My highest priority in Nov 2012 is making sure Allen West is sent home. That guy should be in a military brig, and certainly nowhere near a congressional office. Thankfully, we have two Democrats vying to unseat him. Last week, at Netroots Nation, I had the opportunity to speak with them both.
This morning on the show, I played my interview with Patrick Murphy, a first time candidate for public office. Tomorrow morning, we’ll hear my interview with former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel.
I’ll save my comments for after tomorrow’s show, and after you’ve had a chance to hear both of them. You know I never shy away from giving my opinions.
Yesterday, I shared with you the video and my commentary about my run-in with fraud merchant James O’Keefe. The only other person who rivals him in the slime factor is his mentor, Andrew Breitbart. Since the people behind Right Online (apparently Dick Armey’s also slimy Americans for Prosperity) shadow Netroots Nation every year (just to try to outdo themselves on the sleazeometer), both of the RWNJ wanna-be-journalists-who-only-traffic-lies were in attendance.
At least O’Keefe had the sense (or fear) to stay away from the convention center, but Breitbart threw himself right into the belly of the beast. Unfortunately, he got just what he wanted, which was to create a commotion. I wish my fellow NN attendees had just ignored him, but they gave him the attention and scene he craved.
The night before this video was shot, a Breitbart protege named John Hugh Gilmore harassed some Muslim women (who happened to be attending Netroots Nation) outside of a club where the big SEIU party was going on. Sue Wilson posted this account:
June 17, 2011
Would be journalist and provocateur Andrew Breitbart met his match today when he tried to crash the liberal NetRoots Nation convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 100 Proof Politics editor Ryan Clayton was ready – and his camera and hard questions forced right wing Breitbart into a hasty retreat.
The story started the night before when two women ventured into the streets of Minneapolis wearing the traditional Hijab (headscarf.) They were approached by John Hugh Gilmore, a 52 year attorney and self described Conservative who blogs for “Minnesota Conservatives.” According to police, he asked the women what they thought of Ayaan Hersi Ali, a Somali who is a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute who decries Muslims. The women told him they weren’t exactly fans. The inebriated Gilmore then became upset and started harassing the pair, asking what right they had to be in this country, until 60 onlookers intervened. Police were called and arrested Gilmore, but not until Gilmore tried to reach Andrew Breitbart on his phone.
Fast forward to today. Breitbart entered the Minneapolis Convention Center just minutes after Clayton had interviewed Sana Saleem, a blogger of Pakistani heritage and co-founder of Gawaahi.com, who had witnessed the confrontation. Breitbart claimed he knew nothing about the event, and a Breitbart colleague accused Clayton of lying about the whole affair, (but Minneapolis Police Department has confirmed Gilmore’s arrest.)
Clayton moved beyond the Minneapolis incident into questions to confirm or deny rumors of Breitbart’s alleged drug use and sexual habits. While Breitbart denied having a cocaine habit, he would not answer whether he had personally ever used cocaine. Given Hugh Hewitt’s recent interview with Breitbart where Breitbart references the gay magazine “Blue Boy,” Clayton also asked about Breitbart’s penchant for gay magazines. At that point, without answering directly, the flustered Breitbart left the Netroots Nation convention, hounded by dozens of attendees shouting, “Coward! Coward!”
Here’s the video in question from the Breitbart commotion
And now, I wish the two of them would just go away.
My dear friend GottaLaff from The Political Carnival joined me in hour two, as she does every Tuesday morning on my show. We talked about those two encounters, and the return of Keith Olberman to our televisions, and some of these other stories too…
I’m home, still in need of sleep, with lots of stories and interviews from Netroots Nation to share. I began the process on the show this morning, and will continue for the rest of the week.
With so many highlights to spotlight, it’s difficult to pick out the best. But one of my favorite moments was watching my friend Jill Sobule win over the crowd with an original song she wrote for the “Freedom from Fear” awards ceremony.
Stay tuned for a studio recording of the song, bound to be our new NN anthem!
Another high point for me was getting to sit down with Governor Howard Dean for a one on one interview, which I played back on today’s show.
And the weirdest moment of the week was my run-in with Mr. Pimp himself, James O’Keefe. I spent ample time this morning on the show explaining how our “conversation” came about and why I was not in top-interview form for this encounter. But just watch the video to see his very carefully parsed and evasive non-answers to every question I asked.
If it’s Sunday, it’s time for John McCain to be on the Sunday shows. Again. On his 23,000th appearance on a Sunday show, he scolded his party’s seeming movement towards isolationism and not being a war hawk in Libya and Afghanistan . (It’s a 12 minute ABC clip—I’d stick with 2:43 to 3:55) It’s a little upsetting to me that I find myself agreeing with the extremist Michele Bachmann than John McCain on this, but I’m hard-pressed to understand how it’s our interest—other than as humanitarian—to save the people of Benghazi and why that requires us standing apart from the rest of NATO. Interestingly, I think Secretary of Defense Bob Gates is coming around to my way of thinking and against McCain’s.
Besides being a war hawk, McCain seems to be a little unglued by undocumented workers in Arizona. Because you know those wildfires burning in and around Arizona? The fault of illegal immigrants, as far as he’s concerned. No, seriously.
Every once in a while you get a Democrat who gets to speak uninterrupted on a Sunday show and able to respond to the talking points of an earlier segment with a Republican. It doesn’t happen often. Most of the times Democrats are only allowed on with a Republican counterpoint or if solo, the Republican gets to have the last word. But on Face the Nation, Chuck Schumer got the rare last word on Mitch McConnell—still touting his tax cuts and deregulation magic show—and said what every single Democrat should say whenever they see a camera pointed in their general direction: Where’s the jobs, GOP? Listen to how host Bob Schieffer consistent frames the interview to favor the GOP talking points.
One of the most interesting interviews was on Fox News Sunday, believe it or not. Jon Stewart honored a promise he made on his own show to Chris Wallace and appeared on the Sunday program. The edited version that made it on air (full length version here) didn’t really give the viewers the full flavor of how badly Chris Wallace wanted to create some false equivalencies between Fox News and the “mainstream media” liberal bias and what Jon Stewart does. Stewart gamely tried to explain it, but there are none so blind as those who are handsomely paid not to see. (It’s an 8 minute clip, but I have no idea where to cut it down…it’s all so stupid).
And then finally, it’s not a Sunday show clip, but because I believe in Randi Rhodes’ oft-repeated truism “If they show you who they are, believe them.” I can’t let the entertainment for the Republican Leadership Council convention go unmentioned. They hired an Obama lookalike to take the stage. Which he did, to boos, jeers and calls for his birth certificate. Those hilarious Republicans. The actor, Reggie Brown, did a number of jokes that were quite racist in my view to the hoots and laughter of his audience. What’s telling to me is that when he turned the jokes to Bachmann and the tea party…he was booed and led off the stage. A little thin skinned when the jokes turn to them, but perfectly fine with likening the President and First Lady to Sanford & Son. One of our video crew got the whole 20 minute bit. You can hear where he starts joking about them [tea party and gets pulled off the stage] at the end
Still to come this week, my Netroots Nation interviews with Congressmen Raul Grijalva and Donna Edwards, The Nation’s John Nichols, Dan Choi, and Florida 22nd district Democratic candidates (to unseat Allen West) Lois Frankel and Patrick Murphy!
Once things got rolling, it was a non-stop parade of wonderful guests including Sam Seder, Truthout.org’s Jason Leopold, Progressive Congress’ Darcy Burner, Adam Bink of Courage Campaign, consultant/pundit Cliff Schecter, Teacher Ken (of Daily Kos), Sally Kohn, Mark Levine, Democracy for America Executive Director Ashad Hasan, congressional candidate Norman Solomon, and comedian Matthew Filipowitz.
I’ll share more with you on the show tomorrow and the rest of the week. Stay tuned for my conversations with Gov. Howard Dean, Dan Choi, Congressman Raul Grijalva, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, the two Democrats who are running against Allen West, and more.
And I’ll tell you the whole story about my encounter with James O’Keefe and my attempt to get him to answer some questions.
I’m in Minneapolis this week for Netroots Nation. I’ll have lots of interviews and observations to share with you when I’m back in the studio Monday morning. But this one couldn’t wait.
As you may know, the right wing follows us each year and schedules their “Right Online” conference in the same town at the same time we have Netroots Nation. This year, their conference is in the hotel many of the NN participants are staying, while our conference is at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
When I got back to my hotel this evening, I noticed James “Pimp” O’Keefe sitting in the lobby. I knew he was on probation for trying to enter Senator Mary Landreau’s office posing as a telephone repair man and the conditions prohibited him from leaving New Jersey. So I took his picture.
Then his posse starting taking pictures of me and asking what I was doing. I asked if he was breaking the law by being here, and he said he had gotten permission from the court to travel here. He then invited me over for a conversation.
I said no, but they insisted. So, I pulled out the flip cam and began asking questions.
And, for the record, this video has not been edited, even once. This is the entire video I shot, with the entire conversation we had until I just couldn’t take the smug hypocrisy for one moment more.
RIP Tony Curtis. Yes, there’s a story to go along with the photo. From 1990-1994, I produced the Mark & Brian Show at KLOS in Los Angeles. Each year, we’d put on a ridiculously extravagent Christmas show. Tony Curtis had appeared on the show to promote his book and, if memory serves, he returned to read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” at the Christmas show.
Tony took a liking to me. His publicist must have given him my phone number, as Tony was relentless in his pursuit. I finally had to tell him that I simply wasn’t interested. He took it like a gentleman and, a few months later, married a young, dark haired attorney who looked somewhat like me. I still have this picture, and the memories….
On today’s show, Truthout‘s Jason Leopold guested to tell us about his latest bombshell story, “DOJ Refuses to Revoke BP’s Probation Over Safety Violations at Texas City Refinery.”
If you happen to be in South Florida, I’ll be yard sale-ing this Saturday at Coral Springs’ annual Trash to Treasure community sale. It’s at Mullins Park (right near the Coral Springs Center for the Arts on 29th Street) starts at around 8am and goes until 11ish. For those of you not attending the sale, I’m sure you’ll be in Washington DC at the One Nation march and rally!
I’ll talk to you Monday, when my guests will be Jayne King of the Green Party of Florida, and Crooks & Liars’ Nicole Belle- who watches the Sunday talking head shows and tell us what happened in our weekly Fools on the Hill segment.