Phony racially-motivated attacks and Democrats being caught in blackface were just some of the controversies that liberal journalists and celebrities actually blamed on Donald Trump and his Wall-endorsing, red hat-wearing supporters this past month.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough claimed Trump only wanted a Wall to “Keep America white.” Former NBC Nightly News host Tom Brokaw said supporters of the Wall were just worried about “brown grandbabies.”
And when two Virginia Democrats got into trouble for wearing blackface, two MSNBC analysts actually linked the scandal to Trump.
After a Native American protestor got in the face of a Covington Catholic school kid, CNN’s Angela Rye attacked the student for wearing a red “Make America Great” hat that was “just as maddening and frustrating and triggering for me...as a KKK hood.”
And speaking of phony MAGA hat controversies celebrities like Ellen Page, Rob Reiner and Billy Eichner rampaged against Trump and Vice President Mike Pence after Empire actor Justin Smollet faked a story that he was jumped by two red hat-wearing Trump supporters in Chicago.
The following are the worst outbursts from liberal journalists and celebrities from the last month:
Trump Wants Wall to “Keep America White”
“It ain’t a dog whistle, it is a racist P.A. announcement that all of Trump supporters in America can listen to: ‘I know the facts aren’t on our side, I know we’re not gonna win in the courts, but let me just tell you I’m trying to keep brown people....from Latin America out of the United States. Because when I say....let’s make America great again, I’m really just saying, as Donald Trump your president, let’s keep America white, majority white.’...Put that on your bumper sticker if you’re supporting Donald Trump in 2020 because that, he has proven at last, is all his presidency is about.”
— Host Joe Scarborough on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, February 18.
Trump’s “Eerily Offensive” and “Dark Vision of the Country”
“It was a dark vision of a country. It was very Trumpian....The President essentially threatened an end to the economic growth of the country if he was not protected at all costs...I was also struck by his use of every day Americans....Holocaust survivors, people who have lost family members to violence, using them as pawns for his own political purposes and talking about them in terms of patriotism when....the President and his administration have done nothing but debase our democratic values and the values that we hold dear as Americans. So I found that picture eerily offensive.”
— New York Times Editorial Board member Mara Gay on MSNBC’s post-State of the Union special, February 6.
“Bload-Soaked” Speech Full of “Hate and Lies” and “Dog Poop”
“How can anyone see this as a good speech? How can anyone see this as unifying when he is spewing out lies to the American people?...This is an angry, racist platform that has been surrounded by sweet stories and World War II veterans....but the bottom line is his platform is based on hate and lies, bottom line.”
— Host Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, February 6.
“I saw this as a psychotically incoherent speech with cookies and dog poop. He tries to put together in the same speech these warm kind things about humanitarianism and caring about children. At the same time, he is demonizing people who are immigrants in a way that was appalling.”
— CNN analyst Van Jones during CNN’s post-State of the Union coverage, February 5.
“You would think after the longest shutdown he might temper his language, but it was as blood soaked and lawless and fantastical in terms of the relation to the truth as ever.”
— New York Times columnist Frank Bruni on Comedy Central’s post-State of the Union address edition of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, February 5.
Trump’s “Shameful” Take on Climate Change Is a “Disgrace”
“Every leader, whatever his party should be talking about climate change. You can have a debate about what to do about it. But that the President of the United States, at this moment in the world, did not mention climate change in even a sentence is, just frankly, a disgrace.”
— CNN Inside Politics host John King during CNN’s post-State of the Union coverage, February 5.
“Thirty-five days of federal workers rationing asthma medicine for their kids, sleeping in cars, driving Uber late night shifts just to make ends meet and this man is not getting a single penny for his wall in 35 days and people are applauding him. This man single-handedly shut down the government. It is shameful.”
— Host Brooke Baldwin on CNN Newsroom, January 25.
Pass Liberal Green Deal Before We All Die!
“The U.N. said we have 12 years before complete disaster....The reports are people will die. Millions and millions and millions of people will die, and I think that there’s an appetite among voters out there, especially Democratic voters and potentially swing voters, to say, ‘hey, let’s do something about this now because it’s going to affect our future.’”
— MSNBC host Katy Tur on NBC’s Meet the Press, February 10.
An Inconvenient Solution
“I think if we all disappeared like this [snaps fingers], the Earth would go back and just be fine, you know.”
— NBC News meteorologist Dylan Dreyer on NBC’s Today, February 7.
Chuck’s Absurd Assertions
“[The State of the Union speech] is shaping up to be a night of absurdist theater. Absurd because the White House says the President’s address is going to be about bipartisanship, unity, compromise...Absurd because tonight’s address was delayed because of an act of over partisanship, when the President himself decided to engineer a 35-day government shutdown over a border wall that he promised to his political base....Absurd because the President is seemingly going to act like everything is normal, despite a cracked up cabinet, despite his ongoing feud with the intel community, countless investigations into him, his staff, his campaign, his business, and even now his inauguration.”
— Host Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s MTP Daily, February 5.
Dems Caught in Blackface Scandal, But Trump Is to Blame?
Host Craig Melvin: “When did blackface become a thing again? Why does it seem as if blackface is all of a sudden front and center in America again? What’s happening?”
MSNBC political analyst/Princeton professor Eddie Glaude: “I think it has something to do with what Donald Trump has unleashed. It has something to do with the reservoir that’s underneath our politics that can always be activated at any moment. So it’s not like something new has happened, it’s always underneath. It’s the undertow.”...
MSNBC political analyst Zerlina Maxwell: “I agree with Professor Glaude, Donald Trump has normalized this overt display of racism. Where it used to be impolite.”
— Discussion on NBC’s February 4 Today show about Virginia Democrats Governor Ralph Northram and Attorney General Mark Herring admissions they wore blackface in the 1980s, more than 30 years before Trump became president.
Triggered By a Hat
“That hat has become symbolic of a lot of things in this country. To some, it is merely a hat that dons a political slogan that the president popularized. For others, it has become an invitation for confrontation. Some people referred to the hat as a modern day version of the Confederate battle flag.”
— Host Craig Melvin on MSNBC Live, January 23.
“When I see the Make America Great Again hat now, Chris, I am triggered. I am so triggered...This Make America Great Again hat is just as maddening and frustrating and triggering for me to look at as a KKK hood. Like, that is the type of hatred that his policies represent....[U]ntil we can have common ground and understanding about that, that it’s that triggering, we’re going to continue to have problems.”
— CNN political commentator Angela Rye discussing Covington Catholic school kids wearing Make America Great Hats being confronted by liberal Native American protestor at March for Life as aired on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time, January 26.
“The bright red Make America Great Again baseball cap entered the popular culture as candidate Donald Trump’s political swag. It has transformed into an open wound, a firestorm of hate and a marker of societal atavism....The hat has become a symbol of us vs. them, of exclusion and suspicion, of garrulous narcissism, of white male privilege, of violence and hate.”
— Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan in January 26 article.
Digging for Dirt on Those Horrible Christians
“I’m a New York Times reporter writing about #exposechristianschools. Are you in your 20s or younger who went to a Christian school? I’d like to hear about your experience and its impact on your life. Please DM me.”
— January 24 tweet by New York Times reporter Dan Levin.
“If you run, Mr. Schultz, and if you look at the polls in the fall of 2020 and it looks like you are going to be a spoiler, like you will get President Trump re-elected, will you drop off the race?”
— Host Poppy Harlow to potential independent presidential candidate and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz as aired on CNN Town Hall: Howard Schultz, February 12.
“The main thing...that scares me is that your entry into this race will guarantee Trump another four years, and we cannot have that....They had to play tough, the Democrats, with him [Donald Trump], otherwise he will run amok. Now your entry into the race pretty much guarantees that a Republican is going to win.”
— Co-host Joy Behar to former Starbucks CEO Charles Schultz who is considering an independent run in 2020, as aired on ABC’s The View, January 29.
Cooing Over Kamala
Host Joe Scarborough: “You either have it or you don’t, there’s no predicting ’til that moment that person walks up to the microphone and announces they’re running for President. I don’t know about you, but the second I saw her [Sen. Kamala Harris] up there, I said ‘Wow, she’s got what it takes!’”
MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell: “It was a ‘Wow!’”
Scarborough: “She filled that stage and she can play in the big leagues.”
— MSNBC’s Morning Joe, January 28.
Worried We’re Not Hyping Democratic Field Enough
“We are talking about...a number of history-making candidates. It is incredible to see the number of women running, the number of people of color running for president already on the Democratic side and yet I kind of feel this is being taken for granted. Should we, in the press, be talking more about the historic nature of this early primary season?”
— Host Brian Stelter on CNN’s Reliable Sources, February 3.
“Conservative” “Patriarchy” Is “Terrified” By AOC
Former Huffington Post reporter Laura Bassett: “She’s [Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] got a target on her back because she ticks every box that makes conservative men uncomfortable: she’s a woman, she’s Latina, she’s young, she’s working class, she’s a millennial, she’s a democratic socialist. Everything that makes people uncomfortable....She’s sort of the ideal anti-Trump and she is threatening white conservative men’s power and they’re terrified of her.”
Host Brian Stelter: “And thus she’s a feature on Fox. That’s what you’re saying?”
Bassett: “Absolutely. They’re trying to take her down. They’re using all the tricks in the patriarchy.”
— CNN’s Reliable Sources, January 27.
Clear and Present Bias
“There’s a lot more going on with this presidency than just the shutdown. You say that if you give him the $5.6 billion he’ll just do this over and over again. But there’s also NATO, there’s also the Mueller investigation. So, let me ask you, do you think that Donald J. Trump presents a clear and present danger to our democracy?”
— MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle’s question to Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown as aired on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, January 23.
If Only NYT Was As Worried About Actual Babies Being Killed At 9-Months
“In the 116th Congress, if you’re a Democrat, you’re either a socialist, a baby killer or an anti-Semite. That, at least, is what Republicans want voters to think, as they seek to demonize Democrats well in advance of the 2020 elections by painting them as left-wing crazies who will destroy the American economy, murder newborn babies and turn a blind eye to bigotry against Jews. The unusually aggressive assault, which Republican officials and strategists outlined in interviews last week, is meant to strangle the new Democratic majority in its infancy.”
— Reporter Sheryl Stolberg in February 17 New York Times article.
Trumpers Want Wall Because They’re Afraid of “Brown Grandbabies”
“On the Republican side, a lot of people see the rise of an extraordinary, important, new constituent in American politics, Hispanics, who will come here and all be Democrats. Also, I hear, when I push people a little harder, ‘Well, I don’t know whether I want brown grandbabies.’”
— Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw on NBC’s Meet the Press, January 27.
Wall = “Symbol of Hate and Racism”
“Mr. Trump is not the first president to ask for money for a wall. George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush built fences and walls along the southern border. Barack Obama maintained the resulting system of roughly 700 miles of physical barriers. So why don’t we want Mr. Trump to build his wall? What is different? The difference is that Mr. Trump’s wall is a symbol of hate and racism.”
— Univision anchor Jorge Ramos in a January 9 New York Times op-ed.
Time to Impeach
“Let’s talk about his conduct in office, the way he speaks about people, the way he targets individual Americans. He’s intimidating witnesses. He’s calling African nations s-hole countries. He’s blowing up alliances. He’s taking the notes away from an interpreter. I mean, the list goes on and on and on and on...What more do the House need in order to debate fitness for office?”
— Host Katy Tur’s question to Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee as aired on MSNBC Live with Katy Tur, January 17.
Boasting About Banning Climate Change Skeptics
“I also didn’t invite anybody who didn’t believe in the moon landing and I also didn’t invite anyone who was a flat earther. Is that all right?”
— NBC’s Meet the Press host Chuck Todd on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, January 24.
Doing His Best Rev. Jeremiah Wright Impression
“When I was in public school, in Brooklyn, New York, I was not told that George Washington owned slaves. I was told that he chopped down the cherry tree; wouldn’t tell a lie. Or, in 1492, this guy, this terrorist [Christopher Columbus], sailed the ocean blue....We have to talk about the genocide of Native Americans! They get overlooked! This country was built on, in my opinion, genocide of Native Americans and slavery. That’s the foundation of this country.”
— Film director Spike Lee on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, February 13.
Time for a Ban on Billionaires
Host Seth Meyers: “If you were running, what would be your platforms? What would be the things that Michael Moore would promise to the American people?”
Film director Michael Moore: “Well, I have a number of things I would do. First of all, I love the idea of just outlawing billionaires. It really is immoral.”
— NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, January 31.
Diller Disses The Donald
“We have a thoroughly rotten leader in the country, an accident of history that hopefully will be over soon...Hopefully, in two years, to paraphrase Gerald Ford, this national nightmare will be over.”
— Current IAC and former Fox CEO Barry Diller to Recode Decode podcast hosted by Kara Swisher, February 18.
“It’s About Time” We Pass Job-Killing Green Deal
“The right wing has a new boogey-woman in Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and she is being called a hysterical, not ready for prime time crazy lady because she protested for a green New Deal outside of Nancy Pelosi’s office and also said ‘the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.’ To which I say, thank you. It’s about time someone framed the issue with the appropriate level of urgency.”
— Host Bill Maher on HBO’s Real Time, February 1.
Just When You Thought Sarah Couldn’t Get Any Grosser
“No point in explaining how mind blowingly stupid this tweet is so I’m just gonna go with FUCK YOU, and also add that you are a smelly penis hole with balls that touch water. Eat shit, you greedy twat.”
— February 11 tweet by actress/comedian Sarah Silverman in response to Donald Trump tweet about global warming.
Ellen Page’s Rampage Against Pence
“We’ve been told, as we know it, that by 2030, the world as we know it, that’s it….It feels impossible to not to feel this way right now with the President and the Vice President Mike Pence who like wishes I couldn’t be married. Let’s just be clear. The Vice President of America wishes I didn’t have the love with my wife. He wanted to ban that in Indiana. He believes in conversion therapy. He has hurt LGBTQ people so badly as the governor of Indiana....If you are in a position of power and you hate people and you want to cause suffering to them, you go through the trouble, you spend your career trying to cause suffering, what do you think is going to happen? Kids are going to be abused, and they’re going to kill themselves, and people are going to be beaten on the street.”
— Actress Ellen Page on CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, January 31.
Blaming Trump for Staged Attack
“The horrific attack on [Empire actor] Jussie Smollett has no place in a decent human loving society. Homophobia existed before Trump, but there is no question that since he has injected his hatred into the American bloodstream, we are less decent, less human, & less loving. No intolerance! No DT!”
— January 29 tweet by film director Rob Reiner. Smollet later surrendered to police on February 21 for allegedly staging attack that he originally pinned on Trump supporters.
“Time will tell if Jussie’s attackers shouted MAGA or not but there is no part of me that doubts that Trump and MAGA culture have encouraged and emboldened these types of attacks and that is truly fucking unforgivable.”
— January 29 tweet by actor/comedian Billy Eichner.
Media Was Too Skeptical?
“The media has really cast so much doubt on his story which I find so personally offensive that a gay black man is targeted and then suddenly he becomes the victim of people’s disbelief. It’s so outrageous to me.”
— Co-host/actor Sara Gilbert discussing Smollet on CBS’s The Talk, February 14.
Bill Bravely Picks On a Kid
“I don’t blame the kid – the smirking kid. I blame lead poisoning and bad parenting, and, oh yeah, I blame that fucking kid. What a little prick. Smirk face. Like that’s not a dick move at any age to stick your face in this elderly man....I do not get what Catholic priests see in these kids.”
— Host Bill Maher criticizing Covington Catholic school student Nick Sandmann for grinning while Native American protestor drummed in his face, as aired on HBO’s Real Time, January 25.
“Loser” Trump’s “Fascism” Is the National Emergency
“When the leader of a republic can plan as a political strategy when to declare what is a national emergency and when that emergency shall begin so they can wield unrestrained power? That, fellow citizens, is a national emergency. Welcome to American fascism.”
— February 14 tweet by HBO’s The Wire creator and former Baltimore Sun reporter David Simon.
“In the Battle At The Border The Liar is a LOSER! Beto-10-15 thousand. The Liar-6,500. Go back to the WH and your stolen Presidency, turn on FOX, and start tweeting your bullshit.”
— February 12 tweet by film director Rob Reiner.