This one is really hard to believe, even for the most biased so-called "news network" in the nation.
MSNBC on Tuesday totally trashed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for collecting food and supplies at a storm relief rally in Ohio to be sent to victims of Hurricane Sandy (video follows with transcript and commentary):
After introducing his Obama-supporting guests Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Lehigh professor James Peterson, host Martin Bashir played a clip of the President speaking at the Red Cross headquarters in Washington Tuesday.
When the clip concluded, Bashir said, “Mayor Reed, so the Red Cross knows what it’s doing. Did he, did you detect perhaps a subtle dig there on Mr. Romney who spent today going against the guidelines established by the Red Cross and holding a campaign rally in Ohio that was dressed up like a charity drive collecting food and other supplies when the Red Cross expressly asked people not to do that?”
Imagine that. A presidential candidate who gives millions of dollars a year to charity does a storm relief event in Ohio, and an MSNBC anchor is disgusted by it because the Red Cross would prefer people donating cash.
Yet according to the Washington Post:
The stop was billed as a “storm relief” event, and attendees were asked to bring non-perishable foods and other items for those affected by the storm. Long white tables to one side of the cavernous James S. Trent Arena were piled high with flashlights, batteries, diapers, toothbrushes, mini-deodorants, fleece blankets, cereal, toilet paper and canned goods.
Two large TV screens at the front of the venue bore the logo of the American Red Cross and the message: “Sandy: Support the Relief Effort. Text ’REDCROSS’ to 90999 to make a $10 donation.”
So besides the food and supplies that Ohioans generously donated, two large television screens asked participants to send money to the Red Cross.
But this didn’t make Bashir happy. Ditto his Obama-supporting guests.
“I think that this is just another moment where you see the clear striking difference between a president who has a heart for the American people and someone who simply wants to be president of the United States,” said Mayor Reed.
“Indeed,” replied Bashir who then asked for Peterson’s input.
“I would agree,” echoed Peterson. “It’s compassion that shows through in times like these. It’s humanity that shows through in times like these, and it just seems clear that the President, in addition to stepping up and doing what he does as Commander-in-Chief, demonstrates compassion in these remarks and in his approach to this kind of serious disaster.”
“All we’ve seen from Romney and from his surrogates is all kinds of politicizing and misdirection,” Peterson continued, “and I think the American people in this sort of disastrous moment can really see in bold relief the differences between President Obama and former Governor Romney.”
So having a storm relief event with tables “piled high with flashlights, batteries, diapers, toothbrushes, mini-deodorants, fleece blankets, cereal, toilet paper and canned goods” along with two large television screens calling for donations to the Red Cross demonstrates a lack of compassion on MSNBC.
Yet the network didn’t end there.
About a half hour later, Bashir brought GQ’s Ana Marie Cox on to trash Romney’s event.
“I found that sort of fake, relief rally, whatever it is, to be pretty offensive, and also wrong-headed,” said Cox. She actually called Romney “craven” for doing it.
I’m not kidding.
This was followed by MSNBC contributor Karen Finney saying, “As a former governor, I would think that he would know that what the Red Cross needs in times like this is money and blood.”
Yes, that’s why there were two large television screens asking for people to donate to the Red Cross.
I guess the geniuses at MSNBC so blinded by their desire to get Obama re-elected didn’t notice that, nor did they recognize that they were spitting on all the people in Ohio that turned out for this event to give of themselves to their fellow Americans in need.
Shame on Bashir and all those involved in this despicable couple of segments.
National tragedies like this are when we're all supposed to come together as a nation.
It's apparent that's not possible for these shills.
*****Update: Karen Finney has asked that I supply the fuller transcript of her discussion with Bashir on this subject:
ANA MARIE COX: I found that sort of fake relief rally, whatever it is, to be pretty offensive and also wrong-headed. You know, the Red Cross is put in this awkward position of saying, you know, “We don't need canned goods, thank you very much, Mr. 1950s. You know, like we need money, we need people to donate blood.” And I think that sort of is Mitt Romney sort of writ small as it were, right? Like to not only do something so craven, but to do it in a way that's not even helpful on a small scale.
MARTIN BASHIR: So Ana Marie, was it purely a photo opportunity? Was it purely for the sake of having people walk past him, hand him cans, and be on television?
COX: Well, it almost has to be seeing as how the thing he was doing was not something that the Red Cross actually needed. And so it almost has to be purely for politics purely as a photo-op. I mean, that’s his entire campaign, purely a photo-op really.
BASHIR: Karen, you wanted to add something to that.
KAREN FINNEY: Well, I was just going to say, you know, Martin, the thing is like when you have a platform or an opportunity to communicate a message particularly in a time like this, I think it's incumbent on you to make sure that you’re communicating what is the most effective, helpful thing. And as a former governor, I would think that he would know that what the Red Cross needs in times like this is money and blood. Of course, it is human nature to want to help your fellow American that’s in trouble and to think “Oh, I'll buy food or I’ll buy clothes.” But again, as we’ve been doing here on MSNBC and I hope other networks are doing, sort of helping, being a part of helping direct people to websites where they can donate or find out exactly what's needed. I mean, that really should be the role. If they wanted to do something helpful, that would actually be the thing they could have been doing that would be helpful.
Please recall what the Post reported concerning this matter: "Two large TV screens at the front of the venue bore the logo of the American Red Cross and the message: 'Sandy: Support the Relief Effort. Text ’REDCROSS’ to 90999 to make a $10 donation.'"
As such, Romney did exactly what Finney et al claimed he should have, but they still ridiculed him for it.
Beyond this, the Red Cross website has a section called "Smart Giving Tips for Disasters." It does indeed address giving cash first, but doesn't prohibit other kinds of donations.
There a lot of ways to help in this situation, and if people were giving food, clothes, or supplies that they had taken from their homes to help in this situation - maybe because that's all they have! - mocking it is disgraceful.
*****Update II: It turns out MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell ridiculed Romney's storm relief rally hours before Bashir. Insanity surely runs rampant at this network.