July 23, 2010

There are some moments on TV that should just be sent to the cutting room floor before they ever hit the screen. This is one of them.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck proves that she doesn't listen, she doesn't think, and she's as much of a troll as Breitbart when she wants to be.

This is a classic example of what I keep ranting about. There's no issue here, and anyone with half a brain knows it. But Hasselbeck concern trolls over the Hatch Act (inapplicable to the speech and group Sherrod was speaking to) as if it is the NEXT HORRIBLE RACIST THING.


HASSELBECK: There's another bit from your speech that's actually raising a second wave of controversy.

[from clip, SHERROD:]I haven't seen such a mean-spirited people as i've seen lately over this issue of health care. now we endured 8 years of the Bushes and we didn't do the stuff these Republicans are doing because you have a black President.

HASSELBECK: So what about that epiphany, where is that epiphany where it's not about color and it's not about race. What do you then say?

SHERROD: You know, why is it that there's such opposition to something that's so important to poor people. Again, I'm coming at it from the angle of poor people. Poor people need health care!


HASSELBECK: And i hear you because I listened to your entire speech and I read the entire transcript but when someone listens to that they're thinking 'yeah, well all of a sudden it's back to black and white, why did we have to get there' .

And then is it also because being a civil servant are you not allowed to have such a partisan opinion? I thought --


-- I thought that was not okay.

SHERROD: Poor white people need health care too. You know, so I wasn't talking about health care for just black people. I'm talking about health care for poor people. I know what happens to folks who don't get a chance to go to doctors. I know what's happening to hospitals and their emergency rooms with all of the load of dealing with the person after it's too late.

WENTWORTH: It's too bad, and I know we're going to come back and talk with you again, but it's too bad everything has to immediately take the road of racism. It's poverty. Poverty.

GOLDBERG: Hang on a second -- this is going to be great. you won't forget it.


After the break and re-intro, Hasselbeck gets another chance at the well of the Concern Trolls:

HASSELBECK: You know, we had just shown a clip where the tail end of it you say "we endured 8 years of the Bushes and we didn't do the stuff the Republicans are doing because we have a black President." Second part of my question: Doesn't the Hatch Act prohibit civil servants from making partisan and political statements? SO isn't that reason enough to look into okay, is this something even legal going on?

Wow, isn't it really nice of Elisabeth Hasselbeck to be concerned that Shirley Sherrod might have violated the Hatch Act? And it certainly plays well to the Fox/Breitbart crowd out there who loves the "scary black person doing illegal and racist things" trope. Only, Elisabeth really didn't know what she was talking about, because the Hatch Act does not rob government employees of their First Amendment rights. It simply limits political activity while they are ON DUTY. Here's all you ever wanted to know about the Hatch Act from the Office of Special Counsel.

And once again, Shirley Sherrod puts Hasselbeck right back in her place:

SHERROD: You know, maybe the Hatch Act would have been meant only for me, because I don't know any government official who was gagged, especially during the Bush administration.


BEHAR: You know, I want to support what Shirley said before, which is that during the Bush administration you had tax cuts for the wealthiest and he did not -- that whole adminiistration did not give a damn about poor people and everybody knows it. That's why Obama was elected in the first place.


-- and even now, Republicans are blocking an extension of unemployment insurance but they're okay with tax cuts to the wealthy --


Let me finish. So now you have Obama in office, and he does give a damn about black people

HASSELBECK: Black/white or rich/poor? Which is it?

BEHAR: A lot of people are poor because they were black --


HASSELBECK We're supposed to be postracial here --


GOLDBERG: There is no postracial yet. this was a media idea that sounded great, that sounded wonderful, but the truth is that these issues, these questions of race have never come up this way before because there has never been a black president before, so people are now trying to figure out how they feel, how they deal how they talk. this is a new world for us.

WENTWORTH: Obama has a very fine line to walk. I mean, can you imagine being the first black president having to deal with all these issues?

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