[TV static drones]
- Start the clock.
[dynamic rock music]
[cheers and applause]
- Thank you! Hey!
Great to be back.
Sit down. Nobody is here.
Thank you. Oh, I'm kidding.
What a great... [laughs]
All right, we're back in the studio!
- Whoo! - Nobody here.
We're back in the studio.
Oh, man, it's been a long time.
I was in my office today.
There was a family of raccoons in my desk.
But whew, I guess we dodged a bullet there
with Hurricane Laura.
It hit, but not too bad.
Boy, but it was a hurricane,
did some damage.
I was thinking today, "If only Jerry Falwell, Sr.
was alive to blame it on his son."
But yeah, Jerry Falwell Jr.? Yeah, he's in trouble.
He--apparently, his wife was having an affair
with the pool boy,
the pool boy, and, you know, allegedly,
just allegedly, he would watch.
He says he--you know, he did not have sex himself
with the pool boy.
He's an evangelical. He's not a snake handler.
But he would allegedly watch from the corner of the room,
so at least social distancing was maintained.
But I don't know if he was watching
the Republican Convention.
It was a great week if you love reality shows
but hate reality.
Boy, did you see--
did you see Trump's speech last night?
By the end of Trump's speech, there were--
three fact-checkers were taken into the concussion protocol.
The people in the crowd were chanting,
"Four more lies! Four more lies!"
But we learned a lot from watching the convention.
I did. I think what we learned
is that Donald Trump loves women and immigrants,
he's a humble but brutally honest patriot,
and he hates corruption.
And he has built the greatest economy
since man began to walk erect,
and the proof of that
is that the demand these days
for coffins, plywood, rocks, bottles,
and replacement plate glass has never been higher.
Yes, it's so bizarre
that at the Republican Convention,
they just kept talking about rioting
and looting and vandalism
that you can expect under a Democratic rule,
except that's happening now,
and yet their theme is that all of the rioting
and the violence you're seeing now
wouldn't be happening
if someone like Donald Trump was in the White House.
This guy is some salesman, you know,
'cause in 2016, it was like, "I will end American carnage,"
and in 2020, it's like,
"There's only one person who can stop
what's happening under me: me!"
And that's why we must elect Donald Trump:
so he can re-great-ify America again, again!
Yes, some of these speakers
that they had at the convention--
they painted a very ugly picture
of this country. Kimberly Guilfoyle--
you know, Don Jr.'s girlfriend--
she said Democrats want to destroy the country.
Wow. And Matt Gaetz said
that they're gonna--
Democrats are gonna invite MS-13
to live next door.
I wouldn't do that.
And the McCloskeys--remember that couple from St. Louis?
They said the Democrats want to abolish the suburbs,
and then Jerry Falwell Jr. said under the Democrats,
you'll have to watch the pool boy fuck your wife.
I mean, it's...
Boy, those Democrats.
Yeah, Kimberly Guilfoyle. Boy, did you see her speech?
She was very--
Whew. Off the rails.
When they go low, she goes loud.
Yeah, being in bed with that girl
would be like, "Say my name!"
why is she even speaking?
Why is she speaking?
6 of the 12 key speakers
at the Republican Convention were named Trump.
You know, we used to have former presidents
and elder statesmen speak at conventions.
Now it's like, "Uh, hey, Dad, would it be okay
if my girlfriend spoke at the convention?"
"Well, you know, Wally,
"girlfriends don't usually speak at conventions,
but I suppose it'll be all right."
Yeah, well, another week, another police shooting
of an unarmed black man,
and to protest this,
which yes, we should, and we need to,
the NBA and baseball players, a lot of them--
they did not play this week,
and boy, this is gonna get people's attention,
because rioting is one thing,
but forcing men to talk to their wives?
All right, we got a great show!
We have Trey Gowdy,
Nina Burleigh, Rick Wilson,
and later, we'll be speaking to Wynton Marsalis.
Let's get it started.
All right, my first guest
is the former Republican congressman
from South Carolina
and author of "Doesn't Hurt to Ask:
"Using the Power of Questions
to Communicate, Connect, and Persuade."
Trey Gro-- [chuckles]
Trey, thank you for being with us,
and I gotta say... - Yes, sir.
- You're out of Congress.
You look, like, ten years younger
from when I...
- I feel 20 years younger.
Thank you. - I'll bet.
So I'm sure you were watching the Republican Convention
Now, you were the chief prosecutor
during the Obama years,
watching everything the Democrats did,
if they went out of bounds, legal-wise.
Anything bother you there,
like about using the White House,
maybe, for political purposes the way he did last night?
- Well, I mean, people are welcome to judge
the, you know, propriety of that.
The legality of it, the Hatch Act.
I just have to trust Pat Cipollone,
who's White House counsel, that he ran all the traps.
I get that it was unprecedented.
I get that it was unusual.
My understanding of the Hatch Act is,
you can do as you want in your free time,
you certainly can't force someone to participate
in the political process,
but I didn't watch as much of it
as you may think I watched.
But I would need to ask Pat, you know,
"How does the Hatch Act allow the following?"
You were not quite as charitable
when the Democrats were in office.
You got to admit that. You weren't just like,
"Well, I got to trust this guy.
I think he knows what he's doing."
But okay, we'll let that go.
What about when Trump said,
a couple of weeks ago,
"The only way I lose
is if it's rigged"?
What do you think about a thing like that
Good, bad thing?
- Well, I got a lot of weaknesses, Bill,
but I try really hard not to be a relativist.
I mean, I'm out of politics.
I'm much more in tune
with kind of the prosecutor that existed for 20 years.
I don't like it when Republicans say that.
I didn't like it
when Democrats said that,
that the president would not trust
the election results in 2016.
I did not like when Secretary Clinton...
- Wait. - Gave advice to Joe Biden.
- Wait, no one of either party
has ever said anything like that.
No one has ever said, "The only way I lose
is if it's rigged."
That's what he's saying.
You don't think this is a recipe
for something we've never had in America,
which is people not accepting the results?
- Well, I would say two things.
I would want to know
what he means by "rigged."
If he means "I have a strong media headwind
that I can't fight through," that's one explanation,
but, you know, Secretary Clinton's advice
to Joe Biden this week was,
"Don't contest"-- I mean, "Don't concede,"
so I mean,
a Republican would view that comment
in the same ilk that you or others might view
the president saying "that the only way I lose
is if it's rigged."
I don't believe that.
I mean, Republicans have lost
six out of the last seven popular votes for president,
and those weren't rigged, so I don't believe that.
I do think that there is some rhetoric on both sides
that could be cleaned up.
Okay, well, you're not completely out of politics.
I gotta tell you that.
So let's talk about your book for a minute,
or a couple of minutes. It's your book,
and you're here to sell it,
and I want to help you.
You say you left politics because you didn't see
anybody's mind changed
in eight years, like any debate,
any committee hearing.
Nobody ever changed their mind,
which I find to be one of the most depressing
but honest things
I've probably read about politics
in a very long time.
Does that include you?
Are you part of that problem,
or did you ever change your mind?
- No, I mean, there were times that I didn't vote
with the majority of the Republicans.
There were times that I,
you know, got a bad ding
from Heritage or one
of the other scoring agencies.
Tulsi Gabbard changed my mind
We authored an amendment together.
I think the story that illustrates that the best:
I was sitting beside Joey Kennedy
on the floor,
and he was giving me--
which, I will forever be grateful to him--
both sides of the argument,
and he concluded by saying,
"But I think in your district, you should vote this way."
And he's right. I mean, the only way
I could lose is in a primary, in a Republican primary,
and the only way most members of the House
can lose is in a primary,
not in the general, so...
- Well, that's a problem, isn't it?
- When I say persuas-- well, yes.
When people ask me what's the number one problem?
I cite redistricting,
not money, which may be a problem, too,
but redistricting... - Gerrymandering.
- Means the only person--
- You're talking about gerrymandering.
- Well, I mean...
- So the gerrymandering-- - Yeah, I mean, that's
a pejorative way of saying it, but yes.
- Well, both parties do it.
I mean, I think the Republicans do it a little more,
but they both do it
so that there are safe districts
and so that--you're right.
The only way you could lose
is by someone who's even more of a conservative
than you, and you're pretty conservative.
- Uh, not in my district.
I... - Wow.
- I was criticized a lot for not being enough, enough.
- Well, I know, and in your book,
you're talking a lot about bipartisanship
and reaching across the aisle now,
and, you know, speaking in good faith,
and I gotta say, when I was reading this,
I'm thinking, "You, the Benghazi guy?
[laughs] The guy who prosecuted Benghazi
for 2 1/2 years?
I'm not saying Benghazi
shouldn't have been looked into.
Of course. An ambassador was killed.
We should look into that, but...
it seems to come over people
the second they leave office.
Where was that when you were in office?
- Well, I mean, you mentioned Benghazi.
The first hearing we had was praised by Dana Milbank
at "The Washington Post,"
and he's hardly a conservative.
The very first hearing we had, he wrote a--
- What about the hundredth one you had?
- Yeah, but we only had,
what, three public hearings?
Bill, I mean--
and that's kind of my point,
is, we had very few public hearings.
I was getting a lot of pressure from the right
to have more public hearings.
They're not conducive to real investigations.
The executive branch investigations being done
behind closed doors, those are conducive,
not congressional investigations.
We had two, and then we had Secretary Clinton,
but all--Leon Panetta,
everyone else we did was behind closed doors.
- So do you think Trump, in his time,
his first term here,
has done anything that would rival Benghazi
as far as impropriety?
I mean, I don't want to play the "if Obama did it" game,
but you were the chief prosecutor
of the Democrats during the Obama years,
so if I'm gonna play it with anybody, you know,
the "Jeopardy!" category would be
"Things Trey Gowdy would be looking into."
Anything in mind that comes to mind
that Trump has done
that might rise to that level?
- I don't know that-- it's your show,
so I'm gonna let you frame it however you want.
I don't know that I was the chief prosecutor
against President Obama,
but let's accept that that's how I'm characterized.
There were Americans killed in Africa,
and I think Democrats, you know,
had an opening, if they wanted to,
to have multiple hearings on that.
It was an armed forces event
that did not turn out well.
So--but impeachment, I mean,
impeachment consumed-- just to get, what,
one Republican juror to switch his vote,
impeachment consumed the country
for how long?
So I think both sides do it to the other,
and they will continue to do it
until there's a consequence for these "investigations."
- But you would have to admit
that Trump has done some things
that you probably would've looked into.
I made a small list. - I--
- Like they broke the law with security clearances
and using unsecured phones,
which was a big thing when Democrats do it.
The Chinese spies walking around Mar-a-Lago.
There was no security there.
He leaked Israeli intelligence.
He sided with Putin
against our American intelligence agencies.
I'm wondering if that is something
you would've looked into.
He didn't do anything when the Russians put bounties
on our troops in Afghanistan.
Paid hush money to a porn star.
Invited the Taliban to the White House,
or to Camp David, on the anniversary of 9/11.
The Hatch Act, the Emoluments Clause...
None of these things you think you would've looked into
if it was the other side?
- Oh, sure. I mean, I started off
our conversation by using the word "relativism."
I mean, both sides do it. - Okay.
- They treat the other side differently
from the way they treat their own side.
I mean, if that's the charge,
I plead guilty to that.
- Okay. So what is your prediction
of what America looks like in November and December,
after the election, if Trump does not win?
- I mean, if he doesn't win,
I think we're gonna have what we've always had,
I hope, I pray, which is a peaceful transfer of power.
I really do thi--
I don't think there's any chance
the president is going to stay in the White House
after his term is up.
I just--I hear it. I just don't think
that's going to happen.
We'll have the peaceful transfer of pow--
I'm sure it was difficult for President Obama
to hand the keys to President Trump,
but he did,
and I think if President Trump is not successful,
he'll hand the keys to Joe Biden.
- They're somewhat different types of people,
but we'll see.
All right, final question.
You've been very good
standing up to my prosecution.
As a former prosecutor,
you see so many of the people around the president
who have been convicted of crimes;
Manafort, Flynn, Cohen, Bannon, Stone.
- Stone. - Have you ever,
as a prosecutor, seen so many people around a guy
who were guilty of criminal activity,
and the guy in the center was not a criminal himself?
- Well, Bill, as a prosecutor, I really--
I didn't look at people.
I look at fact patterns.
So you take each--Manafort.
Is there any evidence that the president
was also in debt to Ukraine
and did what Manafort did?
Is there any evidence the president
was in cahoots with Roger Stone
when he came and lied to Congress?
Is there any evidence
the president and Michael Cohen--
I think he was also charged with false statement.
So I look at fact patterns.
I don't think the president was well served
in terms of who did the vetting for him.
When your lawyer is writing a kiss-and-tell book,
that is not good vetting on your lawyer.
You will never hear me say,
"We need to go investigate this person criminally."
You investigate fact patterns,
and whoever's involved in that
- Okay, Congressman.
You're brave to do this interview.
I appreciate it. - Thank you for having me.
- Congratulations on being out of Congress,
and we'll see you down the road.
Thank you, Trey Gowdy. - Yes, sir, thank you.
- Okay. - Yes, sir.
- All right, our panel. She is a national
political journalist and the author
of "The Trump Women: Part of the Deal,"
which comes out September 22nd. Nina Burleigh.
And he's co-founder of The Lincoln Project
and author of the "New York Times" best seller
"Running Against the Devil:
"A Plot to Save America from Trump--
And Democrats from Themselves."
Rick Wilson. Thank you both for being here.
Great to have you as our inaugural guests
back here in the studio.
- [laughs] - First time since March.
It's empty, it's gloomy, but I'm glad you're here--
So we just finished watching the Republican Convention.
Lot of talk today about the lying,
and yes, of course, you know.
My question, though, is, was it effective?
Was this an effective convention
for the Republicans?
- Well, Bill, I think the convention was
ineffective in a big, fundamental way,
which was, the ratings were lower.
Donald Trump's gonna lose his shit today
when he sees that Biden got better ratings than he did,
and he's gonna act out because of it.
I also don't think it broadened the base at all.
I mean, Biden was talking to moderates, Republicans,
swing voters, trying to invite people in.
Donald Trump was doing what he always does,
which is trying to narrowcast to white non-college voters
and, you know, with all the scare tactics
that are involved in that,
all the crazy, you know,
"the antifa- anarchist-communists
are coming to make you get gay sharia married."
You know, the whole crazy talk.
Yeah, I mean, the ending was--
I saw Trump's ending last night.
It was--I thought it was fairly effective.
You know, talking a-- first of all,
the people are there,
which is somewhat dangerous,
you know, in this atmosphere,
but also looks bold,
and it just looked--
I mean, if you're selling optimism,
which is what Republicans
have always been very good at selling,
and "America isn't a shithole,
"except if Biden gets elected,
it's gonna look like some of it does now."
That was sort of weird.
I don't know.
You know, when he started talking about, you know,
"We've been the pioneers, and we're the rebels,
"and we're the people who don't cut down the tall trees,
and you go as high as you want."
I don't know if that stuff doesn't sell,
especially in a gloomy moment.
- I thought it was effective at points.
I thought the regular Joes were effective,
but then again,
I don't know how many people were watching.
You know. How many people?
I mean, you checked out the ratings, Rick.
I don't know how many people were watching it.
As I watched it, I wondered
how many people had their computer screens
tuned in to this.
But for me, watching at the end,
the end was...
like watching a super-spreader event
in the last...
You know, as he went on and on with his talk
and they kept panning to the audience, maskless,
and I'm in New York,
and it's very unusual to see
and it just-- it was like, "Wow."
It's like a game show on epidemiology or something,
where, you know, super-spreaders are--
you know, will--
you know, "Survivor" COVID or something
with the game show host coming in,
and I don't know how many people are--
I would love to see the numbers on that
when they start coming down with it.
But you're right. It was selling positivity,
and it was--you know, the fireworks,
nice fireworks. Chinese, probably.
- What do you make of-- - You also had guys...
I'm sorry. You also had guys
like Wilbur Ross and Rudy Giuliani
in the audience
right in the demo for COVID.
- Well, Rudy-- - Like, Wilbur Ross
is looking like he's going,
"Come, sweet angel of death, and take me now."
I mean, it's awful. - Yeah.
Well, yes, Wilbur is not a guy
who should go out without a mask.
Right, I... Yeah. - No.
- Yeah. - So what do you make
of the attack on the suburbs?
I've never heard that tactic before.
"They're going to destroy the suburbs."
You know, what could destroy suburbs, crabgrass?
I mean, I grew up in the suburbs.
I feel like I live in a suburban kind of area now.
I love the suburbs. I never was a person who--
I lived in New York twice, it's a great city,
but I don't like living in a building,
I don't like knowing there are people
right on the other side of the wall.
How do you destroy the suburbs?
What-- I can't even...
I don't even know what they're talking about.
Can you decipher that for me?
- I can-- - Sure, this is a--
go ahead, Nina.
- I think the--you know,
from the very beginning of the pandemic,
the way they handled it, stepping back,
was really aimed at chaos
and bread riots
and exactly what BLM has delivered to them,
and that was their strategy,
to--you know, you hear him talking
about "suburban housewives."
It's like a Larry Flynt "Hustler" spread
or something going through his mind.
It's suburban housewives.
We've got to get those suburban housewives
and all they need is video.
They just need video like the stuff
that was going on in Washington the other day
of the BLM kids
in front of the restaurants.
- Oh, can I show that?
I have that piece of video.
If people don't know,
it's Black Lives Matter protesters,
all white that I saw,
who are harassing this--
- ...in woke costume.
- They're harassing this woman who's eating,
wanting to make her raise her fist
in solidarity with their cause,
which I believe she was in solidarity with.
It's just that she was eating, I think,
and she's basically saying,
"Look, I-I'm eating."
Show the video, and then we can talk about it.
Yeah, this is counterproductive, right?
I mean, it's obnoxious.
- Wildly so. - Okay.
- I mean, Bill, if this election
is a referendum on Donald Trump,
Donald Trump will lose. Joe Biden will win.
If this is a referendum on woke shitheads
yelling at people in public,
then it's going to be a much harder race,
and that's a technical term of art
we use in politics, "woke shitheads"...
- Right. - But these people
who believe that their--
that these sort of performative stunts
do something to motivate voters...
They don't, because the states that are in play this year--
Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania--
those are not woke states.
Liberal Democrats in those states
are basically moderate Republicans.
- Right. - They don't love that stuff.
- Right. - They're not crazy
about that stuff.
- Right, and I keep saying,
white people like that seem to be culturally appropriating
how mad they are at racism from black people.
You can't be madder at racism
than black people themselves. - Right.
- And then it becomes about you,
That's my take on that.
Nina, what do you think about the Karen phenomenon?
Is this part of that,
where we've named this new group
that it's okay to go after?
And it sort of has spread from just--
originally, it was sort of a racial thing,
the woman in Central Park,
and now a Karen just seems to be
any white woman
of a certain age you don't like.
- Yeah, well, it originated,
you know, among the incels.
You know, it's a meme
that's in Reddit or something,
where some guy was bitching about his wife, Karen,
and then it became the Karens--
you know, all white, middle-aged women
or all uncool white women,
and what's interesting about it is,
it was--the meme, in, I guess, around January,
there were maybe 100,000 hits on it,
and by the middle of the COVID--
let's say April or May,
there were 3 million ha...
- #Karen. I just think, you know,
these people are really good at black ops
and black arts, the social media platform,
using the social media platforms,
and I don't want to sound
like a QAnon conspiracy theorist,
but I think that it's
to separate off white women,
to humiliate and cow white, middle-aged women,
at a time when they desperately need
because they've fled this president,
this, you know-- who, as a game show host,
would've lost his TV show
because of his 24 and counting, you know, MeToo things.
So... - Right.
- He desperately need these white women,
and perfectly timed, jeez,
everybody is calling white middle-aged women
Karens and dissing them,
and they're the backbone of the Trump resistance.
I mean, there's research
on how many white women are envelope-stuffing
and going door to door.
You know, they hate Donald,
and they're the backbone of this resistance,
and so they're separating them off from the black--
you know, I mean, it's-- yes, the left is diverse
and these things--you know, it's very easy to wedge in.
And I know Rick has some thoughts on this,
- There are a number of Karens on the right,
but they're Karens with a Q.
They merged QAnon and Karen-ism,
and some of them are the ones who go in these, like, hearings
and say, "We know that--" in county commission hearing
about, like, water quality,
they start yelling about QAnon
and child cannibal pedophile rings
in pizza restaurants.
it has become a weird sort of cultural hallmark right now,
and it's also a secondary artifact
of, you know, everybody's got a phone camera.
Everybody sees everything now.
Social media spreads, you know, crazy behavior.
It's incentivized to spread crazy behavior.
'cause it's viral.
- So-- - But where are the "Dicks"
or, you know, the "Steves"?
- Sure, sure. Where are the Brads?
- Yeah. They're not acting.
I mean, you could easily find men acting badly,
but many times, they're armed,
so maybe you're not getting up close to the--
what's that kid's name in Kenosha?
- Right. - Kyle.
- Yeah. - So you don't get up close
to those guys, with their weapons.
- Well, I mean, nothing scares me more
than that, that there are people on the streets,
from both sides now,
with guns, because we are the gun country
and you're allowed to carry guns.
And the combination of people in the streets
who have guns, who hate each other,
who think if the other side wins,
it is the end of the world...
When is there going to be
a Lexington and Concord moment,
and we're gonna see a pitched battle in the street?
I'm talking about a gun battle between American citizens.
That, to me, is the most frightening prospect
on the horizon.
- I think they came close in Kenosha.
- Yeah, and look, chaos is the friend
of the people that would love to see this country
go down in flames.
That kind of chaos,
that kind of ratcheting of the tension--
you know, there's a lot of similarities now
between the way that kids in Raqqa
were radicalized for ISIS...
They're told things like, "Unless you take action
"against these bad guys,
"then our culture will be destroyed,
your families will be killed. It's all over."
- Right. - And these kids,
like this guy in Kenosha, are hearing, you know,
"Unless you take action against antifa,
"your family will be destroyed,
the suburbs will be burned to the ground,"
you know, "It's gonna be nothing but MS-13,
and all the terrorists are coming to kill you.
So they're hearing the same kind
of radicalization language
that iterates across--
in the Middle East and in Africa and other places,
where these young kids who are vulnerable
are convinced that their actions are justified
and that they're liberated
from, you know, the rules about not shooting people.
- But as someone who has certainly run campaigns
and seen Republicans run on law and order and win,
and studied, historically, campaigns that have been won
on that issue,
that seems to be what Trump is running on.
He's the law and order candidate,
and are the Democrats facing that right?
They seem to be hesitant
in some ways, for example, to condemn the looting,
because they understand what causes people
to have the rage that would make them loot,
although I don't know why looting
is always associated with the rage.
I mean, sometimes, they're just taking shit,
and it's not people you would even think
would need the shit.
What are the Democrats doing right or doing wrong
in facing the law and order candidate?
- Well, they needed to stomp down
this "defund the police" thing the millisecond it started,
and they were slow,
and Joe Biden has now gotten ahead of it a little bit,
but they were slow off the mark on that.
That was a trap set by the Trump campaign
and by Fox for them,
and once the progressives took off with it,
I could've told you right away
the group that hates that message the most
are African Americans.
They need legitimate policing in their communities.
This isn't something that they take lightly,
and it was one of those areas where, you know, as I--
the subtitle of the book is
"To Save Democrats from Themselves."
They don't have to follow the lead
of every single progressive bad idea
that comes down the pike.
That was a spectacularly bad thematic idea.
And the only thing that sort of suppressed it
from doing more damage
was the enormous fuck up on COVID on Trump's part,
as things just kept building up
and building up and building up,
and they kind of stepped on that message.
The Biden campaign is now ahead of that, I would say,
but they need to be consistent
that, you know, we're gonna enforce the law.
We don't want criminality on the streets.
We don't want it in the White House.
We gotta go across the spectrum on this.
So... - So I was watching his speech
last night, and first of all, he seems logy.
He seemed like Sleepy Don. - Yeah.
- I was very surprised about that.
I wasn't surprised with Mussolini on the balcony
standing next to Evita Pern.
That--you know, I was waiting for that to happen in America.
But I was surprised at how slow he was
with the reading, but I was--
and of course, look, as a comedian, I know.
I've done outdoor shows. It's the worst.
Comedians--what we want is...
We want a rathskeller,
because the laughs bounce off the walls
and it sounds great.
When you're outside,
whatever noise people are making in the crowd,
it kind of dissipates.
So it didn't--you know, that was a tough gig.
But I was noticing what got the biggest applause.
I think the biggest applause
when he said free speech on campus.
- I thought it was judges, but...
- The crowd went nuts
when he said we need free speech on campus.
What do you make of that? Nina?
- Well, I think-- - Well, that's part of--
go ahead, Nina.
- His people are, you know,
responding to this, you know--
the perfect equipoise
to the armed young groomed men that Rick has just talked about
are the woke, you know, college-educated,
you know, private school-educated kids
who've been--who you saw in Washington the other day
rampaging, who have been really told
to check their white privilege
from an early age,
and it's part of their education.
It's part of their-- you know, I've seen it,
and that's what they-- that's how they think,
and that's their side of the story.
They're the analogue
for the armed men, which is--
you know, they're like lambs to the slaughter, and they--
you know, they're the ones who are running the cancel culture.
They're the ones who are
silencing dissent among their own.
They're--and you know,
that is one thing
that the right has right, and they've--
there is a problem on the campuses.
So--but I actually thought that there was a loud applause
to the--on the judges.
I know that they did respond well
to the campuses, but the speech, to me, was--
you know, they were saying that it's plagiarized,
was plagiarized from the first speech.
There are so many similarities.
It was a lazily-written speech.
- Oh, it was sloppy.
- It made no sense.
When he--you know, there were points...
So again, I just felt like, "I wonder how many people
are even listening to this speech."
Maybe they tuned in for the fireworks,
but yeah, I think they don't care.
The speech doesn't matter.
- No, it's a personality-- - It matters to us,
but it doesn't matter to his people.
- And Bill, a lot of the things in the speech were just--
they go through a checklist now
of what we call the cultural Alamo,
where they're playing to the insecurities
of the Trump base
and the insecurities that Republicans have built up
inside their own political silo.
So Fox is always telling people,
"They're gonna cancel Christmas.
"They're gonna take away your guns.
"They're gonna take away your religion.
They're not gonna let you do this and this and this."
And so he was going through that checklist,
and yes, the speech was a hot mess.
It was written by three or four people.
As a speechwriter, you could see
the inconsistencies in the tonality of it,
and it was all over the board,
and his delivery--as you said, it was low-energy,
to use a phrase that Donald's familiar with.
It was dull. He was not loving it,
and he was leaning against the podium
like a drunk on a light post at one point.
- It was just not a good speech.
- It was a tough venue to work, but okay, final question.
I was mentioning in the monologue Jerry Falwell.
You know, no one hates to give religion
a black eye more than I do,
so I'm not gonna gloat,
but yeah, I mean, Jerry-- - Gloat.
- Jerry Falwell Jr.--
the wife was having an affair, and allegedly--
with the pool boy. I think that's known.
And allegedly, Jerry Falwell Jr.
We heard this with Roger Stone.
He used to like to have the wife
with certain people and then watch,
and Paul Manafort,
we also heard the same thing.
What is it with Republicans and cuckoldry?
- I always say-- - The funny thing--go ahead.
- Poke a conservative,
poke a rock-ribbed conservative,
and the kink just oozes out.
- [laughs] - But why that kink?
Why--why--Why? I don't get that.
You want to watch another man with your lady?
- Listen, this is something
that I find richly ironic,
because the greatest insult
in the 2016 election and since then
that Trumpers use against anyone
who's a Never Trump person or opposed to Trump
is to call them a cuck.
Last time I checked,
these guys are the ones who were racking up the points,
you know, and the Reverend Cuck-well
is the latest example of this thing,
but these guys--whatever it is in their heads
about that particular form of humiliation...
I'm not gonna kink-shame them, but I am gonna kink-shame them,
because they're so fucking hypocritical about it
that, you know, they're the ones who are--
who, like, lose their mind
about gay marriage and everything else,
and yet there's Jerry Falwell,
watching his wife get ridden like a carnival ride
by her pool boy.
- Well, allegedly. We don't know what happens...
- All right, thank you both very much.
I appreciate you helping us inaugurate
our new day here in the studio.
See you soon.
- Thanks, Bill.
- Okay, well, as I mentioned in the monologue,
poor Jerry Falwell Jr., you know.
I feel for any guy whose wife
has, you know, been stepping out on him,
and apparently, that's what happened,
was she was doing it with the pool boy.
I mean, it happens. Pool boys are very sexy.
They got that thing that they put in the pool
And, you know, was he watching? We don't know about that.
Allegedly, he was watching.
But we thought it would just be a good time
to do "24 Things
You Don't Know about Jerry Falwell Jr."
One of our favorite departments,
24 things you don't know.
For example, I call the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost
the "Holy Throuple."
I believe the Lord is present
whenever two or more are gathered in my bed.
I'm a good tennis player,
but almost anyone can lick my wife.
You can read that two ways, I feel.
The only thing I can't convince my pool guy to do
is stop parking in the driveway.
There's a sign in my bedroom
that says "No Cutoffs."
Because of the pool... Around a pool,
you know, you can't...
My bumper sticker says...
"If this van's a rockin',
it's probably my wife fucking the pool boy.
This poor guy. [clears throat]
Funny thing is,
we don't even have a pool.
All right, he is a nine-time Grammy Award winner
and the first Pulitzer Prize- winning jazz musician.
His new album, "The Ever Fonky Lowdown,"
is available now on all digital music platforms.
My honor to introduce Wynton Marsalis.
- All right. - Great to see you.
Where--are you in New York, sir?
- It's such a pleasure. Yes, it's a pleasure
to talk to you. Thank you.
- Well, and to you too.
So--now, you were...
I was worried that you might have been affected
by the hurricane, 'cause I know you have
New Orleans roots, but...
- No. It missed New Orleans.
It... - Yeah.
Were you there for Katrina?
- No, no. I was in New York.
I've been in New York since 1979.
- Okay. - But, you know, my relatives
were all there, so of course,
anybody from New Orleans--
that was a definitive event.
- Well, listen. I enjoyed your latest so much.
I love the music. I love the narration.
I thought it was a particularly important album
in the current moment that we find ourselves in,
because we are in sort of ultimate binary mode
where everything is... - Correct.
- Right? Everything is in teams,
Democrat and Republican
and red state and blue state and black and white,
and you seem to be pushing back against that,
and I find that very refreshing in this atmosphere.
Do you want to tell me a little bit
about your feelings about making that album?
- Yeah, well, we're being hustled.
I think in every decade since the 1980s,
I've written a piece that deals with America,
our social life,
themes of class, race,
civics in general,
and I've been driving across this country--
I'm afraid to fly, so I drive everywhere--
and I know people in all of the states,
and I've had good-spirited arguments
with people all over,
and this piece is entitled "The Ever Fonky Lowdown,"
and it provides a blueprint
to show us how to rise above populist propaganda
on either side in the hustle,
and it encourages all of us to have a much deeper level
of communication and engagement
with our largest possible community.
It's really the only thing that's going to save us,
is the collective creativity.
And the music satirizes
the things that divide us, actually,
and it encourages us to see, in ironic detail,
how foolish a lot of this stuff is
and force to inspect very closely what is going on
and then fight for the world that we all can envision,
creating with and not against others.
- Yeah, I completely concur with that message.
It's a difficult message to put across nowadays,
because people are on their teams,
and they don't want to hear anything different.
When I criticize the left, even though I'm a liberal,
I hear it a lot, like, "Why are you saying that?
We're perfect. They're evil."
And I feel like that's not gonna get us anywhere,
because that's not the way the world is.
That's not the way the world will ever be.
I know you signed the "Harper's" letter,
which was a letter in "Harper's Magazine"
a couple of months ago.
It was organized by Thomas Chatterton Williams,
and it was signed by 150 very impressive people,
mostly, almost all of them, liberals,
who were basically pushing back against cancel culture,
and saying, "We feel stifled.
"We do not want to walk on eggshells anymore.
"We want to be able to speak freely,
think out loud, and not have to suffer repercussions."
And you were one of the signers,
and I applaud you for doing so.
- Well, I didn't understand all about who signed it.
I didn't know everyone who signed it,
but I actually signed it because there was
some Black conservatives on the letter,
and I just wanted to just say, "Yeah, we should all speak
to each other," but then it was a--
you know, cancel culture and all these things
are a bizarre form of imitating
other elite forms of oppression.
It's like blacklisting, McCarthyism,
Salem witch trials, so on.
People who have been victims of a certain type of oppression
tend to create that same victimization
when they get the chance to get some agency.
It's not uncommon. It's just different forms
of attempting to keep people quiet.
When I was growing up, my mama--
whenever she really didn't want to hear what you were saying,
she would say, "Boy, why are you talking?"
Not "What are you talking about?"
Not "What you say?"
It's that you shouldn't be saying anything.
So the public space now is inundated
with people trolling,
people being paid to be on the Internet,
people dedicated to shutting everybody up,
and what we actually need
is a deeper dialogue, a richer dialogue,
and as a jazz musician,
that is our art.
You know, we have a--
ours is the art of listening and of co-creation.
So--and we have a certain type of live-and-let-live culture.
I play with all the great musicians--
Art Blakey, Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy,
you can name them--
and that's the main thing that they were teaching.
You have to learn how to listen.
Listening is a skill that you have to always
develop and work on.
- And improvisation.
Just letting conversation happen.
I think it's something that we are greatly lacking.
And also, I think people talk about,
"Well, we have to reach across the aisle."
Yes, we do. We have--the Republicans
have to talk to Democrats,
and Democrats to Republicans, but also,
wouldn't you agree we need more dialogue
within our own groups?
Within the group, within the left,
within the right, talk to each other,
and if you don't agree, that's okay, too.
- Well, you know, groups tend to be like gangs.
- Yeah. - And you know
how a gang works.
You're with us, or you're against us.
- Right. - And that's what
"The Ever Fonky Lowdown" is about.
And normally, with gangs, what they do is,
you have to commit a crime
against someone who is innocent,
and that bonds you.
And, you know, this is actually the time
to speak against it.
Whatever we've been doing has not been working,
so instead of us having a vision for our country,
instead of us having things that we are actually working on
that are constructive,
you know, we're busy arguing and fighting with each other
and trying to-- now, you know, of course,
stuff like police violence is a prime example
of what we're talking about.
The Supreme Court, in June,
didn't want to see nine cases, or seven, or whatever it was,
dealing with qualified immunity.
Now, it doesn't mean that that would've changed
the state of things, but it's just interesting
that the country--when everybody is in the street,
talking about it, obviously, it's a tremendous problem,
that went under the radar.
Nobody said anything about it.
The highest court in our land saw it.
So you start to get a kind of anti-reason
in a--when things don't have leadership,
which--in this moment, we don't really need
a centralized leadership.
In a strange kind of way,
the fact that we're decentralized
is helping us to survive not becoming
like any other place
that's despotically ruled.
So you do have a kind of back and forth.
But you know, this stuff just being talked--
when was the last time
a majority of 300 million people
needed to call some police for something?
I've been up and down the country.
I've said, get 400 people looting in Chicago,
and they represent millions of people,
and it's not-- I'm speaking of something
that the right is trying to use in their campaign.
Richard Nixon already used this tactic.
Or, you know, Willie Horton. These things work.
It's a part of "Ever Fonky Lowdown."
You know, that's what Mr. Game says.
You have to identify some other
and then create a problem with them
that's far beyond what that problem is,
and then you've got to defend yourself from them.
Caesar, with the Gauls
that were not the toga-wearing Gauls,
but there's some Gauls all the way over here
that we've got to go attack these people.
Y'all don't understand what they do.
They eat their babies.
They do stuff. You don't want that stuff here.
So you know, these people are gonna be in your house
next week. When was the last time
those people were in your house?
- [laughs] Right.
- You know, how you gonna pick on the poorest,
most disenfranchised people, the most under attack,
and they're gonna be the enemy
of the United States of America?
Hey, man, that's... And it's...
You know, the question for this election is gonna be,
will the large group of white voters
that have been manipulated
down through these years
with the fake lore of race and white supremacy,
reinforced by whites and Blacks and whoever else
in Hollywood, in the general media,
can't make enough products to sell to you
making you believe this stuff--
when is that large body of people
who never owned plantations,
who've been poor their entire lives,
who've been struggling in this country to get ahead,
when are they gonna finally wake up
and realize that money and power is the issue,
and the people they continue to be directed to attack
have neither of the two?
And they don't have any-- they don't have the ability
to actually do anything to you.
So focus your gaze
on who is actually exploiting and manipulating you,
and those people exist on both sides of the coin.
Focus on that.
You know, it's not poor Black people
with no agency in the culture. We have to remember.
You know, racial discrimination has always gone hand in hand
with labor and class.
You know, this is where Black people
and a large number of white voters
have a common cause.
Remember, most of the lynchings were not because a black person
looked at a white woman and whistled at her.
It was because somebody request a fair wage.
That's the truth of what the numbers are telling you
about that, so you know,
to the traditionally exploited mass of white Americans,
the Ever Fonky says,
"Keep your eyes on the cash register,
"and don't look at the people
staging the fight in the store."
And we gonna be all right if we can manage
to get a very powerful coalition
of those in whose interest it is
to see new ideas about what our country is
come to the forefront.
- [laughs] I am so glad I got you
talking on that, because that was just
amazing to hear,
and more like that on the album.
I recommend it highly. I thank you for doing this.
It's an honor to speak to you. - Thank you, man.
- And I hope to see you someday in person
here and in concert. - Yeah, I can't wait.
- Okay, thank you. - I can't wait.
- Thank you very much. - Yes, sir.
You got a lot of promise out here.
- Thank you.
All right, time for "New Rules,"
back in the studio.
Still not an audience.
Somehow, you can sit on a plane with people,
but we can't do it here.
"New Rules." Okay.
New rule: after Kimberly Guilfoyle's speech
at the Republican Convention this week...
- [emphatically] Ladies and gentlemen,
leaders and fighters for freedom and liberty
and the American dream,
the best is yet to come!
- Well, yeah, Republicans can never again
bring up the Howard Dean thing.
- Go to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House!
Although, to all those Democrats
who watched Kimberly and thought,
"How could Gavin Newsom ever have married
this crazy person?",
oh, come on.
Who among us doesn't like a screamer?
New rule: if your job
is to show off the softer side of the Trump White House,
then maybe don't deliver your speech
dressed like Ilsa She-Wolf of the SS.
It's vintage Hugo Boss.
Yeah, from 1936.
This look doesn't say "Message: I care."
It says, "Check the attic."
New rule: someone has to create a porn site called Crucifux,
where the categories are what famous evangelical leaders
and conservative Republicans are into.
Sexual humiliation by a gay hooker?
Well, then Ted Haggard. That's the one for you.
S&M? Click Jimmy Swaggart.
And for incest, click Josh Duggar.
And if watching your wife get railed by another dude
is your thing, well, we've got a full menu.
New rule: if you've had your dog more than ten years,
you can stop telling me it's a rescue.
That's like if Trump was still saying,
"This is my son Eric. He wasn't planned."
New rule: The elephant shrew
that has emerged from the lost species list
for the first time in 50 years
has to tell us
You know the world's a shit show right now, right?
In the '70s, the environment was still in pretty good shape.
In the '80s, you had all that cocaine lying around.
Why the year 2020?
[hip-hop music playing]
Oh, yeah, right.
And finally, new rule:
democracy isn't a spectator sport,
and if Trump's going to try to scuttle the post office,
we need to fight back.
Now, I must admit: of the ways I always imagined
Donald Trump would try to steal the election,
fucking with the mail never occurred to me,
but I didn't think he could take the money
Congress gave the Pentagon
and redirect it to the wall, and he did that.
I sure wasted a lot of time in Civics class
with those note cards.
Since April, the president has launched
a two-front campaign against the postal service,
first undermining trust in mail-in voting
by calling it corrupt
so later, he can challenge any results he doesn't like,
and then by undermining the postal service itself,
eliminating overtime, firing leadership,
reducing sorting machines,
so that when the surge of mail-in ballots
starts coming in in October,
the post office will be too gutted and strapped
to handle it, and ballots won't get counted.
He wants it to fail.
It has to fail for his scheme to work.
It's like a postal version of "The Producers."
And there's all sorts of anecdotal evidence now
that the system is starting to crack:
people not getting their mail,
getting it very late.
Last week, I got an issue of "Rolling Stone"
with Bob Seger on the cover.
There's a never-ending well of creativity on the right
to keep people from voting,
and this is the latest dirty trick.
But maybe there is something we can do to fight back.
If Trump is going to reduce mail processors,
it is in our power
to give them less mail to process.
In-person absentee voting
begins in two weeks,
on September 14th in Pennsylvania.
So I say, you have two weeks to use the postal service
for everything you normally do, and after that,
Other than essentials like receiving paychecks,
and of course, the Victoria's Secret catalog,
don't use the mail for anything but ballots
until the election is over.
You know how we pull over for fire trucks?
It's time we do the equivalent for mail trucks.
Let this be our October surprise for Trump.
So that means, get all your Amazon crap now,
all the shit you don't really need:
candles and fucking driftwood art
and elbow moisturizer.
Get it all out of your system now,
and then lay off the Add to Cart button
for a month.
Same thing with the rest of the mail.
I guess there's a certain charm
to an old-school letter written out in cursive,
but go back to charming after the election.
It's not essential.
The last person that sent a letter that mattered
was the Zodiac Killer.
Ditto with the humorous
yet vaguely insulting birthday card
that you send to your aunt every October.
Yeah, well, say that over the phone this year.
Yeah, call her up and say,
"Aunt Gertrude, you are now like a car.
"Your rear end sags, and your fluids leak.
"I'm sorry you had to hear that over the phone,
but I may have just saved democracy."
I'm sorry, but we need to give our besieged
and intrepid postal workers
the time and space they need
to deliver nothing but ballots.
So fruit of the month club? Cancel it.
Wine of the month club? Get drunk on something else.
Sea monkeys, ransom notes.
If you're still paying your bills by mail,
good time to join the new century.
No "save the date" cards, no "get well" cards.
Please, we have Instagram now.
You're embarrassing yourself.
If you're still sending postcards,
it's like watching a movie on Netflix in 2020
and then trying to send it back.
If you order your sex toys by mail,
sorry, get your ass out to the perv store
and buy your disgusting devices and jellies in person.
And of course,
what mostly would free up the mail
would be getting rid of this shit.
[snorts] Capital One,
I don't know what your politics are,
but somewhere in your evil bankers' hearts,
you must think we should all
at least get the chance to vote,
so next month, don't send me an application.
You can throw it in the trash for me.
All the businesses that fill up our mailboxes every day,
really, take a little break.
Bed Bath & Beyond?
It's like a shark. It has to mail me a coupon
every week, or it dies.
Those postcards that look
like they're from someone you know,
but are just real estate agents
bragging, "Hey, I just sold this shit-box for 1.2"?
Letters with pennies taped to them
to guilt me into charity,
the circular from the grocery store.
"Look, we have hot dogs!" Yeah, we know.
Ads for $99 Lasik eye surgery.
If you only want $99 to fix my eyes,
I don't want you touching my face.
And here's something no one has ever said.
"Hey, gather 'round, everyone!
The latest PennySaver is here."
If the post office wasn't so overwhelmed
with the mountains of hot garbage
that flow through it every day,
we might stand a chance of foiling the fat man's plans.
I don't want to lose this election
because of the mail.
This is something we can do.
Okay, that's our show.
I want to thank my guests, Trey Gowdy,
Nina Burleigh, Rick Wilson,
and Wynton Marsalis.
We're off next week and back on the 11th
Good night, folks.
[dynamic rock music]