MSNBC's Hayes Attaches Confederate Flag to Tea Party, Then Asks if Doing So Is 'Fair'

On Monday's All In show on MSNBC, after beginning a segment about a conservative rally in D.C. by displaying a Confederate Flag in the background, host Chris Hayes asked if connecting the Confederate Flag to the Tea Party was "fair" based on just one instance of its display.

Just before a commercial break, Hayes posed:

I want to read a tweet from our friend, Tim Carney, who is often on the show, conservative guy, a guy I have a lot of respect for. He says, "Give liberals this, they figured out the one clown with the Confederate Flag on Pennsylvania Avenue is the true leader of American conservatism."

Is it fair to take that iconic photo of the Confederate Flag at this protest outside the White House and blow it up and say this represents something deep and dark about what's going on here?

After returning from the break, Hayes re-phrased the question:

My question to you is, is it fair to show this and be like, this represents something about what these folks, where these folks are coming from?

The Daily Beast's Michelle Goldberg suggested that doing so was fair game:

Well, I think it wouldn't be fair if a similar message hadn't been spouted by one speaker after another at this rally. I mean, obviously, it's in the nature of images to be reductive and sum things up in a single person. But we heard over and over and over again from these speakers, both a delegitimization of the President, a celebration, if not of treason of something kind of tip toeing up to wanting to overthrow our democratically elected President.

And so the idea that this is unfair, this permeates their rhetoric, you know. And not just, and what we're seeing in the shutdown and in this kind of grinding to a halt of the federal government right now in a certain sense is the confederacy's revenge, right?

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, October 14, All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC:

CHRIS HAYES: I want to read a tweet from our friend, Tim Carney, who is often on the show, conservative guy, a guy I have a lot of respect for. He says, "Give liberals this, they figured out the one clown with the Confederate Flag on Pennsylvania Avenue is the true leader of American conservatism."

Is it fair to take that iconic photo of the Confederate Flag at this protest outside the White House and blow it up and say this represents something deep and dark about what's going on here? Hold your thought. We are going to be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: We're talking about this big Tea Party rally that happened on the mall this weekend, yesterday actually. It was called the Million Vet March. It was billed as an apolitical celebration of America's veterans and indignation at the fact that the memorial was closed down, but then it just became the big Tea Party rally, guys with flags and quite famously by now, this iconic photo, if we have it, of a guy in front of the White House with a big Confederate Flag. My question to you is, is it fair to show this and be like, this represents something about what these folks, where these folks are coming from?

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, DAILY BEAST: Well, I think it wouldn't be fair if a similar message hadn't been spouted by one speaker after another at this rally. I mean, obviously, it's in the nature of images to be reductive and sum things up in a single person. But we heard over and over and over again from these speakers, both a delegitimization of the President, a celebration, if not of treason of something kind of tip toeing up to wanting to overthrow our democratically elected President. And so the idea that this is unfair, this permeates their rhetoric, you know. And not just, and what we're seeing in the shutdown and in this kind of grinding to a halt of the federal government right now in a certain sense is the confederacy's revenge, right? I mean, we've seen this-

HAYES: Do you think that's fair? This has been, by the way, this has been a theme that has been going around liberal writers a lot, that this is kind of a neoconfederate moment.

MATT GEORGE, NEW YORK POST: I don't agree with that. I will say, however, though, given the era in which we live where everybody's got a cell phone and so forth, you know, of course it's fair. If that's going to, if somebody's going to be out there popping up, you know that somebody's going to be taking images of it, and the organizers of these things are the ones who are going to have to ultimately be responsible for, you know, for images and voices that ultimately embarrass their movement.

JOSH BARRO, BUSINESS INSIDER: I think calling this neoconfederate gives too much credit to the protest. That would imply that it has a goal like the confederacy did, such as secession and the promotion of slavery. This is, you know, this is a protest about nothing. It amazes me that they've settled on this thing about the monuments, like this is one of the genuinely unimportant functions of the federal government right here. Until nine years ago, we didn't even have a World War II memorial-

HAYES: Well, there's a symbolic resonance, obviously-

GOLDBERG: But, their goal is the delegitimization of the President, and that is ongoing, the delegitimization not just of the President, but the delegitimization of any democratic leadership, which is what the far right has been involved in many, many years-

GEORGE: It started ultimately back with his signature program, so not necessarily the delegitimization of him-

GOLDBERG: I'm sorry. They asked him to come out with his hands up.

--Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Brad Wilmouth on Twitter.