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

posted at 4:10 pm on August 20, 2009 by Allahpundit

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.

Update: Oh my:

On behalf of the nearly half million members of Americans for Limited Government — and tens of millions of other equally appalled Americans of all races nationwide — I hereby demand the immediate termination of Contessa Brewer, Toure, Dylan Ratigan and any and all others involved in any way with the fraudulent “news” that ran in the 10:45AM segment of your August 18 broadcast.

You network has besmirched the dignity and honor of American people. You have endangered the life of the President of the United States. You have purposely fanned racial tensions. And you have deliberately lied to your own audience.

Update (Ed): I agree with ALG on this one.  We complain about Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, but they engage in opinion journalism, so we expect to get wild arguments and leg tingles.  What they don’t do is deliberately distort source material in a manner this blatantly dishonest in order to artificially inflame racial tensions.  Opinion journalism is legitimate; this is nothing but propaganda.

MS-NBC should fire everyone involved in this deception, in front of the camera and behind it.  It has a decision to make as to whether it is a news and opinion channel, or a propaganda outlet for the Left.  There is a difference, and this segment crossed it.

Update (Ed): My friend Tommy Christopher says that our silence on the allegation that a conservative talk-show host “put him up” to carrying the gun makes us the equal of MS-NBC on this point.  I strongly disagree.  The man made up his own mind to carry the weapon to the town-hall forum, and his motivation was rather obviously not race.  The entire point of the Brewer segment was that the guns were an explicit representation of racism in America as a significant part of the opposition to Obama, an argument which the uncut footage would have rendered ridiculous.  This is about MS-NBC lying about their footage to make a point that simply isn’t true; how does the talk-show host have anything to do with that?  It’s a red herring.

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Anybody else think it’s weird how many leftist idiot friends Ed has?

misterpeasea on August 20, 2009 at 10:57 PM

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, unfortunatly I can’t stand my enemies so doesn’t work for me but maybe it’s working for Ed

kangjie on August 20, 2009 at 11:14 PM

No. We’re discussing this here because conservatives will use any distraction to divert attention from the idea that their policies wrecked our economy and their lies are blocking health care reform. Also, since you’re understandably nervous about the obvious racism in SOME sections of the anti-Obama movement, you take the offensive in order to deligitimaze legitimate observations. Like the fact that a bunch of white folks bringing weapons to an Obama event is unnerving and news.

Bleeds Blue on August 20, 2009 at 5:06 PM

First — Obama Franks Waters LLC — destroyers of the nation’s economy. What broke our economy was the unsustainable model of Freddie and Fannie buying every mortgage coming down the pike, no matter how uncredit-worthy the underlying loan was. Any bank which attempted to be fiscally responsible was called racist, as were any Bush Administration officials who tried to warn Congress about the situation so the laws could be modified before catastrophe occurred. Mr. Obama himself played a key role in one such battle, in which Citibank was forced to cough up NINJA (No Income, No Jobs or Assets) loans.

When you accuse conservatives of blindness, three fingers point back.

Second, you choose to make the observation that whitefolk are carting around weapons to Obama events and it’s racist, yet your media artfully depicts some black guy as whitefolk while he is doing, for exactly the same reasons, the same constitutionally protected (but stupid) thing as his white peers, and you call it racism. Well, it sure appears that you are “emotionalizing”, which is the new liberal term (as popularized by Greenpeace) for lying.

You are certainly welcome to call him an “Uncle Tom”, but then you would be ignoring very strong Black resistance to the Democrat-passed Black Codes in the postbellum South — many of which forbade blacks from owning or carrying guns, even for hunting or for self-defense.

It was the Republicans and their insipid 14th Amendment which secured for all people the requirement that their own State governments follow the rest of the Constitution, including the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, without regard to race. It took more than a hundred years for State resistance to the 14th to be broken, and that occurred only to have the pendulum swing the other way on the Federal side — to a policy where race can indeed be considered in awarding benefits.

unclesmrgol on August 20, 2009 at 11:52 PM

First time commenter, just signed up during the recent open registration period. My screen name dates from a time years ago when I used to visit the NYT web site to try and defend conservative principles (before things got so hopeless at the Rag of Record). I posted mainly on Maureen Dowd’s site and used the screen name to get the natives stirred up, thinking it might be a nom de plume for MoDo herself.

Here is an e-mail I just sent to MSNBC regarding their coverage of the rally in Phoenix:

“Last night, I watched an Internet clip showing the MSNBC coverage of the health care rally in Phoenix, the segment that focused on men in the crowd carrying weapons. I started to write to you then, but realized I had no idea what to say. What could I possibly say to a media outlet that manipulates its video footage for the sole purpose of misleading its viewers, to stir up racial hostilities based on a lie? What impact could I hope to make on an organization so corrupt and dishonest, one which long ago surrendered its journalistic integrity and placed itself in service to the disastrous liberal agenda of a single political party? What could I tell you about the metastasis of your organization from news business to propaganda factory that you do not already know? I couldn’t even say that I will boycott your network because, like virtually everyone else in the United States, I haven’t watched MSNBC in years.

But here is what I can say: for the deliberate perversion of your journalistic duty to tell your viewers the truth, for your abject prostration before the gods of envy and hate, and for the damage you are trying to inflict on this country, shame on you and may God have mercy on your souls.”

Thanks for allowing me to participate!

MorEndowed on August 21, 2009 at 12:27 AM

ChickaBOOMer: MSNBC Editing Sweet

StewartIII on August 21, 2009 at 12:36 AM

MSNBC along with other media were punked by the gun toting folks at the rally Monday in Phoenix. The group planned ahead and notified the police that they’d be carrying guns. It was explained on our local news that the police followed them around, not because they were afraid of what they’d do, but to “protect” them from others in the crowd. As for Contessa and crew making up a story and reporting it as fact, they need to be fired.

GrannySunni on August 21, 2009 at 1:35 AM

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, unfortunatly I can’t stand my enemies so doesn’t work for me but maybe it’s working for Ed

You can’t stand them because you consider them enemies. Ed obviously consider them friends with whom he respectfully disagrees. It’s not like they are conservatives who have issues with Obamas COLB.

Alexey on August 21, 2009 at 4:22 AM

MSNBC making up a story and reporting it as fact? No, they’ve never done that before. Then again, that’s the entirety of “Meltdown with Keith Olbergoebbels”………….

adamsmith on August 21, 2009 at 7:01 AM

kingjester – lying liberals is redundant.

elifino on August 21, 2009 at 7:51 AM

I really believe that these folks are so desperate for viewers of any kind that they purposely interject this type of stupidity knowing full well that they will be called out by entities that have steady viewership. Look at the play they get as they become shrill and ridiculous. It must really suck to be so ignored that you have to be idiotic to get noticed. They are very good at it….lol

dartagnansblade on August 21, 2009 at 8:21 AM

So Tommy wants you to be worried about a “suggestion” that a conservative asked the guy to show up at the protest? and that makes Contessa’ and MSDNC’s salacious claim about whites with guns wanting to kill the President identical how? I love libs they are always looking for some moral equivalence instead of just saying when something is WRONG. If MSDNC keeps up with this meme of whites wanting to kill the President they are going to start a race war where prior to this President there was NEVER a thought of such a thing. If they don’t stop it will not end well, really a damn shame that the first black President would create hostility such as this. Post-racial my butt! he and his liberal friends in the media have set race relations back 40 years!

Jaded on August 21, 2009 at 8:44 AM

Clearly this group was out to make a political statement, not to incite trouble. According to them, they contacted the police prior to the event and told them what they were going to do. A police liaison officer was assigned to them and accompanied them for the entire period. Additionally, they were concerned that because of the visibility of the AR that some leftist nitwit might try to grab it. So, they had an unloaded magazine in that weapon. They wanted to make a statement, but did so with forethought and precautions. The insertion of race into the issue is pure spin by the left “in general” and MSNBC.

By the way, almost no one in the Marine Corps carries a full auto M-16 A2 or M 4 anymore. The selector is for semi auto and a three-round burst option. Full auto was an ammo-waster since after three you are most likely off target anyway. For full auto our infantry relies on the automatic rifleman with the Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) and machinegun teams with the M240G.

SoonerMarine on August 21, 2009 at 8:46 AM

Hey let’s start our own boycott list of advertisers and supporters of this blatantly and deliberately divisive and racist type of “news” reporting. And start with oh lets say BILL GATES and MICROSOFT, the MS in MSNBC. Gates and Microsoft have run a technological ponzy scheme since the introduction of Windows saying “this is the best version of windows ever…that’ll be $300 whether you want to upgrade or not” (sounds like health care logic).

Law of unintended consequences in this case will not hurt conservative programming as it did with the “other” boycott from the colorofchange. Rhetorical but why do liberals and Dems constantly run a three card Monty game with names…to coin a phrase, “you can polish a turd…it’s still a turd” (apologizing in advance to any turd which may be offended by the comparison to a liberal or a obamination dimocrap)***01/20/2012 the end of an error***

PatriotPete on August 21, 2009 at 8:51 AM

Why is Ms. Brewer still in her job?

kayo on August 21, 2009 at 8:51 AM

The last line is not mine but it is apropos

PatriotPete on August 21, 2009 at 8:52 AM

I did not say HA and NB’ actions were equal to MSNBC’s. Far from it.

After much arguing on the Twitter last night about this, I can see that, while I made it clear what I wasn’t doing, perhaps I should have tied a brighter bow on what I was doing.

The facts that NB omitted were pertinent to reporting a news story, not to proving a point. My inclusion of Hot Air, which I should have noted, stems from the fact that I would normally have expected them to correct those omissions.

Still, as I point out in my article, not only are these offenses intrinsically lesser than MSNBC’s, they are also mitigated by the fact that MSNBC is a news organization, rather than an openly partisan website.

TommyChristopher on August 21, 2009 at 9:48 AM

Well, worry not , soon YOUR tax dollars will pay for this State-run-media.

On a side note – I stopped watching news on TV a long time ago, CNN, MSNBC and even FOX just sensationalize everything and blow it out of proportion. Neither network allowed debate, just talking over each other. Fox is trying so hard to be considered independent that it leans left randomly throughout the day. Which is fine and dandy, News is supposed to be fair and balanced. But if i wanted to see liberal spin id just change channel to the 100% DNC sponsored CNN.

I used to just go to drudge report and hot air, but now i just keep it at Hotair.

and even though I am Christian, I still like AP’s atheist crap every now and again also

Donut on August 21, 2009 at 9:58 AM

There are links here

as to where/how you can express your – ahem concern
about this – ahem reporting

Lockstein13 on August 21, 2009 at 10:03 AM

Why is Ms. Brewer still in her job?

kayo on August 21, 2009 at 8:51 AM

Why does NBC/MS-NBC still have a broadcasting license?

It’s obvious they edited the video to hide the fact that the gun-toter is black. IMO, that’s reason enough to pull the license.

Daggett on August 21, 2009 at 10:08 AM

I’d say everyone should boycott MSNBC, but since nobody watches it except the painfully unaware or the far left, I’d say it wouldn’t do any good.

p40tiger on August 21, 2009 at 10:16 AM

So your friend Tommy Christopher is of the Y generation — or, as I like to call it, the “the no personal responsibility” generation. It is NEVER, EVER the person’s fault, it is the talk show host for “putting him up to it.” Pathetic. No wonder these morons voted for Obama in droves — nothing is ever his fault either.

Dark Star on August 21, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Making up news is certainly stepping over the line of ethics, to me.

I guess so is bringing the gun just to get on TV. That’s pretty sleazy, too.

AnninCA on August 21, 2009 at 10:46 AM

The facts that NB omitted were pertinent to reporting a news story, not to proving a point.

One would imagine that a responsible news source would present pertinent facts when making a point — in this case, a reckless and sensational point — rather than omit facts for their news story propaganda. The story here was that a man legally brought a gun to a town hall. That man happened to be black. MSNBC decided to edit the footage and talk about an alleged fringe group of racists and gun nuts threatening the President’s life.

My inclusion of Hot Air, which I should have noted, stems from the fact that I would normally have expected them to correct those omissions.

HotAir and several other blogs corrected MSNBC’s omissions. It seems these days, the role of blogs is to fact check and correct the wild assertions of the MSM, which has resorted to substandard yellow journalism. Bloggers have, at their best, become muckrakers, and at their worst, become Andrew Sullivan.

Still, as I point out in my article, not only are these offenses intrinsically lesser than MSNBC’s, they are also mitigated by the fact that MSNBC is a news organization, rather than an openly partisan website.

TommyChristopher on August 21, 2009 at 9:48 AM

This site would not be “openly partisan” if the Democrats had not climbed aboard the Socialist Express and cut the brakes. And MSNBC has discredited itself as a news organization. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

alliebobbitt on August 21, 2009 at 10:49 AM

I guess so is bringing the gun just to get on TV. That’s pretty sleazy, too.

AnninCA on August 21, 2009 at 10:46 AM

Yes. Impugn the dude’s motives and integrity.

Redirect attention from your precious MSNBC to an unknown person, and assume the worst.

Intellectual dishonesty: You’re a master of it.

MadisonConservative on August 21, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Making up news is certainly stepping over the line of ethics, to me.

I guess so is bringing the gun just to get on TV. That’s pretty sleazy, too.

AnninCA on August 21, 2009 at 10:46 AM

The man who brought the gun was very clear about why he brought it, and being on TV was not the reason. He interviewed very well, though, and he made a strong case for Second Amendment rights. Nobody here expects you to understand that, though. Continue making stuff up like MSNBC.

alliebobbitt on August 21, 2009 at 10:54 AM

It was indeed deliberate deception, and those responsible should indeed be fired. It’s interesting that the narrative itself was inherently racist, attempting to suggest that only white people could be dissatisfied with the able-minded will of The One. The more pure (and honest) expression of their position–which even they knew they couldn’t get away with–would’ve been to go ahead and show the face of the man with the gun and brand him a “race-traitor.” Instead, we got the watered-down version–the presentation of which required the perpetration of outright journalistic fraud.

MSNBC would never fire anyone over the liberal-chic form of racism. But it should–must, even–fire them over the obvious journalistic fraud. Similar shenanigans brought down Dan Rather at CBS, and have ended the careers of many lesser-known journalists over recent years. I doubt the MSNBC organization as a whole is possessed of that level of integrity, however. So I’ll not be holding my breath.

Blacklake on August 21, 2009 at 11:32 AM

MSNBC has absolutely no CREDIBILITY.

Dr Evil on August 21, 2009 at 11:40 AM

I disagree in open carry just because but whatever :)

tx2654 on August 21, 2009 at 11:58 AM

The real racists? Easy to spot.

Just tune in ANY news program or read any paper.

Once again a beautiful blonde woman has been murdered. Every network in the US and Canada has it on the front page of their news section. Google news lists over 3500 related stories.

I wonder how many black ladies have been murdered in the same time frame………

Jim708 on August 21, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Contessa was speaking generally and not about that specific person with the automatic weapon

Allah, you missed another correction here – the AR-15 is not an automatic weapon. Automatic weapons haven’t been sold to the public since the 80’s – though the few that remain on the market from that time still are. This was a semi-automatic weapon no different then most handguns or hunting rifles in function.

Typically leftwing spin on firearms to help promote their “Assault Weapons” Ban…

(This doesn’t mean he should have brought it to the rally)

Stomper on August 21, 2009 at 1:40 PM

White Men can’t Jump… Black Men can’t Drive…
Generally Speaking of Course.

ronnyraygun on August 21, 2009 at 5:47 PM

I truly apologize for my brain drain, but wasn’t NBC News involved years ago with a false story with fabricated film in which they faked a story from beginning to end? If I remember correctly, it involved GM cars and some danger that would result in death/injury. Anyway…nothing is beyond the pale for NBC and affiliated outlets.

keldog on August 21, 2009 at 9:57 PM

“Side saddle gas tanks,” NBC “DATELINE,” (part of news programming), first half of the ’90’s, I think. GMC or Chevy trucks were said to explode if heavy side impact occurred. Couldn’t make it happen so NBC rigged incendiary devices of some sort to ignite at time of the staged impact.

keldog on August 21, 2009 at 10:11 PM

Sorry, but people shouldn’t be bringing guns to political rallies…


People should be bringing well oiled rope instead.

Kristopher on August 22, 2009 at 7:08 PM