Amidst the innumerable excuses we're bound to hear for Martha Coakley's defeat, credit Keith Olbermann with likely the most loathsome. The Countdown host would explain away the Scott Brown victory by accusing his supporters of . . . racism. [H/t reader Will H.]
Olbermann floated his despicable theory to Howard Fineman: "the Republicans and the Tea Partiers will tell you what happens with Scott Brown tonight whether he wins or comes close is a repudiation of Obama policies. And surely one of Obama's policies from the viewpoint of his opponents is it's OK to have this sea-change in American history—to have an African-American president. Is this vote to any degree just another euphemism the way 'states rights' was in the '60s?"
I was hoping Howard would have the honesty and guts to immediately tell Olbermann where to go. To the contrary, Fineman initially played along: "wow, that is a good question." But by the end of the segment Fineman screwed his courage to the sticking point and proclaimed that he didn't see racism as a big factor.
On MSNBC's "New York Times edition" Friday afternoon, host John Harwood, who also writes about politics for the Times, called talk show host Rush Limbaugh's comments about Obama using the Haiti earthquake to appeal to black voters "pretty disgusting," about twenty minutes into the show.
Harwood then put Times columnist Ross Douthat on the spot as its "man of the right" to explain Limbaugh if he wished (Douthat didn't). Liberal Times columnist Charles Blow followed up by calling Rush "a particularly vile human being."
The source of the Times's ire? Limbaugh's comments on his radio show that "This'll play right into Obama's hands, humanitarian, compassionate. They'll use this to burnish their, shall we say, credibility with the black community in, both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country."
After working days to deny that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said something patently racist, the media realized the story wouldn't die, and have now begun looking for fresh angles that can mitigate the damage.
On Wednesday, CNN.com fell back on a favorite strategy of claiming that even though it was a racist remark, it shouldn't be surprising because everybody does it. Writer Wayne Drash trotted out research from a race-obsessed professor to prove that most white people routinely make racist comments whenever minorities aren't around.
Drash kicked off his report with the headline "When Talk of Race Goes Behind Closed Doors." Having no time for pretense, he threw out a bomb in the first sentence and commenced with sharp accusations against white Americans:
On Monday’s The O’Reilly Factor on FNC, during the show’s regular "Reality Check" segment, host Bill O’Reilly highlighted the double standard exhibited by President Barack Obama and other prominent Democrats in the way they reacted so strongly to former Republican Senator Trent Lott’s praise of former Senator Strom Thurmond at his birthday celebration in 2002, and the President's recent more forgiving words about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s "Negro dialect" remark. O’Reilly quoted Obama’s unforgiving statement from 2002 regarding Lott, and then showed his recent statement giving Reid a pass. The FNC host also showed quotes of Democratic Senators Mary Landrieu and Debbie Stabenow from the Lott episode and noted their current unwillingness to comment on Reid.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, January 11, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC:
New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny used an old interview with Barack Obama to defend Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's "Negro" comment in his Tuesday "White House Memo," "Reid's Words On Race Carry Hints Of Obama's."
Zeleny already sounds a little tired of the story about besieged Democrat leader Reid, whose 2010 reelection efforts may have gotten even harder after being quoted in "Game Change," a new book by reporters John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, saying Obama had the advantage of "no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."
Senator Harry Reid's comments about Barack Obama's race -- and its positive implications for his presidential run in 2008 -- have been well aired by now.
The weekend fallout has largely devolved into a familiar Democrat vs. Republican argument focusing on the political consequences for Mr. Reid, the Senate Democratic leader who is scraping through a tough re-election fight at home in Nevada.
On Monday’s Anderson Cooper 360, CNN’s Anderson Cooper extensively questioned authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann about their new book “Game Change” on subjects other than Sarah Palin, unlike his earlier interview of the writers on 60 Minutes. Most of the two segments from the interview dealt with Bill and Hillary Clinton’s role in the 2008 presidential election and in the Obama transition.
During the first segment, which began 20 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour, Cooper only briefly touched on Senator Harry Reid’s “Negro dialect” comment about President Obama, asking one question on the topic. For the remaining five minutes of the segment, and for the additional five minutes of the second segment, the CNN anchor questioned Halperin and Heilemann about several episodes involving the Clintons during the Democratic presidential primary race, and about Obama choosing Hillary Clinton to be secretary of state. These ten minutes on his CNN program is practically the same amount of time Cooper devoted to the subject of Sarah Palin during his 60 Minutes interview of the authors.
Cooper revisited the race issue when he raised the subject of Bill Clinton’s “coffee remark” to Ted Kennedy about then Senator Obama during the second segment minutes later:
Yesterday, Fox News Channel's Bret Baier picked up on a statement NewsBusters Publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell made about "60 Minutes" failing to note Harry Reid's controversial "Negro dialect" remark, even as the news magazine program devoted plenty of time to other revelations from the just-published book "Game Change".
It's utterly shameless for CBS to cover this book, and ignore the scoops about the racially charged comments of Harry Reid and Bill Clinton, but devote a very slanted 10 minutes to more of the same old McCain aides slashing Sarah Palin.
Does the name Jeremiah Wright ring a bell with Mika Brzezinski?
The Morning Joe co-host sought today to explain the pass Pres. Obama gave Harry "negro dialect" Reid by claiming that PBO has "worked to transcend racial issues for decades." The skeptical look on Joe Scarborough's face [see still after jump] as Mika uttered her assertion was priceless.
Let's take a stroll down memory lane with Rev. Wright [h/t Bump Shack], and consider that as far as the record shows, PBO never uttered a peep as his pastor made the following remarks, and to the contrary chose this man to wed him and Michelle and baptize his children:
On Monday, a far-left leaning black college professor stated what few in the liberal media dare: if a white Republican said what Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did about presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008, it would be huge news.
Speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson elaborated, "They would be making hay out of it, calling for his resignation. I think we're hypocrites and we're morally weak here."
Later on in the morning, Dyson took on Obama's handling of the issue saying, "This president runs from race like a black man runs from a cop" (videos embedded below the fold with partial transcripts):
The Los Angeles Times has been doing its best to dismiss Senator Harry Reid's racist remark about Preisdent Obama as a minor transgression while portraying Republicans calling for his resignation as political attack dogs. This coverage stands in stark contrast to the paper's coverage of the controversy surrounding former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott in 2002 (h/t Patterico).
"GOP opens fire on Harry Reid," read a Los Angeles Times headline yesterday. The article said the Senator was "pummeled" by the GOP, that Republicans had "called for the senator's head," and that Reid was now "in [the GOP's] cross hairs." (The latest version of the story does not include the last quote.)
Contrast this Times story to the paper's own coverage of Trent Lott's remarks in 2002 and Democrats' calls for him to step down as Majority Leader. The Times portrayed the uproar over his remarks not as an attack, but rather as a spontaneous, impalpable furor. The uproar was a "spiraling controversy" or a "growing clamor." "Outrage Grows Over Lott Remarks" read one headline.
On Saturday's Fox News Watch, panel member and FNC correspondent Douglas Kennedy referred to Tea Party members as the "Tea Bag movement," prompting admonishment from host Jon Scott who pointed out that he was using the "pejorative" term. In the next segment, Kennedy went on to accuse Tea Party members of anti-Semitism and linked Obama/Hitler posters to Tea Party members, leading panel member Jim Pinkerton to remind viewers that an Obama/Hitler poster sometimes attributed in the media to conservative Tea Party members had actually been brought to a protest by left-wing supporters of Lyndon LaRouche – who ran for President in the past as a Democrat:
DOUGLAS KENNEDY: You know, just tell them to leave the swastikas home and the pictures of Hitler, and the, you know, they might gain a little more popularity.
JIM PINKERTON: The pictures of Hitler brought in by Lyndon LaRouche people, you know, who are actually, Lyndon LaRouche ran as a Democrat seven times.
KENNEDY: Yeah, but there's anti-Semitism and-
Panel member Judy Miller then jumped in and predicted that the Tea Party movement would help liberals by splitting the Republican party, prompting Kennedy to divulge some over-the-top wishful thinking:
Update (Ken Shepherd, Managing Editor, 11:30 p.m. EST): A few minutes ago, Ebert tweeted the following apology on his Twitter feed: "I feel bad about my cheap Limbaugh jokes. Sincere apologies to Rush and you folks. He said he was fine but that's no excuse." # # #
In a demonstration of Hollywood's quintessentially intolerant hatred of conservatives, film critic Roger Ebert took to the Twitterverse on Saturday to mock Rush Limbaugh and his sudden trip to a Hawaii hospital (h/t Big Hollywood headlines).
Ebert was hardly alone in rejoicing Limbaugh's hospital visit--and distressed when he was given a clean bill of health. Liberals nationwide let loose the vitriol, some--including members of the hate-stricken mobs at Daily Kos and DU, as reported by P.J. Gladnick--simply wished he would expire.
For his part, Ebert fell short of calling for Limbaugh's death, and offered only lame fat jokes and implications of racism. Some of the juicier tweets:
In keeping with the tradition of the holidays - the minds at MSNBC, the place for politics if you're of the lefty persuasion, decided rate the top 10 political stories of the decade.
And leading this gang of masters of the political journalism universe was "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, who on the broadcast of his Dec. 24 program, announced that conservative activism, mainly the tea party movement was the eighth biggest story of the decade - but labeled "angry white voters" (emphasis added).
"Welcome back to ‘Hardball' - our number eight political story of the decade, angry whites at town hall meetings across the country," Matthews said. "Lawmakers heard the wrath of angry voters."
The Republican minority in the Senate found an unlikely defender today: MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host, Mika Brzezinski.
Yesterday, the Brew Crew played the video for the Democrat talking point attack on Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), but omitted the ghoulish statement by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.):
They [the GOP] are desperate to break this president. They have ardent supporters who are nearly hysterical at the very election of President Barack Obama. The birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups, it is unbearable to them that President Barack Obama should exist. That is one powerful reason. It is not the only one."
This morning, however, the bump-in to start the show was that very quote – kudos to the producers of the show for making the connection. Better late than never; and it was even done without the presence of Joe Scarborough, the token MSNBC Republican.
Sadly, some members of the Brew Crew could not contain their bias:
On the Sunday, December 13, syndicated Chris Matthews Show, as he ended the show with words of praise for Morgan Freeman’s latest film, Invictus, and its depiction of Nelson Mandela uniting blacks and whites in South Africa in the 1990s, host Matthews referred to "white tribalism" having been stirred up in America, and showed clips of anti-Obama protesters.
Matthews: "In this world of ours today, it seems that any idiot – almost any idiot can rally the forces of tribalism, including white tribalism in this country. You can do it with a frown or a smile – easiest thing in the world to rile people back to their roots, get them thinking with all the rage of their grandparents."
It might seem a little strange to see Fox News bashed on its Fox broadcast parent network, but that's what you would have witnessed if you tuned into "The Wanda Sykes Show," Saturday night's late-night alternative to NBC's "Saturday Night Live."
"So I've been digging around here and I found some old footage of black reporters on Fox News - you know, back when they were allowed to be on that network," Sykes said. "Fascinating stuff - take a look at this one."
On Thursday’s The O’Reilly Factor, FNC host Bill O’Reilly slammed Dick Wolf, the left-wing executive producer of NBC's Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, because Wednesday's episode – featuring a killer who targeted the children of illegal immigrants – contained dialogue of a character blaming conservatives like O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck for inciting violence against immigrants.
O’Reilly showed a clip of dialogue from the show in which left-wing lawyer Randall Carver -- played by John Larroquette -- made a comparison between a racist conservative talk show host character -- named Gordon Garrison -- and real-life conservative talk show hosts. Larroquette: "Garrison, Limbaugh, Beck, O'Reilly, all of them, they are like a cancer spreading ignorance and hate. I mean, they’ve convinced folks that immigrants are the problem, not corporations that fail to pay a living wage or a broken health care system."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Thursday, December 10, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC:
Fresh off Donny Deutsch’s defense of Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) slavery analogy, Mike Barnicle asked GOP Chairman Michael Steele about what proposals the GOP favored for health-care reform. Along the way, however, he used an unfortunate choice of words:
MIKE BARNICLE: [...] What are you people for?
MICHAEL STEELE: You people? [starts laughing] Who are 'you people?'
Surely no one would be foolish enough to defend Harry Reid's statement analogizing ObamaCare opponents to those who resisted the abolition of slavery, right? Um, may I introduce you to Donny Deutsch?
On Morning Joe today, the ad man suggested to RNC Chairman Michael Steele that there was nothing wrong with Reid's analogy. When Steele didn't deign to dignify Deutsch's absurdity with a response, a nasty little stand-off ensued . . .
There's nothing like tuning into an episode of "The View" for a little exploration of social sensitivities in the modern American culture.
In keeping with that tradition, on Black Friday, a term used to describe the Friday following Thanksgiving, which is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season, the use of the word "black" to mark this occasion was a topic of discussion on "The View" for its potential "racist" implications.
Co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, who has her own primetime HLN cable show, debated the use of "black" on the Nov. 27 pre-recorded broadcast. Goldberg, a black woman, took the meaning to be a positive and that there was nothing wrong with it used that way. Behar, however, was trouble with the word "black" used in conjunction with Friday, taking the meaning as a negative (emphasis added):
Want to know how the left really feels about free speech? Look no further than Huffington Post editor and co-founder Arianna Huffington.
Huffington appeared on MSNBC's Nov. 19 "Countdown" to discuss a report by the Anti-Defamation League that alleges Fox News host Glenn Beck is "the most important mainstream media figure who has repeatedly helped to stoke fires of anti-government anger" and therefore endangering society.
"It would be nice to think of Glenn Beck just as a joke, as fodder for this show and the "Daily Show" and others that point out how stupid some of this stuff is," "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann said. "But this report, you know, suggests something else, this is - fear-monger-in-chief term is frightening."
I haven’t seen “The Blind Side” yet, so I won’t say anything about the quality of the film. But based on the trailer and the true story, my wife and I are as excited about this as any film in a long time. It tells the true story of the adoption of Michael Oher by the Tuohy family in Tennessee and how they helped him go from homeless teenager to professional football star. The book was incredible, the story miraculous. We’re especially excited because we’re big adoption advocates, currently in the middle of our first of many planned adoptions. Also, the Tuohys happen to be conservative Christians like we are, and we don’t normally get to see families like that on screen, at least in movies that are watchable.
Apparently, this makes me a racist.
You see, Michael Oher happens to be black, and the Tuohys happen to be white. I actually think that’s pretty cool, especially because they live in Tennessee, and what gets us farther from the evil days of segregation than an increased number of mixed-race families? One would assume that liberals especially would be excited about that, right?
On Monday's Countdown show, responding to Mississippi Republican Governor Haley Barbour's recent contention on NBC's Meet the Press that President Obama has personal popularity -- based partially on being the first black President -- that is separate from the unpopularity of Obama's policies, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann labeled Barbour's words as "incoherent," and charged that President Obama is in reality a "target of racism from the right." Olbermann:
But it was Mississippi's Governor Haley Barbour who had perhaps the most incoherent read, explaining that Obama, the target of racism from the right, remains popular not because of his policies, but in a Donovan McNabb way, because of his color.
During a discussion with MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe, Olbermann also suggested that "Barbour knows that members of his party hate the President for being a black Democrat," as he posed a question to Wolffe about Republicans being in denial about their party's unpopularity and the meaning of the 2009 elections. Olbermann:
On Friday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann suggested that Fox News is a racist organization that would hold race or religion against its employees in awarding promotions, as he used the show’s "Worst Person" segment to slam Fox and Friends co-hosts Brian Kilmeade, Gretchen Carlson, and Peter Johnson, for raising questions about whether Muslims serving in the military should be treated with more attention. While every show in MSNBC’s primetime and morning lineups has a host who is white and non-Muslim, Olbermann suggested that the Fox and Friends hosts would have trouble succeeding at FNC if they were Muslim or non-white. Olbermann: "Since we’re asking questions, I have one for Carlson, Johnson, and Kilmeade. You guys ever wonder if you all succeeded inside a company like Fox mostly because you’re not Muslim or black or Asian or Hispanic?"
Olbermann's allegation ignores FNC personalities like Geraldo Rivera and Julie Banderas, who have hosted their own shows; and Juan Williams and Michelle Malkin who have both guest hosted for The O'Reilly Factor in addition to their work as contributors. Even on Fox and Friends, Lauren Green used to read the show's news briefs.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the "Worst Person in the World" segment from the Friday, November 6, Countdown show on MSNBC: