'I Don't Know Anything About Football,' WaPo Columnist Tells MSNBC Panel on Redskins' Fate

How much do you need to know about a subject before expressing a strong opinion during a panel on MSNBC? Apparently very little, as Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart took part in a Monday afternoon discussion on the future of the Washington Redskins National Football League team since coach Mike Shanahan had just been fired.

Kristen Welker -- fill-in host for that weekday's edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports -- asked: “Are the Redskins stronger moving forward without Shanahan?” Capehart replied: “You’re asking the wrong guy here. I don’t know anything about football.” Instead, he turned to a liberal talking point: “But this much I do know: The name of the football team, personally speaking, is an abomination and that they should change it.”

“I don’t know anything about Shanahan,” the columnist noted while the host laughed at her guest's unexpected response. “I saw him for the first time now” on a video that was aired earlier in the program.

Deciding whether the team's name “is certainly a heated debate that is going on in the nation's capital and really all around the country,” Welker said to conclude the segment.

As NewsBusters previously reported, Monday's panel wasn't the first time Capehart hammered someone for having a different opinion than his own.

While most Americans view Christmas as a time to consider such lofty things as peace on earth and good will toward men, the columnist joined Chris Matthews on his eponymous MSNBC program to bash 11 conservatives.

Other participants were David Corn of Mother Jones, Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post and Joan Walsh of Salon. Many targets were household names such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx,), Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and evangelist Pat Robertson, while others -- such as Congressmen Paul Broun (R-Ga.) and Blake Farenthold (R-Tx.) -- were likely lesser-known.

Back in early August, Capehart was a member of a panel that rehashed an old and overblown feud between Barack Obama and Jan Brewer. The Republican governor of Arkansas.

The discussion centered around an incident in which Brewer allegedly “wagged her finger” at the president in 2012, and the columnist accused her of criticizing Obama because he's “black” and “should not be there.”

He noted: “It played to the Tea Party base that hates the president so much that they don’t even have respect for the office, it seems, anymore, they hate him so much.”

And on July 18, the Washington Post columnist joined then-MSNBC host Martin Bashir in slamming Congressman Darrell Issa by asking if the California Republican is “determined to become the most repugnant politician in the history of American politics, or has he already achieved that feat?”

The attacks stemmed from a comment by the GOP official in which he referred to Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Maryland Democrat and ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, by stating: “I'm always shocked when the ranking member seems to want to say -- like a little boy whose hand’s caught in the cookie jar -- what hand, what cookie? I've never said that it leads to the White House.”

Even though Issa had apologized for his comment, the columnist responded that he was “not just a boy -- a little boy. “

He further stated:

Look, Darrell Issa should know that putting the words "boy, little boy" in referencing them to a black man is problematic. But when that black man is the ranking member on your committee, it's beyond problematic. It's myopic.

It just shows that Darrell Issa is not only out of touch in terms of what his committee should be doing, but it just shows he is out of touch just generally, culturally it seems.

In addition, the battle over the name for the NFL team in the District of Columbia had raged for more than a year before MSNBC host Rachel Maddow announced she would no longer use the “R-Word” because she found it so “painfully racist.”

Soon after, a political cartoonist for the New York Daily News produced an illustration featuring three flags, the first containing the swastika symbol of the Nazis, then the star-filled banner of the Confederates from the Civil War, and finally the logo of the Washington Redskins with a caption that read: “Archaic Symbols of Pride and Heritage.”

Apparently, combining Jonathan Capehart with a hot topic is liking mixing fire and gasoline. If you combine these two, you get a lot of heat and unfortunately, not much light.

Randy Hall
Randy Hall