During Thursday’s edition of Deadline: White House, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace suggested that a Republican with a “spine” needs to “call on all Republicans to boycott Laura Ingraham’s Fox News Channel program until she apologizes for articulating and embracing a racist ideology like disparaging legal immigration.”
Wallace and her panel repeatedly brought up the fact that David Duke had tweeted out support for Ingraham’s Wednesday monologue on The Ingraham Angle, which pointed out that America has changed dramatically because of legal and illegal immigration.
Wallace began her riff by playing a clip from Ingraham’s monologue where she made the following comments that Wallace described as “dog whistles” and “blow horns”:
In some parts of the country, it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn’t exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people and they’re changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like. From Virginia to California, we see stark examples of how radically in some ways the country has changed. Now, much of this is related to both illegal and in some cases legal immigration that, of course, progressives love.
As she attempted to paint Ingraham as a racist, Wallace gleefully pointed out that former Ku Klux Klan Leader David Duke had tweeted out support for Ingraham’s monologue. Wallace then insinuated that Fox News now serves as “a platform for the ideology of David Duke in such a blatant, flagrant, proud way.” While Never Trumper Charlie Sykes described Ingraham’s comments as an example of “nativism,” Wallace went further, describing her commentary as “racism.”
Sykes agreed with Wallace’s description of Ingraham’s statements, saying that the Fox News host “articulated what Donald Trump is talking about, what he talked about when he came down that escalator.” Wallace jumped in, asking “So she’s a more articulate racist?”
The rest of Wallace’s panel weighed in on Ingraham’s monologue, with Sirius XM's Zerlina Maxwell accusing Ingraham of “basically saying, we want a country that is white. It used to be white and the demographic shifts that are happening in this country to make it a more brown country is something that makes people who watch Laura Ingraham very uncomfortable.”
During Thursday’s Ingraham Angle, Ingraham responded to criticisms leveled her way by delivering “a message to those who are distorting my views, including all white nationalists and especially one racist freak whose name I won’t even mention.”
She added: “You do not have my support. You don’t represent my views and you are antithetical to the beliefs I hold dear.” Ingraham stressed that her commentary “had nothing to do with race or ethnicity but rather a shared goal of keeping America safe and her citizens safe and prosperous.”
In spite of Ingraham making it perfectly clear that she did not intend for her comments to come off as racist, it looks like the media has no intention of giving her the benefit of the doubt as over on CNN, weekend host Van Jones compared her to a Neo-Nazi on Friday's New Day.
A transcript of the relevant portion of Deadline: White House is below. Click “expand” to read more:
Deadline: White House
LAURA INGRAHAM: Because in some parts of the country, it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn’t exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people and they’re changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like. From Virginia to California, we see stark examples of how radically in some ways the country has changed. Now, much of this is related to both illegal and in some cases legal immigration that, of course, progressives love.
NICOLLE WALLACE: There are dog whistles and then there are blow horns. What you heard was the thesis of Laura Ingraham’s lead story last night, a segment called “The Left’s Effort to Remake America.” And guess who enjoyed it a lot? David Duke, the former leader of the KKK. He tweeted and then deleted this, but we found it. “One of the most important (truthful) monologues in the history of the mainstream media.” Do we still call them that? Here now is Charlie Sykes, a Contributing Editor for The Weekly Standard and joining us at the table, Zerlina Maxwell, Director of Progressive Programming at Sirius XM; both MSNBC Political Analysts. I have to start with you, Charlie Sykes. Who is going to call the whistle, blow the whistle, call balls and strikes at a network that even while it had its sort of over the top commentators and opinion shows never served as a platform for the ideology of David Duke in such a blatant, flagrant, proud way?
CHARLIE SYKES: Well, that’s right. I mean, we’ve heard this before. There’s, you know, this is, this is basically the kind of nativism, the know nothing…
WALLACE: This is racism, Charlie Sykes, this isn’t nativism.
SYKES: Well, of course. Well, okay but this is also the essence of Trumpism. I mean, she’s articulated what Donald Trump is talking about, what he talked about when he came down that escalator when he’s decided to make...
WALLACE: So she’s a more articulate racist?
SYKES: Well, exactly. And, you know, look. This has been a recessive gene on the right for many years. But you and I remember that, you know, what, the way that people like Ronald Reagan and the Bushes and John McCain thought about this country, understood that America is not about demography, it is about ideas. We are a country founded on the idea that all men are created equal, and yet this, this tradition is now being rejected. Laura Ingraham, I think, put it in the rawest terms. But let’s be honest about it. She is articulating the dominant ideology of this administration.
WALLACE: Charlie Sykes, you know what needs to happen, a Republican with a body part I won’t say should find a body part I will say, a spine, and call on all Republicans to boycott Laura Ingraham’s program until she apologizes for articulating and embracing a racist ideology like disparaging legal immigration. That is a bridge I have never heard championed by Republicans, never. John McCain as a candidate, attacked one of his own supporters for calling Barack Obama a Muslim. George W, I mean, again, I agree. It’s a recesssive gene in the Republican Party. But the Republican Party’s good leaders, the ones that won elections, they celebrated legal immigrants and illegal immigrants who came to this…I mean, Jeb Bush was run out of the GOP primary for saying illegal immigration was an act of love. Now you’ve got one of the prime hosts at another network articulating something cheered on by David Duke. What’s happening?
SYKES: Well, look at what’s happened over the last several years. I mean, compare what Ronald Reagan said in his, you know, shining city on a hill speech, his vision of America to what we’re having right now. But again, you know, this has been happening over there for sometime, you know, Tucker Carlson has been engaging in this kind of nativist rhetoric, and again the President of the United States, it’s not just Steve Bannon. Look, this is one of the animating ideas now that we have to take America back from people who have like distorted what we were…what, the country that we were back in the 1950s. And, yes, Republicans need to push back on it…
WALLACE: When we were made great by legal immigration. Zerlina, it’s so, and I don’t know when Tucker Carlson is on or what he does, but I know Laura Ingraham to be very close to the President. And so to see someone, Zerlina, who is in contact with this White House, who champions…she had the President’s son on yesterday. She is as close as I would argue someone like Sean Hannity is. Zerlina, what does it say to see Republicans…I imagine tonight she’ll have a full run down of Republicans as guests.
ZERLINA MAXWELL: Well, it means in the Republican Party, at least right now, racism is perfectly fine. I’ve said this…
WALLACE: Did anyone disavow that today, or David Duke?
MAXWELL: No, but they’re not going to because one of the things that happened in 2016 is racism was normalized. It was seen as something that people could be in public and it was perfectly acceptable in polite company to express racist views or what was traditionally thought of as racist views and you can still be accepted in polite society. And I think that, you know, Hillary Clinton talked specifically about, when Steve Bannon was hired that it was, you know it wasn’t the alt-right. We’re talking about white nationalism. We’re not, you know, don’t rebrand it as something that sounds softer. Talk about it as racism. And I appreciate that you say, no, it’s racism. You know, I understand what Charlie is saying in terms of calling it nativism. And we always try to, you know, be measured when calling things racist. But this is the moment where we need to do it because it couldn’t be more clear. She is basically saying, we want a country that is white. It used to be white and the demographic shifts that are happening in this country to make it a more brown country is something that makes people who watch Laura Ingraham very uncomfortable. And there is a meme on the internet that says when you’re used to privilege, equality feels like oppression. And I think that the grievances that working, white working class or at least what we like to call the white working class because working class is black people, Latino people, people of all colors. You know, the grievances that they’re feeling, it has to do with the fact they have to compete with women and people of color for positions and economic advancement. And that feels like oppression when it shouldn’t.
WALLACE: I remember watching the right celebrate Hillbilly Elegy and not to take anything away from Hillbilly Elegy but I read it, I read it twice. And I thought, this was a book about white pain. I’ve never seen any of these people showcase all the volumes of books about African-American pain. There was one book, beautifully written by a very compelling guy I’m sure he’ll end up in politics or really, really rich in Silicon Valley. And again, nothing against him, it was a wonderful book. But it was celebrated by a lot of hosts on Fox News because it was just this very, oh, wow, you know, it was really an articulation of white pain. This seems to be the extension of that, the extension of the grievance, the grievances and this strain as Charlie said, this recesssive gene. But to add legal immigration to it is new and I wonder, sometimes Fox News puts up a trial balloon for the President. Is this the White House’s new language, that they are now…and I know Stephen Miller trotted out some restrictions. Where are they going on immigration? Should we be scared?
JONATHAN LEMIRE: You just made the point, it’s that Stephen Miller has been talking privately, you know, and started to float some ideas along these lines. And this white pain that you mentioned, it was certainly one that was a staple of the audiences that we’d see at Trump rallies throughout 2016. I’d also like to point out that like, David Duke keeps making interesting cameos during the Trump era. We had the moment during the campaign where Trump sort of didn’t disavow him right away. We have this. And let’s also remember a year ago, almost exactly a year ago, Charlottesville, David Duke saluted what Donald Trump said about there being on both sides. And it’s just, here we are, twelve months later; the anniversary is this weekend; how little this administration, and by extension, we’re seeing the hosts on Fox News, at least this one, have done very little to sort of address that and the feelings that so much of this country have about what President Trump, how he responded to that moment; by blaming both sides. And there’s been very little effort there for any sort of outreach, any sort of trying to suggest like this is a country we should try to bring things together. Instead it is just more and more division.
PAUL BUTLER: And that’s a winning issue for Republicans because a lot of their base is concerned about 2040. In 2040, white people will no longer be the majority. We won’t have any one majority race. And that scares a lot of Trump’s base. They have nothing to worry about. It’s already the case in California and Texas, white people are not the majority there, but white folks are doing fine in California and Texas. So chill. But, you know, there is a legitimate conversation to be had, but that’s not the one that we’re having. You know, just fact checking, legal immigrants, undocumented workers, both have lower rates of crime to people who were born here.
A full transcript of the relevant portion of The Ingraham Angle is below:
The Ingraham Angle
LAURA INGRAHAM: Good evening, welcome to Washington. I am Laura Ingraham and this is The Ingraham Angle. I want to start tonight by addressing my commentary at the top of last night’s show. A message to those who are distorting my views, including all white nationalists and especially one racist freak whose name I will not even mention. You do not have my support. You don’t represent my views and you are antithetical to the beliefs I hold dear. The purpose of last night’s “Angle” was to point out that the rule of law, meaning secure borders, is something that used to bind our country together. And despite what some may be contending, I made explicitly clear that my commentary had nothing to do with race or ethnicity but rather a shared goal of keeping America safe and her citizens safe and prosperous. Furthermore, as I have said repeatedly on the show, merit-based immigration does wonders for our country’s economy, our way of life, and how we define our country. I even said that in my opening thoughts last night. I want to make it really clear that my concern will continue to remain with the families who have suffered the tragic results of illegal immigration, the children put in dangerous and unfair situations at the border, and all those border agents around the country who work to keep our country safe.