Thomas Roberts Uses Dumb Tweets By the Teenage Son of a Republican Senator to Prove GOP Racism

Liberal MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts on Friday used the dumb tweets of a Republican Senator's teenage son to prove GOP homophobia and racism. In a segment on Marco Rubio's comments about not including gays in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Roberts sneered, "Marco Rubio going on the record that he is not interested, really hasn't even looked at the employment nondiscrimination act, but isn't interested in being able to look out for people based on sexual orientation." 

Roberts then somehow connected Jeff Flake's 15-year-old son, Tanner. The younger Flake tweeted about the "faggot" who stole his bike. Roberts wondered if this reflected "an entrenched homophobia on the right, that they're not willing to recognize there's a sea change in this country?" The activist/journalist concluded, "Are they just unwilling to look at how this country is changing?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Is it any news that teenage boys do stupid things? It certainly doesn't prove conservative racism. How do these tweets relate to Marco Rubio? 

Roberts, who is gay, rarely makes any pretense of objectivity. On September 23, 2011, he insisted the GOP wants to go back to when no women voted and "slavery was cool."

On July 22, 2011, he proclaimed that a Republican president would "extinguish" gays.

A partial transcript of the June 14 segment is below:


11:36

MSNBC GRAPHIC: LGBT Fail

THOMAS ROBERTS: So, Marco Rubio going on the record there that he is not interested, really hasn't even looked at the employment nondiscrimination act, but isn't interested in being able to look out for people based on sexual orientation. And then we've got these tweets. And I want to get this in. We have got Jeff Flake's, 15-year-old son in Arizona, Tanner Flake, who has been tweeting homophobic and some really nasty things. Jeff Flake has come out to apologize for his son because of what he said there.

You can see the blurred out parts. It's the F-word. But, then we've got Joe Heck's son tweeting, he is a 16-year-old, Joe Heck is a Republican in Nevada, we can show that tweet. It seems as if young kids on the right anyway-- and all around for that matter-- you know, they're going to do silly things, they're going to make bad mistakes, but are we seeing, Cheryl, an entrenched homophobia on the right, that they're not willing to recognize there's a sea change in this country? The Supreme Court is considering DOMA and Prop 8, should have that decision end of the month. Are they just unwilling to look at how this country is changing?

CHERYL CONTEE (Jack and Jill Politics): It is troubling to see that the GOP isn't keeping up with Americans. About ten years ago, most Americans didn't favor gay marriage. And now that has completely flipped around and majority of Americans actually support gay marriage. Nine out of ten Americans actually think it is illegal already to discriminate against gays and lesbians. And so, it seems like there's a double whammy here where the GOP seems willing to spike immigration, which is important to Latinos and Asian Americans, and at the same time alienate gays and lesbians which also alienates younger voters.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org