Barnicle, Brown Defend Hoffa: Suddenly Opposed To 'Sanitizing' Speech

Is there no double-standard depths to which the liberal media won't sink when it comes to provocative political speech? No—judging by the pitiful performance of two MSMers on today's Morning Joe in defending James "Take 'Em Out" Hoffa.  

Newsweek editor Tina Brown brayed that we must not "sanitize" political speech or take the "juice" out of it--all the while condemning Michele Bachmann and Glenn Beck for some of their remarks.  And the preposterous Mike Barnicle somehow defended Hoffa on the basis of the "context" of his remarks. Say what?  Hoffa was introducing the President of the United States!  And don't miss Barnicle logic-defyingly defending the double-standard when it comes to Sarah Palin on the basis that everyone knows the MSM will attack her. Video after the jump.


Watch Brown and Barnicle twist themselves into hypocritical knots—and give kudos to Mika Brzezinski for calling out the media for its bias in the way it treats strong language depending on whether it comes from the left or the right.

Note: for sheer inanity, it's hard to top Barnicle's defense of a double-standard when it comes to Sarah Palin on the basis that  "everyone knows" the media is going to brutalize her.

 

TINA BROWN: We don't have to sanitize political rhetoric to the point that--I mean, what do you want Hoffa to say--"we have to seek a way to remove him from public office"? He's speaking to his members, you know, "let's take him out, let's take him out!"

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Why are you saying that now when you didn't say that back when we went after Michele Bachmann non-stop for saying Minnesota people should be armed and dangerous --

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Right.

BROWN: Well armed, armed is a different word to say than take him out.

SCARBOROUGH: Take them out in some halls around, you know, take them out has a very specific meaning, and it's not a political meaning.

BROWN: I think take 'em out is just what you say in business. Like, we want to take that guy out. We want to really make sure--I think it's OK.

SCARBOROUGH: I would tell you on this show we have been very critical of people who amped up the rhetoric. We went after Glenn Beck when he said the president was a racist, he hated all white people. That wasn't even violent rhetoric, that was just rhetoric that I was afraid would lead to violence against the president.

BROWN:  Well, racist is a very serious charge. I think it's different.  I'm going to defend Hoffa on this.  He was talking to his members.

MIKE BARNICLE: That's it: you've got to take the context of the moment. I mean, he's speaking to a labor crowd, he's in Detroit, on Labor Day: get 'em out of there!

SCARBOROUGH: Sarah Palin's people put up little targets: these are targeted districts, on a PAC website that nobody sees. Nobody, right?  So that's that context. Kind of isolated. Hoffa delivers a speech before the President of the United States comes up and delivers a speech at the same spot. That context is actually far more serious than the context of a website somewhere out in the ethernet that nobody sees.  The context I think it more troubling in this case.

BARNICLE:  Well first of all, Sarah Palin is going to get brutalized and demeaned by the media no matter what she does. So I don't think you can compare Sarah Palin's targeting of districts with what Jim Hoffa says before a labor group in Detroit. We're going to pile on Sarah Palin.  Any sane person knows that we're going to do that.

BROWN: All speech with any color any more, that has any kind of color to it, that has any rabble-rousing juice to it.  I mean, that is juice on the --

SCARBOROUGH: Just remember that the next time a Republican says we're locked and loaded and ready to go. Because the hypocrisy --

BROWN: I'm fine with that.

BRZEZINSKI: His choice of words was bad, and I don't know what's wrong with saying that. I think it makes more of an issue--hold on everybody--I think it makes more of an issue when they go like that [makes flicking gesture] to it and try to flick it off.  It shows that there is a kind of an unfairness or a bias or whatever.  And I'm sorry: the reason we spend the kind of time we spend on it, because it does seem like a waste of time with all the other problems plaguing this country, is because it's a problem in the media as well.  We need to look in the mirror and be fair.
 

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.