David Gregory on Sunday's Meet the Press asked former Obama Chief of Staff turned Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel a rather surprising question about his previous boss's support for the Occupy Wall Street protests.
"Is demonizing Wall Street the way to create an environment to get the banks to hire? Is this not a reverse Tea Party tactic?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
DAVID GREGORY, HOST: How about the--what's going on in the streets of Occupy Wall Street?
RAHM EMANUEL, MAYOR CHICAGO: Yeah.
MR. GREGORY: Complaining about the unfairness, railing against Wall Street. The president has sympathized with those protesters in the street. Is, is demonizing Wall Street the way to create an environment...
MAYOR EMANUEL: Well...
MR. GREGORY: ...to get the banks to hire?
MAYOR EMANUEL: The--it's not...
MR. GREGORY: Is this not a reverse Tea Party tactic?
Yes, that really was NBC's David Gregory asking Obama's former Chief of Staff if the president's support for the protests represents a demonization of Wall Street that could disincent banks from hiring.
I was probably just as shocked as Emanuel especially given what Gregory said about this movement on Friday's Today show:
How does the President try to harness this anger, this sense of unfairness about the economy, about income inequality in this country, about the middle class stagnating for the past 30 years? That's what the President wants to try to tap into here. Yes, it's difficult for the President because it manifests what people are anxious about, what they're angry about. But at the same time, it allows the President to drive a populist message again. You heard him yesterday – the Vice President, too – talking about banks being part of the problem, complaining about the fees that Bank of America is charging on ATM use. Here the President wants to say "Look, I'm on the side of the middle class here. I want more fairness in our country. The Republicans want to take you backward."
Two days later, he's concerned that the president is demonizing Wall Street with his support for this movement? Seems a bit contradictory, doesn't it?
Consider, too, what else members of his network have said about this movement in recent days:
- NBC: Occupy Wall Street Like an ‘Arab Spring,’ is ‘Drawing Historical Comparisons’
- Networks Again Trumpet What NBC’s Williams Celebrates as ‘the Protest of This Current Era’
- ABC and NBC Champion Left-Wing Anti-Capitalist Protests, Fueled by Cookies from a ‘Grandmother in Idaho’
- NBC Cheers Wall Street Protests As Liberal Version of Tea Party But Denounced Actual Tea Party
- NBC Celebrates 'Occupy Wall Street' Protests 'Gaining Ground'
Makes you wonder what got into Gregory's tea - er, I mean coffee on Sunday.