MSNBC’s Chris Hayes: ‘Bill O'Reilly Is a Pretty Accomplished Race Baiter Himself’

MSNBC’s newest primetime host Chris Hayes openly admits to being a liberal activist, proclaiming in ads for his “All In” program that “I’m not just a passive witness. I am not there to just tell you a story.. I’, there to act out: to do it in real time—to do politics, not talk about it.”

Given Hayes’ long history of promoting the liberal MSNBC agenda, it should come as no surprise that he used his Wednesday March 26 program to attack Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly over comments he made to Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI). On his program, Hayes ridiculously claimed that “I would submit that by his very own definition, Bill O'Reilly is a pretty accomplished race baiter himself.” [See video below.]

At issue for Mr. Hayes were comments O’Reilly made on the March 25 “O’Reilly Factor” in which he claimed:

These race hustlers make a big living and they get voted into office, by portraying their constituents as victims. And it's all your fault and it’s my fault, it’s the rich people's faults, it’s the Republican's fault, it's everybody's fault, except what's going on. 

Mr. O’Reilly made this argument after Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) said that when Congressman Ryan said “inner city, when he says culture, these are simply code words for what he really means, black.” The MSNBC host took particular offense to O’Reilly’s use of the term “race hustler” and proceeded to rant against his Fox News competitor:

What Bill O’Reilly means by the term race hustler is someone who tells their audience that the problems of poverty, particularly black poverty, have nothing to do with what they in the audience are doing. That they the audience listening to the race hustler are completely relieved of any obligation to change behavior, to do anything different in their lives to make poverty better. They bare no responsibility for it. In other words, the race hustler tells the audience you are off the hook.

Hayes then said that the real “race baiter” was O’Reilly himself:

That is precisely what Bill O'Reilly does. He tells his audience the problems of black poverty is due to black culture. Problems that are born in this country out of institutional racism and longstanding…But none of it, according to Bill O’Reilly, none of it has anything to do with institutional racism or government policy or budgets or even just the laws passed by the people his audience shows up to vote for. If you are in Bill O'Reilly's audience, you can count on him to tell you time and time again that the racial disparities in America are not your fault. And so I would submit that by his very own definition, Bill O'Reilly is a pretty accomplished race baiter himself.

It seems that according to Hayes, because O’Reilly does not prescribe to the liberal reasons behind racial inequality in America, he is thus a “race baiter” yet those like Hayes and Democrat Barbara Lee are not. Just for a little context, Chris Hayes’ own colleague Al Sharpton mentioned race 215 timeslast year, and consistently would blame conservatives for the state of the race relations in America, yet Hayes would never call his own colleague a “race baiter.”

 

See relevant transcript below.


MSNBC

All In w/ Chris Hayes

March 26, 2014

8:29 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS HAYES: Race baiting and race hustler are actually pretty ingenious terms. Similar to the phrase playing the race card, they've been reverse engineered so it seems only to apply to people of color, talking about race and racism. I bring this up, because Bill O'Reilly on his show called a sitting member of Congress a race hustler, the context was an interview with Congressman Paul Ryan who said two weeks ago we have got this tailspin of culture in our inner cities in particular of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working. There's a real culture problem that has to be dealt with. Congresswoman Barbara Lee responded to that by saying Ryan's comments about inner city poverty are a thinly veiled racial attack. When Mr. Ryan says inner city, when he says culture, these are simply code words for what he really means, black. Lee also said Ryan should step up and offer some serious proposals to tackle poverty and racial discrimination. O'Reilly had Ryan on to talk about his exchange with lee in a private phone call between the two members of Congress. And then, when Paul Ryan refused to kind of come out swinging and attack Barbara lee on the air, O'Reilly said this. 

BILL O’REILLY: They don't want to solve the problem. These race hustlers make a big living and they get voted into office, by portraying their constituents as victims. And it's all your fault and it’s my fault, it’s the rich people's faults, it’s the Republican's fault, it's everybody's fault, except what's going on. And what's going on as you know is a disillusion of the family, and you don't have proper supervision of children, and they grow up with no skills and they can't read and speak and they have tattoos on their neck, and they can't compete in the marketplace. And that's what's going on. But if you say that, you're a racist. So no matter what you say, you're going to be branded because the race hustlers don't want to solve the problem. How’s that?  

HAYES: Near as I can tell, what Bill O’Reilly means by the term race hustler is someone who tells their audience that the problems of poverty, particularly black poverty, have nothing to do with what they in the audience are doing. That they the audience listening to the race hustler are completely relieved of any obligation to change behavior, to do anything different in their lives to make poverty better. They bare no responsibility for it. In other words, the race hustler tells the audience you are off the hook. But, of course, that is precisely what Bill O'Reilly does. He tells his audience the problems of black poverty is due to black culture. Problems that are born in this country out of institutional racism and longstanding. When he tells them it's the disillusion of the family to blame for example. The fact that before the recession, non-Hispanic white families were about four times as wealthy as nonwhite families. By 2010, whites were about six times as wealthy. Or I suppose it's neck tattoos that lie behind the fact that black unemployment rate is consistently twice that as whites. But none of it, according to Bill O’Reilly, none of it has anything to do with institutional racism or government policy or budgets or even just the laws passed by the people his audience shows up to vote for. If you are in Bill O'Reilly's audience, you can count on him to tell you time and time again that the racial disparities in America are not your fault. And so I would submit that by his very own definition, Bill O'Reilly is a pretty accomplished race baiter himself.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.