NBC's Meet the Press did something Sunday that should insult people on both sides of the aisle.
The show's producers invited Congressman Steve King (R-Ia.) on to have host David Gregory, so-called Republican strategist Ana Navarro, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, and former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson (D) attack him for his immigration views (videos follow with transcript and commentary):
DAVID GREGORY, HOST: The bill moving forward, but as you say not with a pathway to citizenship for those illegal immigrants here. There is a move toward the Dream Act, which is allowing illegal immigrants who are children of those who came here illegally, and are pursuing lives in America, to get legal status. You spoke out memorably now last month when you made some comparisons about those folks. Here's what you said:
[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]
REPRESENTATIVE STEVE KING (R-IOWA): For everyone who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds - and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."
[END VIDEO CLIP]
DAVID GREGORY: Those numbers have been debunked. Your leadership has called those remarks hateful. My question to you is, is that a real belief? And do you think it's a constructive belief, that those people who are here, who have grown up here, who go to college, who get jobs, you really think most of them are drug smugglers?
REP. STEVE KING: I didn't say that, David, and my numbers have not been debunked. I said valedictorians compared to people who would be legalized under the act, that are drug smugglers coming across the border. My characterization was exclusively to drug smugglers, and anybody that understands the language and the culture should be able to watch that tape and know that.
DAVID GREGORY: Right. But as you know--
REP. STEVE KING: Valedictorians are rare--
DAVID GREGORY: --just for the record. As you know--
REP. STEVE KING: There's one per class, per year, David.
DAVID GREGORY: But hold on, Congressman, I just want to make sure that people don't think-- they have been debunked. Without getting into the methodology, there's no accurate way to compare those two things in the way that you tried to so neatly do so.
REP. STEVE KING: Then what's their number? How many valedictorians do they suggest? And I'll tell you, I've seen the drug smugglers. I've spent time on the border, I've ridden with the border patrol. I sit on the fence at night. I sit in a ranch house in the border patrol come to me in civilian clothes and they tell me narrative after narrative.
And so for this to be characterized by Dick Durbin as valedictorians, I'm telling the American people that I recognize that. And part of that quote, before that, was that tugs at my heartstrings too, the valedictorians. But this proposes to legalize a lot of people that will include the people who are drug smugglers. Up to the age of 35, you cannot do a background check on people that don't have a legal existence in their home country. And the people that are advocating for this don't understand the full scope.
So it's time we had a national debate on what really happens with this. My heart goes out to valedictorians who were brought here by their parents; so does everybody's in America. But we cannot put our sympathies for people in that condition greater than our love for the rule of law, or the sovereignty of the United States of America. That is the debate, and that's why it didn't pass back in 2006 and '07. The American people rose up, and I think they'll rise up again and put a stop to this and restore the rule of law, David.
Now, regardless of what one thinks of the statements King made in July, he is still an elected official in this nation deserving of respect.
What followed was anything but respectful, for next up was Navarro who was clearly out for blood and filled with disdain for the Congressman that she didn't even try to conceal:
DAVID GREGORY: Congressman King, thank you very much. Joining us from Iowa this morning. It gets us back to the roundtable and the immigration debate. Ana, what does this say to you about the prospects of real reform coming out of the House?
ANA NAVARRO: Well, first of all, I think Congressman King should go get himself some therapy for his melon fixation. I think there might be medication for that. I think he's a mediocre congressman who's got no legislative record, and the only time he makes national press is when he comes out and says something offensive about the undocumented or Hispanics.
And frankly, I think he's being helpful to the immigration debate because it is emboldening other Republicans to speak out strongly against him, people like John Boehner, like Eric Cantor, like Paul Ryan, who are not going to stand anymore for the Republican Party being defined by somebody like Steve King. There are other voices who are the adults in the room and who are working hard towards a reform. And I think it's going to happen. I'm more optimistic than most.
This is the kind of "Republican strategist" NBC uses to bash members of the GOP.
Let's be clear that this woman is such a farce that Bill Maher actually called her out in June for being a RINO.
Earlier that month, she insulted "lean back with a mint julep" stay at home moms.
But because of her regular disparagement of conservatives, she's now become a very popular guest on political talk shows:
DAVID GREGORY: Let me, before I let him go, he just heard that. Congressman King, do you want to respond to that, in terms of what actually is going to get accomplished?
REP. STEVE KING: Well, I would say this. First of all, I spoke only of drug smugglers. And if Ana understands the language, she should know that. I didn't insult her, I didn't insult other Republicans, and I didn't violate--
ANA NAVARRO: I'm not undocumented, Congressman. I vote.
REP. STEVE KING: --the 11th commandment that Reagan gave to us. And so we should look at this from the big picture. There are people in America who are dying today because of our immigration policy and our open border. They're part of this debate too. Where's your compassion for the families who have lost their children, lost their family members, that are buried today because we didn't enforce the immigration law?
Do you understand that 80-90% of the illegal drugs consumed in America come from or through Mexico? Terrorists infiltrate through that border. We need to secure the border first, restore the rule of law; then we can have this discussion that you want to get to.
DAVID GREGORY: All right, Congressman--
REP. STEVE KING: Let's not be insulting people in the process--
ANA NAVARRO: Oh, you're going to talk--
DAVID GREGORY: Congressman, thank you.
ANA NAVARRO: --to me about insulting people, Congressman?
If you watch the video, you can almost see bile dripping from this woman's lips.
But she and Gregory weren't the only ones to attack King.
There were two others sitting around the conference table with bats in their hands waiting for their turn:
DAVID GREGORY: All right, Governor Richardson, let me get your comment on this.
BILL RICHARDSON: Well, I think what the Congressman is advocating is basically shameful. But at the same time, there is a problem in the House of Representatives, and the problem is that the House will not take up the Senate bill the way it is. What needs to happen is a procedural fix, followed by, right now, in the August recess, evangelical groups, law enforcement groups, business groups are focusing on Republicans that are the key.
What I would do if I were the president is I'd ask Vice President Biden to lead an effort to make some procedural deals. Have part of the House bill not just border security but some kind of naturalization be part of a package that goes to the Senate. Make the deal in conference. That's the way to go.
Hope you're still holding your seats, because waiting on deck with the bases loaded was the clean-up hitter:
DAVID GREGORY: David, the larger point here: If immigration doesn't get passed this fall, if it is put off, you're talking about a first year for the president devoid of this major legacy item that he campaigned on.
DAVID IGNATIUS: Well, the--
DAVID GREGORY: --both times, especially this past one.
IGNATIUS: And you're talking about the breakdown of our political institutions. This is a problem that the country wants to see addressed, and to see our institutions fail just would be tragic. I must say, to speak frankly, watching Congressman King, you understand why the Republicans have a problem. That rhetoric may speak well to parts of the Republican Party base but it doesn't speak to the country, especially not to a country that's changing the way ours is. And--
ANA NAVARRO: But, David, it's unfair. It really is unfair to paint the Republican Party broadly with what Steve King says. He's not--
DAVID IGNATIUS, WASHINGTON POST: You spoke eloquently in criticizing--
ANA NAVARRO: --stereotypical of the Republicans. This is a man who--
DAVID IGNATIUS: --him. And I'm really endorsing what you said.
ANA NAVARRO: --couldn't even get elected senator in Iowa; that's why he's not running there. This is a man whose district has been polled and supports immigration reform in the majority. So, you know, but this is --
DAVID GREGORY: All right, let me--
ANA NAVARRO: -- his call to fame. That's his game.
DAVID GREGORY: All right, let me leave this there for now.
You know, we often see two on ones and even three on ones on these shows.
But irrespective of what King said last month and what some in our nation thought about it, NBC setting him up to be abused by the host and all three guests was uncalled for and highly unprofessional.
Can you imagine MTP doing that to a Democrat?
No, I can't either.