Olbermann Slams Tea Party Over Event That Invited Minorities to Attend

On Monday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, during the show’s regular "Tea Time" segment, host Keith Olbermann attacked a recent Tea Party event in Philadelphia that made a point of inviting minority participation and included many minority speakers.

As he cited reports by the Philadelphia Inquirer of low minority attendance at the rally which also allegedly had fewer attendees overall than expected, Olbermann suggested that merely having an event on such a theme of inviting minorities was an admission that the Tea Party movement is racist. Olbermann: "As you know, if you point out that the Tea Party is virtually all white, you're the racist. Of course, that does raise the interesting question of why the Tea Party would feel compelled to have what one of its leaders called a minority-based Tea Party event."

The MSNBC host ended up suggesting that it was a further embarrassment to the Tea Party movement because the grand opening of an Apple computer store in Philadelphia may have had more people show up than the Tea Party event: "But it gets worse. According to a series of news reports, another public event in Philadelphia the day before may have drawn anywhere from twice to three times the crowd of the minority-based Tea Party event. The opening of that city's first Apple computer store."

Below is a complete transcript of the "Tea Time" segment from the Monday, August 2, Countdown show on MSNBC:

First, no, this is not your water coming to a boil. It's our nightly checkup on the something for nothing crowd, it's "Tea Time."

As you know, if you point out that the Tea Party is virtually all white, you're the racist. Of course, that does raise the interesting question of why the Tea Party would feel compelled to have what one of its leaders called a minority-based Tea Party event. A score card from the reality Saturday outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia, 18 speakers, 10 of whom were nonwhite. For the Philadelphia Inquirer, an estimated crowd of 300, about 15 of whom were nonwhite. "Not a problem," said African-American speaker David Webb, "I didn't realize that any movement everywhere had a minimum daily requirement of black people to be legitimate."

Except, given the group’s history, the fact that the majority of speakers were not white might easily explain how a low turnout, lower even than most Tea parties. Organizers had 1500 bottles of water already on ice, all ready for the crowd. And most of them went untouched. But it gets worse. According to a series of news reports, another public event in Philadelphia the day before may have drawn anywhere from twice to three times the crowd of the minority-based Tea Party event. The opening of that city's first Apple computer store.