MSNBC Guest Invokes Jim Crow, Apartheid in Reaction to Hobby Lobby Ruling

Discontentment over the Supreme Court ruling on Hobby Lobby today continued this afternoon on MSNBC. Appearing on Ronan Farrow Daily on Monday afternoon, National Organization for Women president, Terry O’Neill argued Hobby Lobby’s beliefs to be “heinous” and compared them to an apartheid in South Africa, slavery and Jim Crow laws. Naturally host Ronan Farrow did nothing to rebuke O'Neill for the patently absurd and offensive comparison.

Earlier today NewsBusters documented anger from CNN and MSNBC over the Supreme Court’s decision. Immediately following the ruling MSNBC began touting it as an “complete and utter defeat for women’s reproductive rights.”

Farrow was joined by a panel of several guests, but wanted to hear from Terry O’Neill on how the National Organization for Women would continue to fight against the ruling. O’Neill blasted the “men who wrote this decision on behalf of the Supreme Court” as entering “into a war on women.” She accused the court of having become a “blatantly politically activist, anti-women political organization.”

O’Neill followed up her war on women tale by making the argument that “some beliefs are so heinous a government should not respect them.” She then rattled off other heinous beliefs that have been shot down throughout history such as Jim Crow laws, slavery and an apartheid in South Africa. She argued that since those things are no longer accepted in society we should not accept the “plain out gender bigotry” of today’s Supreme Court decision. In O’Neill’s world Hobby Lobby has no religious freedom rather they are bigots, “Withholding basic healthcare from women is bigotry plain and simple.”

Farrow unfortunately did not find it imperative to push back on O’Neill’s heinous remarks instead nodded along with the rest of the liberal panelists like bobbleheads on a dashboard.

The relevant portion is transcribed below:

MSNBC
Ronan Farrow Daily
June 30, 2014
1:07 p.m. Eastern

RONAN FARROW: Your organization has said that you'll keep fighting on this. But do you think that it's an undue imposition on these individuals, the employees themselves, if the companies themselves aren't providing the coverage?

TERRY O'NEILL: Look, we are going to make sure that women have access to reproductive health care. But let's be clear. The men who wrote this decision on behalf of the Supreme Court have entered into a war on women. They have become a blatantly politically activist anti-woman political organization. And I think it's very important. We take the position that there are some beliefs, people talk about how sincerely beheld -- how sincerely held this belief is. There are some beliefs that are so heinous a government should not respect them no way, no how. Apartheid in South Africa was justified on religious grounds. The Southern Baptist Convention justified slavery and later Jim Crow and segregation on religious grounds. We don't accept that as a society anymore and we should not accept plain out gender bigotry. Withholding basic health care from women is bigotry plain and simple. We should not accept it. No matter how sincerely the belief is held.

Jackie Seal
Jackie Seal is a 2014 summer intern with the MRC's News Analysis Division.