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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  May 21, 2015 1:00am-2:01am PDT

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inspectors, new technologies and visibility into the entire supply chain of our yum. >> that's the pathways. >> there we go. >> thank you for your time. that is all in for this evening, the rachel maddow show starts right now. >> i admit to being house proud about the reporting we've done on this show. >> literally the only place in america, outside of trade press on nuclear weapons is the rachel maddow show. that is not an exaggeration. >> which is both good and bad. to the extent that my obsession doesn't translate to a national news program. hearing you bring it up is like, i got a little weepy with pride. that was nice, anyway. that's it for tonight. i'm going to go home with my emotions. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
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i have it back together. this is the lesser prairie chicken. it's adorable, right? i think it's the lesser prairie chicken while dating. this is like lesser prairie chicken showing off, making the moves. it's not actually a chicken, technically it's a grouse. still, obviously very cute. if you're a grouse, very sexy. this is senator rand paul. the lesser prairie senator from the state of kentucky. senator paul right now is in hour number eight of one of his patented not exactly a filibusters. in so doing, he's providing i believe a great public service in terms of illuminating what does and doesn't get the luxury of political attention in this country. senator paul is doing that today, and i have to tell you, so is the aforementioned lesser prairie chicken.
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this is jackie speer of california, you see there's another guy sitting off her left elbow there? he looks like an unrelated by stander to what jackie is about to do. keep your eye on him, he has an important job here that he doesn't seem that psyched about. watch? >> one of our most solemn duties in congress is dealing with emerging national security threats. we eliminated bin laden. we're making progress in weakening isil. and unfortunately, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have alerted us to a new threat emerging deep in the heart of the western united states. a sort of feathery sleeper cell that just can't wait to disrupt our way of life. what is inspiring so much fear? the lesser prairie chicken. listening to this debate, you would think that the lesser prairie chicken was single handedly provided aid and
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comfort to the enemy. not just living on the prairie, and doing the occasional dance. >> i love that c-span has to widen the shot for the poor staffer whose job it is to hold up the picture of the lesser prairie chicken armed with a grenade launcher. chicken qaeda. the chicklamic state. what they did in that stunt. what they're doing is the fact that republicans in congress decided this year, that the defense bill would be an excellent hook. a convenient pointless, legislative hold into which they could stuff all sorts of things that have nothing to do with defense, even though it's the defense bill. republicans, particularly the
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excitable congressman apparently are very upset with the lesser prairie chicken. other republicans have it out for a different lesser known animal, the american burying beatle. and for a variety of reasons, republicans decided this year, that the defense bill would be a great way to get the american burying beatle and the lesser prairie chicken banned from getting any sort of federal protection. they thought they should do that stuff in the defense bill, because who would dare vote against something as important as the defense bill. let's just stick all this chicken and beatle stuff, and anything else we can find into the defense bill and pass it that way, who cares about the defense bill? who cares what's in it? >> this week the capital of anbar province in iraq, as well as one of iraq's important archeological cities, american troops are engaged in an air war in ice ice in iraq and syria. this past weekend american zell ta force commandos put boots on the ground inside syria, they flew in in black hawk helicopters.
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pretty intense on the ground fighting there they killed the isis leader and took his wife. there were u.s. boots on the ground in syria this week. the air war continues. in its eighth month now. the u.s. portion of this air war, which is the lions portion of the air war involves thousands of u.s. troops, including one f-18 crew after their fighter jet crashed into the sea after taking off from a u.s. aircraft carrier. the war that the united states military is waging against isis in iraq and syria is dangerous, complex, expensive. to the extent it counts on iraqi ground troops to do most of the fighting against isis on their own soil. this week, as isis took the an bar province city of ramadi,
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iraqi troops turned and ran. the iraqi government is mostly shiite. the iraqi army is mostly shiite. the militias are also shiite. but isis is sunni. and so is the population of most of an bar province, which is where isis took over the capital city. now, one sunni chic is directing the u.s. congress asking for them to start supporting the sunni tribes. they say is shiite, isn't doing anything to protect them at all. so they would like to deal with the u.s. congress and government directly. whether or not you see that as complicated, it is undoubtedly difficult, right?
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there's a lot to argue about in terms of the strategy, in terms of the cost, in terms of whether or not what we are doing this as a war effort is working, whether we should be doing something else instead if anything. there's a lot to debate. but there's also the lesser prairie chicken, and that's more important to congress. even as they put that prairie chicken in -- that poor little burying beatle thing into the defense bill, congress this week decided that the defense bill would be an inappropriate place to waste time voting on or even talking about our ongoing war against isis in iraq and syria. this is a nitty-gritty thing. it's a specific thing. in terms of having some political attention, some national debate about national defense, in congress there is room in that debate for the lesser prairie chicken, but not for the war. which led to congressman jim mcgovern blowing his top in congress, in one of the greater things i have seen from the floor of the house in months if not years. >> i don't know what we're doing
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in afghanistan or iraq, or what we're doing in syria now if it isn't supposedly in the name of the national defense of our country. this is the bill considered by the armed services committee. if this is not an appropriate place to talk about war, you know, and all the military equipment we're sending halfway around the world, i don't know what bill is appropriate. we are told over and over and over again these are inappropriate vehicles to talk about war. this is the armed services committee. this is the national defense authorization act. this is the bill. this funds the wars. i mean, this notion that it doesn't belong here, where does it belong? this is important stuff. and we treat war as if it's nothing. we have men and women in harm's way, and we don't even debate
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whether or not the mission is something that we support or not. this is ridiculous this is disgraceful. >> this is disgraceful. and now today in the senate, it's rand paul. declared candidate for the republican nomination for president, he took to the senate floor at 1:58 p.m. eastern time with a chest pounding e-mail from his office saying he would be there for a long time, he sent out a fund-raising e-mail which said, i will not back down, i will not yield one inch in this fight so long as my legs can stand. a spokeswoman said he will speak until he can no longer speak. so senator paul has been there for about eight hours already today. he has not been continuously speaking the whole time, and he has water and stuff he just got himself some treats from the senate candy desk. i certainly hope so.
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certain senators from both parties have joined him throughout the day, so senator paul can take a break without technically seeding the floor, he doesn't have to keep speaking the whole time. they've been speaking in his stead. he's technically holding the floor with what is a long speech. his beef today, the reason he's doing this, congress is pushing through the reauthorization of the patriot act without sufficient debate. he wants the patriot act to not be reauthorized, either way, he wants it fully debated. at the very least we should debate whether or not we are going to relinquish our rights or have a full and able debate over whether or not we can live within the constitution or whether or not we have to go around the constitution. some have said it's too late it it's too late to even get this back.
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there have been articles written in the last few weeks that say, whether the patriot act expires or not, the government will just keep on doing what they're doing. article two gives the president executive branch different powers, these aren't unlimited powers, some think they are, some say the president has the absolute power when it comes to warl. article 2 comes after article 1. the president was told that he doesn't get to initiate war, the most basic of powers with regard to war were not give tonight president, they were given to congress. what is sad about this, what's going on now is that congress hasn't shown i think sufficient interest in what the executive branch does. on a host of things. >> senator paul is right that congress has constitutional authority for making decisions about war, it's not the
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president's prerogative, it's congress's prerogative. congress is not asserting that prerogative, not just on matters that derive from the president's war powers or things that have been done in the name of things that seem like war, the issue of congress abrigating it's powers is true directly on the war itself let alone these other patriot act provisions. you can get to extrapolatable distance from the constitutional point that rand paul is making about the patriot act. on the matter of the war itself. that's not being debated either that is being excluded specifically. as rand paul holds the floor tonight and raises money, in this one man debate, it seems
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like it's important to point out he's not actually filibustering the patriot act itself tonight. what he delayed today by holding the floor was discussion and voting on amendments to the trade bill the trade bill is scheduled for a vote in the senate tomorrow at midday. if he can hold out overnight until noon tomorrow, he could succeed in delaying that one vote on the trade bill. at least for some amount of time but that's the best he could aim for in terms of what he could accomplish here. he's not going to change anything here. he's not even starting his speech while the patriot act is on the floor. this is a pointed and undoubtedly tiring political stunt he's pulling today.
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he's making this stand at a time when congress really does have a terribly serious and direct problem with that. materially, what he's doing tonight will not affect the patriot act or the actual war which is still nowhere near anyone's agenda, except for the troops who are fighting it, and have been already for eight months. >> joining us now from the capitol hill is frank gore. i understand that senator paul is still on the senate floor. do you have any expectation for how long this could go on? >> well, they haven't said, but we're expecting him to go until at least after midnight. >> you had mentioned that he wasn't going to be affecting the fisa bill, i mean, if i goes past midnight tonight, senator mcconnell is trying to start the process for getting on the usa
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freedom act. it was the bill that passed with 338 votes last week, that would take the collection of telephone metadata and move it from being stored with the government, and instead have the telephone companies store it instead. and so, senator mcconnell wanted to start the process to get that vote going, and if senator rand paul goes past midnight tonight, he won't be able to do that, he will only be able to do that tomorrow. technically his speech on the floor could delay the consideration of that bill, but it only adds a day to the calendar, it only makes the prospect of being here over the weekend greater. >> in terms of potential delay, that being the nuclear consequence that he could cause by what he's doing, how do his fellow senators feel about that? >> a lot of them say, this is the prerogative to speak out against the fisa provisions he
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opposes, we asked him specifically this question. i'd say i'd rather him do it now than on the weekend. he's doing this speech on the trade bill. if he really wanted to filibuster or delay the fisa bill, he could speak on the fisa bill. what's happening now is, he's going to speak we're going to have votes tomorrow. he has to stop by noon tomorrow at the latest. it would be impressive if he were to make it that far. it's unclear if he'll make it that far. they'll have a vote on the fast track trade bill sometime tomorrow morning, as late as 1:00 in the afternoon, and they'll move on to fisa. >> and senator paul will presumably have a lot more e-mail addresses on his e-mail list and have greater fund-raising opportunities derived from this. in terms of other material consequence, the time is so tight at the end of the session now, wanting to go home for
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memorial day, it will be interesting to see what happens, we won't know what those consequences will be until he stops talking. thank you, sir, i know it's going to be a long night. we have lots more ahead on a very busy news night, please stay with us. in this one state, two u.s. ed to food odors in your car. you think it smells fine but your passengers smell this.. eliminate odors you've gone noseblind to for up to 30 days with the febreze car vent clip. smells nice... so you and your passengers can breathe happy. that's going to go right in your glove. ohhh. oh. see that? great job. ok, now let's get ready for the ball... here it comes... here you go. good catch. perfect! alright now for the best part. let's see your pour. ohhh...let's get those in the bowl. these are way too good to waste, right? oh, yea. let's go for it... around the bowl and... [ male announcer ] share what you love... with who you love. mmmmm. kellogg's frosted flakes... they're g-r-r-reat! good catch dad. [ laughs
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in this one state, two u.s. senators are both republican. governor republican, lieutenant governor republican, secretary of state, attorney general, state treasurer, state auditor. their legislature is 3 to 1 republican. that state just did something shockingly liberal, and they seem legitimately shocked they just did it, but they just did it, and that story is coming right up.
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we have been wondering about this for days and days and weeks and weeks, and we finally know, very exciting, possibly game changing news tonight in the race for the republican nomination for president. by now you will recognize our beloved running master tally of declared and likely mainstream presidential candidates so far. we've only been able to poof three people off of our template. indiana governor mike pence. the other 19 people on this sheet are all apparently still many it. that's created this awesome numerical challenge for the republican party. how do you hold a debate with that many people in the running?
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we now know how many of them are going to be allowed into the first official republican debate, and how those candidates will be chosen and it's been decided by fox news. fox news is hosting the first debate on august sixth, and today they announced who's going to get to be in it. to get a spot in that all important republican debate. must place in the top ten of the five most recent polls. if you're in the top ten, you're in, claim your podium. and here's a fun prospect. if there's a tie in the polling, i mean, i don't know how many decimals they're going to go to here, if there's a tie, they say the top ten could be more than ten, so if three of these candidates tie for tenth place, with 0.7% of the vote or something, you could get a dozen podiums up there or more. so let's say there will be approximately ten candidates in the first debate, probably less
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than a dozen, but we don't know. ed debate is a few months away yet, if you were going to do the averaging of the five most recent polls right now, these would be your debate contenders. mike huckabee, chris christie, donald trump and rick perry. we would be left without lindsey graham, bobby jindal, carly fee fiorina. george pataki. until the following month when they can all get together for a debate on cnn. cnn released their criteria for a debate, which the network will be hosting in september. cnn says they're going to divide their debate into two parts.
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one with the candidates polling in the top ten with tie breakers to make sure there are just ten people up there. and then there will be another heat with everybody else, which is going to be the fun one, that's the candidates who have at least 1% in the polls. i don't actually know how many podiums yet. we get ten candidates is the headliners in the cnn planet, the rest, i think. i don't know if they do them as an opening act or the late show. i don't know, but everybody be kind to your bartender. joining us is steve kornacki. i had no idea how this was going to work out. was this the most likely scenario all along and i didn't see it coming? >> how cute were they going to be with the criteria, a lot of people -- there's been some talk that republicans are sensitive to the idea of having a bunch of male republicans on the stage
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bashing hillary clinton and leaving out the one female candidate in the race. >> if you have 10 to 15 candidates up there, she's running probably about 13th place, if you want to extend the criteria in some way that includes her, it's lard to leave out someone like george pataki, there are obvious problems with this, first of all, the question is, the average of five most recent polls. which are they going to allow? they didn't say. ppp, a pretty credible firm, but a democratic firm, i'm assuming they're not going to include that. a lot of these polling averages we look at do include now. the bigger problem is this, there's no consensus among pollsters, about who to include in these polls. the average poll, one will include george pataki, one won't. one will include rick perry, one won't. rand paul is in all of them, you get down near that cut line, around the 10 spot, you do not
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have any consensus about who to include in these polls, these polls are going to be the basis of who to include in these debates, the differential we're talking about, between seventh place and 14th place is like two points. i mean, margin of error stuff we're talking about. >> and this is an incredibly hilarious, but also important decision, right? it's one thing when we had two ga distal ondebates and everyone got to call their own debate, people had them at their houses and you see who show up. some of them were on tv, some of them on the internet and some just in glenn beck's mind. in this case, they have limited the number, if you're not there,
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if you're not on the stage, especially if 10 other people are, you're de facto gone. >> we saw the power of these debates. newt gingrich is running at 10%. he had that debate moment with john king. he asked him about extra-marital affair, he explodes on john king, he goes from 10 to 41% in the span of 3 or 4 days on the strength of the debate performance. if you talk about the people around chris christie. his entire strategy rests on getting in the debate and getting one of those moments. they think he's capable of that personality. the youtube moments he's had the last few years. all these candidates, you can look at them and make fun of them now, because they're sitting at half a perfect and why are they running, they look at the debate with the same opportunity. if newt gingrich could jump 30 points in three days, so can i. >> they have a polling this remember hold they need to hit. >> they have to get included in those polls first. >> they have to start lobbying the pollsters. >> right. >> if you know a pollster, get them to delist their phone number. thank you so much.
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appreciate it. much more ahead, including the shockingly liberal thing that legislators just did in a very red state, please stay with us. so when my husband started getting better dental checkups than me i decided to go pro... with crest pro-health advanced. my mouth is getting healthier. my teeth are getting stronger. this crest toothpaste is superior in five areas. great checkup. test test test
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we've been the only national newscast over the past few days. because we thought something important might be about to happen here. now it's finally happened, we thought it might happen, and now it did. in the unlikely setting of lincoln, nebraska, they voted to
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outlaw the death penalty in that state. >> the record should be crystal clear on what it is we're doing. it is historic. we have the opportunity to take one small step for the legislature, a giant leap for civilization. thank you, mr. president. >> senator, oh, give him a break, that's nebraska senator ernie chambers who has been working to try to repeal the death penalty for 40 years, don't call time on him today, now that he's finally getting it done. getting it done with almost unbelievable numbers. in nebraska, they have 49 legislators, they all sit in one house, which is technically nonpartisan. they're thought to have 3-1 in the legislature. the vote is astonishing, 32-15. that's a huge imagine order. voting to repeal the death penalty in nebraska.
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that was not only a big enough vote to override a filibuster. it was enough for a veto. the governor should get the bill on his desk, once he vetoes it, we'll find out whether those 32 votes are going to hold. obviously, even though this is nebraska, i had a feeling this is going to happen, that's why we've been watching it, now here it is. like we always say, watch this space, we're going do have more on this in the coming days, the veto inevitably comes from the governor, and the pressure is going to get tense, as to whether or not that vote is going to stand. anybody who tells you the news is predictable. they have not been watching amazing stories like that one. stay with us.
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during last night's show, we started to get in the first pictures from the big oil spill on the california coast right outside santa barbara. the initial images from the spill were gross and worrying, over the course of the day today, as the cleanup effort got going it started to feel like
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the footage, the pictures that we were getting out of that oil spill on the coast in california, the footage seemed more dramatic than the headlines that were describing what just happened there. it seemed like it looked worse than what they were saying. and so, if you looked at pictures like this one today, for example, which is in today's l.a. times and you thought, you know what, that looks bigger than 21,000 gallons of oil, it turns out you were right. because earlier tonight they upped the estimate of the amount of oil spilled on the california coast yesterday, they no longer think it's like 21,000 gallons of oil, they think it's more like five times that amount. over 100,000 gallons, even as they upped that estimate tonight. it still seems like the headlines in the reporting of the spill have not really caught up to how bad it really is. all day long, it's been reported there are no problems in terms of wildlife being affected by this big mile's long oil spill. the pictures from the scene tell
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a different story. this cleanup guy holding up a dead oiled fish. lucy nicholson pointed for reuters, shooting this -- and then there's this one, another oil covered fish, this one also from the reuters photographer. collecting and laying out samples of dead oiled wildlife on the beach that they're documenting and taking pictures of. the reporting basically all day today has been that no animals have been known to be affected by this spill. this was not a drilling spill or an oil train derailment or an exxon val tease derailment, this was a pipeline, buried underground on land right next to the 101 free way in southern california, it was a few hundred yards from the beach, the way they discovered this pipeline leak, the way it often happens with the pipeline leak, is that they don't know when it actually
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started, but by about 11:30 a.m. local time yesterday, it had been going for long enough it had produced a big stink, and a local woman called 911, when she smelled what she thought was a gas spill or an oil spill. first responders responded to her claims, these when they realized the coast was covered in oil, and that oil had come from somewhere, run down the beach and started gushing into the pacific ocean, by yesterday afternoon, they said the oil patch was four miles long already, and moving quickly up the california coast. by today they said it was nine miles long, and they said they had to significantly up the cleanup and containment effort as well as the estimate of how much oil had spilled. this thing that burst is a 24 inch pipeline. the pipeline was built in 1991, the county said today they thought this pipeline was supposed to have some kind of automatic shutoff system that would shut the thing down instantly, as soon as there was
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any small change in the pressure. and now it's clear that the scale of this thing is yet to be fully understood. after that woman reported that bad smell at 11:30 yesterday morning and the first responders came to check it out, they traced the smell to the oil, where it was coming from, once they figured out where it was coming from, once they figured out it was the underground pipeline, the coast guard says it took them another three hours to stop the leak. that's once they knew what it was that was leaking. how long was it leaking before that poor woman even called 911? there's definitely more to come on this story, at this point, one of the challenges here is apparently going to be forcing ourselves to come to terms with how big a disaster this actually is. to be continued.
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we have very rarely if ever had a guest for the interview here on this show who is coming here to our studio tonight straight from federal prison. but we've got that happening tonight, stay with us. introducing new downy fresh protect, it's like deodorant for your clothes. just toss it in with detergent and like deodorant, it neutralizes odors on the spot so your clothes smell great all day. new downy fresh protect, wash in the wow are you so congested... it feels like that brick's on your face? try zyrtec®-d to powerfully clear your blocked nose and relieve your other allergy symptoms. so you can breathe easier all day. zyrtec®-d. find it at the pharmacy counter.
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in july 2012, three people broke into the y-12 national security complex in tennessee. it's known as the ft. knox of america's uranium. where we house all of our nuclear warhead uranium.
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one of those sneaks was snuck into y-12 was this woman, sister meagan rice. she's a nun. along with two other protesters, she snuck into y 12, spray painted some slogans, anti-war slogans, didn't break anything necessarily, but they did make a little bit of deliberate peaceful mess, they then sat down and sang and ate some knacks. and they waited to be arrested, and they were arrested, and ultimately convicted of destruction of government property and sabotage. sister meagan was sentenced to three years in prison, 35 months, her co-conspirators got five years in prison. now, having served just two years in prison, they are all free suddenly. a federal appeals court last week decided to uphold their convictions for destruction of property. the court overturned the more serious conviction of sabotage saying, if a defendant blew up a building used to manufacture
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components for nuclear weapons, the government could demonstrate an adverse effect on the nation's ability to attack or defend. vague platitudes about a facilities crucial role in the national defense are not enough to convict a defendant of sabotage. so, yes, the octogenarian nun and her friends embarrassed the u.s. government by breaking into this site. the court ruled that in so doing, they are not trying to materially interfere with the defense of america. the court ordered them released immediately, after two years in federal prison, they finally get to go home. joining us now is sister meagan rice. sister meagan, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you so much for having me. >> your life is clearly a mission driven, purpose driven life, why did you decide to do that?
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>> having been out of the country most of my life, nearly 40 years of it, and expecting to stay in west africa, i was called to come back, and i knew that if i had to live in the united states full time that i had to do something about nuclear weapons, or join those who are doing things to control and reverse the manufacture of nuclear weapons. >> when you engage in activism about nuclear weapons, how do you know you're doing the right thing? not how do you know you're trying to do the right thing, how do you know it's working? >> because i know the science of it, and from a very young age, i've been exposed to the reality of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. >> you have spent two years in federal prison. did you know that that was a real prospect when you engaged in this?
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>> absolutely. >> not just getting arrested but real federal prison time was a prospect? >> absolutely. in this country the way it is, we know -- it's an assumption in fact. >> would you do it again now, knowing that's what you would have to go through? >> well, i mean if it were necessary, you do, surely. it continues -- i mean, it's not that you go to prison in order to end nuclear weapons, but it just happens, the idea is that we have to convey the truth that nuclear weapons are destructive of the planet. >> in terms of what happens next for you, obviously, i am not going to pry, but i assume you need some personal time to recover from what you've been through. do you have plans to continue your activism, continue your work? >> i don't see it as -- i think it's the shared responsibility of everyone and it doesn't really matter what -- of course it matters, but whatever we're doing to oppose and expose the evil of -- use of authority -- of nuclear weapons is equally important, because there's so
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many angles of information that need to be exposed. >> sister meagan rice, nuclear activist, catholic nun, welcome home. >> thank you so much. >> it's good to have you. >> we'll be right back today after brushing listerine® total care strengthens teeth, helps prevent cavities and restores tooth enamel. it's an easy way to give listerine® total care to the total family. listerine® total care. one bottle, six benefits. power to your mouth™.
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is an exciting day. >> oh, is it? >> we have a dog that answers the phone. we have a talking dog. we have a gold fish that spits. and we have a gopher that darns, i believe. >> as opposed to danding. >> it's great.
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stupid pet tricks today. also, we brought in a slow motion disk of the replay of pet tricks. >> i see. >> that's what television is all about, huh? >> and that's it? >> that's it? that was vary young comedian named david letterman back in 1980 before he had a late night show talking to a bewildered interviewer about what turned into one of his signature bits, not just pet tricks, but specifically stupid put trickes. >> that's a great looking dog. what is he going to do with us tonight, marty? >> he walks a bag on his head. >> okay. walks with a bag on his head, ladies and gentlemen. yeah! yeah! yes, sir. what a dog. >> now, do you want me to hold him?
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>> just pull that out. >> i'll pull it out. okay. come on, poly. come on. come on. unbelievable! >> play dead. >> tonight, david letterman is hosting his last show after 33 years. but when he started out, really, nobody could have predicted that this guy would com become comedy's trojan horse, sneaking subversion to a generation and more while disguised as an indiana insurance salesman. instead of becoming a new voice of authority from his perch at late night, a new version of the man on tv, david letterman deliberately proceeded to break all of the rules of late night television. >> we here at late night have a similar philosophy. it goes like this. give me an 80-ton hydraulic press and we can crush anything. >> a little syrup, sure.
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>> hi. you want comedy? you want real comedy? all right. here we go. a parachute and a frozen turkey. get ready to laugh until your jaws lock up. here we go. >> i love the sound of that bowling ball hitting concrete. that's all right. fine tune your aim here. it's okay. that should do something. >> nice. why not? it's just tv. why not do anything you want on tv? david letterman did not invent deliberate self-consciousness and irony, right?
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black people, gay people, jews, marginal groups of all kinds that felt silence from -- of america have all used sarcastic irony as a weapon of choice since the beginning of time. here was this insider guy in one of the plum jobs in all of entertainment cheerfully crushing his late night inheritance in his own weird outsidery way five nights a week. as the years passed, david letterman went on to become an american cultural phenomenon and an american cultural fixture and an american cultural institution. his influence so ubiquitous, you can't remember the country without him. but just when it felt like everything in our culture was coated in layers of irony that he, of course, helped to popularize, david letterman himself went the other way. he didn't just stick with irony, right? it went the other way showing flashes of cantankerous piercing honesty that were barely hinted at by the younger version of
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himself that got him to where he was. >> maybe you heard the big news, john mccain, senator john mccain, republican candidate for president was supposed be on the program tonight. were you aware of that? yep. but he had to cancel the show because he is suspending his campaign because the economy is exploding. >> so at the last minute, he calls and he says, oh, i can't make it. >> i can't make it. >> i can't make it. and i said, what -- what is the problem? and he said, well, the economy, he said, the economy is about to crater. so we find out today he didn't really leave until this morning. >> didn't go until this morning. >> thank you. >> can i give you an answer? >> please. >> i screwed up. >> i've been away for a while. while i was gone, i had quin up theel bypass surgery on my heart!
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plus, i got a haircut. ladies and gentlemen, after what i have been through, i am just happy to be wearing clothing that opens in the front. so keep this in mind. you're talking to a dumb guy. so i'm just going to ask you dumb guy questions. >> okay. >> what happened to al qaeda and why does isis seem to hate us more than al qaeda and why does al qaeda hate us in the first place? >> okay. um, al qaeda is still there. they hate us as much as ever. but they also hate isis. >> so they hate isis. >> which is -- they hate isis. they think that isis is too extreme. and when that message is coming from al qaeda, you know it's time to listen. >> i know you know exactly what happened. you know i know you know. and what it was was some kind of horseplay. am i right? >> no.
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>> wait a minute. wait a minute. i was told it was horseplay. i'll just say this. when i say the words ladies and gentlemen, barack obama, president of the united states, and i look over and it's you walking over here, i get a little, you know, kind of a thing. it's overwhelming. >> well, dave, let me just say this. and i mean this sincerely. and i know i speak for michelle, she probably had a chance to say it herself. we've grown up with you. the country, i think, has, you know, after a tough day at the office or coming home from work knowing you've been there to give us a little bit of joy, a little bit of laughter, it has meant so much. and, you know, you're part of all of us. and so -- >> well, thank you. >> for you to -- >> thank you very much. >> you've given us a great gift and we love you. >> all that and a gold fish that
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sits and a dog that answers the phone and another one that walks with a bag on his head. we will miss every single thing about david letterman. we will miss you, david we will miss every single thing ant david letterman. "first look" is up next. >> it's thursday may 2nd 1s right now on "first look," breaking news in a murder mystery that left four people dead. then the oil spoil along the california coast has spread over 9 miles. newly revealed insight into osama bin laden. plus the end of a television era. david letterman signs off with an all-star top ten and can you guess what day it is around here? any hints? if you're not quite sure it's red nose day. >> you look great. >> we'll tell you all