In her April 1 Washington Post story, staffer Krissah Thompson explored how the "mission" and "challenges" of the Congressional Black Caucus have "evolved" from its initial aim "to eradicate racism."
Yet nowhere in Thompson's 23-paragraph article is any mention of how the CBC has denied entry to prospective members on the basis of skin color, such as liberal Democrats Steve Cohen (Tenn.) and Pete Stark (Calif.).
Here's how Politico's Josephine Hearn reported on the controversy surrounding the former in January 2007:
NBC's Today show never covered Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen comparing Republicans to Nazis, but on Friday co-anchor Meredith Vieira determined Sarah Palin's mocking of Barack Obama's Winning the Future slogan as the precise moment when the new era of "civility" in Washington, came to an end. After Vieira opened this morning's show announcing: "End of civility? Sarah Palin takes a shot at President Obama's call for winning the future...is the new tone of togetherness in Washington already over?" she brought on MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell to chastise Palin and Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann:
"[Palin] really struggles with that sounding presidential thing. It's a real challenge for her. And you know, look it's, it's as weird as it gets. But really if you are looking for a lack of civility or the argumentative stuff...this week you really have to go to Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. No one else is doing it."
In a segment entitled "Remember Civility? Why Are Palin & GOP Stepping Up Criticism?" O'Donnell and Vieira took turns bashing the former Alaska Governor and Minnesota Congresswoman as seen in the follow January 28 exchange:
Why pull punches? Steve Cohen (D-TN) has been my political hero for a long time, and I have never been more proud of Steve Cohen. Steve has the balls and spine to call out the fact that Republicans are engaging in the SAME tactics that the Nazis did in Europe - taking a big lie, and repeating it over and over, louder and louder, until people believe it. Meanwhile, Eric Cantor keeps enabling the lie of the "birthers", by not calling it a lie. Cantor's career as a Republican apologist goes back to when his daddy was Reagan's State Campaign Treasurer in 1980...
On MSNBC's Ed Show on Thursday, despite initially regretting his comparison of Republicans to Nazis, Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen later doubled down: "[Indiana Congressman] Mike Pence talked about government takeover of health care....he wants to be concise, careful, and consistent. Well, that's somebody...who lived in a previous century who worked for bad people, that's what he did." [Audio available here]
Host Ed Schultz offered no challenge to that statement as he wrapped up the segment, simply replying, "sure." In the question that preceded Cohen's attack on Pence, Schultz even tried to defend the Tennessee Congressman's Tuesday outburst on the House floor in which he claimed Republicans were using Nazi propaganda tactics in their opposition to ObamaCare: "I think a lot of liberals in this country admire you for calling them [Republicans] liars because the numbers are what they are....you're talking about a messaging machine that they definitely have followed to get their point across about health care, which you think is having an effect."
On Thursday's Parker-Spitzer, CNN's Kathleen Parker acted as an apologist for Rep. Steve Cohen's uncivil comparison between Republicans and Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels: "He was talking about the saying that if you repeat a lie over and over and over again, it becomes the truth. I don't think he was necessarily saying Republicans are Nazis- come on!" (audio available here)
Parker and co-host Eliot Spitzer devoted the first full segment of their 8 pm Eastern hour program to "zeroing in on a couple of examples of where it's [political rhetoric] gone wrong," and brought on Tea Party critic and CNN contributor John Avlon for an extended version of his "wingnuts" segments from American Morning. Before even getting to Cohen's remark, the three spent most of the 10-minute segment critiquing Rush Limbaugh's recent stereotyping of the Chinese language and Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's inaugural address where he stated that non-Christians weren't his "brothers and sisters," as if those two examples were somehow on the same plane as the Tennessee Democrat's invective.
Unsurprisingly, Avlon blamed Limbaugh and other talk show hosts for the heated political rhetoric, and the two CNN hosts concurred:
Charles Krauthammer on Thursday attacked the media's recent bogus call for civility in politics.
"The worst in uncivil discourse that we have had in the last decade occurred in the Bush years when the President was vilified, attacked, he was demonized, compared to Nazis," he told Chris Wallace on Fox News's "Special Report." "I do not remember the Times or the mainstream media all of a sudden wagging a finger and pulling a chin about the rise of uncivil discourse at the time" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
After spending close to two weeks bemoaning the state of political dialogue in America and wondering about its connection to the shooting of a Congresswoman, NBC has, thus far, completely ignored a Democratic Representative comparing the Republicans to Nazis and the Holocaust.
On Wednesday, Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen smeared, "They say it's a government takeover of health care. A big lie, like Goebbels...The Germans said enough about the Jews, and the people believed it and you had the Holocaust." Both ABC and CBS reported the story, but NBC skipped it on Wednesday's Nightly News and on Thursday's Today show.
Yet, on January 10, 2011, NBC's Andrea Mitchell warned, "While there is no evidence [Sarah Palin's] Web site featuring a target on Giffords' district had anything to do with this attack, some are asking if today's political rhetoric is inspiring the lunatic fringe?"
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Americans named President Obama as their No. 1 hero, followed by Jesus Christ and Martin Luther King, in a new Harris poll.
Others in the top 10, in descending order, were Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Abraham Lincoln, John McCain, John F. Kennedy, Chesley Sullenberger and Mother Teresa.
People were asked whom they admired enough to call their heroes. Those surveyed were not shown a list of people to choose from. The Harris Poll was conducted online among a sample of 2,634 U.S. adults by Harris Interactive.
This question was first asked in a Harris Poll in 2001. In that survey Jesus Christ was the hero mentioned most often, followed by Martin Luther King, Colin Powell, John F. Kennedy and Mother Teresa.
New York Times Southern-based reporter Adam Nossiter relayed a disturbing story about racism and anti-Semitism in a House primary in Memphis, "Race Takes Central Role in a Memphis Primary." But which party's primary? That's the one thing missing from Nossiter's Thursday piece -- the word "Democrat."
In the culmination of a racially fraught Congressional campaign in Memphis, a black candidate is linking her liberal-leaning white primary opponent in Thursday's contest, Representative Steve Cohen, to the Ku Klux Klan in a television advertisement.
Mr. Cohen's campaign said it was an unusually direct effort to inject race into the contest.
Is it okay to vote against a candidate because of his race? The answer to the question is no. It is, in fact, the only acceptable answer. But I ask the question because it raises an important point about the media, the Democrats, and Barack Obama himself.
We are, each year, treated to national media reports on race relations in this country and they invariably discuss white America coming to terms with other races in this country. Very, very rarely does the media ever report on other races coming to terms with white America.
It is not really relevant, frankly, to point out that most black voters are going to vote in droves for Barack Obama. Regardless of his race, black voters would vote for the Democrat. But when you read about Congressman Steve Cohen's race in Tennessee's Ninth Congressional District, you really are confronted by both racism and anti-Semitism in a way we rarely think about in this country. And the media is silent. Barack Obama is silent.
Steve Cohen just might lose his re-election not because he has been ineffective in representing his district, but because he is white. And a number of black members of Congress are happy about that.