MSNBC Panel Concedes 'Moral Failing' of Mandela, 'Associated With' 'Gaddafi, Castro'

On the Friday, December 6, All In with Chris Hayes show on MSNBC, during a discussion of Nelson Mandela's support for violent resistance, the Daily Beast's Michael Moynihan admitted that the former South African leader had a "moral failing" because he "associated with" dictators who "did the same things to their people" as "was done to him."

Referring to an article by Moynihan on the subject, host Chris Hayes brought up the "Santa Clausification process" as he posed the question:


Michael, you've written a little bit about the way in which the violence has kind of been written out in part of this anesthetizing. Do you think that's part of us, this sort of Santa Clausification process that we go through with figures like this?

Moynihan began his response:

No, it's much easier that way. And, you know, we are attracted to Nelson Mandela as a character because, you know, as I wrote in my column today is that, it is actually a simple morality tale.

After Hayes injected, "Right," Moynihan continued:

I mean, this is a tale of racial injustice and of a majority being lorded over by a brutal minority. So that, sure. And we, unfortunately, that kind of plains how we look at this a little bit. And some of the things that I have mentioned, one of the things that always bothered me about Mandela, and incidentally, Mandela himself, you know, rejected the beatification of Nelson Mandela.

He concluded:

He said, "I'm no saint. I've made mistakes." I pointed out in the column today, and it was no more harsh than what Bill Keller pointed out, too. You know, what Mandela, he was associated with people that did the same things to their people, you know, Gaddafi, Castro that was done to him. And I think that was one moral failing.

--Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Brad Wilmouth on Twitter.

Communism Africa MSNBC All In Michael Moynihan Nelson Mandela Muammar Gaddafi Chris Hayes Fidel Castro