MSNBC's 'Now with Alex' Shows Herman Cain Video Out of Context; Panelists Bash Him for Point He Didn't Make
Herman Cain's new "Cain TV" project, which he announced in a promo video on his Facebook page, will feature not only "critical commentary on issues of the day" but "pearls of wisdom from Herman himself," MSNBC's Alex Wagner snarked in a segment on today's Now with Alex entitled onscreen "This Just Happened."
But the "pearl of wisdom" Wagner showed was a clip of Cain's video taken out of context that sounded completely bizarre in and of itself. What's more, liberal members of Wagner's panel reacted to the out-of-context comment to denounce Cain as "scary."
"Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. Let's give a lamb a gun!" Cain is shown thundering in his rich baritone.
"Let's give a lamb a gun?" a bemused Wagner replied. "Yes, America, that just happened!"
Later in the segment, members of Wagner's panel used that isolated sound bite to attack Cain as though he were advocating an armed revolt.
"I think I heard, he's saying that liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote?!" Heather McGhee of the liberal think tank Demos repeated the out-of-context Cain sound bite, adding that it's "scary."
"So this is important.... It's a big right-wing meme now to, it's apparently armed people, or lambs, going to try to contest the vote and police, citizen-police polling stations," McGhee argued, "it's actually a big issue."
Apparently McGhee fears Cain wants to go New Black Panther Party on America and show up at polling places armed to the teeth to intimidate voters.
For her part, Wagner -- no 2nd Amendment fan she -- replied that Cain's "arm a lamb!" comment was a shout-out to a "splinter faction of the... conservative base... that believes that it's about, you know, bearing arms and going to the ballot box and making quote unquote your voice heard."
"They institutionalize [those] who this gives a voice to!" liberal comedy writer Lizz Winstead quipped.
But a look at Cain's actual promo video, in context, shows that the former GOP presidential candidate was reciting what he believed to be a Ben Franklin quote [it most likely isn't however]:
As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
Let's give a lamb a gun!
What's more, a simple Web search would have taken Wagner and her producers to a January 24 post at Cain's Solutions Revolution website entitled "Give a Lamb a Gun" that explained Cain's pro-gun rights views and had a Fast & Furious angle to it (emphasis mine):
Hello, I’m Herman Cain and they think we are STUPID!
I have eight guns and that’s not enough. That’s how my friend Joe the Plumber defines his 2nd amendment rights. It’s no secret that this administration is actively trying to strengthen gun control laws here in the United States, but they allow guns in the hands of drug smugglers which end up killing Americans. Even our Attorney General now admits there are more deaths tied to these guns in the future. But he never approved it… and knew nothing about it! That’s a pack of lies! And it needs to be stopped by right minded adults in this upcoming election. Did you ever think you would live to see the day when our government would purposely force the sell of guns to drug cartels in a foreign country. It sounds like the plot from a horror film but it’s not…it happened and it happened on Barack Obama and Eric Holder’s watch.
They say they were unaware of it. Do they think we are that stupid?? Did you vote for that in 2008? Did Barack Obama run for president on the promise of more guns for drug lords? There’s a reason for this despicable and outrageous scheme. You see, the Tea Party, myself, and other pro constitution Americans believe in the 2nd amendment and as Benjamin Franklin once said, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well- armed lamb contesting the vote.”
Let’s give a lamb a gun.
We are not stupid!
Some three hours before she took to the air to host her program, Wagner similarly took Cain out of context in a tweet:
Herman Cain: "Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. Let's give a lamb a gun." (Even the hashtags have no response.)— Alex Wagner (@alexwagner) July 3, 2012
No one expects Wagner to agree with Cain's politics, or to recant her belief that Herman Cain is a political sideshow, someone who, if she didn't know better, was really "a conceptual art project dreamed up by the Far Left."
But it's an insult to her viewers and a demerit against whatever journalistic integrity she hopes to have for Wagner to take Cain out of context in order to mock him.