Since Bill O'Reilly insists on pounding this idea home that no one has ever referred to Michelle Obama as an angry black woman, and therefore it must just be a political slam on the longsuffering Fox News Channel and O'Reilly in particular, it is time to debunk his specious claims.
Last night, after making the ridiculous claim that no national news figure has ever called Michelle Obama an angry black woman, he deflected the claim that he had done it himself by blaming ABC News for using a "leftist" Media Matters clip. Never mind that the exact words he used were "she looks like an angry woman."
On Friday's show he brought in a guest who challenged his claim but never bothered to actually back up the challenge. After patronizing and interrupting her to death, he concluded with all aplomb that he was certain the allegation that the media had painted Mrs. Obama as an "angry black woman" was all political and not racial.
Baloney. It's as racial as it gets. Let's step through just a few of the different "national media personalities" who have slammed Mrs. Obama unfairly and intentionally in order to paint her as an angry communist lefty insurgent black woman who is surely dangerous and dark.
We have, of course, BillO's own comment. But there are many, many more, made by "high profile media people", including BillO himself.
- In February, 2008, Mr. O'Reilly decided he didn't want to go on "a lynching party" against Mrs. Obama until he himself confirmed that she was angry and bitter.
- In April, 2008, Mark Steyn compares Mrs. Obama to Kim Jong Il.
- From May, 2008, here is Glenn Beck, who brought on "Honky Whitesville" to set him up to say this about Mrs. Obama:
- In June, 2008, commentator Cal Thomas said this on Fox News:
- Sirius Radio's Andrew Wilkow went on a rant in August, 2008 about her, calling her "mean-faced", "tough-looking", "harboring a whole lot of anger", "full of rage", and "the kind of a woman that would hit her husband with a shoe for talking back."
- In July, 2008, G. Gordon Liddy uses his radio show to slam the Obamas, saying the New Yorker cover depicts them perfectly. With regard to Mrs. Obama, he says she has a "'mad at the world' afro, circa 1968, she -- she's got bandoliers and an assault weapon, and there in their fireplace is burning the American flag."
- In August, 2008, Juan Williams on Fox News, says Michelle Obama "uses a kind of militant anger."
- In March, 2009, Tammy Bruce said we have "trash in the White House." Now perhaps that's not directly calling Mrs. Obama angry, but if she wasn't angry before, she'd have a reason after Bruce's remark.
GLENN: I got it. I don’t understand the new tack here. But last night in Charlotte, North Carolina, Michelle Obama went on a rant that I — I mean –
CALLER: Powerful, wasn’t it? Powerful stuff.
GLENN: It was really out of step with where the American people are.
CALLER: I was — I mean, if –
GLENN: She is an elitist. She is an elitist and she is one of the most angry people –
CAL THOMAS: In this campaign, we are being asked to accept three things simultaneously, the first woman with a credible chance of being president, the first African-American with the chance to being president and, whoever Michelle Obama is going to be styled, the angry black woman, first lady? This is an awful lot.
Media Matters has 33 pages of search results where Mrs. Obama is slammed by various "high profile" media types. But let's just jump ahead from 2009 to 2011. Late 2011.
- In October, 2011, Washington Times columnist Joe Curl wrote that Mrs. Obama "is ready to spew her bilious disgust with America on the campaign trail," and "play the role of attack dog, heaping derision on her husband's political opponents."
- In November, 2011, Rush Limbaugh stated with his weighty authority that Mrs. Obama has a "self-centered, arrogant, controlling character disorder" and deserved to be booed by NASCAR fans because she was "uppity."
- In December, 2011, Fox News' Jason Mattera called Mrs. Obama a "diet dominatrix" for stressing good nutrition for children.
So tell me again, BillO, how this isn't about race, but politics? Baloney. It's all about race. If these quotes don't convince him, perhaps he should learn how to use the Google more effectively, or possibly look at himself in the mirror and repeat over and over, "I am not a racist" until he actually believes it.
As for Mrs. Obama, she has been gracious and strong in the face of relentless right-wing attacks on her. She has every reason to be angry, but she's not. For that, she richly deserves her standing in the list of most admired women, besting Sarah Palin, even.