On Wednesday, hosts at MSNBC informed America that the words “golf” and “Chicago” are racist, especially if they are used while speaking of Barack Obama.
Newsbusters’ Rusty Weiss reported early Thursday morning that while covering the GOP convention, Chris Matthews “came to the conclusion that reminding people of the President’s roots in Chicago politics is racist.”
The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson set the tone of the exchange.
“It’s all part of this Barack Obama as ‘other’ sort of blanket campaign that has been waged by the Republican Party for some time now. It may be gaining some traction now, though I wonder why now as opposed to a bit closer to election,” he said.
“Yea, well let me ask you about that, gentleman,” Matthews responded. “What about now, is this constant barrage of assaults, saying the guy is basically playing an old game of demagoguery politics, where you take the money from the worker bees and give it to the poor people to buy votes. That’s basically what they’re charging him with. Old big-style, big-city machine of 50 years ago.”
“They keep saying Chicago, by the way, you noticed?” he asked.
“Well, there’s a lot of black people in Chicago,” said New York Magazine’s John Heileman.
The same day, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell claimed that a reference to Obama’s golf outings was also racial code.
“For four years, Barack Obama has been running from the nation’s problems, he hasn’t been working to earn re-election. He has been working to earn a spot on the PGA Tour,” Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said.
Naturally, O’Donnell saw racism in the remark.
“Well, we know exactly what he’s trying to do there. He is trying to align to Tiger Woods and surely, the — lifestyle of Tiger Woods with Barack Obama,” he said.
Martin Bashir, another MSNBC host, asked O’Donnell to clarify his remarks.
“Lawrence — don’t you think — don’t you think that what he’s really trying to do is to suggest that the president is not paying attention to the central issues that come with the responsibility he has?” Bashir asked.
“Martin, there are many, many, many rhetorical choices you can make at any point in any speech to make whatever point up want to make. If he wanted to make the point that you just suggested and I think he does want to make that point, they had a menu of a minimum of ten different kinds of images that they could have raised,” O’Donnell said.
“And I promise you, the speech writers went through, rejecting three or four before they land order that one. That’s the one they want for a very deliberate reason. That — there’s — these people reach for every single possible racial double entendre they can find in every one of these speeches,” he added.
“You really believe that about Mitch McConnell?” Bashir asked.
“I know these people are insensitive. I know the speechwriters are insensitive. I know the way they work. They do not have the same sensitivity level that other speechwriters do. But when you get to the Tiger Woods reference, there were people in the speech writing room, I know this, without a shadow of a doubt, who said wait a minute, do we really want to go there?” O’Donnell responded.
“The singular focus of MSNBC for the past six days has been racism. There’s one subject that they’re talking about: racism. The racism of Romney; the racism of Ryan; the racism of every speaker the convention; the racism of the Republican Party; the racism of every Republican and conservative. It’s all they’re talking about. It’s laughably hilarious, except to them,” he said.
Limbaugh went on to say the network is “nothing more than an arm” of the Obama campaign.
“Their charge they’ve been given is to run around on TV and to say that everything every Republican is saying is racist. Because they don’t have anything else. It really demonstrates the depths to which they have descended,” he added.
Townhall’s Katie Pavlich noted that Obama “refers to Chicago often in his own speeches.” By Matthews’ own “logic,” that would make him a racist.
Rep. Allen West (R-FL) said that perhaps Matthews has “gotten off of his medications.” West also wondered what other cities he was not allowed to speak of.