Term 'Blood Libel' Used on MSNBC in 2000 in Reference to Bush, In 2006 to Kerry Without Objection by Network Hosts

While the liberal media, particularly Obama acolytes at MSNBC, immediately jumped down former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's throat for her use of the term "blood libel" in a video statement yesterday, it appears the network has not always thundered with righteous indignation at the use of the term.

Tthere was no reaction from MSNBC's Chris Matthews in 2000 when Jack Kemp used the term to describe a harsh radio ad the NAACP had used against then-Gov. George W. Bush (R-Texas) nor in 2006 when Mike Barnicle used the term in reference to Sen. John Kerry having been criticized by a group of Vietnam War swift boat veterans.

Kemp used the term on the December 19, 2000 edition of "Hardball," while he and Matthews were discussing why so few black Americans actually voted for Bush. In that exchange, Kemp lamented as "blood libel" a harsh ad the NAACP National Voter Fund ran that suggested Bush had blood on his hands for failing to support a hate crimes bill.

Here's the relevant portion (emphasis mine):


KEMP: ...I think racial reconciliation in America is a key issue, a very important issue, and I've got to say this as a Republican, and the party of Lincoln cannot lose 92 percent of the African-American vote any more in this century.

 

MATTHEWS: Right. Why, you know, I looked at the stats yesterday, Jack. Apparently the number for Republican voting in the party is lower than it was. You have to go back to the Goldwater campaign in '64, and he opposed for, I think constitutional reasons, the Civil Rights Act in '64, to get as low a black vote for Republicans. Why is it getting worse for your party?

 

KEMP: Oh, that pains me. Having played professional football for 13 years, having been Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, I've been talking with J.C. Watts and a lot of African-Americans throughout the country, no one thinks it's good for America to have such a split between black and white. It isn't good for Democrats to take the black vote for granted. It isn't good for the Republican Party to write it off and I don't, I'm not accusing anybody of writing it off, including Bob Dole and Jack Kemp.

 

But it isn't good for our democracy. My hope is that we make this a very high priority in the early part of this decade and century. I think George Bush, again, meeting with black pastors. He should meet with the Congressional Black Caucus. He ought to talk about things that are important to this country. That doesn't mean he has to kiss anybody's ring, but this country really has to deal with racial reconciliation and I believe George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell can be a redeeming presidency here in these first four or hopefully eight years.

 

MATTHEWS: Do you think the way, do you think that the Democrats exploited this? I mean the NAACP ran an ad this year...

 

KEMP: Oh, that was sad.

 

MATTHEWS: ... basically blaming Bush for the James Byrd horror story because they said he wouldn't back a hate crime, even though he actually, he, you know, he -- they're executing those people.

 

KEMP: Oh, I served in the Congress with Kweisi Mfume. He, I want to say, is a friend of mine. I talked to him before George W. Bush spoke at the NAACP during the campaign and Kweisi is a man of integrity.

 

I really can't believe, and I just say this without any knowledge ahead of time, I don't believe that Kweisi Mfume, in my opinion, would have allowed, could have allowed, would have funded such a brutal, brutal ad hominem blood libel ad against George W. Bush.

Six years later, on the October 31, 2006 "Scarborough Country," MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle lamented that Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) had not effectively handled the Swift Boat Veterans attack on his credibility two years prior (emphasis mine) and thus had a lack of credibility in his ongoing critique of the war in Iraq:

The problem for Kerry here is that two years ago, Joe, he did not talk like that when he was undergoing a blood libel by the Swift Boat people. If he had stood up two years ago, in July of 2004, and looked into the cameras with the same intensity he showed today on this issue and said, Hey, I didn`t see Dick Cheney on the bow of my boat in the Mekong Delta, we might have a different president today. That didn`t happen then, and so he`s playing catch-up in terms of his reputation now.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters