MSNBC Skips NY Times Writer Blasting His Own Paper for Bigotry

MSNBC on Monday brought on New York Times op-ed writer Bret Stephens to talk about the rising threat of bigotry and anti-Semitism. Stephens made a splash on Monday when he indignantly condemned his own bosses at the paper for perpetrating bigotry with an anti-Jewish cartoon. Yet, amazingly, MSNBC didn’t mention his column at all. 

Instead, MSNBC Live host Kasie Hunt went back to Charlottesville and Donald Trump. Talking to guest Ashley Parker, she offered this loaded question: “How does the President view his relationship with the rising tide of white nationalism? Obviously, he has not gone as far to call himself that. But he has described himself as a nationalist.” 

 

 

Parker speculated that Trump mentioned Lee as a code to speak to white nationalists: 

... He praised Robert E. Lee and that is something that if you are a white nationalist, if you are a neo-Nazi you are happy to hear and you can sort of hear that praise. The president said, “To be clear, whether you like him or not he was a great general. I’m praising him as a great general.” If you were part of that community you can hear those comments. That's not what politicians normally do, praise Robert E. Lee. And you can think, “Hey, the President is giving us a wink and a nod and he is actually with us, regardless what senior administration officials may say in statements.”  

Instead of asking Stephens about the bigotry of the New York Times — a vile cartoon in the international edition portraying Israel’s prime minister as a dog being walked by Trump — Hunt instead pressed the columnist on the President: “Bret Stephens, to that point you have to concede that there does seem to be more oxygen here from this president of the United States than we've seen ever in the past.” 

A partial transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more. 

MSNBC Live
4/29/19
2:05pm ET 

KASIE HUNT: Ashley Parker, you lay this out in your piece in the Washington Post and you covered this president very closely, just picking up on Eddie's characterization, how does the President view his relationship with the rising tide of white nationalism? Obviously, he has not gone as far to call himself that. But he has described himself as a nationalist.  

ASHLEY PARKER (Washington Post reporter): Well, I think you have to parse it what the President says publicly and what the White House has says. This weekend, a number of white house officials came out said the President, the administration condemn all forms of bigotry and hatred and anti-Semitism and white nationalism and then you actually have to look at some of the stuff the President says which to put it charitably are dog whistles. So even this weekend, when he was or late last week when he was responding to Vice President Biden and saying, “That's not at all what I said about Charlottesville,” On the one hand, he was engaging in a defense, rewriting history, distancing him a bit from those controversial remarks. And at the same time, he praised Robert E. Lee and that is something that if you are a white nationalist, if you are a neo-Nazi you are happy to hear and you can sort of hear that praise. The president said, “To be clear, whether you like him or not he was a great general. I’m praising him as a great general.” If you were part of that community you can hear those comments. That's not what politicians normally do, praise Robert E. Lee. And you can think, “Hey, the President is giving us a wink and a nod and he is actually with us, regardless what senior administration officials may say in statements.”  

HUNT: Bret Stephens, to that point you have to concede that there does seem to be more oxygen here from this president of the United States than we've seen ever in the past. 

STEPHENS:  Yeah. I think that really Eddie touched on the core point here, which is that even if the President doesn't approve, condone, support any of the people who have carried out the kind of killing that you saw in San Diego, or before that at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, the whole tenor, the whole spirit of his politics gives these people what they see as kinds of a permission.

 

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