Tag Archives: Rachel Maddow

WATCH: Fox News Sounds The Dog Whistle One More Time

This is not the way Obama talks. At least it is not the way he talked in the scores of speeches I’ve watched him give, the public appearances I’ve seen him make. This is a put on. This is phony.

- Tucker Carlson

Because we all know that when it comes to critiquing blackness, Tucker Carlson is your go-to guy.
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5 Questions For: MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, On Political Diversity And Being “Better Off” [#DNC2012]

By Arturo R. García; cross-posted from Raw Story

This year’s political convention season, says MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, got complicated. Although she is in Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention this week, she missed going to Tampa, FL, last week for its Republican counterpart because real life got in the way. Hurricane Isaac’s path, which initially threatened the convention before tearing through New Orleans, meant the Tulane University professor and her family had to evacuate their home, which they subsequently lost.

“In a certain way, the personal drama, set against the backdrop of the convention, helps to remind us that the personal is political,” she told Raw Story Wednesday. “On the one hand, we were having our own personal issues about wind and rain and a hurricane, but the fact is, levees are political, and disasters–whether or not aid is going to come to your community–has to do with who is making those choices from a political position. And so, certainly it’s been hard, but it’s helped to crystallize why elections really do matter.”
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MSNB-See Ya!: Pat Buchanan Might Finally Be Off Our Televisions … For Now

By Arturo R. García

Last fall, MSNBC told Pat Buchanan to go have fun selling his new book. Today, it looks more likely the network changed the locks behind him.

The network’s president, Phil Griffin, was content to leave Buchanan twisting in the wind this past weekend, when he told The New York Times,“The ideas he put forth aren’t really appropriate for national dialogue, much less the dialogue on MSNBC.”

Of course, it’s been apparent for years that Buchanan’s views weren’t “appropriate” for any place outside of the right-wing fringe. But despite what Griffin said, his latest book might not have been the only factor in his apparent dismissal.

It’s not like Griffin had any room to be surprised by Buchanan’s latest round of printed bile, called Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? Really, it’s the same tune he’s been singing since the 1970s. Because not much separates this speech:

There is a religious war going on in this country. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we shall be as the Cold War itself. For this war is for the soul of America. And in that struggle for the soul of America, Clinton & Clinton are on the other side, and George Bush is on our side. And so to the Buchanan Brigades out there, we have to come home and stand beside George Bush.

From this passage in Superpower:

If that is what a nation is, can we truly say America is still a nation? The European and Christian core of our country is shrinking. The birth rate of our native born has been below replacement level for decades. By 2020, deaths among white Americans will exceed births, while mass immigration is altering forever the face of America.

At every turn, Buchanan has blamed the same groups of people – immigrants, LGBT people, Jewish people – for, in his mind, sullying his idea of what America should be. During his political career, the press at large gave giving Buchanan a wide berth, according to Slate:

Since Buchanan first ran for president in 1992, the press has largely treated him as a legitimate candidate rather than an extremist canker on American politics, á la David Duke or Louis Farrakhan. Part of the explanation for this is that he’s one of us. Though few journalists have any sympathy for Buchanan’s views, some find it hard to reconcile evidence of his bigotry with the friendly guy they know. For those covering his campaigns, there are other disincentives. Once you brand him an anti-Semite, a racist, and a fascist, it’s not much fun riding around New Hampshire with him in a minivan. What’s more, there is a dimension of self-conscious theatricality to Buchanan’s performances that makes his views easier to dismiss. He’ll uncork a zinger about not buying any more chopsticks until the Chinese quit dumping cheap imports, and then cackle at his no-no. You can write this kind of thing off as just Buchanan tomfooling around and building his brand for TV, rather than dyed-in-the-wool bigotry.

And that column was written in 1999, three years before MSNBC and Griffin gave him a national platform, where he would go on to claim that America “has been a country built, basically, by white folks;” that “only white men” died in the Battle of Gettysburg; and so on.

So what changed? According to an InsideCableNews column at Mediaite, it sure wasn’t Buchanan – it was the platform around him:

On the other hand, MSNBC has changed. It openly courts Progressive views and news. It puts out job ads asking for candidates with a progressive news background. Its pundit host class is all progressive and the network lets them show up en masse at the White House for off the record get togethers. The network is openly and aggressively courting the African American viewing audience so much so that it now notes how big it is in African American viewership in its releases.

Add all these things together and you now have a scenario where MSNBC, which used to be able to handle a Pat Buchanan and his intransigent controversial views, can no longer afford to do so without alienating core constituencies it covets.

The theory makes more sense now than it would have a few years ago: even after Keith Olbermann’s acrimonious departure, MSNBC has rebuilt a good portion of its’ talk show brand around Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Chris Hayes, and has added Melissa Harris-Perry, even if it keeps Joe Scarborough around in the morning.

Unfortunately, the nature of cable punditry virtually guarantees that even if Buchanan gets tossed on his duff by MSNBC, some other network will scoop him up and tout him as being “hard-hitting” or whatever the euphemism du jour is for reactionary bigotry. But even if this respite is brief, hopefully it leads to something better for his (apparently) former employers.

 

This Week In Holiday Cheer (?): Antoine Dodson, the Xmas Carol

By Arturo R. García

The video under the cut has been making the rounds, with not only Avon at Postbourgie, but the staff at The Rachel Maddow Show, so agog they couldn’t say more than, “Presented without comment.” It’s SFW, but still kinda WTF?

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Open Thread: Michael Steele, Tom Tancredo, and Racism In Politics

by Latoya Peterson

A quick one, because time is short.

From the “racism doesn’t exist until it happens to me” files,  The Nation points out Michael Steele’s double speak on race:

Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele used to be able to muster a lot of disdain for political players who suggested that criticism of them might be racially motivated.

“I don’t play the race card, I don’t play the race game, the way some tend to do,” Steele, the Republican Party’s most prominent African-American leader, declared last November.

The RNC chair used to argue that the very mention of race as a factor in how pols are perceived and treated was liberal whining and he has said that he is “sick and tired” of those on the left who “play that race card, that slavery card, that civil rights card (when) their backs are up against the wall.” [...]

In a new interview with Washingtonian magazine, Steele, one of the Republican party’s most high-profile African-American stalwarts for a number of years, noted that Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine, who is white, doesn’t seem to be the target of the same sort of griping, embarrassing leaks and negative publicity that the RNC chair is experiencing.

“I don’t see stories about the internal operations of the DNC that I see about this operation,” Steele wonders. “Why? Is it because Michael Steele is the chairman, or is it because a black man is chairman?”

In other news, Mediate reports on Rachel Maddow – and how she made a point to tackle the ignorance that is Tom Tancredo:

On Saturday Maddow referred to Rep. Tom Tancredo — whom she described as a “failed presidential candidate” and “professional anti-immigrant” — as having opened the Tea Party Convention with “a big, loud racist bang” because of his assertion that President Obama was elected by “people who could not even spell the word vote, or say it in English” and then proposed bringing the literacy test back.

At the time Maddow rightly (and righteously) noted that literacy tests were frequently used in the South during segregation to keep African Americans from voting. Last night she picked up where she’d left off on Saturday with a long, more damning description of the shameful practice. Maddow read aloud from Alabama’s literacy test from 1965 (can you answer any of these questions) before declaring her awe and disgust that something similar was proposed just this past weekend.

What to do about crazy Uncle Pat

By Guest Contributor Tami, originally published at What Tami Said

You know back in the 90s when Pat Buchanan was launching failed bids for the presidency, the conservative politico was, in the minds of most folks I knew, synonymous with rabid, ugly, bigotry. But in the late oughts, the man who as late as 2006 still called Nixon’s race-baiting Southern Strategy a good idea, has rehabbed his image through regular appearances on MSNBC, where he is treated by the resident progressives like some batty-but-harmless uncle–a good guy who may be a little retro, but who for the most part simply holds a differing but valid political opinion. Hey, good analysis of a political issue requires evaluation from both sides, right? At least MSNBC, whose commentary has a decided leftward slant, bothered to add a real voice of opposition, unlike Alan Colmes, the cipher of Fox News. The problem is, Pat Buchanan’s isn’t a fact-based or harmless point of view, as his recent racist and sexist foaming demonstrates:

Huh…

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Quoted: Michael Steele – “GOP Needs a Hip-Hop Makeover”

Excerpted by Latoya Peterson

I thought the insanity would end after the election. But oh-no! I was wrong!

”There was underlying concerns we had become too regionalized and the party needed to reach beyond our comfort” zones, he said, citing defeats in such states as Virginia and North Carolina. “We need messengers to really capture that region – young, Hispanic, black, a cross section … We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles. But we want to apply them to urban-surburban hip-hop settings.”

But, he elaborated with a laugh, “we need to uptick our image with everyone, including one-armed midgets.”

This is a direct quote, people.

“I am not afraid of being held accountable for my leadership,” [Steele] said. “The idea I am somehow going to handicap myself before I begin is nuts. I am not going to buy into this mind-set among a few people who probably have never run anything but their mouths.”

Under Mr. Steele’s helm, the “old” may seem inappropriate in the Grand Old Party’s affectionate nickname. He said he is putting a new public relations team into place to update the party’s image.

“It will be avant garde, technically,” he said. “It will come to table with things that will surprise everyone – off the hook.”

Does that mean cutting-edge?

“I don’t do ‘cutting-edge,’ “ he said. “That’s what Democrats are doing. We’re going beyond cutting-edge.”

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