tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC September 24, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
thank you so much for letting us into your homes during these extraordinary times. we're grateful. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. hi, ari. happy friday. >> happy friday. hi, nicole. thank you so much. i wish you a great weekend. i want to welcome everyone to "the beat." i am ari melber and we begin right now with breaking news. the biden administration making it official today, they will not, not shield any white house records from the january 6th committee on donald trump's behalf. >> the president has already concluded that it would not be appropriate to assert executive privilege. and so, we will respond promptly to these questions, as they arise. and certainly, as they come up from congress. >> that may have sounded dry or
even ordinary, but it is nothing of the sort. this is, as the headline suggests, joe biden telling donald trump, no privilege for you. no soup for you, for seinfeld fans, but the stakes are much higher. we know that donald trump wants to deal with this january 6th committee with stonewall tactics, trying to use executive privilege and other delays. now, he could still take the biden administration and the congress to court over this. and that would set up a fairly unprecedented clash between the former and current president. what we are seeing here are signs that the maga riot probe is eyeing trump's inner circle and not wasting any time with using its legal subpoena power pressure. we can report on four new subpoenas for top trump aides and allies requiring them legally to testify within three weeks unless they can come up with lawful reasons for another acome indication. and that includes the big guns, like steve bannon and donald trump's former top number one aide, mark meadows, who is chief
of staff. "rolling stone" reporting on the massive scope of this probe. the committee has asked the national archives for all documents and communications within that trump white house on that fateful day of january 6th, 2021. what we see here is both exactly what speaker pelosi said she was going to do when she outmaneuvered republicans and barreled forward with this committee and it's also a legal escalation. we're looking now at this clash between biden and trump, something that temperamentally, the biden administration is not super interested in having, but apparently they've decided to side with congress, with the investigation with mainly democrats who have been interested in getting to the bottom of january 6th. and we're looking now at a subpoena-powered, white house cooperating effort to get down to exactly what did happen before and during the insurrection. and by the way, you've heard me say this before and i'll say it again as a journalist. if they get all the evidence and find things that are positive or basically exculpatory for the
people inside the trump white house, fine. we'll report on that. the public has a right to know about that just as much as if they find negative things. but let's be clear. stevemeadows, a lot of the people around donald trump, they're not acting like they expect more evidence to help them. what do they know that the public doesn't know yet? that's what the investigation is about. we also don't know if this will be smooth compliance or a larger clash. can they try to defy this? a top investigator and congressional leader, adam schiff, who you remember from impeachment and other probes are now discussing the fact that they have other hard-core ways to force accountability, including using criminal contempt against people who try to flout this congress. i mentioned the history, because adam schiff knows his way around some of these trump folks. he knows the lengths they will go no to just perhaps lie, but to avoid ever talking in the first place. to try to duck subpoenas and requests. is donald trump rattled? well, he certainly hasn't looked calm, as these things have built
over this week. closest insiders subpoenaed under law. trump dismissing the investigation with his usual talk about witch hunts, but this isn't a witch hunt. this is a march for evidence. we're also seeing other new avenues for accountability, including video showing body cam video of a police officer who was savagely attacked again by that maga crowd that donald trump summoned. this is a day that we know a lot about, but it's newly released, and as always, we do want to warn you, it is graphic. >> punch him! [ bleep ] [ bleep ] [ bleep ]. >> that's government evidence, the first time we've aired it on "the beat." it's difficult to even watch a few seconds of it, and this went on for hours. we are still learning about the
depths of the organization, of potential government cooperation, with that planned insurrection, as well as what those individuals did there. this is the gravity of the riot that day. biden's administration is pledging to cooperate and get to the bottom of what happened, even if it means essentially selling out the privilege of a past president. that's not something we typically see out of white houses in either party. let's get right into it. we have the former rnc chair and a former lieutenant governor of maryland, michael steele. former federal prosecutor, barbara mcquade, and "new york times" columnist, michelle goldberg. barbara, i begin with you on the law. it has become common to become quite cynical about everything that happens in the intersection of law and politics in d.c., but i will say in my observation, most administrations are fairly guarded about presidential privilege. they're well aware that their time will come, sooner or later in our democracy, where they're the ex-president and the ex-administration. how unusual is it to hear a blanket announcement like we showed from the lectern today
where they say, hey, we're not giving any privilege to this past president, at least on this request for a january 6th material. >> it's very unusual, ari. as you say, i think all presidents are very careful, because they know that they are the guardian of that information, that their day will come, as well. and that they don't just control protecting their own privileged information, but the presidency. it's not just that president, it is the presidency that they control. but in this case, you know, executive privilege is not absolute. it is qualified. and president biden has made it clear, as he did in the past, when he was talking about jeffrey rosen and other doj officials, that in this instance, the need for this information is so great, that this qualified privilege must yield. >> yeah, and you mention other instances. michelle, i don't know if you remember george w. bush's very eloquent statement, fool me once, don't fool me again. it's a classic. the original goes --
>> won't get fooled again. >> the original, though, is more about, shame on me if i let myself get fooled. and i think with schiff and some of the folks in the democratic investigative team, they're kind of on to this. i want to show a headline folks may remember from years back, the trump white house also tried to take sweeping immunity claims about even regular testimony. it took time, but they did lose. they argued mcgahn, for example, who was a top lawyer at the white house, had some sort of absolute immunity. years in, the courts did order him to comply. and for people who get tired or cynical, michelle, i would note, it worked. he ultimately did have to testify. but it seems that democrats are using a much faster track knowing who they're dealing with. >> well, democrats probably don't have years. it's very -- you know, the odds are probably better than even that the republicans take back the house in 2022. and there is no chance that they
let this investigation go forward if they do. so democrats need to do this. on a very fast track. they also need to do it on a fast track that some of the evidence that this investigation is meant to collect is there to make the case for reforms to the way that states count the votes, basically. right, there's this effort now in a number of states to make it easier for either state legislatures or secretaries of state to subvert the process, to substitute their own slate of electors in a way that would send the vote-counting process into chaos and probably throw a future election into the house, much the way that trump and his collaborates wanted to do this time. there's legislation that would address that. but i think in order to build momentum for that legislation, you need to show just how close this plot came to succeeding. >> michael, what did you think big picture of the biden white
house just saying, no privilege for trump here? >> oh, i think -- i thought it was, okay, you guys are ready to play hardball. you're ready to throw down. you've drawn the line. you're not going to -- you're not going to allow the system to be used against itself, as it has been over the last, you know, few years of investigations and impeachment trials, et cetera, where the administration could effectively just stonewall and say, look, i got time, you know? come after me if you want. and the process would begin. i mean, you referenced the mcgahn case and the length of time it took to deal with that. so i think the administration has been sending the signal very clear, right up-front, we're going to investigate this. and we're going to let the investigation go where it leads. and we're not going to allow for or stand for obstacles to get in the way. everything by the book. everything timely done. and i think, probably, what this
will mean for future congresses and administrations to look at is how do we create the kind of track, you know, in the judicial system that would allow for these types of big issues to get settled so you don't have a question being resolved six months, a year after an administration has left office. and again against itself. >> yeah, especially when you're dealing with people who are cynically exploiting the timeline. barbara, it is friday night. can we go a little deeper on jurisprudence? are you game? >> i'm get! let's go. >> all right, let's go. you know, when you're in law school, you only have a couple of types of supreme court case issues on these weighty issues, because the entire system tries deliberately to avoid getting to that poison. you see accommodation, you see judges saying repeatedly, even
at the supreme court, you can see them saying, we don't necessarily want to bind this. we really want anything that feels like a political question between congress and the white house to kind of get sorted out elsewhere. and every so often you have test cases, nixon provided them, because he was a crook, and trump appears to be providing some as well. with that in mind, i want to read for you and the jurisprudence one of the few hints or clues we have about what's supposed to be the law here, because the privilege is strong for reasons that everyone understands. ft. has got to be able to talk to, you know, aides about all kinds of stuff, including about whether or not to invade a country. and it's not good for the u.s. if that leaks. it's just not. that's real. then you have, wait, what are the limits of that privilege. and just reading from one of those supreme court cases dealing with nixon, one of the few things we know about where the court thinks the limit is, they emphasize, it's not for the benefit of the president as an individual, but for a benefit of the republic. good lawyers could stretch that statement in a lot of directions. i'm curious if you think any of that applies one way or the
other with regard to an insurrection that was underfoot? >> i think you can make a very compelling statement that whatever it was that donald trump said to mark meadows or steve bannon or whatever, the safety of the republic and the insurrection, learning what happened there, has to be more important than whatever it was that they said. and so i think that president biden's decision is on very sound ground. i think the place where there's a gap in the law, which as you identify, there is not a lot of settled case law in this area because of that negotiation and accommodation process, is who president trump has any authority to assert it. i think the case law is best read as, he can make a recommendation, but it is president biden who owns the ultimate decision here. so i think he can make some waves, but i think, ultimately, congress is going to get its information. >> you make such an important point here, we may have underemphasized to some degree in our lead. and michael alluded to it as
well. it was the president's call. we have one president at a time in the country. that's why when michael referred to this president playing hardball, he could have found all sorts of ways to sound reasonable and leave it more open. any lawyer could tell you, he could say, well, i'm concerned about this, but i'm going of the process play out. i'm going to have the white house counsel and the doj, blah blah blah, no, they just said no, donald, so it would be a wider debate in court about whether the previous occupant gets an appeal or objection to that. michelle, i'm curious what you think. barbara has given us the legal primer, about where you think this goes with obviously a very litigious ex-president. >> to some extent, this is going to come down to merrick garland, and in some ways merrick garland has disappointed progressives who wanted him to be a little bit more aggressive on behalf of the president's interests. but the justice department has taken january 6th very seriously when it comes to prosecuting the people who actually carried out
the riot, right? so i think that part of the question is whether he's going to be very serious in backing up, for example, when adam schiff says, we are -- we want the option of holding someone in criminal contempt of congress. you need the justice department's help to do that. and so i think it will depend on whether this administration or the justice department is willing to enforce criminal penalties on people who treat congressional subpoenas as optional, as they did throughout the donald trump administration. >> yeah. and the other piece here that's kind of only roughly related, michael, but goes to the legal pressure on this former president is, this headline here from the "wall street journal" that this trump org case still continues a case. a judge ordering the trump organization to comply with these new york state subpoenas, requires the organization to provide a report by next thursday. this is all happening fast, of what it did to preserve,
collect, and produce documents detailed in the ag's subpoenas while the entire company awaits trial. i'm curious how you think this all relates. because the former president has seemed more agitated than usual based on the indications we have. >> well, i think what you see and barbara could probably really get into this, the parsing here, because it's a lot of fun. state action versus federal action. you're a corporation. it's not just about you. it's corporate documents. it's shareholders. and yeah, this is a closed corporation where it's just donald trump and the family. but complying to state requirements and subpoenas, you know, is not the same as sort of playing footloose and fancy free and pushing back on federal subpoenas where you've got the, you know, the weight of the presidency behind you. here you're just the ceo of a company. and you've got officers. so, the dynamics are very different for trump in the state action, when the judge in the
state action says, y'all are going to get me documents by next thursday, guess what that corporation is going to do? they're going to have documents in front of that judge by next thursday. as president or former president, when the congress says, we would like your secretary to fill in the blank or director of "x" to come before the congress and here's a subpoena, we've seen how that plays out. so these are the two worlds that donald trump is now dealing with. what biden did today, in my estimation, was to move the federal action a little closer to the result that you see in state actions, where it makes it harder for the president to hide behind his former status and now, as a citizen, has to comply. >> former status. i like how you almost sounds a little, pejorative, michael. but you would never. i want to -- >> never. >> we have a lot planned, so i want to thank barbara and
michelle for kicking us off tonight. michael comes back later in the hour. if you're a michael steele fan, you're in the right place. what we also have in the program, these so-called arizona fraud-its, they found trump lost. and later tonight, michael beschloss is here on the biden agenda and some breakthroughs. and before we go, what rudy giuliani and matt gaetz now have in common. it's not good. and then, a wild moment of covid realities right on the set of "the view." all of that coming up, stay with us. that coming up, stay with us
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how many times can you recount donald trump's losses? well, according to the modern republican party, many, many times. these election lies got another turn and ended up imploding on republicans in arizona. it's almost as embarrassing as rudy giuliani's famous four seasons landscaping appearances, because here we are, nearly one year and close to $6 million later and arizona republicans have this partisan sham review of the election, it was in the state's largest county and it boomeranged on them. because there are now reports about what the conclusions found. the same overall result as in november with a biden victory. they also found that biden won, they say, by actually roughly 300 more votes than an initial count. now, this is all a stunt. we are not reporting on it for
you because we give any credence to the outcome or the conclusions. indeed, experts in both parties and nonpartisan election officials say that this has become a debacle and that the claims in the draft report has basically no validity. this is not about an audit. this is about donald trump and the big lie and just creating kind of noise around it. the group that did this call themselves cyber ninjas. they got partisan money from the republican party. they're not part of any actual independent audit. despite what some are calling a humiliating conclusion, apparently not stopping the insanity. maga hardliners in several states are continuing this project. texas, where trump won at a state level is going to review its own 2020 election, but just in four counties that they selected. that was a new announcement that came eight hours after trump demanded. what is really going on here and why isn't it going away?
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experience amazing at your lexus dealer. former rnc chairman michael steele back with us, as we talk about this gop arizona fraudit or audit or recount. good to have you on more than one topic, sir. >> absolutely, ari. let's get into it, baby. >> let's get it into, baby. politically, it seems odd to continue to draw attention to the way that you lost or got thumped by joe biden. the counting, the recounting. i am reminded and this may be out of character, so i don't want to, you know, throw you off. but i'm reminded when jay cole wrapped count it up, count it up, count it up, count it. the idea is you have to do a lot of counting because he's making so much money because of his success that he has to keep counting. that's fine if you're flexing on your success. shout-out to jay cole, south
carolina, south maine. but if you're not counting money, you're counting the votes of the ballots, only time that matters is before the certification, that's why we have a process and then it's over. what do you make of the republican party's obsession of a bastardized moment of jay cole's counting it all up and they lost? >> there is no basis in law for a forensic audit or a thing called a forensic audit of a certified election. in fact, there is not even a process that clearly defines what that forensic audit would look like in a certified, if you were doing an audit of a certify election. and there's absolutely no way in which you can actually qualify that, because there's no basis in law. in other words, when you certify the election, that process of certification is the forensic analysis of the ballots to find
out if there's fraud and things like that. so what you're seeing now, folks, so we can get off the stupid for a moment, is not more than a political play to disrupt the process. to appease a guy who doesn't want to admit that he lost, and that will further that narrative going into whatever may come down the road in future elections that allow those who want to cheat the system because that's what we're talking about here, to do that. so i think we need to understand that all of this, oh, we got into a forensic audit, is nothing more than political bull, because there is no basis in law for it. the process itself is the audit on the votes itself. and once that is certified, the state officials raffensperger and others declare, hey, clean hands. good audit, right? certified election. >> and this goes to the denialism. everyone who marched into that capital was breaking a law
automatically, because they were trespassing. then many of them resorted to violence. yet the denialism, which is the overlap in the same story. i want to show you tucker carlson. this is how he is telling his audience what is true or not. take a look. >> you don't see people hiding bombs or using bayonets or firing weapons, trying to take over the country in an insurrection! you see people walking around and taking pictures. they don't look like terrorists, they look like tourists. the vast majority of the people inside the capitol on january the 6th were peaceful. when are they going to admit there was no insurrection? ha-ha, never. >> michael? >> okay, so i just said a moment ago, we need to get off stupid and you show me stupid. so ari, i don't understand why you would do that. why are we wasting our time listening to that drivel from an individual who is looking to monetize and to get his ratings by passing along this kind of nonsense. the fact of the matter is -- oh,
yeah, i can show you a clip of someone walking around, sort of aimlessly looking about, and then not show you the clip right after that, in which they're taking a baton or a stick and beating hell out of a police officer. so we need -- we just need to stop playing this game -- >> i'm going to ask you a follow-up and give you the final word, because there are issues that you and i have covered where people really didn't know the facts. so before there were more videos available, decades ago, there was real genuine disagreement, ignorance, and misunderstanding about how policing works in america. and one of the things that is allegedly, hopefully changing is videos make people go, oh, well, that's what's happening? well, they're against that. and yet, here we are with the video inside the capitol, selectively used, as you mentioned, but one of the biggest national security events in american history, and the reason why i show that, a lot of people watch that and you have
the arguments you have with your friends or family members and they say, well, tucker said and he even showed a clip that it wasn't that bad. how do you break through to those people who say, tucker told me nothing happened? >> you can't. you just can't. if tucker is how you, you know, you gauge intelligence, on these matters, in the absence of other irrefutable evidence, like the rest of the video and the report of the officers who were there, the testimony of those who were impacted by this, what can -- what else can you say? so this is the point i try to make to people. stop trying to convince someone of truth when they are so raptured by denial and obsequiousness by people like tucker and others. we as citizens have to countermand that, as we're doing with the investigations, get to the bottom, hold those
accountable, and the rest will take care of itself. i just can't waste that energy at this point. we tried for a long time to explain. >> it's like, there was an old saying, michael steele's felt puppet tells the truth more than tucker carlson and it doesn't even have a brain, because it's a puppet. >> thank you. thank you. that's a wrap. >> that's a wrap! but just for today. we'll have you back. michael steele, always gives us something to think about, and even with a good attitude along the way. appreciate you. hope you have a good weekend. coming up, two tv hosts actually tested positive, effectively live on air and they were about to interview vice president harris. we'll show you that big moment today. also, giuliani no longer welcome at his once hometown team of fox news. we'll get into why. and something very special to end the night and the week. mario van peebles is here discussing the life and legacy of his father, the film and
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a little preparation will make you and your family safer in an emergency. a week's worth of food and water, radio, flashlight, batteries and first aid kit are a good start to learn more, visit safetyactioncenter.pge.com i need the two of you to step off for a second. >> ana and -- >> what happened is that sonny and ana both apparently tested positive for covid. no matter how hard retry, these things happen. they probably have a breakthrough case and they'll be okay, i'm sure, because they're both vaccinated up the wazoo, you know, a lot of vaccines. >> a lot of vaccines.
shout-out to joy behar, always taking us along what was their wild moment on "the view," although it's something that so many americans could relate to. this is just their day job. you have two co-hosts basically finding out their test results on live tv. they were vaccinated, so it was a precautionary measure but they learned in realtime that they were breakthrough cases for covid. this is the challenge in america, and if their instance, they were getting ready for what was going to be an in-person interview with the vice president herself. the president urging those who were eligible to get the vaccine booster. biden also facing a critical political challenge this week, trying to get democrats on the same page for two key bills on infrastructure and the safety net. zblu now we're at this stalemate at the moment, and we're going to have to get these two pieces of legislation passed. both need to be passed. i think by the end of the year, we're doing to be in a very different place. >> if you heard that biden was this close to be about to
passing some of these bills and now it seems like it's taking longer, that's familiar throughout history. barack obama faced many hurdles on health care. lbj, as he pushed through the great society and civil rights, or all the way back to fdr, who was castigated for what then became eventually core parts of our safety net, including social security. why am i talking about history on a friday? there's no better way to end the week than with historian michael beschloss. michael, a lot of people forget that fdr's second favorite medium after radio was the new world of streaming video. >> right, yes. and his podcast, i think, i hope everyone listened to fdr's podcast. he used to call them fireside chats, but great podcast. >> yeah, great pod. his pod slapped, as the kids would say. we mention streed with you, because the details here, i think a lot of our viewers follow this, so we've been talking about biden's got more than one plan.
he's got to hold that senate coalition but you've been able to remind us, this is one thing that hasn't changed. lbj said there's one way for a president to deal with congress, and that is continuously, incessantly, and without interruption. joe manchin was not who he was dealing with, but boy did he have plenty of irascible senators, michael. >> yeah, you're right, ari, and the real version of johnson's quote in private was probably a lot more profane than the elegant version that you just gave us for history. but that's right. roosevelt had this enormous congressional landslide and a presidential landslide two years later. but a lot of democrats in congress, but a lot of them were conservative, southern, certainly white. and the result was that roosevelt was so frustrated in his second term, as you know, in 1938, he went into a lot of
primaries and campaigned against incumbent democrats, who he thought were too moderate or conservative. it called the purge. it didn't work, but showed his frustration. and just as you were saying, lbj on civil rights, if he was going to get a civil rights act in 1964 or voting rights in '65, he couldn't depend on southern democratic committee chairman who were white and mostly anti-integration. he had to go to everett dickerson and republicans who at that point living in a different universe were largely moderate and very much pro-civil rights in many cases. so when he signed the civil rights bill, one of the first pens went to dirkson, the minority civil rights leader who had helped civil rights to come about. but people are talking about joe biden as finished or biden as having a terrible week or his
presidency is going down. this is eight months and four days after the guy was inaugurated and it reminds me of a ceo that i once talked to. i said, would you make the same decisions about your fortune 500 company if you were evaluated once a year, rather than every minute of every day on the stock market? and he said, i would make totally different decisions, because i would have a longer time horizon. we should honor biden for thinking over the longer term and thinking about the future, at the very earliest, let's see where covid, the economy, the world are in the time of the midterms next year, more than one year away. >> the long view, always important. and you know, we learn different things from you. today, michael, we learned perhaps a little financial advice, as well, which is that day trading rarely works. our mental lens -- >> doesn't work in the presidency and doesn't work in finance. >> there you go. michael beschloss, thank you.
and as mentioned, we do like everyone to keep in mind that fireside history is on the choice from msnbc, exclusively on peacock, so check that out. when we come back, we haven't talked about matt gaetz in a minute. neither is fox news. we'll explain why gaetz and giuliani both have a very big problem. etz and giuliani both have a very big problem. relief for your worst cold and flu symptoms, on sunday night and every night. nyquil severe. the nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, best sleep with a cold, medicine. ♪♪ hi mr. charles. we made you dinner. aww, thank you. ♪♪
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one thing we all learned in the last few years is that giuliani is going to giuliani. he'll go on tv and often make his own or his clients' problems worse, which is not very good lawyering. we've seen conspiracy field and incoherent appearances and they are usually on fox news. this has been a core feature of his life, of his advocacy for donald trump and of our political media existence lately, which is why this next development, while not the biggest thing on earth is pretty interesting. his favorite tv outlet has reportedly banned him. he's been benched for almost three months, in part because of
the vote counting conspiracy theorys that he pushed, which of course have ballooned into lawsuits against him and fox news. more on that in a second. but politico says that rudy is really hurt by this. now, he's kind of found a different place to get his words out there. he's been going on the show of steve bannon, someone whose legal problems were so bad, he needed a pardon from donald trump. and he was there on the podcast today. >> there's a story on "rolling stone" and politico that you're on double secret probation on fox. >> i'm on probation at the time in which everything i'm being said is being corroborated. and they are reporting all the things that they claim i misled them about. >> that is fact check, not true. in fact, most of what giuliani has said about the election has not been corroborated. this is all part of the reason that fox is banning him and there is a financial and legal
reasoning behind this. it's not just a sudden outburst of fact-checking standards. and this brings us to a part of the stair that we've covered to you before. this is why accountability matter. why these lawsuits matter. dominion voting systems, which was according to their leadership basically slandered by fox, has sued the network and this is no just little laughing matter. they are seeking over $1 billion over what they call devastating lies, defamatory, reckless disregarding of the truth and false stories that have hurt them and their company, the work that they do. this is how it works. you can't just lie about anyone on tv and get away with it, especially if they choose to test what you said in court. $1.6 billion might have the executives over there second guessing things like this. >> he's gotten more evidence of the rigging that went on. he's really outraged. it's way beyond what people think, including a very, very
dangerous foreign company, a company that has close, close ties with venezuela and therefore china. a radical left company. one of the people there is a big supporter of antifa. our votes are sent overseas. this is another attempt to try to defeat him by illegal means. it's no different than the impeachment that's done by largely the same people. >> so fox is under pressure over this exact type of stuff. claims by giuliani, as well as his own programs and reporting. they don't necessarily want to just put him back on the air while they're spending a lot of money to try to see whether they can get out from under this case. and that's just one part of this. giuliani is also facing his own criminal and civil suits over election lies. now, you may remember someone that also has some links to donald trump. kanye west, who famously said, there go another lawsuit, i'm in court so much, i should have went to law school. the irony tonight is rudy giuliani did go to law school,
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the world of cinema, theater and american civil rights movements are celebrating the death of melvin van peebles. he paved the way for many projects that explore casting. before success of "black panther" or "selma" you can go to 1971 where people challenged a very drectly racist hollywood structure in corporate america and he had his own ideas how to provide black people taking on racist police and he starred and edited in the film.
>> he won't believe me. >> like many other barrier breaking projects, that film was greeted by the industry with commercial interest. it's an important context, a story that sometimes repeats but in actuallity, it became a box office hit that stunned in many hollywood. melvin could go on to a prolific career in film, theater and his obituary said he was a fertile force, the god father of modern black cinema and a trailblazer in american independent movies this is a story we'd reflect on regardless but we're happy to
reflect on his story with mario van peebles. he lanched his career with "new jack city." he made many appearances in movies and tv with his father and you see them there. he's also providing new commentary on a collection of his father's first four films that's actually out next week. mario van peebles first time on "the beat." thank you for being here. sorry for your loss and you willing to be able to reflect on your father tonight. >> ari, thanks for having me on. i was lucky enough to be there with my dad when he passed. i was sleeping in the bed right next to him. he made it look graceful and classy and he went in his sleep with his family nearby. he was 89 years old. may we be so lucky. the tragedy would have been him
in the living a full life. i got to see him with a beautiful exit. so we think of birth as a miracle and death as a tragedy, it's flip sides of the same mortality coin. >> i appreciate you saying that, and everyone at home can re -- reflect on our own losses and times and family. the fact you're able to share that you felt this went away befitting your father is good to hear. as mentioned, your family life and your work life intertwined in ways that many people enjoyed. let's play a little of you and your dad together. >> she said she likes us both. she should pick. >> fine. i will pick. >> good. [ laughter ] >> i choose you, warner.
[ laughter ] >> so it's like that, huh? [ laughter ] >> i think she made a good choice. >> what did you -- >> brother, he had a wicked sense of humor, man. the cool thing about it, he was a kind man. he was a f cat, he said i'll teh you how to own the team. that meant knowing good allies came in different colors. don't leave love on the table. he's got people he's help from all over and i saw dad. dad understood something that, you know, when you're a person of color, right, and you grow up in america and everyone on the money is white and male and the easter bunny and jesus are white and is depicted as white and you
start to wonder if you can really achieve things until melvin van peebles on the screen. we didn't have facial hair back then, bra. that's something you had afros and bell bottoms and you get pam greer and all those other flicks that came later, he was suddenly showing it's fun to be us and that psychological change is atomic to people under represented. kids like me who grew up watching my dad's movies, watching the movies gordon parks and ozzie davis decided we want to do that, too. spike lee, singleton, kids like some of the sisters coming out now. i got melvin's grandson now here who is getting more auditions and making more money than me. look at his shirt.
i'm a -- say hi, boy. >> hi. [ laughter ] >> so we have fun and we play a lot in our family. me and my song hang together. me and my dad hang together. what is cool is you develop a work language but you have a father son home language and that's beautiful and he lived a big life, man. he did his thing. he did broadway. we're going to bring "don't play a natural death" to broadway and as you point out, the criteria folks are bringing his movies and when "sweet back" was the hit of 1971, the guy who did the artwork on the cover for the "black panther" label was henry douglas. so 50 years helpry -- henry
douglas is doing the cover. put it all in this shirt for dad. black images matter because the first thing to set your mind free is the imagery that tells you you can do it. >> i love that. first of all, mario, we got to get you booked for "the beat." we invite one person on. we get the second for a bonus. shoutout to mandela. i got to say on a human level and this is why we look to around and beyond the news stories. i spoke to you by phone. i know you're grieving and your son is grieving but through your grief, you're sharing the future and vitality and the joy your father brought to you and so many others as a visionary. that's such a fitting thought to share. i appreciate that. thanks to both of you for coming on. and, you know, i was a little kid, mario when i said to my friends, i am my brother's keeper. yes i am. you and your dad and your son. three generations. shoutout to you guys.
>> thank you, brother. >> thank you, man. >> thanks for having us on. >> absolutely. thank you very much. we'll mention the criteria and collection here you see on your screen of those first four films comes out next week. thank you for ending the week with us here on "the beat." "the reidout" with joy reid starts now. >> legendary. have a great weekend. cheers. >> you, too. we begin "the reidout" with breaking news. joe biden has officially won arizona's most populous county or maricopa helping to solidify his victory in the key state. that's not breaking news. we've known that for a year. since last november when the election was decided. biden's victory in the state was certified by the arizona secretary of state katy hobbs and witnessed by state officials as required by law and yet, the republicans and maga cult members behind this