Williams Frets Plight of Blacks Dismissed as Focus is Instead on ‘Tax Cuts for the Wealthy’

Monday’s NBC Nightly News featured Brian Williams’ questions from the left to President Barack Obama about liberal exasperation with the President and on Thursday night Williams re-purposed that interview again, this time as a hook to devote nearly six minutes to how African-Americans are disappointed with Obama as Williams advanced the agenda of two left-wing activists, one of them from PBS.  

“A lot of African-Americans in this country are getting flat out crushed in this economy,” Williams noted before fretting over how instead the “DC debate is often admittedly about tax cuts for the wealthy.”

He then promoted the cause of two far-leftists: “Princeton Professor Cornel West and television host Tavis Smiley have been on a self-titled poverty tour, at times sharply critical and calling on the President to act. It’s something I asked the President about during our White House interview.”

Following Obama’s long answer, Williams turned to weekend Today co-host Lester Holt for a review of African-American upset with Obama. Holt concluded with the obvious that black voters will likely “be there for the President in 2012 no matter what,” but there is “genuine concern” the bad economy could cost Obama his re-election:

You could fairly argue that black voters will be there for the President in 2012 no matter what, but there is a broader conversation going on among liberals of all races. You heard some of it there right now that the President has not stood up to the right as forcefully as he could. And Brian, there is genuine concern that if the economy doesn’t turn around, that could cost him come re-election time.

From Monday night, with video: “After Hitting GOP Candidates from Left, NBC’s Williams Presses Obama from Left

Williams set up his Thursday, September 15 NBC Nightly News segment:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Now we move to a subset of the American economy the President is also dealing with – the fact that a lot of African-Americans in this country are getting flat out crushed in this economy. The stats, as you may know, are staggering. Unemployment and poverty, while DC debate is often admittedly about tax cuts for the wealthy. Princeton Professor Cornel West and television host Tavis Smiley have been on a self-titled poverty tour, at times sharply critical and calling on the President to act. It's something I asked the President about during our White House interview.

WILLIAMS TO OBAMA (From interview recorded on Saturday): I want to ask you about African-Americans. I'm hearing and reading from many, and not just Mr. Smiley and Professor West, who say you’ve exhibited to them what they see as a mystifying silence on the especially crippling unemployment rate, poverty and especially where young African-American males are concerned in our urban areas.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center