On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie suggested to MSNBC host and National Action Network president Al Sharpton that the trial of Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman was not racially charged enough: "Do you think the prosecutors missed an opportunity there, that they didn't explicitly make this case about racial profiling?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In response, Sharpton pushed his effort to get the Justice Department to charge Zimmerman with civil rights violations: "I think they did, but it also sets up a federal case because you can't say it's been tried, because it wasn't tried. So there is no double jeopardy here because they specifically said this is not about race, which opens the door for the federal government to now investigate..."
In the hours after George Zimmerman was found not guilty on Saturday evening of any crimes in his shooting of the black 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, many famous people quickly expressed their views on the Twitter social website regarding the trial and the verdict.
The celebrities ranged from a conservative columnist who cried “Hallelujah!” to a football star who posted that the members of the jury should "go home tonight and kill themselves." Other messages expressed thoughts of prayer for those involved with the case, as well as fatal predictions regarding the defendant and the six-woman jury.
As NewsBusters has been reporting the past 24 hours, the media have been having a hard time hiding their disappointment about the George Zimmerman verdict.
Showing what side she's on in this debate, CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday's State of the Union asked Governor Pat Quinn (D-Ill.), "Do you think that the American justice system is innately racist?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Thanks to the media’s habit of showing beatific, outdated photos of Trayvon Martin, many Americans who only casually followed the trial of George Zimmerman incorrectly believed Martin to have been younger than he actually was at the time of his death. In a Friday interview, Zimmerman’s lead defense attorney, Mark O’Mara admitted that he was one of them.
Speaking with CNN correspondent Martin Savidge, O’Mara denounced what he called a “wonderfully created and crafted public relations campaign” by the attorney for Martin’s family, Benjamin Crump and his allies. According to O’Mara, had they not injected a racial element into the story, Zimmerman would never have been tried.
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the liberal media are out in force Sunday expressing their disgust with the George Zimmerman verdict.
On ABC's This Week, PBS's Tavis Smiley had the nerve to say, "I think this for many Americans, George, just another piece of evidence of the incontrovertible contempt that this nation often shows and displays for black men" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing on MSNBC this morning, Jesse Jackson condemned the Zimmerman verdict as a "tremendous miscarriage of justice." It is a mark of Jackson's misconception of just what constitutes justice that chief among his complaints was that Trayvon Martin was denied a jury of his peers because there were no African-Americans or men on it.
But—as Jackson is apparently unaware—the Constitution provides that it is the accused, not the possible victim, who is entitled to an impartial jury [in fact the Constitution nowhere speaks of a jury of peers]. View the video after the jump.
While the station deserves plenty of blame for failing to catch the obviously phony names before airing them, at least half of the blame goes to the National Transportation Safety Board which fed it the improper information, as Politico's Nick Gass reports:
As the trial to determine if George Zimmerman committed a crime when he killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, draws to a close, hundreds of people have threatened to riot over the verdict, and law-enforcement organizations in and around Broward County, Fla., have been coordinating efforts to have “a proper response plan” in case their worst fears are realized.
However, Time magazine columnist Marc Polite claims that the police have everything backwards since the pre-emptive call for calm “may be akin to racial fear-mongering" and “runs counter to recent history.”
On Wednesday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes complained of a "right-wing trope about the specter of racial violence" if George Zimmerman is acquitted, and suggested that FNC hosts like Bill O'Reilly are trying to manipulate their audience by frightening them, cracking that "a good Fox News audience is a fearful Fox News audience."
As he interviewed University of Connecticut Professor Jelani Cobb, the MSNBC host complained that conservatives are treating black Americans similarly to Zimmerman's treatment of Trayvon Martin. Hayes:
This week, instead of attacking a Hispanic senator, Marco Rubio, I will defend a Hispanic citizen, George Zimmerman, on trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin. (Zimmerman would make a better senator.)
It's becoming painfully obvious why no charges were brought against Zimmerman in this case -- until Al Sharpton got involved. All the eyewitness accounts, testimony, ballistics and forensics keep backing up Zimmerman. We should send a big, fat bill for the whole thing to Sharpton, courtesy of MSNBC.
On her Sunday morning programming live from the Essence Festival in New Orleans, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, the namesake of her show, entertained a panel of African-American leaders to discuss several contemporary issues including the recent 5-4 decision handed down by the Supreme Court that declared Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional because it used, to quote Chief Justice Roberts, “a formula based on 40-year-old facts having no logical relation to the present day.” Harris-Perry scoffed at Roberts’ decision and claimed that this decision caused the advent of a “third reconstruction” in America. [Link to the audio here]
Clearly, this is a ridiculous comparison. The current social climate and culture of our country does not even hold a candle to the kind of suppression of rights that took place during Reconstruction or even during the civil rights movement, or so-called Second Reconstruction.
“Amos ‘n’ Andy” was so controversial that in 1951 the NAACP demanded it be taken off the air for its derogatory portrayal of blacks. By 1966, the NAACP won a victory by stopping the show’s reruns from airing.
But at Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Saturday morning forum this week, “Amos ‘n’ Andy” was back in fashion. Chicago talk show personality Cliff Kelley emceed a panel discussion. Warming up the crowd, Kelley placed his arm on the shoulder of Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree and tried a little humor: (video here)
As NewsBusters reported yesterday, CNN guest Tim Wise accused the Supreme Court of racism, saying they "basically called 40 million black folks that [N-word] without saying it" through their rulings on the Voting Rights Act and affirmative action.
Then on Tuesday night, Wise tried to sidestep his words and claim he didn't "exactly" say that, although he did "exactly" say that. "That was what a lot of white conservatives were attacking me for today, basically saying that I had, you know, essentially accused John Roberts of calling 40 million black folks the N-word. That's not exactly what I said," Wise argued on Tuesday's OutFront. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Celebrity chef Paula Deen has been aggressively attacked over the past week for a racial slur that she uttered 30 years ago. Countless media outlets have condemned her, and corporate sponsors have dropped her like a crate of anvils – to the tune of $12.5 million. As her empire has crumbled around her, Deen has apologized multiple times, but that’s still not enough for everyone in the media.
On Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, fill-in host Betty Nguyen brought on entertainment editor Chris Witherspoon of TheGrio.com to discuss the Deen controversy. Nguyen read a statement from Jimmy Carter in which the former president asserted that Deen has already been punished, perhaps overly severely. But Carter’s call for forgiveness did not fully resonate with Witherspoon. When asked for reaction to Carter’s words, he replied: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On CNN's Monday night special "The N Word," guest Tim Wise claimed that the Supreme Court used that racial slur against all black Americans through its rulings on the Voting Rights Act and affirmative action.
"I mean, the reality is, we have a Supreme Court that in the last ten days has just basically called 40 million black folks that word without saying it by restricting or limiting the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and basically ending for all intent and purpose or, at least, limiting in many ways, affirmative action," Wise insisted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Saturday's The Ed Show on MSNBC, as host Ed Schultz ranted about the Supreme Court decision on the 1965 Voting Rights Act, he asserted that "keep[ing] a minority down" was one of the few things that "satisfies the conservative movement." Schultz:
Ever since George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin in February 2012, the liberal media have done their best to make the story about racism. Jason Silverstein of Slate.com continued that pattern Thursday with a 1200-word article that delved into psychoanalysis to try and explain the fateful shooting.
Silverstein cobbled together a number of studies to advance the theory of the “racial empathy gap.” The idea is that white people don’t feel the pain of other races as much as they empathize with other white people. One key study cited in the article found that white people feel more empathy when they see white skin pierced than black skin. Another study found that people generally assume that black people feel less pain than white people.
CNN really showed its bias in reacting to two very different Supreme Court decisions this week. On Tuesday, the Court struck down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act; in the hours that followed, CNN's coverage included four times as many critics of the decision as supporters (8 vs. 2).
Then on Wednesday, the Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and permitted the nullification of California's Proposition 8 banning gay marriage. This time, CNN's coverage skewed in favor of the Court, with roughly three times as many on-air guests supporting that decision as opposing it (20 vs. 7).
It only took a few minutes for the Rev. Al Sharpton, host of MSNBC's weekday “PoliticsNation” program, to denounce the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision to overturn Section IV of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which requires regions to submit new apportionment plans to the Justice Department before any changes can be made.
“What they just [sic] done is really revoke a lot” of what Martin Luther King, Jr.'s “dream was all about,” Sharpton declared. “They just canceled the dream, and the children of the dream are not going to sit by and allow that to happen.”
Writing for the liberal Atlantic magazine today, CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen jumped off the proverbial deep end by comparing today's Supreme Court ruling invalidating section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 to two infamous Supreme Court decisions from the 19th century.
"[T]he Supreme Court's decision in Shelby County is one of the worst in the history of the institution. As a matter of fact, and of law, it is indefensible. It will be viewed by future scholars on a par with the Court's odious Dred Scott and Plessy decisions and other utterly lamentable expressions of judicial indifference to the ugly realities of racial life in America," Cohen righteously thundered deep with his 18-paragraph screed.
CNN's Joe Johns pitted some "conservatives" against "civil rights advocates" on Tuesday in provocative fashion, after the Supreme Court struck down a provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
"I think you can say this is a home run for conservatives who said this law shouldn't be in place and this is a big loss for those civil rights advocates who have been fighting to go sustain this law year after year for decades, Carol," Johns reported from the Supreme Court steps on Tuesday morning. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Andrea Mitchell often straddles line between being a straight journalist and engaging in activist journalism to push liberal causes on NBC and MSNBC. Following the Supreme Court’s invalidation of section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, Mitchell used her daily MSNBC show to push for Congress to pass new legislation in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling.
In service of that objective, Mitchell brought on civil rights movement icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) to discuss his reaction to the ruling and to press him to engage members of Congress to pass legislation to update the Voting Rights Act to fit court scrutiny. Mitchell began the interview by asking Lewis for his immediate reaction to the nation's highest court “basically gutting the central enforcement mechanisms of the Voting Rights Act.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
When the subject of race comes up, MSNBC has an odd habit of bringing on highly controversial guests with a history of racially insensitive comments to discuss race in America. Take for example the recent controversy surrounding chef Paula Deen whose contract with the Food Network was not renewed following revelations during a legal deposition that she had used the N-word in private conversation.
What better person for MSNBC to bring on to discuss Ms. Deen than its own N-word throwing host, who in August of 2012 chose to use the racial epithet on his show “The Cycle.” Appearing with fellow MSNBC host Thomas Roberts on June 25, Toure slammed Ms. Deen for what he called, “a representative now of an ideology that we thought was dead that we hoped was dead that some of us feared still existed in some people." [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
MSNBC’s penchant for stoking racial animosity in service to a liberal agenda reached a new low on June 25 following the Supreme Court’s invalidation of the Voting Rights Act. Following the decision that Section 4 of the Act was unconstitutional, MSNBC’s Chris Jansing claimed that the ruling was an outright “setback for civil rights.”
That's doubtless a claim that many liberal advocates will make, but is patently irresponsible and biased for an ostensibly objective journalist like Jansing to claim. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
As I mentioned last week, ABC’s "news" program “What Would You Do?” features scripted actors dramatizing so-called “real life” events, which call out for ordinary Americans to intervene. The program's producers love to gin up scenarios, which apparently are designed to bring out bigotry and racism from fellow Americans who are supposed to identify with the actors portraying the absurd scenarios. Most often the scenarios are played out in the heartland of America, in "red-state" locales where apparently ABC thinks it can find racists, xenophobes, and/or folks willing to gay-bash.
Well, for the program's June 21 broadcast, the network continued to troll for bigoted Americans across the Midwest. This time the focus was a Hispanic mother and daughter at a restaurant. The mother, an actress, can’t speak English well – and that irritates one racist patron -- portrayed, again, by an actor. The scenario is completely fabricated.
On the Friday, June 21, PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton brought up former President Ronald Reagan giving a speech in 1980 near the town of Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights activists were famously murdered in 1963.
Referring to then-candidate Reagan's first speech after the Republican convention which he delivered at the Neshoba County Fair a few miles from Philadelphia, Sharpton incorrectly claimed Philadelphia was where Reagan "announced he was running for President" as the MSNBC host related:
The June 14 episode of ABC’s What Would You Do again trolled for the archetypal intolerant conservative American that are supposedly around every bend in two outrageous segments concerning a gay Boy Scout and a racist deli shop customer. The show, which uses actors to play out outrageous scenarios to see how unsuspecting passers-by react, hosted the gay Boy Scout scenario at a roadside steakhouse in Texas. This is similar to a similar sting video last week which had a gay basketball player come out to his coach and teammates.
What better setting -- if you're a liberal news producer from Manhattan -- to stage this incident being that the state is known for the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision on sodomy laws and that it's a reliably red state, producing both Presidents Bush as well as Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry, liberal media bogeymen all.
How’s this for chutzpah: On the June 10 Today, did a segment on the difficult process of jury selection for the George Zimmerman trial, given the highly publicized racial issues surrounding the case. NBC’s Carl Quintanilla asked “Today” Legal Expert Lisa Bloom, “Has media coverage already influenced this jury?”
Yes it has, and NBC has more to answer for than most. For a full week in March, 2012 NBC “Nightly News” and “Today,” along with its local Miami affiliate ran audio tape of George Zimmerman’s 911 call the night he fatally shot Trayvon Martin. NBC viewers learned that Zimmerman had said to the 911 dispatcher, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”
To Slate’s Jeremy Stahl, the drunk-driving kid of a Democratic politician is far less scandalous than offensive tweets from the progeny of a conservative Republican.
There really isn’t much point to Stahl's June 14 piece, "Hereditary Traits: Bigoted taunts by the children of GOP honchos have everything to do with politics." In fact, it’s abjectly stupid. But Stahl runs completely off the rails when he writes: