January 16, 2018

Ari Melber spent a few minutes Monday taking a hard look at the so called 'Moral Majority' and how they've evolved in the age of Trump. In particular, he took issue with Bill O'Reilly, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed, the religious cognoscenti of the Trump era.

Noting that Trump's attack on migrants from African and Latin nations exposed Trump's allies' hypocrisy, Melber turned first to Newt Gingrich.

"You know, for decades there were right-wing conservatives who spent a lot of time attacking curse words and explicit language as a threat to our national values. Forget words by politicians who actually of course do represent the country, there were leaders like Newt Gingrich who tried to use their power to stop musicians from ever swearing. Gingrich even called on corporations to pull their ads from stations playing rap music, arguing nothing else matters if you don't start with those values."

After playing a clip of Gingrich being a jerk, he moved onto Bill O'Reilly's attack on rapper Ludacris because of the language in his lyrics, causing Pepsi to drop him.

"By the Trump era, O'Reilly had dropped that crusade. He looked pretty cozy with Trump when they were on the air," Melber noted. "Like many Republicans, Newt Gingrich has gone on to defend Trump's behavior and language, even defending the man who Trump dismissed over his language, Anthony Scaramucci."

He then played the clip of Gingrich claiming Trump and Scaramucci "speak the same language."

Gingrich even applauded Scaramucci, saying, "Trump wants somebody willing to mix it up with the news media, get in the middle of the fight."

Next on the Hypocrite Hit Parade: Mike Huckabee, who used to claim he was very offended by the f-word as recently as 2016."

Roll clip of Huckabee calling those who do use the word "trashy."

And then we come to Pat Robertson.

Roll clip of Robertson bemoaning the diminishment of the office by William Jefferson Clinton.

"Now that is a position many people held back then, and that many people legitimately hold today," Melber allowed. "That's fine."

Oh, but nay to Robertson. "He's discovered a new religion when it comes to Donald Trump. For example, when Trump was openly bragging about unwanted sexual contact, Robertson's response to the "Access Hollywood" tape.

Roll tape of Robertson excusing away the pussy-grabbing remarks as "a conversation in Hollywood where [Trump] is trying to look like he is macho."

On to Ralph Reed.

"He literally ran the group called the Christian Coalition. And this was his statement. 'A 10-year-old tape of a private conversation ranks pretty low on his hierarchy of concerns,' speaking about evangelical voters that he leads. At the Road to Victory conference in 1998, he, however, advocated a personal morals test and not just for the president, but for every level of government."

Roll video of a young, unindicted, not-yet disgraced Ralph Reed preaching his peculiar brand of Christianity, which apparently permits him to launder money and steal millions with his pal Jack Abramoff, but condemn the morals of liberals whatever their moral successes and failings might be.

Ari delivered the verdict on Reed and the rest of them.

"That is one of the men defending Donald Trump's character today, defending the way he leads, defending his words," Melber said. "This isn't a story where the emperor has no clothes."

"The rest of the royal court has been exposed, and it's not pretty."

It certainly isn't, and it's refreshing to see someone take the time to register aggravation at their abject hypocrisy.

Why do they do it? Follow the money. Follow the PR flacks who hijacked religion to advance their right-wing politics. I highly recommend you read Kevin M. Kruse's book One Nation Under God on how the religious right was hijacked by corporate interests to see how the specifics worked. Billionaires and Corporations United, Under God. Forever and ever, amen.

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