On MSNBC, Hateful Bill Press Slams Right-Wingers ‘Driven By Hate’

You have to love the hypocrisy of certain liberal media figures regarding hateful rhetoric. On Thursday evening, left-wing talk radio host Bill Press appeared on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation to comment on some supposedly inflammatory remarks from Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Ben Carson.

Yes, this is the same Bill Press who makes inflammatory remarks all the time on his show [as we've documented repeatedly].


Host Al Sharpton declared, “You know, Bill, there has been a disturbing trend from some on the right: compare the policies of this administration to Nazi Germany.” He then played a clip in which Dr. Carson lamented that “Nazi” and “slavery” are taboo words and complained about political correctness in general. Carson did not, however, directly call anyone a Nazi in the clip.

After hearing the soundbite, Sir Bill mounted his high horse. He recalled his days as a panelist on CNN’s Crossfire:
 

We had a rule. Pat Buchanan, Bob Novak and I, we all agreed. Anybody who used the Nazi word or who used Hitler, they automatically lost. They lost all credibility. And for Ben Carson to go there just shows how desperate they are.
 

But it just so happens that Press himself has invoked the Nazi comparison in the past to attack those he disagrees with. In an August 2009 column, he smeared Tea Party members who protested ObamaCare at town hall meetings:
 

Taking a page right out of a Nazi playbook, organizers bus in professional protestors and arm them with instructions on how to take over meetings, shut down discussion, shout over any pro-health care reform speakers, and then post video of the resulting chaos on YouTube. It's mob rule, pure and simple.
 

Does that mean Bill Press has lost all credibility? Nah, he’s a liberal. Liberals can say whatever they want without sparking national outrage.

Later in the segment, Sharpton proclaimed that only a quarter of Americans now identify as Republicans. Press believed that right-wing media figures like Carson, Limbaugh, and Mark Levin were to blame. He erupted:
 

You know what it is, Reverend? They are driven by hate. And I don't think the American people want hate in their politics. But that's all these people know... They've had this obsession from the beginning. They are sick. They're mentally deranged commentators as far as I'm concerned.
 

It was an impassioned outburst. But it was also hypocritical, for Press is hardly a model of civility. He has made plenty of hateful comments in the past. In addition to the aforementioned Nazi reference, he has likened Republicans to terrorists on multiple occasions. He once called Newt Gingrich a suicide bomber and compared Glenn Beck to al-Qaeda. He has also compared secessionists to terrorists.

Press’s insults go beyond terrorist comparisons. He once expressed amazement that lightning didn’t strike John Boehner dead after the House Speaker made a particular comment. He expressed his wish that the American people would suffer “un-freaking bearable” pain from last year’s sequester spending cuts. He also slammed former President George W. Bush as “probably the dumbest president ever” and blasted American voters as “bastards,” “idiots,” and “dumb as hell” after they elected a Republican-led House in November 2010.

 [You can find examples of Press’s hateful rhetoric here.]

Bill Press has no right to complain about right-wing hate. He is one of the most hateful left-wingers out there.

Below is a partial transcript of the segment:


AL SHARPTON: You know, Bill, there has been a disturbing trend from some on the right, compare the policies of this administration to Nazi Germany. And last night, Fox contributor Ben Carson defended that kind of talk. Listen to this.

[Begin tape]

BEN CARSON: The objective of many on the left is to take a single word that you're not supposed to say. You can't say Nazis, you can't say slavery. That's political correctness, as you well know. I do not believe in that. I think it's a bunch of crap. I'm worried about the fact that the populace is being silent and is not expressing what they believe because they're afraid. They've been intimidated.

BILL O’REILLY: By? By whom?

CARSON: By the government.

O’REILLY: How?

CARSON: By the government and by the media, by the PC police.

[End tape]

SHARPTON: I mean, Bill, it's unreal.

BILL PRESS: No, it is unreal. First, I just got to say, I have a good idea for Rush Limbaugh. You know what to do? Tell the truth for once.

KRYSTAL BALL: Oh yeah, good luck with that.

PRESS: Stop telling the lies, maybe. That's what they really ought to do. But as to Ben Carson, Reverend Al, you and I met way back when I was doing Crossfire on CNN, remember right? We had a rule. Pat Buchanan, Bob Novak and I, we all agreed. Anybody who used the Nazi word or who used Hitler, they automatically lost. They lost all credibility. And for Ben Carson to go there just shows how desperate they are. But here’s what bothers me. Where is the leadership of the Republican Party?



SHARPTON: Right.

PRESS: Where is Reince Priebus? Reince Priebus got his underwear in a snit, right, in a twist because somebody at MSNBC said something about a Cheerios ad, didn't even mention the Republican Party. And he demanded a correction and boycott MSNBC and all of that crap. Why isn’t he condemning that kind of language? Where is his leadership and why is John Boehner using the same ‘lawlessness’ language that we hear from Rush Limbaugh and Krauthammer? We expect it from those nut jobs. We don't expect it from the leadership of the party.

***

SHARPTON: It's hurt them, because, Bill, the negative talk has brought them down to where just 25 percent of Americans identify as Republicans. That's the lowest number in at least 25 years.

PRESS: You know what it is, reverend? They are driven by hate. And I don't think the American people want hate in their politics. But that's all these people know. It is hate talk against the president, against Michelle Obama, the first lady, and it's been that way from the beginning. Remember back in 2008, Mark Levin, another nut job talk show host, said when President Obama had big crowds out at his rallies, they said he’s like Hitler because he had big crowds at his rallies. They've had this obsession from the beginning. They are sick. They're mentally deranged commentators as far as I'm concerned.
 

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.