Bob Costas Slams NBC For Insisting Donald Sterling Represents Larger Racial Problems in America: ‘Politically Correct BS'

Bob Costas, liberal sportscaster for NBC, had some harsh words for his own network’s handling of the Donald Sterling controversy earlier this year. 

Costas appeared on MSNBC’s Up w/ Steve Kornacki on Saturday, July 5 and mocked the idea that there was widespread debate over the appropriateness of Sterling’s racist comments. The NBC sports anchor argued that “when people say, well, this is an opportunity to open up a dialogue on race. Here is where I think some people who work in this building ought to step up and say you know what, that's a bunch of politically correct BS.” [See video below.] 

The discussion on Sterling began with Costas mocking the controversy being promoted by NBC:

To me that was a low hanging fruit thing. Who -- who this side of outliers who can't get a hearing anywhere on the spectrum. Who doesn't think that what Donald sterling said and what his record reveals about him is unacceptable? So that was an easy one. 

The NBC Sports anchor then proceeded to chastise MSNBC for pushing the liberal narrative that Sterling shows that America has a problem with race:

What people really want, is a chance to repeat the same narrative. The less comfortable truths, the more complicated state of race relations and difficulties with race in America in 2014 as opposed to 1964 and 1984, that’s something you don't want to wade into. So I don't know who decided David Duke would have a problem in denouncing Donald Sterling. What is the controversy? The guy’s and addled old man who shouldn't own a team.

Costas concluded his remarks by once again denouncing the “America is racist” narrative being perpetuated by MSNBC: 

There have been some courageous voices on the left, to say, you know what, obviously historically the narrative of white racism and the oppression of black Americans is the overriding truth. It's the single greatest stain on our national history. It is still part of the narrative to one extent or another in different forms but that narrative is much more complex now. And some of the issues that are afflicting black America are not the result primarily of white racism. That's a politically incorrect thing to say that somebody in this studio needs to say.  

Kudos to Bob Costas for appearing on MSNBC and openly challenging their narrative that America is inherently racist and emphatically shooting down the “Lean Forward” network’s talking points on the subject. 

See relevant transcript below. 


MSNBC

Up w/ Steve Kornacki 

July 5, 2014

STEVE KORNACKI: So when we had you, and I say we had you on the phone a couple months ago, it was the morning after the whole Donald sterling thing, that the first recordings had come out. And we had you on to talk about that. And it looks like that sort of is getting resolved. There’s going to be a new owner, Steve Ballmer is going to own the Clippers and Donald Sterling, his wife has immunized Ballmer and the league and all of that. So now that that seems to be in the rear view mirror mostly, when you at look at that controversy did we learn anything from that? Was sports changed in any way? Was that about anything in the long term? 

BOB COSTAS: To me that was a low hanging fruit thing. Who -- who this side of outliers who can't get a hearing anywhere on the spectrum. Who doesn't think that what Donald sterling said and what his record reveals about him is unacceptable? So that was an easy one. When people say, well, this is an opportunity to open up a dialogue on race. Here is where I think some people who work in this building ought to step up and say you know what, that's a bunch of politically correct BS.

What you really want, not you necessarily Steve, but what people really want, is a chance to repeat the same narrative. The less comfortable truths, the more complicated state of race relations and difficulties with race in America in 2014 as opposed to 1964 and 1984, that’s something you don't want to wade into. So I don't know who decided David Duke would have a problem in denouncing Donald Sterling. What is the controversy? The guy’s and addled old man who shouldn't own a team. 

KORNACKI: What you're talking about, the sort of more challenging conversation you’re talking about can that take place in our media and political culture today? 

COSTAS: Well, it would take courage. And you're setting me up for a type of punditry, not setting myself up for, but I'm responding to your question. Remember back in 1972, you’re probably too old, too young rather to remember it first hand but people said Nixon was the guy who could go to China. George McGovern could not have gone to China because Nixon had the credibility as a relatively conservative guy and a staunch anti-communist. Alright? It’s only someone on the conservative spectrum who can say you know what it’s not an affront to the Second Amendment, and no one’s legitimate Second Amendment rights would be abridged if we had some common sense conversation about a gun culture run amuck and had some common sense gun control which wouldn’t stop anyone from owning a gun to protect their home and family or for sporting purposes.

But you need someone on the right to make that point. You need, and there have been some courageous voices on the left, to say, you know what, obviously historically the narrative of white racism and the oppression of black Americans is the overriding truth. It's the single greatest stain on our national history. It is still part of the narrative to one extent or another in different forms but that narrative is much more complex now. And some of the issues that are afflicting black America are not the result primarily of white racism. That's a politically incorrect thing to say that somebody in this studio needs to say. 

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