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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  February 11, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm PST

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quote, left-fringe extremists and anarchists. >> we build pipelines around america every single day. >> yes, yes, we do we build pipelines presidency, we've got ourselves a little scoop about how that's going. and that will be here tomorrow night. i will see you then. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." good evening, lawrence. >> thank you for joining me over here last night during the show. that was really fun. >> it was really fun. i'm sorry that you could see i was wearing jeans under the table. >> i didn't know that was big news that you wear jeans under the table. >> big news at my house. >> thanks, rachel. president obama is asking congress to formally authorize the use of military force against the islamic state. a jury in texas began hearing evidence in the murder of real american sniper chris kyle. and rush limbaugh offers a not so fond farewell to jon stewart. >> our coalition is on the offensive.
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isil is on the defensive, and isil is going to lose. >> i believe that if we're going to authorize the use of military force, the president should have all the tools necessary to win. >> we have 17 days until the expiration of the funding of homeland security. >> some people are saying how are we going to get the department of homeland security funded? >> powerball fever sweeping the nation. >> $500 million is up for grabs. >> the house has done its job. ask the senate democrats when they're going to get off their ass and do something. >> i hope they don't play politics with that. >> my job was to tell them what the politics of it were. >> the movie is called "believer." >> someone said why is the president focusing on climate change? >> the falcon takes flight. propelling the deep space climate observatory on a million-mile journey to protect our planet earth.
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>> but that's how washington thinks. >> you're a dark dude. >> others have noted this is probably not the last we've heard of jon stewart. >> this show doesn't even deserve an even slightly restless host. >> the murder trial is taking place in stevenville. >> the trial of the man accused of murdering chris kyle. >> kyle's widow took the stand first. >> the former navy s.e.a.l. that inspired the hit movie "american sniper." >> how are we going to get the department of homeland security funded? >> comedy central gave me an incredible opportunity. it is time for someone else to have that opportunity. >> the president has asked congress for authorization for use of force against the islamic state, even though the president apparently doesn't think he needs one.
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>> the president and his lawyers have concluded that he already has the authority that he needs to order military action against isil. but he does believe it would be a powerful symbol for the congress to send to the american people, to our allies and even to our enemies, that the united states of america is united behind the strategy that the president laid out to destroy isil. >> does the president need this legal authority? >> you know, he did need this legal authority, and the congress should take the opportunity to consider this authority and vote no. the problem isn't the details of the authority, the problem is that this is authorizing at least three more years of war, and potentially a lot more, because one of the other authorizations remains in place. this is a recipe for continuing war, and president obama needs to decide whether he wants to be the president who ends wars or the president who makes wars endless.
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>> patrick murphy, iraq vet, former member of congress, do you see it as he needs this legal authority, and if you were there now, would you vote for it? >> i do need he needs the authority. would i vote for it? i would vote to give him authorization, because it's for limited strikes. it's clear that it's very limited and i don't say that lightly. i don't say that lightly. i think the iraq war was the wrong war, but there's about 20 million sunnis between damascus and baghdad that are in play, and what we really need is not just an american military might, what we need is a diplomatic surge. thank goodness there's a new prime minister in iraq. but the fact is, to get those moderate sunnis to fight against
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isis, we need to give them encouragement and their own government. >> john mccain is not happy. he says -- >> this is a recipe for failure, michael. your reaction to john mccain? >> i actually agree with that. i think the strategy as it's currently conceived as a counterterrorism one is not going to work. sunnis in syria and iraq, what they see now, and the reason isis' propaganda is succeeding, sunnis think that the united states does not care about them. we did not intervene, obama did not enforce the red line on
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chemical weapons use in syria, the assad regime is no longer a priority. they've dropped bombs on the heads of mostly sunnis in syria. the propaganda that isis is playing up is essentially the united states is now in league with iran to commit murder, ethnic cleansing and the dispossession of sunnis. this narrative goes back a decade. this began when we toppled saddam. the founder of al qaeda in iraq, which is now isis, essentially this is part of -- we've been at war with isis for 11 years. we are going to be at war with them for another 11. >> this is not being enthusiastically received by must be leadership by the senate and in the house. and they have to bring this to the floor of the senate or the house for a vote. they have to do it.
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so do we get into some kind of negotiation on wording now before they do this? >> i think it's -- to me when i hear the john mccain comments, i wonder do they want to make it broader? >> he does. >> do they want to be at war all over the place? do they want to actually extend the 2001 aumf? would that be better in going after isis with that? that opens up a whole can of worms that makes the democrats, even the democrats worried about it, even more worried. >> the bottom line is this, the most sacred duty of the congress of the united states is when to send american men and women in harm's way, and they said they were going to tackle this after the summer recess. they said after the elections. they don't want to touch this. and that's a shame on congress. that is their duty. they just can't outsource this
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to the president of the united states. he needs constitutional authority to go forward. would i vote on it? only if it's coupled with a diplomatic surge. we can't do it ourselves. it must be an arab led effort, which some of it has been. but it's the hearts and minds in the middle east, not the military might. that's what we need to see in the next several weeks. >> phyllis, go ahead. >> i think the problem is what patrick just said is exactly what's needed and exactly what's not happening. there is no debate going on whether or not we should be using force or authorizing war. the only debate is on the margins. should there be a three-year sunset? would it be one year or no sunset clause? nobody is saying right now there should not be a military component, despite what we've learned from the years of war in iraq and afghanistan, the drone war in somalia and pakistan and yemen and elsewhere that have all failed. the air war in libya, they all
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failed. they're not going to win this time. you cannot bomb extremism. you can bomb people, you can bomb some extremists and kill them, but that doesn't wipe out the problem. we were told in afghanistan in the last few years of the war when we had up to 100,000 american troops there and another 40,000 or so nato troops that there was somewhere between 50 and 100 al qaeda members left. and yet those 100,000 troops could not eliminate al qaeda. it still exists. it's still a threat to people there, not to us, but to people there. that's what we get when we use air war as this kind of imaginary way of destroying extremism. extremism grows out of political and economic and social conditions. without changing those conditions, it's only going to get worse with an air war, not better. >> i'm going to turn quickly to what has become the netanyahu circus.
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he told "the forward" -- >> you have brought to our attention a little bit of precedent for this breaking out in israeli politics where one israeli politician is accusing another of using america as campaign device. tell us about that. >> sure. when i was an ap correspondent in jerusalem in 1996, netanyahu was making his first attempt to be prime minister. rabin had been assassinated. his successor was sworn in, who was running against netanyahu. he came to washington, and was going to meet with clinton, not
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at the white house, but meet with clinton. sure enough, netanyahu went nuts in jerusalem, said this was a cynical ploy and nobody else would ever pull such a stunt. >> do you mind if i read his exact words, which i found in your 1996 article. this is netanyahu, 1996 -- >> he said it just like that. >> exactly. >> we have senator patrick leahy coming up saying i'm not going. he's not making no travel excuse. he said i'm not going to go because of the political manipulation going on here between netanyahu and john boehner. what do you think the attendance is going to be like in the house of representatives on the floor? >> there are going to be some absences.
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whether you're democrat or republican, we go to the president of the united states to speak in one voice. and to see what happened in the congress, to bring him on the eve of his own election, we don't meddle in other foreign elections, and it's just a really bad precedent what happened. i would like to hear what netanyahu has to say, but after his election, not before. >> i was just going to say, i think there's a problem here. this isn't only about electioneering and the cynical ploy of politics, this is a life and death issue about the iran negotiation. we shouldn't forget that. this is about the fact that iran is at the center of this debate about the nuclear negotiations that are under way. israel and the united states
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have different views of where those negotiations should be, and what netanyahu has said explicitly is that he's coming to congress to convince them to vote against their own president. that's what we're dealing with here. and the israeli lobby here, some of the spokesmen have come out and said isn't this outrageous that, given the choice between voting for -- not voting for but supporting israel and netanyahu versus president obama, members of congress are choosing president obama as if that was something to be ashamed of. it's an astonishing thing. but we have to keep in mind this is about the politics of the negotiation. >> i think what's too bad here is that it makes israel and the united states look really far apart. if they had a much more unified sense with these talks, it would be better and iran just sees that there's a split here and it makes them stronger. >> that's going to have to be
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the last word on this one. coming up next, opening statements in the american sniper trial.
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we have breaking news tonight here in new york city. very sad news. cbs news tonight has announced the death of long-time correspondent bob simon, whose career spanned five decades. bob simon was killed in a car accident here in new york city. reporter gus rosendale of wnbc tv is on the scene of the accident now. gus, what do we know about this accident? >> reporter: lawrence, police are here on scene trying to piece together what happened. what we're hearing from law enforcement sources is simon was riding in the back of a lincoln town car.
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apparently that car sideswiped a mercedes. the town car lost control and smashed into a number of pilings in the middle of the road here protecting people on the cross walk. we understand that firefighters had to cut the roof of the town car open to get access to the driver and to simon. the 73-year-old correspondent was rushed to the hospital, where he was initially going to be treated for his injuries and he passed away soon after that. >> gus, thank you very much. again, long-time cbs news correspondent bob simon has died tonight in an automobile accident on the west side highway. he got started at cbs in 1967. he covered the vietnam war and covered stories all over the world for cbs and for "60 minutes." bob simon was 73.
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peace of mind. now you can get the works, a multi-point inspection with a synthetic blend oil change tire rotation, brake inspection and more. $29.95 or less. >> joining me now is diane hunter, covering the trial. and joining us is a former dallas county judge and criminal defense lawyer. diana, in the courtroom today, we had opening statements and then some witnesses. the prosecutor making the case that this is a simple murder and that the defendant, who is going to be claiming insanity, knew right from wrong, and that's the
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only test he's got to clear to get a simple murder conviction here. >> that's right. it was very -- the prosecution was very focused in its case that he fled the scene, that he bragged about the truck and the guns that he had, and that he admitted to investigators that he knew somewhat he had done was wrong. but then the defense stepped in and presented suggestions that he had a series of mental health issues, that they talked about schizophrenia, psychosis, personality disorders, and he was in a downward spiral of psychosis at the time this happened, that he believed he had to kill them before they killed him. it's going to be a very tough case for the jurors. >> the prosecutor told the jurors that the defendant intentionally caused the death of chris kyle. he did so, did that in that criminal transaction. let's listen to what the prosecutor said about the
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so-called narrow path that the defense has to find to get -- to plead the insanity defense. let's listen to this. >> michael, is that, in your mind, an accurate description of the burden? >> it's absolutely correct. the defense has to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant did not know the difference between right and wrong at the time of the offense.
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>> and so it doesn't really get into -- necessarily into clinical psychiatric findings, it's simply that right and wrong test in texas, that's all it is? >> yes, and the jury is going to have to make that decision. now, from the defense perspective, keep in mind there's probably going to be evidence in this case that one of the victims, chad littlefield, apparently texted chris kyle on the way out to the shooting range words to the effect of, this dude is crazy. so there is evidence on the defense side from their perspective. it's not a hopeless case. >> there definitely is. we'll get to more of that. patrick murphy, prosecutor, as well as a combat veteran. it's very interesting that the prosecutor described the defendant's mother's approach to chris kyle this way, he simply said -- characterized it saying, would you spend time with him, would you befriend him?
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and what we're going to hear on the other side of the case, the defense side, is much bigger problems than that were described to chris kyle. that this guy is in serious mental trouble. >> this is chris kyle's own words. his last text message was, this dude is straight up nuts. he said that to his buddy, chad. chad responds, watch my six, watch my back. listen, they had an arsenal in that truck going out to that range. if this guy was going to kill them, he could have done it on the drive. today, i had one of my gunner in iraq, he's a texas a&m law student. he watched the whole trial today. his words were, when chad littlefield's mother testified, she said today would be chad's 38th birthday and she lost her son. he said about four of the women on the jury -- 9 of the 123
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jurors are women and they started crying when they heard that. at the end of the day, though, eddie roth went at least four times to the v.a. for mental issues. he was psychotic. chris kyle said this guy's nuts. it breaks your heart. this guy had two deployments. it was the iraq deployment and the haiti deployment. people forget we sent marines, including this young man. there was up to 250,000 haitians that were killed in that earthquake in 2010. that's what people like eddie had to deal with. he came back home and it really screwed with him. >> as a former prosecutor, how do you read this jury? 10 women, 2 men, that's an unusual composition. >> it is. >> is that fundamentally favorable to one side or the other? >> i don't know at this point, because i think that the crux of the defense is insanity.
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and i don't think that's a gender issue, where you'll get more favor from either side. i think that there is a chance that the defense can succeed, because ptsd has been successful when the defendant has a history of it, as he does here. there is corroborative evidence. there is collateral in the sense that there are people who witnessed him having the flashbacks, having the mood swings, having this hyper vigilant attitude. and look at the incident. at that moment in time, they were in some type of combat scenario. patrick, love to hear what you always think. >> it was -- it was a rifle range. >> and noises can trigger flashbacks. so he's within that moment again, in that ptsd. >> we're going to take a quick break. before we do, judge snipes, i
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wanted to ask you about that jury composition, ten women. in your experience with this sort of thing, do you think that that is something that the defense feels offers more opportunity for sympathy for the argument that they are going to make? >> i do not. i have presided over 320 jury trials and have found my juries to be gender neutral. sometimes the women are more in favor of guilt, sometimes the men are. >> we'll come back with more of this, including a closer look at the defense. colourists know roots take colour one way... and previously coloured hair another. introducing new vidal sassoon salonist
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so i switched us from u-verse to xfinity. they have the fastest, most reliable internet. which is perfect for me, because i think everything should just work. works? works. works! works? works. works. we're going to show you now a presentation by the defense counsel in the trial today in texas of the murder of chris kyle and chad littlefield. he makes the case that his client has been diagnosed psychotic. let's listen to this.
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diana hunt, you're in the courtroom during the testimony today, first witness being chris kyle's widow. tell us what the feelings were like in the courtroom today and how you think her testimony landed.
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>> she was if tears before she really had ever gotten any words out, and several of the jurors were also in tears in just the few words of her testimony. she was very effective. she was forceful. she was -- she smiled at jurors. she told one "bless you" after he or she sneezed. but she was very emotional talking about her husband and the loss was very fresh. she also sat in the courtroom wearing his dog tags as she watched the rest of the testimony. >> patrick murphy, at the defense table, all you can really do is sit and watch testimony like that. >> right. you have to be respectful. chris kyle and chad littlefield, they were helping another marine going through problems. the question in this whole trial, eddie is going away, either to a mental institution or a prison the rest of his life. to you, the defense hopes he goes to a mental institution to
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get the help that he needs. but i will tell you that the folks in that courtroom, between chris kyle's widow and chad's mother, on the day he would have turned 38 years of age, got everyone in that courtroom today in tears. it was powerful. >> can we just acknowledge, though, that the prosecution may have timed this trial to go when the movie is in the theaters? do you not recognize the possibility? >> judge snipes, what is your reaction to that, the timing of the trial? >> i think that's inaccurate. the judge, after all, makes the decision as to whether or not the case is going to be continued or not. at the end of the day, the judge has to decide whether the jurors that are selected for the trial can fairly and impartially evaluate the evidence and not consider any kind of media
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publicity, and certainly that's the decision that he's made in this case. regardless of how long out this case was tried, the chris kyle story is always going to be fresh in the minds of every american. >> let's go to what was described as the bombshell in the courtroom today. you made reference to it, patrick. we'll hear the defense attorney explaining how we know the thoughts of chris kyle and chad littlefield as they were driving along for an hour and a half, two hours in that pickup truck with eddie in the back seat behind them. let's listen to this.
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>> diana hunt, was that news to everyone in the courtroom today? >> i believe it was. there had been little detail released an't what happened, what kind of interchanges there had been between those, and to have captured it on cell phone summed up the defense's case, i
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believe, that they -- the question is why did they go on to the firing range and continue? but that's something they'll have to get into. >> patrick murphy, speculate about that. they've dealt with troubled guys before, but they're making a judgment, this one is really bad. and so much so that we're now physically worried in this vehicle with him. but these are two able bodied guys. i'm sure they firmly believe if he tries anything, we've got this covered. >> right. lawrence, in the military, we have a motto, leave no one behind. they didn't want to leave him behind, even though they could be in danger. to say, watch my six, this is a navy s.e.a.l. it just breaks your heart to know what was going on. if they had known this guy would have turned on them, they wouldn't have done what they done. they probably didn't know this
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guy was smoking pot, drinking alcohol, telling his girlfriend, don't talk to me out loud, watch me notes because he thought people were watching him. >> hearing voices. >> they don't know that. >> that's going to have the be the last word on it tonight. thank you all very much for joining us. we'll be back with more about the jon stewart you don't know. if you're taking multiple medications does your mouth often feel dry? a dry mouth can be a side effect of many medications. but it can also lead to tooth decay
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>> understanding the story line and how some products they stock feature in the film will better prepare staff for incoming queries. okay. well, if you think reading a book is enough to prepare the staff for that, okay. up next, more on jon stewart's departure from "the daily show." expert negotiator to get a fair deal. i hate to haggle. when you go to a restaurant you don't haggle over the chicken parmesan. why can't car-buying be like that? ♪ ♪ as long as people drive cars carmax will be the best way to buy them.
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you know, i -- i -- i'm not going to be here and try and sum up what this place has meant to me over the years. but i couldn't do that, and we have plenty of time and i've got a myriad of people to thank and we'll get to that over time. i'm not going anywhere tomorrow.
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but this show doesn't deserve an even slightly restless host and neither do you. >> jon stewart was restless enough to take the summer off to direct the film "rose water." let's listen to what he said on terry gross' radio show about that experience. >> we've never shot a film before, but i had never done standup comedy before. you just go out and do it. the best part about this, opposed to standup comedy, you can surround yourself with people of great expertise and talent that can support your -- not to sound too rumsfeldian, but i didn't know what i didn't know. i was clear at the outset, you're going to have to raise flags early and often if i seem to be going off the rails here. >> we are joined by gavin
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beerman, the production supervisor on "rose water." jon stewart's first and only film. gavin, i find it remarkable that this first-time director, first time feature film screen writer, because it was his script, did the job that he did. i thought it was a beautifully and really wonderfully directed film. >> thanks for having me, lawrence. jon is an incredibly talented guy. i think his talents go way beyond what he's been doing with "the daily show." he proved day in and day out in really brutal conditions in amman that he could rise above and put together a beautiful piece of art, and he had a positive attitude and was just a wonderful person to be working with while we were there. >> gavin, a director, if he's doing it well, has to be a leader, a real leader. and it's a large group of people. it's a big army. some of them are working for a
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day, some working for weeks. they're coming and going. there's a spirit that has to be maintained. it all keys off the director on the sets i've been on. >> absolutely. i've done 20 or 30 feature films in my career, and jon would stand up and cheer everybody and tell everybody what he was looking for that day and how great of a job he did or didn't do the day before and how he could do better. he's a natural. >> gavin, every production meeting i've ever been in, preproduction, has always been chaired by a director who has been in this business for decades. i've never been around an inexperienced director, so it's hard for me to imagine what that room is like. this is all before we get to the set, what that room is like when all the marching orders are being formed, with someone who has never sat in that chair before at that table. >> yeah, i think he drew from a lot of experience with daily meetings on "the daily show."
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we do one big prep meeting and go into 20 or so days of shooting. so slightly different. we would break off and have other meetings throughout the production. but he really was very clear with what he wanted and he had a lot of us around him to support him in helping him make that happen. >> let's take a look at a scene in the movie, this interrogation scene. >> he's not a spy. it's a show, a comedy show. it's stupid. >> it's really stupid, yes. >> he's a comedian pretending to be a spy. >> can you tell me why an american pretended to be a spy. >> why would a real spy have a tv show? >> why did you tell this man that america and iran --
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>> gavin, on the set, did you get the feeling that jon stewart's restlessness was really being rewarded, and did you get the feeling he's going to be back? he's going to be doing this again? >> yeah, i think so. i think he really enjoyed the process and it was something fresh and new. anyone that's doing anything for as long as he's been doing it, and he's at the top of his game, probably is thinking maybe i'm really great at this and i want to try something different. you know, that's what he did. he did it with style, with grace, and we were very, very appreciative to be working with him on the project. >> you came from working on a $100 million budget on the movie prior to this one, down to $5 million for "rose water." i'm amazed at what you guys got on the screen. there's no way you can sit in the audience and think you're looking at a $5 million movie. let's take a look at another scene.
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>> her name was maria. she was my heart. in 1980, she was arrested by the ayatollah khomeini. six years in prison for being a communist. six years! >> gavin, that was early in the movie. i remember seeing the theater being thrilled by that, because here was a directorial choice i had never seen before. the way he used those shop windows as part of his story telling illustrating where his story had been and where it was going was brilliant. >> yeah, that's the beauty of visual effects. >> we're going to take a quick break and we'll be back with more about our continuing farewell to jon stewart. the #1 prescribed acid blocking brand. available without a prescription for frequent heartburn.
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rush limbaugh took a parting shot at jon stewart. we'll have that next.
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we'll be back after this look at jon stewart the actor, with robin williams. >> you've got nothing left. >> exactly. that's what i'm trying to tell you, bud. what's this? >> rainforest benefit free bee bag. disposable camera, peanuts, hand lotion, no animal tested. don't ever contact me again, randy. get out of the car. >> you know what to do with the hand lotion, jerkoff!
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discovery at sea experiences. enjoy cruises from $499 during our 50th anniversary sale. call your travel consultant or 1-800-princess. princess cruises. come back new. rush limbaugh, of course took a parting shot at jon stewart today. >> jon stewart has helped to polarize the country by poisoning the republican brand. oh, yes, he's had a very clear role in that. stewart is a funny guy, but he lacks an appreciation of federalism, and he lacks an understanding of the harm caused by obama's cult of personality that also sucked him in. jon stewart is not alone, but jon stewart helped grease the tracks for the most destructive presidency in many of our lifetimes.
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and because he was able to make some people laugh while all this destruction took place. he's hailed as a political genius and great journalist. >> it would be hard to pose a more bitter and more incorrect farewell to jon stewart. >> it would be really hard, yeah. jon stewart, for all the great things he is, he's clearly an artist. this is a guy who loved film. this is a guy two liked to act and who loved politics, but also loved books. one of the great things about that show and what made that show different is the fact that he brings on authors, that he wants to -- >> the book business is terrified with him leaving. >> they should be. >> patrick, he also did everything he could for troops at every chance. >> you know, i -- >> and still will, i'm sure. >> no doubt. he actually hires veterans to work on his show.
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he doesn't want anybody to know about it. i talked to him about it. he couldn't be more gracious. it's interesting. jon had -- john mccain, they had a very good dialogue. he had republicans on there, and he would challenge democrats. he's the kind of guy that spoke to our generation, that would speak to people to give them the care about politics and public service. >> gavin, on the set, did jon get into much political chat and joking around about politics? >> not really at all. the only time i saw it is when we were out to dinner or in the hotel lobby and he would get mobbed and people wanted to talk about his views. but when we were working, we were working. >> i bet he just really enjoyed the vacation from all that stuff. >> definitely. he absolutely did. >> and as they said, i'm talking to a publisher today, who is terrified about -- there's no way the next host of "the daily show" will build the show on
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books, which jon stewart did, including obscure books. it wasn't necessarily best sellers. and they always skyrocketed on amazon. >> he had power like nobody else has to get those books going. but you're right, medicine, health, science, obscure books. i think it's been a pleasure kind of watch a whole audience connect with a world of great nonfiction. >> let's see him do his stuff one more time, talking about sarah palin and donald trump. >> if you're taking an esteemed visitor to get real new york pizza, familiars ain't it. but let's continue with the meeting. are you eating it with a fork. a [ bleep ] fork! ahhh! no! when you invite an important visitor to our house, to our
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town and eat your pizza with a fork in front of us, who the [ bleep ] do you think you are? you know what? why don't you take your [ bleep ] and feed it to joe dimaggio's ghost on liberty island, you son of a bitch. watch and learn, for god's sake. watch and [ bleep ] learn! [ applause ] >> gavin, the great actors, the great performers leave you incapable of imagining anyone else doing what you just saw them do, and that was one of those moments. >> i know, and it's funny, because i wasn't an avid watcher of the show, i would catch it now and then. but he was so reserved and mellow working with him. and it was like a completely different guy when he's performing.
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>> gavin, thank you very much for joining us tonight. thanks for staying with us all the way through. hardball with chris matthews is next. war power. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. president obama played the bugle. he asked for a declaration of war against the terrorists of isis, the authorization for use of military force against the islamic state of iraq. will the congress give it to him? will doves have faith in the language that rules out, quote, enduring offensive combat operations? will hawks say this overly ties the president's hands? the president says he hopes to have strong bipartisan support but can


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