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CNN Gives Projections About The Midterm Elections; Some Republicans Blame Trump For Losses; Democrats Celebrate Big Wins In MI; Will Young Voters Get Action On Issues That Matter To Them?; Chappelle Is Accused Of 'Normalizing Antisemitism' In SNL Monologue; Bezos Advises To 'Take Some Risk Off The Table." Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired November 14, 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 SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: These wins bring the GOP to 214 seats, just four away from getting control of the House at 218. And we are checking tonight that Democrat Katie Hobbs will win Arizona's governor's race, defeating Republican candidate Kari Lake, a Trump ally who has been pushing election lies and said that she would not certify Joe Biden's win in Arizona.
Let's bring in our panel right now. We have CNN critical analyst Alex Burns and former RNC communications director Doug Heye, and Ashley Allison is back with us as well.
Look, there is a lot happening right now. We know that Kari Lake is responding already to the idea that she has been called as the one who did not win this particular race. And that is expected, that she would have some issue with the result, right?
But the question really is going to be, where things go from here? I mean, when you think about where we are, we are a week almost away from the midterm elections, I know a week tonight, six days away, but Alex, thinking about this, that we are still calling races right now even for those who have been election deniers, even at a time when people assumed the closing argument of Biden was odd, what does that tell you?
ALEX BURNS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I think what it tells you is that when election deniers were on the ballot in closely contested races, voters generally rejected them. And what Kari Lake does from here is actually not all that important in the democratic process, right? It is better when candidates concede gracefully.
And certainly, in this sort of, you know, powder cake (ph) atmosphere of some of these states and some of these municipalities, it can be really dangerous when candidates refused to concede.
But I think it's important for all of us in the media to just remember that, you know, the words "I refused to concede" don't have some legal factor or magic power to them. If Kari Lake wants to sort of carry on like this, then she is perfectly welcome to do that.
The question is, does she have legal recourse, does she use it, and do the courts indulge her? If the answer is no and no and no, then that is kind of that (ph).
COATES: It is like when Michael Scott shouts out bankruptcy, I declare bankruptcy.
COATES: You're like, that is not how it's actually done, but that's fine. From the Senate races -- I mean, from governor's races to Senate races, I mean, thinking about the red wave that never manifested is causing a lot of reaction, including from Senator Ted Cruz who is pointing the finger at the likes of Senator Mitch McConnell. Listen to what he says about, in his words, truly pissed off.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX) (voice-over): Let me start out by saying I am so pissed off, I cannot even see straight. The country is screwed for the next four years because of this. Mitch would rather be leader than have a republican majority. If there is a Republican who can win who's not going to support Mitch. The truth of the matter is he's rather the Democrat win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: Do you agree with him or not, Doug?
DOUG HEYE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST, FORMER RNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: No. This is an argument that you've had in certain parts of conservative circles for a few years. Jim DeMint, when he left the Senate to go to the Heritage Foundation, and he was right that he could be more powerful outside the Senate than in it, said, I would rather have 30 real conservatives than a republican majority.
Well, republican majority is committee chairs and it is how you pass things through the Senate or through the House for that matter. Having those 30 conservative senators is nice, but it doesn't get you what you need to pass things through.
Ultimately, McConnell was right here when he said, we have a problem with the quality of our candidates, and that was true in the House and the Senate and the governor's races. And Kari Lake should be an example for Republicans now of what not to do. Don't tell your voters to get the hell out of the party because they're going to do that.
COATES: You know, one thing about the idea of who might have been right or maybe vindicate it in a subtle way here is Congresswoman Liz Cheney, right, who has made a great deal of discussions and points about the idea of trying to reclaim the Republican Party. Listen to what she had to say when she was speaking to University of Chicago just a few days ago about what Republicans, she said, need to do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: Do you feel like there is a stiff enough spine in the party to stand up against future insurrections? Are we worried about January 6th, 2025?
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): You know, we definitely need stiffer spines. I mean, that's for sure. And I think that -- I think elected officials need to understand that words matter. And when you sort of see again and again and again people accepting things that are indefensible, you know, we watch what happens in our society. And when you accept things that you should not, when you tolerate things like January 6th, then that can very easily become the new normal, that it begins to be legal. And I think that is a big danger for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: It is funny, Ashley, to see her looking at the shadows there because in many ways, her shadow was cast on these elections as somebody who even supported Democrats in some instances because she wanted people to understand about democracy being on the line.
But her point is Republicans need to have stiffer spines in order to even compete in the election. You talk about the long game a lot. Do they need stiffer spines and do they actually have it?
ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't know if Republicans have it or not. I do think that they need to condemn Donald Trump across the board. I think the reason why you are seeing the split is because there is still, you know, 30% of Republicans who support Donald Trump. The election deniers did not win this election, but some of them did not get blown out.
You mentioned, we are a week out, and we are waiting for every single ballot to be counted because there is still significant amount of people in Arizona who thought Kari Lake should be the governor. I think that is what Liz Cheney is speaking to.
I agree, I don't think anyone -- like when the court says no, no, no, you did not win and you do not have legal recourse, but we cannot make a commonplace where election deniers can still thrive and be actual candidates because when they are, let's rewind a year or so ago, we have people like the Cyber Ninjas wasting taxpayer dollars, running these sham audits that we know did not actually need to happen, and the result still stayed the same.
So, I do not know if Republicans will have stiff enough spine to say no to Trump. We will see tomorrow after this announcement.
COATES: If he announces, right? And part of the issue -- I mean, the idea of having a spine, Alex, in issues here and instances is it really is contingent on whether the so-called leader of the Republican Party, Donald trump, will vie to be the next president yet again.
And just listen to this, we have a number of people who have been saying just today alone that Trump is bad for the party, from Governor Baker to Larry Hogan. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. CHARLIE BAKER (R-MA): I think one of the messages from the election is -- for Republicans, generally, is we need as a party to move past President Trump.
GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R-MD): It is basically the third election in a row that Donald Trump has cost us the race and it is like, you know, three strikes, you're out.
CHRIS CHRISTIE, FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: I think what Republicans came to grip with Tuesday night was we are tired of losing and we are tired of Donald Trump dragging us to lose because of his personal vanity.
SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R-PA): President Trump had to insert himself. There is a very high correlation between MAGA candidates and big losses or at least dramatically underperforming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: I mean, but having said that, will the Republican Party quit Trump?
BURNS: Well, what all four of those men have in common is that they are not facing Republican primary voters again anytime soon, right? Maybe Larry Hogan will run for president in 2024, and we will see how that argument goes.
COATES: A kind of (INAUDIBLE) courage for them then.
BURNS: Yeah. I mean, Charlie Baker declined to run for reelection rather than face a Trump-endorsed primary challenger. That cost the GOP really badly in Massachusetts.
Laura, I think the voices that is worth really watching out for are the Republicans who got reelected this month without playing the Trump game, right? So, someone like Brian Kemp in Georgia. Trump made it his personal mission to destroy him because he did not try to overturn the 2020 election. At first, Brian Kemp demolished David Perdue in the republican primary for governor, and then he beats Stacey Abrams, a very solid margin in the general election.
Does somebody like him speak up and say, I know how to win, I've done it better than Donald Trump, and it is time for the party to move on? He has not said that kind of thing yet. I do think that is the kind of voice of Mike DeWine in Ohio or Greg Abbott in Texas.
You start hearing from people who are frankly closer to the center of the Republican Party rather than the center of the country, which is where Charlie Baker is, then I think that would send a pretty powerful message to Republican voters.
ALLISON: He says, don't come to my state, Georgia, for Herschel Walker.
BURNS: I don't think he says that.
ALLISON: I don't think he says that.
COATES: I saw the smile. I think he knows what we are talking about. But you know who did speak out about issues surrounding Donald Trump when he actually did win the presidency? It is the former first lady, Michelle Obama, speaking this evening, and partially from her new book "The Light We Carry."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: It shook me profoundly to hear the man who had replaced my husband as president openly and unapologetically using ethnic slurs, making selfishness and hate somehow acceptable, refusing to condemn white supremacists or support people demonstrating for racial justice. It shocked me to hear him speaking about differentness as if it were a threat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: What is fascinating about that, Doug, is that none of those things counted him out as somebody who is still favored by millions of voters. A lot of what she described happened before he actually got millions of votes for the presidency at second time around. What do you think, if anything, may change between tomorrow and 2024 if he chooses to run?
HEYE: I think the only thing that really changes is whether or not there are real options for Republicans. So, we have heard a lot of criticism of Trump, but this never followed with anything concrete after that. So, to some of the Republicans that Alex was talking about further where, obviously, you know, Ron DeSantis is a topic as well, okay, are they going to run?
Mike Pence has made not just a lot of noise lately but new noise. Is he going to do anything? You know, at a certain point, criticizing Trump on some of these statements is the good and proper thing to do or quite often they say, well, they just didn't see the tweet or the Truth Social or what have you. Criticizing is one thing. What do you actually willing to do? So far, the answer by and large has been not much.
COATES: We will see. I mean, the words of Ron DeSantis, the name is coming up more and more. Does he actually mean something there? But for more with Michelle, by the way, Michelle Obama make -- I call her Michelle (ph). Michelle Obama -- she is familiar with people, Michelle Obama. Make sure you tune in because Sara Sidner, who we can also call Sara because she is wonderful as well, hosts "Michelle Obama's Mission." A conversation with Michelle Obama, Amal Clooney, and Melinda Gates. That is airing this Sunday night at 8:00. I can't wait to watch that.
Also new tonight, Rudy Giuliani won't not face federal charges over his activity in Ukraine. Prosecutors telling the judge overseeing the investigation that they are closing the case and no criminal charges will be brought. They've been investigating whether Giuliani violated foreign lobbying laws while operating on behalf of Ukrainian officials when he pushed for the ouster of the then U.S. ambassador and urged Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
But this isn't the only legal threat, as you know, Giuliani is facing. Dominion Voting System has filed a billion-dollar defamation lawsuit against him for his unfounded election fraud claims. We've also been told that he is a target of the criminal investigation by the special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, which is investigating Trump's efforts to sway the election in his favor.
Up next, one of the big winners in the swing state of Michigan. How he is making history.
COATES: Well, tonight, Democrats are having big win in the key swing state of Michigan. For the first time in almost 40 years, they have got what is called the trifecta. They control both chambers of the seat legislature and the governor's office.
Democratic State Rep Joe Tate joins me now, and he is making history as the first Black speaker of the House in the state of Michigan. Mr. Tate, welcome to the program. How are you, speaker?
JOE TATE, MICHIGAN STATE REPRESENTATIVE (D-MI): I am doing well, Laura. How are you?
COATES: I'm great. I mean, Michigan -- I mean, not as good as the Michigan voters to think that everything is there because you had -- I mean, you voted to enshrine abortion rights in the state's Constitution. You've got 60% of voters just voting to approve Proposal 2, which is a voting rights measure. You had both the governor and attorney general trying to fend off that Enbridge Line 5 pipeline.
I mean, a lot was -- a lot took place on election day. I wonder, in a place like Michigan, what is your big takeaway as to how so much was not only on the ballot but also the stakes now that you've got this sort of blue trifecta?
TATE: Absolutely. So, you know, voters expressed their power last week and they wanted the basics. They wanted us to focus on the basics, focus on improving infrastructure, focus on investments in education as well as creating healthy communities across the state.
That's what Democrats offered to them. They accepted that. Now, they want us to get things done as we move into next year and actually get to governing. I think that is a message that we carried through in the campaign season and that we will do.
COATES: On that very notion of governing, I mean, it can be I'm sure pretty enticing if you have, you know, Democrats in charge of both chambers and in the governor's mansion to think to yourself, look, we do not even have to get buy in from Republicans, we can just do this on our own, but that is going to really alienate a large swath of people that Democrats were able to actually envelop into the fold this time around.
But how do you make sure that you are on the one hand governing in a bipartisan way with that enticement being there, but also to keep it blue maybe in the years to come?
TATE: That's a great question. I think in my legislative career, focusing on bipartisanship is certainly paramount. I believe that we have greater solutions coming out that way. We are a consensus building organization.
But we also have to keep in mind what is more important is that the voters said Democrats, you are going to have the opportunity to govern because of your message, what you have been doing with not only what I talked about before with investment in education but also jobs investments.
So, they want to see us governing. But I will come to the table and work in a bipartisan fashion as much as possible.
Why I think it's so important to speak to you today, Speaker Tate, is there is a lot always made of congressional elections and obviously national elections, and we know that Michigan has been pretty much a swing state in that realm. It went for Trump in 2016, Biden in 2020.
But the idea of what is happening in the historic nature of the Michigan Senate going blue for the first time in 40 years speaks volumes about what happens in the realm of all politics being local.
What also speaks volumes is that history has also been made by your presence as the speaker of the House. I wonder if you have reflected in the time the whirlwind that has likely have been for you. Are you reflecting on the historic nature of being the first Black person to be the speaker of the House in Michigan?
TATE: Yes, I am. I know that I come here, I stand on the shoulders of others, having this opportunity. There have been many who have come before me and have paved the way.
My family came up from Alabama in the early 20th century to find greater opportunities. They found it in Michigan. They settled down, they created a family, they had a community.
And having this opportunity now only just -- I understand the responsibility that comes with it, not only being a Black man and a Detroiter, but also understanding that we have an entire diverse state and we have to make sure that we are working not only for one section of individuals but looking, you know, across the entire state so we are improving the quality of life of all Michigan residents.
COATES: Speaker Tate, one thing I know from living in Minnesota is when anyone is from Michigan, they will tell you, they will show you their hand, they will point to where they're from, and will tell you there is all one state.
So, there you go. I know you are a true Michigan person, you held up your hand, and you pointed something out. So, I applaud all of you out there. Of course, I still love Minnesota the best, but it is nice to speak to you, Speaker Tate, on your historic victory, and we look forward to your governing in years to come. Thank you so much.
TATE: Thank you, Laura.
COATES: Well, young voters turned out in droves for Democrats, but are they going to get action on the issues that matter most to them? We will see.
COATES: President Biden's student debt relief plan, well, it is in trouble tonight. The circuit -- the district court of appeals -- circuit court of appeals -- excuse me -- temporarily halting the program while they consider a lawsuit from six GOP-led states that argue that Biden's plan to cancel up to $20,000 of student loans for borrowers exceeds his authority. It will remain paused until either the appeals court or the Supreme Court of the United States makes a further decision.
So, a setback on an issue that really matters to younger voters. It comes at a time when young voters broke in historic numbers for Democrats, favoring the party by 63% in the midterm exit polls.
Back now with me to discuss, Alex Burns, Doug Heye, and Ashley Allison. So, first of all, we know that this was not part of the campaign promise, the idea of him running on it. There's been a lot of cynicism about whether he thought it would truly actually pass legal muster or was it a ploy to entice voters to be there. That cynicism, I do not think necessarily rings true, but that is a concern people have raised.
Given the fact that he ran on this, was able to at least temporarily accomplish it and before the midterm elections, how will this play out in terms of how young voters in particular are viewing the administration's ability to follow through on their promises?
ALLISON: Well, it is not Biden's fault that the court is pausing this executive order. I think it is actually a Trump judge that is pausing this. I think what we will see, particularly if Republicans hold the House -- if I was the Democrats in the Senate, I would bring it to the floor and yet again draw a distinction on the party that is trying to deliver wins for the people and the younger generation and the party that is not, and I will just continue to do that on various issues. I think that actually plays well for the Biden administration. He held his promise. He was agreeing to cancel it. I am hearing that there are discussions. Maybe they are continuing to pause payment for everyone until this is decided in the court, which is another favorable approach for many people who are suffering from student loan debt. So, I do not think it backfires on Biden at all, particularly if it is taken to the House and the Senate.
COATES: I wonder on that point because it was a mission accomplished. And now somebody else's decision, essentially. I wonder, there are legal nuances here, of course, as to the why and the idea that the Heroes Act was actually intended to be as broadly applied during a national emergency. I can go on about the legal jargon of it.
But the voters mostly are going to say, hold on a second, the president was trying to give me $20,000 back, and now the court is telling me I can't have it. Does that absence of the nuance awareness really benefit President Biden?
BURNS: Well, I don't know, and I think that anybody who is telling you exactly how they know this is going to play is just speculating widely at this point because we don't know how the president will message around this, we don't know if Democrats will do what Ashley was suggesting and bring this forward in Congress.
I think they wouldn't have a majority in the Senate if they did, right? I mean, I don't mean they would -- have failed to win the Senate majority. I mean, they can't get all 50 Democratic senators on board with this plan. In fact, some of them very, very sharply criticized it when Biden unveiled it.
But look, I think there is no question that for a certain set of younger voters, this is a big signal from the White House that we are on your side. I think that American politics, that kind of signaling can matter.
Remember the years of build the wall and build the wall with executive orders and emergency actions on that wall is not built, well, it signals to voters that I am on your side. If the courts stop me or sort of land use issue stop me, you still know that I am on your side.
I do think, frankly, people have plenty of reason to be cynical about the sort of timing and process around this. It was a campaign promise that the president made. It is a promise that he did not follow through on until he had been president for more than a year and a half. Now, it is tied up in court.
I think people would have a perfectly good justification to look at this and wonder, what is really going on here, anyway? But this is not the only issue that young people vote on. And on a whole bunch of other stuff that young people care about, in some cases more than student loan debt like climate, like abortion rights, like gay rights, the president has obviously made a really concerted push to send those same signals to that part of the electorate. COATES: It is now a good time to talk about cannabis as being a young
voter issue as well, no?
COATES: There you go. And the idea that was on the ballot as well, included these measures, measures on cannabis, for example. Just to give people an understanding here, I mean, voters in Maryland and Missouri, they voted last week to approve legal recreational marijuana use while three other states (INAUDIBLE).
And I wonder, in the long line of things, of course, President Biden has spoken about in terms of pardoning or in terms of trying to grant clemency (INAUDIBLE) for people, he has viewed marijuana through a different lens than he did with this crime bill I just want to side (ph), how does this -- what does this tell you about these measures being successful in certain states?
HEYE: You know, I find it really hard to draw, you know, concrete lessons on these bills. You can look at these measures. You look at where they've passed. It is not easy to just say, well, this is a red versus blue issue. Maryland and Missouri have nothing in common politically. Missouri has gone redder than your code is right now under Trump with counties --
COATES: This is more of a poppy orange, red, but that is fine.
HEYE: You've got counties in Missouri that went 40 points from Obama to Trump. These are massive shifts. You cannot just look at the tea leaves and say this is what is going on. The one thing we know is that there is a lot of tax money.
BURNS: I was at a Joe Biden campaign event in Nevada only a couple of years ago where he was going on about how marijuana was a gateway drug, right? This is not the Joe -- that was not Joe Biden of the 1990s. That was Joe Biden of 2019.
I think the journey that he has personally taken on this issue, the Democratic Party, and obviously in Missouri, the Republican Party have taken, it is dizzying how fast it has happened.
ALLISON: I think it is because of the disparities that we see. We know that we have lost a whole generation of Black and brown people in prison right now because of marijuana use when you have states with people making millions off of it. I think right now the politicians are actually catching up to the people. Arkansas did strike this down but Arkansas still has medical marijuana use in a lot of their state.
So, I think it is an issue that soon enough, I think, will be legalized. I'm glad to see that the president has moved on it. This is what politicians should be doing. They should be listening to the people and acknowledging I might have not always gotten it right and I'm going to move where I think it is appropriate to make it a more just system, and I think that is where Biden is on marijuana right now.
COATES: Political evolution, perhaps an oxymoron on these issues. I would note that Clarence Thomas has often talked about not having a patchwork of laws related to marijuana as well. So, there is a tie that binds apparently everyone as well.
Up next, Dave Chappelle's SNL monologue is being slammed now as antisemitic. Did he go too far in your opinion this time?
COATES: Comedian Dave Chappelle's comments about the Jewish community during his "Saturday Night Live" monologue are being slammed by some as antisemitic. But check out this SNL sketch that also weighed in on the firestorm around Kanye West and well, others.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: Man, oh man, I still cannot believe that Kanye messed up all their money.
UNKNOWN: (INAUDIBLE) $2 billion in days. (INAUDIBLE).
UNKNOWN: Because it could not be me.
UNKNOWN: I know, right? Then he did all damn interviews making things worse and worse.
UNKNOWN: He does not have to say everything that you think all the time (ph).
UNKNOWN: Exactly, man. He lost me when he put on that White Lives Matter shirt.
UNKNOWN: Right, right, or when he said that mess about George Floyd.
UNKNOWN: Exactly. And his comments about Jewish people. I mean, way off the mark.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: Alex Burns is back, and CNN political commentator David Swerdlick joins along with Ashley Allison as well. We've seen a lot of the monologue today being played from the opening. I wanted to play the barbershop portion as well because I think it was a moment that they were trying to convey that it seemed as though Black people were not going to comment on antisemitism, which is a familiar, you know, stereotype as well among how it is viewed universally. I just wonder collectively how you view Dave Chappelle's monologue and his appearance? We had to expect there was some level of controversy he would say, but how did you view the entire episode?
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, SENIOR STAFF EDITOR FOR NEW YORK TIMES OPINION: So, Laura, you know, I thought it was funny at times. Dave Chappelle is obviously a master comedian. It was a tight, very clever opening monologue. But at the end of the day, if you break it all down, the parts that were about Kanye west and Kyrie Irving, where he landed was, okay, they should have not said it, they were stupid to say it, but were they wrong?
Now, he got a laugh out of it, he did it very cleverly, but I still think that is where he landed and I still think that that joke, those jokes relied on perpetuating stereotypes about the Jewish community. He has the right to do the comedy that he wants to do, but I think people also have a right to point out that he perpetuated stereotypes and troves.
COATES: Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, actually tweeted out something to the effect in a sense saying, we shouldn't expect Dave Chappelle to serve as society's moral compass, but disturbing to see SNL not just normalize but popularize #antisemitic. Why are Jewish sensitivities denied or diminished at almost every turn? Why does our trauma trigger applause?
What do you make of that, Alex?
BURNS: I want to be careful about this because I am Jewish. I'm a political reporter. I'm not a cultural commentator or anything like that. Look, the monologue was obviously not for me. But at the same time, I do not know that anybody is surprised that when you have Dave Chappelle on SNL. This is sort of the cycle that we are lined up in.
I think he is a master comedian. I think he is at a point in his career where he is looking to get a different kind of rise out of people. I think he is funnier when he is working in a different space. I think that was true of his comedy about trans people. I think it is true for his comedy about Jewish people, too.
I do think that SNL had Donald Trump on when he was a Republican primary candidate in 2015, well after he called Mexicans a bunch of criminals and rapists, so I do not know that we should have like super high expectations for the filter of what appears on that program.
It is not to just to say that ADL is wrong at all. It is just to say that, you know, SNL will at times sort of put itself on the position of speaking truth to power and being some kind of dividing line of what is acceptable and not in the entertainment industry. I just do not think that they have the record to back that up.
COATES: Comedy is not the moral compass in our society. We do have this expectation that comedians are speaking a kind of truth to power in a way that the average person cannot. And yet what's the truth is, to the larger point, what the truth is, is what he was -- is being really criticized about, that his interpretation of the what the truth as it relates to stereotypes.
And there was a one point I want you to comment as well. It was at the very beginning. He this idea of almost a mea culpa in advance. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVE CHAPPELLE, COMEDIAN: I denounce antisemitism in all of its forms.
CHAPPELLE: And I stand with my friends in the Jewish community. And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: That is how we began it. In a way, it was poking fun at the notion of what I need to say, albeit disingenuously, to get away with whatever else comes next. It is almost sort of the reverse, right? The idea people obviously making statements that are antisemitic, that bigoted, that are discriminatory in variety of ways, and then saying, but I want you to apologize. Okay, I apologize. The bell not being (INAUDIBLE).
He is commenting a little bit on that notion of cancel culture and the way one buys time around it. What do you think of it?
ALLISON: I thought his monologue was everything I expected it to be. I think Chappelle is a brilliant comedian. I thought there were so many other ways though that he could have brought comedy towards Kanye and Kyrie that did not require making fun of the Jewish community, just like I think there are ways to -- well, the trans stuff that he does, I just think it is kind of disgusting.
But the fact that -- I do think the pointed thing that he did about the apology was a strong critique on where we are with authenticity in our country and how -- that I thought was really smart. We allow people to apologize for really heinous things and then turn the page for some folks and then some people never get a second chance.
So, I thought that that was an interesting take on it, but I just felt like there was so much more he could've done with that opportunity, and he took the bait.
BURNS: And I will just say, I think it is a significant moment for Jewish Americans and that you do see a mainstreaming of not just jokes about Jewish people but real hateful stuff about and hate directed at Jews not just from comedians, right? You have a former president of the United States running around attacking Jewish Americans for not being adequately supportive of Israel as though he should be the arbiter of who is a good Jew, who is a bad Jew, and sort of -- it's this weird perspective on Jewish Americans that is grounded in the idea that actually they should have dual loyalties with Israel.
BURNS: What is wrong (INAUDIBLE), right? So, I think people are right to be sensitive and alert in this moment. I think that, frankly, the last couple of years, it does seem like Dave Chappelle is kind of a guided missile for those kinds of sensitivities, right? That is what he has chosen to do.
COATES: It is not just comedians or politics, it is also corporate America. And I do not want to be dismissive of the rising hate crimes, the reports of the FBI about the rise of antisemitism, which is one of the reasons why the barbershop sketch, Black people are somehow insensitive to the antisemitism or somehow silently complicit, is troublesome to me and it is pointed out in that sketch.
Also, I mean, KFC -- did you guys hear about KFC? KFC -- yes, the chicken people. They actually tweeted out something. They have a bot of some kind that picks up on (INAUDIBLE), and then they tweet out things around it.
Yes, you are giving me this because they actually -- this was a screen grab where they were promoting recognition of Kristallnacht, which is essentially the night of broken glass, that many people look at as the beginning of the holocaust.
They were essentially saying, hey, happy this day, come and get a chicken sandwich. You guys -- I didn't do it. This is the word they actually said. They had to come back and do a kind of a mea culpa on this very notion.
Just the idea of -- we often talk about antisemitism as targeted, antisemitism as prolific and pervasive. But just think about the idea that -- how ignorant one must be to think that that would be a commemoration to associate with a chicken sandwich and then come back as corporate -- America corporate world and say, oh, that was a bot.
SWERDLICK: You should know your history. We should all know our history before we schedule a tweet, before we talk. If I can zoom out from Chappelle for one second because I think Alex is on to something about former President Trump here, he has made a succession of comments that traffic an anti-Jewish stereotype.
Republican Jewish coalition in 2015, he said, oh, I am a negotiator like you. In 2016, he ran an ad where over the voice-over of global power structure were images of Janel Yellen and George Soros, and then Lloyd Blankfein was later in the same ad. You can go on and on and on down the list of these incidences.
We've all been here on this set or this studio at different times over the last five years criticizing President Trump for those statements. And so, I think it is fair to also criticize Kanye West, Kyrie Irving when they sort of play in the same sandbox, then you go back to Chappelle and you say, okay, again, a tight, tight comedic routine, but to your point, there were other ways to come at that without ultimately landing on kind of, were they wrong, and I think that is where some of the criticism --
ALLISON: The one thing I just want to say is that I think we have free speech in this country and it is needed and the First Amendment is really important, but we cannot normalize speech that hurts people, that is hate speech, and that if not checked can lead to violence. We are seeing upticks on hate crimes to Jewish Americans and it starts with leadership. If we allow it to go into a comedic space and say, oh, that is a way to like take the pressure down, not when it is at the expense of other people in any community.
COATES: The fact that it merits a laugh or gains a laugh does not somehow make it a joke. You can ask many people who are suffering from the effects of bigotry to this very day.
More on this, but I want to get into this as well, the billionaire who owns Amazon telling consumers, don't buy. That is his word. We will bring you Jeff Bezos's warning after this.
COATES: CNN exclusive, Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, one of the world's wealthiest, warning people to hold off on big purchases. Bezos is saying today we are likely to be in a recession soon and the best way to protect yourself is to keep cash on hand. Yes, you heard that right. The founder of Amazon is telling you to stop shopping. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF BEZOS, FOUNDER OF AMAZON: If we are not in a recession right now, we are likely to be in one very soon.
So, my advice to people, whether they are small business owners or, you know, is to take some risks off the table. If you are going to make a purchase, maybe to slow down that purchase a little bit. Keep some dry powder on hand and wait a bit, try to reduce some risk in your business or your life.
UNKNOWN: You tweeted, batten down the hatches. That's what you mean by that?
BEZOS: That is what I mean. For individual and you're thinking about buying a new, you know, large screen TV, maybe slow that down. Keep that cash. See what happens. Same thing with a refrigerator or a new car, whatever. Just take some risks off the table. If you are a small business, maybe delay some capital purchases. Do you really need that new piece of equipment? Maybe it can weigh a little bit. Have some cash on hand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: Interesting. All of this ahead of the biggest shopping day of the year. Thanks for watching. Our coverage continues.