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The Nerd Avengers Reunited, Part I

Bringing the band back together
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The Nerd Avengers got together for the first time in a couple of months yesterday to discuss the ruling from Judge Engoron in New York, what it might mean for the future of Donald’s business dealings in the city (and state), whether or not it’s going to make a difference in the grand scheme of things (hint: it should, but we’re skeptical); and, most importantly, whether Trump Tower will be renamed in honor of E. Jean Carrol.

Because this was a last-minute emergency session we met twice so everybody had a chance to participate. Part I features Norm Ornstein, Dahlia Lithwick, Waj Ali, and Kurt Bardella, and Brian Karem. Part II, which I’ll post tomorrow, features Danielle Moodie, Jen Rubin, Jen Taub, with a repeat appearance by Brian.

To watch the whole video, become a paid subscriber. I promise you, the Nerds rock:

The Nerd Avengers Reunited, Part I


[Here’s the transcript of Part I, edited for flow and clarity.]

Mary Trump’s Nerd Avengers, Wednesday, 27 September, 2023, Part I

MARY

Hello and welcome back finally to The Nerd Avengers. This is an emergency session to deal with the emerging news out of the greatest city on the planet, which is doing the work.

Dahlia, Brian, it's so good to be back with you guys. I thought that this was a good reason to get the band back together and kick off Nerd Avengers 2.0. I think we actually said this last time, but it's now September; it's not the middle of summer anymore, and the timeline has been compressed. A lot of other things have happened, and here we are, Dahlia, at what seems to be yet another inflection point.

There are a whole bunch of ways that we can look at this. I'm interested in the ways in which each of these indictments or separate cases is coming at the myth of Donald from a different direction. Just as a New Yorker and for personal reasons, why is it that we're seeing what looks like such a damning case that the judge is essentially saying, “We don't even need to go to trial. “ Why did Bill Barr choose not to pursue this?

There's that, and then I think the bigger question, and obviously it's one we can’t answer, but I do think it's worth speculating about, is what's the tipping point? Is there one? Can we stop pretending that Donald is the problem and look at the machinery that's propelling him onward despite what is absolutely damning evidence of his. . . Well, we know the list of adjectives, so we don't need to go through them again.

What's your quick take on this in the context of everything else that's going on? Does this have a certain weight that some of the other cases might not have or a certain relevance that might click with some people in a way the other cases don't?

DAHLIA

First of all, it's great to be with you and it's good to be back. I missed The Nerds more than I care to admit. I think the specific thing we're talking about is, as you say, a judge finding that Donald Trump committed fraud by repeatedly misrepresenting his wealth by hundreds of millions of dollars. As you said, this piece of it is decided even before we get to trial to figure out what happens next. In any normal world, this is a stunning defeat, and it gets worse. The judge cancels all of the business licenses for the Trump Organization and its 500-or-so subsidiary companies. I can't remember who said it, but this is the death penalty, right?

MARY

It was Joyce Vance, "Corporate death penalty."

DAHLIA

That's hugely consequential, and that's why you brought the band back together. I think, just to answer your two framing questions and then we can dig in, one throughline is clearly Donald Trump is a liar and he lies about everything. That is the through line between so many of the issues whether it's Alvin Bragg's case, whether it's January 6th, or whether it's E. Jean Carroll. He is an inveterate, incurable liar who lies about everything and, as you suggested, Mary, never gets caught.

One theme here, and we've talked about this so often in this space, is why did the law take such a freaking long time to catch up with him? I think this sense of frustration and quasi relief, but uncertainty about whether this is the tipping point is really the beating heart of the question of when the law takes years to catch up. I think you flicked at this, this is not conduct that started four years ago. This is not conduct that started 15 years ago. This is conduct that has been allowed to, with impunity, proceed for decades. That's one thing. Why is the law so stinking slow and particularly in a case where somebody is determined in a summary judgment to be a stinking liar. That's one question.

The harder question that I can't begin to answer, but, holy cow, we do it on your show every single time, is does this matter?

I that I interviewed Marc Elias, the voting rights litigator, on my show a few weeks ago to talk about Alabama simply refusing to draw new maps in the face of a Supreme Court order from June that said, "Draw new maps." The very chilling thing he said to me is that we have achieved a point at which the lawlessness is an end in itself; that flagrantly violating the law is the end game here, and that we need to be super clear as we rack up these, quote, unquote, wins.

Whether it's Judge Chutkan in D.C., whether it's the E. Jean Carroll case one, whether it's this litigation, we have to really ask ourselves whether the end game here is accountability, which is what we think because that's the fact-based, law-based world we live in, or whether the end game is we're going after Hunter Biden. We have no facts. There is nothing to find. There have been multiple investigations, and we don't care because this doesn't matter. Lawlessness is the goal here. If that second thing is true, this matters not at all.

MARY

Well, okay, I actually think it is the second thing which will be made worse by the fact that two of Donald's adult children are in the same boat he's in right now, yet they're still going to make it about Hunter Biden. I just want to take a pause, welcome Waj, welcome Kurt, who is clearly in a self-driving car.

Just hoping it's not a Tesla.

It's so great to see you guys. I thought this was a great time to bring everybody back.

To Dahlia’s point, what makes this time so dangerous is that the entire Republican party machine, almost all elected Republicans, won't do anything. Unlike the Democrats who are jumping out of the Bob Menendez boat, nobody of consequence in the Republican party is going to come out against Donald or suggest that the Republican party take a new tack.

The only hope we have is that the media starts doing its job. I don't mean the media is going to reform itself overnight, but at least start paying attention to things in a way that is semi-serious. The third potential consequence here is the impact on the voters. Obviously, that has a lot to do with the first two, but this fraud case is very clear. Unlike the January 6th case, unlike the documents case, unlike even the RICO case in Georgia—as damning as all of those are for people who pay attention and get the nuances—this fraud case in New York isn't subtle. Donald is somebody who from the time the egg was fertilized has been a criminal, committing fraud against pretty much everybody in his orbit. Not that I know anything about that personally.

Brian, what's your take?

BRIAN

Well, I’ve missed you guys, and thanks for putting this together, Mary.

How this affects the voting populace I guess is the bottom line because there are about five or six states where all of this is going to matter, where everyone hasn't made up their minds. It's going to be in those swing states, but that's for the election.

To Dahlia’s point about the accountability and how it's lawlessness for lawlessness' sake, I'll push back a little bit. It's not that Donald Trump has never been caught. It's that he always gets caught and always gets out of it. Everybody knows he's a crook, a liar, a cheat, a thief, a scum, and he's been nailed on it many times, but it just doesn't seem to matter.

With the [corporate] death sentence imposed in New York, I think you're seeing the accountability coming swift and, to Donald Trump, there's nothing more frightening than that. He's already put out at least five press releases this morning talking about how he's been stripped of his civil rights and, "By the way, can you give me $47 for this mug with my face on it?" He continues to grift

Also, to Dahlia’s point, at the end of the day, does it matter? Yes, I think ultimately it does. I still do not believe that Donald Trump will be on the ballot in 2024. Whether he is resting in prison or they've condemned Alcatraz and they've nicknamed it the new Mar-a-Lago West and tossed him in there and charged 20 bucks for people to watch him wave at the cage, I don't know, but I do know that the sheer weight of what's going on, particularly with the 91 felony charges in four different jurisdictions, the continuing pressure that he's facing civilly, being called a fraud and a rapist in a civil court. . .

In his own statement saying he would negotiate with the Democrats on abortion, that takes away some of the people that were for him before in the Evangelical Movement.

He is bleeding support and, at the end of the day, it's all about the grift. It's just him trying to grift people for money. He won't be on the ballot, and there's going to be a horrible, nasty, stinking hole to fill and there's horrible, nasty, stinking people in the GOP who will fill it.

MARY

Waj, Joe Biden is old, so I mean, who fucking cares?

WAJ

Joe Biden wears sneakers so he avoids tripping.

MARY

The controversies that occur in the Biden administration every day. Seriously though, the concern is that, because the media has committed such incredible journalistic malpractice over the last six years, all of this is just assumed to be baked in. Yeah, he's a liar. Yeah, he's a racist. Yeah, he's a misogynist. Yes, he's an anti-immigrant scum. Yes, he's a crook. Oh, well, day ending in Y, but we're going to vote for him anyway because of whatever that fill in the blank is.

I have to be honest with you. Even though this does feel like weight pushing us past the tipping point, in what way has he been held accountable? I mean, nothing's happened. Any of us here would've been in prison two years ago or probably six decades ago. I guess that's one of the things, Waj, that makes this a little bit fraught, shall we say.

WAJ

Two things, number one, I missed all of you guys and it's nice to see everyone. I get emails and messages all the time asking how everyone's doing, how Mary’s doing, when will we get back together, which is nice and comforting. I only joined up to see you all and hear you, and hearing you always is edifying and clarifying. It's the opposite of that fraughtness and dread and gaslighting, because I think I'm not the only one thinking these things.

When it comes to accountability, you asked me the big-picture question and the media question. We can focus on the media question, but I just want to say I'm going to lean in with Brian here. Generally, I am a pragmatist as a historian of American politics, and seeing the fact that Donald Trump has lived a life of whiteness, wealth, cruelty privilege and become a vulgarian who has brazenly flaunted his sins publicly for years and gotten away with it and yet, thanks to, in part, Black women, Fani Willis, Letitia James, judge Chutkan, they're not having it. I believe our colleague, Joyce, called this a the death sentence—they're going after his business licenses. This is Trump Organization and his two sons, which I think should be bigger news—

MARY

No. Hunter Biden.

WAJ:

Yes, exactly. So the question that I had is how come it took so long for a man who is so recklessly committed to criminality to be held accountable? Same question of Epstein. Same question of Weinstein. Go down the list, and that is a critique of our system that allows wealth and whiteness to succeed and there's a double-standard at play.

Now, speaking about the both-siderism of media, I've come to a conclusion, Mary. I don't believe that corporate media has the willingness or the ability to be agile and adapt to the moment. You said six years, Mary. I'm going to go back 2015, eight years, and it's going to be nine years real quick.

MARY

I forgot what year it was, but, yes, it 2015.

WAJ

I know you get so overwhelmed. I don't think the media are built for this moment. I don't think they're built for this fight. I don't think they're made for this moment. I don't think they have the stuff, and even if they did, they'd fail us. I'll say this before I talk about my strategy of how you both-sides this. When a Mehdi Hasan or a Christiane Amanpour, or Jonathon Swan—who learned from Mehdi: These three people do what is considered a hard-hitting interview that goes viral. You sit there and you say, "Hats off to your talent,” but this is an indictment of the media industry.

When Mehdi's Vivek Ramaswamy clipped went viral, Lawrence O'Donnell, tweeted, "The sad part is no one else has the skillset." Lawrence indicted his own community. You tongue in cheek said, "But watch Biden's age," and look at the coverage right now, because the media are not going to evolve, it's going to be this avalanche, this scale that is growing.

The counter, Mary, is going to be Biden's dog bit some people; Biden wears sneakers; Biden might have arthritis, so what I do counter to that? I hate even saying this because it's such an indictment of our industry, but I've been tweeting, "Donald Trump, who is 77 years old, who I've never seen ride a bike, who looks rough as hell, who I've never seen eat a vegetable, went on TV during a rally last week and said that you need voter ID to buy bread, that he faced Obama, not Biden, and that he fears World War II, which we won. After all that, I said-

NORM

Don’t forget Jeb Bush.

MARY

That's right, President Jeb Bush.

WAJ

Oh, by the way, do you know who else was included into the judge's ruling yesterday? Donald Trump's sons. I think, moving forward, what we have to do, Mary, and I'll close it up this way, if you are expecting corporate media to be agile and adapt, I give you Kristen Welker.

Instead, what I'm doing, and I'm going to try this out for the next month, let's go along with both sides. Let's do it. Hunter Biden, I give you Don Jr., Eric and Ivanka. Biden's Health? I give you Donald Trump. Questions of senility? Let's look at the clips, and then the scales are so tipped because of the 91 criminal counts and abortion which, by the way, is going to bring women out—I think it'll be enough. I think it'll be enough. That's the optimism.

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MARY

But Biden is losing by nine points--thank you, ABC, Washington Post. I wrote about that poll not because the poll itself is of any significance—I don't care about polls right now—I care about the fact that they published it. I think, to your point and Brian’s point, that that's what we're up against. It was just recklessly irresponsible to publish that poll because people only look at the numbers. They don't look at the methodologies. I think Brian flagged this earlier. Yes, we do need to be saying corporate media. We are the mainstream media, and we need to embrace that and let other people know that we are representative of what people are really questioning and wondering about and worrying about. This might come as a shock. I'm glad you're all sitting down but I don't have to worry about an advertiser pulling their $10 million ad buy.

Not yet. Not yet anyway. We're not beholden to anybody.

Kurt, I want to talk about the last thing that Waj mentioned, but first I want to flag this. Waj mentioned Epstein and Weinstein. Why did it take so long? I'm not saying Donald's crimes are worse than theirs, but the fact that it's taken so long to start holding him accountable is worse because of the position to which he was elevated. The fact that the vetting wasn't done, the fact that he was allowed to get into the Oval Office and bring this country to the brink is a stain we will never get out. The fact that we're here in 2023, and we weren't here in 2015, is such an indictment of the system.

Kurt, as to strategies, Waj said it apologetically that he's mentioning Donald's age, etc. In this fight, we have to attack along a broad spectrum, the intelligent, nuanced conversations that we have on the one hand and, on the other hand, derisive mocking, merciless mocking.

Also, for those of you who don't know, Biden, when he was elected in 2020, didn't stop getting older. His age is not news. But if it's going to be mentioned, then Donald's age has to be. I tweeted last night about all of Donald's crimes, and added, “by the way, he's old.” So, I think it's all fair game, right, Kurt?

I mean, we have to use every arrow in our quiver.

KURT

Yeah. I mean, I feel like now, especially after yesterday, if in every single news story, every single segment, the first time Donald Trump's name is mentioned, the word fraud isn't included in that, the media is failing at their job because anybody else in any other circumstance would be given that. Look at every story that's going to be written about Bob Menendez going forward, and the word “indicted” will appear before his name.

Why would we not hold Donald Trump to the same standard since he’s not just been indicted 91 times, but convicted of fraud as well as sexual assault, abuse, rape, etc. And the media's ongoing reluctance to use these facts, which they would apply to anybody else if they experienced the same type of legal jeopardy is the ultimate failure.

It's not like Donald was being subtle and hiding his crimes. He has been bragging and boasting about them in. He has confessed to them in the public domain multiple times. It'd be like if we robbed the bank, tweeted about it, posted on Instagram about it, sent out an email fundraiser, and weren't arrested for five years after the fact. It's insane.

And the fact that he was allowed to exit his presidency and have the delay of justice and accountability to the point where he is now in a position once again to be the Republican nominee, he could conceivably be the President of the United States someday. That is the ultimate failure of our entire judicial checks and balances system.

And we came to the brink of Democratic collapse. People forget about this—the evening of January 6th, the majority of the Republicans in the United States House of Representatives went back to that floor and voted against certifying a free and fair election. One party has already withdrawn. There is a vote count. They have withdrawn from the Democratic experiment. And if we allow this guy to get within one election, one vote away from reclaiming that throne, we'll never survive.

MARY

We won't survive. And I'm really glad you brought up that last point. Thanks in large part to the herculean task that Dahlia is undertaking in trying to keep track of all the horrors happening in the Supreme Court, we see in real time in the Supreme Court what happens when an institution is incapable of policing itself. We never talk about that in the context of Congress.

And it's the same thing. The fact that we have active insurrectionists, pro-seditionists, not just in our government, but running our government should keep all of us up at night. Yet it never gets addressed, there's no mechanism in place.

So, hopefully, Donald will implode, metaphorically speaking, but the Republican Party is still going to be the anti-Democratic, anti-American, pro fascist, pro-insurrection party. So, where does that get us?

Norm, one of the frustrations, especially for somebody who was born and bred in New York, and in that family, is that we've known all of this forever and yet it's still being litigated. The court rule that Donald is a fraud. Why doesn't this stuff get traction? It's so self-evident.

We had the 2018 New York Times piece, which just blew his myth about Donald’s being a self-made man out of the water. In his lifetime, until my grandfather died, he got over $413 million in gifts, trust funds, and unpaid loans. After my grandfather died, he got another couple of hundred million dollars. This empire they're referring to never belonged to him.

What happened yesterday is that Donald Trump finally destroyed his father's entire legacy. It's breathtaking. Usually, it takes three generations for wealth to evaporate. He did it in less than one.

So, Norm, why is this stuff so intractable? It's very hard to hang on to reasonable certainty about how things are going to unfold when we're still having to make the same arguments and make the same case over and over and over again and the needle's not moving.

NORM

New York is a corrupt state. It has been for a very long time at every single level. I go back to when Donald went to the jeweler in Trump Tower, Bulgari, and bought jewelry and got the staff there to say it was shipped up from Florida so he wouldn't have to pay city and state tax.

And what happened? The employees of the jeweler got fired and prosecuted and nothing happened to Donald. For decades, he bribed local officials, he did all kinds of things that got him to a place where he could get away with anything. And now, decades later, it's catching up with him.

Let's focus on the former district attorney in New York who, for a long period of time, took campaign contributions, large ones, from Donald’s lawyers from Trump himself. Let's look at the fact that the US Attorney's Office, not just when Bill Barr quashed any investigation by the Southern District, but even before that. The fact that Donald was inflating these numbers by so much is outrageous. What about the fact that he got basically a billion dollars in federal tax breaks for inflating the values of his properties and deflating them when necessary and nobody's brought a criminal tax fraud case against him?

So, there's a lot of blame to go around there. And even now, where is the tax fraud at the state and the federal level? There are criminal charges that need to be brought here. And of course, we also know, that Eric Trump has been tweeting, "This is outrageous, and of course, I had nothing to do with it." Eric pled the Fifth Amendment 500 times when asked about the Trump Organization. Let's also add that there have been no prosecutions brought for what was clearly criminal cases involving the $107 million in Trump's inaugural fund. There are so many cases here. Donald Trump Jr. lied there.

It can take time to bring prosecutions. I understand that. You want to have all your ducks in a row, but that this is coming this late at every level is itself just terrible. I want to rant about two other things.

One, it's not just the both sides is in the press. There is no learning curve, there's no feedback mechanism at all. Donald Trump calls for the execution of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Not one fucking network even mentions it. The fact that he is deranged and is calling for violence is ignored. This isn't about both siderism. This is about utter irresponsibility and journalistic malpractice.

And then one more thing, the failure of Democrats in the Senate. Where are the hearings on Jared Kushner and the corruption of American national interest and foreign policy, not just involving Saudi Arabia but the Emirates and other countries? Jared sold out America to get money to bail out his own family for the aptly named 666 Fifth Avenue building. He sold out the country to get his $2 billion. And the crown prince of Saudi Arabia has basically said, "That's a gift. It's yours. You can do with it as you wish."

And Jared did all of that as a government employee. Hunter Biden has never been a government employee. The House Republicans know that if you throw up a lot of smoke and a lot of accusations, it's going to capture the attention of the media because you're framing something. You're basically taking over the narrative. The Senate Democrats have done nothing to counter that narrative and that it's taken them this long to even condemn Bob Menendez drives me up a wall as well. There are so many miscreant actors here.

Coming back to the press just for a second, our republic is hanging by a thread. Our democracy is hanging by a thread. The press have been called the enemy of the people. They are moral cowards for not responding to that in an appropriate fashion. And that's what's happened in this country. We're full of people in positions of authority who are either corrupt themselves or are moral cowards.

That's as important a reason for why we're in this mess, as all of those people who, for malign reasons, continue to support Donald Trump. That it's taken this long for any justice even to be on the horizon for this mob gang family, which involves everybody except you--

MARY

As far as you know anyway.

NORM

Yes. I really hope that all these properties in New York get seized, and I hope that he doesn't get away as Alex Jones appears to be getting away with hiding all of his assets and hiding them from the families of Sandy Hook who deserve that money, by creating this Delaware corporation. I want Trump Tower taken away and I want it renamed Mary Trump Tower.

MARY

Or E. Jean Carroll Tower works, too.

NORM

Both, E. Jean Carroll and Mary Trump Tower.

MARY

Dahlia, it is gob smacking that the Democrats have taken so long, but they are calling, finally, for the resignation of Menendez. He should resign and he should be prosecuted to the full extent of law. But Menendez’s crimes are a tiny fraction of what Jared Kushner has done.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but have any Republicans called for the resignation of Bob Menendez or have they not because they can't? So, Dahlia, I just want to get your final thoughts and also what you think is the best outcome here? Donald impoverished or Donald incarcerated?

NORM:

Both?

DAHLIA:

Yes/and. Let's use that old improv rule. Yes/and, let's do both.

First of all, I want to reflect on what was said and re-up it, which is, holy cow, it's good to be in community because sometimes, you find yourself on some show where you're the hysterical one. And I love this little klatch of hysterics because it makes me feel like I'm not in fact insane.

I want to slightly reframe one of the brilliant things that Norm just said, which is we simply do constitutional democracy and voting and politics by way of circus. And nobody figured out how to take the circus of reality television and import it with all of its staggering flaws into electoral politics like Donald Trump.

Democrats are boring and staid, and they somehow think that the way to do the circus is to wrap yourself in a tent and lie down and let the elephants trample you on the way out. The level of not rising to the circus atmosphere is shocking.

And that doesn't mean empty performances of outrage. It means when there are, in fact, demonstrable outrages, you react commensurate to them. And I think this ethos of boring America to death absolutely reinforces the notion that there's nothing all that bad here. And so, we have that as a problem.

And the last thing I want to say, is that lawsuits are not circus. And the rule of law is not a thing that happens in such a way to entertain and amuse. And we happen to be in this little interregnum where what's happening with Judge Chutkan and the First Amendment and efforts to gag Donald are kind of circusy. And what's happening with Mar-a-Lago and people flipping lawyers is a little circusy.

But if Americans think that the circus of the wheels of justice is somehow going to overmaster or somehow compensate for the circus of Hunter Biden and Marjorie Taylor Greene and a shutdown, they have cornered the market on stupid circus. And our failure in this country across the boards, as Norm says, whether it's political actors, whether it is legal actors, whether it is the corporate media, our failure to understand that because we don't play this game, that's not a virtue. That's why we lose.

And so, I just want to suggest that—and again, I am not in any way making a pitch for empty theater or performance or making stuff up or doing an investigation of Jared Kushner that is not warranted. I am saying that we will keep on losing if we think that doing this by way of plodding legal process is somehow going to capture the attention of voters. The day that plodding legal attention captures the attention of voters is not going to happen.

MARY

Yeah. No truer words ever spoken. We have so much to be righteously angry about. They are doing so much real harm and damage. I know you guys have to go. Norm, Dahlia, thank you so much. We will see you again soon. Love you both.

NORM

The sooner, the better, Mary.

MARY

The sooner, the better. I'm on it.

That is, Kurt, an incredibly salient point here. What are we being reserved about for God's sakes? And this is something I wanted to talk about, too, and I hope you can address it. What we cannot do is allow their circus to obfuscate the very real damage from the shutdown to public libraries banning books all over the place, to the egregious and dangerous assaults on LGBTQ plus communities, etc. I mean, we can't just let them keep aiming the smoke machine wherever they want to.

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KURT

I think, my biggest frustration, having gone from being a Republican operative to the Democrats, is just operationally how Republicans function and operate with such velocity, and frankly, no fear, no conscience as well. Whereas all the time I hear Democrats say, "Well, we can't do that because they're doing this. And if we do that, it may get muddled, it may do this." I’m like, "You have the majority in the Senate. You have a committee gavel. You have the ability to convene hearings, to issue subpoenas, to issue depositions, to do the legitimate investigations." And to this point, they have not done that.

And I can't, for the life of me, understand why when there is so much material to work with that is factual and admitted. Jared Kushner got billions of dollars from the Saudis basically the day after they walked out the White House. That warrants an investigation. It just does. But they won't touch it. Why? Because the House and the Republicans are investigating Hunter Biden, "If we do this, it'll just look like we're doing the same thing they are."

Well, if you actually do the work, find the evidence, and make the case, you'll win. But you're not going to win if you don't do anything at all, if you just cede that ground and let the Republicans operate unencumbered and with an open playing field to dominate the media narrative, to dominate the news cycles with cherry-picked information that they selectively leak out there. Every time they do that, it puts Democrats and the Biden administration automatically on the defensive. It drives me crazy.

MARY

If Merrick Garland is the one pointing out, in his incredibly emotive, way that we're a country of laws not men or, and nobody's above the law, well, Brian, we need to be outraged.

The Republicans understand that anger is more motivating, especially in times like these when we've just lived through so much trauma. Anger is more motivating than anything else except fear.

What the Republicans do is make people afraid and then, because fear is a terrible thing to feel, they transform it into anger, which can feel good.

To Kurt’s point, we're not talking about being angry for the sake of manipulating people into voting the way we want them to vote; we're talking about getting people in touch with the reasons why they should be angry about what this Republican Party is doing to our country and to them.

BRIAN

Yeah, Kurt makes a great point. We have two political parties in this country, one has no heart and one has no head. And it's disgusting to watch the Democrats do what they do. But back to some of the points that were made earlier, look, the American media just sucks. It's not that we don't have people with the gravitas to handle the situation, it's that we don't hire them. Because it's easier to hire inexpensive people who get in and get out.

I like Kristen Welker; I like her personally. I would definitely have handled that interview quite a bit differently than she did. And that's why I'm not doing that interview is because it would never get past the first question.

MARY

Oh, he would never sit down with you, Brian. You know that. But that's part of the problem. Donald won't sit down with anybody who would challenge him. He's not going to sit down with Mehdi Hasan.

BRIAN

And the other part about the media that is unnerving to me is the idea that being fair means having to give both sides in every argument, even if the argument is bullshit. Because I'm not putting someone on my air, I'm not putting someone in my story who says that the Holocaust didn't happen, or the Earth is flat, or that we never traveled to the moon. I'm sorry. It's not worth it.

The other day, the President of the United States was in a picket line with the UAW. That’s never happened before. It's was an historic day. And they cover it at the same time covering a Trump rally where a reporter said that Donald Trump is pro worker. Well, you've got to be kidding me. Why would you even say that?

If Donald Trump came out and said he was the Queen of Sheba, he'd probably have more factual basis to say that than to say that he's pro-worker. So, the idea that a reporter would just parrot what someone says is not good reporting.

MARY

Well, it's not reporting, it's stenography. And that's partially why we're here right now.

This is the conundrum that the media can't solve: The guy who looks like he's going to be the Republican nominee for the presidency is all of these other things. He's a rapist, he's a fraud, he's a treasonous, insurrectionist and they can't seem to figure out how to talk about him in the context of both things. So they take the safe route. And of course, none of this is helped by the fact that we've got former Obama officials calling Biden out for standing with workers.

Biden said it best. The auto industry got bailed out by the American people and now it’s doing phenomenally well. You know what? The workers should be too. And the same goes for SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild.

On that note, it's so good to see you guys. I'm so happy you could be here. And I have this weird feeling, I don't know if it's going to pan out or not, but it's a very weird feeling that we're going to continue to have a lot to talk about over the next 13 months.

Go save democracy.

KURT

Going to do my best. All right, friends.

BRIAN

Thank you for doing this. Love you.

MARY

All right, love you guys.

END PART I

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Mary L Trump