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Playing the Race Card

Reported by Ellen - January 24, 2005

Is FOX News worried about the Condoleezza Rice nomination? Tonight, two different shows (both featuring Alan Colmes), included guests who accused opponents of the Rice nomination of racism. Add that to the O'Reilly Factor show I posted about a few weeks ago with the same topic and I start sensing a pattern here.

The guest I heard tonight was J. Matt Barber on Colmes' radio show. Barber claimed that Democratic opposition to Rice's nomination was due to "soft racism" (it's not clear to me what, exactly, that means) based on the fact that Democrats "can't afford" to have conservative blacks in power. Colmes mentioned that he had discussed the same subject with another guest on his television show, Hannity & Colmes, earlier that night.

On the radio show, Colmes was unable to contain himself (as he put it) over such hateful nonsense. He argued compellingly that there were very legitimate reasons for Democrats to oppose Rice - her misstatements over how many Iraqi security personnel have been trained, her evasiveness on an exit strategy, the untruths she told about aluminum tubes, etc. "This woman does not deserve to be Secretary of State. It has nothing to do with the color of her skin," Colmes said emphatically.

"Look, you guys keep going after Kofi Annan. Should I suggest that maybe it's because he's black?"

Barber didn't have much of an answer to that.

"What about Colin Powell?" Colmes asked, pointing out that Powell was confirmed without incident.

"He was a media darling," Barber said.

"Oh, come on," Colmes said. Which is exactly what Bill O'Reilly said when Ann Coulter made the same stupid arguments about Democratic racism on his show.

Comment: It's interesting to me that FOX seems to be attacking the questioners, rather than putting on guests who defend the substance of Condi Rice's record. It makes me think the GOP and FOX are getting defensive and, like Hannity when he has no argument, is changing the subject to divert attention.

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