Another Saturday, another segment on Fox News Watch where they're supposed "media watchdog" show proves they can be just as terrible at any "fair and balanced" reporting as Howard Kurtz's similar joke of a show on CNN. This week, they were discussing Mitt Romney's appearance at the NAACP, where he was booed during his speech. And of course they all tried to pretend there was no race baiting involved.
They also failed to mention that Romney bussed in his own cheering section when they were discussing how Romney was treated by the crowd there, although I do agree with Judith Miller and the applause at the end was probably out of respect for the fact that Romney bothered to show up there at all. Ultimately they all ended up admitting who showing up there was actually going to help him with and that's his base, who think it's a good thing that he drew the boos from the crowd there.
Included in the panel this week was Richard Grenell, who the Romney campaign ousted after right wingers started going crazy because he's openly gay. Color me not shocked that there was no mention of that at any time during the show as well.
I'm not sure what the Romney campaign hoped to accomplish with this, other than to be able to use it for a talking point over at Fox to trick the viewers there into believing he's got some support from African American voters, but his appearance at the NAACP just keeps taking more bizarre twists.
Did Mitt Romney's campaign plant African-American supporters in the audience to cheer for the speech the candidate gave Wednesday to the NAACP? That's what the NAACP's Hilary Shelton claimed on The Ed Show. (See Late Updates below).
Romney said today that after the speech, at which he was booed for saying he'd repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, he met with black leaders who told him they support his policies but are afraid to do so publicly.
But on The Ed Show, Shelton said those were likely people brought in by the Romney camp "to actually provide the cheering for him."
"Quite frankly, the campaign actually gave me a list of African-American VIPs that they brought into the NAACP meeting," Shelton told Ed Schulz. "So we were aware that they had people brought in specifically for the campaign. So I'm sure those were the ones they sat down with, because quite frankly none of the rank-and-file NAACPers met with him."
Indeed, despite the boos, cheering can be heard at various points during the speech, including when Romney criticized President Obama over the economy and education.
Shelton said that none of the people Romney met with were active NAACP leaders, and that Romney's referring to African-American conservative politicians like Niger Innis who "was brought in from New York."
Pressed by Ed Schultz about whether Innis and the others were actually members of the NAACP, Shelton said: "They're bringing people in that they know will support his agenda from other places, that aren't active with the NAACP. These are people who are brought in to actually provide the cheering for him, so there will be some support along those lines."
As they noted in their updates, the Romney campaign denied the allegations, but they got confirmation backing up Shelton's claims from a couple of different sources who were there. I'm not sure what good Romney thought this little fiasco was going to do him, especially after the remarks he made at the fundraiser following the speech at the NAACP.
Here he is on Cavuto's show earlier the same day, telling Neil that he expected the booing and that he's got support from African American leaders who he supposedly met with that they were discussing in the segment on Schultz's show.
ROMNEY: Remind them of this, if they want more free stuff from the government tell them to go vote for the other guy -- more free stuff. But don't forget nothing is really free.
Wow. I guess he wants to make sure he drives that African American support from 1-2 percent all the way down to zero. As Rachel Maddow noted, it was pretty obvious Romney wanted to get booed and he's not wasting any time showing us why. He's all ready with the race baiting right out of the gate.
Suspended Politico reporter Joe Williams on Monday accused conservative publications like the late Andrew Breitbart's Big Media and Tucker Carlson's The Daily Caller of acting like a "schoolyard bully" by deliberately targeting him after he said GOP hopeful Mitt Romney was more comfortable around "white folks."
Speaking out for the first time since Politico suspended him indefinitely, Williams told Current TV's Bill Press that Big Media used "selective evidence" from comments about Romney on MSNBC and his Twitter account because they were in the business of "gathering scalps" from the so-called liberal media.
"It became about me and not about what I said," he explained. "And that was something that was common to a lot of what you talked about earlier: Chris Hayes, David Shuster, the list goes on. And, you know, now my name is on that list. But the problem I see here is it's not going to stop there."
"Part of the issue here is the fact that we have an organization -- we have a couple of organizations that have very clear agendas," Williams continued. "They're funded -- we don't quite exactly know how, but, certainly, they get their money to do what they do. Their agenda is quite clear. Their agenda is to make enough noise, to push back hard enough that organizations -- independent organizations, independent news organizations that have foundations, that have credibility to their name -- fold."
"Basically it's the schoolyard bully concept where if you make enough noise, if you push back hard enough, people are not going to fight back. ... They're in the business of gathering scalps."
When it comes to the comments about Romney, Williams did not seem eager to apologize.
"If I apologize for that, there are going to be many other people who have to as well because this is not a new sentiment," he pointed out, noting that the phrase "white folks" had been like waving a red flag in front of bull. "To me in my personal opinion at this point, those two words were the ones that set people off. You know, 'white folks,' 'Mitt Romney.' It's a match to a tender keg to certain segments of people who decided they want to push back on what they believe is the liberal media."
Williams also wouldn't say if he wanted to stay on at Politico.
"That's a question that we're working on," he told Press.
The Daily Caller on Monday revealed a March 30 tweet where Williams had accused Politico of an "overlay of blatant racism," calling it the "secret sauce in the Politico shitburger."
"Certainly at that point I was venting, I was spouting, I had frustrations at work, there were frustrations in some of the things that I saw that was going on on the Politico landscape," he recalled. "And I vented and in error and I vented in a public place and that was a huge mistake."
"There are a lot of frustrations in Washington, a lot of things that have racist kind of aura," Williams added. "Politico, by and large, has a lot of things to deal with, questions as far as that's concerned. Well, [minority] representation. Diversity is a problem for the entire D.C. press corps and I don't think Politico is an exception in that regard."
This Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press, David Gregory repeatedly asked Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to give him specifics on his version of the Dream Act, which he abandoned earlier this month after President Obama announced the his new policy halting deportation hearings for those who would have been affected by the Dream Act had it passed.
Just as in his previous interviews, Rubio insisted that insisted that "complicated issues require careful solutions," blamed President Obama for the fact that there's probably no chance in hell Rubio would get his legislation past his own caucus and they didn't want to do anything to encourage illegal immigration.
It's fairly obvious why Rubio didn't want to answer David Gregory's questions on whether immigrants should have to “go home” first before being allowed a path to citizenship in the United States. Rubio, like their presidential candidate Mitt Romney is now trying to thread the needle between not alienating their xenophobic base and not further alienating the Hispanic community with their overly harsh rhetoric on immigration and Romney's past statements about self-deportation. I don't think it's going to do them much good since there's nothing Mitt Romney can do to make those video recordings go away with the statements he's during both this and his last presidential campaign.
"The U.S. Justice Department telling Florida its efforts to prevent voter fraud, but the state now fighting back against Attorney General Eric Holder and defying the order," the Fox News host reported. "The search of the voter list turned up over 180,000 registered voters who may not be U.S. citizens are are therefore ineligible to vote. Florida says it has a duty to make sure that only eligible voters are allowed to vote, but the DOJ, however, says the efforts are discriminatory and violates the Voting Rights Act."
"Some of Eric Holder's harshest critics say he's trying to boost the minority turnout in the November election by inciting racism," Kilmeade concluded.
Those remarks echo an article in the Wall Street Journal last week titled "Holder's Racial Incitement."
"The two most powerful men in America are black, two of the last three Secretaries of State were black, numerous corporate CEOs and other executives are black, and minorities of many races now win state-wide elections in states that belonged to the Confederacy, but the AG implies that Jim Crow is on the cusp of a comeback," the Journal insisted.
"For all of Mr. Obama's attempts to portray Mitt Romney as out of touch, no one has suffered more in the Obama economy than minorities," the article continued. "Which explains Mr. Holder's racial incitement strategy. If Mr. Obama is going to win those swing states again, he needs another burst of minority turnout. If hope won't get them to vote for Mr. Obama again, then how about fear?"
"It's worse than a shame that America's first black Attorney General is using his considerable power to inflame racial antagonism."
As MSNBC's First Read reported, Trump claimed that those in the media are the biggest threat to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. After watching his latest birther rant at the North Carolina Republican Party Convention banquet from this Friday evening, I'm wondering if continued appearances from Trump are a likely bigger threat if he keeps this nonsense up. It's going to turn off everyone but the hard core racists who have lost their minds ever since our first black president got elected.
Donald Trump on Friday warned that the media are the biggest threat to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, but added that the press he has garnered for the Republican nominee has caused his poll numbers to rise "very substantially."
Speaking at the North Carolina GOP Convention, Trump praised Romney for his business experience and promise to stand up against China and fight for American economic interests. But the business mogul also focused a portion of his speech on his questions about where President Obama was born. It is the reason why on Tuesday, when Romney earned the 1,144 delegates necessary to secure his party's nomination, much of the news cycle was devoted to his decision to appear with Trump at a fundraiser that day. [...]
And during his address, Trump again used his appearance as a platform to question the president's birth certificate, the reason he has branded himself as a controversial figure on the national political scene. Calling for the president to release his college records, Trump said, "There is one line called place of birth, I’d like to see what he said..Perhaps it’s going to say Hawaii, perhaps it’s going to say Kenya."
He dismissed that his motives were based in race by citing his recent decision to award African American actor Arsenio Hall the winner of his reality TV show "Celebrity Apprentice."
"Somebody said, 'Oh, because I brought up the birth certificate, I'm a racist. I said, 'How can I be a racist, I just picked Arsenio Hall," said Trump.
Asked after the event why he continues to bring up the issue of the president's birth certificate, Trump said it was the demand from people who want to hear him talk about it, pointing out that the loudest applause line of his nearly hour-long speech came when he was questioning the president's birthplace.
I believe Stephen Colbert would call that the "I have one black friend so I can't be a racist" defense.
You can watch the whole horrid mess at C-SPAN's site here if you're in the mood to torture yourself:
Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday denied he was a "birther," but found it "odd" that President Barack Obama took so long to release his birth certificate.
"You know, I've never been a birther," the Fox News host declared. "You know, it was odd that they didn't release the birth certificate to me. I'm like, you ask me for my birth certificate, it's pretty easy to get."
"Absolutely," Fox News "Medical A Team" member Dr. Marc Siegel agreed. "And it's very suspicious, at least, that he's not coming forward -- the president is not coming forward with his college records."
During his 2008 bid for the White House then-Sen. Obama did release his short-form birth certificate. FactCheck.org concluded at the time that "it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. ... Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said."
Even with the overwhelming evidence of the president's citizenship, Trump recently told The Daily Beast that Obama’s former literary agent had erroneously said the president was born in Kenya because it was the “truth.”
“He didn’t know he was running for president, so he told the truth,” the billionaire mogul insisted. “He said he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia… Now they’re saying it was a mistake. Just like his Kenyan grandmother said he was born in Kenya, and she pointed down the road to the hospital, and after people started screaming at her she said, ‘Oh, I mean Hawaii.’ Give me a break.”
Only hours before attending a fundraiser with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday night, Trump continued to insist to CNN that "a lot of people don’t think it’s authentic."
I saw this story all over the intertubes yesterday, usually coupled with a denunciation of "stupid white racists" - and that really rubbed me the wrong way. I know all about racists, I grew up surrounded by them and I live in a white working class neighborhood. So yeah, I know there's a problem.
But if there's one thing I do know about my racist working-class peers, it's that the racism is more of a secondary characteristic. (In my neighborhood, they turned out for Obama when he first ran in 2008. I remember being pleasantly surprised when I read the precinct returns.) The racism really comes to the forefront when times are tough, and they're really tough now.
In an election year in which the economy ranks as Americans’ top concern, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney holds significant advantages over President Obama among white voters who are struggling financially and buffeted by job loss, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Asked which candidate would do more to advance their families’ economic interests, middle-class white voters who say they are struggling to maintain their financial positions chose Romney over Obama by a large margin — 58 percent to 32 percent.
"Why do these stupid people insist on voting against their own interests?" one commenter chided. Geeze, condescend much?
Voters split evenly on whether President Obama or Mitt Romney would do more to help their families financially, but big majorities see the Republican as doing more to help wealthy Americans and Wall Street, not necessarily a win for the former governor.
The former Massachusetts governor has a similar advantage on this question among white voters who have lost a job in recent years, or who have seen a family member or close friend face unemployment.
Nonwhite voters, struggling or not, give Obama huge leads over Romney when it comes to looking after their families’ financial interests.
Are whites really voting against their own interests, or are we looking at a protest vote? Because with the exception of the auto industry bailout, I can't think of much Obama's administration has done to alleviate the economic pain of working class people. Did he push for an additional tier of unemployment benefits at a time when they were desperately needed? No, he did not. Did he do whatever he could to hold onto public sector jobs and thus keep the economy going? No. Again, he was much more concerned about Wall Street.
When the banks came to steal their houses, did Obama stop them? Nope. In fact, his administration went to work to craft an agreement between states that they wouldn't be prosecuted. Tim Geithner made sniffy comments about "moral hazard" and bent over to shine the shoes of the bankers. Did the administration really attempt to solve the housing crisis that devastated so many communities? No, they were too busy trying to prop up the zombie banks. Look at the disaster that was HARP.
And this is before the Grand Bargain is even on their radar. When that happens, working class voters will never trust the Democrats again. Because Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are the grease in the wheels that make working class life work for extended families.
The results underscore a continuing challenge for Obama and the Democratic Party with white voters, and particularly those without college degrees — who, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are significantly more likely to be unemployed than those with higher education.
Indeed, among whites who described themselves as struggling to maintain their economic footing — regardless of their current class — nearly seven in 10 lacked a college diploma. And although they lean more Republican than the population in general, it is a group that neither party can ignore. In the new poll, 31 percent of these voters described themselves as Republicans, 27 percent as Democrats.
The president's biggest achievement is the health care law, and it will definitely make parts of their lives better. But it's complicated, most people don't understand it, and they're afraid (not without reason) that they're going to get stuck with yet another monthly bill. (Remember, the Republicans have already announced they're going to defund it.) When you're out of work and just trying to survive, the benefits of this bill are largely theoretical and off in the distant future. What about right now?
And we won't even get into the constant drone of Fox News in the background and the effect on their brains.
All that said, it's still the job of the president and his administration to win the support of the voters. People vote to make their lives better, not worse. Explaining to them how much worse it could have been if the president's half-hearted stimulus package hadn't passed doesn't make a very compelling case for his reelection.
Here's a novel idea: Why not do something to actually help them?