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):
If you thought the media attacks on Sarah Palin and her family were deplorable in 2008, it's clear with the 2012 presidential campaign starting and her name being bandied about, you ain't seen nuttin' yet.
Take the Washington Post's Richard Cohen for example who penned a column Tuesday concluding, "She could not be the president of black America nor of Hispanic America":
After spending much of his week accusing Rush Limbaugh of racism, Ed Schultz on Friday made the same absurd claim about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
Following in the footsteps of others on his network as well as the liberal blogosphere, the MSNBCer said it was racist for Palin to refer to comments Michelle Obama made in 2008 about never having been proud of her country before her husband started winning primaries.
It was also racist of Palin to mention in her book the Obamas' connection to Rev. Jeremiah Wright (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's prime-time "town hall" on immigration reform yesterday exemplified one of the more unseemly elements of media bias: brazen political advocacy disguised as an "honest conversation."
Attempting to pass itself off as a forum for voices on all sides of the immigration issue to elevate the dialogue, "Beyond Borderlines" featured droves of liberal guests who dismissed, admonished, and overwhelmed only token conservative opposition.
From the outset of the program, conservative guests were disadvantaged and drowned out. The "conversation," which touched on a wide-range of issues related to immigration reform, was steered by hosts Lawrence O'Donnell, who is a self-described socialist, and Maria Teresa Kumar, who is executive director of Voto Latino, a liberal immigration reform group.
Mike Cutler, one of the few guests who offered a contrasting perspective on the issue, was repeatedly attacked by Kumar, who oscillated between the conflicting roles of questioner and answerer, and the other panelists.
CNN personality Soledad O'Brien revealed in her new book that liberal activist Jesse Jackson put her down for her skin color during a private meeting in 2007. During the meeting, Jackson complained to O'Brien, whose mother is a black woman from Cuba, that there weren't any black anchors on CNN. When she pointed out that she was the anchor of American Morning, the activist replied, "You don't count."
O'Brien, who is now a special correspondent for CNN, recounted the 2007 incident in "The Next Big Story," which CNN.com excerpted on November 3. Just before her meeting with Jackson, the journalist had obtained "exclusive access to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s papers," as the lead-in for the excerpt underlined. Soon after this, as O'Brien recalled, "Jackson calls with an invitation to meet and talk." The two met at a restaurant "on the first floor of a famous hotel" and in the course of their conversation, the subject of the racial makeup of her network came up:
Samuels made her complaint in light of NBC's cancellation of it's ratings-plagued spy series, "Undercovers," which featured a black actor and actress in the lead roles as glamorous and deadly CIA agents:
"CNN Newsroom" host Don Lemonis miffed at the GOP -- and he let CNN Senior Political Editor Mark Preston know it on Sunday night. When Preston noted that since the Republicans are once again in the majority in the House of Representatives, they're going to have "to come up and they have learn how to govern," Lemon responded that "They have to learn how the answer the question. Because one person said, was talking about his run for president and the interviewer kept asking him, what are the specifics. Well, my family and I are going to take the Christmas time and pray. I wanted to throw stuff at the television." Mere moments before, Lemon indicated to Preston that he had watched every single Sunday morning talk show and "was so frustrated with these (Republican) guys. Like, why aren't they answering the questions."
CNN's Don Lemon tossed softballs at leftist writer Tim Wise on Sunday's Newsroom, mostly reading back excerpts from his latest column, which the anchor labeled a "withering rebuke of...the 'white right.'" Lemon even twice emphasized how Wise has apparently received death threats over the column, where he slammed "conservative old white people [who] have pretty much always been the bad guys."
The CNN anchor interviewed Wise for nearly eight minutes during a segment 10 minutes into the 7 pm Eastern hour. Lemon began with "withering rebuke" label and continued that the author "begins with a disclaimer that he is not referring to all white people, and that his essay is not anti-white. He says it is addressed to- quote, 'The white community that is right-wing.'" He then turned to his guest and seemed to compliment him before asking his first question: "I was actually- I have to be honest- a little bit stunned when I read this because your language is unusually rough and raw. We know that you tell it like it is. You called the election results a temper tantrum and you sound mad as hell....do you regret using any of this fiery rhetoric?"