Allen West has been hate mongering again. And Fox News is helping to whitewash it again. A few nights ago, West characterized Democratic support for social safety nets as “the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today.” This, just a few weeks after he announced that liberals should “get the hell out of the U.S.” But he got a warm welcome from “liberal” Greta Van Susteren on On The Record last night, followed by friendly questions that helped legitimize the kind of rhetoric that would have been soundly denounced had it come from a Democrat.
Van Susteren began the segment by showing a clip of West saying,
“The Republican value of minimizing government dependence is particularly beneficial to the poorest among us. Conversely, the Democratic appetite for ever-increasing redistributionary handouts is, in fact, the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today, and it does not promote economic freedom.”
“So, Congressman, explain,” Van Susteren said. She sat and listened quietly and without challenge as West offered his thoughts on lifting people out of poverty. But rather than confront him for using outrageous, divisive rhetoric, she pretended he had been acting thoughtfully. She responded by probing his ideas. “How can we do that because… you can’t just have the middle class and the rich doing well… We have to figure out some way to empower people who are in lower economic class. How do we turn that around? How do we do that?”
She went on to ask if poor and minorities were “better off” than they were four and eight years ago. When West predictably said they were not, Van Susteren sympathetically noted a “very big difference” between a handout and “inspiring an opportunity.” Later, she said that what goes on in the inner cities “is so important for the well-being” for the entire country.
Now, I do not for one moment believe that Van Susteren endorses the kind of language that West uses. But pretending he’s just offering up policy doesn’t just normalize his offensive talk, it sweeps it under the rug.
As the segment closed, Van Susteren said brightly to West, “Always nice to see you.”
You’d never know the guy has a long record of extremely disturbing comments.
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!”
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
-The New Colossus
“F*ck that Sh*t- it’s on a statue French people built!” -Fox News’ reaction
I dare you.