MSNBC's Toure Defends Hollywood Leftists As 'Real Americans'

Toure gave a spirited defense of Meryl Streep and the Hollywood left on Monday's MSNBC Live, after the actress gave an anti-Donald Trump speech at Sunday's Golden Globes. The 9/11 truther contended that movie stars are "just everyday Americans who did very well." He added that "they make up a significant and valuable portion of America....they are real Americans just as well." Toure also repeatedly rebuked Trump for his counter-attack against Streep: "He should not be attacking specific Americans and dissing them as if this is some playground." [video below]

Anchor Stephanie Ruhle turned to the MSNBC contributor, The Daily Beast's Kevin Fallon, and correspondent/anchor Steve Kornacki for their take on the actress's speech. Fallon first explained that Streep "knew her audience. She was in a room full of people whose politics she knew; whose frustration she knew; and she knew that she would get a big rise out of them for speaking to that....It's what they wanted."

Toure replied by spotlighting an earlier portion of the liberal actress's speech: "The beginning...was even more powerful for me — just noting we in Hollywood are from across the tracks. We are from everywhere. I'm Meryl Streep — maybe elite now, but I was a public school girl in New Jersey. You know, Viola Davis — elite in Hollywood; comes from a sharecropper's cabin." He continued that "these are not people who were To the Manor Born, like Donald Trump. These are people who come from nowhere...the theater class kids who wanted to make a career out of it. So, you know, these are just everyday Americans who did very well. Is that not the American dream?"

Ruhle interrupted and stated that "it might be the American dream, but it's fair to say there are many people in Hollywood that are now out of touch with that America." Toure stuck by his talking point: "Yeah — but I mean, like, are they not America, too — right? I mean, they come from everywhere, and they make up a significant and valuable portion of America. So, to — to diss them as, well, you're just Hollywood — no! That's — they are real Americans just as well."

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Fallon then indicated that he agreed with his fellow panelist: "People who are frustrated about [Hollywood's politics] need a new script. This isn't anything new. They've been doing it since the '60s, the '70s. It's never going to stop. It's what people tune into these awards shows for, and what these celebrities attend these awards shows to do." Kornacki actually launched some criticism of both Streep and Trump:

STEVE KORNACKI: Who is convinced by any of this? That's what I'm wondering....That room, I'm guessing, was 99.9 percent anti-Trump in the election....that reeks of self-satisfaction — what's going on in there — political self-satisfaction....By the same token, Donald Trump's response — who is going to be swayed; who is going to be convinced by Donald Trump taking to Twitter and looking very petty and look very vindictive? And all I can think about: it's that red and that blue map — the red counties, the blue counties — that deep cultural divide. Every episode like this just drives that deeper and deeper on both sides.

Before the segment ended, Toure gave one final defense of the movie star: "Meryl Streep, in the situation, is an American — not speaking to the room, but speaking to the television cameras and saying, here's how I feel about things....Trump is, of course, the President-Elect. He should not be attacking specific Americans and dissing them as if this is some playground....She has a right to speak, and he should listen!"

The transcript of the relevant portions of the panel discussion segment from MSNBC Live on January 9, 2017:

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Meryl Streep was receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award — basically, a lifetime achievement award. I'm going to say Meryl Streep is not the most overrated actress right there. But Kevin, talk to us about last night. This is not a surprise — okay? We knew Hollywood was going to go after Donald Trump, and we could have guessed Donald Trump would fight back.

[MSNBC Graphic: "Meryl Streep: 'Disrespect Invites Disrespect, Violence Incites Violence'"]

KEVIN FALLON, THE DAILY BEAST SR. ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Yes. I mean, Meryl Streep knew her audience. She — she was in a room full of people whose politics she knew; whose frustration she knew; and she knew that she would get a big rise out of them for speaking to that. And you can tell by the way that room was pin-drop silent, on a night where it was filled with cacophony and drunken rousing, that everyone was there to listen to that message. It's what they wanted. I think they may have even wanted Donald Trump to react in that way, because that's what we all expect now at this point.

[MSNBC Graphic: "Meryl Streep, Celebs Take On Trump At Golden Globes"]

RUHLE: But the fact that Donald Trump is pushing back specifically on this, and specifically saying, no, I was not — why is she bringing this up? I have already — I have already explained it. This is the dishonest media. I wasn't going after a disabled journalist. All you need to do is watch that video. He actually was.

TOURE: We all saw it; and then, the campaign told us, over and over, that was one of the moments that really struck a lot of people.

The beginning of Meryl Streep, however, was even more powerful for me — just noting we in Hollywood are from across the tracks. We are from everywhere. I'm Meryl Streep — maybe elite now, but I was a public school girl in New Jersey. You know, Viola Davis — elite in Hollywood; comes from a sharecropper's cabin.

I mean, like — you know, these are not people who were — you know, 'To the Manor Born,' like Donald Trump. These are people who come from nowhere — you know, the theater class kids, or the theater class kids who wanted to make a career out of it. So, you know, these are just everyday Americans who did very well. Is that not the American dream? And again, we see Trump will—

[MSNBC Graphic: "Trump Dismisses Streep As 'Over-rated,' A 'Hillary Flunky;' Meryl Streep: Trump's Imitation Of Disabled Reporter 'Stunned Me;' Trump: 'I Never Mocked A Disabled Reporter'; Trump Denies Mocking Reporter's Disability Despite Gesture"]

RUHLE: Hold on. It might be the American dream, but it's fair to say there are many people in Hollywood that are now out of touch with that America. I mean, that's — that's an argument you could make.

TOURE: Well — well, sure, yeah — I mean, yeah — but I mean, like, are they not America, too — right? I mean, they come from everywhere, and they make up a significant and valuable portion of America. So, to — to diss them as, well, you're just Hollywood — no! That's — they are real Americans just as well.

RUHLE: All right. Dissing them did help him win the election.

FALLON: I think that the frustration over Hollywood's politics — people who are frustrated about that — need a new script. This isn't anything new. They've been doing it since the '60s, the '70s. It's never going to stop. It's what people tune into these awards shows for, and what these celebrities attend these awards shows to do. I think the fact that you're tuning into these things and getting upset that it happens is a little dated at this point—

[MSNBC Graphic: "Meryl Streep Calls On Press To 'Hold Power To Account'"]

STEVE KORNACKI: Who is convinced by any of this? That's what I'm wondering. This — I've seen this so many times before — to watch that scene, this is Hollywood. That room, I'm guessing, was 99.9 percent anti-Trump in the election. That might be understating it. It — that reeks of self-satisfaction — what's going on in there — political self-satisfaction. Who is convinced; who is persuaded by that message who wasn't already persuaded, or who didn't already agree with that?

By the same token, Donald Trump's response — who is going to be swayed; who is going to be convinced by Donald Trump taking to Twitter and looking very petty and look very vindictive? And all I can think about: it's that red and that blue map — the red counties, the blue counties — that deep cultural divide. Every episode like this just drives that deeper and deeper on both sides.

(...)

TOURE: Let's not put these people on an equal platform here — right? Meryl Streep, in the situation, is an American — not speaking to the room, but speaking to the television cameras and saying, here's how I feel about things — and that is typical of the Golden Globes; as opposed to, say, the Oscars.  But, you know, Trump is, of course, the President-Elect. He should not be attacking specific Americans and dissing them as if this is some playground. 'You're overrated, Meryl'—

RUHLE: Or Toure — you know what?

TOURE: She has a right to speak, and he should listen!

RUHLE: She might have the right to speak, but no one changed their vote last night. All they did was feel more impassioned about the side they were on, and made a whole lot of people entertained.

CyberAlerts Culture/Society Labeling Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Daily Beast MSNBC MSNBC Live Video Touré Kevin Fallon Stephanie Ruhle Steve Kornacki Donald Trump Meryl Streep
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