CNN's Roland Martin went on a tirade against Rush Limbaugh on his "Washington Watch" program on TV One on Sunday, labeling the conservative talker a "right-wing blowhard" and "absolute idiot" for pretending not to know anything about the black-oriented TV network. Martin claimed that he was "more fair and sensible" than Limbaugh, but his list of guests alone betrays a definite liberal bias.
The CNN contributor went after the talk show host in his "Call 'Em Out" segment, which lasted just under three minutes during the 11 am Eastern hour program. In a teaser for the segment, Martin trumpeted how "that right-wing blowhard Rush Limbaugh needs some schooling about this show, 'Washington Watch,' and TV One. Trust me, I'm gonna give it to him."
During the actual segment (video available here), the TV One host led with his "absolute idiot" label for Limbaugh and played a clip from the December 6, 2010 edition of the conservative's show, where he needled Martin and his network (audio of Limbaugh available here):
LIMBAUGH: And then, on TV One's Washington Watch with Roland Martin- what the hell network- TV One? What is TV One? Is anybody- can somebody tell me what TV One is? Well, I know Roland used to be on CNN- used to be angry on CNN all the time. TV One just comes on at night in some places? Well, I know what New York One is, and this isn't it. I never heard of TV One. I'm not trying to offend anybody here. I don't know what it is, but obviously, it's there because we found it. (laughs) You probably never heard of it either.
Martin ended the clip right before the radio host chuckled, which hinted that his statement above was tongue-in-cheek. But that nuance went right over the CNN contributor's head, as he went on the attack, focusing mainly on Limbaugh's perceived racial slights (but didn't cite one example):
MARTIN: Okay. First of all, Rush, let me try to line up so much of your stupidity in a very small area of time. TV One is a cable network, so for you to say, 'we found it-' which means that we actually exist. It is the fastest growing cable network in history, idiot.
Second, for you to sit here and suggest that you don't know what it is, why they're there, makes no sense because we're here just like you are here, and that is to communicate, although we do a much better job of being fair and sensible, as opposed to making a lot of racially-inflammatory comments like you do.
Thirdly, Rush, I'm still on CNN. It's called having another job. Now, sorry, I don't get to sit on my butt like you in a chair making a hundred million dollars making kind of racial comments to black folks. So, therefore, I have multiple opportunities.
The host then bragged that "here at TV One, a partnership between Radio One and Comcast, we're about showcasing the best and the brightest in black America." If one examined Martin's guest list since September 19, which is when his "Washington Watch" program resume after an extended hiatus for the summer, one might get the distinct that impression that "best and the brightest in black America" equals left of center (the guests are listed on the first page of the show transcripts, available here). Martin's guests are veritable who's who of liberal and Democratic African-Americans, appearing on his program by a 25 to 4 margin. They include Attorney General Eric Holder; Valerie Jarrett; Cecilia Rouse of the President Obama's Council of Economic Advisors; Representatives James Clyburn, Barbara Lee, and Bobby Scott; Senator Roland Burris; NAACP Chairman Ben Jealous; Van Jones; former Obama social secretary Desiree Rogers; and liberal journalists Soledad O'Brien, Deborah Mathis, George Curry, Jonathan Capehart, and Cynthia Tucker.
The only black conservatives/Republicans that appeared during this time period were Deborah Simmons of the Washington Times (who appeared twice), Independent Women Forum's Michelle Bernard (also appeared two times), RNC Chairman Michael Steele, and former Republican staffer Robert Traynham (who actually appeared 5 times, probably because he is now a host on the Comcast Network).
Martin ended the segment with further charges of racism against Limbaugh:
MARTIN: You have a long history, Rush, of playing footloose when it comes to race. I think you have a fundamental problem. And so, here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to send you a nice TV One care package so you actually know, and if you have Direct TV, simply turn to the cable lineup and you can actually watch TV One every single week and you might actually learn something, Rush. Because you know what? You need a lesson in the reality of black America.
The host blasted "Rush Limbaugh and his racist language" during a July 14, 2010 appearance on CNN's Rick's List. Martin also used the cliched "fat idiot" label against the conservative talk show host on the October 21, 2008 edition of the defunct Election Center program.