Friday, August 21, 2009


Oh, you are just going to love MSNBC’s explanation for why the network doctored up video of a black town hall protester carrying a gun to suggest that gun-toting Tea Party folks are all white racists.

This takes the cake:

MSNBC on race-baiting gun segment: Um, we were speaking “generally”

Er, yes. That was precisely the problem. So lame that it barely qualifies as spin:

Following the shot of the African American man focusing specifically on the gun, MSNBC host Contessa Brewer said that “you have a man of color in the presidency and white people showing up with guns strapped to their waists or to their legs.”…

[B]y raising the racial issue in this context, bloggers claimed that MSNBC was purposely misleading viewers by not showing that at least one African-American man has also carried a gun to an event.

An MSNBC spokesperson responded to POLITICO: “Contessa was speaking generally and not about that specific person with the automatic weapon.”

Indeed she was, even though the presence at the rally of that specific person — which was withheld from MSNBC viewers — undercut her general thesis that the gun display was motivated by racial paranoia rather than libertarian principle. This is really just an extreme version of the media “forgetting” to mention who’s really responsible for those Obama/Hitler signs at town halls. The sin in that case is one of omission in order to further the “Republican mob” narrative; in this case, they went a step further and actually trimmed the video to support their race-war storyline. And the best defense MSNBC can offer for it is a Larger Truth/fake-but-accurate non-answer. It’s one thing when the media doesn’t report things that should be reported, but when they’re actually doctoring facts to better tailor them to their ideological agenda? I don’t know where we go from here.