In what has been a daily and exhausting exercise, Richard Wolffe, executive editor of MSNBC.com, continues to push the slanderous claim that opposition to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice is racially motivated.
Appearing on Thursday’s Martin Bashir show, Wolffe and fellow liberal journalist Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post continued to slam Republicans for their investigation of Susan Rice. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
Mr. Wolffe started off the segment by repeating the misleading liberal narrative that, “the framework that they're trying to surround her and hunt her down on really comes down to her performance on a Sunday talk show.” In truth, Republican critics have raised numerous other concerns about Rice, including Sen. Susan Collins's (R-Maine) concerns about Rice's work in the State Department back in the Clinton administration when she may have played a role in denying security measures prior to terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Wolffe's comments prompted rabidly-partisan host Martin Bashir to tee up a softball to Mr. Wolffe enabling him to launch into his racial conspiracy theory, “Richard, some of our viewers, and others, have suggested that it may be because she's a woman and that she's black. And that's why the attack has happened.”
Wolffe then went into attack mode claiming that:
What you're seeing here is a war by proxy on the president. That's why the president said, if you want to come after me, come after me. And it always just happens to be people of color who are working alongside him. Whether it's Eric Holder, the center of another vast and completely unfounded conspiracy, or Valerie Jarrett, apparently completely unqualified to exercise any power whatsoever, or Van Jones, who really is some kind of crazy cookie communist, why is it the always people of color -- not Tim Geithner who maybe had some hand in the economy. You can construct any number of conspiracies. I'm not suggesting they do. But why not Shaun Donovan, Housing Secretary, I mean housing is not doing great either.
Apparently Mr. Wolffe chose to ignore that there was strong opposition by Republicans to the nomination of Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary over his failure to pay $35,000 in income taxes, but alas, Mr. Geithner doesn’t fit neatly into Wolffe’s narrative that the GOP only goes after people of color in the Obama administration.
In addition to Mr. Geithner, the GOP strongly criticized former Senator Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) when he was nominated as Secretary of Health and Human Services for failing to pay taxes.
Wolffe has his biases and perhaps he can argue he's entitled to them, seeing as MSNBC has consciously decided to be a left-of-center propaganda outfit. But Wolffe is NOT entitled to his own facts, and the factual record shows that Republicans have and will continue to oppose Obama nominations on the basis of legitimate concerns that are germane to governing.
It's improper to have tax cheats serving on the Cabinet. It's alarming to have a possible Secretary of State who was more concerned with being a loyal soldier helping the president in the heat of reelection season than in honestly communicating with the American people about what happened in Benghazi on September 11.
See relevant transcript below.
November 28, 2012
4:14 p.m. EDT
MARTIN BASHIR: A round of applause there from the cabinet. And we're joined with a round of applause by MSNBC Executive Editor Richard Wolffe and Jonathan Capehart, an opinion writer for The Washington Post. Richard [Wolffe] the GOP keeps saying there are more questions but there don't appear to be any more answers that Susan Rice can give. If she keeps going at this rate she's going to get to all 45 GOP Senators, Republican Senators, by Christmas.
RICHARD WOLFFE: Right. What are the questions about? The reason she cannot give more answers – I mean she can always talk about this thing, but the subject matter is really limited here. And for either the Republican Senators who are finding it hard to follow or maybe the viewers of another cable news channel who have lost all track of what this story is about, the questions are about her performance on a group of Sunday talk shows. The real story should be, and was supposed to be, about the security of foreign service officials in dangerous countries. She doesn't really get to speak about that. She's not responsible for the security of those officials. So, the framework that they're trying to surround her and hunt her down on really comes down to her performance on a Sunday talk show. There's only so many questions you can frame about that. They've run to the end of them. And they still want a bigger story and a bigger conspiracy. And as I've said before, I think this speaks to motives that are more than impure and actually really offensive.
BASHIR: Okay, well Jonathan [Capehart], there's always a new reason to oppose Ms. Rice. On Tuesday, Senator [Lindsay] Graham hinted this was revenge for the failed nomination of John Bolton. And then Susan Collins today mentioned Ms. Rice in relation to the 1998 African Embassy bombings. You’ll remember there were two. Take a listen.
SUSAN COLLINS: What troubles me so much is the Benghazi attacks in many ways echoes the attacks on those Embassies in 1998 when Susan Rice was head of the African Region for our State Department.
BASHIR: I should say that Susan Rice couldn't remember and wasn't able to give any particularly detailed answer, so they started with Benghazi that failed. They’re now in 1998. How long will it be before they ask for Ms. Rice's birth certificate?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: You know, I don't know. And I'm surprised by Senator Collins because you know she is a moderate within the Republican Party in the Senate and is usually a level-headed person. To bring the two together is a little extraordinary because in one, Benghazi, Susan Rice has, as Richard eloquently said a moment ago, has nothing to do with anything in Benghazi except she went on television to talk about it. But the situation in -- the bombings in the 1990s, while Susan Rice was in the Clinton State Department and, you know, had some sort of purview over that, but how the two are related is beyond me. But the other thing Senator Collins says in that exchange is that, well, wait a minute, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves because she hasn't even been nominated for the position. And that's what makes this whole thing such an unbelievable circus. They're beating up on someone over a job she hasn't been offered. Even though we know, we have a pretty good hunch she's going to be offered it, but the fact that she's being beaten like this before she's been officially designated as Hillary Clinton's successor is extraordinary to me.
BASHIR: Richard, some of our viewers, and others, have suggested that it may be because she's a woman and that she's black. And that's why the attack has happened. I say some others to include your good self.
WOLFFE: Thank you.
BASHIR: But is there also not the opportunity for some kind of score-settling because in the past Susan Rice has been deemed to have slightly sharp elbows so they're using this as a convenient way as it were to get back at her for whatever –
WOLFFE: Look, let's set this into some context here. If what you care about is the state of security in Libya and whether –
BASHIR: But they didn't care about that because they didn't vote to provide 300 additional protection officers at these consulates and embassies. So let's cut that out of the discussion. That is irrelevant. No one cares.
WOLFFE: It is. And also whether or not Gaddafi was in power or not, Susan rice was a leading advocate for supporting the rebels to get him out of power. So I don’t know what sharp elbows they feel they’ve had. When the accusation about Susan Rice’s sharp elbows comes into play it's generally from other people in the administration who have clashed with her because say they didn't want to support the rebels in Libya and she did. What you're seeing here is a war by proxy on the president. That's why the president said, if you want to come after me, come after me. And it always just happens to be people of color who are working alongside him. Whether it's Eric Holder, the center of another vast and completely unfounded conspiracy, or Valerie Jarrett, apparently completely unqualified to exercise any power whatsoever, or Van Jones, who really is some kind of crazy cookie communist, why is it the always people of color -- not Tim Geithner who maybe had some hand in the economy. You can construct any number of conspiracies. I'm not suggesting they do. But why not Shaun Donovan, Housing Secretary, I mean housing is not doing great either. Fox News has led this charge and as Tom Ricks eloquently pointed out and others maybe these Republican Senators are just pandering to Fox News but maybe there's something deep-seeded about their resentment about the president and these proxies around him and they are not letting up. They're not letting up on us for pointing that out but that's not going to stop anyone.
BASHIR: Richard Wolffe, Jonathan Capehart, gentleman thank you very much, indeed. Stay with us. We have much more ahead.