MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts really needs to stop calling himself a journalist. Once again, the liberal MSNBC host can’t distinguish between reporting and activism, this time pushing a trio of female Democrats as the future of politics.
Appearing on his daily MSNBC show on August 8, Roberts introduced a segment on Democratic women entitled “Fierce and Fearless” in which he and Citizen Jane Politics editor Patricia Murphy fawned over Democratic women, including Texas state senator Wendy Davis. Roberts, who has a history of using his show as a platform to advocate for liberal causes, introduced the segment thusly:
All eyes are on a rising guard of Democratic women taking the party by storm and doing it in their own way.
As the segment progressed, Roberts who in the past has shown his support for Ms. Davis proclaimed that, “The refreshing thing about the way she operates as a politician, she goes after it.” For her part Murphy piled on the Davis love affair: "She is a woman who is fearless. You can just see it in her eyes. She's not backing down.”
Roberts then turned his attention to Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D), who is challenging Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in the 2014 Senate race, and pleaded with Murphy to remind his audience of her importance, “What do you think it is about her that’s going to keep everybody talking and keep the interests there? Because the initial polls that came out they show her having a lead over McConnell.”
Roberts seemed to calm down his excitement after discussing Ms. Davis and Ms. Grimes, but at no point during the segment did he or his guest bother to talk about “Fierce and Fearless” Republican women who may take the Republican Party by storm, such as Nancy Mace -- the first-ever female graduate from the formerly all-male Citadel -- who is challenging Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) in next year's midterms. For all the hype surrounding Wendy Davis, most polls show her losing by huge numbers in hypothetical gubernatorial matchups, and Roberts seems to be doing his part pushing her campaign for governor in 2014.
IF MSNBC continues to run segments promoting Democratic candidates, it should cease calling itself a news network and officially become the television arm of the Democratic Party, MSDNC.
See relevant transcript below.
August 8, 2013
11:33 a.m. Eastern
THOMAS ROBERTS: So as the next election cycle shapes up, all eyes are on a rising guard of Democratic women taking the party by storm and doing it in their own way. Eight of these women are featured in a recent Daily Beast article. And among them is Texas state senator Wendy Davis who gained attention for her epic filibuster against an anti-abortion measure but is now considering a bid for governor. Joining me is Patricia Murphy editor of Citizen Jane Politics and she wrote that article for the Daily Beast. Patricia, it’s great to see you. And let's start with Wendy Davis. She's says she’s either going to run for reelection in the Senate or for governor. The refreshing thing about the way she operates as a politician, she goes after it. She's has made no bones about the fact that she's considering running for governor. So is that what makes her such a woman to watch and a rising star for the Democratic Party?
PATRICIA MURPHY: Absolutely but of course what made her the woman to watch in the first place was going up against that the legislature with this ten-hour filibuster. And by the way that was not her first filibuster. She had derailed other legislation with previous filibusters. So she is a woman who is fearless. You can just see it in her eyes. She's not backing down. And I asked myself when I was writing this article, most people didn't know about Wendy Davis before. Where are the other Wendy Davis’s in the country. And there are buckets of them. This is just a list of eight. But these are women; it’s really a new breed of legislator and of women in the state houses aggressive, fearless, polished and really making no apologies for what they believe in. To me it was a great story to be able to tell. And it's not just Hillary Clinton out there. There is a list of women ready to lead.
ROBERTS: You know one of the examples that we saw over the weekend came from Kentucky and that’s Alison Lundergan Grimes. Going to the Fancy Farm picnic. You would think Patricia the Fancy Farm picnic, by that name that it would be a little nicer in terms of the language being used. But Lundergan Grimes is challenging Senator Mitch McConnell. What do you think it is about her that’s going to keep everybody talking and keep the interests there? Because the initial polls that came out they show her having a lead over McConnell.
MURPHY: I think a lot of what's going to keep people interested is her style. And again, she's fearless. This woman is going up against one of the most powerful men in Washington. He’s also known very well to be one of the most ruthless, really practices the politics of personal destruction. She does not seem to care. She was out there just throwing one-liners at him one after another. And I think she is really getting attention for her style and also those poll numbers are no joke. People are going to take her very seriously.
ROBERTS: And McConnell went more after her father than after her which was an interesting attack as well. Trying to say that her dad is tied to the Obama’s and that’s why she’s even out there. The other name that's part of your piece is Kamala Harris who represents a lot of firsts. She's the first woman, first African-American, first Indian-American to hold the office of California District Attorney. Other than being a pioneer on so many fronts what strikes you about this woman?
MURPHY: What strikes me is really her record. If you look at her record when she was the D.A. in San Francisco, 90 percent conviction rate. She’s really also, to coin a phrase, tough on crime. She talks about violent offenders and she just says, lock them up, throw away the key. Don't spend much more time thinking about it. She does also have though a more nuanced position on nonviolent offenders. And she's just a very tough woman out there. She had a really tough election to get where she is. And she's just getting noticed by Democrats all over the place. Really considered a national rising star by Democrats.
ROBERTS: Alright, then the other is Charlotte Golar Richie who’s vying to be the first African-American mayor of Boston. What are her chances?
MURPHY: Her chances are -- it's a really tough field. I have to say that. We heard the current mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino who she was once an advisor to say she could really make history. And he's trying not to get into the race but he almost tipped his hat by saying that. Her chances are pretty good. She's very well known in Boston has been considered a rising star for a long time. And if you see her in action, limitless energy and again just totally fearless. And that I think that's what will get her attention and keep her noticed not just in Boston but by national Democrats. I think her profile will rise.
ROBERTS: You know Patricia there is something about today’s political environment. And as we see this and many women that are more interested in wanting to charge for these political offices take on the onus of getting elected. What do you think it is about Washington, D.C. in and of itself? Because the percentage of nationally elected figures that have come together for our Congress it’s still so low.
MURPHY: It's low. It's rising though. It’s higher than it’s ever been. So I think that that's a great story to tell. And I think if you start to look at why women run for office look at a place like Wisconsin, Chris Taylor there is a member of the assembly. She ran for office in 2011 when she saw the governor stripping collective bargaining rights of her son's kindergarten teacher. So you know those are women who it’s not about them it’s not about their egos. It's about making a difference in their communities and that’s a story we see play over again and again and again. And as younger women, see more women like themselves get into the race and get into the fight and they are not afraid. I think it’s a great example for women to follow.