Tavis Smiley is furious that President Obama has not done more to combat racism in America, and that anger was on full display Monday night. On his self-titled PBS program, Smiley unleashed a pair of long-winded leftist rants barely disguised as questions to his guest, Dr. Tricia Rose from Brown University.
Rose, who directs Brown’s Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, had suggested that Obama was incapable of ending structural racism in America by himself. Hearing that, Smiley erupted: “[I]f you’re right about this, then what the heck is the value of us celebrating a black president?” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Monday's All In with Chris Hayes, MSNBC political analyst Michael Eric Dyson declared that George Zimmerman has become "a kind of patron saint of the right wing in a very serious way" as he complained that he has "been made an icon" and will receive external support in his freedom.
Host Hayes fretted that Zimmerman would not sufficiently have to face his conscience as he quoted a tweet. Hayes:
George Zimmerman haters throughout the media have carped and whined about the fact that there weren’t any African-Americans on the jury despite the law requiring the accused NOT the victim be judged by his peers.
On CNN Newsroom Tuesday, it was revealed that a potential black juror had been struck by the prosecution for committing the crime of being a Fox News watcher (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In the wake of the jury’s "not guilty" verdict in the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial, numerous voices in the liberal media have been railing against supposed racism in our justice system and American society in general. But for MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts, the verdict is not merely a message about race relations in America; it is a commentary on the status of all Americans who are different.
Filling in as host on Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Roberts, an openly gay white anchor, was moderating a discussion of the Zimmerman case when he decided to jump in with commentary of his own. Addressing colleague Melissa Harris-Perry, who hosts a weekend program on the network and who happens to be black, Roberts declared, “I'll say it, honestly, there's a lot of white shame today.” [Video below the break. MP3 audio here.]
On Monday evening, Stevie Wonder told a concert audience in Quebec City that he will no longer perform in Florida or any other state with "Stand Your Ground" laws as a result of the George Zimmerman verdict (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
One of the most important things a journalist is supposed to do is check, double check, and sometimes even triple check sources to make sure the news being reported is accurate.
That's not what happened in the case involving George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, according to Rem Rieder, a former journalism professor and a media columnist for USA Today. Instead, the members of the news media portrayed Zimmerman as “the neighborhood watch captain/'wannabe cop'” who profiled Martin, “an unarmed, hoodie-clad black teenager” out on the streets “simply because he wanted some Skittles.”
Congressman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) made an absolutely absurd statement about the George Zimmerman trial Monday that should disgust Americans on both sides of the aisle.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Martin Bashir show, Rangel said, “I think it's possible if the police had got a black Zimmerman, the question would be whether they would have beat him to death and then threw handcuffs on him and dragged him into the precinct."
Martin Luther King Jr's niece Alveda King made some comments Monday about the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict that people on both sides of the aisle should heed.
Appearing on the Steve Malzberg Show on NewsMax TV, King said the NAACP was "race-baiting" and trying to stir up "racial anarchy" by pushing for the justice department to prosecute a civil rights case against Zimmerman.
During a panel discussion on Monday's NBC Today about the acquittal of George Zimmerman, left-wing MSNBC host Toure proclaimed the court case to be evidence of inherent racism in American society: "We have an almost all-white jury. We almost never get justice in that situation, especially in the south....I'm taken back to Emmett Till and Amadou Diallo and Iona Jones and all these other situations where we understand that black life means a little bit less than white life in America." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
MSNBC analyst and liberal bomb-thrower Michael Eric Dyson was also on the morning show panel, and eagerly agreed with Toure's assertion: "No doubt. And you know, I have two sons, and my son texted me and said, 'How do I protect my two black boys who are very young?' So for us it's a reminder, it's a kind of deja vu all over again and it's a negative appraisal of the American soul..."
MSNBC's initial -- not to mention its ongoing -- reaction to acquittal of George Zimmerman on charges of second degree murder and manslaughter was predictably heavily focused on race and laden with melodramatic hand-wringing.
But it may be anchor Chris Jansing who took the cake in early Sunday morning coverage when she asserted that pre-teen boys were "crawling into bed" with their parents in fear that night as a result of the verdict:
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie suggested to MSNBC host and National Action Network president Al Sharpton that the trial of Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman was not racially charged enough: "Do you think the prosecutors missed an opportunity there, that they didn't explicitly make this case about racial profiling?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In response, Sharpton pushed his effort to get the Justice Department to charge Zimmerman with civil rights violations: "I think they did, but it also sets up a federal case because you can't say it's been tried, because it wasn't tried. So there is no double jeopardy here because they specifically said this is not about race, which opens the door for the federal government to now investigate..."
In the hours after George Zimmerman was found not guilty on Saturday evening of any crimes in his shooting of the black 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, many famous people quickly expressed their views on the Twitter social website regarding the trial and the verdict.
The celebrities ranged from a conservative columnist who cried “Hallelujah!” to a football star who posted that the members of the jury should "go home tonight and kill themselves." Other messages expressed thoughts of prayer for those involved with the case, as well as fatal predictions regarding the defendant and the six-woman jury.
As NewsBusters has been reporting the past 24 hours, the media have been having a hard time hiding their disappointment about the George Zimmerman verdict.
Showing what side she's on in this debate, CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday's State of the Union asked Governor Pat Quinn (D-Ill.), "Do you think that the American justice system is innately racist?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Thanks to the media’s habit of showing beatific, outdated photos of Trayvon Martin, many Americans who only casually followed the trial of George Zimmerman incorrectly believed Martin to have been younger than he actually was at the time of his death. In a Friday interview, Zimmerman’s lead defense attorney, Mark O’Mara admitted that he was one of them.
Speaking with CNN correspondent Martin Savidge, O’Mara denounced what he called a “wonderfully created and crafted public relations campaign” by the attorney for Martin’s family, Benjamin Crump and his allies. According to O’Mara, had they not injected a racial element into the story, Zimmerman would never have been tried.
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the liberal media are out in force Sunday expressing their disgust with the George Zimmerman verdict.
On ABC's This Week, PBS's Tavis Smiley had the nerve to say, "I think this for many Americans, George, just another piece of evidence of the incontrovertible contempt that this nation often shows and displays for black men" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing on MSNBC this morning, Jesse Jackson condemned the Zimmerman verdict as a "tremendous miscarriage of justice." It is a mark of Jackson's misconception of just what constitutes justice that chief among his complaints was that Trayvon Martin was denied a jury of his peers because there were no African-Americans or men on it.
But—as Jackson is apparently unaware—the Constitution provides that it is the accused, not the possible victim, who is entitled to an impartial jury [in fact the Constitution nowhere speaks of a jury of peers]. View the video after the jump.
While the station deserves plenty of blame for failing to catch the obviously phony names before airing them, at least half of the blame goes to the National Transportation Safety Board which fed it the improper information, as Politico's Nick Gass reports:
As the trial to determine if George Zimmerman committed a crime when he killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, draws to a close, hundreds of people have threatened to riot over the verdict, and law-enforcement organizations in and around Broward County, Fla., have been coordinating efforts to have “a proper response plan” in case their worst fears are realized.
However, Time magazine columnist Marc Polite claims that the police have everything backwards since the pre-emptive call for calm “may be akin to racial fear-mongering" and “runs counter to recent history.”
On Wednesday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes complained of a "right-wing trope about the specter of racial violence" if George Zimmerman is acquitted, and suggested that FNC hosts like Bill O'Reilly are trying to manipulate their audience by frightening them, cracking that "a good Fox News audience is a fearful Fox News audience."
As he interviewed University of Connecticut Professor Jelani Cobb, the MSNBC host complained that conservatives are treating black Americans similarly to Zimmerman's treatment of Trayvon Martin. Hayes:
This week, instead of attacking a Hispanic senator, Marco Rubio, I will defend a Hispanic citizen, George Zimmerman, on trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin. (Zimmerman would make a better senator.)
It's becoming painfully obvious why no charges were brought against Zimmerman in this case -- until Al Sharpton got involved. All the eyewitness accounts, testimony, ballistics and forensics keep backing up Zimmerman. We should send a big, fat bill for the whole thing to Sharpton, courtesy of MSNBC.
On her Sunday morning programming live from the Essence Festival in New Orleans, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, the namesake of her show, entertained a panel of African-American leaders to discuss several contemporary issues including the recent 5-4 decision handed down by the Supreme Court that declared Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional because it used, to quote Chief Justice Roberts, “a formula based on 40-year-old facts having no logical relation to the present day.” Harris-Perry scoffed at Roberts’ decision and claimed that this decision caused the advent of a “third reconstruction” in America. [Link to the audio here]
Clearly, this is a ridiculous comparison. The current social climate and culture of our country does not even hold a candle to the kind of suppression of rights that took place during Reconstruction or even during the civil rights movement, or so-called Second Reconstruction.
“Amos ‘n’ Andy” was so controversial that in 1951 the NAACP demanded it be taken off the air for its derogatory portrayal of blacks. By 1966, the NAACP won a victory by stopping the show’s reruns from airing.
But at Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Saturday morning forum this week, “Amos ‘n’ Andy” was back in fashion. Chicago talk show personality Cliff Kelley emceed a panel discussion. Warming up the crowd, Kelley placed his arm on the shoulder of Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree and tried a little humor: (video here)
As NewsBusters reported yesterday, CNN guest Tim Wise accused the Supreme Court of racism, saying they "basically called 40 million black folks that [N-word] without saying it" through their rulings on the Voting Rights Act and affirmative action.
Then on Tuesday night, Wise tried to sidestep his words and claim he didn't "exactly" say that, although he did "exactly" say that. "That was what a lot of white conservatives were attacking me for today, basically saying that I had, you know, essentially accused John Roberts of calling 40 million black folks the N-word. That's not exactly what I said," Wise argued on Tuesday's OutFront. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Celebrity chef Paula Deen has been aggressively attacked over the past week for a racial slur that she uttered 30 years ago. Countless media outlets have condemned her, and corporate sponsors have dropped her like a crate of anvils – to the tune of $12.5 million. As her empire has crumbled around her, Deen has apologized multiple times, but that’s still not enough for everyone in the media.
On Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, fill-in host Betty Nguyen brought on entertainment editor Chris Witherspoon of TheGrio.com to discuss the Deen controversy. Nguyen read a statement from Jimmy Carter in which the former president asserted that Deen has already been punished, perhaps overly severely. But Carter’s call for forgiveness did not fully resonate with Witherspoon. When asked for reaction to Carter’s words, he replied: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On CNN's Monday night special "The N Word," guest Tim Wise claimed that the Supreme Court used that racial slur against all black Americans through its rulings on the Voting Rights Act and affirmative action.
"I mean, the reality is, we have a Supreme Court that in the last ten days has just basically called 40 million black folks that word without saying it by restricting or limiting the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and basically ending for all intent and purpose or, at least, limiting in many ways, affirmative action," Wise insisted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Saturday's The Ed Show on MSNBC, as host Ed Schultz ranted about the Supreme Court decision on the 1965 Voting Rights Act, he asserted that "keep[ing] a minority down" was one of the few things that "satisfies the conservative movement." Schultz:
Ever since George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin in February 2012, the liberal media have done their best to make the story about racism. Jason Silverstein of Slate.com continued that pattern Thursday with a 1200-word article that delved into psychoanalysis to try and explain the fateful shooting.
Silverstein cobbled together a number of studies to advance the theory of the “racial empathy gap.” The idea is that white people don’t feel the pain of other races as much as they empathize with other white people. One key study cited in the article found that white people feel more empathy when they see white skin pierced than black skin. Another study found that people generally assume that black people feel less pain than white people.
CNN really showed its bias in reacting to two very different Supreme Court decisions this week. On Tuesday, the Court struck down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act; in the hours that followed, CNN's coverage included four times as many critics of the decision as supporters (8 vs. 2).
Then on Wednesday, the Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and permitted the nullification of California's Proposition 8 banning gay marriage. This time, CNN's coverage skewed in favor of the Court, with roughly three times as many on-air guests supporting that decision as opposing it (20 vs. 7).