Ed Schultz: Rick Perry’s reference to a “big black cloud” was a racial crack at Obama, wasn’t it?

posted at 5:36 pm on August 16, 2011 by Allahpundit

Via Larry O’Connor at Breitbart TV. As shameless as this is, it’s not the worst example of MSNBC playing games with video to support a favored racial narrative. Remember this classic of the genre? And it’s not just MSNBC in this case who took Perry out of context either. ABC’s account of what he said is even less fair than Schultz’s:

“Mr. President, you need to free up the employers of this country to create jobs.” Perry called on Obama to “free up this country” from “stifling regulation.”

“I’m a pro-business governor, I don’t make any apologies about it and I will be a pro-business president.”

Perry warned that a “big black cloud” hangs over the country.

“I think you want a president who is passionate about America — that’s in love with America.”

Sounds like he’s talking about Obama, right? Not so. Watch the clip, which includes extra footage added by O’Connor, and you’ll see that he was talking about the debt. In fact, that’s obvious to me even from the footage Schultz did air, which conveniently excludes the final part where Perry emphasizes that the “cloud” he’s referring to is our debt crisis. They might as well have left it in there, frankly: The beauty of the “dog whistle” accusation Schultz is making is that there’s no way to disprove it, even in full context. It’s a claim about what a speaker means, not what he actually says, so the fact that Perry’s clearly talking about the debt is no impediment. Schultz and his viewers know that Perry’s a secret racist and that he’s using code words to communicate subtextually with his racist audience, so all they have to do is look for words like “black” or “dark” and connect the dots, irrespective of what the speech is about. Short of figuring out a way to let the left read his mind, there’s no way Perry can prove that his intentions were innocent, which of course is precisely why they love love love this specie of demagoguery. We have 14 more months of this ahead of us. And trust me, Captain Civility will be very coy indeed about reining in his side when they start in with it full-bore.

Update: Can we at least set some ground rules about this before the campaign? I know that would defeat the left’s purpose of being able to declare any innocent turn of phrase racist and disqualifying as political circumstances require, but let’s see if we can pin them down. How about if they gave us a list of words that Perry shouldn’t use, ever, in any context? And if he stays away from those, no “dog whistle” accusations. Deal?

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