S.C. Dem Chairman Levels Racist Attack on Gov. Haley; 'Morning Joe' Bends Over Backwards to Downplay

It’s bad enough that MSNBC is extremely liberal, but when they acknowledge their biases but don’t attempt to correct them, it shows how incorrigible they are. Take Monday's Morning Joe, where the panelists discussed offensive comments made on Friday by outgoing South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian.

During his speech, which Vice President Joe Biden was in attendance to hear, Harpootlian disgustingly commented that Haley, who is of Indian decent should be sent, “back wherever the hell she came from and this country can move forward.”  [See video after jump.  MP3 audio here.] 

Oddly enough, Time’s Mark Halperin was the only member of the Morning Joe panel to not completely condemn Harpootlian, instead offering a semi-excuse for the party chair:

He's a good man but has a history of making floppy remarks and he should probably say something different.

For their part on Monday morning, Morning Joe did run the story, but not until 20 minutes into the broadcast. After chastising Harpootlian’s disgusting comments, Brzezinski made a shocking comment about the coverage this story would have gotten on MSNBC had he been a Republican:

So let me just say, fair enough, that if a Republican did this we would be covering it like crazy so we are covering it because it was wrong and those statements were absolutely wrong.

Fellow MSNBCer Willie Geist agreed with Brzezinski, commenting that if the roles had been flipped, Morning Joe would have run wall-to-wall coverage of the story. Does Mika not realize that as co-host she has the ability to dictate what stories to focus on, and could very easily have opened Monday’s show discussing the topic? Instead, the segment was relegated right before a commercial break, receiving very little coverage, even if to renounce the Democrat’s racist remarks. 

This is hardly the first time Harpootlian inserted his foot in his mouth. Last year he accused Haley of being missing in action, saying the governor was down in the bunker, like Hitler's mistress Eva Braun. Oddly enough, Harpootlian made these comments in front of Vice President Biden, who in 2006 once cracked:

In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India.You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking.

Given that Harpootlian up until this weekend was the head of South Carolina’s Democratic Party, will MSNBC demand that the party’s candidate for South Carolina’s First Congressional District, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, condemn such comments?

During the 2012 election, Mitt Romney was chastised numerous times by MSNBC for failing to condemn conservatives like Rush Limbaugh for comments they made, even though Romney had no connection whatsoever to Limbaugh. MSNBC should follow its own history and demand Ms. Colbert-Busch issue a condemnation of Mr. Harpootlian, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.      

 

See relevant transcript below. 


MSNBC

Morning Joe

May 6, 2013

6:19 a.m. EST

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Well-known for his sometimes outlandish comments, South Carolina Democratic Party chair Dick Harpootlian waded into controversy over the weekend for remarks he made at the party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner. Here is what he said about the upcoming gubernatorial election and the state’s Indian-American Republican Governor Nikki Haley.

DICK HARPOOTLIAN: Now do I call him Senator or do I call him Governor Sheheen? In about 18 months from now, hopefully, he will have sent Nikki Haley back wherever the hell she came from and this country can move forward.

BRZEZINSKI: Yeah you don't do that. Haley was raised in South Carolina, attended Clemson University and her parents were Seekh immigrants to this country. Politico’s Jonathan Martin asked Harpootlian whether his comments could be seen as touching on her race. Harpootlian claimed he was talking about which county in South Carolina she lived in saying, no, she was born in Bamberg, South Carolina and lived in Lexington. Anybody implying anything different is attempting to feign insult. A spokesperson from Governor Haley's office described Harpootlian’s comments as one of his consistent attempts to play to the lowest common denominator. And last year he accused Haley of being missing in action saying the governor was down in the bunker, ala Eva Braun, a reference to -- oh, my god, Hitler's mistress. So let me just say, fair enough, that if a Republican did this we would be covering it like crazy so we are covering it because it was wrong and those statements were absolutely wrong. I don't care what he meant. He should just say he regrets it. Agreed? Anyone disagree? Ridiculous.

MARK HALPERIN: He's a good man but has a history of making floppy remarks and he should probably say something different.

BRZEZINSKI: That’s a gaffe at best. And say that. How about just I'm really sorry? That was the wrong choice of words and I am so sorry.

HALPERIN: I bet he says it today. I bet he does.

BRZEZINSKI: I think he might.

WILLIE GEIST: You're right Mika, role play that, flip the roles.

BRZEZINSKI: Oh my lord. Republican?

GEIST: The head of the Republican Party in the state of South Carolina.

MIKE BARNICLE: We would have led with it. We would have led with it.

BRZEZINSKI: I think we have to just be mindful here. I noticed Joe's tweet and I thought okay we got to cover this story for sure.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.