Tonight Keith Olbermann, whom I am normally a fan of, examined former President Jimmy Carter's statement that much of the outraged aimed at President Obama is rooted in racism. He and Melissa Harris-Lacewell had a very expansive conversation about the truth in Carter's words and the refusal by some in the media to acknowledge that racism still exists. But I have one major problem with the show tonight and this has been a recurring problem. On issue of racism on air personalities at MSNBC don't have to look very far to see a prime example. As much as I appreciate Keith calling out Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, exactly when is he going to get around to calling out frequent MSNBC guest, Pat Buchanan?
As I alluded to in an earlier post, this morning Joe Scarborough had on Michael Eric Dyson to talk about former President Jimmy Carter's statement about racism playing a role in some of the opposition to President Obama. For once Dyson didn't totally irritate the hell out of me (even though he did have throw in his obligatory "I was the first one to endorse Barack" chit) and he made some salient points about why President Carter's words hold weight.
Now while I applaud Dyson's efforts this morning to push Joe, Mika and the rest of the lily white panel on the fact that racism has played a role in the opposition to President Obama, I feel like he missed a MAJOR opportunity here. While I agree with him that Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are representative of the prominent conservatives and Republicans who have ginned up racist opposition against Obama, one of the most blatantly racist political commentators shares the set with Joe and Mika several times a week. I am speaking of course of Pat Buchanan.
The same Pat Buchanan that was one of the advisors who came up with the "Southern Strategy". The same Pat Buchanan that tried to portray Justice Sonia Sotomayor as a racist and unqualified because she was a Latina. The same Pat Buchanan who went on "The Rachel Maddow Show" and ridiculously asserted that America is and always will be a white nation, built by whites and fought for solely by whites. The same Pat Buchanan who uses his column at human events to gin up racial tension with whites on a regular basis.
Yeah, that Pat Buchanan.
See white guys like Joe Scarborough and Chris Matthews will say they believe that racism exists in America but then they will turn around and claim its only on the fringes. When you bring up guys like Rush they will quickly claim they have never heard him say anything racist. Its an easy dodge because you can't prove that they have listened to every show. But bringing up Pat Buchanan kills two birds with one stone. All at once you put them on the spot because they can't say they haven't heard the things Buchanan has said on their own network and at times on their own shows. And on the other hand you put MSNBC on the spot for continuing to employ an avowed racist. Something that thus far they have not confronted.
Now I am nobody's fool. I recognize that for Dyson to bring up Buchanan on Morning Joe would probably mean he would have to look elsewhere going forward for TV appearances. But at some point being real has got to mean more than getting paid or getting exposure. Im just sayin.
One last thing, Joe Scarborough obviously DOES listen to Limbaugh quite a bit because he gave the standard Limbaugh excuse for the "Barack the Magic Negro" song that Limbaugh made. In fact he actually called Dyson disengenous because an black LA Times columnist first coined the phrase. Well I have read the column several times and not once do I see in it where there is a parody of an illiterate black man speaking as is the voice on Limbaugh's song. In point of fact the eloquence of the column itself bears absolutely no resemblence to the crass and obviously racially stereotypical words and tone of the song. If anybody is being disengenuous its the person who excuses Limbaugh for that song by hiding behind the original column.
I have posted links to both though so you are free to come to your own conclusion.
What is not in dispute is that MSNBC has a regular commentator who appears on several of their shows who embodies exactly the kind of race baiting that President Carter was speaking of yesterday. So if they are going to ask whether Carter was right or not, that conversation almost has to include a discussion of the things Pat Buchanan has been doing since President Obama took office.