How insulated is the MSM? In how much of a liberal cocoon does it exist? For an answer, consider the vile cartoon displayed here. My guess is that the great majority of NewsBusters readers are familiar with it. But John Harwood—of the New York Times and CNBC—has never seen it.
That became clear on today's Morning Joe. The topic was the TV comedy world's double-standard, in which Republicans are regularly skewered but the laff factory suddenly shuts down when it comes to mocking Barack. A New York Times article on the matter was the jumping off point, and Joe Scarborough had a field day ridiculing lefty comedians' hypocrisy in piously claiming to "speak truth to power." The truth, said Scarborough, is that the comedians lay off Obama not because there's nothing funny about him, but because they're "in the tank" for the Dem candidate.
Towards the end of the segment came this stunning exchange:
View video here.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Have you seen the political cartoons of Condoleeza Rice as a parrot with huge black lips? Have you seen the racist --
JOHN HARWOOD: There are cartoons of Barack Obama, too!
SCARBOROUGH: Oh really? With lips out to here? Exaggerated lips?
HARWOOD: No, with ears out to here. [Scarborough and Harwood can be seen illustrating their respective points in the screencap.]
SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, exactly. Ears are not seen, racists do not focus on ears when making fun of African-Americans.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: This is a point.
SCARBOROUGH: I will show you, the next time you're on here, racist cartoons --
HARWOOD: From the left?
SCARBOROUGH: -- of Condoleeza Rice. No, from mainstream people. Where nobody even brought it up. Nobody was even concerned. I'll guarantee you Condoleeza Rice noticed.
HARWOOD: Show me that. I'll be surprised to see that.
Here you go, John. Surprise! Oh, and the cartoon was not from some obscure scribbler. It's the work of none less than Pat Oliphant . . . the most widely syndicated political cartoonist in the world, described by your own New York Times as "the most influential cartoonist now working."
Note: if the Oliphant outrage isn't enough to make Joe's point, this article contains other cartoons in the genre, including a Doonesbury and one from Danziger.
Michelle Malkin: Clueless Washington journalist of the day: John Harwood