Olbermann Mocks Conservative Blogs, Repeats: ‘Where Are People of Color at Tea Parties?’

February 17th, 2010 11:51 PM

On Wednesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann used the second of his show’s regular "Quick Comment" segments to mock conservative blogs that voiced objections to his "Special Comment" from Monday during which he had pleaded with Tea Party activists to admit to being motivated by racism against blacks. The Countdown host began his Wednesday "Quick Comment" by hinting that the segment’s purpose was to give "equal time to those on the right." But, each time he read from one of the conservative blogs, he followed up by repeating the question: "Well, my response to this would be: Where are the people of color at the Tea parties?"

During his Monday "Special Comment," Olbermann had recounted that, in 1941, baseball players who were black would have been literally barred from joining a white team, and went on to suggest that that situation of 1941 was somehow similar to the modern day Tea Party rallies. The MSNBC host had concluded his "Special Comment" by asking of Tea Party activists: "Why are you surrounded by the largest crowd you will ever again see in your life that consists of nothing but people who look exactly like you?"

But, in a Thursday, February 11, CBS Evening News story, correspondent Nancy Cordes cited a CBS News/New York Times poll showing that 95 percent of Tea Party activists are white, suggesting that five percent – a number that is not insignificant – are minorities. After showing a soundbite of a man complaining about both major political parties, Cordes recounted:

His frustration helps explain why nearly 20 percent [18] of those surveyed now consider themselves members of the Tea Party movement. Who are they? According to the poll, 95 percent are white, they are just as likely as Americans overall to have college educations and to make over $50,000 a year. And like Kuna, Idaho, coffee shop owner Jared Hatch, they are more likely to identify themselves as Republicans than independents or Democrats.

Also of note, last summer, MSNBC’s Morning Meeting program showed a clip of an armed man who was apparently protesting against ObamaCare who was black, but the program only showed him at his waist – obscuring his race – even as the segment focused on the possibility that armed protesters were motivated by anti-black racism against President Obama. MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer related on the August 18, 2009, show:

And the reason we’re talking about this, a lot of talk here, Dylan [Ratigan], because people feel like, yes, there are Second Amendment rights, for sure, but also there are questions about whether this has racial overtones. I mean, here you have a man of color in the presidency and white people showing up with guns strapped to their waists or to their legs.

Ironically, as illustrated by a video of Olbermann’s Monday "Special Comment" posted by Olbermann Watch, nearly all of MSNBC’s anchors are white.

Below is a complete transcript of the second "Quick Comment" segment from the Wednesday, February 17, Countdown show on MSNBC, as read by host Keith Olbermann:

And now the second of tonight’s "Quick Comments," and still the topic is Tea. I wanted to give some equal time to those on the right who disagreed with the focus of Monday’s "Special Comment" that there is an alarming homogeneity at the so-called Tea Party events, and that this is not some sort of demographic coincidence. In other words, they’re almost all white people, and this is, in essence, a white people’s party.

From the blog, Hot Air, ownership of which Michelle Malkin has just divested herself of for some reason: "According to CNN, fully 11 percent of Americans claim they’ve actively supported the Tea Party movement in some way. (Note to Olbermann: Supporters are also better educated than the population on average.)"

Well, my response to this would be: Where are the people of color at the Tea parties?

From the David Horowitz blog: "The next time Keith Olbermann calls you racist or any other hateful epithet, take comfort in the fact that you are in the best possible company. In fact, if Keith Olbermann is not directing hate-filled rants of invective your way, that will be the time to second guess yourselves."

Well, my response to this would be: Where are the people of color at the Tea parties?

And last week, from the GOP USA Web site: "The tired race card approach to politics and current events would not normally require any response or comment. It could be dismissed for what it is, coming from a questionable source who deals in vile rhetoric."

Well, my response to this would be: Where are the people of color at the Tea parties?

But this isn’t rhetoric, this isn’t invective. It’s not about education or ranting, and it is not the playing of a card. It’s math. The question none of these defenders will touch because there is no answer to it: Where are the people of color at the Tea parties?