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CNN Tonight

Candidates Double Time Their Effort; Politicians Don't Waste A Tragedy; Donald Trump Criticized For His Anti-Semitic Statement; January 6 Videos A Good Material For SNL; Donald Trump And Kanye West Talked About Parler; George Clooney Wrong About His Assumptions. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired October 17, 2022 - 22:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: The magnificent Laura Coates and the splendid Alisyn Camerota. Laura, Alisyn, how are you?

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: I wait for the adjectives every time.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: And they're different.

COATES: If they're different every time, but they're always right on the nose.

CAMEROTA: That's something always true.

COATES: Somehow.

TAPPER: That I have a Thesaurus and I make use of it. What, what can I say?


COATES: How do you say that?

CAMEROTA: Jake, we were just talking about how much we enjoyed your monologue. So, Kanye West is buying Parler. What could go wrong?

TAPPER: Yes. Take somebody with obvious stability issues and a nasty view of the Jewish people and give him a social media platform. It sounds great.

COATES: Yes. I think maybe he thinks he's like the new Elon Musk about that and the conversation just broadly being about, hey, let's make sure that everyone has a say. The problem is, I feel like half the time people who think that it's cancel culture don't realize that no one wants to hear the anti-Semitism not canceling you. It's canceling the idea that wasn't already canceled, then we already get to this point where we were not thinking, but I had a viewpoint. It's bizarre to me.

TAPPER: Yes. What I -- what I thought was interesting. I didn't know this, did you? I didn't know he was a billionaire. He's worth about $2 billion. COATES: Yes.

CAMEROTA: No, I didn't know that either, that I learned that on your show tonight.

TAPPER: Well, I mean, it doesn't surprise me.


COATES: Well, I am of course (Inaudible) and new.

TAPPER: He is -- he is a genius. I mean, he is -- he is, I mean, he is brilliant and it's a -- it's a travesty to see what's going on with him.

COATES: I don't know. You know, I, maybe I'm in an unpopular position here. But I have to tell you, I've, I've seen the documentary. I know there was one called genius. I know people talk about them that way, but I have a very difficult time using that word for people who have viewpoints that I find so problematic and so unhinged.

CAMEROTA: But can you separate the man from his art? In other words, like I think you're saying musical genius and I think that's what Kanye said.

COATES: Well then say that.


COATES: But yes.


COATES: and I hear you. I know that's a distinct people will make, but I often, in my mind, I think to myself, are we going to use that word more sparingly, unlike magnificent or fantastic which you can use all the time to describe either one of us.


COATES: For us. I just have a problem with it. I mean, the idea that you can spout and spew harsh rhetoric in that way and still get to be called a genius. Just -- I just find that a little bit stomach turning.


TAPPER: Well, I mean, Henry Ford was a genius. He was also a notorious anti-Semite. I mean, Charles Lindbergh was a genius. He was also a notorious anti-Semite. I mean, and if we're going to start talking about geniuses who are racists, then we're going to mention like 99 percent of all the geniuses that ever lived.

COATES: And then I, you know what I'll say then a hundred percent of them can't be a genius if you get that so wrong about life. That's what I say about that. And I never was like, come on, Laura. (CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Laura Coates the genius arbiter. The arbitrage.

COATES: Just saying --

TAPPER: The genius arbitrage.

COATES: I'm just say maybe, maybe.

TAPPER: Apparently, I'm never going to use the word unless it's been approved by you and that's fine with me. That's fine with me.

CAMEROTA: Or unless it's about us. But Jake we'll be talking --


COATES: I'll take --

CAMEROTA: -- we'll be talking much more about all of this. Thanks so much. Have a great night.

TAPPER: Bye-bye, guys. Great to see you.

COATES: This whole show is about being genius now.


COATES: And with the entire thing.

CAMEROTA: Well, then we have great panelists for it. Good evening, everyone. I'm Alisyn Camerota.

COATES: And I'm Laura Coates of the genius Arbiter. And this is CNN Tonight.

And we are here with our panelists from across the political spectrum and with the midterms just what, 22 days away now, can you believe that? And early voting has already begun in some places. It is now debate night across America, and well, things are getting pretty heated.

CAMEROTA: So, we've pulled some of the highlights or possibly low lights from the debates in Georgia, Ohio, and Utah.


EVAN MCMULLIN, UTAH SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: You were there to stand up for our converse -- for our Constitution, but when the barbarians were at the gate, you were happy to let them in.

SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT): I think I disagree with everything my opponent just said, including the words, but, and the who was an information free, truth free statement, that's something of a record.

REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH): J.D., you keep talking about. Nancy Pelosi, If you want to run against Nancy Pelosi, move back to San Francisco and run against Nancy Pelosi.

J.D. VANCE (R), OHIO SENATOTIAL CANDIDATE: You vote with her a hundred percent of the time so you can't run from the policies that she has supported.

GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R-GA): When Ms. Abrams was not, we were giving tax refund. We were doing tax cuts. We were suspending the gas tax to help you deal with 40-year high inflation when she was criticizing us.

STACEY ABRAMS, (D) GEORGIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: We need a governor who actually believes in equity, racial equity --

UNKNOWN: Thank you.

ABRAMS: -- economic equity in the state of Georgia, and I will deliver.


CAMEROTA: OK. We have a lot to talk about.

COATES: Gloves are off in many respects, right? I mean.

CAMEROTA: I think they have been off.


CAMEROTA: Between all of these people for a quarter.

COATES: Were they on? OK.

CAMEROTA: Quite -- quite a while. Let's bring in our CNN Senior political analyst, Kirsten Powers. We also have political commentator, Jonah Goldberg and Kara Swisher, host of On with Kara Swisher and the Pivot podcast for New York Media.

Great to have all of you guys here in studio with us.

OK. So, Kirsten, who's the bigger lap dog? J.D. Vance or Tim Ryan? I feel like that was --



CAMEROTA: -- what that debate about.

POWERS: That's the debate. Yes. Well, I think what, what they're ultimately trying to do is to say who is really the person that stands up for Ohio. Right? And so, they're trying -- trying to say, that J.D. Vance is claiming that he -- Tim Ryan, you know, stands with Nancy Pelosi, which is kind of a, actually a weird argument to make.


CAMEROTA: He ran against you. POWERS: Yes, I mean, he's not really a Nancy Pelosi Democrat and that

J.D. Vance has, you know, quote unquote "kissed Trump's ass" which basically is somewhat accurate, right? I mean, if you have to look at what he basically went from saying that Trump was this horrific, terrible human being to seeking out his endorsement, and really becoming a Trump Republican.

So, but ultimately what they think they're both trying to say to the voters is, I'm the one who is the real Ohioan who's going to stand up for Ohio.

COATES: It's kind of like the new outsider discussion, right? For a long time and pause, it's always been about, look, I'm not like the people in the so-called swamp. I'm not one of them. I'm not a bureaucrat. Now, it's becoming all the more politics is local and I got to prove to you that this is where I'm from and I can relate.

It's happening in Pennsylvania. Discussions of who's the real person from there in Ohio as well. They're battling in their ads between the street they lived on or the neighborhood they're in trying to decide. I mean, is that really where we ought to be in terms of it appealing to voters?

JONAH GOLDBERG, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, I think part of what you're getting at is, is people want to seem authentic and they're willing to go to great lengths to fake it. But I think what you also describe is sort of one of the fundamental problems we have with our political culture generally.

Everyone wants to be an outsider, you know. I mean, but I have a lot of criticism of Mitch McConnell, but at least he's willing to be like, yes, no, I'm the insider. I am the establishment. I'm the guy running things. And we need more people in institutions who are actually willing to say, no, I'm the one responsible, rather than acting like they are like Donald Trump spent four years talking about the presidency, like it wasn't actually his job.


GOLDBERG: And I think that's a big problem in the culture generally. Joe Biden has a problem with like that too. He often sounds like a pundit rather than the guy who's making the decisions. And all these people want to talk about being an outsider because that means they have no responsibility for what's actually going on and what's actually happened. And it's, it's a really sort of, I didn't do it kind of dysfunctional way to talk about politics.

CAMEROTA: Right, I hear you.


CAMEROTA: Like they want to be an out -- a political outsider, but all from Pennsylvania or what.

GOLDBERG: Exactly.

CAMEROTA: It absolutely makes sense.

GOLDBERG: But look, Ted Cruz has been running as an outsider for a decade.


COATES: I even remember that when there was all the riots happening from Portland and beyond. You had Trump who was currently the president of the United States at the time, saying, this is Biden's America. And everyone kept thinking, well, actually, you're still the president of the United States.


KARA SWISHER, HOST, ON WITH KARA SWISHER PODCAST: Well, it's all for the clips, isn't it? It's all for the social media. It's all for the momentary back and forth. I mean, Herschel Walker pulling out that -- pulling out the badge that he pulled out is somewhat ridiculous, but it was for the -- for the momentary minute that you take away from it.

And I think they're all attuned to that. The little, you know, that's been a part of debating for a long time, but now the substance is getting sucked out of it as they could have these little moments that resonate over and over again.

CAMEROTA: How about what we're saying in Georgia? So, what we just played a little clip there of Governor Kemp and Stacey Abrams. Obviously, they have very different approaches, but they both, you know, have -- can say that they know Georgia. So, what do you hear there?

POWERS: Well, I think that, you know, she's obviously an incredibly impressive person, has a huge national following, but she's running against somebody who's known statewide in Georgia and is considered to be a pretty reasonable Republican.

And so, I think it's, you know, been a tougher for her that I think was originally anticipated.

SWISHER: I think she doesn't think he's a reasonable Republican.


SWISHER: She thinks he just didn't do treason and that's it. And that she shouldn't get, I just interviewed her this week, and I think she feels as if she's the -- she's more of a Georgian and has been there and she's been in the Senate, the state Senate and everything like that. So, she's not a national figure. She just became one.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Is she surprised the race is so close?

SWISHER: She -- she thinks she's going to win. That's of course, what she has to say to me and other interviewers. But I think she's -- she's trying to put out that, Brian Kemp, who is the incumbent, which is a plus for him, that he can -- that he is -- the only thing he did was not defy Trump on the election and that you shouldn't get a badge for that. And that's all he did. But everything else from abortion and other issues is quite radical.

GOLDBERG: Yes. But I think her problem is different though. Her problem is, is that she basically took sides with sort of a national political coalition against her own state. At least that's the way it's perceived by a lot of people in the state. She bought into the Jim Crow 2.0 stuff, which I don't think I had any merit to it.

COATES: You mean you're talking about the idea that voters to characterize the voting legislation as if it was Jim Crow 2.0 is problematic for the state of Georgia?

GOLDBERG: I think it's problematic for the state of Georgia. It cost them an all-star game. That sort of coalition, even though she was against to the specific boycott of the all-star game. But you also just had a federal judge come out and say that her entire claim -- that they -- Stacey Abrahams could not provide a single person who was denied an opportunity to vote in 2018. And yet, she still, sort of, clings at this idea that voter suppression -- but for voter suppression in 2018, she would be governor.


And I think it sounds to a lot of Georgians, at least the people I talked to that what she's basically doing is she's sort of siding with a national media narrative against the state of Georgia, and I think that hurt her.

She, in 2018 was a good year for Democrats and she just came close. This is a bad year for Democrats. I don't think she's going to get anywhere near close.

COATES: Well, what strikes me interesting about the Georgia race for the reasons you're talking about is because, think about this juxtaposition between what the election deniers have said about the 2020 election, election being stolen, and then you've got a very different, you know, connotation as the reason why.

But her talking about the 2018 race as if it was in a way stolen. And yet you don't have the same level of pushback, one, and Trump does not have the same presence for election deniers as other states do in terms of that. And I just wonder why there is that distinction? Why, I mean, what do you think it is about Georgia? Is it the Raffensperger's? Is it the Brian Kemp's that makes it such?

SWISHER: They did do the right thing in that state and they -- and especially Brian -- Brad Raffensberger. And so, one of the things that, I think it's voter suppression versus voter fraud, right? That's really what's she's pushing and they're pushing this voter fraud idea, which Kemp did not do, and neither did Brad Raffensberger.

But I think she's got, she's -- she isn't a unique -- she has a unique problem. I think in the case she didn't lose that much. They made the claim smaller and smaller and her assertion is they changed the laws because of the pressure she put on them. And so, she lost on just -- she did just lose on a few counts, but it was not a good look for, it certainly is not a good look for. And so, she's really battling a popular incumbent senator. I mean,

excuse me, governor. And that's really the problem more than anything else.

CAMEROTA: Let's talk about abortion for a second because this came up in the Tim Ryan-J.D. Vance debate. And so, there's the case that we all know the treasure case of the 10-year-old who was raped, who wasn't going to be able to get an abortion, and somehow J.D. Vance turned that, or tried to, turned that on Tim Ryan. So, here's that moment.


VANCE: The other thing that's important to talk about, Tim Ryan talks about this poor girl who was raped, the 10 -- the 10-year-old girl who had to travel to Indiana to get an abortion. Obviously an incredibly tragic situation. I'm the father of a nine-month-old girl. It's unbelievable. I can't even imagine what it would be like to have that happen to your child, or God forbid if you were a young woman, to have that happen to yourself.

That little girl was raped by an illegal immigrant, and both the media and Tim Ryan need to be honest about the fact that she would never have been raped in the first place if Tim Ryan had done his job on border security.


COATES: I'm sorry, I just -- I find that to -- we're all having the same reaction at this table. I think, Jonah, what was yours?

GOLDBERG: Yes, no, I think it's gross. It's very much like what Donald Trump tried to do with, was it Kate Steinle in 2016?


GOLDBERG: Yes. There are statistically small -- lower amounts of crime by illegal immigrants than Native Americans. Right. Or Native American citizens.

CAMEROTA: American born.

GOLDBERG: American born.


GOLDBERG: Naturalized Americans, whatever. Right?


GOLDBERG: But to say, but to try to turn this into, you know, these illegal immigrants are coming in and raping people, first of all leaves out that there are -- you can find examples of people being raped by full-blooded Americans, and it's just a gratuitous sort of way the bloody toga way of talking about things.

I don't know that it persuades anybody. The base will love it, but I don't know it persuades anybody.

COATES: You think the base loves it?

POWERS: The base absolutely loves it. I mean, this was a Bill O'Reilly special that that used to do, and he led the chart. He's the one who started the whole Kate Steinle thing actually, and because to some people they'll say, well, but if that person wasn't here, it wouldn't have happened. Which I get is technically true, but it's like, well, somebody else whose grandparents were Irish hadn't been led into the country, then they wouldn't have killed that person. Right.

I mean, it's just as ridiculous. It's like you could apply that to any person almost.

SWISHER: What's -- what's striking about Vance is, I knew him before in the before times when he was in tech. You know, he worked for Steve Case.


SWISHER: And I just, it's shocking. It's actually shocking. When someone else --


CAMEROTA: And what is it. What -- this is just raw political ambition that we're saying.

SWISHER: Either that or a real -- a real change of personality. I don't know.

POWERS: Is it possible he was hiding who he really was before?

SWISHER: No, no, no. He was like a tech broke. I don't know what else to say it, but that he really was.

POWERS: It seems to come so naturally to him. You know, it makes me wonder if he was like an undercover, you know, --


POWERS: -- right-winger who was hiding this.


POWERS: But it's because it really is, it's so extreme. Maybe. I mean, doesn't even say right-winger isn't even accurate. Right? It's --

GOLDBERG: I have friends who are friends with him on both sides of this question. It's like the Rudy Giuliani question. And I don't have a good answer for it.

SWISHER: Yes. Not even slightly the same person.

CAMEROTA: Really interesting.

COATES: I mean, it's unbelievable. Think about and just the, I mean, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde would everyone appeals to the base if that's what you're doing? That's a problem in general, but we'll see. That poor little girl, I would remind people it's a child we're talking about and yet again being used some kind of political pawn.

Backlash tonight against the former president critic -- who criticized Jewish Americans for not being more appreciative of his moves on Israel. Let's look at why that's a problem and how it all plays out into one big anti-Semitic trove, next.



COATES: Former President Donald Trump is facing a lot of backlash tonight after complaining that U.S. Jews aren't appreciative, his words, appreciative enough of his policies towards Israel.

I want to bring back in our -- to our conversation and to Beth Kean, the CEO of the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles.

Beth, I'm very glad you're here tonight. Thank you for joining us.

You know, it's unfortunate that this topic is perpetually brought up because of the extraordinarily unfortunate and anti-Semitic remarks that are being made way too commonly. And I just wonder, in your role in what you do, it must be particularly jarring that people still are not educated on this issue enough to know how hurtful it is.

Are you able hear me?


COATES: OK. I think you weren't able to hear my earlier question. I was asking you what your opinion was in terms of just how jarring it must be in the work that you do, particularly with the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles, to know how often and frequently people are still posting and saying this hateful rhetoric.


KEAN: Holocaust Museum L.A.'s mission is to inspire humanity through truth and it affects me personally. My grandmother had a number burned into her arm that, 79335 has been etched in my memory just because my grandmother -- my grandmother's life wasn't deemed to be worth -- she -- to be a human being. She wasn't worthy of being a human being.

She watched her own parents and her siblings walk into the gas chambers. And so, it's really important for us to remember that words have responsibility. The Holocaust started with words. When we see people like Kanye West post words filled with hate and lies and anti- Semitism. He needs to understand where that racism and prejudice can lead. So, that's -- that's what we do at Holocaust Museum L.A. We need to --

we educate kids and people of all ages about the lessons and the social relevancy of the Holocaust.

COATES: It's so important, and I know you've mentioned at least one person who is an artist, but this also came in part from a former president of the United States who was making statements somehow to perpetuate a trope. That somehow Jewish Americans have a loyalty towards Israel as opposed to United States of America, that somehow on the base of the religion, they are supposed to feel appreciative to the point of exercising their vote only in one direction.

There are consequences. And I wonder when these statements are said by someone like a president of United States, what does that mean, do you think for how people not just only down in politics, but across the globe think about this. Is it making it OK?

KEAN: I think it's another form of anti-Semitism. This is just, you know, Donald Trump is perpetuating a false narrative. And we know there are Jews, many different kinds of Jewish people who share many different kinds of beliefs, and he's just perpetuating another false narrative.

COATES: When you think about the consequences, I mean, there is a rise of hate and actions can result from that as well. What do you hope people will most understand about the consequences and how to course correct this type of rhetoric?

KEAN: We know that education is the greatest catalyst for change and it's really important for people to understand. The Holocaust did not happen overnight. It didn't just fall from the sky, and it's a series of events that happened over time. And hate speech, the lies, anti- Semitism. These are things that are worrying into our public discourse today, and it almost, it feels very mainstream.

And like I said earlier, the Holocaust started with words and we know when what can happen when hatred and bigotry go unchecked. So, we all have a social responsibility to educate people about what can happen because it keeps happening again and again.

COATES: Beth, thank you so much. Thank you for helping the fight for education in this area in particular.

KEAN: Thank you.

COATES: Alisyn, I mean, just the idea that becoming so mainstream that it almost, I mean, it's just, can you imagine?

CAMEROTA: The 2021 had the highest anti-Semitic incidents. It was a new high. Now, is she inviting Kanye West to the Holocaust Museum in L.A.?

COATES: There have been people who she's done over time. Remember, there was a big visit here in Washington, D.C. with Marjorie Taylor Greene at one point.


COATES: The congresswoman from Georgia.

CAMEROTA: So, is that on the table?

COATES: I think that's still on the table, but I have to wonder, I mean, the idea of doing it individually to educate what ought to be done more collectively is just really troubling to me. That piece by piece, I mean, after all this time people are still learning this.

CAMEROTA: I think it can't hurt. I think it can't hurt for him to go and have to see it and have to live it and have to feel it on some level. He has 30 million followers. So, it's, yes, it's one by one educating people, but he does have an impact, like it or not, he does have an effect.

And so, I think that it would help. I hope that he takes upper invitation. All right, we want to hear what you have to say about all of this, and we'll be right back with our panelists.



CAMEROTA: A source tells CNN that Kanye West and Donald Trump spoke by phone today about West acquiring the conservative social media site Parler. Just last week, West, who legally changed his name to Ye, was locked out of Twitter for an anti-Semitic post.

Let's bring back in Kirsten Powers, Jonah Goldberg, and Kara Swisher.

OK, Kara, I want to start with you because, the, CEO of the Anti- Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt, is quite concerned about this.


CAMEROTA: So, what he says is, it's key for people to understand that Ye did not just purchase some benign alternative social media web site where conservative views are debated and discussed, and free speech rules a day. Parler is a safe haven for extremists, anti-Semites, and white supremacists. What do you predict will happen when Kanye buys now that Kanye's bought Parler?

SWISHER: He hasn't bought it. He's bought it in principle. I don't think it's ever going to close.


SWISHER: It's just not, it's just -- it doesn't make any sense at all from a business point of view, he's had a lot of troubles in business with a lot of partners.


It's a marketing opportunity for Parler for sure. They've been trying to dabble in all kinds of businesses. All these sorts of right-leaning sites have tried whether it's Gettr or some others. And it's been tough. And Twitter, the big, the big giant among them is a terrible business.

So, it's not a great business. I think, I don't know if he'll realize that. And I don't see any economic opportunity for anybody, and he's got to recognize it.

COATES: But how is this different -- how -- so tell us how his purchase and principle is different from say, an Elon Musk discussion about Twitter. That's been a back-and-forth conversation. How is -- how would this be different?

SWISHER: Well, it's not. He didn't make a binding contract. It sounds like he didn't. There's no -- there's almost no details about this and there's a lot of details about what Elon promised to do at Twitter, which is buy it for $54 and 20 cents a share. And that's what he's going to have to do because he signed a binding contract.

This is one that it's in principle, so I don't quite know what it means. It sounds like it was struck at the last minute from reporting in the Wall Street Journal. It's, you know, again, Parler has been struggling. It just got a small investment, which was very small. It's been trying to do things around platforms. It had was in NFTs and now that market has crashed. It was selling Trump NFTs at one point. You know.

COATES: Don't think that's fine.

SWISHER: Got you one.

COATES: Then that's comedy for you, Jonah.

SWISHER: Yes. I bought you one. How sad.

CAMEROTA: But I mean, even if he doesn't officially buy it, they -- the language they've been using is a acquire.


CAMEROTA: And so, do you think that he has free reign to say whatever he wants on Parler now?

SWISHER: I think he has free reign to say anything he wants anywhere he goes. I don't know if he needs Parler to do so, you know. He's been -- he's been what he said on the other services he got kicked off of, he totally deserved. He broke their terms of service. Parler he may or might not be able to say.

They have lots of moderation on Parler. They just don't, don't tout it. They say to the free speech, network of the free speech or whatever they -- whatever motto they have. There is a lot of really terrible stuff on that platform. They have improved since January 6th. That's why --

COATES: What do you guys think about the idea? I mean, there's often a conversation surrounding the idea. You got to be able to say anything you want. That's the whole enticement of these or on different social media platforms. You know, consequences be damned. I have this free speech rights as if anyone you just named is the government, which of course is who has the first time in obligations.

But, so when you think about it, like in a very loose way. Should there be more policing of the content? Should you do some --


SWISHER: Why are you using the word policing? It's called editing.


SWISHER: I mean, policing.

COATES: I'm using the word policing because that's the terminology people use to describe what they feel that's been done --


SWISHER: But it's a private company, it's not the government.

COATES: Well, I'm using the -- that's -- it is true. It's not the -- it's not the government. But the idea of ensuring that you are following certain laws and regulations of terms of use is essentially the definition of the use of the word policing. Should it be?

POWERS: Look, I think that, I do think there's an idea of a free speech that's outside of the government, you know, that we would want foment, you know, free speech have differing ideas in the public square where we battle out these ideas. What I always love is this, when people say, I got banned because I'm conservative, and it's like, were you arguing for low taxes or a big military?

It's like, no, I was blaming the Jews for all the problems in the world. It's like I didn't know that was a conservative position. Right? So, we do have some standards and some guardrails in society, and that doesn't mean that your free speech is being taken away from you. You can still say the things, you're not going to go to jail.

I mean, do you know how hard it is to get kicked off of Twitter? I can show you what is said to me on a daily basis.


CAMEROTA: I shudder to think.

POWERS: A misogynist garbage. That I have reported and always get something back saying this does not violate our terms of charge.

CAMEROTA: That's amazing.

POWERS: Right. So, so the idea that somehow people are being silenced from expressing political views is nonsense. They're being -- they're being sometimes punished occasionally --


SWISHER: Right but there's also --

POWERS: -- punished for saying things that, for threatening people, for saying things that are dangerous.


SWISHER: That's the point.

CAMEROTA: You don't agree.

GOLDBERG: Well, yes, no, look, I agree with Kara and Kirsten in the -- in that, look, I mean, I've had these arguments with free speech absolutists for a million years and say, I'm completely against censorship. And I'm like, OK, so can Saturday morning television have pedophilia and pornography? No. No, no, no. That's just community standards.


GOLDBERG: That's just response. No, that's editing. That's responsible stewardship of a platform. And there's a Gresham's Law. You know, part of this is a business proposition, and I think Kara makes a very good point. Everyone likes this. Everyone on the right likes to talk about how Twitter is big tech. Twitter is actually pretty medium sized. A small tech, you know?

SWISHER: Tiny tech. I call it tiny tech.

GOLDBERG: Yes. It is nothing near the capitalization of like, you know, say Google or anything like that. Right? And these other things are just microscopic. And -- but we treat them as if they're a much bigger thing because everybody in the political conversation is very, very, very online.

Most Americans aren't. And the only thing that really, you know, bothers me about, about the attention on the artist formally known as Kanye, is that, I actually just -- I don't want to hear the guy. I mean, I think he's got mental health, known mental health issue. He's been exploited by a bunch of people.


What drives me crazy is the number of people who are amplifying and monetizing and cashing in on his mental health problems. And so, and what they'll do is they'll say, look, here's what he said about like, what big corporations are doing, and they're trying to silence him for this.

It was like, no, no, it was actually this stuff about the Jews that they're saying he's -- he ran a foul on, he can talk about big tech and he can talk about, you know, capitalism all he likes, and it's this bait and switch and you see it from a lot of right-wing sites who are trying to say that this guy is being canceled for things other than the anti-Semitism, which is a de facto erasure of the anti- Semitism.

SWISHER: It's also a business. Let's just be honest. Advertisers don't want to be near this stuff. They don't -- they don't want to be in a cesspool, and so they can make these sites, it just won't be good businesses, and then they won't be. So.

CAMEROTA: And so, you don't see a bright future for Parler?

SWISHER: I do not. I don't see it for -- I've told this to George Farmer, who's the CEO, very smart guy. I just -- it's very difficult to make a business. He's tried a lot of things and I had interviewed the previous CEO, which got him fired. The interview actually got him fired, but because he just sort of, abrogated any responsibility on that platform after January 6th.

But it's got to be a good business ultimately, and it's just not. And Twitter has not made a sense since it was founded.


SWISHER: It's been a terrible stock. Elon Musk is about to buy a company for $44 billion that's worth 7. That's like, I would like to take the money and shovel it into an oven. It's the same thing, you know, it's really bad.

COATES: Yes. Well, you're saying, let's not -- I want to go to the oven. I'll be receiving it end of it. Anyway, and we want you to know what all you're thinking right now as well about the alarming rise at anti-Semitism. Who is to blame, what can be done about it, and your views on other things we've been talking about today during the show.

Tweet Alisyn and myself at Alisyn Camerota and the Laura Coates.



COATES: All right. Saturday Night Live doing what it does best this past weekend tackling all things, well, political. And it's cold open the show focused on last week's January 6th committee hearing, particularly the role that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer played on that very day.


UNKNOWN: Donald was desperate to hang onto power. Meanwhile, real heroes like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were the ones actually running this country.

CHLOE FINEMAN, ACTRESS: Mr. Vices President, Mr. Vice President, Speaker Pelosi again. Tell him I'm here too. Mr. Vice President, where is President Trump? What is he doing? This stops since.

SARAH SHERMAN, ACTRESS: And hi, Mike, it's Chuck Schumer. I'm here as well.

FINEMAN: Let me tell you, if Trump comes here right now, I'm going to punch him right in the face. I'll go to jail, but I'll be happy.

SHERMAN: And let me tell you, if Trump comes, I'm going to let him punch me in the face. I'll go to the hospital free soup.


COATES: I want to bring in Pete Dominick, comedian and host of the Stand Up with Pete Dominick daily podcast. Jonah Goldberg and Kara Swisher are also back.

First of all, a comedian laughed at another comedian. That's almost unheard of. That's --


PETE DOMINICK, COMEDIAN: No, it's not huge. No, it's not, ladies. First of all, thank you for dressing us candy hearts. It's so great to be on your set with this talented group. I don't even know why I'm here.

We support each other. Comedians supports each other. We root for each other. And that was hilarious.

CAMEROTA: That was -- that was --


COATES: It was good. Yes.

CAMEROTA: I am so patriotic when I watch Saturday Night Live every Saturday, because what a great country we live in. It, for 45 years they have made fun of the most powerful people in the world, and they can do it again the next Saturday Night. And I mean, obviously you do this also every -- so Stephen Colbert and the Daily Show and all the places that you've worked.

It's a great country. Nobody has been stopped from making fun of the most powerful people, thank God.

DOMINICK: Yes, no, I mean, comedians have been doing it forever. I think we get a little bit too much credit. You're supposed to seek -- speak truth to power. You can, and if you do, great, but you don't have to. But I think, yes, I worked at the Daily Show and then the Colbert Report. Now I'm at John Oliver tonight, and of course I've been doing standup my whole career.

But I think, you know, Kara can obviously speak to this too. All of us can. You guys are hilarious on Twitter yourselves if you want to be. There's so many other places to be funny and to say things and to go viral and you don't have to have the backing of a huge network and a huge media platform. And I've seen so many, quote, "no name" comedians get massive as a result.

CAMEROTA: But don't you think that -- do you think that SNL still has cultural relevance?

DOMINICK: It has -- sure till Monday. I mean, it airs on Saturday night. We love it. We watch it. They still have great writers, they still have great performers, but it's a network show on 11.30 and Saturday night. It's still great, but there's so many other things available and there's so many other comedians, and just because you're on SNL doesn't mean you're the best.

Just because you're on anywhere doesn't mean you're the best. There's so many great independent comedians doing great things. You see that woman that got a beer thrown at her on stage as comedian?


DOMINICK: And she's gotten super famous overnight because that terrible thing and how she handled it. But you come to find out she's also a very funny comedian.

COATES: Well, you know, the thing is, what I think is so fascinating is just as around this time, the voters are to lean into the midterms even more than they haven't before. And then you got SNL who begins the spoofs. And I think about the Tina Fey, I think about the Alec Baldwins, I think about the impersonation, really shake the way that people start to view the candidate.

DOMINICK: For sure.

COATES: It makes either a mockery of them, people kind of lean in and go, I guess maybe they are a joke. Or they go, hey, I like this person even more. And depending how the foil is. And I just, I think about the way that satire more and more is shaping it.

SWISHER: But the last time it mattered was Tina Fey doing Sarah Palin. It really changed the people's --


DOMINICK: I'll throw you -- I'll throw you Kate McKinnon, Rudy Giuliani. That cross gender stuff I think has been really great like to see like women making fun of men by playing men.

SWISHER: I mean, so making a real difference is what I'm saying. When people saw that Tina Fey's skit with Amy Poehler, I think it was the first,

CAMEROTA: Yes, we have it. Let's -- let's, let's play them all.


AMY POEHLER, COMEDIAN: I believe that diplomacy should be the cornerstone of any foreign policy.

UNKNOWN: And I can see Russia from my house.



CAMEROTA: So, Kara, you think that that actually did change some voters' minds?


SWISHER: I think it did. I think it was very powerful and I think, but now it isn't. As he's saying, there's other places and the problem is, if you look at the numbers, viewership is down on all of television and cable too. You all know this. And so, and people are getting things from TikTok or wherever in little pieces and different places. And so you can't decide where people are going to become famous anymore. And so that's a real --

GOLDBERG: I know I'm skunk of the garden party on this kind of stuff, but first of all, SNL has had good years and really bad years. I think it was terrible on politics for all eight years of Obama. Their head political writers that basically he -- you can't make a joke about the guy. He's too perfect.

And a lot of people on my side of the aisle saw this as a perfect example how the culture goes one way. A lot of political comedy is a monoculture. A lot of the network comedy shows all come from the same perspective. They may -- they -- some may land jokes better than others and all that.

COATES: But some things are -- some things are objectively funny.

DOMINICK: Yes, that's I will, that -- that's where I get to argue with Jonah.


DOMINICK: Because it's the only thing I might know more about than Jonah does, and because I've been doing comedy so long. It is true. It is true that Obama was really hard to make fun of it. It's true. And if a conservative comedian could have excelled and make fun of Obama, they would've, and they should have, but they didn't.

It was a free market as we've been talking about. He was hard to make fun of. He didn't have a tick. He wasn't a constantly a parody of himself. Whereas now today, comedians so often saying, you know, since the Trump era and media has changed so much, they're a parody of themselves.

GOLDBERG: Yes. Look, I mean, like I, I'll grant. Easy -- easy thing for you to grant. Donald Trump is easier to make fun of than Barack Obama, but one of the reasons why Donald Trump is easier to make fun of than Barack Obama, among myriad other reasons.


GOLDBERG: Is that there's a lot of audience capture in late night television and in sort of lead comedy. I mean, the Daily Show John Stewart was brilliant. I don't dispute that for a heartbeat. And he was really, really good at it. He also basically did fans. He was telling the audiences what they wanted to hear about the

politicians the way they wanted to hear it. And there was a certain, there's a certain amount of sort of preaching to the choir that you get some are really good at it. It doesn't mean everyone -- they're not funny. But there is a -- there's a definite sort of a sense for a lot of people on the right, like there's the evidence.


DOMINICK: But the answer -- the answer -- the evidence --

COATES: Well, how do you -- how do you explain the idea that people like, I mean, who, there were people who, and I think they did go too far, but you had the likes of Jim Carey and others who were saying, look, we're being criticized for our comedy because you're saying we're going too far when we are criticizing people like Trump, for example.

CAMEROTA: But I mean, comedians also are making fun of Joe Biden.


GOLDBERG: I was just going to say that.

DOMINICK: That's the point about the Obama, you know, era he wasn't touched. The reason why I think that's wrong is because look at what comedians are doing to Joe Biden all day, all the time. He's very easy to make fun of it.

GOLDBERG: I'm not the professional or professional joke writer, but if we're going to talk, as Alisyn was talking about how brave and wonderful and great this country is, because our comedians get to make fun of the most people -- the people in power. Going eight years without make fun -- finding anything that you can make fun of Barack Obama about, it wasn't something.

DOMINICK: I'm interviewing Larry Wilmore tomorrow on my show, and he made fun of Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents dinner. Everybody made fun of Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents dinner. I remember --


GOLDBERG: Well, you said before you couldn't.

SWISHER: And so, we've established that Obama is not funny, but I would agree with that. But I mean, I think the issue is can -- what -- how do you -- how do people get their humor? How, especially young people get their humor now.


SWISHER: And it -- they absolutely do not get it from these big shows anymore.

DOMINICK: Right. SWISHER: They just maybe a moment and something pops out and you're

like, that's funny. There's all I could --


DOMINICK: Well, John Oliver, I think he had really young audience.

SWISHER: Yes, John Oliver. He's the one person, I have to say I have two teen sons.

DOMINICK: There you go.

SWISHER: They are -- they love him.


SWISHER: My son just went to the set actually.



SWISHER: But they, but as few, and it was sort of like John Stewart. The people thought about John Stewart many years ago when he had his show.


SWISHER: So, I think the difficulty is like, where do these comics come from and how, what is the longevity of their careers and that's what's more difficult and where they get --


DOMINICK: Well, I will -- I'll be very controversial --

CAMEROTA: Quickly.

DOMINICK: -- and say conservatives are much easier to make kind of than liberals, Jonah.

GOLDBERG: Particularly if you're a liberal comedian.

DOMINICK: No, because if it were true conservatives, we had a field day making a lot of money, making fun of us. And you know, some of -- some are doing a pretty good job. I'm not saying it's impossible.


DOMINICK: But it's a free market comedy.

SWISHER: It's a new area for you, Jonah.

DOMINICK: Go for it. There you go, Jonah.

GOLDBERG: All I'm saying is if you, if you look from ABC to CBS to NBC, including John Oliver, including the Daily Show, it is overwhelmingly from the, sort of the same direction, the same assumptions, often the same cheap shots, sometimes not. And there's a market out there for half the country.

And look, I got huge problems with my old friend Greg Gutfeld these days, but Greg Gutfeld is the number one comedy show out there for a reason.

SWISHER: There you love it. There you have it.

DOMINICK: Yes. He is.

CAMEROTA: All right. Thank you all very much. On that note, we need to talk about George Clooney. He's, yes. He's getting personal about politics. Next, what he shares with CNN's Chris Wallace about the Donald Trump he knew back before Trump ever ran for president and his fears now.



GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: There -- there's this part of you that just goes, well, that guy shouldn't be president. But I was wrong. And he was. And our democracy, I believe paid a price certainly around the world.



CAMEROTA: George Clooney sitting down with Chris Wallace for a wide- ranging interview last night, and Clooney offered up a story about the Donald Trump he used to know.


CLOONEY: There is a world where we could go back to where we were. I don't think it's as likely as people think, but I was wrong about the first election. You know, I didn't think people would, I didn't think people would vote for someone who was so deeply flawed. You know?


I mean, I know Donald Trump, you know. I mean, that's the thing is people, you know, I had his phone number in my phone book. He was -- he was the guy that came to the bars and asked me about which cocktail waitress was single. You know, that's who he was.

CHRIS WALLACE, CNN HOST: This was back in the 90s.

CLOONEY: Not that long. No, back in the 2000s, quite honestly. And so, there's this party of you that just goes, well, that guy shouldn't be president, but I was wrong. And he was. And our democracy, I believe paid a price certainly around the world. And I worry about the possibility. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COATES: You forget sometimes just how much he was a part of the social scene, Donald Trump. It's like, yes, Laura.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. And a lot of people knew him as just how George Clooney is describing that. Donald Trump, the sort of real estate mogul bon vivant of yesterday year. And people thought that that was harmless and sort of all fun and games. And as George Clooney says, then something shifted and he was wrong about his impression.

But he also goes on to say in this interview, and I think that it just echoes what so many of us feel. He said the new joke, the new cruelty is, you know, let's send migrants, people seeking legal asylum here. Let's send them without any warning because it's fun to own the liberals. Like it's all about, basically he's saying --

COATES: The game.

CAMEROTA: -- it's a game. And the civil discourse is so rancid right now, and it's all about like, who can you hurt and the cruelty. And I think so many people feel that way, but yet nobody is able to stop it for some reason.

COATES: Well, that's the scary part. I mean, the idea that for the reason you talk about. If everyone is a pawn then there, I mean, remember we had the veterans at one point and Congress had that very issue. Same thing. I mean, I just -- that is so, that's why people are so disgusted, by the way with politics.

Listen, we're getting some of your reaction here tonight on Twitter. Here's one that came in about Kanye West and says, Kanye West definitely needs to go to the Holocaust Museum and get reeducated on the Holocaust the same way we require those. We try to downplay slavery, Jim Crow and segregation.

We also want to hear more about your thoughts tonight and have you join the conversation. What did you think about what George Clooney had to say about the former president and other topics today? Can we go back to where we were? Let us know. Tweet us at the Laura Coates and at Alisyn Camerota.