Video: CNBC host calls for Mexican music on segment about Ted Cruz; Update: Liesman apologizes

posted at 10:01 am on October 23, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

As The Hill points out, Ted Cruz isn’t actually of Mexican descent, which makes this faceplant by Steven Liesman on CNBC yesterday even more obnoxious than it already was.  Liesman, who blamed Ted Cruz for delaying the September jobs report from the BLS because of the shutdown, decided to title the data the “Senator Ted Cruz Jobs Report,” which certainly falls within the bounds of a supportable argument, whether one agrees with it or not.  It’s when Liesman called for a soundtrack that CNBC got into trouble:

“We’re going to call this the ‘Senator Ted Cruz Jobs Report’,” Liesman said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“There he is!” Liesman shouted when the network showed a picture of Cruz.

“Can we get some music to go along with that, some Mexican music or something?”

Cruz’s father was born in Cuba and his mother is of Irish and Italian descent. Neither are of Mexican descent.

Normally, I’d tend to dismiss this kind of ignorance as unremarkable; there are a lot of fools, and the media has its share, and more.  But with the doyenne of Salon shrieking about racism with every legitimate criticism of Barack Obama and opposition to his policies, including the shutdown about which Liesman gripes about here because a government report was late, the somewhat-more-than-latent hostility expressed about Cruz’ heritage (or non-heritage, as it turns out) is well worth noting.

In the future, if media outlets want a soundtrack for Ted Cruz stories that poke fun at his heritage, they should probably stick with this song, which would be slightly more accurate:

Personally, though, I prefer this, and it’s even more accurate for Cruz’ heritage:

Update: I didn’t realize that the screen grab from the video showed Joe Kernan rather than Steve Liesman.  I’ve replaced it with a photo of Liesman.

Update: Liesman apologized earlier today:

Regarding my recent remark on Squawk Box regarding Senator Ted Cruz, I first want to deeply and sincerely apologize if my remarks were insensitive.

Second, I want to explain that it was not intended to be offensive in any way.

I thought of him only as an American senator from Texas, and in an attempt, on the fly, to choose music representing that state, I chose Mexican music.

As a musician for many decades, I’ve played and listened to tons of Texas songs infused with Mexican themes. A better choice would have been Country/Western or Texas Roadhouse Blues – it was a bad reach all the way around.


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But, he’s not a racist or bigot.

Of course.

Resist We Much on October 23, 2013 at 10:02 AM

The entire family of NBC networks is racist, because they are progressives.

rbj on October 23, 2013 at 10:03 AM

He would have been on safer ground calling for a Celine Dion song.

It’s all good though because by definition no liberal MSM contributor can be a racist.

Drained Brain on October 23, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Must be a closet Tea partier.

antipc on October 23, 2013 at 10:05 AM

How about some Willy Chrino or Celia Cruz?

Sekhmet on October 23, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Did they bring up a photoshop of him wearing a sombrero and poncho with a bandoleer of bullets over his chest holding a taco and a mule too?

Stay classy guys. Stay classy.

Gatsu on October 23, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Sebelius rhymes with succubus so by the Dems reasoning she sounds like a demon therefore she is. Time to exorcise that witch.

HotAirian on October 23, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican . . . whatever. They all look the same, right Stevie?

AZCoyote on October 23, 2013 at 10:06 AM

If this was Fox, Media Matters would be in the midst of a hyper tantrum and there would already be advertisers pulling out.

mudskipper on October 23, 2013 at 10:07 AM

So is there going to be a thread on Jon Stewart making fun of Republicans because they have the Tea Party hanging around their necks?

Cindy Munford on October 23, 2013 at 10:07 AM

These songs are good, heh.

22044 on October 23, 2013 at 10:10 AM

. It’s when Liesman called for a soundtrack that CNBC got into trouble:

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…..pretend this continues on for several more lines.

Cindy Munford on October 23, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Cruz could be Martian for all I care. He’s saying all the right things.

racquetballer on October 23, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Mmm, everyone loves mariachi!

api on October 23, 2013 at 10:11 AM

The job numbers were for September. The guys an idiot.

Mimzey on October 23, 2013 at 10:12 AM

MSNBC, CNBC, NBC – really all the same thing these days. If this was on Fox this guy’s scalp would be called for, and he would actually be fired.

oldroy on October 23, 2013 at 10:13 AM

If you’re a democrat, you’re allowed to be racist; no consequences, it’s a career enhancement!

racquetballer on October 23, 2013 at 10:13 AM

I’m sure media splatters will be ALL over this.

HumpBot Salvation on October 23, 2013 at 10:14 AM

They are absolutely obsessed. The top story on MSNBC this morning was the semi-shutdown that ended almost a week ago and Ted Cruz Mike Lee Mike Lee Tea Party Ted Cruz!

The story is over.

So, how’s that Democrat “win” on Obamacare working out?

forest on October 23, 2013 at 10:16 AM

So using the name “redskins” for a football team is bad, ugly, racist. And playing mariachi music to defame Cruz is just fine and dandy. Do liberals ever realize how stupid they are?

chai on October 23, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Big ol’ steaming pile of FAIL right there, on multiple levels…

JohnGalt23 on October 23, 2013 at 10:17 AM

So the next time there’s a segment on “immigration reform”, will he be calling for “Mexican music”?

GarandFan on October 23, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Do they really feel this secure in their power?

Murphy9 on October 23, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Maybe when an Obama story about ObamaCare is aired they could play “99 Problems” from “The Black Album” by American rapper Jay-Z.

albill on October 23, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Liesman. Never heard of him till now. Spent a wee bit too much time in Russia?

Bmore on October 23, 2013 at 10:24 AM

The perfect song for Liesman has been around nearly four decades;

How Sweet To be An Idiot

How sweet to be an Idiot,
How sweet to be an idiot
As harmless as a cloud,
Too small to hide the sun
Almost poking fun,
At the warm but insecure untidy crowd.

How sweet to be an idiot,
And dip my brain in joy,
Children laughing at my back,
With no fear of attack,
As much retaliation as a toy.
As harmless as a cloud…

How sweet to be an idiot, how sweet.

I tiptoe down the street,
Smiled at everyone I meet,
But suddenly a scream,
Smashes through my dream,
Fie fye foe fum,
I smell the blood of an asylum,
(Blood of an asylum,
Too small to hide the sun…
But mother I play so beautifully,listen.
ha ha)
Fie fye foe fum,
I smell the blood of the asylum,
Hey you, you’re such a pedant,
You got as much brain as a dead ant,
As much imagination as a caravan sign.

But I still love you, still love you,
Oooh how sweet to be an idiot,
How sweet. how sweet. How sweet.

Music and lyrics by: Neil Innes

In fact, this should be the CNBC/MSNBC theme song.

clear ether

eon

eon on October 23, 2013 at 10:24 AM

If you’re a democrat, you’re allowed to be racist; no consequences, it’s a career enhancement!

racquetballer on October 23, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Those kind of comments have always been acceptable on the plantation.

oldroy on October 23, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Not surprising considering they have a combined IQ at CNBC of 6.

chewmeister on October 23, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Liesman, who blamed Ted Cruz for delaying the September jobs report from the BLS because of the shutdown, decided to title the data the “Senator Ted Cruz Jobs Report,” which certainly falls within the bounds of a supportable argument, whether one agrees with it or not.

How is it within the bounds of a supportable argument to blame a single individual for the shutdown of the government? Just because he refused to bend over and take it like the GOP surrender weasels were demanding? It is more of a supportable argument that Obama shut down the government by refusing to negotiate with the House which had Constitutional authority on their side.

And isn’t it such a blunder that Cruz would have objected to Obamacare after the last three weeks have proven that all concerns about the program were nonsense. All Americans now have access to cheaper healthcare and more coverage, right? The adminstration was ready for open enrollment, right? Boy that Ted Cruz guy really told a lot of lies about Obamacare on the floor of the Senate, right? Whether “Lies man” wants to be snarky or not the fact of the matter is that it is becoming clear that Ted Cruz was right and the cowards of the surrender caucus demanding complete capitulation were dead wrong.

Happy Nomad on October 23, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Not surprising considering they have a combined IQ at CNBC of 6.

chewmeister on October 23, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Yeah, it’s why Chris Matthews is over at MSDNC. He’d bring them down into negative numbers.

Happy Nomad on October 23, 2013 at 10:29 AM

The left is a steaming fever-swamp of hypocritical racism and misogyny, just yearning to unleash itself upon the right sort of people.

dkmonroe on October 23, 2013 at 10:29 AM

What did Joe “The Kahuna” Kernan and Michelle “My Belle” Caruso-Cabrera have to say about this, I wonder?

wbcoleman on October 23, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Call CNBC and demand that Leisman be fired. 212-413-5999 and then ask to speak with KC Sullivan. Burn the phone lines.

BigGator5 on October 23, 2013 at 10:34 AM

And CNBC wonders why their ratings are in the toilet.

CNBC Core Viewership Drops To Fresh 20 Year Low, Worst Nearly Since Inception

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-28/cnbc-core-viewership-drops-fresh-20-year-low-worst-nearly-inception

Pork-Chop on October 23, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Paddle Me Own Canoe… Words to live by. Love it!

petefrt on October 23, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Is it Leisman or Conman?

the_nile on October 23, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Ed, you got the wrong guy in the screencap. That’s Joe Kernen, not Leisman.

BacaDog on October 23, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Hell, we have commenters here who think Puerto Ricans are illegal aliens.

katy the mean old lady on October 23, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Looking forward to Danny Trejo playing Cruz in the NBC docudrama on the shutdown that will fill the now-empty slot that was to be the Hillary docudrama…

PointnClick on October 23, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Not surprising on an NBC channel, although the Proggie stench at CNBC tends to be a bit less obvious than on it’s sister stations in the bunch. Note, however, that Liesman appears to be a WSJ guy. That’s kind of interesting, and worth remembering when the Journal starts trying to tell you what’s the best policy for, say, immigration.

bofh on October 23, 2013 at 10:45 AM

LOL: Nigerian email scammers are being hired to run the Obamacare website.

[At his homecoming] Cruz also took a swipe at the computer problems that have plagued people attempting to sign up online through the insurance exchanges that were created by the law to provide coverage. “You may have noticed that all the Nigerian email scammers have become a lot less active lately,” he said. “They all have been hired to run the Obamacare website.”

Hired as ‘navigators’ too.

petefrt on October 23, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Mimzey on October 23, 2013 at 10:12 AM

It doesn’t make sense does it? Is that information the linchpin for our dramatic financial turn around? He’s probably annoyed because they had to fill air time with other icky financial stuff that he didn’t understand.

Cindy Munford on October 23, 2013 at 10:47 AM

I agree that there should be “Mexican Music” played while Ted Cruz is on the screen, provided that When Obama is on the screen, they play “Liar” by Three Dog Night. (Naturally 1970)

LarryK on October 23, 2013 at 10:48 AM

“Why do liberals/Democrats hate brown people? Why are you so racist towards Hispanics?”

This really ought to be the standard reply when anyone has anything negative to say about Cruz at this point.

Midas on October 23, 2013 at 10:48 AM

We know that’s a racist company.

antisocial on October 23, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Ed, why use Joe Kernen’s picture in the screencap? He’s not the one who said it.

GOPRanknFile on October 23, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Since Cruz was born in Canada and CNBC wants to blame him for the government shutdown, they would have been better off playing “Blame Canada” from the South Park movie.

J.S.K. on October 23, 2013 at 10:57 AM

As long as they play Uncle Pervy when they discuss Harry Reid I’m okay with it.

Ted Torgerson on October 23, 2013 at 10:57 AM

I agree that there should be “Mexican Music” played while Ted Cruz is on the screen, provided that When Obama is on the screen, they play “Liar” by Three Dog Night. (Naturally 1970)

LarryK on October 23, 2013 at 10:48 AM

When Obama is the upcoming segment, “The Internationale” would be appropriate.

slickwillie2001 on October 23, 2013 at 10:58 AM

I sent CNBC an email (contact link at bottom of home page) saying that the channel is a no-go on my TV until Liesman apologizes and that it better be a real apology, a half-assed one won’t cut it.

(Haven’t watched in years anyway, but what the hell)

Meremortal on October 23, 2013 at 11:06 AM

That Maria Bartiromo is a real beaner.

crash72 on October 23, 2013 at 11:08 AM

When Obama is the upcoming segment, “The Internationale” would be appropriate.

slickwillie2001 on October 23, 2013 at 10:58 AM

I’ve never found a better fit for Barry than this tuneful debacle. Froward!

de rigueur on October 23, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Yeah, but you can’t spell TEA Party without burning a cross!

–Alan Grayson or Libfree, either one.

SailorMark on October 23, 2013 at 11:12 AM

NBC and all of its tentacles are pure leftist slime.

rplat on October 23, 2013 at 11:15 AM

He has now tweeted that he didn’t know Cruz is of Cuban, not Mexican descent.

Ignorant racist apologizes for ignorance.

questionmark on October 23, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Typical liberal. “Republicans are racist! Conservatives are racist! The Tea Party is racist! Now, can you do a little dance for us and get us a cup of coffee, boy? That’s a good pickaninny!”

CrustyB on October 23, 2013 at 11:20 AM

One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes:

“That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse.” – License of the Press (speech)

teejk on October 23, 2013 at 11:23 AM

From Wiki bio:

After graduating from Princeton, Cruz attended Harvard Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 1995 with a Juris Doctor.[1][30] While at Harvard Law, Cruz was a primary editor of the Harvard Law Review, and executive editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and a founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review.[4] Referring to Cruz’s time as a student at Harvard Law, Professor Alan Dershowitz said, “Cruz was off-the-charts brilliant.”[12][31][32][33][34][35] At Harvard Law, Cruz was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics.[36]

This Ted Cruz fellow has a strong background in economics. You’d think that CNBC would like to have him on as a guest someday.

monalisa on October 23, 2013 at 11:24 AM

How about “Back Stabbers”for McConnell and McCain.

Rio Linda Refugee on October 23, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Ted Cruz is a white Hispanic… so you are allowed to say anything you want about him… /s

skywalkr2 on October 23, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Holy frijoles, Speedy!

/Liesman

VibrioCocci on October 23, 2013 at 11:33 AM

From now on, I want to hear:
♫♪ la Cucaracha, la Cucaracha ♫♪ whenever King Barry appears on the screen.
Even cockroaches would be offended.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on October 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Funny how the left can attack conservative minorities with impunity…

cajunpatriot on October 23, 2013 at 11:36 AM

This is golden, replay it over and over again. At every opportunity.

jake49 on October 23, 2013 at 11:54 AM

…what a bunch of shit!

KOOLAID2 on October 23, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Should have called for some Pablo Cruise music!

WHEN MY TEDDY
WHEN MY TEDDY TALKS TO ME
I GO TO RIO
DE JANEIRO

My-o me-o…
I go wild and then
I have to do the samba,
And la bamba…

Marcola on October 23, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Happy Nomad on October 23, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Amen, brother! Lies man has been on my s-list for years and a contributing factor to my avoidance of CNBC! Even Joe Kernan has been sipping the Kool Aid.

tomshup on October 23, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Hah

Schadenfreude on October 23, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Forgetting the music just for a moment; but Steve, why was it the ‘Senator Ted Cruz Jobs Report’ in the first place? I’d rather hear an explanation for that instead of an apology.

His answer:

It was a running joke over many days that the left would blame Cruz for the poor jobs #s. Not serious at all.

Whatever.

reddevil on October 23, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Weird Al – Dare To Be Stupid

Christien on October 23, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Update: I didn’t realize that the screen grab from the video showed Joe Kernan rather than Steve Liesman. I’ve replaced it with a photo of Liesman.

Ed, did anyone even notice? Lolz! ; )

Bmore on October 23, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Never mind. Lolz!

Ed, why use Joe Kernen’s picture in the screencap? He’s not the one who said it.

GOPRanknFile on October 23, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Bmore on October 23, 2013 at 1:08 PM

To atone, they should play Native American music when Fauxcahontas is mentioned.

Christien on October 23, 2013 at 1:08 PM

s/b Hindustani music for Elizabeth Warren

Native American music is for Bobby Jindal.

Christien on October 23, 2013 at 1:11 PM

The CNBC reporter has apologized for his remarks. Geez, they almost need to do this once a day.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/23/cnbc-host-makes-racial-stereotypes-against-ted-cruz-and-mexican-music/

SC.Charlie on October 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Ted Cruz is a white Hispanic… so you are allowed to say anything you want about him… /s – skywalkr2 on October 23, 2013 at 11:29 AM

You need to add that he is also a member of the Tea Party and a Republican, which makes him fair game for anyone.

SC.Charlie on October 23, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Ed, did anyone even notice? Lolz! ; )

Bmore

Admitting you watch any NBC show is shame in and of itself.

To quote a fine, fine American: What difference, at this point, does it make?

chimney sweep on October 23, 2013 at 1:38 PM

It’s okay everyone, he apologized. It’s because he’s a musician and because Sen. Cruz is from Texas that he said Mexican music.

Cindy Munford on October 23, 2013 at 2:05 PM

I met Liesman. He’s really smart. He told me so.

Nomennovum on October 23, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Todd Packer?….’zat you?

winoceros on October 23, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Buffer music for CNBC creepshow: Cheech & Chong

Christien on October 23, 2013 at 2:56 PM

…he has a lovely head of hair!

KOOLAID2 on October 23, 2013 at 3:20 PM

He’s not MEXICAN, you ignorant F8CK STick.

He’s CUBAN.

TX-96 on October 23, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Yes indeed you said it Lies-Man: It was a pretty bad reach around on your part.

pencotron on October 23, 2013 at 5:20 PM

“I first want to deeply and sincerely apologize if my remarks were insensitive.”

Typical liberal non apology.

ncjetsfan on October 23, 2013 at 5:33 PM