Covering the budget debate on Capitol Hill and the conflict in Libya, Andrea Mitchell spun two serious policy issues as examples of race-baiting.
On the April 5 edition of “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” the MSNBC anchor lamented that Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) proposed 2012 budget would ravage black and Hispanic communities.
“Representative Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget, released today, includes reforms, what they call reforms, and also big cuts in housing assistance, job training, and food stamps,” warned Mitchell. “All of which would have a very big impact on particularly poor and minority communities, some say.”
In her April 1 Washington Post story, staffer Krissah Thompson explored how the "mission" and "challenges" of the Congressional Black Caucus have "evolved" from its initial aim "to eradicate racism."
Yet nowhere in Thompson's 23-paragraph article is any mention of how the CBC has denied entry to prospective members on the basis of skin color, such as liberal Democrats Steve Cohen (Tenn.) and Pete Stark (Calif.).
Here's how Politico's Josephine Hearn reported on the controversy surrounding the former in January 2007:
On CBS's Sunday Morning, left-wing commentator Nancy Giles managed to attack Rush Limbaugh while condemning a UCLA student's internet video rant against Asians: "Her monologue was straight out of the Rush Limbaugh playbook from a few months ago....And Rush is a cartoon. In my humble opinion."
Conservative publisher Andrew Breitbart told NewsBusters Friday his less than two week stint as a Huffington Post front page contributor was abruptly terminated as part of an ongoing scheme by liberal media members to depict the Tea Party as racist.
After caving to pressure from the far-left to have Breitbart dumped, HuffPo spokesman Mario Ruiz issued the following statement Thursday:
"My own idiosyncratic bent as a writer, no doubt a legacy of my years spent in the theater, is to look for a narrative in the many competing dramas unfolding on the national stage. I do have strong political views, but opinions are cheap. Anyone could be a critic of the Bush administration. The challenge as a writer was to try to figure out why it governed the way it did -- and how it got away with it for so long -- and, dare I say it, to have fun chronicling each new outrage."
He did admit the column-writing routine “can push you to have stronger opinions than you actually have, or contrived opinions about subjects you may not care deeply about, or to run roughshod over nuance to reach an unambiguous conclusion. Believe it or not, an opinion writer can sometimes get sick of his own voice.”
I must have missed the nuanced period of Rich’s column writing. Here’s just a smattering of Rich’s lowlights, both nonsensical and nasty, since the Times Watch project was launched in early 2003:
Excerpts from a new book have revealed that President Obama once laid claim to building ‘a race-neutral administration’. When asked whether race drives decision-making in the White House, the President responded, “You just don’t think about it, you really don’t.” Shortly thereafter, he thought about it, telling guests at a private White House function that race was likely a key component of rising opposition from conservatives – particularly the Tea Party movement – calling it a ‘subterranean agenda’.
Far from being race-neutral, the Obama administration has been race-driven, ushering in an era of unprecedented prejudiced rhetoric and actions. The most recent example of this being Attorney General Eric Holder, a man assigned with representing the people, defending the Justice Department’s weak efforts in the voting rights case against members of the New Black Panther Party, claiming that the pursuit of justice would be “a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line… for my people.”
Equal Opportunity statements prohibit organizations from discriminating based on such factors as race, religion, and national origin, among other things. But one could submit that Barack Obama and his administration have made a career of governing with those factors specifically driving the decision making process. Could anything less have been expected from a man who spent over two decades listening to the sermons of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a man who once decried a world ‘where white folk’s greed runs a world in need’?
The New York Times's weekly “Sunday Routine” feature is billed as “Prominent New Yorkers recount their weekend rituals.” This Sunday it featured Al Sharpton being interviewed by David Halbfinger. Halbfinger’s introduction gave no hint of why Sharpton is considered by non-Times readers as a controversial figure.
Unmistakable and formidable, if a physically reduced version of the man he once was, the Rev. Al Sharpton, 56, uses Sundays as his “half-down day.” It’s a workday, for sure -- including two hourlong radio broadcasts -- but it also offers chances for decompression, companionship, exercise, sending texts and posting on Twitter. A Brooklyn native, Mr. Sharpton lives in a two-bedroom apartment in the West 70s in Manhattan.
That bias by omission permeates the paper’s historical coverage of Sharpton, which has consistently labeled him a “civil rights advocate,” while ignoring his (literally) racially incendiary past: the racially charged Tawana Brawley rape hoax; his ranting against “diamond merchants” (Jews) in 1991; the Harlem protest against what he called a “white interloper," during which a fellow protester burst into the store, shot four employees and set the store on fire, where seven died.
As the mainstream media have reported on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s beliefs, failing to pick up on contradictory claims by its leaders that the Islamist group opposes terrorism, also ignored was the role that the Muslim Brotherhood has long played in fomenting anti-Jew hatred in the Middle East. After Nazi Germany financed and helped build up the previously struggling Brotherhood in the 1930s and 1940s, the group disseminated anti-Jew propaganda and inspired the kind of persecution that sent almost a million Jewish refugees fleeing violence, confiscation of property, and expulsion in Muslim countries between the 1940s and the 1970s. Some even estimate that the land confiscated from Jewish residents in Muslim countries amounts to four times or even five times the total area of the state of Israel. A number of Muslim countries saw their Jewish populations almost completely erased, including Egypt where the number dwindled from about 100,000 Jews to only a couple of hundred.
Even somewhat recently, Brotherhood leaders have made such incendiary statements as praising Adolf Hitler to declaring that Muslims should stop fighting each other and fight against Israel instead. As previously documented by NewsBusters, an interview on CNN's Parker-Spitzer helped reveal the tendency of Muslim Brotherhood leaders to twist the meaning of words, as one leader claimed that the group opposes terrorism and violence but then suggested that Palestinian militants are not engaged in terrorism against Israel but instead "resistance," which he rationalized. He also refused to give a straight answer on whether the group would support adherence to Egypt’s treaty with Israel.
But on the January 31 NBC Nightly News, not picking up on Muslim Brotherhood wordplay, correspondent Richard Engel claimed, "The Muslim Brotherhood denounces terrorism, but supports Islamic law, is anti-Israel, and opposes U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East."
On Friday’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC host O’Donnell seemed to channel his predecessor, Keith Olbermann, as he ridiculously suggested racism in an RNC ad which accused President Obama of being beholden to organized labor, a charge often made against Democrats for many years in the past.
But, as he began an interview with guest Jennifer Granholm, former Democratic governor of Michigan, O’Donnell wondered, "does that sound to you like they are trying to consciously or subconsciously deliver the racist message that, of course, of course a black man can’t be the real boss?"
A Friday New York Times editorial, “The Thomas Issue,” furthered the paper’s fevered crusade against Justice Clarence Thomas, piggybacking on Adam Liptak’s front-page Sunday story on the vital matter of Thomas’s failure to ask questions during Supreme Court oral argument.
The Times actually argued that Thomas should speak up more to ensure the public that he is open-minded, while claiming that Thomas's five-year “milestone” of silence (one first marked in the Times) “has stirred a wide conversation about his effectiveness as a justice.” Stirred up solely by the Times, by the available evidence.
When the Supreme Court hears arguments next week, it will mark the fifth anniversary of Justice Clarence Thomas’s silence during oral argument -- unless he chooses to re-enter the give-and-take. We hope he will.
This milestone has stirred a wide conversation about his effectiveness as a justice following another about his ethics. They are actually related. How Justice Thomas comports himself on the bench is a matter of ethics and effectiveness, simultaneously. His authority as a justice and the court’s as an institution are at issue.
As NewsBusters previously reported, a left-wing blogger last Saturday racially attacked Herman Cain calling him a "monkey" and a "minstrel."
On Thursday, Fox News's Sean Hannity and Juan Williams had a fabulous discussion about the prevalence of bigotry towards all black conservatives from supposedly open-minded, colorblind liberals (absolutely must-see videos follow in two parts with transcript and commentary):
Tuesday's "Morning Joe" featured guest Daisy Khan, wife of Imam Rauf who tried to establish a mosque two blocks away from the site of the 9/11 terror attacks. The panel praised Khan and her husband as peace-making moderates, and arrogantly questioned why more Americans couldn't accept the mosque at Ground Zero.
"America is the beacon of the world," co-host Mika Brzezinski said echoing Khan's earlier words affirming American freedom. "And yet, we had such a controversy about the community center that you and your husband were trying to start blocks away from Ground Zero," she added, questioning the American "understanding" of the center.
"One of the most depressing things to me was the fact that in 2010, Americans seemed to be less accepting of Muslim Americans than they were even in the months after 9/11," co-host Joe Scarborough lamented from his soapbox. "Why do you think we Americans had such a reaction – again, in New York, a place that's supposed to be the most open-minded and pluralistic?" he asked guest Lesley Jane Seymour, editor-in-chief of More magazine.
Editor's Note:In the last 24 hours, State Senator Leland Yee (D-CA) has incriminated Rush Limbaugh for a racist fax sent to him by an unidentified individual which allegedly read, "Rush Limbaugh will kick your Ch--k ass and expose you for the fool you are.”
NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell issued the following statement regarding the media reaction to this charge:
During his (in)famous "Psycho Talk" segment of his Thursday evening MSNBC show, host Ed Schultz played the clip of Rick Santorum's interview with Terry Jeffrey of CNSNews.com where Santorum challenged President Obama's plea of ignorance on the question of when a person receives the right to life. Schultz, himself a loud-mouth liberal radio talk show host prone to crazy talk branded Santorum's comments as "psycho talk."
Rick Santorum said the following about Barack Obama and abortion in the interview: "The question is--and this is what Barack Obama didn't want to answer--is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well, if that person, human life, is not a person, then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, no, we are going to decide who are people and who are not people."
He later followed up his comments with a statement comparing abortion with slavery, and said he is "disappointed that President Obama, who rightfully fights for civil rights, refuses to recognize the civil rights of the unborn in this country."
In an interview with CNSNews.com last week, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) referenced President Obama's African-American heritage last week and "found it remarkable" that he could be pro-abortion. Santorum, later clarifying his comments under media scrutiny, said he meant he is dismayed that a President who "rightfully" fights for civil rights ignores the civil rights of the unborn in America.
Santorum, speaking of President Obama's position on abortion, said in the interview "the question is--and this is what Barack Obama didn't want to answer--is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well, if that person, human life, is not a person, then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, no, we are going to decide who are people and who are not people."
The media picked up on the comment and, without publishing what Santorum said leading up to the segment, questioned if he had racial motivations. Jennifer Epstein's Politico piece was headlined "Rick Santorum plays race card on President Obama." Epstein labeled Santorum's remark "eyebrow-raising."
Editor's Note: In the wake of the CNSNews.com interview with potential presidential hopeful Rick Santorum and his criticism of President Obama’s support for abortion rights, numerous major news outlets including Politico, National Journal, the Wall Street Journal, and the Daily Beast have accused Santorum of playing the “race card” while discussing human life and personhood protected by the Constitution.
Santorum said this: "The question is, and this is what Barack Obama didn’t want to answer: Is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well, if that human life is not a person, then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say ‘now we are going to decide who are people and who are not people.’”
What follows is NewsBusters publisher/Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell's reaction to the media attacks on the former Pennsylvania senator.
This has nothing to do with a supposed "race card." This isn’t even just about Rick Santorum. The media whirlwind whipped up on these accusations are nothing more than the continuation of an ugly and dishonest attempt to distort, delegitimize and damn conservative principles and conservative leaders.
Anyone who actually watched this interview can see that Santorum paralleled what many pro-life leaders have compared in the past. Just ask Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Day Gardner, Rev. Childress or any number of other black leaders who have also called abortion the civil rights issue of our day.
If Barack Obama is going to win re-election, he's going to have to count on massive, overwhelming, support from his base. And what better way to gin up that base than by accusing Republicans of Jim Crow racism?
Rush Limbaugh played an amazing montage today of a series of Dems using the "discrimination" talking point in describing Republican opposition to ObamaCare. Ed Schultz took the notion a giant step further on his MSNBC show this evening, flatly claiming that GOP opposition amounts to a "pre-civil rights attitude." Got that, base? Opposing ObamaCare = George Wallace at the schoolhouse door. Welcome to the new era of civility!
MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell hosted Johnson Publishing CEO Desiree Rogers on her 1 p.m. EST show Tuesday to discuss the causes and effects of violent political rhetoric. Johnson publishes Ebony magazine, an African-American publication, the current issue of which features articles measuring the level of racist speech within the Tea Party and questioning Obama's toughness in dealing with such vitriol.
Mitchell called the articles "provocative" and "recommended" reading. She also asked Rogers if she thought the racist political rhetoric has reached its highest levels now that an African-American is President.
"Some very provocative articles here about whether [President Obama] is tough enough and whether or not the politics that we've been seeing – Tea Party politics, and the like – really reach a new level of white supremacism, of anti-African-American rhetoric," Mitchell summarized the recent issue of Ebony.
Appearing as a guest on Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, Matt Taibbi - contributing editor of Rolling Stone magazine - ridiculously accused Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Tea Party activists of racism in the form of using "coded language" to refer to "Mexican immigrants and non-white inner city, Democratic-leaning voters" as he responded to a soundbite of Boehner talking about having a social safety net for those unable to work, but that should perhaps exclude those who refuse to help themselves.
After host Keith Olbermann played a clip of the House Speaker contending, "But do we have a responsibility to help those who won't compete? I would have serious doubts about that," Taibbi found it "amazing" that Boehner "would say it so openly," and went on to suggest that the House Speaker was showing signs of racism, tying in Tea Party activists. Taibbi:
It's amazing that he would say it so openly, but I know when I go to cover Tea Party events, I almost inevitably end up talking to people who are on Medicare or collecting unemployment insurance or government pensions, but they're railing against government welfare. I say, "Well, do you see any contradiction there?" "No, I deserve this. I work hard. It's those other people."
And we know who they mean when they say "other people." It's Mexican immigrants and non-white, inner city, Democratic-leaning voters. So that's, it's coded language when he uses that kind of language.
On Saturday’s Fox News Watch, liberal FNC analyst Alan Colmes asserted that the Tea Party was a "bunch of angry white guys who went around and put up racist signs." As a debate ensued pitting Colmes against the other three panel members, he later defiantly asked, "How many blacks did they elect?" leading Jim Pinkerton of the New America Foundation to fire back: "The Tea Partiers elected two - Allen West and Tim Scott, Florida and South Carolina."
Host Jon Scott began the segment by assuming that the liberal Colmes would not have any complaints about the mainstream media’s coverage of the elections. After Colmes voiced his approval of the media, Scott sarcastically posed: "For instance, the Tea Party. Tea Party always got favorable coverage, right? Or fair coverage?"
Colmes then unleashed on the Tea Party: "Oh, they got, look, the Tea Party was a bunch of angry white guys who went around and put up racist signs at these at, these events on lawn chairs who had nothing better to do on weekends than sit on lawn chairs with signs suggesting Obama was a Muslim who wasn’t born in this country."
Appearing as a panel member on Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews Show, Time columnist Joe Klein predicted that the Tea Party will be the "biggest losers" next year after he agreed with MSNBC’s Howard Fineman that the conservative movement represented the "biggest winners" this year. Klein: "I'm going to go with the Tea Party, with the caveat that even though they were the biggest winners of this year because they set the debate, they're going to be the biggest losers of next year because they're going to have to vote."
A bit earlier, after Fineman accused Nevada Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle of running a "frankly racist ad about immigration against Hispanics," and alluded to the Republican Party’s challenge of winning Hispanic voters in the future, Klein predicted that opponents of the Dream Act would "suffer" as he chimed in: "I'm going to go with the Tea Party, with the caveat that even though they were the biggest winners of this year because they set the debate, they're going to be the biggest losers of next year because they're going to have to vote."
On Monday’s Tavis Smiley show on PBS, during a discussion with author Robert Putnam to discuss his book American Grace, after Putnam recounted the central thesis that various religions in America - and even non-religious people - tend to tolerate each other well compared to other countries, host Smiley made known his view that tolerance is "decreasing" in America and cited attitudes toward Muslims as a recent example. Smiley:
I'm not so sure that our religiosity these days makes us as tolerant as we think we are. Witness, you know, any number of examples of late - namely, Muslims come to mind - about how our tolerance is, it seems to me, decreasing, not increasing.
Moments later, the PBS host brought up the negative views of America held by some as being a nation that is "arrogant," "elitist," "pompous," and "nationalistic." As he analyzed the book’s title by defining the word "grace" as being "unmerited favor," Smiley continued:
And if American grace is then an unmerited favor, I’m trying to juxtapose that grace with what some see as our increasing arrogance, our increasing elitism, how it is that we could be the beneficiaries of this unmerited favor, this grace, and yet, around the world, we don’t appear to be graceful to so many other people. They see us as arrogant, elitist pompous, and not even just patriotic, but increasingly nationalistic.
On Friday’s Inside Washington on PBS, during a discussion of President Obama’s failure to secure passage of the Dream Act in the Senate, after panel member Evan Thomas of Newsweek asserted that "stupid politics" was behind the bill’s defeat, host Gordon Peterson brought up a quip by humorist Jimmy Tingle that "if they all looked like Norwegians, there’d be no problem."
After introducing the segment with a clip of President Obama speaking favorably of the proposed law that would allow the children of illegal immigrants to obtain legal status and eventual citizenship if they go to college or into the military, host Peterson asked, "Why would you vote against that, Evan?"
Thomas blamed "stupid politics" and complained that the proposal is being "held hostage" by those who want to secure the border first. Thomas: "Stupid politics. I mean, there’s got to be immigration reform. It just hangs over all the head of this. We’ve got to reform, this is a small attempt to cure a small but real problem. But what hangs over it is the need to do a larger reform of the immigration system. We got to find some way to get better control of our borders, we do-"
Peterson interrupted to note that South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham had voiced an unwillingness to vote for "anything until the borders are secure," prompting Thomas to add, "But it’s held hostage."
After the Newsweek columnist recounted the country’s need for more immigrants who are highly skilled, Peterson brought up the Jimmy Tingle comment about Norwegians as he turned to liberal columnist and panel member Mark Shields. Peterson: "Jimmy Tingle said if they all looked like Norwegians, there’d be no problem, Mark."
If you were Haley Barbour's political consultant, and he had indicated his intention to make his reported remarks about the White Citizens Council, would you have counseled him to reconsider? I sure would have.
That said, there was a hypocritical double-standard on display by the Morning Joe folks who turned Haley slowly over a spit today. Hat tip NB reader Ray R.
Eugene Robinson took the lead in belting Barbour for sending his children to private schools in Mississippi rather than to local public schools attended by black children. Joe Scarborough chimed in with his Mississippi-childhood recollections of such post-integration private academies springing up. Mike Barnicle did his bit, contributing the tale of whites in South Boston pulling their kids out of integrated public schools in favor of parochial and private ones.
One thing was missing from the conversational mix, however: any reference to the tradition of Dems in DC--from Bill and Hillary, to the Gores, to of course the Obamas--sending their kids [or in the case of the Bidens, grandkids] to tony private schools like Sidwell Friends rather than to the heavily African-American public DC schools.
Al Sharpton said Thursday he spoke to the Federal Communications Commission about holding public hearings next year that Rush Limbaugh would be forced to attend to explain so-called "racist" statements he's made on the air.
Chatting with MSNBC's Ed Schultz, Sharpton said he had a "very good meeting on Tuesday" with FCC officials and that "some of the commissioners" were interested enough in following up on his concerns that this could come to fruition in the coming months (video follows with transcript and commentary):
New York Times writer David Leonhardt is not happy with a judge’s ruling a vital part of Obama-care – the individual insurance mandate – is unconstitutional. In his latest front-page “Economic Scene” column, “In Health Law, Old Arguments Get New Airing,” the paper’s neo-liberal conscience on economic matters compared conservative opposition to Obama-care not only to past opposition to Medicare, but to opposition to civil rights for black Americans.
“We are against forcing all citizens, regardless of need, into a compulsory government program,” said one prominent critic of the new health care law. It is socialized medicine, he argued. If it stands, he said, “one of these days, you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”
The health care law in question was Medicare, and the critic was Ronald Reagan. He made the leap from actor to political activist, almost 50 years ago, in part by opposing government-run health insurance for the elderly.
Today, the supposed threat to free enterprise is a law that’s broader, if less radical, than Medicare: the bill Congress passed this year to create a system of privately run health insurance for everyone. On Monday, a federal judge ruled part of the law to be unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court will probably need to settle the matter in the end.
We’ve lived through a version of this story before, and not just with Medicare. Nearly every time this country has expanded its social safety net or tried to guarantee civil rights, passionate opposition has followed.
CNN's Roland Martin went on a tirade against Rush Limbaugh on his "Washington Watch" program on TV One on Sunday, labeling the conservative talker a "right-wing blowhard" and "absolute idiot" for pretending not to know anything about the black-oriented TV network. Martin claimed that he was "more fair and sensible" than Limbaugh, but his list of guests alone betrays a definite liberal bias.
The CNN contributor went after the talk show host in his "Call 'Em Out" segment, which lasted just under three minutes during the 11 am Eastern hour program. In a teaser for the segment, Martin trumpeted how "that right-wing blowhard Rush Limbaugh needs some schooling about this show, 'Washington Watch,' and TV One. Trust me, I'm gonna give it to him."
During the actual segment (video available here), the TV One host led with his "absolute idiot" label for Limbaugh and played a clip from the December 6, 2010 edition of the conservative's show, where he needled Martin and his network (audio of Limbaugh available here):
Last January, when a number of white conservatives used words like "arrogant" and "cocky" to refer to President Obama’s State of the Union speech, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann asserted that they really meant Obama was an "uppity" black man: "When racist white guys get together and they don't want to be caught using any of the popular epithets in use every day in this country about black people - and there's a chance one of them, or worse still a white guy who doesn't get it might wander in and hear the conversation, when there's a risk even in saying ‘uppity’ or ‘forgetting his place,’ the racist white guys revert to euphemisms and code words. And among the code words that they think they're getting away with are ‘cocky,’ ‘flippant,’ ‘punk,’ and especially ‘arrogant.’"
On Thursday’s show, reeling from disappointment that President Obama compromised with Republicans to prevent tax increases, Olbermann celebrated a former Hillary Clinton supporter as a "Nostradamus" because, during the 2008 presidential campaign, he gave a speech warning that President Obama would not fight hard enough against Republicans.
But the clip shown also included this Clinton supporter - Tom Buffenbarger of the machinists union - accusing Obama of having his "nose in the air." Buffenbarger also called the then-Senator's supporters "latte-drinking, Prius-driving, Birkenstock-wearing, trust fund babies":
Can two grown men really be this dumb, or is their hatred for conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh so blinding they wouldn't know sarcasm if it punched them in the face?
As tough as it might be to believe, Ed Schultz and Al Sharpton actually took seriously Limbaugh's joke that media outlets criticizing President Obama's tax compromise plan did so because they are racist (video follows with transcript and commentary):