At the top of the 3PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Peter Alexander reported on a tea party event being held in Boston and grilled conservative author Kevin Jackson on "the fringe elements who show up for these rallies. Some in the past have had offensive signs and rhetoric." As Alexander spoke a large sign from the Boston rally appeared on screen, displaying the word 'LOVE' and a heart symbol.
In fairness to Alexander, he prefaced his comment by acknowledging that such signs were "perhaps not at today's event."
After Jackson, author of 'The Big Black Lie' and founder of TheBlackSphere.net, observed that the "fringe" claim was "much ado about nothing," Alexander responded by arguing that a recent email sent out calling on tea party members to avoid any offensive behavior was evidence of offensive behavior: "I think it said the following: Like, 'no chants or signs that you wouldn't want to repeat to your mother or children....'No bigotry, threats, or profanity. No alcohol or pre-drinking.' I mean, would that be necessary if there weren't signs of bigotry or offensive signs at these events?"
On Wednesday’s The O’Reilly Factor, FNC host Bill O’Reilly took the time to speak with an African-American Tea Party activist named Kevin Jackson about his experiences at Tea Party events and what he thinks of liberal commentators – presumably referring to a number of MSNBC hosts – who have charged that racism is common among Tea Party activists. O’Reilly asked of Jackson: "Okay, now obviously you know the controversy. There have been a number of commentators that have called the Tea Party people racists, branded them, you know, a white power organization or whatever you want to call it. So you hear that and you say what?"
Jackson defended the integrity of Tea Party activists:
A black conservative author took on MSNBC's David Shuster Wednesday concerning the consistent media charge that Tea Party members are racists.
Shuster asked guest Kevin Jackson if the recent allegations of supposed racist activity at healthcare reform protests on Capitol Hill this weekend, as well as vandalism at the offices of some Democrat members of Congress, were proof that right-wing rhetoric was getting out of hand.
"Well, I've been to many Tea Parties around the country, and I've yet to see anybody, any real violence towards anybody," said Jackson. "So, I think it's a bit overstated."
When Shuster asked if Jackson had been at the Capitol Saturday when members of the Democratic Black Caucus were supposedly "greeted with derogatory racial slurs," he calmly responded, "Wasn't there for that, but saw the video about it, and determined that a lot of what they were saying had happened actually hadn't occurred" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript and commentary, h/t NB reader Thomas Campbell):