MSNBC Hosts Hit with 'Irony' After Gloating Over 'Virginia's Chief Homophobe' Losing

On Wednesday morning, MSNBC hosts Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi not only gloated over the defeat of Virginia Republican Delegate Bob Marshall by transgender Democratic candidate Danica Roem, but Ruhle even declared that, when Democratic candidate Chris Hurst unseated another Republican incumbent who had been supported by the NRA, it was a "win for America."

There was also a double irony in that, after Velshi and Ruhle rejoiced over the "irony" that "Virginia's chief homophobe" Marshall had been defeated by a transgender candidate, just half an hour later their show was interrupted by breaking news of a new accusation of a gay sexual assault by liberal actor Kevin Spacey as one more in a history of alleged attacks against young men and underage boys.

 

 

Shortly before 10:00 a.m. ET, on MSNBC Live, host Ruhle previewed an upcoming interview with Democratic Delegate-elect Hurst by recalling that his former girlfriend, Alison Parker, had been killed in a high-profile shooting a few years ago:

Coming up, one of the other big winners last night was Chris Hurst, who won a state delegate seat. You might remember him. He lost his girlfriend, Alison Parker, who was a local television reporter in Roanoke, Virginia. She was shot and killed along with her photojournalist live on air.

She then proclaimed that the Democrat's victory was a "win for America" as she added: "Chris will join me and my partner, Ali Velshi, live at 11 a.m. You don't want to miss it. Talk about a win -- that was a win for America."

After MSNBC's Velshi and Ruhle show began shortly after 11:00 a.m. the program started to border on a comedy of errors as Velshi flubbed his line and claimed that yesterday's election night "was a good night all around for Republicans," leading Ruhle to jump in and correct him.

A few minutes later, Ruhle made it known that she wished to focus on the victory of transgender candidate Roem in Virginia:

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Also, one of the big stories I really want to focus on election night -- Danica Roem. This transgender woman was elected to Virginia's House of Delegates. She beat out Bob Marshall -- he's held that seat for 26 years. 

Velshi then made a point of noting the "irony" as he chimed in: "The irony in this is she beat the guy who proposed the anti-transgender bathroom law in Virginia. Let that sink in for a minute. He also describes himself as 'Virginia's chief homophobe.'"

Ruhle then curtly lectured Delegate Marshall as she followed up: "So Virginia's chief homophobe lost last night. That's what Virginia told you mattered, sir. Virginia -- what is it? -- for lovers? Virginia didn't love that. "

After Ruhle then switched to noting the victory of Democratic Delegate-elect Hurst in the Blacksburg, Virginia, area, Velshi gushed about him defeating a candidate with high ratings from the NRA, and goofed up again as he incorrectly identified him as having been elected as a Congressman:

His story is extraordinary. Chris was a local TV news anchor whose girlfriend -- I'm sure you'll remember this -- was shot and killed while reporting live on television. Get this: The Republican he defeated as an A grade from the NRA. Now, coming up later this hour, we're going to talk live to the newly elected Virginia state Congressman (sic) Chris Hurst.

Ruhle, presumably throwing shade at the Republican incumbent who was defeated, then cracked: "Doesn't have an A grade from Virginia residents."

About half an hour later at about 11:41 a.m. ET, the pair were forced to recall the sexual assault accusations against Spacey by several men as they introduced a news conference in which a Boston news reporter publicly made accusations that her son had been sexually assaulted by Spacey when he was 18 years old.

After the preemption lasted about 10 minutes, Velshi and Ruhle finally got to their interview with Delegate-elect Hurst. At one point, Ruhle invoked the neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville as she wondered how he managed win, leading Hurst to argue that his district is not "stereotypically Appalachian or rural," and described it as a "Democratic district."

In the next question, Velshi got to bring up the issue of gun control, but one more faux pas caused the interview to be cut short as they lost their audio connection.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle from the 9:00 a.m. hour and the Velshi and Ruhle show from the 11:00 a.m. hour, from Wednesday, November 8:

9:55 a.m. ET

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Coming up, one of the other big winners last night was Chris Hurst, who won a state delegate seat. You might remember him. He lost his girlfriend, Alison Parker, who was a local television reporter in Roanoke, Virginia. She was shot and killed along with her photojournalist live on air. Chris will join me and my partner, Ali Velshi, live at 11 a.m. You don't want to miss it. Talk about a win -- that was a win for America.

(...)

11:05 a.m. ET

VELSHI: So it has been -- it was a good night all around, Stephanie, for Republicans.

RUHLE: No, it wasn't.

VELSHI: For Democrats.

RUHLE; There you go.

VELSHI: Whatever. I have a 50 percent chance of being right. Right? Either Republicans or Democrats had a really good night last night.

(...)

11:11 a.m. ET

RUHLE: Also, one of the big stories I really want to focus on election night -- Danica Roem. This transgender woman was elected to Virginia's House of Delegates. She beat out Bob Marshall -- he's held that seat for 26 years. Why does it matter?

ALI VELSHI: But that's not really the most interesting part. The irony --

RUHLE: Why does it matter?

VELSHI: The irony in this is she beat the guy who proposed the anti-transgender bathroom law in Virginia. Let that sink in for a minute. He also describes himself as "Virginia's chief homophobe."

RUHLE: So Virginia's chief homophobe lost last night. That's what Virginia told you mattered, sir. Virginia -- what is it? -- for lovers?

VELSHI: Mm.

RUHLE: Virginia didn't love that. All right, also elected to Virginia's House of Delegates, Chris Hurst. He beat out Republican Joseph Yoest.

VELSHI: His story is extraordinary. Chris was a local TV news anchor whose girlfriend -- I'm sure you'll remember this -- was shot and killed while reporting live on television. Get this: The Republican he defeated as an A grade from the NRA. Now, coming up later this hour, we're going to talk live to the newly elected Virginia state Congressman (sic) Chris Hurst.

RUHLE: Doesn't have an A grade from Virginia residents.

(...)

11:50 a.,m. ET

RUHLE: Coming up next, a stunning story from last night's election. A former TV news anchor -- Chris Hurst -- just won a seat in Virginia's House of Delegates on a platform to reduce gun violence.

VELSHI: You might remember him. His girlfriend was shot and killed while reporting live on television. The Republican he defeated has an A grade from the NRA. We'll be speaking to Chris next.

(...)

VELSHI: Welcome back to Velshi and Ruhle. An upset win in Virginia's House of Delegates is making national headlines this morning. Democrat Chris Hurst -- a former TV anchor running his first political race -- unseated 12th district Delegate Joseph Yoest -- the three-term Republican incumbent. Now, you may have seen Hurst before, even if you don't live in Virginia.

RUHLE: His girlfriend and fellow reporter Alison Parker was shot and killed on live TV in 2015. Alison's death prompted Hurst to run for office -- his platform including gun violence prevention. Chris Hurst joins us now via Skype. Chris, Ali was talking about the upset -- you're one person who is definitely not upset today, but is this win a bittersweet moment? You never would have pursued a career in politics had Alison still been with us.

DELEGATE-ELECT CHRIS HURST (D-VA): You know, I really haven't been able to give too much thought to that question, Steph, but, yeah, it's very bittersweet obviously. I wish that I was still with Alison -- was still a journalist working at the television station that we worked at together, but that wasn't the plan that God had intended for me and for her, and so I thought about trying to forge a new path and create a new plan.

VELSHI: I remember the day it happened. I remember feeling so stunned and shocked as we do with each one of these horrible gun killings. Tell me how this worked for you. How did you get from that day to the idea that you'd run for office? And what do you plan to do with that?

[HURST]

RUHLE: You know, you made a very powerful statement when you said, "I'm not running for Alison -- I don't want your sympathy -- I'm running for you, the people of Virginia. I got to ask: How did you win? I mean, it was just a few months ago that Charlottesville took place -- a place where neo-Nazis, where the alt-right thought they should convene and hold hate rallies while they held guns and shouted awful, awful racial slurs. How do we go from Charlottesville to you winning?

HURST: Well, I think, first off, my district is not what some people might think is stereotypically Appalachian or rural. It has the campuses of Virginia Tech and Radford University. In Virginia Tech, we have more than 100 countries represented in the student body and the faculty, so -- and it's a very diverse district -- it's a very welcoming district. And so it was a Democratic district that we thought we thought we'd be able to be successful in. And certainly we were able to win this district.

VELSHI: Let's talk about guns -- gun control. You ran against somebody with an A rating from the NRA. That's not unfamiliar territory in Virginia. What are your views on guns and what level of control can be helpful to preventing these kinds of deaths?

(pause)

I think we may have lost our video. Do you still have us, Chris? Okay, I think we've lost our audio to Chris Hurst. He is a newly elected Virginia delegate. Thanks for joining us, Chris.

RUHLE: What an emotional win that had to be for him.

VELSHI: Yeah, unbelievable.


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CyberAlerts Charlottesville violence Guns Conservatives & Republicans Race Issues Racism Homosexuality Transgender MSNBC MSNBC Live Video NRA Bob Marshall Stephanie Ruhle Ali Velshi Kevin Spacey