FNC's Goldberg Hits Media Double Standard on Tea Party Protesters

On Wednesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, substitute host Laura Ingraham and FNC analyst Bernard Goldberg discussed the mainstream media's double standard in highlighting bad behavior by extreme and atypical members of the Tea Party movement while ignoring bad behavior by left-wing protesters. After showing a clip of anti-war protesters burning an American flag and shouting incendiary accusations about the CIA and the war on terrorism, Ingraham observed: "That video was striking. And the sentiment expressed, the vile comments. But you've got to search for the coverage of that. I mean, you had to, you had to hunt, with those little metal detectors, to find that coverage anywhere."

Goldberg complained about media treatment of Tea Party activists: "These fringe events at Tea Party rallies, whether they're nasty signs or these alleged shouting of racial slurs, which I am convinced at this point never happened, this fits into the narrative of most mainstream news reporters, that the Tea Party people are not too smart, they're bigots. So when you see a nasty sign, which I'm against and you're against, but when you see one of these signs, they report it as, if not typical, certainly not unusual."

Goldberg soon highlighted charges of racism by conservative activists recently made by Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen, and noted the irony that Cohen himself has been the target of racist and anti-Semitic attacks by fellow Democrats who want his predominantly black congressional district in Tennessee to elect a black candidate in his place. Goldberg:

Steve Cohen is a white Jewish guy representing a predominantly black district in Tennessee, in Memphis. Two years ago, he ran in the Democratic primary against a black woman, and a black minister sent out fliers, saying, "Don't vote for Steve Cohen" -- are you ready for this? -- "Because Steve Cohen and the Jews" -- that's a quote -- "hate Jesus." Wonderful. This year, he's running against a black former mayor of Memphis who -- in the Democratic primary, and that person says we need a black person in this seat. And his campaign manager, another black person, says this seat was set aside, this seat was set aside for black people. Now, Steve Cohen, what does he do when, when he's confronted with this kind of racism aimed at him? He turns it around and calls racist names to the Tea Party people.

Below is a complete transcript of the relevant segment from the Wednesday, April 7, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC: 

LAURA INGRAHAM: In the "Weekdays with Bernie" segment tonight, the Factor's been looking at the coverage of the Tea Party movement, with many outlets making a big deal out of the alleged racial incidents at the Capitol Hill protests during the health care vote. But around the same time, this vile anti-war demonstration took place near the White House.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, HOLDING AMERICAN FLAG: We're going to show what you this flag means to us right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Bush and Dick Cheney are still at large. They are fugitives from justice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They capture goat herders in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they send them to Gitmo where the CIA comes in and has them raped, has them raped. They bring in prostitutes to rape these deeply religious men.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, HOLDING BURNING FLAG: We are done being servants to an unrighteous cause, and this flag is no longer my master.

INGRAHAM: Didn't hear much about that now, did we? Joining us now from Miami is Fox News media analyst Bernie Goldberg, whose column on the Tea Party coverage can be found on BernardGoldberg.com. Now, Bernie, that video was striking. And the sentiment-

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Absolutely.

INGRAHAM: -expressed, the vile comments. But you've got to search for the coverage of that. I mean, you had to, you had to hunt, with those little metal detectors, to find that coverage anywhere. What gives?

GOLDBERG: Right. Let me see if I understand this. Every fringe event at a Tea Party rally, real or imagined -- real or imagined -- is covered by the "lamestream media," but flag burning at an anti-war rally isn't covered. And, you know, I've been thinking about, well, why is this? Well, because these fringe events at Tea Party rallies, whether they're nasty signs or these alleged shouting of racial slurs, which I am convinced at this point never happened, this fits into the narrative of most mainstream news reporters, that the Tea Party people are not too smart, they're bigots. So when you see a nasty sign, which I'm against and you're against, but when you see one of these signs, they report it as, if not typical, certainly not unusual. But when you see the flag burning, and just so you know my take on this, while I'm against flag burning, I think it is protected speech by the First Amendment. That's not the point, though. When you see flag burning, they ignore it because-

INGRAHAM: Makes the left look bad. It makes the left look bad. That's why they ignore it, Bernie. It makes those, makes those people in the media who support the left look bad, too, by association, right?

GOLDBERG: And I'll give you a specific person that it makes look bad. After the election, after the inauguration, rather, my book, A Slobbering Love Affair came out. The theme of the book is that the mainstream media early on went into the tank for Barack Obama. So now you have Tea Party people, who are not only against big government, but they're against Barack Obama. So anything you could do to make them look bad, and make their fringe events look typical, you'll do it. And this is why Bill O'Reilly and you know, you know Bill. He sits in for you on this show every now and then.

INGRAHAM: I'm in trouble now.

GOLDBERG: That's why Bill O'Reilly and I say, say it has moved from near bias to corruption. That's a big leap. But they made the leap.

INGRAHAM: Bernie, I love some of the headlines, and I'm going to get into this Steve Cohen issue. I love some of the headlines here. "Black Congressmen Run Gauntlet of Racial Slurs," "Tea Party Turns Into Klan Rally," "Racism Simmers Below the Surface on Health Care." It's always the worst motive. And you see that, the famous shouting video that somehow turned into a spitting video. And just to, just to refocus on what you said earlier, Bernie, you think that these allegations made by John Lewis and other things that were said never happened. Now, why do you think that?

GOLDBERG: Well, I'm not sure John Lewis ever said they happened, as a matter of fact. One congressman from Nevada, I think, a black congressman, said he heard the "N" word shouted 15 times. Well, you know what? That's a lot of times for somebody to be shouting a nasty thing like that. You think somebody would have heard it. John Lewis, whose politics I have said I don't buy, but I've known him for a long time. I used to work in the South for CBS News. I think he's a man of integrity. Let him come on your radio show, this television show. Let him go on CNN, anyplace.

INGRAHAM: And hear about it.

GOLDBERG: Yes, because he hasn't said that yet. The spitting incident, when you hear that a white guy spit at a black congressman, then you have a certain image. But that's not what happened. That's not, even if the guy got some saliva on the congressman, which is rude, that isn't racist.

INGRAHAM: That's Barney Frank on any given interview, so I wouldn't worry about that. Congressman Steve Cohen, though, you want to get into this because he gave a radio interview yesterday, getting a lot of heat for it. Tell us about it, the Democrat from Tennessee.

GOLDBERG: While we're looking at him, let me read you what he said. He said, "The Tea Party people are kind of without robes and hoods. They have really shown a really hard-core, angry side of America that is against any type of diversity. We saw opposition to African-Americans, hostility towards gays, hostility to anybody who wasn't, you know, a clone of George Wallace's fan club." Okay, so the Tea Party people to Congressman Cohen are a bunch of Ku Klux Klansmen.

INGRAHAM: Have the water cannons out, yes.

GOLDBERG: Yes, except this is obviously liberal hate speech. And since liberals are so concerned about civility, it would be nice if at least one of them came out and denounced this. But here's the really interesting part. This is the interesting part. Steve Cohen is a white Jewish guy representing a predominantly black district in Tennessee, in Memphis. Two years ago, he ran in the Democratic primary against a black woman, and a black minister sent out fliers, saying, "Don't vote for Steve Cohen" -- are you ready for this? -- "Because Steve Cohen and the Jews" -- that's a quote -- "hate Jesus." Wonderful. This year, he's running against a black former mayor of Memphis who -- in the Democratic primary, and that person says we need a black person in this seat. And his campaign manager, another black person, says this seat was set aside, this seat was set aside for black people. Now, Steve Cohen, what does he do when, when he's confronted with this kind of racism aimed at him? He turns it around and calls racist names to the Tea Party people.

INGRAHAM: Classic.

GOLDBERG: And he does it just to win a stinking election. That is really disgraceful.

INGRAHAM: No, it's classic. But this is the last desperate card that is always thrown down in these types of incidents. And Bernie, we appreciate it as always.

GOLDBERG: Thanks, Laura.