CNN's Don Lemon tossed softballs at leftist writer Tim Wise on Sunday's Newsroom, mostly reading back excerpts from his latest column, which the anchor labeled a "withering rebuke of...the 'white right.'" Lemon even twice emphasized how Wise has apparently received death threats over the column, where he slammed "conservative old white people [who] have pretty much always been the bad guys."
The CNN anchor interviewed Wise for nearly eight minutes during a segment 10 minutes into the 7 pm Eastern hour. Lemon began with "withering rebuke" label and continued that the author "begins with a disclaimer that he is not referring to all white people, and that his essay is not anti-white. He says it is addressed to- quote, 'The white community that is right-wing.'" He then turned to his guest and seemed to compliment him before asking his first question: "I was actually- I have to be honest- a little bit stunned when I read this because your language is unusually rough and raw. We know that you tell it like it is. You called the election results a temper tantrum and you sound mad as hell....do you regret using any of this fiery rhetoric?"
The leftist writer emphatically stood behind his incendiary column:
ABC’s World News Sunday gave attention to black Republicans who have a good chance of getting elected in this year’s congressional elections, focusing on Tim Scott of South Carolina and Ryan Frazier of Colorado, and even showing a clip of Allen West of Florida. Anchor Dan Harris set up the report: "Two years after the historic election of America's first African-American President, there is now a huge wave of black candidates running against Barack Obama. Many of these candidates have the full support of the largely white Republican Party and the Tea Party."
As correspondent Ron Claiborne filed a report, early on a soundbite was shown of South Carolina’s Scott explaining why he believes in the Tea Party movement. Scott: "I think if you believe in conservative government, if you believe in free markets or capitalism, if you believe in not spending money you don't have, you're a Tea Party member as well."
Claiborne soon informed viewers that the South Carolina Republican is expected to make history: "If Scott is elected from this Charleston district, he would be the first African-American Republican elected to the House of Representatives from the Deep South since 1901. This year, 42 African-Americans ran for the Republican nomination for House seats; 14 of them won. And, like Republicans everywhere this year, they are harsh critics of President Obama."
In Friday's 3PM ET hour of live coverage on MSNBC, anchor Peter Alexander asked black Republican congressional candidate Allen West of Florida about "aligning" with the tea party movement: "the Tea Party has raised concerns that it may have, I guess, racism built within it. We have seen some racist signs at past events...are African-American candidates aligning themselves with the tea party?" [Audio available here]
West responded: "The principles and values that I espouse, limited government, lower taxes, individual responsibility, and accountability, liberty, and honoring the traditions of our constitutional republic, are connecting me with those grass roots Americans that attend tea party rallies. And I've spoken at four to five of those rallies and I've not seen any racist type of signs."
On Wednesday, Alexander talked with correspondent Luke Russert about the fact that 32 African-Americans are running for Congress as Republicans. Russert noted with surprise how "these candidates are actually soliciting support from the tea party, a group that a lot of folks have claimed to be racist against African-Americans."