MSNBC failed to disclose the close affiliation between one of its guests, former Iowa-based radio host Steve Deace, and the presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), during a segment on the 2016 election, despite Deace's endorsement of Cruz and his appearances at campaign events for Cruz in Iowa.
The October 8 News Nation segment started by discussing comments by Rupert Murdoch, the executive co-chair of Fox News' parent company, 21st Century Fox, about President Obama. Deace was asked whether he thought a tweet Murdoch recently posted -- that candidate Ben Carson would be a "real black President" as compared to Obama -- would affect the presidential race and Carson's campaign. Deace's response was to rebuke Fox News for attempting to steer the GOP nomination process. Deace said Fox News did not approve of Ben Carson or Ted Cruz, who are both "killing it organizationally" around the country. When Deace was asked about Donald Trump's lead in Iowa polls, he rejected the validity of the polling and said,"If the [Iowa] Caucuses were today, Ben Carson or Ted Cruz would win."
However, during the segment neither Deace nor the MSNBC host disclosed that Deace has close ties to Cruz: he publicly endorsed the senator in August and volunteered for his campaign on the ground in Iowa by appearing at an opening of a new campaign office. Also, according to Deace himself, he was in discussions to help Cruz as far back as August, 2013. In fact, The Des Moines Register reported in March that "Deace served as an informal, unpaid consultant" to Cruz's campaign prior to endorsing him.
Deace has made several appearances on MSNBC, despite the fact that he has mocked the network in commentary pieces for conservative newspapers and blogs. On his radio show, which ended its broadcast deal with USA Radio Network in September, and in his written commentary, Deace is considerably more divisive and partisan than when he is appearing on mainstream media outlets like MSNBC.
Fox Sports 1 host Katie Nolan harshly criticized sports reporters over their friendly treatment of Dallas Cowboys player Greg Hardy, who returned from a suspension for assaulting and threatening to kill his then-girlfriend last year. Several sports journalists appeared to joke with Hardy about "attractive" women and, as Nolan put it, "let him go on about girlfriends and guns."
Hardy was suspended for four games after he allegedly strangled his girlfriend, Nicole Holder, and "slammed" her against a futon and a couch "covered" in firearms. He was convicted by a judge of the assault last year, but that was overturned on appeal after Holder reportedly couldn't be located to testify in a jury trial.
During a press availability this week, a reporter asked Hardy if it would take very long for him to get back in shape, and he responded, "I hope not. I hope I come out guns blazing."
On her Fox Sports 1 show Garbage Time, Nolan responded by calling out the NFL for promoting Hardy's comments, and criticizing sports journalists who asked Hardy whether he found particular women "attractive" and failed to "act with just a shred of human decency":
NOLAN: That guy, facing the media for the first time, said he'd like to come out "guns blazing." That's baffling to me. And not just as a woman, but as a person who majored in public relations. How do you let that comment happen? Oh, I'm sorry, not just let it happen, publish it on the league's official website, endorsing it with your precious shield, which, oh, I noticed has a pink ribbon on it this month because you care about women. That's cool, thanks.
And if you're thinking, relax, the guy used the wrong phrasing, don't get your panties in a bunch, first of all, hey Cowboys fans, thanks for watching the show. But second of all, you're wrong.
See, when reporters asked Hardy questions about his treatment of women, he deflected and insisted on bringing the focus back to football.
But then, when they asked him about Tom Brady, a question about football, here's his response per Brandon George from the Dallas Morning News: "I love seeing Tom Brady. You seen his wife? I hope she comes to the game. I hope her sister comes to the game."
Greg Hardy had to pretend to respect women for twelve minutes. Just twelve minutes. And he couldn't even do that.
And what's worse, no one stopped him. They let him go on about girlfriends and guns, and posted video of it on DallasCowboys.com, because who fucking cares, right? Women won't see it. Women only care about football during those events they run, where they tell them what to cook on game day and give them free manicures.
And then, another reporter, a person I'm supposed to feel is a colleague of mine here in sports media, "asked if Hardy looks forward to playing teams such as the Jacksonville Jaguars, and whether he finds their quarterback Blake Bortles' significant other attractive."
Christ, guys. Enough. Enough. I see this shit in my timeline, next to a story about Stedman Bailey being fined by the league for pretending to take a nap on a football in the end zone, and it's just like, what are we fucking doing? What matters to you? Seriously? What matters to you? Because expecting a garbage human, who has been punished for being garbage, to come back from his suspension and not immediately resume being garbage, is asking the bare minimum.
And if me hoping that the league, and the Cowboys, and their PR people, and the media, could act with just a shred of human decency, is ruining football for you, then I'm disappointed I guess, in how much we're willing to accept in order to protect our precious Sundays.
This is not the first time Nolan has called out her fellow sports reporters and media outlets for their reporting on violence against women -- even her own network.
In September 2014, in response to the Ray Rice scandal (where the then-Baltimore Ravens running back was filmed hitting his girlfriend so violently she passed out in an elevator), Nolan posted a video online talking about women in the NFL, and in particular, the lack of women in sports media. She concluded by saying:
NOLAN: Women in sports television are allowed to read headlines, patrol sidelines and generally facilitate conversation for their male colleagues. Sometimes, they even let us monitor the Internet from a couch. And while the Stephen A. Smiths, Mike Francesas, Dan Patricks and Keith Olbermanns of the world get to weigh in on the issues of the day, we just smile and throw to commercial.
A lot of people like to justify women's supporting role in sports media by saying, well, they've never played the game so they just aren't qualified to speak about it. Because, God forbid, someone misspeak about the game. But topics like domestic violence and racism and corruption? Let's let Boomer handle those between downs.
It's time for the conversation to change, or at least those participating in the conversation. It's time for women to have a seat at the big boy table, and not where their presence is a gimmick or a concept -- just a person who happens to have breasts offering their opinion on the sports they love and the topics they know.
Because, the truth is, the NFL will never respect women and their opinions as long as the media it answers to doesn't. I'm ready when you are, Fox.
New York Times contributor Bryce Covert highlighted how Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush's claim that Democrats promise "free stuff" to court black voters - a narrative widely used by conservative media - "takes an incredibly narrow, and therefore misleading, view of government benefits," and is at odds with his own tax plan.
In a September speech during a campaign stop in South Carolina, Jeb Bush claimed that Democrats use "free stuff" in order to sway black voters. As The Washington Post's Phillip Bump subsequently explained, Bush's assertion had a "lack of evidence" and was based on popular conservative myths. Conservative media have spent years propping up similar unsubstantiated claims that Democrats use "free stuff" to entice minority voters and jumped to defend Bush when he parroted their talking point.
ThinkProgress' Bryce Covert explained in an October 8 op-ed for the New York Times that the "free stuff" talking point ignores how "we all get 'free stuff' from the government" such as tax credits, deductions, and exclusions. Writing that Bush "is almost certainly aware of the freebies available through taxes" as his own tax plan would give out more of them, Covert pointed out the disconnect between Bush's comments and his economic proposals:
The Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush got caught sounding like a Mitt Romney rerun recently: He told a mostly white audience that he could attract black voters because his campaign "isn't one of division and get in line and we'll take care of you with free stuff." The remark comes just three years after Mr. Romney was lampooned for later describing his own message in a speech to the N.A.A.C.P. as one where the listeners shouldn't expect "free stuff."
In each context, it was clear what kind of government stuff they meant, given the voters they were talking about. They meant welfare programs -- cash benefits from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, food stamps, housing subsidies and other direct spending programs that help the poor -- that are, often unfairly, associated with black Americans.
But the shorthand of "free stuff" also takes an incredibly narrow, and therefore misleading, view of government benefits. There's a whole treasure trove of government handouts that aren't dispensed through spending, but rather through the tax code. That doesn't make them any less "free" than a rent voucher or an Electronic Benefit Transfer card.
The government loses about $900 billion in revenue every year on just the 10 largest tax expenditures -- called expenditures because while they aren't direct outlays, they come at a cost just like direct spending. It's a pot that includes credits like the earned-income tax credit and Child Tax Credit as well as deductions and exclusions that help mainly middle-class people reduce how much they owe each April. It also includes special tax rates such as the lower burden on money made through investments instead of a salary. Tax credits mainly help the poor, but the rest help the well off: According to the Congressional Budget Office, more than half of the benefits of these expenditures go to the richest 20 percent of American households.
These facts are obscured for most people. While those who get government benefits through spending programs are often aware -- and too frequently ashamed -- of that fact, those who get them through the tax system usually don't realize they've received a handout. In a 2008 poll, 57 percent of people said they had never availed themselves of a government program, yet 94 percent of those same people had in fact benefited from at least one -- mostly through what the Cornell professor Suzanne Mettler has called the "submerged state," or the huge but often invisible network of money spent through the tax code.
Jeb Bush, however, is almost certainly aware of the freebies available through taxes. (According to one analysis of his federal income tax returns, he himself has saved at least $241,000 since 1981 through the mortgage interest deduction.) Just days before he vowed not to promise voters more free stuff, he put out a tax plan that would give out a whole lot more of it.
There are a couple of things in his plan that would benefit low-income Americans, like a boost to the earned-income tax credit. But thanks to proposed changes such as lowering the top income tax rate, ending the estate tax paid by the wealthiest 0.2 percent and even further reducing the rate for investment income, the biggest benefit would be handed to those who are already counted in the richest 1 percent slice of America. And it would come at a cost of at least $1.6 trillion over a decade, according to analysis by the Tax Foundation.
Every four years, politicians stigmatize "free stuff" like food stamps and welfare while courting votes -- and gloss over tax breaks. But the problem goes beyond disingenuous politicians. Statements like these erode support for government. The more "visible" benefits someone has used -- in other words, direct spending programs -- the more likely he is to feel the government has helped him personally. If most Americans falsely think they don't get free government stuff, though, they won't want to offer it to the people they think get it instead.
On the October 6 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that childhood hunger in the United States is "a total lie" and blamed purportedly "derelict" parents for allowing their families to live in poverty, which he implied was a form of child abuse. When guest Kirsten Powers pushed back on O'Reilly's poor-shaming narrative, he challenged her to "produce one" example of a poor family struggling with hunger in the United States today, shouting "you can't." On October 8, TalkPoverty.org interviewed four mothers whose life stories fly in the face of O'Reilly's denial:
As Bill O'Reilly apparently does not know a single family straining to make ends meet, we did his homework for him and asked four mothers who have experienced hunger to tell us what they think about his comments:
Bill O'Reilly said show me hunger and I say, "Here I am." My children have lived through a lot of adverse situations; we have been homeless and have relied on shelters. Without food stamps, my children would starve. When is it okay for children to starve in this country? When is it okay to actively ignore starving children in your country? -- Asia Thompson, Pennsylvania
He hasn't experienced poverty but Bill O'Reilly should know that poverty can happen to anyone. When my twin sons were 9 months old, my husband lost his job and we had to go on WIC to feed our children. This program provided support and the food was one less thing we had to worry about. And as a Head Start teacher, I see firsthand how kids can't focus in school because they're so hungry. - Mary Janet Bryant, Kentucky
I used all of these programs for my children, and I am a success story like thousands of other parents. My oldest daughter is in her fourth year of college studying stem cell biology on her way to a PhD. I beg to differ with Bill O'Reilly's opinion, as he doesn't have firsthand experience with hunger and poverty. - Vivian Thorpe, California
I think it's easy to miss the signs of child poverty and hunger in our society because people often look better than they feel. I was less hungry as a kid because my family benefited from WIC, SNAP, and school lunch. I also graduated from high school, college, and graduate school. I have worked hard for 25 years in the TV business and I am the social safety net for my family now. To my way of thinking, Bill O'Reilly is seeing the emperor in a fine new suit of gold-threaded clothes but that emperor is naked. - Sherry Brennan, California
The false conservative media talking point that Umpqua Community College (UCC) was a "gun-free zone" was frequently pushed on CNN and Fox News in the aftermath of an October 1 mass shooting where a gunman killed nine and wounded several others on the Roseburg, Oregon, campus.
Conservative media figures often claim that mass shootings tend to happen in so-called "gun-free zones" in order to advocate for less restrictive gun laws. In reality, most mass shootings occur where firearms are allowed, and a Mother Jones review of mass public shootings over a 30-year period concluded, "In not a single case was the killing stopped by a civilian using a gun. And in other recent (but less lethal) rampages in which armed civilians attempted to intervene, those civilians not only failed to stop the shooter but also were gravely wounded or killed."
Within the first two hours of breaking news reporting on the UCC shooting, claims that UCC was a "gun-free zone" began to appear on CNN and Fox News. The claim, however, was untrue under any reasonable definition of what a "gun-free zone" could be. According to a Newsweek interview of more than a dozen people connected with UCC, it was "common knowledge" that "many students carried guns" on UCC's campus.
Under Oregon law, individuals with concealed carry permits are allowed to carry guns on the grounds of public colleges and universities. Public colleges and universities can create a policy to not allow guns within campus buildings. UCC did not allow guns in buildings "except as expressly authorized by law or college regulations," which was apparently interpreted by students as allowing concealed carry with a lawfully issued permit.
As one student explained to Newsweek, "You are allowed to conceal and carry on that campus. It's not a gun-free zone":
"You are allowed to conceal and carry on that campus," said Umpqua student and part-time wildland firefighter Jeremy Smith, 24. "It's not a gun-free zone."
Smith said he would never return to campus without a handgun.
"I'm an avid gun owner," he said. "I carry, like just about anybody else does."
Although Oregon state law allows concealed weapons, Umpqua's student handbook says firearms are prohibited on college property "except as expressly authorized by law or college regulations."
The school includes firearms training in its criminal justice program for people accepted into a Police Reserve Academy. Students use the Roseburg Rod and Gun Club, a short drive from campus, to shoot or get help registering for a concealed-carry permit, an employee there said.
While there were two unarmed security guards at the sprawling campus, several current and former students said legally carrying concealed handguns was not unusual, particularly among the hundreds of military veterans who attend classes and frequent the Student Veterans Center.
News reports also established that there were indeed armed students on campus at the time of the shooting. A student who also happened to be a U.S. military veteran described on MSNBC why he and other veterans he was with decided not to intervene, explaining, "Not knowing where SWAT was on their response time, they wouldn't have known who we were, if we had our guns ready to shoot they could think we were bad guys."
Despite this plethora of evidence that UCC was not a "gun-free zone," CNN and Fox News continued to advance the falsehood in the week after the shooting.
According to a review of internal Media Matters video archives of coverage between October 1 and October 6, the "gun-free zone" falsehood as it relates to UCC was mentioned 23 times on Fox News, with just two instances where it was explained that UCC was not a "gun-free zone." The falsehood appeared 25 times on CNN, with four of those instances being debunked with accurate information.
By contrast, the falsehood was advanced just once on MSNBC without pushback, and in two instances the "gun-free zone" claim was pro-actively debunked without someone first pushing the myth:
Fox News ran 23 segments where it was claimed that UCC was a "gun-free zone." The claims came from Fox News reporters, hosts, guests and soundbites of GOP presidential candidates making the claim. The claim was debunked in only two cases.
In one of these instances, during the October 1 broadcast of The O'Reilly Factor, guest David Jaques, the publisher of the Roseburg Beacon News, explained "it's not a gun-free zone," citing a statement from UCC's past president.
False claims about UCC being a "gun-free zone" were not limited to conservative punditry on Fox News. During breaking news coverage of the shooting on October 1, Fox News correspondent and breaking news anchor Trace Gallagher falsely reported, "As we know, and have been reporting, Umpqua Community College is a gun-free zone."
On October 2, Fox News correspondent William La Jeunesse falsely reported UCC was a "gun-free zone" during several news reports. During the October 2 broadcast of Happening Now, La Jeunesse falsely reported, "This was a gun-free zone." Later on Outnumbered, La Jeunesse editorialized further, saying, "This was a gun-free zone, so the gunman had no fear of being shot himself by other students."
CNN ran 25 segments that included claims that UCC was a "gun-free zone," with claims coming from CNN hosts, guests, and unchallenged soundbites of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump pushing the falsehood during a speech.
In four instances, other on-air individuals corrected the claim that UCC was a "gun-free zone."
During the early morning hours of October 2, CNN ran a report several times that erroneously reported UCC was "technically ... a gun-free zone" in a botched attempt to explain Oregon law and UCC policies.
The claim that UCC was a "gun-free zone" was made just once on MSNBC, by co-host Willie Geist during the October 2 broadcast of Morning Joe.
In two other instances, the notion that UCC was a "gun-free zone" was preemptively debunked, once by Mark Kelly, whose wife, then-Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), was wounded in a 2011 mass shooting, and once by MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff who explained, "This was not a so-called gun-free zone" while relaying reports of concealed carry on campus and students who were carrying guns during the shooting.
Media Matters reviewed internal video archives for MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News beginning at 2 P.M. EST on October 1 and ending at 11:59 P.M. EST on October 6, searching for the term "gun-free zone." Segments that included this term were reviewed to determine whether the claim that UCC was a "gun-free zone" was either advanced, debunked, or both advanced and debunked. Segments that referenced Oregon gun law or UCC gun policy but ultimately concluded that UCC was a "gun-free zone" were coded as "Segments Pushing 'Gun-Free Zones' Myth."
Chart by Craig Harrington.
Fox News' flagship morning show has emerged as Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson's most effusive protector in the wake of his controversial suggestions that mass shooting victims shared some of the blame for their deaths, and that a Muslim should not be president. Fox & Friends' defense of Carson should come as no surprise considering the network's history of promoting the candidate's presidential ambitions.
Ben Carson has been a longtime fixture on Fox News, which essentially turned him into a presidential candidate, but the network's job as a mouthpiece for the GOP has taken on a new meaning in the wake of the candidate's repeated controversial comments.
After Carson told Fox & Friends hosts on October 6 that if confronted by a gunman, he would "not just stand there and let him shoot me," in response to the October 1 mass shooting that killed 10 at Umpqua Community College, the hosts were quick to use their platform in the following days to shield him from criticism. When the comments garnered outrage for suggesting that the victims of the shooting did not do enough to protect themselves, Fox & Friends co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck accused Carson's so-called "heartless" critics of irresponsibly "mischaracterize[ing]" the comments. Co-host Brian Kilmeade clarified for Carson that the comments were not intended as a judgment of the Oregon shooting victims, explaining that "he was just answering [a] question," and even featuring a guest to praise Carson's spirit.
This is not the first time that Fox & Friends has helped Carson spin his inflammatory rhetoric. Carson sparked widespread backlash -- even among fellow conservatives -- when he said he "absolutely would not agree with" a Muslim being elected president of the United States. Fox & Friends quickly tried to rehabilitate the statement, reasoning that a Muslim president would be synonymous with violent Islamists and the fundamentalist system of "Sharia law." Kilmeade framed the comments as part of an age-old debate, claiming that the Founding Fathers "were debating whether a Muslim should be a president back in the creation of our country," and co-host Steve Doocy suggested that Carson was actually talking about Muslims who adhere to Sharia law, not all Muslims. Fox & Friends also attempted to paint backlash against Carson as a "gotcha moment," and argued it was irrelevant to the current political debate: "it's a total non sequitur. There is no Muslim running for president."
Fox & Friends' public relations work for Carson follows reports that "Fox chairman Roger Ailes has been impressed by Carson, a former Fox pundit, ... is promoting his candidacy inside the network," and "has told producers to push Carson and put him on whenever he wants to go on." And notably, Rupert Murdoch, executive co-chairman of Fox News' parent company, apologized October 8 after praising Carson while calling for "a real black president" in response to a New York magazine column that posed the question, "Did Barack Obama do enough for his own community?"
National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent said "losers" who don't carry a gun "get cut down by murderous maniacs like blind sheep to slaughter" in a column for WND, becoming the latest public conservative figure to blame victims of gun violence who are unarmed.
In an October 7 column headlined, "The Answer: Get A Damn Handgun," Nugent urged Americans to buy and carry guns and criticized people who are shot while unarmed. After declaring that "any law, any regulation" of guns is unconstitutional, Nugent wrote about "those losers amongst us ... [who] fall for the big lie of political correctness, and get cut down by murderous maniacs like blind sheep to slaughter":
Anything, any law, any regulation, any directive, any decree, any dastardly claim to the contrary is pure, unambiguous criminal infringement in the first degree, and I see a whole gang of criminal violators everywhere I look in our government, our courts and in pretty much every power-abusing bureaucracy out there.
Meanwhile, those losers amongst us - spinelessly discarding self-evident truth, logic, common sense and pure human instinct - continue to fall for the big lie of political correctness, and get cut down by murderous maniacs like blind sheep to slaughter.
Nugent's advice that people should arm themselves is based on his false belief that the October 1 mass shooting at Umpqua Community College (UCC) in Oregon took place in a "gun-free zone." (The campus was not a "gun-free zone," according to Newsweek, it was "common knowledge" that "many students carried guns" on campus.)
Nugent also offered advice to anyone confronted by a gunman, including this counsel: "Do not hide under tables of chairs. Do not comply with the directions from the perpetrator."
Nugent ended his column by advising readers to join the NRA, concluding, "Disarmed and helpless is an irresponsible, suicidal choice that will get you killed. Defend yourself."
Blaming unarmed victims of gun violence for not defending themselves is an increasing trend among conservatives.
GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson recently created controversy for responding to the Oregon college shooting by saying, "I would not just stand there and let him shoot me." (Although later he shared an anecdote about facing an armed robber at a fast food restaurant and recounted that he said, "I believe that you want the guy behind the counter.")
In a September 28 post on his website, discredited gun researcher John Lott -- the inventor of the debunked "More Guns, Less Crime" thesis -- blamed a robbery victim who was shot in the back for his injuries, claiming the man displayed "passive behavior" because he fled from his attacker. The victim in that case, an Army veteran, was likely paralyzed by the shooting.
Following the June 17 killing of nine people at an historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, NRA board member Charles L. Cotton wrote that the victims died because the church reverend -- who was also killed in the attack -- was an advocate for gun safety laws.
Rupert Murdoch, executive co-chairman of Fox News' parent company, praised Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson and his wife Candy as "terrific" and called for "a real black president" in response to a New York magazine column that posed the question, "Did Barack Obama do enough for his own community?"
From Murdoch's October 7 tweet:
Ben and Candy Carson terrific. What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide? And much else.-- Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) October 8, 2015
Murdoch apologized in an October 8 tweet:
Apologies! No offence meant. Personally find both men charming.-- Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) October 8, 2015
This morning I nearly choked on my coffee when I saw that The New York Times' editorial board published an opinion piece with the headline, "Shut Down the Benghazi Committee." For once, I couldn't agree more with the Times.
Two years ago, I wrote an e-book with my colleague, Ari Rabin-Havt, titled, The Benghazi Hoax. In it, we detailed the 15 most common falsehoods the Fox Noise Machine and conservative blowhards pumped out on a daily basis as they tried to politicize the tragedy in Benghazi.
Mitt Romney had failed to do so effectively in the 2012 election, so the right-wing turned its sights on the woman they thought most likely to be the next Democratic nominee for president.
Fox News was a driving force behind House Republicans' formation of the sham Benghazi Committee. In fact, the network ran nearly 1,100 prime-time segments pushing the propped-up storyline in the first 20 months after the national tragedy alone.
On May 2, 2014, House Speaker John Boehner announced the Benghazi Select Committee. In the ensuing two weeks, as Media Matters reported, Fox News provided over $124 million dollars' worth of promotion on their airwaves. Mainstream media followed suit, awaiting each and every utterance of Rep. Trey Gowdy and his committee cronies.
Two years later, the results speak for themselves.
The committee has spent $4.6 million taxpayer dollars and uncovered no new information or wrongdoing by any individual. Despite major leaks to reporters, the Select Committee on Benghazi has offered no recommendations for how to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future.
Now, The New York Times is reaffirming what I have been saying for the past two years, after they followed committee Republicans down the rabbit hole of Hillary's emails -- another glaring red herring in this tragedy-turned-partisan-ploy.
This may be one of the ugliest abuses of taxpayer funds and exploitations of a national tragedy in modern American history.
Politicians in both parties can expect to be dragged through the mud, but conservatives should be ashamed of dishonoring men and women who try to keep us safe, solely for partisan political gain. There should be general agreement -- if nothing else, common decency should tell you -- that politicizing a tragedy such as this crosses a line.
This was a political hit-job of the highest order. Hopefully, it is the last we'll see of any kind of political attack like it.
Washington, D.C.-based radio host Thom Hartmann expressed disbelief about remarks made by Texas radio host Michael Berry, who recently claimed that "black people don't know how to exist without white people to blame their problems on." Hartmann, who is listed as 2015's ninth "most important" talk radio host in the country by Talkers magazine, said Berry's remarks demonstrated that the host was "mind-bogglingly unaware of what white privilege is."
Hartmann was responding to comments Berry made during his annual recognition of "White History Month," an invented commemoration that Berry encouraged minorities to celebrate by expressing their gratitude to white people. On that same broadcast, Berry also said, "Most white people would like to get as far from black people as they possible could and never have to see another black person." Berry's radio show relies heavily on racially-charged topics and often aims disparaging comments at black activists. He also features a weekly segment on violence in Chicago in which he often mocks minority victims of gun violence.