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Christopher Hayes

Christopher Hayes

Nation editor-at-large and host of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes.

The Real Problem With Brooklyn College's BDS Forum Was the Backlash

When Alan Dershowitz led the charge against a forum at Brooklyn College discussing the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement as a counter to Israeli aggression in the occupied territories, the pile-on from both sides of the political spectrum was quick. New York politicians from Assemblyman Dov Hikind to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Comptroller John Liu all publicly called for the College’s Political Science department to drop its support for the forum. All the forum’s detractors took issue with the fact that the forum was unbalanced, and did not represent the spectrum of views on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Brooklyn College’s president has since come out strongly in support of the panel’s value as an expression of free speech, and the forum will take place as scheduled on February 7. But as Chris Hayes explains in this clip, there was something disingenuous about the cries of imbalance in the first place. 

The Brooklyn College panel will feature Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti, both of whom have written on BDS for The Nation.

Why Top Republicans Are Bailing on the Norquist Pledge

It turns out a deal with Grover Norquist isn’t exactly set in stone. During the past couple weeks, several top Republicans said they’d bail on the lobbyist's anti-tax pledge if it meant averting the so-called “fiscal cliff.” On Sunday's Up, Chris Hayes said the death of the “Norquist consensus” reflects the country's shift of opinion on taxes—as Americans, in general, pay their lowest rate since the ’80s. But Hayes says ending tax breaks for the richest Americans is only the first step to a more prosperous society. Eventually, he says, everyone should have to give more in exchange for better social programs.

Steven Hsieh

Lee Fang reports that just two billionaire-backed non-profits make up 66 percent of Grover Norquist's budget.

Our Unconditional Support of Israel Is Encouraging Terrorism in the Middle East

One of the stipulations in the Gaza cease-fire appears to be a loosening of Israel’s restrictions on the transfer of goods into the territory. On Sunday’s Up, Chris Hayes says this long-sought agreement could validate Hamas’s tactic of firing 1,500 rockets at Israel and killing six people. Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority’s peaceful diplomacy efforts have been met with increased Israeli settlement growth in the West Bank. By refusing to condemn Israel's oppressive policy towards Palestine, Hayes says, “We in the US are creating the conditions in which terrorism…brings strategic benefits, while the path of nonviolence leads to a dead end.”

—Steven Hsieh

For more on Gazans' reaction to the ceasefire, read Sharif Abdel Kouddous's report from the ground.

Tony Kushner: Lincoln's Political Battles

Abraham Lincoln was not the saintly visionary that he often comes across as in contemporary accounts. Instead, he was an eminently practical politician who understood that to abolish the shame of slavery, he would have to compromise and cede ground to his foes. The Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright and author Tony Kushner joined Chris Hayes on Saturday to explain just how his views of the sixteenth president changed as he worked on the screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, now in theaters.

Of course, Hollywood will take some liberties with history. Jon Wiener's latest examines Spielberg's oversight in 'Lincoln.'

Gaza in Context

The attack on Gaza reached a disturbing milestone Monday, as the Palestinian death toll surpassed 100. On Sunday’s Up, Chris Hayes’s panel—composed of Noura Erakat of Georgetown University, +972 magazine’s Noam Sheizaf, Yousef Munayyer of The Jerusalem Fund, and Newsweek’s David Frum—traced the context of the current crisis. The question on the table, as laid out by Erakat, is whether “Israel wants a diplomatic solution” or to just pummel Palestinians into subjegation.

—Steven Hsieh

For more on the attack on Gaza, read Mohammed Omer’s report from the ground.

The GOP's Cultivated Prejudices

It’s no secret that Mitt Romney carried white voters last Tuesday. What’s more significant is the GOP’s inability to make a dent in the minority vote. Even Asian-Americans, who overwhelmingly voted for George H. W. Bush twenty years ago, went 73 percent for Obama. On his show Saturday, Chris Hayes says that unless they change, the Republican party’s “cultivation” of white “identity” politics will continue alienating America’s increasingly diverse population.

Steven Hsieh

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Katha Pollitt writes that on Tuesday, voters rejected the right’s “you’re-on-your-own” doctrine.

On Climate Change: Which Side Are You On?

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction, it seems crass for climate change to have escaped our political discourse this past election cycle. After all, global warming will ensure that catastrophic storms like Sandy happen more frequently in the future. On his Saturday show, Chris Hayes called for a revitalization of the climate change movement, asking “which side are you on?”

Steven Hsieh

Mike Tidwell says we have three options when it comes to facing climate change.

We Can't Count on the President to Solve Climate Change

With the 2012 election hinging on Ohio—more specifically, the coal towns of Southeast Ohio—it’s no surprise that both candidates are touting fossil-fuel friendliness, rather than green conscience. On his Saturday morning show, Chris Hayes said we can’t count on Washington to fix “our single greatest governing challenge” for us. Instead, passionate activists need to speak up to strengthen the public’s “weak, nonchalant preference for us to ‘do something’ about that whole climate change thing.”

Steven Hsieh

For more on coal industry politics, read Lee Fang on the National Mining Association's voter coercion efforts.

Electoral Politics May be Messy, but It's Better Than the Alternative

On his show Saturday, Christopher Hayes defended process against the backdrop of the vice presidential debate, during which Martha Raddatz questioned the “negativity” of both tickets’ campaigns. The nastiness of electoral politics may put us off, Hayes says, but it’s how “we as human beings channel and resolve conflict in a non-violent fashion.” The European Union, which is taking flack for winning the Nobel Peace Prize, despite its ongoing crisis, represents the triumph of process in maintaining peace on a continent “that was the site of some of the most horrifying war, violence, brutality, sadism and genocide in the history of the planet.”

—Steven Hsieh

Should Journalists Use 'Illegal Immigrant?'

Mitt Romney adopted controversial language during the Republican primaries to demonstrate his hard-line position on immigration. Romney referred to the undocumented as "illegal aliens," and even suggested making their lives so hard that they'd "self-deport." On Up With Chris Hayes, a vibrant panel—composed of journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, WNYC's Brooke Gladstone, PBS's Maria Hinojosa and Columbia linguist John McWhorter—talked about the implications of using the term "illegals." How much does the language we use affect our political discourse?

—Steven Hsieh

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