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Heavy Hitters Coming Out On Campaign Trail In Final Week Before Midterms; Hateful, Racist Messages Spray-Painted In FL. Brazil's President Loses Election But Has Yet To Concede; Panel Discusses Stories Of Super Rich Behaving Badly. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired October 31, 2022 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: So, just eight days remain for parties to convince voters that they are the ones who should have control of the Congress over the next two years. The heavy hitters are certainly coming out, yet President Biden and former presidents Trump and Obama hitting the campaign trail in the closing days ahead.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: More than 21 million ballots have already been cast. So, how many minds can still be changed and what does all of this mean for the 2024 presidential race?
Those are the questions for the return of our dueling panels this evening. So, Laura, just to let everyone know, this is where we each get four minutes and our panels make their best case, and we sort of decide who wins at the end.
COATES: We're going to win --
CAMEROTA: Not so fast. Not so fast.
COATES: Here with me right now, Republican strategist Rina Shah, CNN political analyst Seung Min Kim, and CNN political commentator Ashley Allison. Look at the clock. It is going right.
So, first of all, guys, there's a lot of anxiety for Democrats right now over the next eight days, but also even more for the next -- I don't know -- two years because they are wondering whether Biden is the person they still want in office. What do you think about the anxiety?
ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think everyone should always question which candidate should be on the ballot, even if it's an incumbent. I think that's what makes our democracy strong, even President Biden. I am fine with people -- if president Biden runs again, I will support him, but I think that democracy is about giving people opportunities to run on the ballot.
COATES: In Ohio, Tim Ryan did not seem to be as self-assured. (INAUDIBLE) new blood. What do you think to that?
SEUNG MIN KIM, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: What's interesting about it, when he said that, he was actually peering with President Biden that day in Ohio, willing to stand behind him and tell the administration's accomplishments. But when it comes to running in 2024, people like Tim Ryan are saying not so much.
So, it is just this weird dynamic that we're seeing. Democrats are extremely happy with the Biden administration's accomplishments, what they have done from the past two years.
So, of course, the no brainer answer should be, of course, we want Biden to run again, but you're not seeing that a lot. There is a lot of nervousness about his age, obviously looking at his approval ratings, looking at what else is out there.
This is going to be an interesting dance for the next two years.
RINA SHAH, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I come from a culture where we respect our elders. I grew up in (INAUDIBLE), so double that. And I will just say this. It is great that we have people who have all this expertise and knowledge. You know, you're talking about Dianne and Chuck and Nancy. It seems like on their left, there's all these people that are pushing 80.
But then you got Chuck Grassley over there running, and I'm like, hang up your running shoes. So, I'm in equal sort of applying this thing that we are -- we need to talk about who is leading our country. If you can't operate your own smartphone, if you don't know what cybersecurity is and two-factor authentication, you probably should not be making our loss.
COATES: Look, SNL actually wanted to weigh in on this. They had this to say. This was a kind of viral moment happening on Saturday. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Sometimes a familiar face can be the most terrifying.
UNKNOWN: In political news, President Biden has said he intends to run for reelection in 2024.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): You trusted him once.
UNKNOWN: I knew he was a little old, but he could still win, right? He beat Trump.
UNKNOWN: But can he beat DeSantis?
UNKNOWN: I don't know. I don't know!
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Can we trust him again? UNKNOWN: He's 79 now. Elections in two years. So that means.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): When it feels like nothing is going right.
UNKNOWN: Gas prices are still kind of high.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Even though it kind of is
UNKNOWN: Why are we so worried? He has done so much. Student debt relief, holding (INAUDIBLE) together, infrastructure bill.
UNKNOWN: But he fell off his bike once!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: Ageism or funny?
ALLISON: Funny, and yet I think it's playing (ph) to the media being a little tough maybe on Biden like falling off the bike. I fell off my bike sometimes, too.
COATES: Do you - do you, Ashley?
ALLISON: I mean, I just fall walking sometimes, so -- I think it was funny and that's what SNL is supposed to do.
COATES: What do you think?
MIN KIM: Well, I think it is funny. It is also a little ageist. But it also does in a way encapsulates some of the fears that we're seeing in the Democratic Party about a second thought of run. So, there's a little bit of (INAUDIBLE).
SHAH: America loves a strongman. I wish they love a strong woman. So, we need. We need some people who looks vital and young and strong.
COATES: You got a table full of strong women here. I love it. Are you running for office? No extra question now. We will leave it in the (INAUDIBLE). They said never mind. Never. Never mind.
Alisyn, I'll go back to you, of course, because I know you need the last four seconds because they just got the mic. We are having strong women.
CAMEROTA: Wow, that is some confidence right there. All right, Laura, I see your SNL clip, and I raise you an SNL clip. Put four minutes on the clock, please, for me, and I will play the SNL clip. Go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: If Biden is not going to run, who will?
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Just when you thought the terror was over.
UNKNOWN: I don't know. I don't know. Kamala?
UNKNOWN (voice-over): You realize it's just beginning.
UNKNOWN: There's got to be someone!
UNKNOWN: Cory Booker!
UNKNOWN: He's corny!
UNKNOWN: Listen to yourself!
UNKNOWN (voice-over): From the producers of smile on the twisted minds of "Morning Joe."
UNKNOWN: Not again.
UNKNOWN: I am the perfect candidate.
UNKNOWN: A superstar who can go all the way.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Sometimes your best option.
UNKNOWN: I'm with her, I'm with her, I'm with her.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Is the one you fear the most.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Man, they really went for the jugular there. I think that they have zeroed in on exactly the issue. For all the Democrats who complain about Biden, who do they want to replace him with in two years?
MARA S. CAMPO, JOURNALIST: Yeah, that's exactly the problem. The best comedy is rooted in truth, right? That is exactly what they touched upon. People are saying, we want somebody else to run, but who? Who else is that going to be? That's actually how Biden ended up with this job in the first place. Couple of years ago, they looked around, and they said, who, who is it going to be?
CAMEROTA: He vanquished everyone else, may I remind people.
CAMPO: And he was the one who is most likely to beat Trump. And look, he did it. So, the question now is, who else would it be? And not just on the left, but also on the right. Who do they have? Trump and DeSantis? Who else?
CAMEROTA: I mean, isn't that enough? They seem to have a lot of confidence in Trump and DeSantis.
ASTEAD HERNDON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, there is at least a clear-ish picture on the right with Trumpet and DeSantis. On the left, if you would remove Biden, it would be a free-for-all. I think it does zero in on the real Z problem.
I think that you zeroed in on something, too. When Hillary Clinton lost in 2016, there was not a democratic bench that was ready and waiting. It sent the party into chaos. They are still dealing with the domino effects from that.
And this is playing out in this way where Democrats in a rock and a hard place -- when you talk to base Democrats and you ask them, are they happy with what Biden has done? They will say yes. You ask them, you want him to run again? And it is like that SNL skit.
And so, it is -- it is difficult for democrats to both see his successor but at the same time they are -- they know that he's probably the best option against Trump. They go after it.
CAMEROTA: In keeping with the horror flick, is there any Democrat who sends a shiver down the spine of Republicans?
CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA REPRESENTATIVE: At the moment, I don't think so, and this is the problem for Democrats. What is implicit in Joe Biden's 2020 campaign message was that he was going to be a bridge to the next generation of Democratic leaders. Well, okay.
No disrespect to the leadership, the House leadership, they are octogenarians. They are good, honorable people. But, you know, they're kind of aging out as far as a lot of Democrats are concerned. They want to get through this next generation. I guess, you know, you got Gavin Newsom out there. he seems to be talking -- of course, Kamala Harris.
CAMEROTA: But if Republicans, Charlie, win the Senate and the House, does Biden actually run again in 2024 or does he exit?
DENT: My own feeling is he's probably not going to run again.
CAMEROTA: Either way?
DENT: Either way. Like I said, he was going to be a bridge to the next generation of Democratic leadership.
CAMEROTA: He's not saying that. I mean, I think that he is --
HERNDON: He is not saying that, but if the Democrats have bad midterms, the heat would turn up on President Biden's not run again immediately. Democrats know that the next presidential election for them is existential.
And if they think President Biden is weak, particularly after bad midterms, the blood will circulate around the water. That will start almost that night.
CAMPO: Can I just make one clarification?
CAMEROTA: In two seconds, yeah.
CAMPO: When we're talking about the future, I'm talking about --
CAMPO: -- beyond 2024. So, yes, Trump and DeSantis good enough for 2024.
CAMEROTA: Got it.
CAMPO: Who else beyond that?
CAMEROTA: Well done, panel! Well done. Okay, Laura, your thoughts?
COATES: Well, she took the three seconds, and I hand it back to you.
COATES: And I am -- It's okay with it. I'm okay. I like the orange color she's wearing, so I'll give it to her.
CAMEROTA: Thank you. That was generous.
COATES: But that SNL skit, I mean, you're right, the idea of comedy reflecting a lot of what we are seeing and what the anxiety is. And it's almost a safe space for people to joke about it without having maybe Biden take a toll or hit at the polls because, remember, he is not on the actual ballot in eight days, but his shadow, certainly Trump's shadow, all over it.
CAMEROTA: Well, furthermore, that SNL skit is actually scary. It's so creepy, the way that they did it. I mean, well done.
CAMEROTA: Well done to them. They took right every single horror flick me and put it together. I was scared watching it.
COATES: Can I admit something to you, though? I'm getting to the point where I watch "Saturday Night Live" on Sunday morning when I wake up because it is too late.
CAMEROTA: Oh, me, too.
COATES: Is that okay? Okay, go. There you go.
CAMEROTA: I'm so with you. All right, we want to know what you think about all of this. Can anything change the races at this point in the midterms and what is going to happen in 2024? You tweet us at @thelauracoates and @alisyncamerota.
CAMEROTA: Vile antisemitic messages popping up across Florida this weekend. First, there were disgusting banners reading, end the Jewish supremacy in America and honk if you know it's the Jews. These were hanging from a highway overpassing Jacksonville.
On Saturday, also in Jacksonville, the message, Kanye was right about Jewish, was swirling. I don't know if you -- it is hard to see but it was swirling outside of the football stadium during the big Georgia- Florida game, referencing Kanye West's recent antisemitic comments.
Videos from social media show the same message outside another building in Jacksonville on Saturday night. And then there were also incident that happened in terms of vandalism and swastikas and discussing things being spray-painted at a playground in Weston.
So, let's bring in CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig. Also, we have Mara S. Campo and Astead Herndon are back with us.
So, obviously, it is not just Florida. According to the video, 2021 had a high of antisemitic incidents across the country. There were 2,717. And if you compare that to, I think, just four or five years earlier, it was a fraction of that. So, Mara, something is happening across the country.
CAMPO: What we're seeing here with this specific incident where they are referencing Kanye West, we are seeing what happens when someone who is influential with a huge platform normalizes or attempts to normalize this kind of hateful speech.
There's a direct line between this kind of hateful speech and continuously deteriorating behavior. We have seen it deteriorate even further when it comes to things like shootings, with the Buffalo shooter. We saw that he had messaging written on his assault rifle that came directly from hate speech commentary.
We have seen it with the El Paso shooter, who said that he drove several hours to go to a Walmart so he could target Mexican immigrants crossing the border, he believes.
So, we see how this hate speech can then translate into hateful acts because the social contracts that keep us all behaving in dignified ways, they are not written on stone, they're written on tissue paper, they are actually incredibly fragile. The speech is the beginning of what tears us apart.
CAMEROTA: Yeah, I mean, they're written in our conscience. They're written in our own moral compass. And that's all malfunctioning right now.
CAMPO: But they're so fragile because we all have to agree to the dignity of one another for it to work. When it starts to unravel, it can unravel very quickly.
CAMEROTA: You know, I was interested, Elie, what the sheriff in Jacksonville said. Quote -- "At this, the Sheriff's Office has not identified any crimes having been committed. The comments displayed do not include any type of threat and are protected by the First Amendment."
Okay. I mean, I get that. But obviously, vandalism. I guess just protecting something on a wall is not.
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Correct. I mean, sadly, that is largely a correct legal statement. Hate speech, as vile as it is, is not a crime unaccompanied by action. Of course, if you attack someone, assault someone, that is going to be a crime and probably even more serious because it's going to be a hate crime. If you commit vandalism, that, too, would be a crime.
But nearly saying things, Kanye West tweet, as grotesque, antisemitic, vile as it was, is not a crime. We do have a very broad First Amendment. And I think Mara made a really good point, there is nothing new about how antisemitism and racism, these things go back centuries.
But what is so alarming to me, and I think you hit it on the head, is how little it takes to spark this. One high-profile person sends off one crazy tweet like that, and look at all that follows so eagerly. That is really alarming to me.
CAMEROTA: Well, is that true? I mean, is it true that Kanye West has this ripple effect? The stuff that he has said, he is lighting the spark of this? Obviously, these things predated him, all of the horrible violence that we've seen in some of these mass shootings. But what is the effect of Kanye putting out something out to all of his millions of followers?
HERNDON: I don't think that we can minimize the ripple effects that have come from this incident. This is someone using their global platform to spread that hateful ideology. I do think it has tangible effects.
But we should also say that that comes alongside a growth of antisemitic language that we have seen across the board. That has been echoed even by the former president, Donald Trump. That has been echoed by mainstream political figures on the right and left. And I think that that is really what we're seeing cause some of this real growth.
For the reporting that we do, we talk to grassroot conservatives who use the language of (INAUDIBLE) and elites and globalists so much. Even in their language of how they express what they see is happening in the country right now, we know that that overlaps with dehumanizing antisemitic language. And so, it is at the core to what a lot of people's political ideology are, and that is the scary part, it's how widespread these hateful thoughts and actions really are.
HONIG: Astead nailed right now exactly what the coated dog whistle is of antisemitism. And honestly, I don't even understand this for a lot of my life, but it's always this notion that Jews run double, the secret cabal of Jews who run the Hollywood, the banks, the media.
And I just remember, when I was in college in the pol-sci class and someone said sort of casually, a friend of mine, will Jewish people run Hollywood? And afterwards, another one, our friend said, can you believe he said? At the time, I said, why? Is it bad? I didn't understand it. But now, I know, and we see it. It's one of the common threads here, that the secret group of Jews are secretly organizing and running world, and that is one of the most sort of vile, virulent forms of antisemitism.
CAMEROTA: And then there's these high-profile people like Kanye or now Kyrie Irving who sort of pretend not to understand that they have a huge platform and that what they say does impact people. So, here's what Kyrie Irving just said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KYRIE IRVING, SEVEN TIME NBA ALL-STAR: What I post does not mean that I support anything that is being said or everything that is being done or I'm campaigning for anything. All I do is postings for my people and my community, and those that is actually going to impact.
UNKNOWN: Do you understand or not understand those that might imply that that work had antisemitic leanings in it? We ask this because the tweet is still up there.
IRVING: We're in 2022. It's on Amazon, a public platform. Whether you want to go watch it is up to you. There are things being posted every day. I am no different from the next human being, so don't treat me any different.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Astead, what did he do?
HERNDON: He shared a book that had antisemitic ideology in it. I don't specifically know. I think it was talking about, I remember a quote being Jewish slave ships (ph). Using that same type of ideology that we've talked about pointing at Jewish folks for running a secret cabal that has the same type of roots that we've seen in great replacement theory, the same type of roots we have seen from (INAUDIBLE), other kind of ideologies that have used that rhetoric as justification to really dehumanize a larger group of people.
But I think what we see from Kyrie here is another instance of people just having a lack of shame right now. I mean, at the minimum, there is no recognition that those actions hurt others, and there's no willingness to learn from what those folks have communicated. I think that their thing (ph).
What see across politics right now, across public life, is a refusal to even take information in good faith and to do the basics that you would think to understand how your actions are in post.
CAMEROTA: Yes, a lack of accountability.
CAMPO: It's a willful ignorance, you know, to give an example of someone who did things right. (INAUDIBLE) a word in a song that the disabled community said this is a slur. She said, I did not know that. She apologized, and she changed the song.
We don't know what we don't know. But when it has been brought to your attention, it is your responsibility to learn what you did wrong and to fix it, especially if you're a public figure.
CAMEROTA: Such a great point. And also, the idea that I post something doesn't mean that I believe it or support it, well, it should, Laura. I mean, that is seen as an endorsement.
COATES: He described a cap out. The idea, oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize it. This rings as ingenuous, and I do think we have responsibility. But part of the idea, sort of the free for all, health-related place that Elon Musk spoke about, you kind of have this notion of it being a free for all, people want to have zero accountability.
And the fact of the matter is in the U.S., sure, we have free speech, but not without some consequences. So, that's an ongoing concern and conversation to have.
Also, what we're going to have next, Alisyn, is about the president of Brazil. He is known as the Trump of the tropics and so far, refusing to concede defeat in the election for his presidency. In the lead up to the vote, Jair Bolsonaro claimed he had been a victim and he'd be a victim of electoral fraud. Sound a little familiar? And, of course, not offering any evidence. Sound even more familiar?
So, what does it mean for democracy in Brazil and maybe what we can learn here abroad? Talk about it, next.
COATES: Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is set to become the next president of Brazil, beating his far-right rival, an incumbent, Jair Bolsonaro, by a razor-thin margin of just under 51% to Bolsonaro's 49.1% in Sunday's runoff election. Now, Bolsonaro, of course, had become famous as a kind of Trump-like figure in Latin America.
Rina Shah is back. And joining us now is Miles Taylor, former chief- of-staff to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Also back is Ashley Allison.
[23:29:55] You know, I really wanted to cover this story in part because we oftentimes look to the U.K. or our European allies in some respect to draw a comparison about what might be happening here in the United States.
The truth of the matter is all over the world and also in places like Brazil, you are seeing some comparisons about democracy being challenged, being in peril. And this country and Brazil has some very striking parallels. In fact, even tonight, they are trying to have security presence available because they might have all these protests that are pro-Bolsonaro.
And I'm wondering, in terms of the lessons to be learned or what we can be looking at, are you seeing some kinds of blueprints or analogies that you want to point out?
MILES TAYLOR, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY KIRSTJEN NIELSEN: Well, look, I think it is worrying not just in Brazil, around the world, the United States example is being looked at. What happened in the 2020 election wasn't some tiny country in a far corner of the globe. The entire world watched it. And they watched it in horror.
But would-be autocrats around the world watch it with some level of excitement because this was something to emulate, this was something to justify their behavior in the future.
Now, let's hope that Bolsonaro silence today is sort of a bad Halloween trick and nothing more in, you know, delay. He's the first Brazilian president in their history to have been booted from office, so they are probably digesting this. And I think the good news is most of his allies have come out and since congratulated Lula on winning the presidency. But this is still big concern. The fact that there is a delay and the fact that there is uncertainty even still days later, I think, is really raising anxiety in Brazil. And, again, it sets a worrying (ph) precedent of leaders delaying concessions around the world which creates the opportunity for nefarious activity.
COATES: And, of course, you got President Biden jumping to congratulate. I think probably a nod to the blueprint that inadvertently created across the globe in that very notion. You have the oldest son of Bolsonaro taking to Twitter to say, let's not give up on our Brazil, and the idea on the notion of not to concede. What parallels do you see, the chicken or the egg, is what's to come or what has been?
ALLISON: Well, I think it's both. First, what I also -- I'm a people person. So, I think what we saw, similar to 2020, is that a candidate that was extremist to the right and conservative. The people made their voices heard by their vote, and they said, that's not the world I want to live in. And that's what happened in America in 2020.
Now, I think it is some foreshadowing for what might come in the next eight days, actually, because you have Steve Bannon immediately also going on air into his media outlet and saying, look what's happening in Brazil, folks, we are not going to let that happen here, and kind of, again, seeing this radicalized effort of these people who want to intimidate voters, who want to storm the Capitol.
And so, I think that he's pulling a little bit from the Brazilian playbook and saying, see what's happening here. If he stands up and said, I'm not going to conceive, that is what our candidates need to do in 2022.
But the people can say no and can show out in numbers and be definitive and say, I am going to elect people that represent me, and I want every vote to be counted.
COATES: It does kind of remind you, Rina, about the idea, last week, President Biden -- President Trump making the comment that was seen in the Tucker Carlson documentary, the idea of Blake Masters, he was telling him, you can't go soft on these issues. You get softer, lose. Talking about election denialism. I mean, does this foreshadow in some respects that people are looking to see, hey, is this going to work down there and not towards here in eight days?
SHAH: Well, there's a lot to unpack here. First, there's a great irony to me. The Republicans that I speak to who point to the countries in South America and say, we're not those countries, we don't want to be those countries, places like Venezuela, Brazil, Columbia. They talk about these places like they're terrible places. Well, why are you letting basically Bolsonaro's twin brother do exactly what Bolsonaro is doing down there?
So, this is the thing about Republicans who support Trump. They need to pay attention to these authoritarian regimes because what they do is heighten people's anxiety with these populist tendencies, sort of promising them this eutopia, and we all know that's not possible.
So, I think, let's back up here for a second. Like you alluded to earlier, they're going to -- what is going to happen here is Bolsonaro is going to fight the process. He's going to create these delays. And I think that's really bad in general. Anything looking bad is sort of like, okay, that makes sense.
But it doesn't make sense because what's happening there is a potential for leaving the door open to people wanting to do a coup. Now, we know Brazil is the place that many coups have happened. The great irony here is in 2024, we can't rule out what happened here.
COATES: The idea here of the fighting the process, you know, we ought not to take issue with fighting for a legitimate process, right? A recount, if there are reasons to have so.
If there's an evidence to challenge the result. But, what we see here, to a larger point, was the idea of putting that out into the universe, planting the seed, and hoping that it would result in the maintenance of power.
TAYLOR: Well, that is exactly what we saw Donald Trump do. There wasn't a hint of fraud in the 2020 election. It was the most secure election in modern history. Until Donald Trump fantasized that there was fraud. And then, rumors of fraud started to pop up around the country. That is what, as Rina was saying, that period of uncertainty. The longer it goes, the more those fantasies can come to fruition.
The thing that actually worries me the most about this is on Twitter and elsewhere on social media. These red cap, MAGA hat-wearing, pro- Trump Proud Boys somehow are very attuned to foreign policy all of a sudden. These people are all commenting about Brazil's election.
You know, kids who five years ago would've thought a thing about a foreign election. But now, they have a keen interest in seeing Bolsonaro, who they know is a friend of Trump, stay in power. That's what's worrying to me. The only thing that made them pay attention to foreign policy is someone might mimic their dear leader.
COATES: I mean, the connected tissue here, I think, is so apparent, Alisyn, when you think about these things because, as we said, it was also the setup to it. The idea of planting the seed of, look, there's election fraud, there's election fraud, I'm going to contest the results, everything is not fair, we're seeing that level of election denialism on the campaign trails right now.
CAMEROTA: All because someone's ego couldn't handle losing. We used to call that a sore loser. And that is now the fact that it has proliferated around the globe is stunning to see.
All right, so, we're going to lighten it up with some bizarre stories next, Laura, because the real-life "White Lotus," stories from service industry workers who cater to the One Percenters and all of the really bizarre demands they make.
COATES: I'm not in that 1%. I'm not!
CAMEROTA: Okay, we'll see, we'll see, because I have some notes here on what you demand.
COATES: All right, if you've ever seen the "White Lotus," (INAUDIBLE) HBO, then you've been treated to the side of well, to put it bluntly, rich people behaving badly. In it's first season, you see wealthy guests vacationing at an exclusive Hawaiian resort and all the employees jumped through to keep these guests satisfied. The season, of course, is on right now.
CAMEROTA: So, "The Washington Post" decided to look into the stories of real hotel workers and what they have to do for real rich people. And it's actually even better than what you see on "White Lotus."
So back with us is Charlie Dent, Mara S. Campo, and Astead Herndon. Okay, so, here is what "The Washington Post" found. Here's just a few of the demands that rich people make of the hotel workers, okay?
So, one guest wanted a real authentic mermaid with a splash tail in the pool. That's kinky. One guest in France wanted San Pellegrino water delivered the same day from Italy so she could wash her hair. They had to get that for her. Another guest in Zurich had a piece of lawn so his dog could pee in the hotel suite. That's' gross. And then one guest ordered a 50,000-dollar foreign tree frog to be delivered for his daughter who then left it in the hotel room when they checked out.
CAMEROTA: I mean, this is madness. I've been binging on "White Lotus" on my commute home, and it is just cringy to see all of this but it is real.
CAMPO: You know, it's such a great show and such a great commentary on wealth. You know, the thing with some of these demands, some of them just sound like people having fun with their money. Who can blame them for that? If you can -- a tree frog, bringing in a mermaid for the birthday party --
CAMPO: Yes, adult birthday party. But some of these things just seem to me like having fun with your money. But there's a saying that money doesn't change who you are, money reveals who you are. So, there is, of course, people who are incredibly wealthy and they're also incredibly kind and generous. But we do see the other side of this.
One of the stories that really hit me in "The Washington Post" that they highlighted was of this family that refused to communicate directly with the wait staff. They would communicate with the bodyguards who would then communicate with the wait staff. And this family have children. So, you think to yourself, what are the children learning when they're seeing what's taking place, and that's how you get children to go grow up to be monsters.
CAMEROTA: That's a great point. You're right, not all rich people are bad. I'm glad they were giving that disclaimer, but there's just a lot of bad behavior happening. And another one that they found, a bravo star (ph) screamed at her driver for not picking up her luggage fast enough.
HERNDON: Yes. I mean, I think that this behavior is tough that we sometimes describe only to rich people, but unfortunately, but we see it all the time everywhere. I remember back when I was a sandwich artist in Wisconsin, and the way people would ask about their subs (ph) would resemble some of this behavior from "White Lotus."
I think even so as oftentimes associated with the rich, associated with the wealthy, they are the ones calling in the mermaids, I think a lot more people have a little bit of the "White Lotus" in them than they want to admit.
CAMEROTA: That's such a great point. First of all, sandwich artist, that's a very cool title.
HERNDON: Sandwich artist. Sandwich artist.
CAMEROTA: Very cool title.
HERNDON: Very serious.
CAMEROTA: You know, I was a waitress for a long time, and I've also witnessed some bad behavior from people who may have been overserved by me. But, Charlie, you have never seen the show, is that right?
DENT: I've never seen the show.
CAMEROTA: You need to watch it.
DENT: I shall. And all I can say is I was the best clerk at one time, and I was a dishwasher. And I'll tell you, I have seen some bad behavior, but I come from a kind of a greedy town. When people have money, they didn't talk about it. They didn't show it. They had their first nickel, they didn't drive fancy cars. They live in (INAUDIBLE) houses.
CAMEROTA: That's old school, Charlie
DENT: That is old school. I like those kinds of people.
CAMEROTA: Absolutely. Much better than ordering 50,000-dollar tree frog and leaving the hotel. Okay, Laura, your thoughts?
COATES: I'm the tree frog. I've got a lot of them. I want to talk right now to Rina Shah, Miles Taylor and Ashley Allison at this point because first of all, if anyone spoils this show for me right now, I've not watched everything, but the idea of rich people behaving badly, we've all seen this.
In terms of how this play in real life, guys, we've seen the last several years during the pandemic people not returning to work in part because it was not worth it, they thought, what they were getting in the non-livable wages and how they are being treated. I mean, we saw this in real time.
ALLISON: Absolutely. I agree. You don't have to be the 1% to treat people in the service industry poorly. We saw how central workers were taken for granted. People who -- I used to be a -- my first job, I was a cashier. Well, not my first. Second job, I was a cashier at a grocery store, and how those individuals had to show up every single day so we could still get our groceries.
Now, when you have more money, you can get a frog and treat the person who delivered the fog poorly, but it does not mean that we need to treat people no the matter what -- it's about the dignity of work, paying them a fair wage, and treating everybody with humanity.
COATES: In part, the subtext of a show like that or the conversations, part of this discussion more broadly is oftentimes the racial dynamics that play of the haves and the have nots, not universally, but the idea of how that factors in the conversation. I think this is why this is resonating to people.
SHAH: Let me back up and just say I have no interest in watching this. I've never watched keeping up with the Kardashians. No interest in watching people behave badly.
TAYLOR: Very different shows. Very different shows. I think you'll enjoy this.
TAYLOR: I just watched it before I came here.
SHAH: People behaving badly. At the end of the day --
COATES: Miles is very into that show, by the way.
SHAH: I feel like there is a Kardashian (ph) of our culture in general. People who have credit cards at the ready, they want a champagne lifestyle, so they are going to -- are they really rich? Are these people really rich or they're just putting things on credit, right, and wanting to behave like divas, because guess what, all of us can have a champagne lifestyle if you've got a credit card and you're willing to rack up some debt to have a good time.
I'm a millennial. I'll be honest, my generation, we had credit card on our campus. I've seen this. I kind of don't want to watch this because I'm just like, people behaving badly when they have access to luxury goods and want to behave some kind of way, it's a problem with where we are at. No empathy.
And frankly, where does the pendulum swing back to just decency? I've been an aerobics instructor, I've been a tutor, I worked in retail and a health care clinic. I've seen people behave badly in all these settings and it's only getting worse. So, I'm just like, you know what?
ALLISON: (INAUDIBLE) rich.
SHAH: That's the thing.
COATES: We need a full show on all of our prior careers because I am fascinated on the long list that we all have here. Miles, what was it?
TAYLOR: Bartender, dishwasher, kind of like a newspaper boy. All those things were better than politics. Literally. Any day. When Charlie Dent just also said he had been a dishwasher, I thought, we've both been in politics. I bet Charlie would rather go back to being a dishwasher than staying in this industry. But that's neither here nor there. Because on "White Lotus," I just watched the episode before I came here, I wasn't planning on being a part of this panel, but here we are --
TAYLOR: An interesting show, worth watching. The thing that you said, Laura, really makes me feel like we keep referring to this decade as the new roaring twenties because of all of the exciting things that could happen in technology and the world, but also like the last roaring twenties, it's going to be a period of extraordinary transition for blue-collar workers in this country.
Technology is changing, society is changing, the great resignation echoes what we saw 100 years ago, and if you --
COATES: After the Black Death.
TAYLOR: After the Black Death. You look underneath, "The Great Gatsby," and that was also a similar story. "White Lotus" is another "Great Gatsby" like story. And I think we really do have to zoom in on what is happening in that part of society because it's going to affect the next 10, 20 years of American life if these trends continue.
COATES: I welcome any and all F. Scott Fitzgerald references because, of course. he is from St. Paul, Minnesota. So, there you have it, Alisyn. I mean, I'm just saying --
CAMEROTA: Nice. Well played.
COATES: It's all connected. He went to the same high school as me as well. Not the same year because I'd be much older. But same place.
CAMEROTA: Yes, I'm not going to do that math. But that is impressive. I had no idea. That's a fun fact. But hold on, let me just ask Charlie. Would you rather be a politician or a dishwasher?
DENT: I'd rather be a politician. Dishwashing is a hard work.
CAMEROTA: It is hard work.
DENT: Those pots and pans.
CAMEROTA: Yeah, it is hard work.
We do -- Laura, it would be great for us to do a segment on that because I also was a dishwasher at Friendly's for a week. That hot fudge, that sticks on those metal pots. It's really hard. Let me tell you about that.
COATES: Friendly's. Let me tell you something, nothing better. A little mothballed in there, it's a whole thing.
CAMEROTA: Okay, all right, time for all of you to sound off, and we will read your tweets, next.
COATES: All right, it's time to sound off. Let's see what you are saying tonight out there. We got one from Coach L. It says, to assume that there is no need for affirmative action, Justice Roberts blindly assumes that the institutions in this country that make these decisions have resolved their biases and that all are on an equal playing field.
CAMEROTA: Okay. This next one is about haunted places. This comes from Meredith. She says, Cape May NJ is definitely haunted. I think I agree with her. We came back to our hotel room at The Inn of Cape May to find the TV on but not tuned, just white noise. That night, I felt someone sit on the foot of my bed.
COATES: Oh, my God, those are her kids messing with her.
CAMEROTA: She has convinced me. I think that place is haunted.
COATES: We've got one on pay transparency from Damon. This one says, pay transparency is an important tool to weed out salary discrimination. You can't solve the problem if you can't see the problem. So yes, I'm all fot it.
Well, there you go, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: I mean, I agree. I do think that it's important to have that information. But I do think that it also can engender some resentment. But maybe it's worth it. You know?
CAMEROTA: All right, you know where to find us, at @alisyncamerota and @thelauracoates.
COATES: Thanks for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.