As I already mentioned in my post on Mary Matalin defending race-baiting Glenn Beck on Blitzer's show this week, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Andre Carson, recently made some remarks that have had these so-called "tea partiers" up in arms. And naturally, the talking heads over at Fox have been making hay of the Congressman's remarks as well.
While I agree with Donna Brazile who said that using that level of inflammatory rhetoric is not necessarily useful to the debate over whether we've seen a horrendous level of racism and just out and out disrespect towards our first bi-racial president and race-baiting whether it be towards African Americans, Hispanics, members of the Muslim community or a number of other groups from this so-called "tea party" and those who want to attach themselves to that label in the Congress, anyone at Fox or the likes of Allen West have absolutely no ground to stand on when it comes to criticizing anyone else for overheated rhetoric or flame throwing.
So pot, meet kettle with Bill O'Reilly's interview of Allen West on this Thursday's O'Reilly Factor. News Hounds summed up the hypocrisy pretty well in their post here -- O’Reilly Trots Out Allen West To Attack Congressional Black Caucus’ Rhetoric:
Fox News’ utter hypocrisy on the subject of inflammatory rhetoric was on display (again) last night as Bill O’Reilly trotted out Rep. Allen West to
disparagediscuss the Congressional Black Caucus’ comments about the Tea Party. Yes, that’s the same Allen West who called Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz “the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives” and refused to apologize. That’s also the same guy who called himself the “modern-day Harriet Tubman” leading blacks from the plantation of Democrats. That Allen West was who “fair and balanced” Fox News thought an appropriate person to serve as an analyst for the supposedly inflammatory comments of Democratic members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
I’m sure it didn’t hurt West that O’Reilly, himself, had cheered on West’s attacks on Wasserman Schultz. Yet O’Reilly was up in arms over Rep. Andre Carson’s comments saying that some Tea Party members of Congress would “love to see you and me… hanging on a tree.” OK, so I’ll agree it was inflammatory and maybe not the wisest choice of words. But why is this a major topic of discussion on Fox News, if not as an excuse to attack the Congressional Black Caucus? It’s not exactly significant to the economy, unemployment or even the 2012 election. And it’s not as if Fox News ever pays attention to anything else Rep. Carson says or does. [...]
O’Reilly reiterated his request that West get back with any response to his letter because “this is an important story.”
Why is this important if you’re not out to get the CBC?
Full transcript via Fox:
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight: the Congressional Black Caucus in big trouble. The group is comprised of 43 congresspeople, all African-American, who promote policies favorable to their constituencies. The CBC generally dislikes the Tea Party, but now some of the rhetoric is getting out of hand.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. ANDRE CARSON, D-IND.: Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now of this Tea Party Movement would love to see you and me, I'm sorry, hanging on a tree.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Now, using violent imagery with racial overtones to attack a political group is absolutely un-American. But Mr. Carson is unrepentant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARSON: I stand on the truth of what I spoke. My intentions weren't to hurt anyone or any group.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Joining us now from South Florida, Congressman Allen West, a Republican and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. So Congressman, I understand you wrote a letter to the leader of the CBC, Congressman Cleaver. What did it say?
REP. ALLEN WEST, R-FLA.: Well, basically it made reference to the comments of my colleague, Congressman Carson, as well as the comments of Congresswoman Maxine Waters, where she was telling the Tea Party to go to hell. And I don't think that we need that type of incendiary talk coming out there. And I think that it's a reflection that when you look at the almost 17 percent unemployment rate in the black community, 40 percent unemployment among black teens, the high incarceration rates, that we are not seeing them go at the failure of the policies of the Obama administration but rather they are trying to demonize and attack the Tea Party movement as a scapegoat for these failures.
O'REILLY: Now, did Congressman Cleaver respond to your letter?
WEST: Well, what we have gotten so far is that he will wait to respond later. He feels that he is right now too engaged with this job fair. So I will look forward to speaking with Congressman Cleaver when we return back to Washington, D.C. if I don't hear something from him prior to that. Because I believe…
O'REILLY: All right, would you do us a favor? And when he -- when he gets back to you, would you let us know right away so we can be fair to Cleaver and see if he's going to take action against Carson and Maxine Waters?
O'REILLY: Now, here is my theory about why this is happening, and I put forth this last night. When a guy like Carson and Maxine Waters speaks in these terms, they're always speaking to the choir, to people who are anti-Tea Party, mostly Democrats, mostly liberals, who love Barack Obama. That's their forum here. And I believe that the CBC and other pro-Obama people are very worried that African-Americans aren't going to turn out next year to vote as they did in 2008. And this is -- these tactics are being used to demonize Mr. Obama's opposition so that it gins up the turnout. That's what I think is behind this.
WEST: No, you're absolutely correct and you talked about it early in your "Talking Points" when you read the statistics as far as the general approval or the opinion of the Tea Party. This is nothing but one of the tactics. I believe it's Rule Number 13 out of Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals," where you pick a target, you freeze it, you isolate it and you begin to attack it. And I think that's one of the important things that they want to try to do.
O'REILLY: Right. There's no doubt that that's what's going on here. Now, I'm curious, are you the only Republican in the CBC?
WEST: Yes, I am.
O'REILLY: OK, now…
WEST: But without being Republican or Democrat, I think that this type of rhetoric has no place in the political discourse.
O'REILLY: And I think -- I think 99 percent of Americans would agree with you. I haven't heard anybody justifying Congressman Carson's -- anybody sane justifying his remarks. But when you guys meet, do you ever discuss what you just said? That for decades, more than decades, for hundreds of years, the African-American community has not -- has not prospered despite massive amounts of government spending, massive interventions by the federal government, things aren't improving, maybe there is another way. Have -- do you -- do you ever discuss that or are you shouted down and it's no, we want more, we want more, we want more?
WEST: Well, that's one of the important parts, I think, in joining the Congressional Black Caucus, so that you can bring that different perspective. When you look at the history of the black community with the Democratic Party, you see slavery, you see segregation, you see the Jim Crow laws, you see secession and now you see socialism, which is really not beneficial to the black community. And we already talked about those unemployment statistics. You're seeing the second and third generations of welfare ever since we had the great society programs and even Daniel Patrick Moynihan once gave warning to some of the policies that we were going to see implemented in the black community with the destruction of the black family. So I think it's an important time right now that we objectively assess some of the social statistics that we see occurring in the black community.
O'REILLY: All right. Thank you very much, Congressman. Let us know what Congressman Cleaver…
O'REILLY: …says it to you because this is an important story. And we appreciate your time very much tonight.
And one final note here. If Allen West decides to leave the Congressional Black Caucus over this matter, the rest of them should tell him not to let the door hit him in the ass on the way out. Allen West has decided to join a party that has nothing but utter disdain for the working class and the poor and doesn't even try to hide it these days. The loss of West from that caucus would mean nothing other than there's one less member that never had the interests of the African American community at heart in the first place, unless of course anyone believes eliminating our social safety nets and giving more tax cuts to rich people is looking out for them.