After spending much of his week accusing Rush Limbaugh of racism, Ed Schultz on Friday made the same absurd claim about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
Following in the footsteps of others on his network as well as the liberal blogosphere, the MSNBCer said it was racist for Palin to refer to comments Michelle Obama made in 2008 about never having been proud of her country before her husband started winning primaries.
It was also racist of Palin to mention in her book the Obamas' connection to Rev. Jeremiah Wright (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. And the "Battleground" story tonight, Sarah Palin is attacking President Obama and the first lady over race. In her new book "America by Heart," Palin recycles the same shameless, shameful race-baiting she used during the 2008 campaign. She writes, "President Obama seems to believe America, at least America as it currently exists, is a fundamentally unjust and unequal country. Certainly his wife expressed this view when she said during the 2008 campaign that she had never felt proud of her country until her husband started winning elections. In retrospect, I guess this shouldn’t surprise us, since both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church listening to his rants against America and white people."
Wow. She wants to sell books. Every claim she mentions was debunked and discredited during her failed run with the maverick. Yet, she wraps herself in the flag while pushing the lie president and the first lady are anti-American. There are people in the right wing in this country who had a rabid hatred for our first African-American president to justify it, they’ve convinced themselves, that well it’s not them, it’s him the president. They’re not racist. President Obama’s a racist. They’re not at war with black people. President Obama’s at war with white people. It’s twisted. It’s sad that people actually believe this garbage. But it is absolutely disgusting for any opportunist like Sarah Palin to stroke -- to stoke that kind of hate to inflate her ego, and of course her bank account.
For more let’s bring in Hilary Shelton, the senior vice president for policy and advocacy at the NAACP. Mr. Shelton, good to have you on tonight.
HILARY SHELTON, PRESIDENT, NAACP: Good to be with you.
SCHULTZ: What is your response to what I just read and excerpt from her book?
SHELTON: Well, it’s a sad petty politics of distraction and distortion from someone who couldn’t even complete her term as governor of Alaska would come out trying to, rather than talk about the real problems and challenges of our society, pretend those problems and challenges don’t exist. Because if you don’t have problems and challenges, you don’t have to have answers and solutions. Her book is one that does the kind of things that just cast dispersions on American people, including the first lady of the United States who enjoys a 65 percent approval rating by all of the American people regardless of race, and gender or ethnicity. It’s a sad, petty politics of distraction and distortion.
Nice to bring on an NAACP official for some impartial commentary on whether or not what Palin wrote was racist. What was the likelihood of Shelton not agreeing with Schultz's premise?
Slim to none, right?
More fascinating was how Shelton knows all about a book that hasn't been published yet just by the pages the website Gawker shared with its readers.
Of course, that's not surprising, for liberals are famous for having opinions about conservative books they don't read.
That said, in fairness to Schultz, he did invite on a conservative to offer a contrary view of this situation:
SCHULTZ: With us tonight, Todd Webster democratic strategist and Heidi Harris conservative radio talk show host in Las Vegas. All right, what do you make, Heidi of Sarah Palin going down this road, playing the race card, claiming that the Obama’s were in a pew, you know, claiming that Jeremiah Wright’s not American and is a racist. What do you make of it? What is she going on this road?
HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well they were. They were, Jeremiah Wright’s church for 20 years and they listened to what he said, his anti-American rants, his anti-white people rants. They listened to them. I don’t know if they were in every single time he made the same statements that everybody saw many times on YouTube and things like that. But fact is they sat there in that congregation for all those years. If you don’t agree with it, eventually you leave. Most people leave churches because they disagree with what’s taught from the pulpit. Obama didn’t do that until the pressure was on, he was running for office. I mean, that’s a fact.
HARRIS: And that’s not the whole focus of Sarah Palings book, I’m sure, I haven’t read it yet but I’m sure that’s not in.
SCHULTZ: Does it seem to you, Heidi, like she’s got a problem with race.
HARRIS: That Sarah Palin has a problem with race?
HARRIS: No, I don’t think that Sarah Palin is but I think Michelle Obama has got a score to settle. That’s what I see when I see Michelle Obama.
As NewsBusters reported in February 2008, here's what Mrs. Obama said:
And here are some classics from Wright:
Of course, it probably makes me similarly racist for presenting these videos, but we all knew this would be an occupational hazard for conservative writers once Obama was elected.
Sadly, our predictions in this regard did indeed come true.