Chris Matthews, on Tuesday’s "Hardball," insinuated racism may have been behind Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst against President Obama, at last week’s health care speech, as he repeatedly asked his guests if they thought Wilson's exclamation was "A race thing," that represented "the old black/white attitude of the South."
In the very first segment of the show Matthews pressed Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards, "Do you think this is a race thing...I mean was it a racial thing on the part of Wilson? Was he expressing contempt for Barack Obama because of his heritage?" For her part Edwards insisted, "I don’t think that at all." [audio available here]
However Matthews persisted and, later in the show, got the reply he desired from the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, as seen in the following exchange:
Appearing on CBS’s Sunday Morning, commentator Nancy Giles shared her thoughts on Congressman Joe Wilson’s outburst: "Some sign waving and you probably heard about it, heckling. At a joint session of Congress....That’s the voice of Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina, not some drunk at open mic night, calling the President a liar."
Giles continued, denouncing all health care reform protestors: "He later apologized, but still, it was a frightening mix of disrespect and bad behavior, with a dash of this summer’s town hall meeting craziness. I guess we should be grateful that there weren’t any ‘show us your birth certificate’ signs and at least no one beat anyone with a cane, which actually happened in the old Senate chamber in 1856."
Giles would certainly know about "disrespect and bad behavior," on the October 5, 2003 broadcast of Sunday Morning, she compared conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh to Adolf Hitler: "So as Rush’s world has steadily crumbled, it’s no wonder he allegedly had to turn to prescription pain killers....Edgy, controversial, brilliant....Hitler would have killed in talk radio. He was edgy, too."
This is a notion that hasn't really gotten any traction anywhere yet, but could Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C. be a viable 2012 presidential election candidate?
The hosts of Fox Business Network's "Happy Hour," Eric Bolling, Rebecca Diamond and Cody Willard, contemplated that possibility on their Sept. 14 show, which comes on the eve of a vote on a "resolution of disapproval" on Wilson for calling out "You lie!" as President Barack Obama spoke to a joint-session of Congress Sept. 9.
"First off, House Dems appear set to censure South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson for shouting ‘you lie' at President Obama during last week's health care speech, but Wilson is not backing down," Diamond said. "He told Fox News Sunday he will not apologize to the House tomorrow. Instead, he is turning this - all of this into a fund-raising campaign, claiming he has raised $1 million since the outrage incident last Wednesday. So we are asking, ‘Hit or Miss' on whether Democrats risk turning Representative Wilson into a viable conservative candidate for 2012."
"It shows the power of the Internet. It doesn't matter anymore that [Big Three broadcast networks] ABC and NBC and CBS aren't covering it. The world now knows about it because people go in there and show them the truth," Bozell noted, adding that it proves what conservatives have been saying that ACORN "is a suspect organization [subsidized] with millions of taxpayer dollars."
Bozell also discussed the controversy involving Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), who yelled "You lie!" at President Obama during last Wednesday's speech before Congress:
The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), also known as the Black Press of America, which is a non-partisan 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization, has decided to show its disapproval of South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson's "You Lie" remarks by canceling a convention in the state.
"Rep. Wilson's remarks were racist, disrespectful and a disingenuous violation - not only of President Obama - but to the institution of the presidency and only solidified our position and the importance in not spending Black dollars where Black people are not respected," NNPA Chairman Danny J. Bakewell Sr. said in a statement.
The conference was scheduled for January according to Fox News. Bakewell said the 69-year-old organization, which includes 200 black community newspapers across the country, would exercise its ability to harm the state economically.
At the end of Sunday’s Face the Nation on CBS, host Bob Schieffer denounced South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson: "The irony of a congressman trying to heckle a President in the midst of a speech that was, among other things, about the need for civility, is just one ugly sign of the mindless meanness that has settled over our politics."
Apparently Schieffer forgot this passage of President Obama’s speech last Wednesday: "Some of people’s concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim...that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren’t so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple." Calling your critics liars hardly sounds like a call for "civility."
After Obama touted how he had reached out to Republicans on tort reform, Kroft pressed: “Would you be willing to do more in the area of tort reform and malpractice insurance? Would you be willing to agree to caps, for example, on malpractice judgments?” Kroft raised how to pay for it all: “There is still a great deal of skepticism about how this plan is going to be paid for. What you promised is essentially you promised not to affect anybody who has coverage now at all. You have promised to add another 30 million people into the system and you're saying that you can do all of this or want to do all this without impacting or increasing the deficit by a dime. How do you do that?”
While the Obama-loving media jumped all over Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) for shouting "You lie" during the President's healthcare address Wednesday, few so-called journalists bothered to report what made the Congressman and others present so angry.
On Sunday's "Meet the Press," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich did.
After host David Gregory asked Gingrich whether Obama was acting like a president or a partisan Wednesday evening, the Speaker marvelously responded (video embedded below the fold, relevant section at 1:00):
One of the biggest concerns most conservatives had about a Barack Obama presidency was that any criticism of him or his policies would be reported by liberal media members as an act of racism.
Sadly, such fears ended up actually being understated, for since Inauguration Day, the left-wing punditry have routinely depicted anyone with the guts to question the new President -- from Tea Party goers to town hall meeting protesters -- as wearing white robes and burning crosses on folks' lawns.
The latest example is New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd who in her most recent screed attributed Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-S.C.) "You lie" outburst during Wednesday's healthcare speech to the ignorant notion that "Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it":
Shuster went on to add: “And especially then when you look up at the picture and you see older white men, all Republicans, sitting there. Just it gives off a strange vibe.” On Thursday, Shuster claimed that Republicans were: “...all white males with short haircuts. They look sort of angry. No women, no minorities, and it looks like they’ve sort of become unhinged.”
During the segment late in the 3PM ET hour, Shuster spoke with Reverend Jesse Jackson, wondering: “What role, if any, do you believe that bigotry is playing in some of this venom toward President Obama?” Jackson seized on the opportunity to cry racism: “Well, substantial. There is a struggle between the hope of going forward and the fear of going backwards....the big C-word, conservative, for some that means fiscal, for some, it means religious ethics, for some it means a code word for race.”
New York Times congressional reporter Carl Hulse ignored his own reporting yesterday when condemning Republican Rep. Joe Wilson's "You lie!" outburst during President Obama's speech to Congress, with Hulse insisting it was a wholly unprecedented outburst. Yet in a 2005 story Hulse admitted Democrats had "hollered" at Bush during the State of the Union when Bush brought up Social Security reform.
Hulse took another bite out of Wilson today, in a story co-written with regional reporter Robbie Brown, datelined Swansea, S.C., "Heckler's District Mostly Supports the Outburst." At least today's story provided a single sentence pointing out that President George W. Bush "drew derisive hoots from Democrats" in his 2005 State of the Union address, while insisting that Wilson's outburst was worse.
Nancy Pelosi glares in Joe Wilson's direction. September 9, 2009.