January 18, 2010

From CNN's State of the Union, Lady McCheney defends Rush Limbaugh's hateful, racits comments about the humanitarian aid to Haiti and claims that poor Limbaugh has his taken out of context and distorted. Sorry Mary but I think the more context you give Limbaugh, the worse he sounds. Kind of like your defense of him. First the behavior is excusable because Limbaugh gives a lot of money to charity, then you claim his words were distorted.

In just what context can the words "Obama will use Haiti to boost credibility with "light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country" ever be taken to mean something positive? Too bad John King or her husband didn't ask her that.

If anyone was taken out of context here it's Keith Olbermann by John King. Here's the beginning of the conversation later in the show with Anthony Weiner where his words are put into context.

OLBERMANN: Continuing our coverage of the second day after the earthquake, the 7.0 earthquake at Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, in which this devastation is so extraordinary, there is not even a reasonable estimate as to the death toll yet, as night has fallen for the second time on a disaster-struck nation.

With Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York—and I don‘t want to turn this into something about domestic politics. But I think it‘s a good frame of reference in terms of the health care issue that we always talk about. We could easily have a natural disaster, if not quite on this scale, at least in the same broad ballpark. A slightly heavier earthquake in California could do extraordinary devastation to San Francisco or Los Angeles.

I was thinking about this—and maybe it‘s inappropriate and tell me if I‘m inappropriate in asking it. But how would survivors of something like this here fair in terms of getting on their own feet economically afterwards, with the health care system we have in place right now?

Transcript below the fold.

KING: We're back with James Carville and Mary Matalin. Mary noted earlier in the last segment that it is perhaps inevitable in these days of 24-hour cable and polarized politics that somebody makes politics of just about every situation, even the tragedy in Haiti.

Within hours of the earthquake, as we were trying to assess how many killed, what are the needs, we hear things like this from the left.


KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST, "COUNTDOWN": As we are reminded of what health care reform really means by an awful message of nightmarish reality from a place, a place this time not so very far away. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Somehow there from the left linking Haiti to the health care debate here in the United States. And then we hear this from the right.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, HOST, "THE RUSH LIMBAUGH SHOW": Yes, I think in the Haiti earthquake, ladies and gentlemen, in the words of Rahm Emanuel, we have another crisis simply too good to waste. This will play right into Obama's hands, humanitarian, compassionate. They'll use this to burnish their, shall we say, credibility, with the black community, in the both light-skinned and dark--skinned black community in this country.


KING: So I sat down yesterday with two presidents who know quite a bit about polarized politics, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. And I ran those remarks by them and they said this.


BUSH: They should keep politics out of Haiti.

CLINTON: I think when people see us together, look, they know we have differences, even though we're friends, and what I -- the only political thing I hope that comes out of this is if people keep their differences of conviction but they treat their neighbors as friends.


KING: Why can't we go 48 hours after a tragedy without somebody trying to connect the dots to something perhaps you can't connect the dots to?

MATALIN: Because we live in a political world. And I just want to say Rush Limbaugh, his philanthropic endeavors are legendary. He gives more in a year than most of his opponents can give in a lifetime. But he has political impact that exceeds that.

KING: So if you are such a giving person, why just give that up for your critics? Do you agree with him that it's Obama...

MATALIN: He's on for 15 hours a week. I'm sure he talked about other things. Please stop giggling about this. The notion that I keep -- it's hard for conservatives to extricate politics from this when Katrina was used, and now that we live there, continues to be used as a political football.

Could we? Should we? Maybe yes. But politics is human nature. And there is always -- it's always going to be attached to it. And to the extent that we can have politics and we can continue our humanitarian effort, you know, we can walk and chew gum in this country. CARVILLE: First of all, at the absolute danger of sounding like a corporate suck-up, I was proud of CNN. I think our network -- I mean, I've just got to say this. Anderson and Sanjay Gupta, I mean, there is no -- we were the go-to network. We were there. This was a very, very proud time to be affiliated with CNN. All right, now -- and I mean that.

Secondly, you're right. How -- it looks like there could be some kind of thing -- because most people's thing is not political. Rush says we shouldn't send government aid there. Well, any American would feel pride like the hospital ship going or these helicopters giving water to these people. I mean, you know, at some point maybe people look at something, you know, entirely differently.

Maybe -- I mean, people always ask me this, does Rush really mean that? Or is that just a show? I have no idea. MATALIN: If they ever, ever were able to quote Rush in context or not distort what he is saying -- and that Robert Gibbs, the president's press secretary, on a -- day after day, event after event, stands up there in the world's greatest bully pulpit and distorts what Rush Limbaugh has to say, it's the president of the United States versus Rush Limbaugh, a radio guy. And once again, James has distorted what he said. Because that's what they do. That is what you guys do, to be able to debate with Rush, you distort what he says.

CARVILLE: Again, we just showed the clip. But I mean, if he says what he says, he doesn't -- he likes saying it. What I would like to know, what people really want to know, does he really believe that we shouldn't be sending water there?

MATALIN: Did he say that? Did he say that?

CARVILLE: He said we shouldn't say government aid, we should send private aid.

MATALIN: He did not say we shouldn't send water there.

CARVILLE: Well, that's government aid.

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