Fox News, ever on the lookout for African Americans they can racially disparage, has found a new target: MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry. With her tongue somewhat in cheek, Perry had the racial gall to make an analogy between “ObamaCare” and the N-word. At least three of Fox’s top race-baiters, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly and Eric Bolling, ignored the essence of Harris-Perry's commentary in order to paint her as some kind of anti-white nutjob.
On Sunday, Perry offered up a commentary in which she discussed ObamaCare in terms that likened it to the N-word:
I want to talk today about a controversial word. It’s a word that has been with us for years. And like it or not, it’s indelibly printed in the pages of American history. A word that was originally intended as a derogatory term, meant to shame and divide and demean. The word was conceived of by a group of wealthy white men who needed a way to put themselves above and apart from a black man. To render him inferior and unequal and to diminish his accomplishments.
President Obama has been labelled with this word by his opponents and at first he rose above it, hoping that if he could just make a case for what he achieved, his opponents would fail in making their label stick. But no matter how many successes that he had as president, he realized there were still many people for whom he’d never be anything more than that one disparaging word. A belief he knew was held not just by his political opponents, but also by a significant portion of the American electorate.
And so he decided, if you can’t beat them, you’ve got to join them. And he embraced the word and made it his own, sending his opposition a message they weren’t expecting: "If that’s what you want me to be, I’ll be that."
Y’all know the word that I’m talking about: Obamacare. That’s right! I said it and I’m not ashamed and neither is President Obama.
Harris was saying more than that ObamaCare critics are racist or that the word "ObamaCare" is a racial slur against President Obama. She was saying that the word is being used to whip up political prejudice and animosity – and to ignore what was beneath the skin, if you will - in the same way that racists have used the n-word to whip up racial antagonism. That was made more explicit as she continued:
(Obama) knows that of all his victories over two terms in office, his legacy is ultimately going to be remembered for this one single word. I mean, what do you call the president who rescues the U.S. auto industry? Obamacare. What do you call the president who finally eliminates Osama bin Laden? Obamacare. What do you call the president who ends "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?" Say it with me! Obamacare.
Perry was surely aware of and making use of the racial overtones in her editorial. But to say she was merely accusing ObamaCare critics of racial prejudice is a disingenuous – if not outright dishonest – portrayal of her remarks.
Hannity, Kelly and Bolling Jump At The Race Bait
But Hannity, Kelly and Bolling all seized the race card to play against Harris-Perry and looked no further at what she was saying.
The Hannity show used the opportunity to race bait against the wider African American population. Hannity said to former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, “When you tried to turn New York around, and then crime and the murder rate – you were eviscerated in the press.”
Giuliani agreed. He said, “Everything I said was seen as somehow racially motivated. Here’s the thing that was really strange about it and counterproductive. Every single thing I was doing had tremendous benefit for the minority community. Much more so than the white community.”
This is a perfect example of the insidiousness of Fox News race baiting. As Hannity and Giuliani pretended to care about African Americans, their underlying message was condescending and hostile: Blacks’ cries of racism are just dishonest and/or ignorant attacks on a white man who knows better about what’s good for them.
In case you missed the point, as Hannity went on to decry attacks on conservatives as anti-minority, anti-women and anti-Hispanic, Giuliani announced, “This is pure propaganda. It is absolutely outrageous. And, I believe it’s racist. I believe what they’re doing is racist. ObamaCare is a neutral way to describe a program that, after all, is the president’s centerpiece program.”
The Kelly File echoed the very same “Harris-Perry is the real racist” message during its discussion in the previous hour. The show put together an all-white panel to discuss this and other topics. One of the guests was Katie Pavlich. Coincidentally, Pavlich has preveiously demonstrated her own antagonistic and patronizing attitude toward African American concerns.
The Democratic guest was Matt Bennett, formerly of the Clinton administration. Bennett has previously done a decent job of countering Kelly's spin but in this segment, he could have been reading a script written by her. “That’s ridiculous. Thank you, Megyn, for going to me first on this one," Bennett said. "Look, if this was an attempt at humor, it failed. It was not funny, it wasn’t appropriate and it was offensive. Moreover, it misses the point. …The president adopted the term ‘Obamacare’ because it stands for the signature initiative of his presidency.”
With all due respect, I think Bennett missed the point. I’ve got no problem with anyone challenging or criticizing Harris-Perry’s remarks. But if he thinks that the substance of Harris-Perry’s commentary was the point of the discussion, then I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell him.
Don’t believe me? Kelly went next to Pavlich to ask, “What is (Harris-Perry) talking about, ‘(the ‘ObamaCare’ term) was conceived of by a group of wealthy white men?’" To her credit, Pavlich didn’t take the race bait. So Kelly tried again. Speaking to her other guest, Fox News’ legal analyst, Mercedes Colwin, Kelly asked:
“Does this work anymore? I mean, this person in particular sees racism everywhere. I mean, everywhere! Remember that movie Boomerang? …It was a joke about how some people see racism everywhere and it totally diminishes actual claims of racism.”
Not surprisingly, The Five (video at Mediaite) weighed in, too. Co-host Bolling also made a point of racially discrediting Perry. He said, “You can’t call her stupid. I think she’s a professor. …But clearly, all she’s trying to do is get some provocative commentary out there so we bite and we mention it. But that is, honestly, ridiculous. President Obama has called it ‘ObamaCare’ so is he racist? You be the first to call President Obama ‘racist,’ will you please?”
The irony is that by focusing on the superficial “skin” of Perry’s remarks, Fox News pundits didn’t just conveniently overlook the substance. They very vividly proved her point.
The first video below is Harris-Perry’s complete commentary. Underneath is the Hannity/Giuliani discussion. The third video is The Kelly File’s discussion.
BTW, Hannocchio the RINO can’t function without his notes and teleprompter.
Fox News just can’t handle that she knocked it out of the park.