tv Smerconish CNN October 23, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT
cancelling cancel culture. i'm michael smerconish live this week from san francisco. you know, one of my books came out in 2006. it was called "muzzle" i just saw the paper back edition still available on amazon for a whopping $2.80. the book was about political correctness. i guess you could say i was ahead of the curve in identifying the political residence of these types of issues. the amazon summary calls it,
quote, the anecdote to the poise of political correctness. smerconish takes on entertaining outlandish anecdotes about pc gone wild. stories that are hilarious, horrifying and unbelievably true. each chapter was a story. some of them stand the test of time and others do not. the guy who tried to stop ladies night at bars because he said they discriminated against men. i say ridiculous then and still believe it. the honorary guard who said stop saying god bless you as he presented graveside. maybe i was wrong. maybe it was a church state issue. when conservatives began rallying to the pc cause i kind of backed off. it made all of the stories sound partisan. which was never my motivation. what was then pc has more into
cancel culture. and conservatives, they own this ground. these sort of stories get lots play on fox. why? because they make for good tv and they fire people up. but i think it's important that all audiences pay attention to them because i think they have political ramifications. no single story on its own. but collectively, all of these attempts to correct and to cancel can add up to an overreach. the sort of issues that piss people off and are easy to remember when they close the voting booth curtain. for example, last week, i had the native-american second-year yale law student who was brow beaten by administrators at a trap house featuring popeyes chicken. the online reaction here on cnn was nearly 100% against him. and me, for putting him on air. racist dog whistles you were
played like a violin. you fell for it. in other words, shame on me for not cancelling him, too. here's another one of these story which is pop this week. the uproar of the art institute of chicago letting go of all 82 d docents because they lack.diversity. the docents who had an average of 15 years' experience they all received an email from the museum director veronica stein which explained, voquote, as a civic institution we acknowledge to rebuild the educator program in a way that allows all to participate, in income equity and does not require financial flex teeblt participate. "the wall street journal" quickly pounced declaring the museum appears to be in the grips of a self-defeating overcorrection. it has adopted the language of diversity and inclusion and
equity so completely that was willing to fire the same upper middle class volunteers that it relies on for charitable donations. in other words, the blue hairs are out, as tour guides, notwithstanding that they spent 18 months getting trained. and they don't even get paid. the diversity issue also somewhat bizarrely led to the resignation of the head of the uc berkeley atmosphere center. physicist david romps who was unhappy when a colleague from another university, dorian abbott, you'll meet him in a moment, was not invited to give a lecture about climate change because he's voiced opposition to diversity, equity and inclusion programs and had been already cancelled by the twitter mob from m.i.t. of course, the biggest recent story in the cancel culture war is blowup over dave chappell's netflix special "the closer." chappelle provocatively wrestles about the trans community and
others and the reaction to him. is it pc? no, purposely not. he's clearly trying to get a reaction but for those who stick around to the end he surprises us with a tender story about a trans friend. a friend who died the why he presents it, the twitter is partly to blame. that can absolve him from everievery phobic joke? i think not. america needs to have difficult conversations not extinguish them altogether. of chappell, peggy noonan in "the wall street journal" said of truth, some people are too big to chancel. mr. chappelle is one, jk rowling is another. but standing firm helps those who aren't too big that they'd be sacrificed by their employer in a nanosecond if trouble
starts and the twitter mobs come. don't misunderstand, i'm not covering for the haters on either side, i think there needs to be middle ground. but that space keeps getting uncomfortably more they're low. and don't overlook the political cost to the censors. the next time the left is going to brow beat a yale student over a party invite or cancel a speech or get rid of the volunteers at a museum or take down the statue of thomas jefferson they might want to think twice. because the accumulated weight of all of these stories becomes a great political motivator for the right which leads me to the survey question @smerconish.com. which party benefits from this. the cancel culture and disputes? republicans or democrats? go answer, i'll give you the result later. now, to the berkeley story
that involves personal politics overshadowing work. the head of the department is stepping down from that position because the university refused his choice of guest speaker on climate science because of the speaker's political views. romps explained his resignation, saying quote, it became unclear to me whether we could invite that scientist ever again, let alone now. excluding people because of their political and social diminishes the pool of scientists with which members of the basc, and more broadly such exclusion signals that some opinions are forbidden. the guest, geo fizzist university chicago professor dorian abbott had previously been disinvited from speaking at m.i.t., following complaints. last year, abbott posted several
videos on youtube criticizing the destruction caused by rioting in chicago in the wake of the george floyd murder. and criticizing academia for equity programs. then in august he co-wrote an opinion piece for "newsweek" that argued the words of equity inclusion sound just but but the effects are the opposite of noble sentiments. most importantly, equity does not mean fair and equal treatment. dealt i seeks to increase the representation of some groups of other groups. dorian abbott joins me now. he's an associate professor at the university of chicago's department of geo physical sciences. dr. abbott, thanks for being here. you say all of that which i'm describing is not a partisan issue, but it sure feels that way, how come? >> well, it's really not a
right/left issue. it's an authoritarian free society issue. all americans democrats and republicans who support the free society should be opposed to cancel culture. >> you were a climate scientist. you were invited to give a speech at m.i.t., you were disinvited but nothing having to do with your opinions on climate science. how am i doing so far? >> yeah, you're doing exactly right. the speech, in particular, it was on a fine climate science ts and seeing which planets could earth-like. >> people watching this are wondering what did he do? what did he say? let me put up a slide on the screen which came from one of your youtube presentations in which you say the way halrvard portrays asian americans reminds
me of jewish quotas from my grandfather's day and it makes me feel really iky. explain. >> yeah, if you read the study in the harvard lawsuit, you'll see most of the discrimination that's going on is against asian people. and i don't see them as a privileged group. but it makes me very uncomfortable they're getting the bulk of this. >> if you had got to m.i.t., did you intend to get into this subject area? >> no, of course not, this was never going to come up during my vicht to m.i.t. >> from "newsweek," it entails treating members of a group rather than as individuals repeating the mistake that made possible the atrocities of the 20th century. et cetera, et cetera. explain. >> yeah. so viewing human beings as members of a group, rather than as individuals for the inherent dignity has a very terrible history in this country and in other countries. and i don't think we should be repeating that history.
>> what is it that you said in the aftermath that landed you in hot water in some quarters, relative to the violence post-george floyd murder? >> yeah. so that wasn't -- that never really got me in hot water. i never really have discussed that publicly. so, that's not really at issue here. mostly what this is about is my views that we should support diversity in the right way, through promoting education, rather than through discriminating. through reducing bias, not through introducing bias. >> there's a response to each one of the views that you've espoused both here and in your writings and in your youtube postings. and i want you to be confronted on all of them but the attraction of having you on the program for me today is to underscore the point is that i don't think there should be a bleed between the two. that as you're someone with impeccable credentials as i understand you are in the realm
of climate science in the university of chicago, you should not be precluded going m.i.t. or berkeley, and thank god princeton has already decided hosting you, am i correct? >> yes, that's correct. there's two positions here. there's my positions on diversity, equity and inclusion which everyone should feel free to promote their own opinions through essays and public speaking. and then there's the fact that i've being prevented from pursuing my scientific career for advancing these opinions. and what's really important, i'm a tenured prov at the university of chicago so i can survive this. but all of the young people in the field see this and they understand they can't speak openly about these subjects. and we all lose because of that. >> final question big picture, why should the nation care about this? why should the nation care about you? what are the ramifications that you think make this everyone's business? >> the nation shouldn't care
about me. the nation should care about all of us being able to express our opinions openly. and in particular that we have academic freedom. because that's going to help in the search for truth. and then ultimately developing new scientific technicques and new theorys that will improve society. >> dr. abbott, thanks for being here. >> okay, thank you very much. what are your thoughts, tweet me @smerconish. go to my facebook bepage, what we have? from twitter, depends on how you view cancel culture positively or nothing tifl, as most of it is driven by the left. i agree with dr. abbott. we're not talking hate speech. hate speech needs to be done away with like potter stewart, we know it when we see it. there are other things getting looped into that category that need to be part of our discourse.
in any event, i want to know what you think about the political ramifications of that which i described. go to smerconish and find out who wins from cancel culture disputes, republicans or democrats? up ahead, america already suffering a severe climate change could workers who choose to the opt-out and quit inad inadvertently make that situation worse? but also drivers of color to get pulled over. but in my hometown of philadelphia, changing what you can get stopped for. could this prove to be a model for otother cities? restore healthy skin, with no sticky feeling. gold bond. champion your skin.
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mandate could lead to mass layoffs and worsen already catastrophic supply chain disruptions. a record 100 cargo vessels and about 200,000 shipping containers are stuck dmroting off the california coastline delaying everything from factory parts to sneakers to toys. what happens if workers in that supply chain refuse the vaccine and are laid off. this week, the president of the national oh of wholesale distributors which crepts 6 million workers including grocers, florists, beer and wine distributors among others sent a letter to the president. in the lertter, he asks presidet biden to delay the vaccination of federal employees. you represent all 50 states what is your concern.
>> michael, thanks for having me, good morning. concern is the right issue. what we're dealing with is two important issues. of course, the wholesale industry joins all americans in urging them to get vaccinated. we want to vaccinate the country to save lives and move past the pandemic and get the economy moving again. at the same time, as you just mentioned there are critical issues that are happening throughout the supply chain. and unfortunately, these two issues are converging at this moment. as you noted the president's executive order for any company that does business with the federal government, as a contractor, has mandated that every single employee be vaccinated by december 8th. or we have to terminate them. so, the federal government is forcing -- forcing these companies to terminate, you know, thousands of employees, across the country. on december 8th. and so, because we already have a critical shortage of folks that are working through the supply chain, you know, that
order would also exacerbate -- exacerbate the issue. >> okay. you are here to say, houston, we have a problem. people are already seeing grocery shelves that are empty. and you're here to say that your organization is totally supportive of vaccination? a lot of your members have taken heroic measures, trips to vegas, thousand dollar incentives to get people vaccinated. and you want the president to know it's not working. and december 8th looms. so what needs to be done? >> well, first of all, michael, i want to underscore that point, absolutely. is distribution industry is 100% pro-vaccine. you call, as soon as this was mved, it was the distribution industry that moved the vaccine and other life saving medical splice and equipment and medicine all over the country. the far reaches of the country, when the vaccine became available, we partnered with the national football league teams
and the national league of cities, that their vaccination sites to donate more than $1 million of ppe to help run the sites. and in our own facilities, 32,000 companies across the country we've been working with our employees to help get them vaccinated. offering incentives, offering timeoff. getting nurses into the facility. as you mentioned one member offered free trips to vegas. if you get vaccinated, you're thrown in a pool for that. we've done everything we can. we've incentivized them in any way we can. most of those remaining tell us if the government mandates it, fire me. and so, we've tried everything we can. and so what we're asking is simple. we want a small delay to help prepare for implementation. and we're also asking the president to amend the order to include a testing option. so, if people at the end of the
day are refusing to get vaccinated we can at least test them. we want to make sure to continue, of course, that the facilities are operated in a safe way, as they have, by the way, through the entire pandemic. >> eric, you're hearing by your membership, quick final point, that these folks would sooner walks than take the vax. they would lose their job knowingly rather than get vaccinated? >> absolutely. december 8th, a couple weeks before the christmas, we're going to be forced to lay off because the executive order tells us to do this tens of thousands of americans. and most of them are the folks that can least afford to be laid off right before christmas. and top of that, it's going to exacerbate the problems with the supply chain. if you're thinking about getting something under your christmas tree here in a couple months when the supply chain is most robust and busy throughout the year to add these challenges now, we think is a problem.
and so, we've called on the administration to amend the executive order. >> i didn't recognize the looming trouble. i'm so glad you came here and put it on everybody's radar screen. thanks so much for that. >> you're welcome. thanks for having me. >> let's see what you're saying on my social media pages. this comes from twitter. just wait until trucking companies mandate it. think it's bad now, buckle up, yeah, rot wtweiler life is one. okay. those mandates for federal contractors, presumpresumably, f those countries will say it's just not worth it. i'm going to cut loose my relationship with the federal government. either way, we're going to suffer. i'm for the vaccine, everybody getting vaccinated. so too is eric hoplin who you
just heard of. please make sure you go to my website. theus this tethers to the concept from the outset of. which political party benefits from cancel culture? up ahead, minor tactics by this. a new law aims to curb that practice. i'm going to talk to the councilman behind the so-called driving equity bill. and a kcaravan of thousands of haiti gathered near the mexico border where there's been 1.6 million arrests in the past year. can anything be done to solve this crisis? new gold bond d pure moisture lotion. 24-hour hydration. no parabens, dyes, oror fragrances. gold bond. champion your skin.
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philadelphia is aiming to become the first major u.s. city to stop the practice of police pulling over drivers for low level offenses which occur disproportionately often when the drivers are people are color. the so-called driving equality bill was passed by the city council by a vote of 14-2. it details which secondary offenses can no longer be the primary reason for pulling over a vehicle. and will instead be resolved with mail-in citations. they include missing registration card. location of temporary registration. license plate placement. single broken bulb or light. other obstruction to a mirror, et cetera. minor bumper damage, lack of infection or emission sticker. the legislation comes in the wake of several national cases
of high-profile deaths of black drivers following such routine traffic stops. think sandra bland in texas or donte wright in minnesota. walter scott in south carolina. in philadelphia, the statistics are eye-opening. the population is 42% black, but according to police statistics, analyzed by the offender association of philadelphia, 72% of the drivers pulled over are black. compared to whites, black drivers are 5.2 times as likely to be pulled over. native-americans 5.7 times, latino drivers, 1.6 times. while 94% of the drivers whose vehicles were searched were people of color. searches of white people stopped vehicles were actually more likely to turn up contraband. police can still conduct stops for nonsecondary violations. think speeding, think blowing through a stop sign. but if the mayor signed this into law the police should have
more free time to combat crime. according to the association, 90% of vehicle stops are for low-level violations so eliminating them could lead to an estimated reduction in 300,000 please encounters. joining me the councilman who initiated the bill, councilman isaiah thomas. councilman, are those conditions a condition of race or socioeconomic factors? >> well, michael, thank you for having me and your audience for the importance of this bill. for socioeconomic status or some of the stops that we're seeing, when someone gets pulled over you can't tell their socioeconomic status. i've been pulled over in the city of philadelphia more times than the years i've been driving. i've been pulled over well over 20 times. i've never lived in a
socioeconomic neighborhood. my father is a retired school teacher and i myself have been an active victim as it relates to driving while black in the city. >> in your own experience, has it not mattered that the type of car you were driving? >> i think the type of car you're driving does matter. a lot of us driving in philadelphia, we often have that talk with fathers and mentors and other adult figures in our life. and we are conscious of the cars that we drive because we understand that certain cars put you in a position where you more inclined to be pulled over and riding with certain people. >> you mentioned your father. he said to me beware of the guy with the broken taillight. this was part of a lecture about defensive driving. he didn't mean because the guy might be black or hispanic. his process was that vehicle was not well cared for, and maybe it
shows a lack of concern about how to separate something that could cause damage. you would have said what to ply old man? >> well, first of all, we're sorry to hear about your father. your father sounds very similar to my father. my father used to tell me all the time, i'm not worried about you, i'm worried about the person driving next to you. that is a significant concern. you have to reimagine the way we govern. some of those things as it relates to the next driver, we still think we can have some level of enforcement as it relates to vehicles. we have a number of messages that we want to use to be able to enforce traffic violations. and most importantly, we want to put law enforcement in position to focus on more crimes. here in the city of philadelphia, we ask law enforcement to do a lot. we feel this bill is a step in the right direction. not just to improve relations between the community and law enforcement, but also for law
enforcement to focus on more serious crime. >> maybe the most stunning statistic that i shared introducing you that 97% of the traffic stops are of the sort that no longer can be of primary basis. first of all, are law enforcement okay with this? and what are they saying about how then they'll use their time? >> so, we're very proud of the fact this was a collaborative effort. yes, this was my bill, but this bill came into fruition because of a working group that involved the police department and the city of philadelphia. the mayor's office and public defenders and other stakeholders. so, yes, this is something that law enforcement is on board with the city of philadelphia. and there's a data component with this legislation as well. we can competitively monitor the data if we're not getting it right we can offer some amend to the legislation to make sure we are getting it right. we're very proud of the fact that this is a collaborative effort. we're excited to continue to
work with law enforcement in the city of philadelphia. >> final comment, i talked about this on my radio program with you as my guest. and some callers who were in law enforcement said you're taking away our ability to exercise street smarts. i know street smarts to some are racism to others. but the whole idea that instinct and instuition are a valuable part of law enforcement. respond to that process? >> well what i would say, some of those same instincts that folks are relying on. we're seeing record levels of rife, not just in philadelphia but other cities. to take at look at all of ourselves to say what we're doing isn't right. for the crime in large part, in city of philadelphia spiking the safety concerns that we see. but at the same time, we have to recognize that something we're doing is not right. i'm excited about this idea of
reimagining what tell looks like for policing the city of philadelphia and governing the city of philadelphia. and i'm more than happy to engage with law enforcement to effectively get the legislation right. >> i know part and parcel of your legislation is all of the data will be saved and analyzed. so this is like, you know, a big lab experiment about to unfold in the city of brotherly love. thank you, councilman, appreciate you being here. >> thank you for having me. let's check in on the social media reaction. what do we have, kathryn. from twitter i think, know what black folks want is the same treatment that their white counterparts get whenever they get pulled over for a broken taillight, expired registration, et cetera, et cetera. a warning. we're about to find out on a large scale, all of those things that we put up on the screen will no longer be a primary basis for pull over a car. broken taillight among them.
we'll see how it all plays out. and the world will literally be watching. i want to remind you answer this week's survey question @smerconish.com. i said beware, democrats on the issue of cancel culture disputes because i think republicans are using them to great advantage. but i want to know what you think, which political party benefits every time there's another one of these micro aggressions that is in the news. still to come, a sorry new record at the border, 1.6 million arrests for unlawful crossings in the past year. now tens of thousands have assembled in what's being called the mother of all caravans and they're headed north. here's what the president's pick to lead customs and border protection told the senate this week. >> numbers are very high. and it is something that has to be addressed. clearly, we have a broken system. , temperature-balancing, proven quality night sleep we've ever made. save up to $1,000 on select sleep number 360 smart beds and adjustable bases.
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have skyrocketed since president biden took off. to give you a sense of the surge, here's the historic trend over the last 60 years. at a cnn town hall, president biden said this. >> i've been there before. i mean, i know it well, i guess i should go down. the whole point is i haven't had a whole hell of a lot of time to get down. >> joining me now is the president of the national border par patrol council which represents 18,000 border patrol agents and support personnel. thanks so much for being here. let's start with that caravan, what if anything do you know, of the caravan to which i just referred? >> well, what we know, we have large numbers that are coming up. now, these people are not just from one specific country. when you look at the numbers that we're dealing with now, you look at it from a historical standpoint, we're dealing with people from countries we haven't seen in the past. russia, romania, ukraine,
senegal, bangladesh. you know, we're dealing with countries around the entire world where historically we primarily dealt with people from mexico or central america. so, this caravan is very unique. compared to kcaravans in years past. >> okay. what accounts for that. you're telling me there's also a magnet approach to people around the globe viewing this as their shot to get into the united states. and they're assembling in mexico or in central america? >> well, the main magnet that we constantly deal with is the catch-early program. when people cross the border if we don't properly enforce the laws and release them into the united states pending a court hearing, that is the magnet that draws so many people across the borders illegally. and that's what we're dealing with today. when you look at, 45-year lows two years back, it was simply because we were holding every single person across the border.
and we were having them wait in mexico pending their asylum. the moment you cut that magnet off, people stop coming. but if there is a reward for violating our laws then the message is clearly sent around the world if you cross our borders illegally, you will be released into the united states. and that's what's happening today. >> is the glass half empty or the is glass half full? here's what i'm referring to, i just showed a number, 1.7 million highest ever recorded. we're doing a better job enforcing border security than ever before? >> no, i wish that was the case. if you look at the number of people able to enter el legally and evade apprehension, you have the highest numbers ever. in the month of november, 45,000 people, we never took them into custody.
it's not like we had a chance to release them. so the total number is up exponentially. and if you care calendar year to calendar year, we're going to shatter every single record. but know we're doing a good job of catching people but the large majority are able to avoid apprehension. we're not doing what we need. >> okay. quick final important question, are there significant tangible differences between the approach under president trump and president biden? or is it a matter of perception on those people who are coming into this country are seeking to that it's going to be an easier attempt to make? >> no, there's an absolute tangible difference between this administration and the last administration. >> what is it? what is it? >> this administration abolished every single immigration policy that president trump put in place, such as the remain in mexico program. once that was abolished that was an invitation for everybody to
start crossing our borders illegally. that was the main issue we were dealing with. you must hold people in custody pending their asylum or deportation proceeding. if you do not do that, they will continue to come. >> brandon judd, thank you for your time. appreciate it. >> thank you. checking in on your social media reaction, twitter, youtube, how about enforcing the law. it seemed to work when trump was in office. i just signify and jibe, you heard me asking my request, is it a perception or a reality issue? he said it's a reality issue that's caused the changes. and i thought the most interesting think he had to say is, these are not just those people coming from those countries that vice president kamala harris was charged with addressing the root cause, right? instead, it's a global magnet, people are viewing this as their chance to get in the usa without playing by the rules. still to come, more your best
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events, and then asked which political party benefits from all of these disputes? the republicans or the democrats? here come the results. 89% say the gop. that is the correct answer. with close to 13,000 people taking the time to vote. i'll leave the survey question up. keep voting. here's some of the social media reaction that came in. republicans benefit the most from the cancel culture narrative, they are hoping it riles up their base enough that they vote in droves at election time. matt, that's the point. i think the effectiveness of these disputes -- you hear the story about the docents in chicago, and you think it's just some kind of a novelty story to fill time. no, it stirs passion. so, too, the canceled university of chicago climate scientist that i had as my guest who can't go to mit not because of something he said pertaining to climate science but because of a thoughtful comment he made about equity and diversity. you can disagree with him about that, but to cancel him -- wrong
answer. here's another one that came up this week. what do we have? i'm an employer that just passed a vaccine mandate, deadline of october 15. lots of anger and noise about qui quitting. when the jobs and livelihoods are on the line few walk. i had 100% compliance in the end. look, i thought that was really significant to hear from my guest who represents 35,000 enterprises in 50 different states. i think six million employees. all in the supply chain, saying that this december 8 deadline that is looming, that work force is saying they will quit rather than be subject to a vax mandate. i'm for the mandates, but i think we ned to pay attention to that because if we already have empty shelves, imagine what it could be like going into the holiday season which is why i wanted to shine a light on that. it seems the easy fix is, okay, if you're not going to get the vax by december 8, you must be
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happening now in the newsroom -- >> this accident happened, and people are very upset and heartbroken. >> new details released in the fatal on-set shooting involving actor alec baldwin. an affidavit sheds new light on how the incident unfolded and raises questions about safety on the set. >> whoever was handling the weapons was not handling it safely. we now have booste
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