Racism

By Tom Blumer | August 20, 2014 | 10:35 PM EDT

You had to know this was coming. The only question was who was going to be the first to do it.

On Tuesday, echoing the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," wherein the devil slyly tells listeners that "it was you and me" who "killed the Kennedys" (making everyone responsible ensures that no one is truly responsible, allowing evil to advance), James Joiner, the Special Projects Editor at Esquire Digital, pointed the finger of guilt for recent events in Ferguson, Missouri at all Americans. He claimed that "we are all complicit" in what has transpired, starting with the shooting death of Michael Brown in an altercation with police on August 9. Execrable excerpts follow the jump (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):

By Ken Shepherd | August 20, 2014 | 4:15 PM EDT

Here's a somewhat racial angle to the Ferguson, Mo., saga that you probably won't see MSNBC pick up on. The Daily Beast's Tim Mak today reported on "Ferguson's Other Race Problem: Riots Damaged Asian-Owned Stores."

"Asian-Americans own a number of the stores lining West Florissant Avenue, where more than 20 businesses have suffered damage in the wake of Michael Brown’s killing," Mak noted, adding that "At least five of these stores are Asian-American-owned, according to local sources and business records. Just 0.5 percent of Ferguson is of Asian descent, according to 2010 U.S. Census data." While he made clear that local Asian-American business owners "don’t think looters targeted them because of their race" that it's undisputable that they have suffered store damage and economic loss because of the looting and violence:

By Jeffrey Meyer | August 20, 2014 | 11:36 AM EDT

On Tuesday, August 19, Governor Jay Nixon (D-Mo.) called for the “vigorous prosecution” of Darren Wilson, the Missouri police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown last week. 

Despite the highly charged rhetoric by the state’s Democratic governor, NBC’s Today was the only network morning show to acknowledge Nixon’s comments, giving it a mere 41 seconds on its Wednesday morning broadcast. ABC and CBS’s morning shows ignored the governor’s contentious comments. All three networks failed to cover Governor Nixon’s comments on their Tuesday evening newscasts. [See video below.]

By Mark Finkelstein | August 19, 2014 | 9:10 AM EDT

Like what?  Seriously, Mika Brzezinski, when you claim as you did on today's Morning Joe that Barack Obama has done "great things" on race, precisely what do you have in mind? H/t NB reader Ray R.

Was it choosing to make the racist Reverend Wright his personal pastor?  Appointing Eric Holder as Attorney General?  Accusing the Cambridge police of acting "stupidly" in the arrest of a black man?  Complaining about Americans who dislike him because they don't like the idea of a black president? Inviting Al Sharpton to the White House?  Really, Mika, we want to know.  View the video after the jump.

By Jeffrey Meyer | August 18, 2014 | 8:13 PM EDT

In the wake of the “big three” networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) devoting 25 minutes to the indictment of Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) in the story’s first two days, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer continued the network obsession with the potential 2016 presidential candidate. 

On Monday, August 18, anchor Diane Sawyer introduced a report on Perry by proclaiming “back here at home to Texas and a kind of high noon for Texas Governor Rick Perry facing indictment, but defiant again today.” [See video below.]

By Ken Shepherd | August 18, 2014 | 5:45 PM EDT

Wesley Lowery was catapulted from relative obscurity to household-name status last week, at least for obsessive viewers of the MSNBC network, thanks to his arrest and brief detention by authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, last week. So perhaps it's not all too surprising that the Washington Post reporter -- whose beat usually is "Congress and national politics" -- used his Twitter account this afternoon to make some decidedly non-objective, leftward-lurching tweets about President Obama's Monday afternoon Eastern news conference.

"Obama currently discussing our two wars: in Iraq and Ferguson, Mo," Lowery quipped shortly the beginning of the news conference. Minutes later he tweeted about how the president announced that Attorney General Eric Holder was heading to Ferguson. Apparently bemused by a reply to that tweet, Lowery later retweeted a quip from Glenn Fleishman, "He’d better get there before curfew, I guess." Other prominent African-American journalists who frequently appear on MSNBC used Twitter to register frustration with President Obama, hitting him from the Left. Washington Post's Nia-Malika Henderson tweeted:

By Jeffrey Meyer | August 18, 2014 | 5:26 PM EDT

Appearing on the Steve Malzberg Show on Newsmax TV, Reverend Jesse Jackson maintained that regardless of the events prior to Michael Brown’s death, there was no instance in which the Ferguson police officer should have shot the unarmed teen.

During the contentious interview on Monday, August 18, Malzberg highlighted details in which Michael Brown allegedly attacked officer Darren Wilson, including trying to obtain his gun, but Jackson remained defiant and claimed that Malzberg was “drawing up the worst possible scenario” surrounding the shooting. [See video below.] 

By Jeffrey Meyer | August 17, 2014 | 3:41 PM EDT

Following the death of Michael Brown and the ensuing protests in Ferguson, Missouri, one topic of conversation that has drawn a lot of attention is whether or not Al Sharpton can serve as both an activist and be the host of a daily MSNBC program.

Appearing on CNN’s Reliable Sources, Marc Lamont Hill, CNN contributor and HuffPost Live host, defended Sharpton’s dual roles and argued that “Al Sharpton is no different than Sean Hannity. He's no different than Glenn Beck was. He's no different than many pundits who had TV shows.” [See video below.] 

By Jeffrey Meyer | August 17, 2014 | 1:40 PM EDT

Filling in as host on NBC’s Meet the Press, Andrea Mitchell, NBC's Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent and host of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, rushed to defend her colleague Al Sharpton for his involvement in the Ferguson protests.

During a discussion with the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley, Mitchell declared that Sharpton was in Ferguson “on a peace mission” and not in the words of Riley to “continue to blame whites” for the death of Michael Brown. [See video below.] 

By Ken Shepherd | August 14, 2014 | 9:40 PM EDT

Smartphones and social media are enabling African-Americans all over the country to join in on peaceful, digital protests of the fatal shooting of unarmed Ferguson, Mo., teenager Michael Brown, CBS's Jim Axelrod reported on the August 14 Evening News. Axelrod turned to one such Twitter user, "Andre Fields... a 27-year-old political aide" from New York. But while Axelrod presented Fields as measured and interested in "both sides" of the story being heard, a look at this Twitter stream reveals some disturbing tweets.

"If rioting and looting is what it's gonna take for them to get their voices recognized then I say keep at it," Fields (@_JustDreTho) tweeted at 10:31 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, August 12. Hours earlier, Fields tweeted a quote from the late Martin Luther King Jr., "Riots are the language of the unheard." Of course the whole conceit of Axelrod's story is that the previously unheard and marginalized ARE being heard, and seen, through the peaceful and ubiquitous means of social media [see the segment's transcript, screen capture, embedded tweets and video below page break]

By Jeffrey Meyer | August 14, 2014 | 4:12 PM EDT

In the wake of Ferguson, Missouri teen Michael Brown’s shooting death following a confrontation with local police, two reporters, one with the Washington Post and another with the Huffington Post, were arrested by officials for failing to follow police orders as the town continues to deal with ongoing violence and looting.

Following the arrest of Wesley Lowery, an African American reporter for the Washington Post, and later the arrest of Ryan Kelly, a white reporter for the Huffington Post, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell sent out a tweet on Wednesday, August 13 asking if Lowery was “detained for reporting while black?”

By Laura Flint | August 12, 2014 | 4:45 PM EDT

On the August 11 edition of CNN Newsroom, Brooke Baldwin invited fellow CNN host Don Lemon and former NYPD detective Gil Alba on the show to discuss the latest reports of unrest in Ferguson, Mo., following the shooting of an unarmed African-American teen. While the policeman bluntly stated that “there should never be rioting,” Lemon seemed to excuse the behavior, arguing that “when people are put in dire situations, you don't know how they are going to react.”

Alba argued that “when you have the riots, it kind of ruins anybody's having -- you know, trying to help out with this.” The looting allows for a few opportunistic people to use discourse for their own personal gain, and to destroy “their own community” instead of confronting the real “relationship between the police and the community.” The CNN Newsroom anchor remained unmoved and adhered to his position. [See vidoe below. Click here for MP3 audio]