Mea Culpa — The second incident referred to below was by Kelly O’Donnell, not Norah O’Donnell. My mistake, corrected below. The point remains the same.
This is the latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:
Tonight is a first. Two plays of the race card
by a single person in a single week each of which would have been worth a spotlight.
It’s Norah O’Donnell,
Norah Kelly O’Donnell night. The night we demonstrate that whatever was left of the MSNBC franchise, and O’Donnell’s integrity as a reporter, now is gone.
At the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich commented that “shooting three-point shots may be clever, but it doesn’t put anybody to work.” Speaking of the President’s basketball skills, Gingrich continued: “What we need is a President, not an athlete. We need somebody who actually focuses on getting people back to work.” The next morning, on the MSNBC Morning Joe show, O’Donnell accused Gingrich of using racist imagery, which even was too much for the rest of the MSNBC crew:
But I’m not sure what he means by this particular soundbite and I think it’s open to some criticism because it suggests that the President is an athlete and some people may suggest, you know, because all black people are good athletes. I mean that’s what it sort of sounds like to me.
[Kelly] O’Donnell attended a Tea Party rally on April 15. What possibly could go wrong?
She saw a black man. That is not permitted, in MSNBC’s view, at a Tea Party rally.
So O’Donnell asked him the only question which makes sense in the world of MSNBC: “What is the world are you doing here, don’t you know it’s dangerous for people like you around all these angry white people?” (not an exact quote, my paraphrase). The exact quote was as follows:
“There aren’t a lot of African-American men at these events … Have you ever felt uncomfortable?”
The response must have blown her mind:
“No, no, these are my people, Americans.”
Perhaps a better question from O’Donnell would have been:
“There aren’t a lot of African-Americans at MSNBC … Would you feel uncomfortable around Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Rachel Madow, Ed (whatever his last name is) and me?