Fox News anchor Leland Vittert’s nit-picking “analysis” of President Obama’s remarks about Dallas, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile proved only that Vittert is the one with the racial chip on his shoulder.
Fox has spent the hours since the horrible shootings of 12 Dallas police officers blaming President Obama, accusing him of stoking tensions between the black community and police and criticizing him for not supporting the police.
But now, President Obama has decided to cut short his trip to Europe in order to visit Dallas, Texas in the wake of the horrific police murders and spend the week working on solutions to the racial and police tensions raised this past week.
Furthermore, in a press conference in Warsaw today, President Obama was unequivocal in his support for police as well as the African American community. From The Washington Post report on Obama's press conference:
The president said he planned to convene a White House meeting in coming days with police officers, community and civil rights activists and others to talk about next steps. He said the “empathy and understanding” that Americans have shown in responding to the events of the past few days, including Dallas police officers even as they came under attack, had given him hope.
“Americans of all races and all backgrounds are rightly outraged by the inexcusable attacks on police, whether it’s in Dallas or any place else,” he said, speaking at a news conference during a trip to Poland. “That includes protesters. It includes family members who have grave concerns about police conduct, and they have said that this is unacceptable.”
But here’s what Vittert said when Obama concluded his press conference:
VITTERT: Perhaps what was most interesting to me was what he didn’t say. You go back to the very beginning of his statements about Dallas and about the police shooting. He used some pretty strong language in terms of what he called those shootings and then he went on to talk about the two people who were shot by police earlier in the week, two African American men under what some have called questionable circumstances.
Interestingly enough, he named both of those two men by name. Never said the names of the five Dallas police officers shot and killed in the line of duty.
Yes, “interesting.” But what’s really interesting is that while Vittert didn’t come right out and say it, he was insinuating that because President Obama did not know the names of individuals in a group of casualties but did know the names of two people who have become causes célèbre, that was proof he was somehow too partial to black people.
Vittert next insinuated that President Obama was giving the black shooter a pass on his racism.
VITTERT: People asked him what caused this shooting. He said, ‘Well, it’s a troubled mind, I don’t really want to go into it.’ The Dallas police chief had said very clearly what this shooter was motivated by.
Actually, Dallas Police Chief David Brown did not say what motivated the shooter. He merely repeated what the shooter said, that he wanted to kill white people and police. Brown also noted that the shooter had said he was not affiliated with any group, such as Black Lives Matter.
Furthermore, in his remarks today, Obama likened Dallas shooter Micah Johnson to the white shooter who killed black worshipers in Charleston last summer. Obama called Johnson a “demented individual” who was “not more representative of all African-Americans than the shooter in Charleston was representative of white Americans.” In other words, Obama was not denying either killer’s prejudice. But, apparently, Vittert thinks black racism is something Obama needs to call out and the fact that he hasn’t is proof of something important.
Vittert moved on to his next racial resentment:
VITTERT: Also the president didn’t condemn any of the violent words and the violent protests which he especially – in Phoenix, there’s reports of protesters shouting at police, “We should shoot you.” Never heard any kind of condemnation from that or full-throated support of law enforcement and the job they do for the president.
Funny, I didn’t hear Vittert condemn any of the comments of former Republican congressman Joe Walsh. In the aftermath of the Dallas shooting, Walsh tweeted, “This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you.” Nor the New York Post’s deliberately incendiary “CIVIL WAR” cover that has been widely condemned.
Could that be because they don’t fit into Fox’s recurring Blacks Behaving Badly theme?
Watch Vittert's race baiting above, from Fox's July 9 coverage of Obama's Warsaw press conference. I apologize for the poor quality but you can hear and see well enough what's going on.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
We watch Fox so you don't have to!