Norah O'Donnell gushed over Eric Holder on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, trumpeting the supposedly "remarkable" and "very personal" speech that the attorney general gave to the NAACP on Tuesday. O'Donnell also played up how "Holder, the first African-American attorney general...talked very personally about, after Trayvon Martin's death, counseling his own 15-year-old son if he was stopped by police" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The morning newscast spotlighted how the controversial Obama administration figure "sharply criticized the so-called 'stand your ground' laws in Florida and other states", and played 36 seconds of clips from his speech to the organization:
They must be paying by the word over at Politico. It's difficult to come up with another explanation as to why reporter Jonathan Martin would slog through about 3,100 words on an item entitled "Black pols stymied in Obama era." He could have easily summarized why this is the case in eight words: "Because Barack Obama is all about Barack Obama." Oh, he could have added a few more, namely "and everybody knows Barack Obama is all about Barack Obama."
Since he didn't limit himself, yours truly will note a few things Martin still left out, identify a few interesting points that were made, and then quote certain naive and/or inflammatory statements contained in Martin's mess.
CNN's Soledad O'Brien flirted with the absurd theory that Mitt Romney intended to be booed by the NAACP, asking on Thursday's Starting Point if it was part of his "strategy."
After playing a clip of House Minority Leader Pelosi saying Romney getting booed was a "calculated move" on his part, O'Brien noted Romney expected to be booed and asked "Is there some kind of strategy in this presentation to the NAACP?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Good Morning America's Jon Karl on Wednesday hyped the boos Mitt Romney received at Wednesday's NAACP conference as the "most hostile reception Mitt Romney has received from any group during this campaign." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Karl actively misled while comparing John McCain's 2008 reception at the NAACP to Romney's appearance.
Karl huffed, "...[McCain] received a standing ovation." The only problem with this? Romney also got one. Garrett Haake of NBC News tweeted, Wednesday, "Standing ovation for Romney as he finishes his remarks to NAACP." So, what's the point? Karl focused only on the difficult moments: "The boos went on and on. More boos came when he slammed President Obama's record. " An ABC graphic proclaimed those few seconds could be a "key moment in [Romney]'s White House run."
Parker emphasized the "cackles and boos" he received for his criticism of Obama-Care, and even used Romney's father, the late Michigan Gov. George Romney, to dismiss his record on "civil rights and diversity."
After Mitt Romney addressed the NAACP on Wednesday, CNN's Jim Acosta focused on the boos he received from the audience without mentioning the crowd's standing ovation and their applause scattered through the speech. Acosta simply reported a "very negative" reaction from the audience.
"[N]o question about it, this was a very negative reaction to what Mitt Romney had to say here earlier this morning," he rounded out his post-speech report. However, NBC's Garrett Haake tweeted that Romney got a standing ovation as he finished his speech, and National Review's Jim Geraghty noted the cordial reception by the NAACP. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Today's Washington Post all but painted Tea Party conservatives in the Tar Heel State as racists opposed to racial integration and diversity in Raleigh-area schools.
In truth the Wake County, North Carolina, school board is simply moving to reverse decades of busing that shuttled some students to schools farther away from their homes in an effort to artificially engineer the socioeconomic and racial diversity of the county's individual schools.
After spending much of his week accusing Rush Limbaugh of racism, Ed Schultz on Friday made the same absurd claim about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
Following in the footsteps of others on his network as well as the liberal blogosphere, the MSNBCer said it was racist for Palin to refer to comments Michelle Obama made in 2008 about never having been proud of her country before her husband started winning primaries.
It was also racist of Palin to mention in her book the Obamas' connection to Rev. Jeremiah Wright (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Thomas Roberts on Wednesday hyped an attack on the "racist" Tea Party by the left-wing Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR). Roberts never once mentioned the liberal slant of the group, instead passing it off as a "human rights group."
The News Live host interviewed Ben Jealous, the President of the NAACP, who wrote the forward to the report. Roberts parroted, "The Tea Party, the Racism Within. That is the provocative headline of a new report out today by a human rights organization. And some of its findings are pretty troubling."
What, exactly, does the IREHR believe? According to the group's website, it's focus is on promoting abortion rights, gay rights and fighting bigotry and racism from religious Americans.
In the runup to Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally on the National Mall last month, a number of prominent media ouetlets hyped accusations of racism targeting a small-time blogger who advised visitors to steer clear of some of the more dangerous neighborhoods in Washington.
Now it has come to light that a prominent NAACP employee, Curtis Gatewood, also a "field director" for the upcoming One Nation march - organized by the NAACP and various labor unions, including the AFL-CIO and the SEIU - has made numerous anti-American and anti-Semitic statements in the past.
Will the media call One Nation out for this one individual's statements as they did the Restoring Honor rally? Will they paint this employee as representative of the rally's attendants, also as they did with Beck's event? Or will they ignore or downplay these statements, despite their dramatically more egregious nature?
On Saturday, NewsBusters sister site Eyeblast.tv sent contributing editor Joe Schoffstall to see what exactly Al Sharpton’s protest rally was all about. While there, he was able to get an interview with NAACP President Ben Jealous regarding his thoughts on Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor rally.
Jealous claimed that those at Restoring Honor wouldn’t applaud Dr. King's historic 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech.
Beck aired that Eyeblast video and promptly destroyed Jealous's argument by playing clips of the crowd enthusiastically cheering mentions of the late civil rights leader.
You can watch the relevant excerpt from the August 31 "Glenn Beck" show by clicking the play button on the embed above.
Rachel Maddow on Tuesday told David Letterman that scaring white people is good politics for conservatives.
After the host of CBS's "Late Show" asked his perilously biased guest about the Andrew Breitbart-Shirley Sherrod affair, the MSNBCer predictably pointed her accusatory finger at Fox News and everybody on the right.
"The idea is you sort of rile up the white base to be afraid of an other, to be afraid of the scary immigrants or scary black people," Maddow said.
"Somebody coming to take what is white people's rightful property," she continued. "And you get them riled up so they feel like they need to vote in self-defense, and they vote for conservative candidates because of that fear" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary, h/t TVNewser):
In yet another example of the news media being selective about which party labels it chooses to share, a recent CNN online story about Shirley Sherrod mentioning three Democrat politicians included the "D" when the politicians where doing something the story applauded, and left it off when the Democrat was a bad guy.
When drought struck the South in the 1970s, the federal government promised to help New Communities through the Office of Economic Opportunity. But the money was routed through the state, led by segregationist Gov. Lester Maddox, and the local office of the Farmers Home Administration, whose white agent was in no hurry to write the checks, she said.
But later in the story, when two Democrats do something of which the author clearly approves, the party label is included:
Using that experience, Sherrod worked with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives to help black farmers keep their land. The group worked with U.S. Rep. Mike Espy, D-Mississippi (who later became agriculture secretary), and Sen. Wyche Fowler, D-Georgia, to pass the Minority Farmers Rights Act in 1990. The measure, known as Section 2501, authorized $10 million a year in technical assistance to black farmers, but only $2 million to $3 million a year has been distributed.
This sort of bias is so obvious, I sometimes wonder why the media even bothers.
Chris Matthews in the course of less than two hours Thursday appeared to radically change his opinion about Shirley Sherrod's pending lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Matthews during the 5 p.m. installment of "Hardball" got into a heated argument with former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean about the contents of the controversial video Breitbart posted at BigGovernment.com on July 19.
For some reason, rather than air that segment as part of the normal 7 p.m. rerun, MSNBC did a live broadcast bringing Politico's Ken Vogel in to discuss the matter with Matthews and original guest Salon's Joan Walsh.
What resulted was a completely different presentation than what aired just two hours prior with Matthews far more critical of Breitbart than he previously was and far more supportive of the merits of Sherrod's case.
Let's look at the videos to see the glaring difference in these segments (partial transcripts also follow with commentary):
Chris Matthews and Howard Dean on Thursday got into a heated argument about what was included in the controversial video excerpts Andrew Breitbart published at his website last Monday involving former USDA official Shirley Sherrod.
In the opening segment of the 5PM installment of MSNBC's "Hardball," Matthews was discussing with the former Vermont Governor as well as Salon Editor-in-Chief Joan Walsh the announcement that Sherrod intends to sue Breitbart.
After playing both videos posted at BigGovernment.com back on July 19, Matthews noted, "That part in there about redemptive revelation was actually in the initial tape."
He then asked Dean, "Why do you think if this was a complete slime job, why do you think Breitbart kept that in there?"
The Governor's absolutely absurd answer started the fireworks (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Andrew Breitbart is going to be fine. He's done nothing wrong. I wonder if Ms. Sherrod, who is such a champion of transparency, will publicly disclose who is putting her up to this. And I also hope this champion of honesty will stop lying about Fox News. I'm also waiting for Ms. Sherrod to publicly apologize for accusing anyone opposed to nationalized healthcare of being racist. Last time I checked, that was more than half the country.
Comedian Jon Stewart on Monday said what most in the liberal media continue to deny: as it pertains to the Shirley Sherrod affair, Fox News snookered no one.
Even more surprising, the "Daily Show" host claimed conservative publisher Andrew Breitbart "may be the most honest person in this entire story."
In a lengthy segment about the controversy, after haranguing the Obama administration's handling of the affair, Stewart moved to what the NAACP said when it retracted its initial condemnation of Sherrod (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Shirley Sherrod's now-infamous March speech before an NAACP audience is recognizable to practicing Christians as a "testimony." That's the spin that Syracuse journalism professor and former Washington Post staff writer R. Gustav Niebuhr brought to Newsweek/Washington Post's On Faith feature in a July 26 Under God blog post:
As she said to members of the Georgia NAACP back on that March day, she spoke as the daughter of a murdered black farmer, victim of a racial crime whose author was never convicted. That allowed her to talk about how, through her experiences with the financially hard-pressed white farmer in 1986, she came to believe a divine agency was at work in her life, teaching her.
"God helped me to see that it's not just about black people--it's about poor people. And I've come a long way. I knew that I couldn't live with hate, you know."
That's the key statement in her speech. In traditional Christian terminology, it's called a testimony.
With recent controversial race topics entering the spotlight, such as the voter intimidation incident and Shirley Sherrod story, the media has been more than willing to open their arms and turn on their cameras to hear the opining of the National Chairman of the New Black Panther Party, Malik Zulu Shabazz. Shabazz has appeared on Fox News, issued a statement through CNN, and done exclusive interviews for various media outlets.
The Anti-Defamation League has described Shabazz as anti-Semitic and racist, trying "to recast himself as a serious civil rights leader in recent years by cloaking his bigotry and intolerance in religious and civil rights principles and inserting himself in high profile, racially charged issues around the country." This certainly seems to be the case as he has made an increasing number of appearances in the media, in which the audience is to suspend belief and assume this man is an evenhanded voice on race relations in America.
In fact, Shabazz used his statement at CNN to accuse the ‘Republican or right wing tea party strategists' of ‘stir(ing) up racial fears'.
In the past six days, you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting some liberal media member claiming that Fox News was responsible for Shirley Sherrod's dismissal from the Agriculture Department.
So obsessed with this idea were the folks on PBS's "Inside Washington" Friday that the lone conservative on the panel Charles Krauthammer had to defend FNC's honor like a knight in shining armor protecting a princess from a gang of marauding Huns.
Two days later, CNN's Howard Kurtz and Politics Daily's Matt Lewis did their darnedest to convince Salon's Joan Walsh of the facts - unfortunately to no avail.
Getting fed up with the stupidity from his colleagues on the left, Mediaite's Steve Krakauer Sunday evening tried to once and for all put this matter to rest:
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Walsh responds, claims this isn't what she said!
Joan Walsh on Sunday said former USDA official Shirley Sherrod is allowed to say anything she wants about racism -- including calling Fox News and Andrew Breitbart racist -- because her father was killed by a white man.
Discussing last week's controversy on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Salon's Editor-in-Chief actually claimed, "The woman's father was murdered by a white farmer, and there were witnesses, and the white justice system never found the murderer guilty."
"She's entitled to talk about race any way she wants to."
When Matt Lewis of Politics Daily asked incredulously, "Any way she wants to," the sparks began to fly (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean on Sunday accused the Fox News Channel of being racist.
With the opening subject of "Fox News Sunday" being last week's controversial termination of Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod, Dean said, "I think Fox News did something that was absolutely racist. They took a, they had an obligation to find out what was really within the clip."
Dean continued, "They have been pushing a theme of black racism with this phony Black Panther crap and this, this business, and Sotomayor and all this other stuff...The Tea Party called out their racist fringe, and I think the Republican Party's got to stop appealing to its racist fringe."
That apparently was all host Chris Wallace could stand, for he struck back and struck back hard beginning with, "I know facts are inconvenient things, but let's try to deal with the facts" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Charles Krauthammer on Friday scolded Gordon Peterson, the host of PBS's "Inside Washington," for blaming Shirley Sherrod's termination on Fox News.
As he introduced the first topic of the evening, Peterson said, "Which brings me to the story of ousted Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod who was let go on the basis of a single piece of internet video that was edited out of context, posted on a conservative website, picked up on Fox News, and bought lock, stock and barrel by the Obama administration."
When Krauthammer got his turn, he went right after Peterson saying, "Speaking of apologies, perhaps you ought to apologize for saying that Fox News had her on the air before the administration had fired her" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
How could the White House have screwed up so badly in the case of Shirley Sherrod, the Georgia USDA official who Wednesday received an apology from the Obama administration (through Robert Gibbs and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack)?
Sherrod was the victim of a smear by the right-wing agent provocateur Andrew Breitbart and his fellow travelers at Fox News. (Yes, that side has adopted some Leninist tactics, as conservative antitax activist Grover Norquist has admitted over the years.) They took a two-and-a-half-minute clip from Sherrod's address to the NAACP and used it to depict her as a black racist who discriminated years ago against a white farmer. It turns out the farmer thought Sherrod had been a terrific help, and a full review of Sherrod's speech suggests that, far from being a racist, she had honestly (and successfully) worked through the complex racial preconceptions we all carry around in our heads.
Later in his post, Alter added more spin and half-truths by noting that:
On Thursday's CBS Early Show, fill-in co-host Erica Hill discussed the firing of Shirley Sherrod with left-wing Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson, who used the opportunity to slam conservatives: "...there's unfair pressure on the Obama administration, Mr. Obama himself, from, I think, the far right wing, which perceives black gain at the expense of white security."
Dyson used the phrase "right wing" a total of eight times throughout the five-minute segment. He lamented how the White House "caved into duress and stress from the right wing" and later pushed the false claim that Fox News had pushed the Obama administration to fire Sherrod: "And it does show that Andrew Breitbart and other right-wing bloggers have an intense power, this is focused at Fox News, that then forces the mainstream media to pay attention and the White House itself got roped into this."
At one point, Dyson remarked: "...it's not just a matter of 'oh, those right wing guys over there are horrible,' there's liberal enlightened racism as well." Hill responded: "The NAACP initially jumped on this and said – and condemned – condemned Sherrod as well. So, I mean, this is coming from all sides. This is not just a right wing issue or a left wing issue." Dyson admitted that he thought the NAACP acted "dishonorably," but quickly moved back to conservatives: "...why do we take the word of a right-wing media on the issues and practices and behaviors of people in the broader mainstream? I think we have to be very careful here."
Memo to media members wishing to invite the Tea Party Founder on your show, or use him as a source for your biased reports: He isn't exactly who you think he is.
Since the NAACP voted to condemn extremist elements in the Tea Party, news networks, sites, and liberal blogs have rushed to include ‘Tea Party Founder', Dale Robertson, in their reports. Problem being, Dale Robertson as Tea Party anything has frequently and thoroughly been, um ... ‘refudiated'.
Despite this, the media has a history of holding Robertson up as a shining example of Tea Party racism. Why? Robertson once demonstrated a level of ignorance that boggles the mind by holding a sign reading "Congress = Slaveowner, Taxpayer = (N-Word)", at a Houston Tea Party Society (TPS) event.
The reality however, is that Robertson has predominantly self-described, if any, links to the Tea Party movement, while legitimate factions of the movement have had to repeatedly distance themselves from the man. Robertson was expelled from the event at which he was holding the aforementioned sign on the very same day. He was formally denounced in a statement released by the Houston TPS. He was called ‘no friend' of the Tea Party at Pajamas Media, and mocked at RedState. He was shown to be for his infamous sign, before he was against it.
So logically, the media has decided to help further the cause of the NAACP by bringing Robertson back out of the shadows. Since word of the the NAACP resolution got out, Robertson's name has appeared at...
Appearing on Wednesday's Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC to discuss the Shirley Sherrod controversy, Politico co-founder Jim VandeHei pointed out the NAACP's role in fueling racial accusations: "If you think about this, where this thing started, the NAACP comes out and makes this charge against the tea party movement."
VandeHei rejected the NAACP's claim of racism in the political movement: "It's a very, very diffuse group. You cannot say that they are racist anymore then you can say the Republican Party's racist or the Democratic Party is racist, so it creates this culture and it's a dangerous topic, it's a dangerous fire to light, and then when it happens this is the outcome."
Explaining how the NAACP charge led to the accusations against Sherrod, VandeHei observed: "I'm not defending Breitbart. But conservatives are outraged, they feel like 'listen, you're – because I'm part of the tea party movement you say, therefore, I'm racist.' And so what Breitbart's arguing is 'I want to push back.'"
On Wednesday’s Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy took strong exception to the NAACP’s claim it was “snookered” by Fox News into denouncing former Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod based on excerpts of a speech she delivered at a dinner in March.
“There’s a timeline problem,” Doocy pointed out, noting that the NAACP had on Monday night denounced Sherrod as “shameful,” the same day that she was pressured to quit her job (she says by the White House). But Fox News never mentioned the story until after Sherrod had quit. “So for anybody to say that Fox News pressured her out, that is simply a lie,” Doocy asserted.
ABC and CBS last week jumped to advance the NAACP’s charge of racism within the Tea Party movement with friendly stories which provided corroboration for the allegation as neither identified the left-wing group’s ideology. On Tuesday night, however, the ABC and CBS evening newscasts had a sudden concern for the accuracy of the racism charge leveled against a USDA official via video posted by BigGovernment.com, a group the networks were quick to label “conservative” as they painted Shirley Sherrod as a victim of distorted editing of the video of her remarks – as if the news media never do that.
Meanwhile, the NBC Nightly News, which last week managed to refrain from promoting the NAACP’s anti-Tea Party agenda, ran a full story on Sherrod and BigGovernment.com’s “lie,” but also ran the very first broadcast network story on the Justice Department’s refusal to pursue the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case.
“We turn now to a story about race, politics and what constitutes a rush to judgment,” ABC anchor Diane Sawyer intoned. (Last week: “The NAACP has just adopted a resolution this evening at its annual convention condemning quote, ‘racist behavior by Tea Party members.’”) Jake Tapper referred to “a conservative Web site posting a video clip of Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod at an NAACP event talking about meeting with a white farmer...” He noted the NAACP, which had condemned Sherrod, later in the day “reversed course, saying they'd been snookered by conservative media.”