Bill Press Defends His Anthem-Bashing, Says Michelle Malkin's Like A Tiny Bug

The Radio Equalizer catches up with Bill Press on his Friday radio/Current TV show after his blatant attack on the National Anthem. "Boy, I never expected it," he claimed. Was Press professing shock that his rant was controversial -- or perhaps he's shocked anyone noticed from his obscure posting in the media? It's not exactly CNN or MSNBC down there for the former chair of the California Democratic Party.

Despite his puny perch in the commentariat, Press boasted that somehow Michelle Malkin on the Fox News Channel is a mere insect. She's on Fox, and he's on Current TV, and she's the insect? (Audio and transcript below)

PRESS: Before I was even on CNN ran a poll asking people to call in if they agreed with me or not. Then Fox and Friends brings in Michelle Malkin. She’s talking with Gretchen Carlson about what a terrible terrible person I am because I dared suggest that the Star Spangled Banner is un-singable and we’d be better off with something like God Bless America. Here’s Michelle Malkin and Gretchen. [Audio of Malkin and Carlson plays]

This is so over the top. [As the audio plays] Bla bla bla bla. It’s so over the top. Yeah I said of course I was on Current TV with Cenk Uygur last night on the Young Turks and I said being attacked by Michelle Malkin is like being attacked by an ant or like a gnat or like a flea. I mean come on give me a break and you know first of all I I I the main point I made about being un-singable about being militaristic, but on the bravery thing, does she really thing that Americans are the only brave that’s the point I made, are we the only brave people on the face of the earth?

Now if Rush Limbaugh said being attacked by Margaret Cho was like being attacked by a gnat, he would surely be tried and convicted as an anti-Asian racist. Notice Press doesn't defend himself on his hating the "militaristic" language. But he thinks he's a genius for suggesting America doesn't have a monopoly on bravery. Press doesn't take exception to "the land of the free," saying, "hey, we're not the only free country on earth, so why are we bragging?"

If we take Press's argument against Anthem-boasting to its logical conclusion, he could scold the NAACP -- "Come on, like you guys are the ONLY group that favors the advancement of colored people? How arrogant of you!" But he was on a roll:

I mean I don’t want to make too much of this, but don’t you think maybe the Brits were pretty brave during World War II when they were getting the hell bombed out of them, we weren’t. Don’t you think the French, not all of them of course, some of them caved in to the Nazi occupation, but the French resistance, don’t you think they’re being pretty brave? Don’t you think the people that defied Saddam Hussein in Iraq were being pretty brave? You can go on and on.

Don’t you think that Nelson Mandela was pretty brave? That’s that I mean you know come on. Let’s just admit it. We’re a great country I love this county. We’re not the only brave people on the planet.

Press was stretching it a bit to tout the bravery of the French in World War II, but clearly the bravery described in Francis Scott Key's poem was referring to how our bravery preserved our flag when our country was very young. He wasn't writing a universal thesis. Press didn't take his bravery argument to the next step: there was also bravery on behalf of the Nazis or Saddam Hussein, but that's not something we honor.

As a radio host trying to draw attention to himself, Press succeeded. As an American liberal trying to persuade the average American to sign up for his side of the debate, he only underlined again that liberals despise nationalism and militarism, and then claim it's unfair to describe them as less patriotic than the norm. And who has the gnat of an argument here?

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis