MSNBC is known for having bizarrely liberal commentators dubbed “political analysts” who hold forth their opinions while others on the panel nod in agreement. One such frequent panelist is Georgetown University's Dr. Michael Eric Dyson.
But on Wednesday's Now with Alex Wagner, Dyson went to new bizarre and nonsensical heights in his reaction to the controversy involved the Obama/Holder DOJ secretly subpoenaing the phone records of AP reporters. And yes, before you ask, the "Debating Race" author tossed in some absurd reference to race even though it had absolutely nothing to do with the story. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
New host, same loopy logic. Ed Schultz is gone from his weekday MSNBC slot, but the show's name lives on until Chris Hayes comes on board next month. Sitting in for Schultz tonight was the never-at-a-loss-for-words Michael Eric Dyson.
Discussing Elizabeth Warren's latest Senate hearing stunt, on the minimum wage, Dyson gushed "wouldn't that be great" if the minimum wage were raised to $22 per hour? Yeah, great . . . if you'd like unemployment to soar into the stratosphere, as lower-skilled workers were priced out of the market. African-Americans would be particularly hard hit. View the video after the jump.
With the election over and President Obama handily winning reelection -- including in photo ID states like Michigan and Florida -- you'd think MSNBC would go silent about voter ID laws, which clearly did not disenfranchise millions of seniors, students, or black voters nor did it turn the election in favor of Romney.
But no, the network will still flog the issue for the forseeable future. Witness Tuesday’s Now with Alex Wagner, which featured a discussion of the Supreme Court’s decision to review Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. [See video below break. MP3 audio here.]
Princeton University professor Cornel West had some harsh words for MSNBC's Al Sharpton, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Michael Eric Dyson Friday.
Speaking with Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman, West said, "They have sold their souls for a mess of Obama pottage" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
With the folks at MSNBC, it always seems to come back to race. Network host Ed Schultz failed to disappoint this morning when he appeared on Thomas Roberts's 11 a.m. Eastern MSNBC Live and suggested that racism was partly to blame for President Obama's weak performance in the debate (video follows page break):
MSNBC contributor Michael Eric Dyson made a comment on the Martin Bashir show Monday that left the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart totally speechless.
Talking about Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's position on abortion and marriage, Dyson said, "He needs to speak to his fellow Republicans whose numbers ain’t so hot in that regard, and who watch more porn and go to more strip clubs than other people" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC Contributor Dyson: ‘All Hate Ain’t Equal’; ‘Horrible’ Americans Have ‘Fomented… Hostility Toward Muslims’
Discussing the violent anti-American demonstrations erupting across the Middle East outside U.S. embassies in Arab capitals, MSNBC contributor Michael Eric Dyson put a share of the blame on, well, "horrible" Americans.
It was the "demonization of a predictable minority," in this case Muslims, that was the spark that light the conflagration, Dyson argued on the September 14 edition of the noon Eastern program Now with Alex Wagner. "It's not as if, oh in America, we've resolved this with equanimity and grace," he added, seeking to conflate isolated incidents of hate speech against Muslims inside the United States with the violent response of the Arab street to an obscure low-budget YouTube video. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
Some Biden gaffes easily get papered over by the media. Others, like yesterday's racially insensitive remarks, are too big to ignore. And that's precisely when the dutiful Obama/Biden acolytes at MSNBC go into full spin mode, defending the indefensible.
Take Ed Schultz. Following Biden’s controversial crack before a largely African-American gathering that Mitt Romney will unchain Wall Street and put "you all back in chains," Schultz brought on Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson to accuse the GOP of being the real racists in the 2012 election. [Video coming soon. MP3 audio here.]
NewsBusters has been for years exposing the breathtaking ignorance, incompetence, and unprofessionalism of the on air personalities associated with the so-called cable "news network" MSNBC.
On Monday, Michael Eric Dyson, filling in for Ed Schultz, actually asked the brother of one of the victims of Friday's shootings in Aurora, Colorado, how his dead sister is doing (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Of all the political angles that might be played in connection with the Aurora theater shooting, surely racism would be a card too far, right?
Wrong. Subbing for Ed Schultz on MSNBC tonight, Michael Eric Dyson managed to suggest that James Holmes would have attracted the attention of the authorities earlier had he been, yup, "a Muslim or another minority." Until he twisted her arm, it was too much even for Dyson's super-lib guest, Illinois congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. View the video after the jump.
Substitute hosting MSNBC's The Ed Show, Georgtown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson defended comedian Chris Rock's recent lambasting of July 4 as "white people's Independence Day."
Dyson even invoked a quote from 19th century abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass expressing similar sentiments, missing the point that, in modern times, all Americans benefit from America's existence as an independent nation. By contrast, during the years slavery still existed in 19th century, it was more reasonable to complain that actual slaves were not benefiting from independence. Dyson rationalized:
What Chris Rock alluded to is hardly new. In 1852, Frederick Douglass gave a speech, "The Meaning of July Fourth For the Negro." At the outset, he praised the fathers of the republic. "They were statesmen, patriots and heroes. And for the good they did and the principles they contended for, I will unite with you to honor their memory."
But later in the same speech, he addressed the reality of his time. "I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary. Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me."
Guest Dr. James Peterson of LeHigh University praised Rock:
Chris Rock is always abrasive, but he's always sharp, smart and intellectual. And people need to let a comedian be who he is.
On Friday's The Ed Show, MSNBC analyst Richard Wolffe - formerly of Newsweek - compared Mitt Romney's economic plan to a "pre-9/11" mentality as he went along with substitute host Michael Eric Dyson's complaint that Republicans are being "clearly obstuctionist" against President Obama's economic agenda.
Dyson asked the question:
Richard, have Republicans boxed in President Obama by preventing any jobs legislation from passing? They have been clearly obstructionist.
After agreeing with Dyson and suggesting that Republicans may not have "tactical success" in the election, and compared the recession to the 9/11 attacks as he posed:
And I'd like to draw a comparison with events that conservatives felt very strongly, we all felt very strongly about, which was, in the Bush administration, 9/11. We went through this just these last few years, an economic 9/11. That economic meltdown was a serious crisis that started out in this country and spread around the world.
Now, it's one thing for one party to say, "We're not going to help you out, we're not going to give you any votes when you've gone through this crisis, this economic 9/11, and you can deal with it on your own." But now, now at this point, you have a candidate who's bound by those same misjudgments. You have a candidate who actually wants to go back to a pre-economic meltdown, a pre-9/11 mindset, which is to pretend like it never happened, and to say we can go back to a time when the banks were all great and you could just deregulate and everything would be fine.
Wolffe ended up predicting:
We live in this post-meltdown world, and that mindset of obstructionism or pretending it never happened is not going to convince the voters in November.
A Politico reporter has suggested that racism was behind Neil Munro's questioning of President Obama at the White House yesterday. Saying "it's very, very difficult to place race outside of this context," the Politico's Joe Williams claimed racially-motivated direspect of PBO is part of a pattern among conservatives, citing Rep. Joe Wilson, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, and the Tea Party.
Williams made his remarks in the course of responding to a question from Michael Eric Dyson, subbing for Ed Schultz on MSNBC last night. View the video after the jump.
Watch Joe Williams being only too happy to side with Dyson's suggestion that the various episodes cited were motivated by the fact that "this is the nation's first African-American president."
After commenting on the Munro exchange with the President Obama, Schultz sub Michael Eric Dyson suggested there was a pattern.
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: The "you lie" incident by Wilson, Brewer with her finger-wagging. This seems to be part of a larger issue. And I gotta ask the question here: does it have anything to do with the fact that this is the nation's first black president and the level of disrespect is alarming and stunning?
JOE WILLIAMS: It's very, very difficult to place race outside of this context. Mostly because a lot of the interruptions, a lot of the disrespect has been unprecedented. We haven't seen anything like this before. A lot of people will suggest it's because the Republican party has moved so far to the right that they're willing to do things that were unthinkable. But certainly in my experience, it's hard to divorce that because this president doesn't look like the others. And not only do we have a lot of these sort of interruptions, a lot of disrespect towards the office, in more than my view, I mean, a lot of people in the tourist field and practicing journalists were agog, were aghast at what had happened. But you also have the promotions of the Tea Party, where they're using racially-tinged imagery, and racially-tinged sort of statements to get their point across. You have a lot of Members of Congress on the Republican side who feel like they can do whatever or talk about whatever. I mean, have you ever heard of a president being talked about in the way that this congress has talked about him, where you say our job is to make sure this guy serves one term, as opposed to our job is to see that the best interests of the country are served. So given all that evidence, it's hard to divorce that. A lot of people will defend it as saying other presidents were disrespected, but in my view none so publicly.