December 31, 2013

"We still have so much to get to, including the annual tradition of asking 'Hey, was that racist?'"

Squeals Melissa Harris-Perry, on her MSNBC show, going to a break, just after displaying picture of Mitt Romney's family that includes a black adopted child  and inviting her panel to "caption" it, which they do with mockery like, "It really sums up the diversity of the Republican party, the RNC. At the convention, they find the one black person."

The line I quote in the post title, above, was delivered without a trace of awareness that the segment she'd just overseen would prompt the cry "Hey, that was racist!" I have no idea what the "Hey, was that racist?" stuff after the break turned out to be or whether Melissa Harris-Perry — if we were to look more broadly at her efforts — has been doing any good work in the enterprise of making race consciousness something that can be joked and bantered about in a relaxed and friendly way.

I see I do have a tag for her name, based on an article she wrote in The Nation in September 2011. I blogged about her perception that "A 'more insidious form of racism' — replacing the old 'naked, egregious and aggressive' racism — is now undermining Barack Obama." She thought — as I paraphrased it — "that people loaded race into their positive feelings for Obama, and now they have a special race-based disappointment."

Quite aside from racial politics, I thought children were off limits. Here you have an MSNBC panel segment planned around laughing at a baby. We scrupulously avoid using Obama's daughters as raw material for jokes. Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?



UPDATE: More apologizing — replete with tears — here.

85 comments:

damikesc said...

They didn't because:

1) They don't really feel kids are off limits.

2) Republicans aren't really people.

3) MSNBC isn't run by the sharpest knives in the drawer.

I'd argue #3, largely because Harris-Perry has a show in the first place.

SGT Ted said...

No one gets to disagree with these clowns ideas simply because they are bad ideas.

It always has to be some sort of socially deviant hatred of non-white people, or gays or whoecver.

Nevermind that the bad ideas they promote are those of Old white Men from the 19th Century. If a black man utters them, opposition is de facto racism.

This construct allows them to be "the good people" without ever any intellectual effort on their part.

They are thus blind to their own hates and prejudices, or, they feel their hatreds are always justified, because they have the Correct Politics.

Which is how you get clips like the one above, as well as the usual hate speech they direct at the GOP and those that don't think like them politically.

They have hatred in their hearts and they are OK with that.

18befccc-721c-11e3-8a44-000bcdcb2996 said...

Someone should tell Melissa that she doesn't look good in Pajamaboy glasses.

hawkeyedjb said...

"Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?"

Because you can say anything - literally anything - about conservatives, and none of your prog buddies will call you on it. When your world is as small and insular as these people's, you lose your sense of direction pretty easily.

paminwi said...

When a guest sings the ditty "which one of these things is not like the others" after seeing the picture, that is disgusting and the host should be called out for not stopping that kind of comment, instead she laughed like all the others goofballs on her panel.

If Rush Limbaugh had sung that same little ditty about a picture of Obama with his white grandparents what do you think would have been said?

pm317 said...

Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?

Because they are scumbags. Because they are nitwits.

Brando said...

Because liberals love their children, they love all children of course, and those children are therefore off limits.

Conservatives, on the other hand, are soulless demons who only have or adopt children so they can be used as props, and therefore it's okay to make fun of the props.

This is especially so where conservatives have loved ones who are nonwhite. Clearly they cannot find time to love anyone who isn't white, what with the joy they get out of firing people or shooting tresspassers. So making fun of these race props is completely acceptable.

Curious George said...

"Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?"

What difference, at this point, does it make?

Michael said...

Preening assholes. They are really vile. And not very smart. Why would we give one shit about the opinion of a comedian or a minor actress on any topic? Ever?

Brando said...

Of course, lost on the ilk of the Harris-Perrys of the world is the fact that maybe one reason a lot of minorities don't publicly identify as conservatives is that they're often subject to the stigma that liberals attack them with. Connecting the dots isn't their strong suit.

pm317 said...

Squeals Melissa Harris-Perry, on her MSNBC show,

haha.. squeals like a pig that she is.

pm317 said...

May be that black kid will one day become President of this great nation.

Unknown said...

As anyone who has watched the Daily Show or Tosh 2.0 can tell you, racism is okay as long as it is a) presented ironically by an otherwise avowed liberal and b) directed toward a suitably safe target, such as a Republican. This is what passes for comedy in today's youth/left culture. It is almost trite to note that the same rules would not apply if the political labels were reversed.

MayBee said...

Children are off-limits in politics. Mitt Romney, because he is no longer in politics, has no special protection for his children.

MayBee said...

I would like to point out again that Mitt Romney's father worked against the Democratic practice of redlining when he was in the Nixon administration. There is no reason to believe Mitt Romney has a racist bone in his body.

EDH said...

Had this baby been aborted by a white doctor instead of adopted into the Romney family, I doubt Harris-Perry would pursue a similar racial angle about that story, which tells you all you need to know about Harris-Perry's don't-bite-the-hand-that-feeds-you racial shtick.

TC Lynch said...

Considering that Harris-Perry is the daughter of a white woman raised in the Mormon church, you'd think she'd know better... but she has a gig at MSNBC, so that thought is fleeting.

ThomasD said...

MSNBC is simply demonstrating the approved method for demonstrating tolerance and inclusion.

By ridiculing the adoption of a black baby.

Oh, and shut up you haters.

Illuninati said...

The left is obsessed with race. Race and sexual orientation and money seem to be all they ever think about.

April Apple said...

MSDNC spends more time belittling and bullying the GOP than they do worshipping their sacred cow organization clique club (and benefactor(D)).


MSDNC and the The Denver Post are very similar in that neither offer real news.

Drew said...

"Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?"

Because, it is WHO THEY ARE.

Bob said...

Apology posted on Twitter. Apparently she had to wait for the polling to come back to decide whether to apologize, couldn't recognize offense when she first made it.

Beta Rube said...

Melissa's mom is white. I wonder if she sings that song to her when they have a get together on dad's side of the family.

Larry J said...

Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?

Perhaps it's because, like the rest of the nation, no one at MSNBC actually watches their shows. Microsoft parted ways with MSNBC years ago. If I were them, I'd sue to get my initials separated from their name.*

*I had a similar experience about 20 years ago. My wife and I sold our first house. The woman who bought it had a gang member son. In the course of a police investigation, a search of our old house turned up over $40,000 in stolen goods. In the TV news report, our name was still on the mailbox. I was tempted to go scrape it off late at night but never did.

alan markus said...

I wonder what kind of muzzle A & E put on Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty). Would love to hear his perspective as the grandparent of an adopted black kid (may be mixed race, ala Barack Obama).

April Apple said...

The leftwing tweets are delusional. They are blaming Fox News. I don't recall ever hearing about anyone on Fox News belittling or mocking Obama's daughters.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?"

-- You got to get your two-minute hates in.

Matthew Sablan said...

"1) They don't really feel kids are off limits."

-- This is also true. The Bush girls were never off-limits, even before they were adults.

MayBee said...

She has apologized, it really she should examine what it was within her that made her want to behave this way in the first place.

Ern said...

Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?

1. It's unlikely that anyone at MSNBC found anything wrong with it.

2. It's equally unlikely that anyone at MSNBC is smart enough to put gasoline in a car's tank, much less edit a television show.

Phil 3:14 said...

Adoptive parents giving a child of ANY ethnicity a loving home,I apologize.I absolutely did not intend to harm you but it seems that I have,’ she tweeted.

That exudes sincerity.

(And the medium fits the message)

cubanbob said...

Revenge is a dish best served cold. If the Republicans win next November they should pass Glenn Reynolds Hollywood tax and force cable unbundling. Comcast which owns NBC and MSLSD would crap in their pants when they take a huge hit. Fortunately for the left the RNC is mostly brain dead and cowardly.

April Apple said...

seems?

What a fraud.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?

My guess: because management and staff at MSNBC are obsessed with race; it's their network's niche. Why are the folks at ESPN are always talking about sports?

Oso Negro said...

Aside from Romney's performance as a candidate in 2012, I believe that we learned enough about him and his family to know that any child fortunate enough to be adopted into it has been set up for life. MSNBC might have focused on the decency of the Romneys.

Dan from Madison said...

These people are pigs, plain and simple.

Matthew Sablan said...

Has anyone called for her to be fired? I mean, hate is a valid reason for being fired, or so I was told when it regarded some other recent TV personality I only vaguely recognized.

Firehand said...

Remember Chelsea Clinton was off-limits, but they were just fine with crapping on the Bush daughters.

Al Gore's son was suppose to be off-limits, but they loved making jokes about Palin's kids. Especially the one with Downs Syndrome.

TM Lutas said...

Not only are kids of politicians supposed to be off limits but kids of non-public personalities are supposed to be off limits. One of the oddities of the story is that they don't mention the names of the parents. Romney's kid is not a public figure and thus is not fair game and neither is his wife. A non-public figure and wife decide to interracially adopt and find themselves the subject of a national political story and mocked for their politics because grandpa, who has nothing to do with the adoption, is a public figure.

That's utterly chilling on a deeper level than the thread premise.

Curious George said...

My caption:

One black male child that won't grow up calling black women "ho", won't think being a "baby daddy" is something to be proud of, won't say "ax you a question" or "fitty cents"

Jim Gust said...

"Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?"

Because the staff worked for three days developing ideas, and this was the best they could come up with?

Henry said...

@Phil 3:14 -- I'm not sure where your italicized text is coming from.

@April Apple -- Multiple apologies here.

donald said...

This is the grotesque stupid cunt that put the tampons on her ears as I recall.

David said...

"Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?"

Ha.

Next question?

Phil 3:14 said...

Henry,
Its in the article. It was her "apology".

Pookie Number 2 said...

Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?

Probably the same reason no-one at the KKK nixed lynching.

There's something unpleasant within human nature that can produce hatred for people that are different. The impulse that produced racism and slavery is exactly the same as the impulse for hating those with different political views.

El Pollo Raylan said...

The basic instinct of the Left used to be to help those who cannot help themselves -- and that instinct is absolutely sound. If this thoughtless woman had come out and said she thought the baby was being harmed in a Romney household, she might have had a point. But now she is the one who has forever pinned the public eye on that child. I hope she gives that a thought sometime.

Henry said...

@Phil 3:14 -- Oddly, the quoted tweet doesn't actually show up in her twitter feed.

Michael K said...

MSNBC, like most of the left, lives in a bubble of their own making. They exclude other points of view and are probably ignorant of the fact that most American find their views repugnant. The Duck Dynasty controversy was a small window on the outside world but they will ignore the lesson that their views are unusual because they are reenforced every day by their acquaintances. Pauline Kael's quote about voting for Nixon may be apocryphal but it was true. They don;t know anyone who disagrees.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

This is the same twat that thinks children belong to the community/government and not their parents.

I hope she gets hit by a fucking car.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Althouse asks: Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?

This incident and others may reveal a media age wherein oversight is minimal and "editing" consists of phoning in to hear what the "star" has planned that day or is just a firm but gentle reminder to spell- and grammar-check everything before hitting publish.

[you suck! - ed.]

JRoberts said...

Tomorrow will be January 1, 2014.

Mitt Romney and his family will still be together and happy, and will be looking forward to a great year.

Melissa Harris Perry will still be Melissa Harris Perry and will still be on MSNBC.

What more can you say?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

One of these things is not like the others...

Mitt. He's the only male in the picture not wearing a blue and white checkered shirt.

What do I win?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Okay, I stand corrected. Apparently the baby is a boy. For some reason he is dressed in the same color as all the girls in the picture.

Wayworn Wanderer said...

"Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?"

Lots of good answers to this question.

Marty Keller said...

Gosh, perhaps our resident lefties can explain this better. Inka? Garage? Somefeller? Help us out, maybe, from the depths of your humanity?

El Pollo Raylan said...

Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?

It may not have crossed their collective minds. Perhaps they didn't see the baby as a person but rather as a stage prop.

Kelly said...

Someone on CNN said everyone always makes fun of Mitt Romney, so this was okay. In fairness, the rest of the CNN panel weren't buying it.

Jupiter said...

"Melissa's mom is white. I wonder if she sings that song to her when they have a get together on dad's side of the family."

Yet another tragedy due to the high cost of birth control. If only we'd had Obamacare back then!

William said...

I read her apologies that Henry posted at 8:58. They seem genuine and sincere. The comments themselves are not off the chart hateful such as Martin Bashir's. We all say our share of things that come out more malicious than we intend. This shouldn't be a career ending gaffe.......That said, I don't think she would ever make or even consider making such jokes about the Brangelina children. Moreover, I don't think she would ever consider why not and whether this reflected any measure of prejudice on her part.

Sorun said...

MSNBC just can't resist hiring haters.

Larry J said...

Quite aside from racial politics, I thought children were off limits.

No, only Democrat children are off limits. The Left and Press (but I repeat myself) never hesitated to ridicule the Bush's daughters or any of Sarah Palin's kids, to name just a few.

EMD said...

Snark has replaced wit.

eric said...

When I watch the video, there is a point where the camera goes away from MHP and the lady is singing, "One of these things is not like the others" and it comes back to the hostess and she is laughing hysterically, and then catches herself and puts on her serious face.

What was that all about? Did she realize in that moment how awful it was to be laughing at the mockery of a baby?

April Apple said...

Pressure.

I can imagine an NBC executive called her into his office and calmly explained: "Hey kid, I understand - I hate the GOP too and I hate Romney so much I could spit. I'm as rich as he is, but so what. He’s a plutocrat or something. I can't believe the GOP doesn't just die already. Die die die! - but here's the thing, you gotta apologize."

SteveR said...

The typical reaction from the left is to ignore these incidents or explain them away as jokes.

Harris-Perry's mom may be white, but she is black. You now know the problem.

jaed said...

Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?

Why didn't anyone nix Martin Bashir spending a segment fantasizing openly about the torture and degradation (in the grossest of detail) of Sarah Palin? That was a produced segment, not off the cuff.

They didn't nix it because none of them see anything wrong with a nasty racial attack on a baby. The baby is related to a Republican politician and is therefore not protected. It's not a mystery.

William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
grackle said...

Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?

You cannot be serious; you just can't. But in case you are: The MSM considers themselves to be the media wing of the Democrat party. Anything harmful to the Right will be showcased. Anything harmful to the Left will be downplayed, excused or more likely ignored. But you know this, don't you?

jr565 said...

"one of these is not like the other" Ha ha ha ho ho ho.
It's quite funny that the libs keep saying republicans are racists then resort to racism to show that somehow the repuplicans are racist for doing non racist things.
On Modern Family the two gay guys adopt an Asian baby. I suppose we could snicker "one of these is not like the other" about both the baby and the gay marriage. But that would be kind of insensitive. No?

jr565 said...

Why didn't anyone at MSNBC nix this?

Because they ascribe to Pajama Boy's morality. They have no morality and they will attack you. Liberalism in a nutshell.
MSNBC is the Pajamaboy Channel.

Paco Wové said...

I feel for poor Melissa H-P. It just sucks when a 2-min. hate goes wrong on you.

hombre said...

What most lefties won't get is that it's not about "hurt." (See Melissa's apology.) it's not even about racism. It's about hypocricy.

The Romney's are made of sterner stuff than the puling victim classes that inhabit the lefty's political domain. Kieran will be raised as a color blind man of character.

hombre said...

What most lefties won't get is that it's not about "hurt." (See Melissa's apology.) it's not even about racism. It's about hypocricy.

The Romney's are made of sterner stuff than the puling victim classes that inhabit the lefty's political domain. Kieran will be raised as a color blind man of character.

Portia said...

Y'need to quit watching that station, It is of no import, ignore it,

Fandor said...

The "true believers" on the left are wretched individuals. What more can one say about these sad, sad folks?

CityofMisfitToys said...

As a black man I'm just going to say one thing.

Thank you to Mitt's son and daughter in-law for adopting this child.



Charlie said...

Is there a host on MSNBC who hasn't apologized recently? Seems they always are apologizing for something.

Drago said...

It bears repeating once again.

Fen's Law.

The Left does not actually believe a single thing that they lecture the rest of us about.

Jack Wayne said...

Dear Maybee, Mitt may not have a racist bone I his body but by your reasoning he has an authoritarian bone. Being against "red-lining" means the government has the right to say who you can sell your house to. Considering Romney favored state-ordered medical insurance, I'd say his authoritarian bone is pretty big.

alan markus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alan markus said...

Being against "red-lining" means the government has the right to say who you can sell your house to.

Not so sure I can follow that logic - as I recall, red-lining was realtors, lenders, and insurance companies making it difficult for anyone to purchase homes in areas they designated as too risky to do business in, despite their credit worthiness & cash down payment. So, if you were attempting to sell a home in such a designated area, the government attempt to prevent that practice was actually helping you.

MayBee said...

Jack Wayne- Alan Marcus is right. Redlining at the time was a government practice and policy prohibiting minorities from moving into certain areas.

donald said...

No it wasn't Maybee.


MayBee said...

Donald
Yes, it was started as a government policy under FDR.
--------

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/512/transcript

Redlining is now pretty well known, and the word has become a catch-all for various maneuvers that banks and others have used to deny loans or services based on race. But most people may not know-- I didn't know-- that it wasn't banks that popularized redlining. It was the federal government under President Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, that drew red lines on maps around certain neighborhoods and refused to back home loans there. There were other designations on the maps, by the way, for areas with Jews and others, anyone who was perceived as risky. Banks followed the government's lead in terms of lending, and so did big government programs that came out later, like the GI bill.

Nikole Hannah
It was not just about whether a neighborhood was black or not, but whether that neighborhood was integrated, and the government wanted to provide a disincentive to live in an integrated neighborhood. So if you were a white homeowner who didn't mind living in an integrated neighborhood, you could not get a loan. And if you owned a home in an integrated neighborhood, you knew that you could not resell your home to other white folks, so you had to sell your home to black people and get the hell-- oops, excuse me-- get the heck out of there. Because your property values were absolutely going to go down. It had nothing to do with whether the black people in your neighborhood could afford to pay their mortgage, or whether--

Nancy Updike
They mowed their lawns, or--

Nikole Hannah
Right, exactly, not keeping their properties up. It was about the fact that the government was deeming these neighborhoods as less valuable. And so your property values were going to go down because the government had decided that black and integrated neighborhoods were automatically less valuable.

Nancy Updike
The federal government's redlining drove white flight, and the government did not see this as a problem. Open racism was mainstream in the 1930s, including in the federal government. A manual put out by the Federal Housing Administration warned against undesirable encroachment of inharmonious racial groups.
-----

Read or listen to the whole thing at the link