America’s Lawyer E33: The Twitter Files have been released to the public, and they might show that former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lied under oath to Congress. We’ll tell you how that happened. Human Trafficking survivors have filed a lawsuit against a popular bargain hotel chain for allowing this nightmare to happen right under their noses. And it looks like all of the government officials who created the Flint water crisis are going to get away with it – we’ll tell you why. All that, and more is coming up, so don’t go anywhere – America’s Lawyer starts right now.

Transcript:

*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: Hi, I’m Mike Papantonio and this is America’s Lawyer. The Twitter files have been released to the public, and they might show that former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lied under oath to Congress. We’ll tell you what that might mean for Jack Dorsey. Human trafficking survivors have filed a lawsuit against a popular bargain hotel chain for allowing their type of trafficking problem to take place right there in their hotel. And it looks like all the government officials who created the Flint water crisis are going to get away with it. We’ll tell you why. All that and more, it’s coming up. Don’t go anywhere. America’s Lawyer starts right now.

There’s a lot of new information in the recently released Twitter files, but the big issue is whether they reveal a coverup that could lead to criminal charges. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins joins me to talk about what’s happening on that and a lot of other issues. Farron, there’s a lot of, lot of things going on right now. You know, when I, when I looked at this, the, the Jack Dorsey has a potential problem here. I wanted to go back and see what did he actually tell Congress? Did he, did he commit perjury? Did he lie to Congress? Because there’s case after case where, you know, people are thrown in jail for that.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: And so what I looked at, I wanted to see what the actual words were. And one of the questions were asked by a Democrat from Pennsylvania, he asked, was social media, is it rigged to censor conservatives? Is that true of Twitter? And, and he said, no, we’re not censoring people. And then he was asked again, by another, are you censoring people? Dorsey said, no. He was asked again, are you, is there shadow banning going on with Twitter? He said, absolutely not. You know, we’ve all seen it. I, I think of the case as a matter of fact, there’s tons of cases, but the case I think of is Roger Clemons. Talk about the, talk about the similarities here.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. Roger Clemens, as we all know, many, many years ago, was hauled before Congress and asked, you know, are you using steroids in Major League baseball? And he says, absolutely not. Don’t use steroids. Well, we find out later, he is. So technically he lied to Congress. They pursue charges against him. They ultimately got a mistrial and, and acquitted him. But he lied to Congress about something inconsequential. Congress could not have put sanctions on him.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: For taking steroids. That’s not their job. And it’s the same with Dorsey’s testimony there. If he had just said, yeah, we do it all the time. I can do what I want. It’s my company. Congress could not have done anything to him about it.

Mike Papantonio: Well, explain that. Explain that. He, there, isn’t there’s something in, right in the contract, that says, yeah, I can shadow, I can censor, I can do whatever I wanna do.

Farron Cousins: And Twitter’s own terms of service that are still active today, it says we reserve the right to de-amplify content, to hide content, to limit the availability and, and I forget the exact terminology, but they say, yeah, we can limit things. And if by you’re signing up for Twitter, you agree to let us do that. So he could have said that in that thing. He could have said, you know what? We don’t make it a habit, but it’s right there in our terms of service. If we need to, we can do it.

Mike Papantonio: Is it bad lawyering? Did, did his lawyers say, yeah, go lie to Congress? I mean, this is just three questions. There’s, there’s a lot more.

Farron Cousins: Right.

Mike Papantonio: But there were three questions, and I compare it to Roger Clemens, who was lying about performance enhancing drugs, and yeah, they found him in contempt. And I mean, it’s serious stuff.

Farron Cousins: It, it really is.

Mike Papantonio: So if his lawyer said, yeah, Jack, just lie about it. And I’m wondering whether or not part of that had to do. I, I don’t know, I don’t remember the timing. Did it have anything to do with, just prior to, to Musk coming and making the buy? Was, was there a time element there?

Farron Cousins: This was, this was I think long before.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, I think it was.

Farron Cousins: Long before Musk was even in the picture at all here.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, yeah. But, I mean, he, I know that. Did he ever appear after that? I guess I’m wondering, close to it.

Farron Cousins: Not that I’ve seen. But, but as you mentioned, the, the questioning does go on. And what’s interesting is as the questioning goes on, he’s then asked too, like, do they do it for Democrats as well as conservatives?

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Seeming to already understand like, this guy’s not telling us the truth. And then he said, yes, it does happen to Democrats too. So already with, without any of these files, he already contradicted himself on do we limit the availability of users, but.

Mike Papantonio: Well, well look, either he lied. He just knowingly lied. His lawyer said, who should be sued for malpractice if he, if his, if he had a lawyer there, and the lawyer didn’t say, you know, Jack, this is serious stuff. You can go to prison for this. You know, think about Haldeman and think about Harvey Matusow, think about Caspar Weinberger. Think about all these people that have gone to prison or, you know, had jail sentences at least, whether they’re suspended or not. But he, there’s nothing equivocal about it. Were you shadow boxed? No, I wasn’t. Were you, were you censoring people? No, I wasn’t. And, and, and, and so I’m looking at this and I’m thinking, what the hell. He either lied or he was so out of touch with his own company. What do you think?

Farron Cousins: It’s one of those two. I mean, those really are the only two options at this point, unless he’s trying to play the Bill Clinton, depends on your definition of the word is, because Twitter did come out, I actually read this just a few moments ago.

Mike Papantonio: Okay, okay.

Farron Cousins: Twitter had come out a couple years ago, shortly after this, and they defined what shadow banning means.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, yeah.

Farron Cousins: And shadow banning, according to Twitter, is when nobody except the person who puts the tweet out there can see it.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: So if he’s asked, do you shadow ban? Well, I’ve got a different definition of shadow ban. So of course I don’t do that.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. That’s, that’s fine on shadow banning. I gotcha. But when you say, did you censor?

Farron Cousins: Exactly, that’s where.

Mike Papantonio: No, I did not. Did you censor according to political ideology? No, I did not. I mean, that’s where this really goes. And I’m just thinking there’s, you know, you know that you’ve, we’ve talked about the number of people who’ve been charged with willful blindness. So it’s either, yes, I was lying, and yeah, I’m caught, or I’m so disconnected from this company. I started growing my beard and smoking pot or whatever the hell, whatever, whatever his new lifestyle, whatever it is. And I was so out of it, I didn’t know what was going on. There’s still something called willful blindness, this guy gotta, he has to overcome.

Farron Cousins: Well, and the big issue to me is, is this is something he didn’t even need to lie about or, or act like he didn’t know anything about.

Mike Papantonio: He should have faced it straight on.

Farron Cousins: He, he could have done that and, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation today. We probably wouldn’t even have the, the Twitter files as they exist now, because they would’ve said, yeah, these things happen. It’s right there in our terms of service. You don’t like it. Go to a different app.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, exactly. Well, we do it all the time. Somebody comes on our site and they attack you, or they attack me, our position here is you can attack the story.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: But you may not attack the people who deliver the story. And if you do, you’re gone. If you do, we unsubscribe you. We get rid of you. That’s our policy. But we, we, we let everybody know. I’m letting them know right now.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. You’re very open about it.

Mike Papantonio: I get, you know, if, if they attack you, they can talk about the story all they want, but if they start getting personal and attacking you or attacking me, they’re gone. Doesn’t affect us. Our numbers are great. Doesn’t have any effect on us, but it’s our policy. That’s what the guy needed to say. It’s right here in the policy.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. He, I mean, he could have had a printout of it and just shown it and said, well, this is our policy.

Mike Papantonio:Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Again, do we make it a habit to do this? No, we don’t.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: But if we feel the need to do it, we’re gonna do it. And we’re allowed to because you agreed to it when you signed up.

Mike Papantonio: That’s right.

Farron Cousins: End of story.

Mike Papantonio: I think your point’s really good, Farron. I think you’re right on. It, it, it just didn’t have to happen.

Three times now we’ve seen material coming out about the Twitter files, and the Twitter files have become this brand new talking point that is not going to go away. Farron, what do you think about the Twitter files? As we are right now, give me your overall 10,000 foot and then let’s narrow it in a little bit.

Farron Cousins: My big takeaway, because I, I’ve followed all of the Twitter threads as they were being released and coming out and the whole thing for me is just a big, eh? Nothing has really moved me from it.

Mike Papantonio: Okay.

Farron Cousins: It, it doesn’t seem, you know, explosive. We, look, we’ve seen, you’ve seen a hell of a lot more than I have, real corporate documents showing horrifying things.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: So maybe I’m desensitized, but I’m not seeing a whole lot that really moves me, other than I feel like there is a serious lack of context for a lot of it. That is my big issue.

Mike Papantonio: In other words, we’re getting bits and pieces.

Farron Cousins: Right.

Mike Papantonio: Matt Taibbi, as you know, I am, you know, I’ve interviewed Taibbi. You’ve interviewed Taibbi. He’s known, we, we like Taibbi. We have for a long time. I think he’s a good reporter. You know, Bari Weiss, hmm. Not so much. And then, and then Shellenberger. But the, all this material’s coming out and each one has a different look at something. So let’s begin with the first look. The first look was with Taibbi. And Taibbi’s as independent as you can get. He says, look, I’m not a Democrat. I’m not a Republican. This is what I do. I call balls and strikes. So he comes out with the Hunter Biden issue. Was the FBI involved with protecting Hunter Biden? Well, now Baker, who of course was with the FBI protecting, you know, allegedly protecting Hunter saying that, you know, you know, not, he, he might be a dirt bag. Yeah. Hunter’s a dirt bag, but he didn’t do these things. Then he goes to work with Twitter and he starts protecting Hunter there. That’s Taibbi’s kind of, that’s his hook, isn’t it?

Farron Cousins: Well, Taibbi admits that he could not see any evidence of government interference with the Hunter Biden story. Pardon me. And a lot of the issue that Taibbi talks about with the Hunter Biden story was the request from the DNC from the Biden campaign was, there’s pictures of Hunter Biden’s genitalia on Twitter. Can you please take those off? I mean, that’s what those tweets were linking to.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. They weren’t.

Farron Cousins: actual Photographs of Hunter Biden and naked women as well, which is a form of revenge pornography. And so that’s well within their scope to say, listen, please take this down.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. That was, that was within their policy.

Farron Cousins: Yes. A hundred percent in their terms of service.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. So, so then they merge it to where, no, it was really about the fact that Hunter Biden has some kind of scheme going on. It’s with the Chinese, it’s with the Russians, you know, he’s out there making money for the family, and the, the Biden estate is making money through that scheme. Now, they’ve said that, but nobody’s tied it up. Matt Taibbi looked at it and he said, yeah, there’s a lot of bad stuff’s been done wrong, in fact, in censorship. But no, there, nothing’s landed, has it?

Farron Cousins: No. It, it really hasn’t. And, and Taibbi did also mention the fact that with the New York Times, uh, New York Post, excuse me story, the reason Twitter was initially saying we have to get rid of this story, is because it violates their policy against publishing hacked materials.

Mike Papantonio: Okay.

Farron Cousins: And the ban from the New York Post story really only lasted a matter of hours before it was lifted. So that’s why, to me, I, I don’t see it as a huge bombshell. It’s okay. Well, all of these stories, all three, four of the releases so far, it paints a picture to me of a bunch of employees who had no clear leadership. Nobody at the top explaining anything.

Mike Papantonio: It was, it was Home Alone, wasn’t it?

Farron Cousins: It, it really was.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: So they’re confused. They’re emailing each other, texting each other. Like, what, how, what, what, what do we do? Here’s a thing. Is this a bad thing? Is, is this a bad thing? I don’t know.

Mike Papantonio: Farron, both you and I are big fans of Ro Khanna. I mean, I, I really like the guy.

Farron Cousins: He’s good.

Mike Papantonio: And he came out and said, look, I’ve gotta look at this. This is wrong.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: He said, what was happening at Twitter is wrong because he’s a fundamental believer in the Constitution as I am. And you are. He’s a fundamental believer in the First Amendment. And what, so, so he comes out and he starts saying, censorship in the caliber of what I’m seeing with Twitter is wrong. Okay, let’s, let’s hold that in advance. Taibbi comes out with the Hunter story. Next, next you have Bari Weiss that comes out with her take on it. Her take is how, is, is just focus on ideology. That they’ve made these decisions based on the fact that we don’t want any conservatives telling their story on our, on our network. And we’re going to, because of that, we’re gonna censor ’em. Pick up and tell me if I’ve missed something there.

Farron Cousins: So this is the part where I say we’re missing a lot of context here.

Mike Papantonio: Okay.

Farron Cousins: Because it’s, it’s clear that what Weiss did was she name searched a couple of high profile accounts to see if they had the vf, which is what they call the visibility filter.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: So that is of course, something, sure, the visibility filter, that seems like something people ought to know about. And Dan Bongino, conservative talker who blocked me on Twitter years ago, I’ve never interacted with him. Charlie Kirk and then Libs of TikTok.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Was another big one. But Libs of TikTok, they actually ended up not taking action against, even though what they were posting led to bomb threats and bomb scares at a Boston Hospital. Uh, pretty serious stuff there.

Mike Papantonio: All right.

Farron Cousins: I don’t know what Kirk and Bongino were posting that got them the visibility filter, but at the same time, she searched out those individuals to see if it was there.

Mike Papantonio: Okay.

Farron Cousins: Okay. Fair enough. Right. Did you search other individuals? Did you search individuals on the left? Did you search groups on the left? Twitter did its own study in October of 2021 that actually explained that their algorithm amplifies right wing voices far more than it amplifies left-wing voices.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: So did you look at the other side? And if you did show us that they don’t have these same markings.

Mike Papantonio: Okay.

Farron Cousins: Give us the full picture. Not a part of it.

Mike Papantonio: Farron, to me, you, these are, these are things you and I talk about all the time. I mean, I’m just such a fundamental, Ro Khanna, I just completely agree with, we don’t mess with the First Amendment. Okay. We, we count on the fact that if somebody is so awful and they say the kinds of things that are so vulgar and so awful, that the system takes care of itself. It does. We don’t need some bonehead in, you know, that’s got a barely outta college making a decision on whether this fits into a policy or not. I mean, it is protect the First Amendment.

Farron Cousins: Because they didn’t even understand their own policies.

Mike Papantonio: That’s.

Farron Cousins: And again, that’s a huge issue too, because nobody was steering the ship.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: So you’ve got all your, your oarsmen basically rowing in different directions and the ship’s just spinning in circles because nobody knows what to do.

Mike Papantonio: I don’t, I don’t think this goes away. I, I think this picks up momentum because the other social media, the other social media folks have gotta pay attention to what’s happening here. And

Farron Cousins: That, that, that is a big part of it too. And I do think, obviously, I mean, we’ve experienced weird things happening with our YouTube channel. We’ve experienced it on Facebook.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, yeah.

Farron Cousins: So it, it would be interesting to see, again, the whole picture, not just from Twitter. I wanna see it from all of the sites.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: I don’t want cherry picked info. I want the whole thing.

Mike Papantonio: I, I think it’s a very good point.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: And I totally agree with you on that. But this, this does start the discussion.

Farron Cousins: It does.

Mike Papantonio: An important discussion.

Farron Cousins: And we need to have the discussion.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

The state of Indiana is suing popular social media app TikTok for endangering children. Wow. There’s something to this story.

Farron Cousins: Yep.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. As you know, I handle, I handle sex trafficking all over the country. Matter of fact, I just gave a speech in London about it two weeks ago because it’s become such a problem in London. So, as I look at this story, if we’re sitting here believing that what China is doing with, with TikTok is benevolent. That hey, we’re just looking at the business aspect of it. There is some really good information that tells us they know exactly what’s going on with human trafficking and sex trafficking.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. A hundred percent. And, and this lawsuit specifically, it, it doesn’t get into those issues. I, I think as it progresses, they’re finally gonna.

Mike Papantonio: Oh, that’s, that’s where it’s going now.

Farron Cousins: But, but they kind of did a little superficial, like, hey, you’re, you’re exposing them to mature content and, uh, you’re stealing their data.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: Which is a huge problem in and of itself. But you’re right, the bigger issues are the ones that are gonna come out and hopefully, I, I think maybe this lawsuit was filed the way it was to get to the discovery point.

Mike Papantonio: It is.

Farron Cousins: To be able to get their hands on that.

Mike Papantonio: This is that first step.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: I can tell you this is, it’s, it’s, you’re gonna see states do this. The DOJ is, does what the DOJ does, just like the opioid crisis. They have to be pushed and cajoled and beat over the head and say, and shamed to do anything. Back, back to the tobacco case that we’ve started, the opioid case that we started, 87 pharmaceutical cases that we have started in this law firm, every time we go to the DOJ and say, look, here it is. PFAS, here, here it is, it’s all here for you. Go prosecute somebody. They don’t have the guts to do it. The, I don’t know whether it’s a lack of talent. What I’m reading right now is it potentially is a lack of talent. But the states can be more effective on this. There’s already three states that are already going after TikTok, and you’ve got the government at least saying you can’t use this pro, you can’t use TikTok on our government sites. Right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah. Alabama just a couple days ago, became the most recent state to, to join in on that. And we’re already, you know, it’s great that Indiana’s filed this lawsuit, but we’re already so behind Europe.

Mike Papantonio: Oh, completely. Explain. Explain that. People don’t understand what you just said, but that’s very true.

Farron Cousins: You have countries all across Europe, the, you know, the United Kingdom kind of leading the way. They’ve been sounding the alarm about TikTok.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: They have been doing these investigations. They’re already in the process of preparing, I think the $29 million fine.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: On these companies for what they’re doing to children and what they’re exposing them to. And we are just at the point where we’re saying, okay, well, we’re gonna now launch investigations. They’re concluding theirs and we’re just launching ours.

Mike Papantonio: Farron, here’s what they’re concluding that scares us, scares the hell outta me. They’re concluding that they’re using the child’s contact with TikTok to get into the parent’s systems. They even have it, come on parent, sign up with your child so you know what you’re doing.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: What that leads to is they’re getting into the entire household. All of the information in the entire household now becomes at the, at the fingertips of China. Not only that, but there’s, there’s, there’s so much material showing that what they’re showing in America, they’re not allowed to show in China where it comes to children. You can’t show the caliber of things you’re showing in, in the US or Canada or South America. You can’t show that in China because they know it has some really destructive and very dangerous possibilities. Right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah, absolutely. And again, Europe leading the way on this. They’ve, they’ve led the way on so many social media sites. Facebook, they’re going hard as hell. Ireland.

Mike Papantonio: Ireland. Tell, tell us that story. We just did this story, but Ireland said, look US, if you’re not gonna do anything about it, we are, because this is bad stuff.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. One, once again, the same kind of thing. The data theft. The, the monopolization of these companies. Regulators in Europe say, look, this isn’t gonna fly. You may be based in the US, you’re doing business here, we have much stricter rules and by God, we’re gonna enforce ’em. I mean, we have the same rules here in the US. We just don’t ever enforce ’em. So it, it’s interesting to see that the US is always having to play catch up to what the regulators over there are doing.

Mike Papantonio: What, what is it with the Department of Justice? Give me your take. Did, have you seen the movie Dope stick?

Farron Cousins: Not yet.

Mike Papantonio: Dopesick.

Farron Cousins: Not yet.

Mike Papantonio: Dopesick. We’re gonna do a segment on it. It, when you watch this, you will be horrified about how the Department of Justice put limitations on some very good US attorneys who were doing their job. Had, had you, had the Department of Justice done their job, we would’ve made the, the problem go away. I, I just, our, you know, as you know, I’m handling that case. We just settled another one with CVS. We’ve settled now with, we’ve settled with AmerisourceBergen. We’ve settled with McKesson. We’ve settled with Cardinal. We’ve settled with some of the biggest distributors in the country. But because of the, the conduct of the Department of Justice, the Sacklers are still running free with billions of dollars all over this country. So I, I really recommend that you take a look at Dopesick to understand why we can’t count on government doing anything where it comes to important issues like TikTok.

Farron Cousins: Yep.

Mike Papantonio: It’s a really, really informative.

A human trafficking survivor is suing budget hotel chain, Red Roof Inn, for allowing trafficking to happen at their properties. Yeah. Well, we brought the lawsuit. So I, I know a lot about it. Why don’t, but, you know, you’ve worked with me on so many big projects. Farron, talk, talk about this case a little bit.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. What, what’s happening here is that you have a survivor, who basically was trafficked at a Red Roof Inn.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: She was subjected to abuse, manipulation, psychological and physical torture, basically. And they were operating very clearly, very obviously out of the Red Roof Inn. And so what this survivor is saying, listen, you had all of the warning signs, you have all of these resources that the government has provided for you. You could have stepped in and saved me and countless other women. You made the decision to not do it because you were making money off the people coming to the hotel, not just as traffickers, but as the clients.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: You know, using these women.

Mike Papantonio: It’s, it’s actually worse than that. We have cases where an organization will call a trafficker, maybe it’s MindGeek up in Canada, one of the big centralizations of, of pornography. They’ll call the trafficker and they say, we want to see a film of 14 and 15 year old girls being sodomized. Okay. So they go rent the room, the trafficker rents the room, they rent a suite for a week. They then bring in cameras, they bring in lights, they bring in the movie set, everybody working the front desk, everybody working in the ho, in the hotel. Now, this is not Red Roof Inn, this is some, this is another organization that we’re going after. But everybody in the hotel knows exactly what’s going on. These kids are walking around, 14 year old kids that are being sodomized up in the hotel room. They, they, they take breaks. So they walk around in Negligees all around the, this is the kind of stuff that you can’t just ignore and say, well, there, we don’t have any standards. We don’t have to worry about standards. Red Roof Inn has their own standards. They have a standard, they have a, a standard book that we must follow. The problem is they don’t follow it.

Farron Cousins: Right. And not to mention, even if they somehow don’t miss all the camera equipment coming into the hotel. I mean, look, I’ve traveled with camera equipment and the lights, those are big giant containers you have to wheel through, move around people.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: And I’ll say, nobody’s ever looked at us twice.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: I mean, not that we’re doing anything bad, but they don’t care.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: They just pretend it doesn’t exist. But they also had complaints on their own message boards of people who had just stayed in the hotel telling them, listen, um, you have lots of pimps hanging outside this hotel. I’m here with my family on vacation and we can’t walk through the lobby without all of the pimps offering us. Do you want a woman for tonight?

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: That’s on their own message board. The people making complaints about staying in the hotel. So they had all of the evidence.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Knowing that this was happening.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. It’s always knowledge. It’s like the trucking case where they load up kids in California, in an 18 wheeler, they have little separate bedrooms in the, in the 18 wheeler. They go across the country calling truck stops all along the way, we’ll be there in a half an hour. People come in, have sex with these children and leave. The truck stop, they’re making money on the fuel. They’re making money on the food. They’re making money on the business that comes in from that. So they look the other way. This is a similar kind of case in a lot of ways.

Oscar caliber movies are flatlining in the box office, making us wonder why American citizens are no longer really interested in thought-provoking films. You know, you found this, I mean, this story to me, I, I don’t, I didn’t know with, whether we were gonna do this story. I, I like this story because it, it, it’s raising some real issues. Okay. One is, the biggest issue that I, as I’m reading all this and there’s several stories about this, but the, the issue that surfaces again and again is the Amer, the American public is tired of being preached to. They want to go to a movie. They want to be entertained. I don’t want to know what your social and cultural issues are. I’m coming here to be entertained. Don’t put ’em on me. If you do, I’m gonna leave. They’re leaving now. Pick it up.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. I, I think a lot of this, because this is actually from New York Times magazine.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: So this is very, I know it’s a little off the beaten path for us, but it is interesting because yeah, you do have all of these, I guess what they would call the Oscar bait movies. The very artistic ones. They’re well-written, you know, they’re well produced.

Mike Papantonio: Good stuff, frankly. They’re, it’s good stuff.

Farron Cousins: Good budgets, but nobody cares anymore. Nobody wants to go to the movies or, or rent it at home and.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Have to actually think about anything. They don’t want to have to follow a story. They want to see, okay, is this gonna explode? You know, I, if not, I’m, I’m tuning out of it. My attention span can’t handle it.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Anymore.

Mike Papantonio: What, gimme your take. You, you and I talked about something similar. What is your take on what’s happening out there, culturally?

Farron Cousins: I, I do have a theory and I think it’s all psychological and I think it goes in cycles here. You know, right now everything is kind of bad in this country. You know, the economy’s bad. The job market is bad. Wages are bad. Politics is terrible. So what do people want? They want a hero.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: They want a larger than life figure that they can root for, the good guy, good girl, whoever it is, to come out on screen and show them that by God, we can overcome anything.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: Because that’s what’s popular right now.

Mike Papantonio: That’s all we’re getting is superhero shows where the, you know, the impossible takes place right in front of your eyes.

Farron Cousins:It gives people hope. You know, you look at that and you say, look, this is somebody I can stand up with. So.

Mike Papantonio: How, how many of ’em can you watch? How, how many times? It’s the same, it’s the same script. How, how many can you watch?

Farron Cousins: It, it is very formulated.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: But, so it goes a little further back too. During the Iraq war time, everybody was terrified. Right. We’re told terrorists are right around every single corner.

Mike Papantonio: Right.

Farron Cousins: So people were afraid. The world was a scary place. And that was a time when you did have these huge cinematic, thought-provoking films that people got immersed in.

Mike Papantonio: Mm.

Farron Cousins: And and it’s because we wanted to see something beautiful. In a world that scared us.

Mike Papantonio: Mm.

Farron Cousins: We wanted that beauty. And then you go back even further, the nineties. Nineties were a good time. The economy was doing great. You know, everything seemed fine. People were happy. So what was super popular at that time? That’s when you had your Jim Carreys, your Adam Sanders and Chris Farley.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, everybody’s laughing.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. The goofball comedies were so popular.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: And it does kind of resonate with the atmosphere in the country at that time. So I think where we’re at right now is people don’t wanna think. We think all the time, we think about how bad our finances are, how bad the political atmosphere is, how bad the environment is.

Mike Papantonio: And so they don’t want to go in and watch Nightmare Alley, that I thought was a pretty good movie, you know. And, but here’s the numbers. Here’s how bad they’re losing. She Said, I haven’t seen, She Said.

Farron Cousins: I haven’t heard of it until I read this.

Mike Papantonio: I, I don’t, I haven’t seen it. Cost $55 million and it made $5 million. Devotion, that’s another one. I haven’t seen it, but it cost a hundred million dollars and it made $14 million. And when you read this article, they’re very clear. They’re saying the arrogance of Hollywood, the bubble of Hollywood, is they believe that the rest of the world thinks like they do. They don’t. And Hollywood comes up with these excuses. Well, there’s, there’s simply too many dramas. One of their excuses, streaming is killing us. I think it probably is. One excuse is that we’re still hearing the coronavirus is killing us. The other, I mean, these, the, these excuses go on and on. But they won’t admit that what they’re thinking about in their bubble, their gated communities, where they don’t worry about what the typical American worries about, in their gated communities they’re so disconnected with what the American public is thinking about.

Farron Cousins: Well, and a bunch of hypocrites too. I mean, they do like to get preachy about everything, and then we turn around and find out that, oh, we’ve got water restrictions in California but you overshot those restrictions by a couple thousand gallons.

Mike Papantonio: Yes.

Farron Cousins: You’re a bunch of hypocrites.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: You know, if, if you wanna make your artsy movie, make your artsy movie, it’s great. People will find it if they want to.

Mike Papantonio: But don’t be surprised when they don’t go, people don’t go see it.

Farron Cousins: Right.

Mike Papantonio: Lose your money. But if that’s what you want to do, great. This is a big thing that they’ve gotta deal with, frankly. And the unfortunate thing is there’s some really good movies being made. I mean, I, I thought Nightmare Alley was a great movie. I didn’t know these, some of these other ones, but it was really well done. But it was a financial disaster.

A gas station owner has made headlines after hiring private security, armed police to, to support them and protect them in this crime ravaged Philadelphia. Wow. What in the hell’s going on in Philadelphia?

Farron Cousins: They, they are seeing a, a rapid surge in armed robberies, in, in burglaries. The gas station owner in particular, who I think actually owns a couple different gas stations, he’s had his ATMs in the gas station broken into. His car while he’s parked out there at work, gets broken into. He’s seen muggings. He has seen, you know, he’s had armed robberies in addition. So this guy finally said, listen, I’m done. I’m gonna hire these people walking around with AF-15’s patrolling the parking lot. Which if, if you haven’t seen the videos of these people walking around, it’s truly terrifying.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: I, I mean, it looks like ISIS has taken over almost.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. And this is right, kind of in a big, big.

Farron Cousins: Downtown.

Mike Papantonio: It’s downtown, people walking all around this.

Farron Cousins: But the weirdest part is that the public, 93%, they love it. They’re excited to see that, oh boy, look at this. It’s, it’s terrifying to me. But at the same time, I, you know, I don’t wanna say I, I think it’s a good idea, but I get it.

Mike Papantonio: Well.

Farron Cousins: I understand.

Mike Papantonio: But okay. Fair enough. I don’t think it’s a good idea, that’s your position. My position is if they don’t do something, is you can’t do nothing.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Obviously the politicians don’t have a clue. It’s just like Chicago. I mean, that mayor running Chicago, what does, she has fifty shootings every week. I mean, is that, that’s kind of, at some point, you have to say something’s wrong here. I think they’re looking in, kind of looking in the wrong places. All, you know, all these recalls for these prosecutors that were appointed by, that Soros was behind. You know, George Soros came in and had all these prosecutors appointed or, or helped him win elections and they’re not prosecuting anybody. The problem, the problem that’s arising out of that is the police are saying, well, why should I even make a, make an arrest?

Farron Cousins: Well see that, that, that’s where my attention goes to, these police. Because the, the gas station owner himself says, listen, I’ve called the police. They’re not doing anything. They’re not showing up. And this is something that we do see across America, depending on where you live. They’ve done plenty of studies on this. If you live in an area that’s a little bit more rundown, the police response time can sometimes be over an hour.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: If you live in the affluent part of town, the police response is typically within about five minutes.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: So, you know, the, the police I think are part of the problem here. They, they don’t want to get involved. We’re, well it, it’s easier to take down a, a 15 year old carrying, you know, an ounce of pot.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Than go deal with an armed robbery.

Mike Papantonio: There’s simply cities in the country that these, this is what they look like. I mean, this picture up here is how they, they’re presenting at these, at these places.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Gas stations.

Farron Cousins: That’s what they look like.

Mike Papantonio: And I think what you’re gonna find is it’s gonna, you’re gonna see it in LA, you’re gonna see it in Chicago, you’re gonna see it in New York, you’re gonna see it in Philadelphia. And not, and, and the problem is, you feel like you’re walking into a third world country. When I travel around the world, I’m used to seeing this maybe in the very awful parts of South America or wherever I might be. There’s parts of Africa where you walk through the, you know, through the airport and everybody, you know, they’re lined up like. I don’t know that I want this happening in the US but it’s a reality. I, I think this is, this is the new norm for folks that are living in these, these cities that are being hammered with crime.

Farron Cousins: Well, well, and what’s even worse too, you know, we’re talking about crime here, is that the areas of the country that have the most violent crime are actually right down here in the, the deep red south.

Mike Papantonio: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Farron Cousins: I mean, these top the list. But those always kind of get overlooked. And, and so I think that’s important to just remind people this is not a localized problem. It is, you know, red states, it’s blue states, it’s everywhere. I, I, I don’t. Look, I wouldn’t stop at a gas station if somebody’s outside with an AR-15. I, I wouldn’t drive down that street ever again.

Mike Papantonio: Are you saying, I’m just telling folks watching, this, get ready for this. This, if you’re living in a place like that, this is what, this is what, no, there’s no business owner that’s not going to say, yeah, I gotta do this. Because what’s it 50, in Philadelphia, there’s been a 50% increase in violent crime, in violent crime at places like gas stations and stores where you think you can just shop without any problem. Not anymore.

Farron Cousins: It, it’s an unpleasant reality that I think a lot of people watching this may be mad to hear about it. But folks, it’s the reality we live in.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. It, it is.

Criminal charges have been officially thrown out against former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder for his role in covering up the Flint water crisis. Quick reminder of what the Flint water crisis is. The, the governor said we’re going to change a water source because we have lead in our pipes and we have to fix some stuff, put it into a, put it into Flint River. And what ended up happening is that it, it’s contaminated, not which lead, it’s contaminated with just a dozen toxins that affect the health of human beings. And it’s causing, Legionella was one of them.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: But aside from that, it wasn’t just heavy metals. It was, it was bacteria toxins. It was viral toxins. And people are drinking this every day because they did nothing to, to, they did nothing to purify the water. They just said, drink this. It was brown. It smelled bad. And, but they were telling the public, it’s no problem. Go ahead and drink it.

Farron Cousins: Right. And, and their own, you know, research at the top of the state with Rick Snyder’s office showed this is dangerous. People are going to get hurt from this. And, and that’s where all of course, the liability comes in. You, I mean, I don’t have to tell you that, you understand that better than anybody. So what’s happened now is he is now what the eighth individual who had been criminally charged. We thought maybe we’re gonna get some accountability. And then they come back and say, well, because of the one person grand jury fiasco.

Mike Papantonio: Well explain that. That, that’s, that is what they’re hanging everything on, which is ridiculous. There are, you know, talk about the one person, first of all, they don’t need a grand jury to indict. You don’t need a grand jury to indict. But talk about that.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. What, what had happened was that the lead state prosecutor on this, instead of in paneling a grand jury, instead of just doing an investigation and issuing charges, used a single judge. And the judge oversaw everything. And the reason for that was because they were investigating state officials.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: That is high caliber stuff here. They had to make sure that stuff wasn’t going to be leaked because they didn’t want these people to delete evidence or anything like that. So they put the judge in, the judge oversees it all. State Supreme Court this summer says, oh, nope, that’s a one man grand jury. Totally illegal. So all of it’s false.

Mike Papantonio: Here, here’s the connection. Councilman connected politically to the, to the supervisor. Supervisor connected politically to the judge. Judge collected, connected politically to the governor. It’s just an, it, it’s just a cesspool. It’s an absolute cesspool that was actually worse than the water in Flint River there. But, but the, the truth is these people are, there’s not gonna be anybody responsible.

Farron Cousins: None.

Mike Papantonio: For, for not, and, and people are still dying from it, you understand?

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: The, the, some of these illnesses are long-term illnesses. They’re latent defect illnesses. And so there’s nobody that’s ever gonna pay for that. And these people are ever, are, are the, the money that they put on the table was almost meaningless.

Farron Cousins: Right.

Mike Papantonio: And so, and these people are gonna walk and it’s gonna be business as usual.

Farron Cousins: Well, and, and the real issue here too is not just that the charges got dropped because you could bring the charges again. The problem is now.

Mike Papantonio: They won’t. They, they won’t.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. They won’t and they almost can’t, they’re almost out of time because that six year statute of limitations.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Everybody’s gonna walk. They covered up the disease. They covered up death.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: They all got away with it. They get their happy ending.

Mike Papantonio: Exactly.

Another infant formula recall has parents on high alert on the presence of deadly bacteria. We’re seeing this, I think we’ve done three stories on this, maybe in the last, what, six months, seven months. At least this company is acting responsibly. They really are. I, I, you know, I see companies that act totally irresponsible all the time. This is ByHeart’s Whole Nutrition Infant Formula, ByHeart’s Whole Nutrition Infant Formula. As you might imagine, corporate media’s doing very little to even tell this story because why? They make a lot of money advertising for folks like this.

Farron Cousins: Yeah, they do. And, and this particular one, like you said, you know, they’ve got their full recall in place for several different batches of this baby formula. And what had happened was they actually caught the fact.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: It was contaminated with potentially life-threatening bacteria.

Mike Papantonio: Don’t you love when they, when the corporation does what they’re supposed to do?

Farron Cousins: Well, we’ve seen so many times and, and in fact I, I think there’s plenty of lawsuits right now that other baby formula companies.

Mike Papantonio: Oh my God, we’re handling them.

Farron Cousins: Were contaminated, knew about it and still said, get it out to the public. So this group did the right thing. They said out of an, out of an abundance of caution, we’re taking this off for now. We’re gonna clean the equipment, we’re gonna make sure, and, and so far there’s been no illnesses.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, yeah.

Farron Cousins:Nobody has been infected. So that’s great.

Mike Papantonio: That’s how, that’s that’s how it should work. That’s how the capitalism system should work. Yeah. We’re gonna make money, but when we mess up, we’re not gonna let anybody get hurt.

Farron Cousins: But we’ve, but we’ve got, as you said, there’s plenty of other baby formula companies out there that are being sued.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Infants have died. They’re developing these horrible, it, it’s a, it’s, it’s one of the most gruesome deaths you can imagine.

Mike Papantonio: It absolutely is. My, my daughter, Sara, is handling the, the infant formula, the preemie formula. And the preemie formula was where the doc, where doctors clearly had all the information that they needed to have and the industry had all the information that they needed to have that you don’t give, you don’t give cows milk to preemies. It was killing preemies, killing hundreds of preemies all over the country because the, the company was covering up. The company was lying to the doctors, telling the doctors, just like opioids, telling the doctors, we did studies. Everything’s okay. You don’t have to worry about this literature that’s coming out of France or Italy. It’s not accurate. And hundreds of preemies died and continue to die because the industry still won’t take action.

Farron Cousins: And, and one of the things, because I heard her presentation on this, is that it is one of the most excruciating deaths imaginable.

Mike Papantonio: Their in, their, their interior, their, their entire system dries up. And that the, the, it’s such suffering that the nurses who work around these children literally quit their job because they can’t stand the agony that they’re seeing these children go through. But the companies are still out there pumping it out, like everything’s okay.

Farron Cousins: Making tons of money.

Mike Papantonio: Last week, reporters at the New York Times staged a massive one day walkout to demand better wages. Everything I’m seeing about New York Times, they’re fine financially. I don’t know why they can’t pay people better wages. I never wonder why they can’t pay people better wages when they have the money to do it.

Farron Cousins: It, it’s not like these, this is what’s so gross. It’s not like these, I think 1100 employees were wanting massive raises.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: They wanted a 5.25% increase.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: Over a four year period. 5.25% over four years, even if it was 5.25% per year, that’s basically cost of living. It’s not even cost of living at this point. And that’s all they’re saying is, could you pay us fairly?

Mike Papantonio: Isn’t this the woke progressive center of the world, the New York Times? Okay. And that’s what they’re literally, that’s what they’re asking for. And the company is making more money than they can spend. And the, the workers are doing a really good job. They, there was a time when New York Times was in really bad trouble.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: So they said, hey, let’s double down. Workers I want you to double down. I want you to reach way down and build this company back. And they did. And now they’re asking for this and management at the New York Times says, well, you know, all that, that warm fuzzy feely stuff we do, those articles we do that are so warm and fuzzy and feely, we don’t really mean that. When you’re asking for it, say it again, the increase they’re asking for.

Farron Cousins: 5.25% over four years.

Mike Papantonio: Four years. Yeah.

Farron Cousins: And see, also in, they’re not just not giving them the wages, they’re also saying, you know what, we may have to take away all of your benefits too.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: And, and like you said, they’re doing just fine now. They’re advertising through the roof.

Mike Papantonio: There is no, there’s, there’s no reason. If you’re saying, okay, we had something awful happen, we lost 50% of our advertisers. But these workers, these very workers that when they had the big board meeting, they said, New York Times is in trouble. Okay. If you don’t double down and reach way down, we’re gonna be outta business. And then the woke touchy feely management that writes all the woke touchy feely articles all the time, tells them, no, we can’t do this little bit. It’s disgusting to me.

Farron Cousins: It is.

Mike Papantonio: I swear.

The US government’s filed a lawsuit to stop Microsoft from becoming an even bigger monopoly. About time, would you say?

Farron Cousins: It, it’s long overdue. And, and ironically what it took was Microsoft trying to buy the video game, video game company, Activision Blizzard.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: And, and of course we see the monopoly problems with that. It’s, it’s almost shocking that Microsoft even had the audacity to say, we’re gonna do this because who’s gonna stop us?

Mike Papantonio: We’re gonna do this because we can.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Basically there’s, we don’t have a, we don’t have a government entity because now, now when you look in the back, you look at really behind this story, you’re seeing that the very people who are supposed to be regulating them have come from the tech industry. They’ve come from Microsoft. So what we see is, you know, the tech companies are simply, it’s a revolving door. You move from the tech company to regulatory and nothing ever happens. I mean, whether you’re dealing with antitrust issues, mono, monopoly issues like, it doesn’t make any difference because they all come from the industry. The same thing and I can’t, I can’t say this enough time, the movie Dopesick. Now, as you know, we started the, we started the opioid case right here in this lawsuit. That, that was the national opioid case that we started right here. And it, I was, I was hesitant to watch Dopesick because I didn’t think it would, I don’t, I always think they don’t get it right.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: This movie got it right. But the most important thing that they said is they told the story how the FDA was responsible for thousands of deaths all over this country, all over the world. The FDA made the decision that, hey, we’re gonna let this happen. And the person who made the decision for the FDA who told the doctors that the opioid was less than 1% addiction problem, after he did that, you know, where he went to work, he went to work for Purdue. The people who manufactured the product. Went to work for the Sackler family, the people who were responsible for thousands, hundreds of thousands of deaths. And so, it’s just that revolving door thing, man. It just never changes. We, we, I say it all the time, the FDA is completely dysfunctional, utterly dysfunctional. And when you watch Dopesick, you’ll see as, as you’re, as I’m watching that, I’m almost, I’m feeling like I’m living through it because I took, I took the depositions in that.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: I mean, you know, I was there in the middle of it taking the deposition, asking these questions, and they really get it right. And you’ll go, you’ll get so angry, Farron, when you watch how government entities were captured by the industry.

Farron Cousins: And, and with this particular suit here, which again, kind of shocked they’re even doing it at the FTC, but good for them.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: It, it, it’s reminiscent, just so people kind of understand what we’re looking at, back in the good old days where you had the movie theaters owned by the movie companies.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: And they would say, our movies can only show in our theaters. Our theaters can only show our movies. Big lawsuit obviously broke up those monopolies. And that’s the exact same thing thing here with Microsoft who makes Xbox trying to buy the video game company. You can’t own the platform and the content and everything else under the sun. So to me this seems like a fairly easy lawsuit. The government should be able to win.

Mike Papantonio: It, it won’t.

Farron Cousins: They’ll put the dumbest lawyers they have on it so, so they lose.

Mike Papantonio: It’s not, the problem I, I’ve, I’ve come to the conclusion after reading, because I’ve always been so troubled by what in the hell is wrong with the Department of Justice. What’s happened with our governmental prosecutors? And the truth is, the best trial lawyers coming out of law school, they’re not going to government work anymore. They’re going into private industry. And so you have kind of the, I, I call it the, the pencil pusher nerds. The people who were top of their class where it came to writing and they, you know, they’re great, they’re great on memos and they did make great grades. They graduated at the top, you know, 1% of their class. But the, those aren’t the people that you want going to trial. And unfortunately that’s what’s happened with I think a lot of these governmental agencies. Farron, thanks for joining me. Okay.

Farron Cousins: Thank you.

Mike Papantonio: That’s all for this week, but all of these segments are gonna be available this coming week right here on this channel. And you can follow us on Twitter @AmericasLawyer. I’m Mike Papantonio and this has been America’s Lawyer, where we tell you the stories that corporate media won’t tell you because they’re advertisers don’t allow ’em to tell the stories or their political connections are so tribal that it, they won’t allow for it. And hopefully we’ll see you next time.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.