Update: O'Donnell issued a heartfelt apology on his show Wednesday night. Video below the fold.
Did Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC's newest prime time talker, effectively call RNC chairman Michael Steele a black minstrel dancer? It sure seems that way.
I, like Mark Hemingway, am not a fan of "reading racial tea leaves just for political gain," but O'Donnell's statement, made Tuesday night, leaves very little room for interpretation:
As the first congressional election during his party chairmanship approaches, Michael Steele is dancing as fast as he can trying to charm independent voters and Tea Partiers while never losing sight of his real master and paycheck provider, the Republican National Committee.
So a black man is dancing to appeal to voters while still miniding his Republican masters? I'll have to check with Rev. Sharpton, but that sure sounds racist (video embedded below the fold).
There are so many problematic items in the establishment press's treatment of yesterday's "One Nation" rally in Washington that it's difficult to know where to begin.
So let's start at the very beginning. Among the many howlers in the coverage is a claim the Associated Press's Philip Elliott pass without response towards the end of his 12:21 p.m Saturday report (saved here at my web host for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes; bold is mine):
One Nation organizers said that they began planning their event before learning about Beck's rally and that their march is not in reaction to it.
It would appear that either Elliott felt that this statement would easily withstand scrutiny, and thus performed none himself, or that he knew better, and let it get into his report anyway.
Given the fact that so-called progressives have been continually monitoring Beck's activities and pronouncements for several years, One Nation's organizers would have to prove that they began substantively "planning their event" before November 21, 2009. Good luck with that.
CNN's Rick Sanchez lashed out at multiple groups left and right during an interview on satellite radio with comedian Pete Dominick. During the interview, Sanchez slammed Jon Stewart, who has regularly made fun of the anchor, as a "bigot," and stated that the media is run by Jews. But the anchor also went into detail about his hatred of Fox News and falsely claimed that he doesn't smear people himself.
Mediaite, HotAir.com, and Politico on Friday all highlighted Sanchez's anti-Stewart remarks and his questionable statements about Jews. Dominick, on his own website, gave additional details about how the CNN anchor not only targeted apparent prejudice against him from "top brass" at CNN: "Sanchez's example was an illustration that the problem of racism in the media business goes further than many expect, enveloping 'not just the Right,' but also 'elite, Northeast establishment liberals' that 'deep down, when they look at a guy like me, they see a guy automatically who belongs in the second tier, and not the top tier.'" This isn't a surprising characterization from Sanchez, who sees himself as in the "middle" or "not ideological."
Dominick, who once worked with Stewart on The Daily Show, posted three clips from the interview on his website, and 10 minutes into the second clip, the standup comedian tried to explain his trade to the anchor, that comics don't think about people's feelings when they make fun of them, but only think about being funny. Sanchez didn't buy this, and made a claim about how he operates [audio clip available here]:
Appearing as a guest on Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart argued against Maher after the Real Time host linked conservative protesters to images of President Obama with a Hitler moustache, and went on to recount his own observations of left-wing protesters depicting conservatives with Hitler moustaches. This portion of show could be seen on the Web site during the Overtime portion of the show.
Breitbart also recalled the case of conservative activist Kenneth Gladney being physically attacked and called by a racial epithet by left-wing SEIU members, and his own experience of being called "gay" by protesters on the left.
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Friday, September 24, Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO:
Check out the treatise on the state of “white America” from the Village Voice’s Steven Thrasher. In a long-winded Sep. 29 piece full of invective, Thrasher contends that the “white brain, beset with worries, finally goes haywire in spectacular fashion.” Why? He insisted it was because of the election of Obama and a realization “white America” had lost grasp of the control power in the United States. (h/t @DLoesch)
“About 12:01 on the afternoon of January 20, 2009, the white American mind began to unravel,” Thrasher wrote. “It had been a pretty good run up to that point. The brains of white folks had been humming along cogently for near on 400 years on this continent, with little sign that any serious trouble was brewing. White people, after all, had managed to invent a spiffy new form of self-government so that all white men (and, eventually, women) could have a say in how white people were taxed and governed. White minds had also nearly universally occupied just about every branch of that government and, for more than two centuries, had kept sole possession of the leadership of its executive branch (whose parsonage, after all, is called the White House).”
"It is time for stronger remedies to be applied," said abolitionist Wendell Phillips of the Union's effort during the Civil War,"in the form of hot lead and cold steel duly administered by 100,000 black doctors." His vision became a reality as over 180,000 African-Americans (free men and escaped slaves) joined the Union Army to fight against the slave-holding Confederacy.
The story of the first such "colored" regiment to be formed, the 54th Massachusetts, is beautifully retold in director Edward Zwick's 1989 film Glory. That this film didn't even garner an Oscar nomination for best picture - in a year where Driving Miss Daisy took the prize - is puzzling to me. Glory features a first-rate script, wonderful imagery, and a stellar cast led by Matthew Broderick who plays Col. Robert Gould Shaw, the real-life idealistic white officer chosen to lead the regiment. The film is also a feast for the ears as the majestic chorus of the Harlem Boys' Choir permeates the score.
Catching up on an item from the Thursday, September 9, The View on ABC, Barbara Walters was at odds with her co-hosts over the issue of whether racism was the primary motivation of the Arizona illegal immigration law as well as opposition to the Ground Zero mosque. Whoopi Goldberg raised the question of whether "there may be an undercurrent of racism in the USA that’s building up," leading co-host Sherri Shepherd to assert that "you certainly hear racism a lot more, I think, than you ever heard it." Walters soon jumped in to voice dissent:
I think that we're kind of mixing things up. When you say there's more racism now, oh, there's so much less racism than 20 years ago or 50 years ago. ... There is racism in this country. That's not new. There is racism against the President. That's not new. But I disagree with putting the mosque and the Arizona laws. I think the Arizona laws have to do with losing jobs and people coming across the border to get those jobs.
After Goldberg responded, "Then why don't they say that?" Walters continued:
Kate Zernike, New York Times reporter and author of "Boiling Mad," appeared on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" September 10 to discuss her book (hat tip NB commenters TE and SimJim). Around fourteen minutes in, a caller argued that the 1968 campaign for president of Southern segregationist governor George Wallace marked the real roots of the Tea Party movement. Zernike agreed, skipping over concerns about encroaching government and big spending while adding that in the movement there is a feeling of "Us vs. them," with "them" being the poor, blacks, and illegal immigrants.
Kate Zernike: "Thanks for calling. Actually, you will see, you will find a chapter in my book that does goes into the history and actually starts earlier in 1964 with the Goldwater campaign and I think it does lead into Wallace. But I do have a chapter in the book about the history of the Tea Party movement and as I said earlier, we do see roots of this not only in the George Wallace campaign but also in the tax revolts of the seventies and late, and the early-eighties."
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s Joy Behar Show on HLN, film maker Oliver Stone charged that former Vice President Dick Cheney was "a very dangerous man" and "as much of a threat to the idea of America using nuclear weapons as anybody," inspiring Behar to respond, "I agree with you," and charged that Sarah Palin in the White House would be "even worse than Mr. Bush Jr."
He asserted that "I think she's not going to appeal to people who think at all," and, after Behar suggested that most Americans may not think, he added, "Well, if that's the case then America deserves their leaders the way they pick them." He later sought a silver lining in Palin getting elected President: "If they're there, maybe we'll learn our lesson. If we didn't learn it from Bush Jr., we're never going to learn it."
Stone ended up invoking racist and xenophobic movements like the Ku Klux Klan and Know Nothings, presumably linking them to conservative critics of President Obama. Stone: "We have parties of Know Nothings for all our tradition. It goes way back, all kinds of rebellions. In 1923 in Washington, I believe, like, 100,000 Ku Klux Klan people dressed in white sheets walked down main street in Washington D.C., 100,000. The Ku Klux Klan was popular after World War I. That's in the heart of the country with white sheets, right, on horses. That's why the Birth of the Nation was such a popular film."
Tina Brown, the founder and editor of the online publication the "Daily Beast," said Sunday that conservative talk show host Glenn Beck "has become sort of the white Malcolm X."
Chatting with Howard Kurtz on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Brown said of Beck, "I think that he's a fascinating demagogue, actually."
She continued, "It's white racial politics, in a sense, because he's really saying -- a lot of his message is, you know, that Obama is a racist."
And continued, "[Beck] talks about God, but when you drill down to what he's actually saying, he calls [Obama] a Nazi and socialist who's taking over the country. I mean, his language is extremely inflammatory" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Like her reporting for the Times, "Boiling Mad" covers the movement from a mostly hostile perspective that only intermittently becomes something like empathy when she's talking to one of the invariably pleasant Tea Party citizens themselves.
Behind the (of course) red-as-a-Red State-cover lies a mere 194 pages of text, not including a 33-page reprint of an old, biased Times poll on the Tea Party. While not wholly a notebook dump, there's little new, and Zernike evinces little sympathy or feel for conservative concerns. Her expertise is instead finding racism everywhere she looks in Tea Party land.
Even such benign conservative boilerplate as opposition to the minimum wage is racially suspect in Zernike's eyes, as proven in her dispatch for the Times criticizing Glenn Beck's gathering on the National Mall on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington:
Bill Maher on Friday said Barack Obama's problem is "he's only half black." He'd be a better president "if he was fully black."
In the season premiere of HBO's "Real Time," while chatting with former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich, the host said, "Isn't Obama's big problem is that he does everything half-assed? Maybe it's because he's only half black."
Maher continued, "If he was fully black, I'm telling you, he would be a better president."
As if that wasn't enough, "There's a white man in him holding him back because everything is half-assed" (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
Are you getting tired of hearing liberal media members claim the voter anger around the country is all because Barack Obama is black?
RedState Editor and CNN contributor Erick Erickson is, for on Wednesday's "John King USA," he let Dana Bash have it for reiterating this insulting accusation.
"Talking to Democrats, I know you have, privately, will say some of the anger they hear in their districts, they say there's no doubt some of it is latent racism," uttered Bash.
Erickson was having none of if responding, "Oh, good lord...It's the last best trick of a losing Democrat, is to accuse the Republicans of racism."
When Erickson concluded his reply by stating Obama's "world view is fundamentally anti-American," a heated discussion between him and CNN's Roland Martin ensued (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s Larry King Live on CNN, comedian Bill Maher picked up on a recent contention by Newt Gingrich that President Obama is motivated by anti-colonialism which his Kenyan father felt as the Real Time with Bill Maher host smeared the potential 2012 Republican presidential field as racist:
How are they going to out-firebreathe each other? I mean, where this rhetoric has gone to at this point. It’s only 2010, and we’re having Newt Gingrich, as we were talking about before, calling him an anti-colonial Luo tribesman. ... That’s the new Kenyan, Larry. And Kenyan, of course, was code for n*****. But that’s where they are. They can’t say it out loud. But that’s where this whole campaign is going to be. You asked about racism. It’s all about racism. They cannot fathom this idea that there is a black President. And that’s what they are going to fight about.
Maher also declared that, while he personally likes Delaware GOP senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell because she is a "nice person" who used to be a frequent guest on his Politically Incorrect show in the 1990s, that he was also cheering for her and other "tea baggers" to win GOP primaries, declaring that "she's going to get her Christian ass kicked in the general election."
And, as the topic turned to the Ground Zero mosque, while Maher acknowledged that there is a substantial amount of Islamic extremism in the world, he believed using the military against it makes it worse, and suggested that, because 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has already been captured, America should declare victory and New Yorkers should "forget about it." Referring to the 9/11 mastermind, Maher declared:
Do the math. Instead of someone with the last name Rodriguez telling the tale of noble, sympathetic Hispanics victimized by white American southern rednecks - all of whom are portrayed as murderous racists, what if we had a white filmmaker telling the tale of noble and sympathetic Texas border ranchers victimized by marauding, racist, gold-toothed unwashed Mexicans out to steal their land? Oh, and we would close our story with a stand-up-and-cheer race war where Texas ranchers unite to violently mow down evil Mexicans.
The same Left whose standards are so low that opposition to ObamaCare, same-sex marriage, and the Ground Zero Mosque can only be driven by a "phobia" or "ist" - the same PC Left that hides "silly" old Bugs Bunny cartoons and can't broadcast a season of "24″ without including a patronizing Don't Be Racist to Muslims PSA - sees the vicious portrayal of white Texans in "Machete" as nothing more than a silly goof. I guess it's easy to convince yourself of that when your principles are based on an agenda as opposed to any sense of consistency or intellectual honesty.
Are you sick and tired of being called a racist because you don't agree with Barack Obama's policies?
If you are, you shouldn't read any further, for Cynthia Tucker this weekend claimed the voter anger that threatens the Democrat majorities in the House and the Senate is all a function of racism.
With the opening segment of the syndicated program "The Chris Matthews Show" focusing on the strong position the GOP has going into the midterm elections, Tucker said, "We haven't talked about the elephant in the room, and I don't mean the Republicans: race. Changing demographics. Fear of a white minority."
She disgustingly continued as host Chris Matthews agreed, "Obama's election has suddenly made many white Americans aware of the loss of a white majority. That's what this crazy summer has been all about" (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
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.
New York Times reporter Kate Zernike, whose book on the Tea Party movement,"Boiling Mad," is due out next month, led off Saturday's National section by suggesting racism on the part of Fox News host Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally at the Lincoln Memorial later that day.
Beck has outraged the left with the timing of the rally, the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington and the "I Have a Dream" speech.
Although Zernike and others in the media use "Tea Party faithful" as shorthand to mark the rally, the actual gathering on Saturday turned out to be far more religious than political, with Zernike herself likening it to a "large church picnic" in her Sunday coverage.
It seems the ultimate thumb in the eye: that Glenn Beck would summon the Tea Party faithful to a rally on the anniversary of the March on Washington, and address them from the very place where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I have a dream" speech 47 years ago. After all, the Tea Party and its critics have been facing off for months over accusations of racism.
Want a tutorial in the hypocrisy, vitriol and deep unhappiness of the American left? You don't need to subject yourself to MSNBC, or wade through the muck of Daily Kos. Actor John Cusack's Twitter feed is a clearing house for liberal memes and nasty rhetoric.
Here's his peaceful entry from Aug. 29 [All spelling from original Tweets, but Cusack admits: "I type with I phone fast and loose with no spellcheck."]:
Johncusack: I AM FOR A SATANIC DEATH CULT CENTER AT FOX NEWS HQ AND OUTSIDE THE OFFICES ORDICK ARMEYAND NEWT GINGRICH-and all the GOP WELFARE FREAKS
Presumably, this is a reference to the controversy over the Ground Zero Mosque. And "all the GOP WELFARE FREAKS" seems to follow on this theme:
Johncusack: taht's the gop philospy.. gourge the stae while claiming to be rugged individuaist who live by the free market - biggest joke there is..
Johncusack: think of our the us treasury as the last frontier to be stripped mined if only pesky gov itelf wasn't in the way.
But elsewhere, Cusack said Glenn Beck (at his "Restoring Honor" rally) was "unifying whites -class war of blame and fear" and said Beck was starting a "class war to capitallize on economy they destroyed" - a strange accusation from a man that claims the GOP wants to gut the treasury. And what liberal rant would be complete without the leftist's two favorite pejorative? Beck's tactics, he wrote were "strraigjt fr tfriendly racist playbiook." A minute later, Cusack added, "Sorry frendly fascist playbook."
Howard Dean pulled off the rare twin-trashing this morning, dumping on both Glenn Beck and the people who respond to his message. He began by calling Beck crazy, saying he has "a few things the matter with him up here, up in the head there." Later, he compounded the calumny, calling Beck a "racist" and a "hate-monger." So who were the hundreds of thousands of people who attended the rally and the millions more who watch and listen to Beck? Why, according to Dean, they're "lost souls."
New York Times columnist Charles Blow had set the vitriolic tone during the show's first hour, accusing Beck of "hiding behind a cross" and participating in a "rhetorical assassination" of Pres. Obama.
On Thursday's The Ed Show on MSNBC, substitute host Cenk Uygur -- also of the Young Turks -- blamed conservative opposition to the Ground Zero mosque for acts of violence against Muslims, and charged that the Republican party is the "party of hate." He soon added: "Then there's the vitriolic fight against immigrants, undocumented ones and in Arizona just people who happen to look undocumented. And, of course, there's the grand daddy of all prejudice, fear and hatred stoked up against Muslims in this country. Now, it's gotten so bad that a young man stabbed a cabbie in the neck and face Tuesday after finding out that he was Muslim."
He eventually asked: "What black person, gay guy or girl, immigrant or Muslim-American in their right mind would vote for the Republican party? They might as well hang a sign around their neck saying I hate myself."
Uygur also recited a list of violent events from the past couple of years, while also running clips of conservatives like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Bill O’Reilly in an attempt to prove that they were responsible for inciting specific violent incidents. At one point, he even used edited clips of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann in such a way as to suggest that they had encouraged people to shoot Muslims or other minorities.
After recounting recent episodes of violence against Muslims, he tied in Palin and Bachmann:
On Sunday’s Good Morning America, during a report which focused on FNC host Glenn Beck’s "Restoring Honor" rally and the negative reaction from civil rights activists like the Reverend Al Sharpton, ABC correspondent Tahman Bradley declared that "the crowd was almost all white, giving critics an open door."
It was after recounting that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece – Dr. Alveda King – was a speaker at the rally, Bradley noted the racial makeup of Beck’s event:
TAHMAN BRADLEY: Dr. King's own niece, Alveda King, spoke.
DR. ALVEDA KING, NIECE OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: We need to rebuild America.
BRADLEY: An obvious effort to try to show inclusion on this historic day, but the crowd was almost all white, giving critics an open door.
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: We're not giving them this day. This is our day, and we ain't giving it away.
And similar to reports on the rally that aired on GMA on Friday and Saturday, ABC used such labels as "controversial" and "conservative" to label Beck or his followers, but did not use ideological labels to refer to Sharpton, nor was the left-wing activist’s own controversial history mentioned. For example, in the opening teaser, substitute host Ron Claiborne asserted that the rally was "led by controversial conservatives Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin."
On Saturday’s Good Morning America on ABC, during an interview with Dr. Alveda King – a niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. known for her pro-life activism – substitute host Ron Claiborne challenged her to defend her participation in conservative talker Glenn Beck’s "Restoring Honor" rally in two out of the three questions he posed to her. The ABC host asked if she was "comfortable aligning yourself" with Beck – considered "inflammatory and divisive" by "many people." After failing to get Dr. King to criticize the conservative talker, Claiborne seemed to appeal to her to "understand at least" why some agree with Democratic Congressman John Lewis’s assessment of the Beck rally as an "affront" to the Civil Rights Movement. Claiborne's second and third questions:
Many people call Glenn Beck's political views and style inflammatory and divisive. Are you comfortable, are you comfortable aligning yourself with someone who once called President Obama a racist?
Well, Congressman John Lewis, who, of course, stood beside your uncle 47 years ago and marched many times for civil rights, has said that Beck's rally is an affront to what the Civil Rights Movement stood for. When you hear that kind of talk, can you understand, at least, how some people could interpret it that way?
The interview with Dr. King came right after a report filed by correspondent Claire Shipman which, similarly to her report from Friday’s GMA, assigned such labels at "right-wing" and "controversial" to Beck, while the Reverend Al Sharpton’s own controversial history was not mentioned, nor was his liberal ideology.
On Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews show, during a discussion of a poll reporting that a majority of self-described Republicans expressed a negative view of Islam, as Time magazine’s Joe Klein recounted incidents of recent violence in America by Muslim extremists, host Matthews asked if "this [anti-Muslim] attitude against them" was to blame for "stirring them up," leading Klein to agree that anti-Muslim attitudes played a role:
JOE KLEIN, TIME MAGAZINE: You’ve had over the last year, two or three major incidents of deranged Muslims, the Army doctor down at Fort Hood, the Times Square bomber, who were Americans, American citizens.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: And what’s stirring them up? This attitude against them?
KLEIN: Yeah. But I also think that there’s a small minority of Muslims in the world who believe this extremist philosophy.
After Matthews questioned whether opposition to the Ground Zero mosque and "apocalyptic talk by people like Glenn Beck" exist because the President is black, Klein painted small-town white Americans as resentful that modern America no longer has the "ethnic purity" of the past, with Matthews responding, "Well said.":
On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann tied together Republican opposition to same-sex marriage, the Ground Zero mosque, and illegal immigration, as he charged that "the Republican method" for electoral success is "hate." The MSNBC host opened the show: "The Republican method for winning elections is hate. Hate somebody. Anybody will do. We have seen it this year with immigrants and now, Muslims. And now, in our fifth story tonight: for the first time, we have a former head of the Republican party confirming that, yes, his party does it. They do it to win and did it in 2004 and 2006 against gay Americans. He said this even though he himself is no longer denying that he, too, is gay."
Without evidence, Olbermann also blamed the stabbing of New York City cab driver Ahmed Sharif on those who oppose construction of a mosque near Ground Zero. Although he later admitted that the mosque was not mentioned by the suspect, the MSNBC host suggested a link as he teased the show:
Dylan Ratigan's "Daily Rant" segment was a treasure trove of controversial statements today. You be the judge of which statement rates higher on the controversy-meter:
Ratigan's claim that the "default position" in the USA is to incarcerate black men rather than educate them; or
Blogger Keli Goff's suggestion that to end the cycle of poverty among African-Americans, and to avoid burdening taxpayers, kids should be taught in school that not everyone should have children.
Ratigan's rather-imprison-than-educate African-Americans accusation is refuted by the facts, starting with the fact that the school district that spends more per pupil than any other in the USA is . . . that of the federally-funded District of Columbia, whose students are predominantly African-American.
As for the suggestion from Keli Goff [a youthful veteran of various Dem political campaigns], can you imagine the outrage and the accusations of eugenics if a conservative blogger, particularly one of pallor, proposed that kids be taught not to have children as a solution, among other things, for reducing the burden of African-Americans on taxpayers?
Scarborough predicted on Thursday that if the Mississippi governor is the Republican Presidential nominee in 2012, the media would smear him as a racist white man from the South running against the first black president. He particularly stated that "certain networks" would "maul" Barbour if he runs, resulting in an awkward moment on the set.
Could Scarborough possibly have meant MSNBC in that cast?