America’s Lawyer E72: Americans today are more partisan than ever, according to research, and that’s not a good thing. Tribalism has taken over to the point where neither Party is willing to admit that they make mistakes – and that’s poisoning our political conversations. A Catholic Church diocese is trying to file for bankruptcy protection as laws change to allow sexual assault survivors to sue for the abuse they suffered at the hands of the church. And James Carville says that Woke Progressives are the REAL problem with the Democratic Party. All that, and more is coming up, so don’t go anywhere – America’s Lawyer starts right now.


*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. Americans today are more partisan than ever, according to research, that’s not a good thing. Tribalism has taken over to the point where neither party is willing to admit that they make mistakes, and it’s poisoning our political conversation. And a Catholic church diocese is trying to file bankruptcy protection as laws changed to allow sexual assault survivors to sue for abuse. They suffered at the hands of the church, and now the church simply doesn’t want to pay. And James Carville, well, he says that woke progressives are the real, serious, serious problem that the Democrats are suffering from right now. All that and more, it’s coming up. Don’t go anywhere. America’s Lawyer starts right now.

There have been countless studies conducted in the past decade that show that Americans are becoming more tribal than ever with their political affiliations. We’re no longer willing to even be friends with people outside our political bubble. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins joins me to talk about this problem that is a huge problem. Farron, first of all, it’s group identity is the whole catch phrase right here. This need for kind of a collective belonging. I have to be on this baseball team. I need to be on this football team. I need to wear the colors all the time. If my team loses, things are really bad. They internalize all that and make it a personal kind of way that they live their lives. And it’s the weirdest thing that I’ve seen. You’re seeing the change, aren’t you?

Farron Cousins: Yeah, absolutely.

Mike Papantonio: I’m certainly seeing the change. I can’t even put my, I mean, it makes my head spin. What’s your take on this?

Farron Cousins: It’s interesting because we’ve talked about this a lot and we set out, let’s find what’s really going on. And there have been multiple studies over the last few years that have all proven the same thing. There’s been self polling. People personally reporting like, yeah, I will not go and have lunch with a Republican. I won’t date a Democrat. I won’t be in their social circles because it’s me and my team. And one, you have this Johns Hopkins political scientist, Lilliana Mason.

Mike Papantonio: I was so fascinated by that study.

Farron Cousins: It’s such a great quote. They say, instead of going into the voting booth and asking, what do I want my elected representatives to do for me, they’re thinking, if my party loses, it’s not just that my policy preferences aren’t going to get done, it’s who I think I am, my place in the world, my religion, my race, the many parts of my identity are all wrapped up in that one vote.

Mike Papantonio: How sick is that? I mean, how sick is that really? Doesn’t it remind you of these numb nuts that show up at a football game and get into fights over what’s happening on the field? That’s how crazy this has become. It’s become, like, rather than raising the intellectual discussion at all, they move into this area to where they are losers if their party loses. They’re somehow suffering if something doesn’t go right for their party. They pick up their iPad and read the news that day and they’re happy or sad according to which team is ahead, which team is losing. It’s actually causing mental dysfunction. It’s causing mental problems. And some of them, the great thing is our staff is able to, when you look at some comments sometimes, we of course we just get rid of ’em. If somebody’s so crazy that they come out and attack you or attack me because of what we say, they’re gone. I mean, it’s a zero tolerance. And we do that. I don’t mind a discussion about what’s going on. Let’s talk about this topic. But the anger and the dedication to that baseball team is so crazy that they can’t even carry on a conversation without personal attacks, rather than just say, let me think about what they’re saying. I might disagree with it. I don’t agree with what they’re saying, but let me at least think about it. You’ve got an American public, and interestingly enough, the age group that this hits is fairly young. They’re the ones most affected by this. Baby boomers seem to do better with it, the younger, and they’re not great. They become so, the opposition is just so crazy. But where do you think this goes, man?

Farron Cousins: I don’t see it getting better. To be perfectly honest with you, I do not see any of this getting better anytime soon. I think we unfortunately continue down this path and it is disappointing. Because it’s funny, I’ll get emails from people and I had two back to back the other day. One of them said, why are you such a propagandist for president Biden? The second one asked me, why am I never saying anything nice about President Biden? And it’s just funny that those two completely conflicting thoughts, people watch my stuff, and they take away two, like, he’s a propagandist and he hates Biden. So, none of it makes any sense and these people don’t realize it doesn’t make sense.

Mike Papantonio: Well, Farron, what really grabs me is they get mad at you when you don’t attack me. They get mad at me when I don’t attack you. And they don’t understand we don’t do that. We try to raise the intelligence a little bit. And my notion, and you’ll see it more and more with our site, is we simply get rid of those people. If we have people coming into the site and they’re not rational enough to understand this conversation, for example, where they get mad. Oh, how dare you say that I’m on a baseball team. If they’re not rational enough to think about this. One thing I thought was interesting, can you talk a little bit about the math experiment that took place that told us something?

Farron Cousins: Oh, God.

Mike Papantonio: I thought this was interesting.

Farron Cousins: It’s so crazy. Let me see if I could kind of boil this down for everybody. They did a study and they gave a group of conservatives a math problem. They gave a group of liberals a math problem, and it was all based on real statistics. And it was about the banning of handguns. And so they had them work out these math problems and these were math prodigies, like math experts. And when the result of the math problem did not conform to their political ideology, so if a liberal did the math problem, and it said that banning guns led to more gun violence. Conservatives did the problem and it said that banning guns led to less gun violence. They would intentionally get the wrong answer, these math prodigies on their math problem when it didn’t conform to their political ideology, they would just change it that and say, nope, it says what I knew it would.

Mike Papantonio: Isn’t that scary?

Farron Cousins: It’s like, you’re putting your science, which math is a science, I guess. You’re putting it below your political ideology intentionally being wrong so that you don’t have to think, wait a minute, maybe my belief is wrong. It’s absolutely mind blowing.

Mike Papantonio: Well, the bigger picture here is that it’s not just one part of the country. It’s not just one party. Both parties. Basically, they break it down and they say, look, if you went to college and you’re religious, you have a religious upbringing, you’re gonna have these values. If you maybe don’t have as strong a religious upbringing and you actually had a higher education, you’re gonna have these kinds of, but they studied this. You don’t have people just saying, I think this is what’s happening. They’ve done study after study that is showing this. What I thought was really interesting though, when you tie ’em down and you say, well, how do you consider, what are you? You know what they always want to say, I’m a centrist. Far from, far from the truth. But they’re, so I guess the argument is they’re a little bit embarrassed to say that they’re so hung up on their political ideology that they internalize it to the point to where if they lose, their party loses, then they lose from a personal standpoint. I mean, it takes, it’s basically taken the whole process and made it fubar. It’s absolutely fubar.

Farron Cousins: It is. And another part of this too, along those same lines is when they ask people where they stand on the issues, well, guess what? On nearly every issue, majority of Americans agree on them. So we don’t actually disagree on the issues. It’s only when you tie it to a political party, like universal healthcare is widely supported across this country. When you say the Democrats want universal healthcare, even those Republicans who support it say, oh, no, no, no, I don’t want that now. So once you tie it to a political ideology, they don’t want it anymore. Same for left and right. It’s ridiculous.

Mike Papantonio: It’s such a simpleton view of the world isn’t it? It’s an absolute simpleton view of the world. And I don’t know whether it has to do with basic education or what it is. Maybe it has to do with news 24/7. I don’t know. But it’s killing democracy. And that’s what these folks said. They said it’s the most dangerous thing Democracy’s faced with right now.

Following the recent sentencing of actor and Scientologist, Danny Masterson, more allegations of sexual assault and coverup have emerged from no other than the Scientologists. You follow this story, we probably have done more stories on this cult, this insane, crazy cult than most people in this business. We followed them, early on in my career, I was faced with having to deal with a client, with one of these, held hostage, basically. But they found out in the trial that you had Scientologists that were assigned to stalk, to stalk witnesses, to harass witnesses, to make, to victimize witnesses, to do the same thing with the victims. The women who were raped by this nut case. Pick it up.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. They actually, they put the two women who alleged the rape. Well, I mean, the rape was determined at trial, yes. So they put the two women who were raped in therapy with their Scientologist therapist to convince the women it was their fault. That is how devious and just, in my opinion, straight up evil, this organization is. They wanted these women to drop the charges. They wanted these women to think that everything was their fault and that they had actually wanted it so Masterson could walk free because, I guess, I don’t even think he was popular at the time these allegations happened, anymore.

Mike Papantonio: Most people don’t even know who the hell he is. I mean, truthfully.

Farron Cousins: But now even more stories are coming out from the church, other women, some who have successfully left it because they will fight tooth and nail to prevent you from leaving, who are saying, listen.

Mike Papantonio: Well, basically. Go ahead. I’m sorry.

Farron Cousins: Well, they say, listen, I told the church that I was sexually assaulted by this individual. They covered it up. And like you said, they would have cars following ’em. They would have people standing outside their apartments watching them, watching their every move. It is a nightmare for women inside this organization.

Mike Papantonio: Well, first of all, let’s talk about how crazy these people are. They’re nuts. This is a cult. It’s built on a nutcase, L. Ron Hubbard, who was crazy as a march hare. Matter of fact, he was so crazy that he had committed fraud all over the world, basically. He had to live on a ship. Did you know that? He had to live on a ship so he couldn’t be served papers. And so their belief is that earth was colonized by extraterrestrials and that some of them are still with us, and their influence is still with us. That they’re still having, their energy and their power are still affecting us. We may not see ’em, they may not be able to point ’em out, but it’s almost like, yes, they’re here and you just have to believe that they’re here. So the reckoning came when, in the second trial, when you had specialists, experts take the stand and explain to the jury just how freaking crazy these people are. And that made a difference. Because these women were saying, you don’t understand what I’ve been through. I’ve been through, I may as well be held hostage. They’ve tried to brainwash me. They’ve threatened me. They’ve threatened my family. They’ve told me if I don’t cooperate, I’m going to be excommunicated and I’ll never see my family again. I just don’t, what are there 40,000 of them left right now?

Farron Cousins: Yeah. I think so. And you keep using that word cult. You actually have countries in Europe and Asia that have officially put that title on them. So, this is not just our opinion of this. This is what other governments, they’ve stripped them of tax exempt statuses. They said, this is not a religion. So the United States needs to do the same thing. These people are in trouble. You know, we did the story a couple months ago about the children, the children that are effectively being abused every day with this organization. It needs to be put to an end, because this is a dangerous group.

Mike Papantonio: Recap the children.

Farron Cousins: A lot of ’em are being held kind of on the boats because they have multiple boats. They essentially make them work as slaves. They go out there, and we’re talking about children 10 years old, some of even younger, doing the work that you would see a 30 year old man doing. You’re out there, you’re scrubbing.

Mike Papantonio: Slaves?

Farron Cousins: Yeah. You’re scrubbing the barnacles off the hull. You’re doing things that you don’t even know how to do these. You’re working with heavy machinery.

Mike Papantonio: They call it tough love.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. If you do not comply, they’ll send you to a different work camp. And there are allegedly beatings and things of that nature. There’s neglect, there’s withholding of love. It’s horrific.

Mike Papantonio: So, if you, so the cult, the crazy folks say that the extraterrestrials came here 75 million years ago, and that they’re still, they’re impacting how we live. They have something called an engram. You ever heard the term engram?

Farron Cousins: I haven’t.

Mike Papantonio: An engram is when something’s happened in your life. You’ve done something awful, you’ve been a victim. And so if you pay money to the Church of Scientology, they’ll help you work through that engram. And each time you have this thing called the engram, pay more money and they’ll help you work through it. This thing needs to be shut down. You realize in the United States they don’t pay taxes. Tax exempt. UK said, hell no. Most of the European, most countries in Europe are saying, hell no. It doesn’t take a genius to look at this and say, these people are crazy as hell.

Farron Cousins: Well, you even got Vladimir Putin as crazy as he is and he’s like, hey, these people are nuts.

Mike Papantonio: They’re crazier than me. Yeah. Vlad says, hey, they’re crazier than me. We’re not gonna even allow ’em here. Wow. Okay.

Well, a Catholic church diocese in Baltimore is trying to get bankruptcy protection as laws are changed to remove this statute of limitations, of course, for lawsuits brought for sexual offenses. The survivors should have a right to go to court. They’re going to court. And now the church is seeking protection in bankruptcy. This is a new trend, by the way, in the last three years, I’ve had to fight it several times. Johnson & Johnson, of course, trying to seek bankruptcy when they have $500 billion, they’re in bankruptcy court after killing thousands of women with their products. Thousands and will continue to kill more because there’s a latent aspect to it. They know that. It’s gonna go on for 30 years. The other one is the DuPont case on PFAS. When I was in trial with them, they saw things were bad. We had five cases and beat the hell out ’em five times, and they kind of saw the writing on the wall. So they sought bankruptcy protection, and they were worth billions. So now the church is saying, hey man, let’s try it. Right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah. You’ve got a diocese there in Baltimore that is facing, I think there’s at least 600 allegations of abuse in the one diocese, 600, and Baltimore recently did away completely, not even just a temporary suspension, but did away with the statute of limitations. So these people who are now grown adults, say, listen, when I was in my younger years at the church, I was abused by this clergy member. So you’ve got 600 potential lawsuits. So the church says, ah, we’re outta money. Judge, you gotta save us. I know we’ve got $500 million right now. But the liability we’re facing is gonna wipe that out.

Mike Papantonio: You know, one major reason they do it, Farron, is because the stories are never told. The bankruptcy is very sterile. I mean, it’s the most sterile process. No claimant tells how they were sodomized and abused by this priest. None of the children get to talk about how they became captive in a series of years where they were abused year after year. They don’t talk about the suffering that these kids go through because, so one move for the bankruptcy court is, so nobody hears the story. We saw that, for example, on Johnson & Johnson. Nobody, Johnson & Johnson didn’t want the story told again in court how they set out to make a product knowing that the product had the ability to cause cancer in women. Outrageous cervical cancer. And so you go to bankruptcy court and that’s where you can hide it. DuPont, when I was in trial with that, go to bankruptcy court, and nobody tells the story about how these companies, how DuPont and 3M clearly knew that the product that they were making PFAS would cause cancer, would cause testicular cancer, kidney cancer, gastrointestinal issues. A whole host of problems. And so if they could get to bankruptcy court, they could keep that quiet. That’s a big reason that this Catholic church wants to do this.

Farron Cousins: Yeah, absolutely. Because then, like you said, everything just kind of stays strictly to the numbers. Right? You come in, were you abused? Okay. Yeah. All right. We’re gonna put you in this box. Thank you very much for your time. We appreciate it. How many years were you abused? Well, it went on for three years. No, no, no. Okay, fine. Three years. We gotcha.

Mike Papantonio: That’s it, exactly.

Farron Cousins: So everybody becomes just a statistic. Right. So how big of a piece of the pie do we get? And it could also be, you know, hey, let’s make ’em sign agreements. Like, you don’t get to go out there and tell your story to the press. You don’t get to talk to the media.

Mike Papantonio: An NDA. Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. So it is terrible for the victims. Not only because it could limit the restitution that they get, but because the more important part is that we do not get to expose the abusers. We do not get to expose the system that allowed the abuse to happen in the first place and that’s the bigger part than just the abusers.

Mike Papantonio: You should read the opinion of how all this started. It started with something called the Texas two step, the most regressive Supreme Court, appellate court I have ever seen. If you were to line up, let’s get the dregs of conservative thought that come from corporate America, that all their careers as lawyers have protected corporations, all the years as judges have protected corporations. They wrote an opinion called the Texas two step that provides how this can be done. And if the Supreme Court doesn’t get it under control, it’s gonna be an absolute sham. Our justice process is gonna be a sham. We’ve been able to fight it off and I’ve fought like hell, and I’ve got some friends that have fought like hell to make this whole thing not affect consumers like corporate America would like it to. But it’s still a fight, you know.

During a recent interview with Bill Maher, Democratic strategist, James Carville tried to blame the woke progressives for the failures of the Democratic Party. Maybe he’s right, but they aren’t the only group that’s causing trouble within the Democratic machine. Wow. You know, this interview was amazing. Matter of fact, this is the quote, I find the left to be annoying, Carville said. In the western, in the western far left is habitually the most stupid, these are his words, the most stupid, naive people you could imagine. And they come up with these really goofy constructs. And it’s all about feeling good about yourself. He says, these people basically are overeducated, snowflake, dopes. That’s what he’s saying. And he’s saying it’s killing the Democratic party because he says it’s only about 10%, 10 or 11% of the party that does that. This is a guy that’s been Democrat since he could walk and he’s having to say this. What’s your take?

Farron Cousins: Um, look, I don’t agree with him on the whole woke thing is killing the left. I think the woke thing is overblown, definitely by the right. And I think it’s overblown by people like Carville and definitely Bill Maher because Bill Maher has come out against these people. And I think it’s because they don’t watch his show. So he’s mad that he’s not getting those ratings. But I think one of the bigger problems with the Democratic party today is people like Carville himself, these old holdovers that still think that, look, I’m smarter than everybody else. I know what’s going on. This guy won Bill Clinton two elections because Ross Perot came in and diluted the Republican vote. He’s not the brilliant mastermind he wants people to think he is.

Mike Papantonio: Would you call him a blue Democrat? I mean, just a blue dog Democrat, basically.

Farron Cousins: He’s definitely a vote blue no matter who type guy.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Well, I mean, he goes on to say, Bill Maher picks up and he says, look, I’m so worried about the woke that liberals are bringing back communism. That’s how far Maher goes. Now, you may say he’s doing this because he’s mad. There’s never been a better voice for Democrats than Bill Maher and Carville. So I don’t think in my, as I look at this, I don’t think you can just look at it and say, this is aberrational. I don’t think you can say, this is just two guys off. I think they’re seeing something that we see, I mean, we talk about this from time to time, but they’re just really vocal about it. And after this, there’s more than this. They’re like in a jihad and they’re saying that the 10 or 11% of the Democrats that describe their self as, they call ’em snowflake, snowflake woke, woke Democrats, that they’re killing the party. And that in turn, they’re killing democracy. What’s your take?

Farron Cousins: I definitely do not think they’re killing democracy. I think a lot of it has to do with kind of over-exaggerating to a degree the identity politics. That’s what they’re trying to say, I think.

Mike Papantonio: Kinda what we talked about last week.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. I think you and I do a better job of talking about that than these guys did. I think they totally went off the deep end because, hey, it’s a part of your party you don’t like. And look, you don’t have to like everybody, you wanna badmouth them, you have the right to do that. But what really, what it comes down to is kind of like, when we talked about the Gavin Newsom story. Gavin Newsom says, I have to appoint a black woman. And then even Barbara Lee is like, that is like super offensive. Why?

Mike Papantonio: That is the stupidest thing. Every time you.

Farron Cousins: But that’s what, then they say, oh, well that’s because that’s woke. And then it goes into this whole thing. But it’s identity.

Mike Papantonio: Are you tired of seeing racist? That everything that happens, you’re a racist. Every criticism. You realize we do a show on Harris.

Farron Cousins: Oh yeah, a hundred percent. Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: We do a show on Harris. Oh, you’re racist. Really? I mean, that is like low hanging fruit. That’s for people who don’t even think. They’re afraid to listen to what we’re saying and analyze. These guys basically are saying the same thing.

Farron Cousins: They’re just not saying it as well, I think, as us.

Mike Papantonio: They’re not saying it as kindly as we’re saying it right now. They call the left these, they call the liberal left silly, goofy, behind times and self-defeating. I mean, so there you go. And so whether, I have a prediction. I think you’re gonna hear a lot more of this as we move into 2024. I saw today that you have Mayorkas saying, Biden’s told me to build the fence on the border. Okay. I mean, you see, you’re seeing reaction to that kind of thing. And now build a fence on the border, you’re hearing the administration talking about what a mistake was defunding the police. You’re seeing all these things that happened during that big woke movement kind of reverse itself. And I think this is the leading edge of it. What’s Trump gonna, what do you think Trump’s reaction’s gonna be when he sees that Biden is demanding that we build a fence? That we build at least two, three miles of fence, and he has sold the fence he has put out to bid the fence that Trump put up. How ridiculous does that look? But it’s driven, you see, according to these guys, it’s driven by that 10 or 11% who are just frigging goofy. You know? That’s the argument. And I think we’re gonna see it a lot more.

Farron Cousins: Well, I think on the other side of that too, when we say look at the problems with the Democratic party today, the problems with the Democratic party are not because of identity politics. They make stupid mistakes on that. Sure. The problems with the Democratic party is that they’re tied at the hip with the corporations and they’re letting the weapons manufacturers call the shots. And they’re letting Wall Street call the shot.

Mike Papantonio: Right. That’s what I, that’s what Ukraine is about it.

Farron Cousins: So, we’ve got much bigger fish to fry than people who are woke or self-described woke. We’ve got real problems that are preventing actual progress. And that’s that corporate tie that the party has strongly.

Mike Papantonio: But they’re ignoring that.

Farron Cousins: Yes.

Mike Papantonio: And they’re saying, no, it’s these freaks on the liberal left who are overeducated, who think too much, and it’s all self-serving. It’s kind of a message that I’m smarter than you. I’m better than you. It’s virtue signaling that these guys are actually talking about.

Farron Cousins: Oh, and there’s plenty of virtue signaling. Don’t get me wrong. And we talk about that too, because that’s also wrong and more importantly, it’s demeaning to the voters themselves.

Mike Papantonio: I’ll tell you this much, Farron, one thing that infuriates me, and I’ll just tell you, put it on the table, I don’t think there’s anybody that does more hits, more videos that attacks the crazy right than you do. And you’re smart about it. You’re intelligent, it’s an intelligent analysis. But when you do one story, when you do one story where you talk about Biden or Harris or something that the woke liberals are off about, you’re a villain. What do you make of that?

Farron Cousins: That goes back to the whole tribalism thing. Right. Our side can do no wrong. And even though we agree with you on 99.9% of things, we are willing to crucify you for that 0.1% where we disagree.

Mike Papantonio: Cenk, my friend Cenk and your friend is going through it constantly. He says something. And now we’re gonna see Maher going through it. We’re gonna see Carville going through it. Now, I think they kind of probably could have used better words, but I’ve told you this, and I’ll say it again. I think you’re the best progressive commentator in the business. And it just really causes me a lot of angst when you do one or two stories where you’re trying to say, open your frigging eyes, you dope. Listen to what we’re saying and they go crazy.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Farron Cousins, thank you for joining me. Okay.

Farron Cousins: Thank you.

Mike Papantonio: That’s all this week, but all these segments are gonna be posted right here on this channel in coming weeks. So make sure you subscribe. I’m Mike Papantonio, and this has been America’s Lawyer, where we tell you the stories that corporate media won’t tell you, they can’t tell you because their advertisers don’t allow for it. They’ll pull the money back, or the political connections don’t allow for it because they’re either too Democrat or they’re too Republican. They’re too divided by tribalism. We don’t worry about that on this show. If we insult you, so be it. If you want to unsubscribe, so be it. We tell the story as we see it. Hopefully, we’ll see you next week.

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.