Veteran MSNBC watchers have surely noticed the Obama-loving network's extreme hostility to black Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson. These attacks and the pressure against Carson, compared to other Republicans in the race, has been intense. You can see that from Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough and Nicolle Wallace, on MSNBC’s Up, Joe Scarborough again, and Chris Matthews again. As a black conservative, Dr. Carson has taken extreme criticism and scrutiny for his words.
On Wednesday's MSNBC Live with Jose Diaz-Balart, Katy Tur and Chris Jansing presented debate reactions from the Trump camp and the Carson camp. Continuing the MSNBC guided-missile focus on Ben Carson’s biography, Diaz-Balart asked Jansing, “Chris, one of the things we were looking for last night was to see if the moderators would bring up the holes in Ben Carson's biography. They did. How did Carson handle it?”
Jansing presented the Carson campaign’s attitude on the attempted media attacks. “Well there was probably no more predictable question that would come last night given the cycle of news over the last week and the scrutiny that Ben Carson has been under.”
Meanwhile, Balart threw to Tur, “Katy when it comes to immigration, this is a subject Trump has been talking about since announcing his candidacy. Did he veer off course last night or stick with his guns?” Unlike the Morning Joe crew, Tur addressed the backstory of Donald Trump’s Eisenhower argument.
Now, what he does reference a lot, last night in the debate, this morning on "Morning Joe," and on the trail a lot, is a 1952 operation that Eisenhower implemented to deport one million undocumented workers back then. What he doesn't point out is how exactly that was done and the name of the operation. The name was "Operation Wetback." It's a very offensive term today. That's why you never hear him talk about it. Also, how it was done was in some cases anything but humane. Many immigrants were taken away in cargo ships described as hellish conditions. Others were dropped off in the middle of the desert. 88 people died from heat stroke being dropped off in the middle of the desert. And so others ripped from their homes, their belongings and their property and taken anywhere in Mexico.
The lack of reaction that Balart had to the commentary from Tur and the silence on it from MSNBC’s programming, while Morning Joe continues to attack Carson as a liar or delusional is striking. It leaves one wondering if the criticism on Carson isn’t racially motivated, compared to his fellow Republican candidates. Notice how Joe and Mika went nowhere near Trump's Eisenhower argument on today's show, letting Trump say everyone thinks his ideas are amazing:
SCARBOROUGH: Why aren't we run this way? Why aren’t other countries -- You made the point last night. Why are other countries tougher on immigration”
TRUMP: We have bad leadership. We do, we really do. We have bad leadership. Look, the whole thing with the anchor babies. Now in the Fourteenth Amendment, you know that really covers it, you need an act of Congress, you don’t need a new amendment or anything, a new constitutional amendment. But anchor babies, a woman is pregnant and she goes over to the border and has that baby on our land and now we take care of the baby for the next 85 years. It's not that way. I must tell you, and I said it wasn't that way and the legal scholars have now said I was right. And I am not talking about the television scholars, the legal scholars say I'm right. If that happened in Mexico, if we had a baby in Mexico, Mexico would throw you the hell out. Mexico is the hardest place, just about, to become a citizen of. But they send people over here, and I’m not just talking Mexico, they're coming in from Asia and they’re coming in from all over the world.
BRZEZINSKI: Conceptually, I understand what you're saying and describing. But still tell me the how. Are you going to have a massive deportation force?
TRUMP: You're going to have a deportation force and you're going to do it humanely, and you’re going to bring the country, frankly the people, because you have excellent, wonderful people, some fantastic people who have been here for a long period of time. Don't forget you have millions of people that are waiting on a line to come into this country and they’re waiting to come in legally. And I always say the wall, we're going to build the wall and it's going to be a real deal. It’s going to be a real wall. There was a picture in a magazine and where they were taking drugs over the wall and built a ramp and the truck was going up and down. They were using wall like a highway. That's not going to happen. It's going to be a Trump wall. A real wall. It's going to stop people and it's going to be good. But your friend Thomas Freiburn?, called me and said there should be a big door. I said it’s going to be a big door. I love the expression. There's going to be a big beautiful nice door. People are going to come in and they’re going come in legally. We have no choice. Otherwise, we don't have a country. We don't know how many people. We don't know if it's 8 million, 20 million. We have no idea how many people are in our country and then you see what happened with Kate in San Francisco and you see what happens with all of the things going on. All of the tremendous crime going on. It cost us 200 billion a year for illegal immigration right now. 200 billion a year, maybe 250, maybe 300. They don’t even know, we’re going to stop it. We’re going to run it properly, and we’re going to stop it.
BRZEZINSKI: So people will face ramifications if they don’t leave? How are you going to pay for it? Are you going to rip them out of their homes? How?
TRUMP: It’s very inexpensive, can I tell you? They’re going back where they came. If they came from a certain country, they’re going to be brought back to that same country. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Now, they can come back, but they have to come back legally. They can come back, but they have to do it legally. And I have to tell you, so many people are in love with it. The loudest applause last night, at the debate, was when I said this. Even I was surprised. The place went wild.
After many years of asserting that conservative critiques of a black president are surely driven in a major way by racism, MSNBC seems utterly blind to the possibility that Republican viewers might think their hostility to Carson is driven by race -- specifically, their feeling that black conservatives aren't really black -- especially in comparison to how the Morning Joe crew seems much warmer to Trump.
The Diaz-Balart transcript is below:
2015-11-11-MSNBC Live with Jose Diaz Balart
JOSE DIAZ-BALART: And Katy, Katy when it comes to immigration, this is a subject Trump has been talking about since announcing his candidacy. Did he veer off course last night or stick with his guns?
KATY TUR: He stuck with his guns. He has been sticking with his guns this entire campaign. He is for a border wall. He is for closing that border except for immigration that is legal. And he has not veered off that one bit. Take a listen to what he said last night.
DONALD TRUMP: The wall will be built. The wall will be successful. And if you think walls don't work, all you have to do is ask Israel, the wall works. Believe me. Properly done. Believe me.
TUR: This is the main point in the trump campaign. A lot of the questions you ask him about heroin or anything else come back to his border wall and his desire to close this country off from illegal immigration. Now, what he does reference a lot, last night in the debate, this morning on "Morning Joe," and on the trail a lot, is a 1952 operation that Eisenhower implemented to deport one million undocumented workers back then. What he doesn't point out is how exactly that was done and the name of the operation. The name was "Operation Wetback." It's a very offensive term today. That's why you never hear him talk about it. Also, how it was done was in some cases anything but humane. Many immigrants were taken away in cargo ships described as hellish conditions. Others were dropped off in the middle of the desert. 88 people died from heat stroke being dropped off in the middle of the desert. And so others ripped from their homes, their belongings and their property and taken anywhere in Mexico. So when Donald Trump talks about deporting these 11 million, undocumented workers and when pressed on how he would do that, he does say it would be done in a humane process, but to reference the 1952 Eisenhower operation isn't necessarily something that will necessarily bolster the idea that he'll do it in a humane way. Jose.
BALART: Chris, one of the things we were looking for last night was to see if the moderators would bring up the holes in Ben Carson's biography. They did. How did Carson handle it?
CHRIS JANSING: Well there was probably no more predictable question that would come last night given the cycle of news over the last week and the scrutiny that Ben Carson has been under. So of course, he was ready for it. He made a quip about thanks for not asking me about something I did in tenth grade at one point. But more specifically he tried to turn it and go toward Hillary Clinton, which was another theme of the night last night, that the target was not each other as much sometimes as the Democrats and Hillary Clinton. He said the real lie was what she told about Benghazi. And he said this as well.
BEN CARSON: We should vet all candidates. I have no problem with being vetted. What I do have a problem with is being lied about. And then putting that out there as truth.
JANSING: And you heard the applause. And a lot of what he has talked about over the last week has been continuing the anti-media theme that we heard in the last debate. It's been lucrative for him as well, his campaign telling me late last night they had just done the numbers and over the last couple days he has raised $2 million. He is the only candidate on the Republican side, the only candidate actually, who has been reporting these numbers day to day, week to week. So far this is working for him. I think the bigger question coming out of this debate where he seemed to be less sure on some of the foreign policy questions, some of the economic questions, how did that play to the audience, will that make any difference in his poll numbers. What they've seen, though, in the past is three previous debates where his performance was considered somewhat middle of the road. It hasn't hurt him at all. If anything, his numbers continue to grow and his likability continues to grow in the most recent polls, although the most recent poll we've seen has not been taken since all these latest revelations. So we'll watch that very closely, Jose.