MSNBC on Thursday went on the offensive against Republican and Tea Party favorite Rand Paul. In a single day, the cable network devoted 37 minutes over eight segments to implying that the Senate candidate might be a racist.
Each piece featured a clip of Paul's appearance on Wednesday's Rachel Maddow program in which the MSNBC host suggested the libertarian candidate would tolerate bigotry because he opposes government regulation.
Throughout the day, MSNBC touted liberal guest after liberal guest to excoriate the politician. The lineup included Jesse Jackson, Democratic Congressman James Clyburn, liberal professors Boyce Watkins and Michael Eric Dyson and Democratic strategist Karen Finney.
Rush Limbaugh's "war of words" with Bill Clinton over Clinton's bad rerun of blaming the Oklahoma City bombing on conservative talk shows caused a discussion of the ignorant racists who watch Fox News Channel on the Al Sharpton radio show. On Monday, the anniversary of the horrific act of domestic terrorism, Reverend Al asked for the counsel of his friend Dr. Boyce Watkins, a left-wing professor at Syracuse University, who claimed he grew tired of making appearances on Fox because of "lunatics who watch Fox News" send him death threats and N-words after each appearance from people at "the Lotto Mart." He insisted Sharpton must receive hundreds of them when he's on Fox.
Then they worried about the nuts who won't e-mail or tweet, "they'll tweet you with a pistol." [There's audio on the Dr. Boyce blog, at minute 32.]
SHARPTON: There was some back and forward over the weekend between former President Clinton and Rush Limbaugh, where Limbaugh tried to accuse Clinton of inciting violence by saying people ought to be careful with their language in terms of the tea partiers. I don’t how Limbaugh got that conclusion out of that, but he did. What do you say in the wake of what we are hearing and seeing out of some elements on this anniversary of Oklahoma City, what would be your counsel to the American people?
Once again some members of the media have taken to branding Rush Limbaugh a racist, offering backhanded compliments and genuine surprise that a black woman could have won the Miss America contest whilst he served as judge.
As Boyce Watkins lamented in his Black Voices article, (emphasis mine throughout):
"This week, Rush Limbaugh was standing in front of a talented black woman who was trying to become Miss America. I am not sure if Rush voted for her or not, but the black woman was able to win. Caressa Cameron, a 22-year old from Virginia Commonwealth University, was crowned Saturday night as the winner of the 2010 Miss America pageant."
Watkins, himself a fervent anti-conservative from the Al Sharpton School of race baiting, was merely voicing what many in the media are thinking - a black woman won despite the presence of Limbaugh.
Take NBC Washington for example, who explains that Rush was indeed charmed by Ms. Cameron, saying that she won simply because she:
CNN has highlighted the Media Matters-driven spin on Bill O’Reilly’s race remarks on his radio program since the beginning of the week, and has specifically used "Out in the Open" program, hosted by Rick Sanchez, to carry the water on the subject Monday through Friday of last week.
"Out in the Open" first did a segment on the O’Reilly issue on Monday, at the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour. Sanchez played select audio clips from O’Reilly’s radio show, outside of the greater context of the entire hour that O’Reilly discussed race. He also read some of the quotes from a transcript of the radio broadcast. CNN contributor and O’Reilly critic Roland Martin appeared unopposed during the segment, which lasted about six minutes. During the segment, Martin, in his attack on O’Reilly, played-up the parts from O’Reilly’s remarks that both Media Matters and Sanchez chose to highlight.
Even after the Juan Williams "idiots at CNN" rebuke, CNN still pressed on about Bill O’Reilly’s race remarks, and a guest on Wednesday’s "Newsroom" took the language being used against O’Reilly and Williams to new lows. Syracuse University professor and blogger Boyce Watkins appeared on the CNN program, and compared O’Reilly to a murderous movie villain and to Iranian tyrant Ahmadinejad. "If the villain in a movie comes up and says, 'I love you very much,' that usually means he wants to kill you. The fact is that Bill O'Reilly is a guy who has made a career demeaning, degrading, and devaluing every black institution he can get his hands on.... You know, he's about like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, when it comes to making ridiculous assertions and waiting for people to respond."
After his villain/Ahmadinejad comparison, Watkins blasted NPR host and Fox News contributor Juan Williams for coming to O’Reilly’s defense. O’Reilly’s race comments had come from an hour of his radio program that involved a segment with Williams. "Juan Williams sitting there, is sort of the 'Happy Negro' agreeing with Bill O'Reilly, doesn't impress me at all. A man cannot walk into your home and congratulate your mother for not being a prostitute and not expect you to be offended."