It’s been 25 years since a grand jury concluded that young Tawana Brawley falsely accused a group of white men of raping her, but the Rev. Al Sharpton still believes he did the right thing by supporting Brawley back then. Sharpton was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Tuesday to talk about his new book when co-host Mika Brzezinski brought up the infamous Brawley rape case, in which Sharpton played a major advisory role to the 15-year-old. The Politics Nation host claimed that the case had taught him to conduct himself in a more dignified manner when representing alleged victims of discrimination so the public would be more sympathetic to his cause.
However, Sharpton did not express any particular regret that Brawley’s claims were ruled false, so Willie Geist prodded him on the matter: “Do you regret at all, Rev, what you put some of the men through in that case, though, the guys who turned out to be innocent?” Sharpton was unapologetic: [See video below.]
Never mind the government shutdown. What's really important in Obamaland is apparently whether football's Washington Redskins keep their Redskins team nickname.
The Associated Press's Julie Pace, with help from Joseph White and Darlene Superville, has an 880-word writeup on this breathtakingly important subject. Too bad the entire premise — that Indians "feel pretty strongly" about mascots and team names that depict negative stereotypes about their heritage," and that the "Redskins name is one such negative stereotype — is false, based on results reported by ESPN columnist Rick Reilly in September. First, a few AP excerpts (bolds are mine):
When you have to toss out in the midst of your race-baiting article that you are in no way insisting that conservatives are racists, well, that's pretty good evidence that you're doing just that.
"No, this is not a convoluted way of calling Republicans racists,"Jamelle Bouie insisted -- and which editors placed into a pull quote -- in his October 3 story "How the South Blocked Health Care for Those Who Need It Most." "Thanks to Republican legislators in old Confederate states, universal health-care won’t be so universal" laments a front-page caption accompanying a stock image of a black girl being attended to by two black medical personnel in surgical scrubs. [see image below the page break] Here's how Bouie opened his story on the lack of Southern states participating in a Medicaid expansion available to them under ObamaCare:
Discussing the 2013 mayoral election in New York, MSNBC's Chris Matthews implored the city not to return to the bad days of the 1991 Crown Heights race riots and the liberal government's incompetent response. Yet, the Hardball anchor selectively ignored the fact that his MSNBC colleague was one of the people who escalated that situation into chaos and violence.
Matthews ranted, "I hope they don't go back to Dinkins and Crown Heights and all of that stuff." The host oddly insisted this was the "one time when I was with the neo-cons all the way." (Neo-cons? What is the "neo-con" way to fight crime?) Matthews mentioned riot murder victim Yankel Rosenbaum and Mayor David Dinkins's ineffectual response: "Dinkins says 'I'm taking the even-handed view on this one.' What do you mean even-handed? They guy got killed by the mob." Not once did Matthews mention Sharpton, the "organizer" who chanted "no justice, no peace" and warned of Jewish "diamond merchants."
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, the national news media outside of local New York outlets has totally ignored a New York man becoming brain dead as the result of an unprovoked attack by a man that shouted "I hate white people."
The victim, 62-year-old Jeffrey Babbitt, died Monday.
Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise is so aggressive in opposing the “Redskins” name that he’s being accused by commenters of being racist toward a black man who plays “Chief Zee” at Redskins games.
The race-baiting media are going to be put to a serious challenge in the coming days following a tragic hate crime committed in New York City's Union Square Wednesday.
As CBS's New York affiliate reported late Friday evening, a retired train conductor was left brain dead when an African-American man unknown to him attacked him after shouting "I hate white people" (video follows with commentary):
Earlier this evening at NewsBusters, Tim Graham noted that the Washington Post gave space, in an item entitled "Reagan Historians to Decry 'Ahistorical Caricature' as Racist in 'The Butler' Movie," to refute the false portrayal of the Gipper in that film.
One more anecdote should be added in rebuttal to counter the "Reagan was a racist" lie. I'm referring to an event in 1982. Note that the related the unbylined AP report couldn't resist getting in a gratuitous dig (both reports at this post are reproduced in full for fair use and discussion purposes):
Among ten charts presented by Brad Plumer at the Washington Post on Wednesday, the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington, all meant to show that "the black-white economic gap hasn’t budged in 50 years," is one which purports claims that "The gap in household income between blacks and whites hasn’t narrowed in the last 50 years."
Words mean things, Brad. "Hasn't budged" means "no meaningful movement." That just isn't so, as will be seen after the jump. But first, let's look at the inflation-adjusted graph WaPo presented to support its claim:
Cornel West had some harsh comments for MSNBC's Al Sharpton and Michael Eric Dyson Friday.
Early in the radio show "Smiley and West," West said of the previous day's commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, "We saw of course the coronation of the bonafide house negro of the Obama plantation, our dear brother Al Sharpton, supported by the Michael Dysons and others who’ve really prostituted themselves intellectually in a very ugly and vicious way" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Almost all of today's conservatives believe that their predecessors in the 1950s and '60s should not have opposed the civil-rights movement. Plenty of liberals counter that the right's wrongness on racial matters is by no means a thing of the past. This week, three Daily Kos writers advanced that idea.
Laura Clawson asserted on Monday that "for a hundred years after the Civil War, white people gave themselves the most extreme form of affirmative action by law and at gunpoint. Then for 50 years, they've insisted that any real steps to undo that damage were unfair."
It doesn't take a special occasion for Chris Matthews to smear conservatives as racist, but the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's "I Have a Dream" speech was too good for the Hardball host to pass up. During special coverage of Wednesday's festivities, Matthews smeared "half the country" as opposing the chief executive because of the color of his skin, not the political and philosophical content of his governance.
"Let's try to follow the logic of Dr. Matthews here," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Fox News host Sean Hannity on the August 29 edition of his eponymous program. "First he says if you're a Republican or a conservative" who dares to oppose any of Obama's policies, "you're a racist" but yet "if you can't find any evidence of any Republican or conservative saying anything racist, well, that means they're just not being honest about their racism." [watch the full segment below the page break]
Memo to the Corrections Department at the Los Angeles Times: The following sentence is utterly unhistorical. “Since Democrats led the passage of civil rights legislation that marchers pushed for in 1963, Republicans have struggled to recover with black voters”.
Civil rights legislation of the 1960s was favored more by Republicans than by Democrats, so how did Democrats “lead the passage”? With three reporters contributing to the story – Kathleen Hennessey, Richard Simon, and Alexei Koseff – none of them could locate the actual Sixties voting record as they labored to make the GOP look bad for the Democratic unanimity of the event:
In remarks that are sure to dismay the race-baiting crew at MSNBC, President Obama admitted in an interview yesterday that he does not think that his conservative critics are racially motivated.
Obama made those remarks in a very flattering discussion with PBS NewsHour hosts Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff after he gave an address commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Jeff Pegues spotlighted the lack of GOP speakers at the 50th anniversary commemoration of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech: "Noticeably absent from this event, the GOP...the two most senior Republicans in the House...were invited to speak but declined." However, Pegues failed to mention that the event organizers didn't make much of an effort to get Republican Tim Scott, the only current black U.S. senator, to speak.
The correspondent also zeroed in on former President Bill Clinton's dubious claim during his speech at the commemoration – that "a great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Thursday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, host Chuck Todd laid blame for Republicans not speaking at Wednesday's anniversary of the 1963 march on Washington on the GOP, rather than event organizers: "...the Bushes couldn't go, there were health reasons why neither President Bush could go and speak. Other Republicans leaders were invited to speak and they politely declined. In hindsight, do you wish there had been Republicans that had agreed to speak?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Republican strategist John Feehery pointed out that the only African American in the United States Senate was not invited to speak: "I find it completely shocking that Tim Scott [R-SC] was not invited." Todd still faulted Republicans: "But why didn't Boehner and Cantor say, you know....they could have, by going, they probably could have said, 'By the way, we want you to invite Tim Scott,' and I don't thing the King family says no."
This week, CNN provided extensive coverage of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington, hosting many of the original civil rights activists for interviews. The appearances became chances for Democrats to shill for liberal policies, and sometimes the rhetoric descended into the ridiculous and inflammatory.
Here are the five worst moments from CNN's coverage Saturday through Wednesday:
In an interview with California attorney general Kamala Harris during live MSNBC coverage of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, host Andrea Mitchell fretted: "I talked to Jesse Jackson earlier about all the voter suppression efforts, and what's happened since the Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act. What can be done, from your perspective – obviously California has a majority of liberal officials, Governor Brown – but you see what's happening in Texas and North Carolina?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Harris seized the opportunity to proclaim: "The Voting Rights Act was created and designed to ensure equal access to the polls. And we know with the case of Texas and other places, that access is questionable. And that was the power of the Voting Rights Act, which was actually gutted by the Supreme Court decision, and I applaud Eric Holder and the Justice Department doing the work they're doing to fight, to make sure that all Americans have equal access to the polls."
While the Journal staffers didn't explicitly make the connection, it turns out that an unintended consequence of the Voting Rights Act's majority-minority House districts has been to restrict the pool of black House candidates who are moderate enough to appeal to a statewide, much less nationwide electorate (emphases mine):
Douglas Brinkley predictably fawned over President Obama's apparently "very beautifully written" address marking the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, mere moments after he finished delivering it: "I think it's one of the great speeches that Barack Obama's ever delivered." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Scott Pelley turned to Brinkley during CBS's special coverage of the anniversary rally. The liberal historian was quick to sing the President's praises:
ABC provided immediate and enthusiastic praise for Barack Obama's speech, Wednesday, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" address. Anchoring live coverage, he praised, "President Barack Obama, playing the role of teacher and preacher and president today."
Stephanopoulos then began to link Obama and King. He allowed that Obama insisted in his speech, "No one can match the brilliance of Martin Luther King." The ABC host then connected, "But it does seem on the relatively rare occasions where the President chooses to speak about race directly, he rises to the occasion." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
For Chris Matthews, every day is a good day to attack President Obama’s critics as racists, but the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington was an especially opportune time. During MSNBC’s live coverage of the festivities on Wednesday morning, Matthews unleashed a tirade against the president’s opponents, saying that racists were at least honest about their beliefs in the early 1900s.
Matthews began by sizing up the country as he saw it: “This country is divided right now, heavily divided, sharply divided between the noes out there, the ones who reject an African American president, have rejected him from the day he was elected, the day they heard he might be elected.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Within moments of President Obama finishing his address at the 50th anniversary celebration of Martin Luther King Jr’s March on Washington, the liberal media began with fawning and gushing guaranteed to last for at least a week.
Take for example NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd who on MSNBC actually said, “I thought it was a very post-racial speech” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In a puff piece on Wednesday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Kristen Welker heralded President Obama's upcoming speech marking the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech: "President Obama has delivered a number of big speeches before, but this one is different. He'll be speaking in the shadows of Dr. King, a man who gave his life fighting for civil rights. So, today, the stakes couldn't be higher." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Only Obama's fellow liberals were given sound bites throughout the report that sounded more like a press release. First, White House aide Valerie Jarrett declared: "Are comparisons inevitable? Sure. But I think he's looking forward to the opportunity....I think, as the original speech was about not just civil rights but it was about jobs, and so I think he'll talk about that, and I think it'll also be a message to the next generation."
Wednesday's CBS This Morning shamelessly promoted President Obama's upcoming address commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's 1963 "I have a dream" speech by featuring nothing but race-related clips from the President's past speeches. Jeff Pegues hyped the "big names" set to speak at the anniversary celebration, but underlined "the headliner: the nation's first black president, delivering a speech and standing where Dr. King did half a century ago."
Pegues also hyped how the President's July 2013 remarks about Trayvon Martin were "surprisingly revealing", and played up how the Democratic executive has "walked a fine line addressing the issue of race and equality, trying to voice the concerns of African-Americans while attempting to avoid alienating whites." [audio clips available here; video below the jump]
Presidential historian Jon Meacham did his best on Morning Joe this morning to lower the bar for President Obama's speech today commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. "The country has put an enormous amount of expectation on him . . . since he first came on the stage in 2004 . . . we sometimes have-often have--unrealistic expectations of the office," empathized Meacham.
Nice try. But wasn't it Barack Obama himself who raised expectations to absurd heights? Does this phrase ring a bell, Mr. Meacham?: "I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when . . the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." View the video after the jump.
MSNBC’s Krystal Ball slammed the Republican Party in a tongue-in-cheek monologue at the end of Tuesday’s The Cycle, declaring that the GOP is the new Jim Crow. But in the process, she also drew attention to the problem of complacency among Democratic voters, seemingly resorting to an offensive stereotype that they are generally lazy, disinterested in public policy, and need to be driven by fear.
Much of Ball’s rant was focused on how new Republican-imposed voter ID laws in many states have increased the desire to vote among traditional Democratic constituencies. She concluded by blasting the GOP as the new purveyors of Jim Crow laws: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]