one there? Let's see.
(Excerpt from video clip) RON PAUL: You need five.
(Excerpt from video clip) PERRY: Oh, five. Okay. So commerce, education, and the -
(Excerpt from video clip) RICK SANTORUM: EPA?
(Excerpt from video clip) PERRY: EPA, there you go.
(Excerpt from video clip) MICHELE BACHMANN: Let's talk - Let's talk -
(Excerpt from video clip) JOHN HARWOOD: Seriously? Is EPA the one you were talking about?
(Excerpt from video clip) PERRY: No, sir. No, sir, we were talking about the agencies of government - EPA needs to be rebuilt. There is no doubt about that.
(Excerpt from video clip) MAN: But you can't name the third one?
(Excerpt from video clip) PERRY: The third agency of government? I would do away with Education, the - the - the Commerce, and - let's see - I can't. The third one - I can't, sorry. Oops.
OLBERMANN: Perry's best explanation for his gaffe?
(Excerpt from video clip) PERRY: I'm glad I had my boots on tonight because I sure stepped in it out there... I stepped in it last night. That's for sure... I stepped in it, is what my wife would have said, and she was correct.
OLBERMANN: This afternoon - in what was at least his sixth national television interview of the day - he seemed to find new perspective.
(Excerpt from video clip) PERRY: Well, if we are electing a debater-in-chief, don't elect me.
OLBERMANN: Okay. Tonight, the Texas governor will attempt to inject some more humor into what's left of his campaign when he reads the "Top 10 List" on "The Late Show with David Letterman," a program who's supposed to host Herman Cain next week. We wondered, rhetorically, weeks ago, what a GOP debate crowd would next boo or cheer, against the common grain of humanity, and the answer was - an entirely appropriate question about the sexual-harassment and assault-allegations against him.
(Excerpt from video clip) MARIA BARTIROMO: In recent days, we have learned that four different women have accused you of inappropriate behavior. Here we're focusing on character and on judgment. You have been a CEO.
(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: Yes.
(Excerpt from video clip) BARTIROMO: You know the shareholders are reluctant to hire a CEO where there are character issues. Why should the American people hire a president if they feel there are character issues?
(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion, based on unfounded accusations.
OLBERMANN: More boos for the moderators when Mitt Romney was asked to comment on the Cain scandal and more cheers when Romney ducked the question. Later in the debate, Cain was asked about President Obama's health-care legislation and used the opportunity to show the crowd just how much respect he has for women, with this reference to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: We didn't hear about it in the previous Congress, because Princess Nancy sent it to committee and it stayed there.
OLBERMANN: That was not the first time Cain had used that line. He also said it on his radio show in August, 2010 - but this time, more people were watching and he felt compelled to apologize immediately after the debate.
(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: That was a statement that I probably should not have made, but I was trying to make a point.
OLBERMANN: Luckily, some reporters then got to the bottom of that un-Cain-like apology.
(Excerpt from video clip) MAN: Why do you apologize? Is it insensitive to call her that?
(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: So you all could stop asking me about it, okay?
OLBERMANN: And before we talk about that, we have some breaking news out of Occupy Oakland. There has apparently been shots fired and at least one person injured in the neighborhood of Occupy Oakland.
There are various reports that suggest this may be a coincidental thing, geographically speaking. Several reporters on the scene tweeting that there were shots fired near the encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza, but it they may have been closer to, in fact, the BART station - the rapid transit system. Six to eight shots heard per one report, blood on the ground, victim taken to the hospital, receiving CPR at the scene.
And again, reports near Occupy Oakland, but possibly - it's unclear at this hour, whether or not the shooting was Occupy Oakland-related - and, again, the ABC affiliate in the Bay Area reporting it was, in fact, closer to the BART station there than to Frank Ogawa Plaza.
These, obviously, live aerial pictures of the area around Occupy Oakland. So, if you hear of what might have been a shooting at Occupy Oakland, that's incorrect. It is near and it has not been confirmed that it has anything to do with the process there.
All right, back to the GOP debate last night. And joining me now - and we thank her for her patience - Washington Post national political reporter and "Countdown" contributor, Nia-Malika Henderson. Thanks for your time.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: Hey, good to see you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: All right, back - if we can remember as far back as Perry can't - that clip of him, how does he survive that on top - I don't see - all of the great gaffes of debates and nobody even played his great gaffe from the earlier debate about "Mitt Romney was against the - before - before he was against - "
HENDERSON: Right, yeah.
OLBERMANN: That's two all-time greats in one campaign.
HENDERSON: Yeah, you know, he is providing a lot of fodder for "Saturday Night Live." I mean, they don't even need to write these jokes. But it's hard to see how he comes back from this. And I, for, one have always believed that it was gonna be hard for him to come back after the poor debate performance - performances that he's already put in. The strategists that I talked to last night - you know, after the debate ended - and even donors of Rick Perry pretty much think this is the end of the road for him.
He's out there today - he's going to be on "David Letterman" trying to make light of this and saying, "Oh, well, debating doesn't matter." But debating skills, A) I mean - I think, one of the things is that - you know, Washington is one big debating society and it's always in session. And this idea that you don't have to be a good debater, you don't have to be someone who can communicate across party lines, you know, to your own party it's just - it's just a ludicrous idea. And it's been something he's obviously trying to put out there, and, also, this making light of it - which is something that he's been doing for the last couple of weeks after these poor debate performances - I just don't think it's going to work for him. He has this $15 million. I think he is going to use it to dump it on Romney's head.
HENDERSON: And really go negative in Iowa and these early states like South Carolina. But if you look at in the polls - he is seven percent, eight percent. And it's hard to see how he climbs out of that hole.
OLBERMANN: The booing of one of the moderators, Maria Bartiromo, for asking the sexual-harassment question - and it's - it's understandable because they think it's been made it up by the media, and all the media is the left wing, even CNBC, which is kind of funny in its own account - but it obscured Cain's comment about "Princess Nancy." Is that - and his sort of pullback from why he apologized for it - is that another one of those wonderful examples that the rookie politician doesn't really get? That's really great for the primary and pretty much seals your fate if you got the nomination in the general election kind of moment?
HENDERSON: Yeah. I mean - I think he, obviously, is a rookie out there, and I think, in some ways, that's why people like him. He's so anti-establishment. He's so shoot-from-the hip. He is so say-anything that that's one of the reasons why people are sticking by him.
I do also think that some of these numbers don't even necessarily reflect a support for Cain. They really reflect that these folks are really against the media. And against this liberal establishment, this "Democratic machine" that supposedly concocted this conspiracy to bring this - a black conservative down. So, I think that's what it is.
But when you talk to folks on the ground in these early states, you talk to Republican strategists - there isn't a sense that he is a viable candidate. Somebody like George Will even, this conservative columnist, says - even if he fixes this current mess of the sexual-harassment allegations, which everybody agrees he has handled horribly, even if he fixes it - he's just not a viable candidate on going forward.
OLBERMANN: I think we are going to have to update on Oakland. So, Nia, I am going to thank you for your time. Nia-Malika Henderson of The Washington Post and "Countdown" contributor. Again, thanks for bearing with us.
HENDERSON: Thank you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: I will give you an update on Oakland. Occupy Oakland has tweeted - the reports are coming in - that a young man was shot at 14th and Broadway in Oakland in a fight unrelated to Occupy Oakland.
A secondary tweet, "Sadly, a young man just shot in an altercation near it. This was unrelated to the Occupation. Please keep this man in your thoughts." I think that quote pretty much clears that up. There was a shooting near Occupy Oakland, apparently unrelated. If that changes, we will update you on it, of course.
The television lawsuit that demands $19 million in damages, accusing the defendant of corporate waste, misappropriation of funds, self-dealing and fraud and claims the network owner spent all the money on himself, his relatives and his office. Tea party TV goes up in flames, ahead in "Worst Persons."
OLBERMANN: James Murdoch - accused in Parliament of running a mafia-like enterprise. It is then revealed one of his dad's newspapers spied on the man who accused him of being mafia-like.
First, the "Sanity Break," and on this date in 1940, the Los Angeles field office of the FBI took on a new covert informant - Walt Disney. His first assignment? Feed Hoover's men information on subversives, actors and union members and especially subversive, union actors. His dream? A camp behind high walls where they could be kept preventing them from infecting the good people, a place called - Disneyland.
All right, I made that part up.
"Time Marches On!"
VIDEO: Cat defends suitcase against inquisitive toddler
We begin by checking in - more on last night's GOP debate. No, I'm sorry. I am being told this is actually a cat fighting a small child, though it was more intellectual than the GOP debate. For some reason, the cat does not want this girl to open this suitcase. "No! This is where I have hidden the birds!"
Ultimately, the cat is able to defend the suitcase and safely return it to Marsellus Wallace.
VIDEO: (NO CLIP AVAILABLE)
To England, where - at the end of a long day of sleeping and licking themselves - these Londoners like to kick back at the bar with a cocktail. Did I mention it's a bar for dogs?
Owner Angus Funston - I used to have a goldfish called Angus Funston - turned his establishment,The Mucky Pup, into a one-night-only pub and diner for dogs. And just like in other bars, most of the patrons who showed up were dogs just trying to hump your leg. The bar went back to serving exclusively humans the following night where the specialty is the Salty Dog! Just drink it, you doggy!
A British member of Parliament Tom Watson says James Murdoch runs a mafia-like organization. James Murdoch says that's inappropriate. Then comes out that Murdoch's mafia-like organization spied on Tom Watson - and the parents of the guy who played Harry Potter. Next.
OLBERMANN: James Murdoch, son of Rupert, testifying to Britain's Parliament today about what he testified to Britain's Parliament about on July 19th - sticking to his story that he did not know how widespread phone hacking was at News International and accusing former top executives who said he did know of lying.
In our third story on the "Countdown" - James Murdoch pleading ignorance and taking offense when a member of Parliament compares his company to the mafia, and later apologizing for the company having spied on that very same official. In the testimony, Murdoch disputing allegations from Tom Crone, his former chief lawyer, and Colin Myler, the former editor of the News of the World, both of whom had testified that James Murdoch knows more than he is admitting.
(Excerpt from video clip) MURDOCH: In the evidence that they gave to you in 2011, with respect to my knowledge, I thought it was inconsistent and not right and I dispute it vigorously.
(Excerpt from video clip) MAN: So, you think Mr. Crone mislead us.
(Excerpt from video clip) MURDOCH: It follows that I do, yes.
(Excerpt from video clip) MAN: So, do you think Mr. Myler mislead us as well?
(Excerpt from video clip) MURDOCH: I believe their testimony was misleading. And I dispute it.
OLBERMANN: Both Crone and Myler standing by their accounts. Crone calling Murdoch's testimony today, "disingenuous at best." MP Tom Watson, a past guest of this program, going further than that.
(Excerpt from video clip) WATSON: Are you familiar with the word "mafia"?
(Excerpt from video clip) MURDOCH: Yes, Mr. Watson.
(Excerpt from video clip) WATSON: Have you ever heard the term "omerta"? The mafia term they use for the code of silence?
(Excerpt from video clip) MURDOCH: I am not an aficionado of such things.
(Excerpt from video clip) WATSON: Would you agree that it means a group of people who are bound together by secrecy who together pursue their group's business objectives with no regard for the law, using intimidation, corruption and general criminality?
(Excerpt from video clip) MURDOCH: Again, I don't - I am not familiar with the term, particularly. I have heard them.
(Excerpt from video clip) WATSON: Would you agree with my - with me that this is an accurate description of News International in the U.K.?
(Excerpt from video clip) MURDOCH: Absolutely not. I think that's a very - I, frankly, think that's - that's offensive and it's not true.
(Excerpt from video clip) WATSON: Mr. Murdoch, you must be the first mafia boss in history who didn't know he was running a criminal enterprise.
(Excerpt from video clip) MURDOCH: Mr. Watson, please. I think that's inappropriate, Mr. Chairman.
OLBERMANN: Another member of Parliament, Philip Davies, saying he thinks it's appropriate that Murdoch the younger signed off on a $400,000 payment to a hacking victim without even looking into the matter.
(Excerpt from video clip) PHILIP DAVIES: I can't believe you have been so successful by being so cavalier with money... I find it incredible, absolutely incredible, that you didn't say, "How much, a quarter million pounds? Let me have a look at that." I can't even begin to believe that that is a course of action that any self-respecting chief executive, chief operating officer could possibly take, with so much of the company's money and reputation at stake.
OLBERMANN: Murdoch claiming he was unaware of the extents of the hacking, but admitting he was aware that his employees were spying on the very members of Parliament now investigating his company.
(Excerpt from video clip) WOMAN: Are you aware that private investigators investigated my colleague Tom Watson and other members of this standing committee and the predecessor's standing committee?
(Excerpt from video clip) MURDOCH: I am aware of the case of surveilling Mr. Watson. And, again, I think - under the circumstances, I apologize unreservedly.
OLBERMANN: Joining me now - Ed Pilkington, the New York bureau chief of The Guardian newspaper. It's good to see you again, sir. Thank you for your time.
ED PILKINGTON: Hi.
OLBERMANN: Ed, have they pinned him down on this? That either he is lying about knowing why this settlementwith the one - with the one individual was so expensive, that he must have known that it was endemic to his organization and widespread - or he is the worst boss in history and had no idea how large sums of money were being spent by his underlings?
PILKINGTON: He can't wriggle out of that duality. It's looking pretty bad for him. You have to kind of pinch yourself and remember that - just a few months ago - this was a guy who was set up to inherit the entire, global multi-billion dollar empire of the Murdoch family. Now, things are looking awful. At best, he's looking - "cavalier" was the word the MPs used, which I think is a really good one - or incurious, showing a lack of curiosity.
You know, he was - he was approached by two of his senior people. He was told about a hacking incident that did not involve the royal family, an entirely new case. They were asking for a million dollars in settlement, which is not small beer in any company. And yet, all he wanted to know was about what kind of settlement to do. He didn't want to know - were there other cases? He didn't want to know - was he going to have to pay more money? He didn't want to know whether more people were going to go to jail? And this is the, you know, the head - the executive chairman, at that time - of an important international company.
OLBERMANN: After today's testimony, is it your assessment that there might still be legal ramifications for Mr. Murdoch in this? Or is it merely relative to his own company?
PILKINGTON: Well, we are now in a situation - or, we were before, where now it's more even clear-cut - where you've two sides going head to head, both accusing the other side - completely openly - of lying. Murdoch today accused his former lawyer and the former editor of the News of the World of lying and minutes later, after his testimony ended, they accused him of lying. So, it's not gone away.
We don't know, yet, whether there is any smoking gun - whether there is any piece of paper that will show which side is telling the truth. All we know is that one side is lying. And there are so many people now invested in this - Tom Watson has told us there are 200 police officers engaged in multiple investigations now. That, you know, if there is anything out there, it will be found. It may not take too much longer.
OLBERMANN: Give me your assessment of the momentum behind this - because, obviously, when things slow down in late summer, towards late summer, in Great Britain - it slowed down around the world and the rest of the - the sort of circling in on the Murdochs definitely came to a very, very slow pace. Is this picking up? Is there more to come from this hearing? What's the next thing?
PILKINGTON: Well, it looked as though it's slowing up to us, but it was speeding up on the police side - actually on both sides of the Atlantic. As I said, 200 police officers are now engaged - and they have been through the summer - gathering their material. Arrests are continuing. Just this week, we had the first arrest of a separate newspaper, The Sun - also owned by News Corporation and the Murdoch family.
And, on this side of the Atlantic, there is an ongoing investigation into potential Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, that maybe the News Corporation engaged in bribery overseas which is illegal in America, and - News Corp being headquartered in Manhattan - that would be an illegal act. So, the authorities on both sides of the Atlantic are being incredibly active.
And now that the Parliament is back after the summer, things are re-engaging, and you're going to start to see things speeding up. Arrests will lead to charges and charges may lead to trials. So, there's tons coming down the slipway.
OLBERMANN: And yet, the stock price went up today. Is that because James Murdoch was not dragged away by his heels after his testimony?
PILKINGTON: Well, you know, you can look at it at face value. I think the stock market has looked at it at face value which is that - he didn't cry, he didn't have the jitters, he didn't have a hissy fit, which is what he often does. So, kind of at face value, came out of it quite well.
But there is more evidence now amassing. There was more evidence that came out today, including the fact that one MP said that all members of the committee had been trailed. We now know that the cops have been trailed, the chief lawyer representing victims has been trailed - including his 14-year-old daughter - and we have at least 5,000 names of celebrities and other individuals who have been trailed by private detectives, their phones hacked, and even their emails broken into. So, you know - it's a giant amount of problems now for New Corporation. And it's going to take months to work our way through them.
OLBERMANN: Including Daniel Radcliffe's parents. And you don't want to mess with Harry Potter on either side of the Atlantic. Ed Pilkington, the New York bureau chief of The Guardian. Again, great thanks for your time.
PILKINGTON: Thanks, a lot.
OLBERMANN: No XL Pipeline for now, anyway. The president delays a decision until after the election. Is that for the benefit of the environmentalists or of the corporations? Mark Ruffalo joins us, ahead.
OLBERMANN: Victory in the Keystone XL Pipeline case. The president will not approve its construction, not now. The decision is delayed, delayed - just coincidentally - until after the presidential election.
First, the "Worsts," and the grim reminder to politicians of every stripe and type, including Rick Santorum. Mr. Santorum, before you sponsor an award for somebody, make sure that person is not a child rapist. Next.
OLBERMANN: There will be no Keystone XL Pipeline decision until after the election.
First, because this is - this section here, this is not democracy - this is a vengeful, righteous monarchy, and this is who we're vengeful against today - here are "Countdown's" top three nominees for today's "Worst Persons in the World."
The bronze - to Anthony Loiacono, a California businessman, founder of Tea Party Television. This is a story about the tea party, a TV network and baseball cards. Mr. Loiacono is being sued for $19 million by six men who claim they invested nearly three hundred thousand dollars in what Loiacono said was a project to develop an all-tea party TV channel.
Baseball cards? One of the six plaintiffs is Bill Hemrick, the Tennessee financial director for Michele Bachmann and the founder of the Upper Deck baseball-card company. The defendant - Loiacono - used to work for him in the baseball-card business. Hemrick threw him out of the company and sued him and still went back and invested with him in a field Loiacono knew nothing about - television.
Hemrick and his colleagues say Loiacono simply spent their money on himself and his friends and relatives, never put in his own his own money as he promised, used their money to outfit his own luxurious offices, overcharged them for the few business-related things he actually did, never did anything to fund the network properly, lied to them, defrauded them, was guilty of misappropriation of funds, self-dealing and corporate waste, put up a crappy website, and failed to take any steps towards getting an HD channel up and running on time. Interesting!
The runner up? Senator John McCain, F of Arizona. F? F! For his new party - F'ed-Up. McCain has once again offered legislation to hold another, final, corporate-tax holiday - in which companies that took the money they had stashed overseas and put it back into this country for a few months to take advantage of the last, final corporate-tax holiday under Bush - would get to do it again and pay nickels on the dollar in the taxes they owe.
McCain's justification? "You've brought $1.5 trillion back in the United States of America. It's bound to have some positive effect somewhere. I don't see how it would not. Even if they buy more yachts and corporate jets and all of that, it's bound to have some effect."
Good thinking, John. This is exactly the time to be defending corporations and trying to pitch the "more yachts and corporate jets" trickle-down theory of economics.
But our winner? Presidential delusionee and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
Every elected official with a rank higher than dog catcher hands out or sponsors awards for citizens. That doesn't mean you don't have to check. The Philadelphia Inquirer notes that - as senator - Santorum sponsored one of his constituents for a "Congressional Angels in Adoption" award, from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. It was a man who had established a nonprofit group to serve foster children and kids in crisis. The man was, like Santorum, an alumnus of Penn State University.
"Its philosophy is simple," read the citation of the organization. "It is easier to develop a child than to rehabilitate an adult." How prophetic. The Santorum-sponsored award was given to Jerry Sandusky, the then recently-retired defensive coordinator at Penn State University who, it turned out had - by that time - already been accused of at least five cases of molestation and at least one of child rape.
The alleged rape by Sandusky - which has been the turning point in the filing of 40 charges against Sandusky and the arrests of Penn State's athletic director and vice president and the dismissal of Penn State's president and its football coach - that took place on March 1st, 2002. Sandusky received the award for his work with children on September 24th, 2002.
Former Senator Rick Santorum, the sponsor of that award - today's "Worst Person in the World." You have to check.
OLBERMANN: Some people look at protesters and ask "Why?" the assumption being that officials will simply ignore the chants and the signs and stick with the moneyed interests. But in our number-one story tonight - it appears as though the protest Sunday against the Keystone Pipeline and all of the protests which preceded it may have, indeed, had an impact.
Today, the State Department - that is, the Obama Administration - put a halt to the pipeline's creation, at least for now. The controversial seventeen-hundred-mile project would run from Canada to Texas. It's caused a huge public outcry. A special session of Nebraska's state legislature was forced to meet last week over concerns that the environmental impact of the pipeline would have on the Sand Hills region and the Ogallala Aquifer.
Then on Sunday, demonstrators encircled the White House, protesting not only the environmental impact of the pipeline, but the possible conflict of interest involved in the environmental review by State.
The State Department appears to have heard the message. In a statement today, "Given the concentration of concerns regarding the environmental sensitivities of the current proposed route through the Sand Hills area of Nebraska, the department has determined it needs to undertake an in-depth assessment of potential alternative routes in Nebraska. The reassessment will focus on possibly rerouting the pipeline around the environmentally-sensitive areas." It's expected to take up to a year and a half, which would put a final decision right after the 2012 election or somewhat after, perhaps, the inauguration.
In a statement today, the president supported the State Department's decision. He said, "We should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all of the potential impacts are properly understood." And in case you thought the president was finally remembering his environmental promises, he also added, "At the same time, my administration will build on the unprecedented progress we made towards strengthening our nation's energy security from responsibly expanding domestic oil and gas production, to nearly doubling the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks, to continued progress in the development of a clean-energy economy."
I will translate that from government-speak into English - "It's not a 'No,' It's a 'No, right now'."
Joining me now, the actor, activist and "Countdown" contributor Mark Ruffalo. Thanks for your time tonight, Mark.
MARK RUFFALO: Thanks for having me, Keith.
OLBERMANN: All right, you were at the protests Sunday. Do you see this as a victory, despite that sort of caveat attached to it?
RUFFALO: Actually, I do see it as a victory. You know, this - even three months ago, this was a done deal.
RUFFALO: And most insiders in the energy field considered it a completely done deal. And what we have seen happen is a protest that in August was 1,200 people for the Keystone Pipeline in our capital went to 12,000 people on Sunday. And I think the mood of the nation right now is - is actually getting people out of their homes and into the streets. I think the Occupy Wall Street movement has energized a lot of people.
I think the extreme weather that we have been seeing is driving home this idea of climate change. People are starting to, in America, are starting to see climate change as a reality. And because of that, the message that the Keystone Pipeline - and burning the tar sands - would actually be game over for us in climate change motivated people to stand up and start speaking up. And I think this is just the beginning.
OLBERMANN: Do you think that it's actually being - the decision, itself - has been delayed, or is it one of those delays that are done until after an election, because one side or the other is going to be really upset by the outcome? Is it one of those? And do you have an idea which idea - which side is going to be really upset about the outcome, the environmentalists or the corporations?
RUFFALO: Historically, when they delay something like this, it doesn't bode well for that particular project.
RUFFALO: You know, there is a political calculation going on here, and our president is indeed a political animal. And he, obviously, is taking the easy route out. But also, you know - they did appoint a new group to do the environmental impact study on it. And we feel confident that - if there isn't capital cronyism, if they really are gonna do independent group to study this instead of one of TransCanada's own, sort of, clientele. Entrex was the company used before, who was a big client - TransCanada is a big client of them - I think we have a chance of this not being as good of a deal as it looks.
We are seeing this kind of movement spreading out. We have now the DRBC happening. The hearings for the DRBC in the Delaware River Basin are about to happen on November 21st. And that's mobilizing a huge group of people to show up there and protest them voting to start hydro-fracking the Delaware River.
OLBERMANN: Do you think protests should be focused toward the Delaware River now or - what about the people who are on this case? Do they need to stay on top of it during this 12-to-18-months additional review?
RUFFALO: I know the people that have been on this are going to stay on it. But they are also pivoting to the Delaware River basin, which is where 15.6 million people get their water. This idea - you know, climate change is real. And the international agency just came out today - or yesterday - saying that if we don't take care of this in the next five years, we will never be able to take care of it. And that's a real agency.
And there is a growing concern that we better start coming up with the national energy policy that doesn't rely on carbon-based fuels. And this movement is a huge movement throughout the United States that's coalescing around that idea and shutting down this idea that natural gas is the bridge fuel and the tar sands are going to lead us to independent - an energy independence for our country, are primary to moving forward with a real, national renewable energy policy.
OLBERMANN: Amen. Actor, activist, "Countdown" contributor Mark Ruffalo - always a pleasure, sir. Thank you for wearing the lovely suit. We appreciate it.
RUFFALO: Thank you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Inside joke.
That's "Countdown" for this, the 310th day since the Republicans took control of the House. Three hundred ten days without them having passed one jobs bill of any kind. I am Keith Olbermann. Congratulations on surviving another day of this crap. Good night and good luck!