Political Hay

Bull Matthews: The Media Plays the Race Card

Obama media allies and the ratings oxygen of skincolor liberalism.

By 9.6.12

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Chris Matthews is Bull Connor with a television show.

In the immortal words of Gomer Pyle: "Surrrrrrr… prise, surrrrrrr…. prise, surrrr…. prise!"

The increasingly obvious reality in the age of the mass media is that the liberal obsession with race -- racism or, as they politely put it, "playing the race card" -- is at last coming out from behind the curtains of the liberal media.

Connor, of course, would be one Theophilus Eugene "Bull" Connor, the infamous 1960's-era Public Safety Commissioner of Birmingham, Alabama. Rarely noted is that Connor's political career began as a result of his media career -- as a popular radio announcer and sportscaster.

Seen in the opening of this clip playing the race card by bellowing "You've got to keep your white and the black separate!" Connor is now infamous in history for his biggest play of the race card -- setting police dogs and fire hoses on civil rights protestors trying to break the strangle hold of the segregation conceived and operated by progressive Democrats. Just as his media career is rarely mentioned, never mentioned by the liberal media is that while Connor was unleashing the dogs on those civil rights protestors he was a member of the Democratic National Committee -- that would be the group currently chaired by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Nor is it noted that Connor was a member of the Alabama delegation to the 1960 Democratic National Convention -- where Alabama, after splitting its votes between JFK, Lyndon Johnson, Stuart Symington and Adlai Stevenson -- cast a unanimous ballot for JFK.

But while old Bull Connor is long dead and gone, Bull Matthews…er…that would be Chris Matthews….is alive and well on NBC playing the race card every bit as loudly as did the original Bull in Alabama politics.

Matthews has been in the news for this foam-flecked, race-obsessed tirade with a clearly non-plussed GOP National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

This would be the same Chris Matthews who declared of President Obama after a State of the Union speech that for a moment he, Matthews, "forgot he was black." The racial remark set off a fire storm.

And Matthews isn't alone in the media in playing the race card.

How could he possibly be alone in a media that is devoted to a party and belief system awash up to its neck in a vicious culture of judging by skincolor? As was documented in this space liberalism and the Democrats are soaked through with a culture of racism that hasn't changed in 212 years.

And they lie about it.

Why does the left-leaning media play the race card?

The obvious. Without the ability to play the race card, progressive politics is deader than a door nail. And with it the economic viability of the progressive media that is its PR machine. 

From the first appearance of the Democrats in 1800 until this minute, whether the race card was played as support for slavery, segregation, lynching, the Ku Klux Klan or today's racial quotas, illegal immigration, or support for Barack Obama, the leftist obsession with race has driven its media.

Thankfully, in the modern era of film and videotape there is a veritable bank vault of liberals captured spewing, honking and shrieking about their racial obsessions.

But before we go to the video tape, and since the media has gathered some 15,000 strong in North Carolina, let's spend a minute focusing on a man who once was a real powerhouse in both North Carolina journalism and American progressive politics.

That would be one Josephus Daniels, the owner and editor of the progressive Raleigh News and Observer. As detailed in Bruce Bartlett's Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party's Buried Past, Daniels was arguably the leading progressive editor of his day, and billed his liberal paper as "the militant voice of White Supremacy." Which is to say, Daniels was one of the leading race card players of his day -- in and out of North Carolina.

Daniels mixed journalism and politics as has Matthews in his career. Matthews has worked for, among others Jimmy Carter -- who skillfully played the race card to get himself elected governor of Georgia. Daniels was the campaign manager for Democrat Woodrow Wilson. Wilson, a staunch segregationist like Daniels, was nominated by the Democrats exactly 100 years ago in 1912. (There's no mention of Wilson's segregationist views on the DNC website is there? Of course not.)

Victory in hand, Wilson appointed Daniels Secretary of the Navy, which Daniels promptly segregated. (while Wilson was busy segregating the rest of the federal government.) One could go on here, but you get the point. Both Wilson and his editor/manager/Cabinet member friend Daniels were skin colorists of the first order, blatantly playing the race card both to sell newspapers and set governmental policy in the Wilson-era.

So let's do two things.

Let's see the modern race card game of skin color judging at work today in Liberal Media. And then trace it from the get-go.

Let's start with NBC's cable outlet that has now become a veritable open sewer of racism. The place where Matthews makes his media home.

Here's the "N-word" spouting NBC host Al Sharpton (audio here) playing the race card while bellowing of David Dinkins, the then Mayor of New York who happened to be black: 

"David Dinkins.… You wanna be the only n….on television, the only n….in the newspaper, the only n…to talk.…Don't cover them, don't talk to them, cause you got the only n…problem. Cause you know if a black man stood up next to ya they would see you for the whore that you really are."

True to his skin color judging obsession, NBC's Sharpton as captured on audio tape was an equal opportunity race card player, going on about "Chinamen" and a "white interloper" and so on. 

The once respectable Lawrence O'Donnell (seen in the first seconds of this clip) has jumped into the racial cesspool at NBC berating Mitt Romney by playing the race card this way: 

"Romney tried to re-write his whiteness…Romney's not just white, he's whiter than white."

Here's NBC's Touré Neblett playing the race card in saying of a Mitt Romney criticism of President Obama:

"I know it's a heavy thing, I don't say it lightly, but this is niggerization. 'You are not one of us, you are like the scary black man who we've been trained to fear.'

An apology came eventually, but the question is why Touré would feel comfortable saying something like this on NBC in the first place. The obvious answer is he knows this kind of garbage is accepted -- and encouraged. 

And NBC isn't, of course, the only liberal media outlet which swims in the racism sewer.

Here's Time magazine's Joe Klein -- sitting, take note, on The Chris Matthews Show -- ever so casually saying that President Obama "probably should" play the race card.

Here's the National Journal's Ron Fournier playing the race card in print and, as he himself admits, playing it in an open forum in Tampa with my former colleague Ron Kauffman, a Romney supporter

Here's Yahoo firing its Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian for playing the race card with his racist comment caught on a live mic. Chalian said of Mitt and Ann Romney attending the GOP Convention as Hurricane Isaac approached New Orleans that the Romneys were "happy to have a party with black people drowning."

Here's The Washington Post playing the race card as it describes the GOP's Tampa gathering as "a convention hall filled overwhelmingly with white faces

Here's the New York Times playing the class warfare and race cards simultaneously, insisting that the real message of the GOP is "We are not rich and white.

• And here's a lovely and rich example of the way the game is played. NewsBusters reports here that Washington Post columnist Colby King had this to say about the role of blacks in the GOP. 

"Oh yeah, but they always have African-Americans on the podium. Either it's somebody singing 'God Bless America,' or praying, you know, before or after. That, you know, the entertainment value's always there for us."

Mr. King, for those not in the know, has his own version of the famous bipartisan James Carville/Mary Matalin marriage. Specifically, Colby King is married to one Gwen King. Gwen King, like husband Colby, is an African American. She also served as…wait for it…Deputy Assistant to the President for…..Ronald Reagan. Not to mention as the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration for President George H.W. Bush.

Both jobs were serious, no-nonsense positions, the first working directly for the President of the United States, the second making Gwen -- full disclosure a former colleague of mine and a wonderful person -- the boss of Social Security. Apparently Mr. King is under the impression Mrs. King allowed herself to be used by Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush as some sort of token. Like those other token Reagan and Bush appointees Colin Powell, Condi Rice and Clarence Thomas. Successively two national security advisers turned GOP Secretaries of State (Powell also was appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) and one still-sitting Supreme Court Justice. Gwen King a token? How's that sleeping-on-the -couch-thing going, Mr. King?

Again, given the history that the DNC has so blatantly lied about on its website, why is anyone surprised at this reflexive playing of the race card by liberals in the media? They've been doing it since 1800. There is nothing either new or surprising.

LET'S START AT the beginning, shall we?

On July 30, 1619, in response to an order from the Virginia Company "to establish one equal and uniform government over all Virginia" the first representative assembly in the New World -- the Virginia House of Burgesses -- convened in the pews of the lone church in the British colony of Jamestown. Its task? To provide "just laws for the happy guiding and governing of the people there inhabiting."

Less than a month later, on August 20, 1619, a ship belonging to a Dutch trader appeared off of Jamestown -- exchanging twenty African slaves for food.

Slavery in America -- a shockingly gruesome practice that was fueled by the obsessive belief that everyone should be judged by skin color -- had put down roots.

By 1787, when the United States Constitution was being born, Americans opposing slavery began wrangling instantly with those who supported it. 

By 1800 the American political party system began to take shape. What is today's Democratic Party, America's oldest, was born that year, the DNA of racism already surging through its political -- and media -- veins from birth. The DNA that former Secretary of State Condi Rice called America's "birth defect of slavery" became as well the birth defect of the Democratic Party.

This DNA of racism inevitably and quickly produced a left-wing culture of racism. Judging one and all by the color of their skin became a base qualifier to be both a Democrat and an accredited member of the emerging American Left. It infected, as mentioned, the party's platforms, campaigns, elected officials, -- and its media allies. From slave owning and segregationist presidents (Jefferson, Jackson, Wilson to name but three) to politicians like Bull Connor the line was a short one to prominent, race-card playing media stars.

In addition to media baron Josephus Daniels there were people like Georgia newspaper publisher Hoke Smith, the owner of the Atlanta Journal. Smith parlayed his media and race card playing skills into various jobs as Grover Cleveland's Secretary of the Interior and governor and senator from Georgia.

One of the more vitriolic media race card players was Mississippi's James Vardaman, who used his newspapers to call blacks "a blight, a caterpillar that destroys everything in sight and leaves nothing behind." Not be out done in race card playing was the owner of the Mississippi Free Lance. Theodore Bilbo used his paper to promote three things: progressivism, racism -- and himself. A Klan member, Bilbo would go on to serve as the state's governor and senator.

Only a few years back the editor of the New York Times, Howell Raines, created an entirely foreseeable scandal for the paper when he insisted on pushing the career of a reporter named Jayson Blair -- because of his skin color. When a Times internal investigation determined Blair had written a number of stories that were plagiarized and that Raines was so focused on Blair's race he refused to heed the warning from an editor that Blair be stopped from writing for the paper "right now" -- Raines was fired.

Again, one could go on and on and on with a list of progressives in journalism who use the race card to promote both themselves and their causes. All the way from the Raleigh News-Observer's Josephus Daniels to radio broadcaster Bull Connor to NBC's Bull…. er, sorry… make that Chris… Matthews.

The question is how much longer will the American people provide media race card players with an audience?

Will these race card players keep playing the race card game?

Of course they will.

Columnist Michelle Malkin has humorously put together The Condensed Liberal Handbook of Racial Codewords.

The handbook is a hilarious and yet quite real list of the increasing desperation of race card players like Matthews as they expand the number of words that are now available for their race card playing games. The words include the name "Chicago". Really. Malkin quotes Bull Matthews…sorry, that would be Chris Matthews…as he plays the race card for the umpteenth time by saying:

"[T]hey keep saying Chicago, by the way. Have you noticed?" Matthews sputtered. "That sends that message: This guy's helping the poor people in the bad neighborhoods and screwing us in the 'burbs."

Then there's that long time racial epithet -- golf. Malkin again:

This one's a gobsmacker. Beltway barnacle Lawrence O'Donnell appeared on cable TV to decry Republicans who mention Obama's frequent golf outings. He singled out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's convention speech Wednesday night, which joked that Obama "was working to earn a spot on the PGA tour." The warped racial radar of pasty Lawrence O interpreted this golf joke as "Obama equals Tiger Woods equals RACISM."

Huh? "These people reach for every single possible racial double entendre they can find in every one of these speeches." O'Donnell expertly explained. "Things are getting lower and lower by the day," host Martin Bashir agreed.

When Democrats used to criticize Eisenhower for playing too much golf -- who knew it was a racial slur?

And this bizarre listing goes on. Words and phrases like "angry" "holding down the fort" "kitchen cabinet" and so on.

Why do these people do these things? They would be hilariously funny if they weren't so serious.

Bull Matthews and company do this because like all progressives they need race like an addict needs cocaine.

Because whether it was radio broadcaster Bull Connor or television host Bull Matthews, as long as they can convince an audience to judge others -- or themselves -- by skin color, they can profit monetarily, politically or both. As seen here with this group of leftist Latinos determined to be the segregationists of the future.

Let it not be forgotten that Matthews earns a pretty penny for talking the way he did to Reince Priebus the other day. Or the way he did here to Newt Gingrich

In an era long gone, then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy gave a talk in 1963 in which he admiringly cited Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan for saying:

"Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens."

RFK was talking about segregationists then -- the race card players of the day. And he made a point of also quoting with approval Harlan's views on what race card players were all about:

He [Harlan] said that the practice in the long run 'gives no other result than to render permanent peace impossible and to keep alive a conflict of races, the continuance of which must do harm to all concerned.

A conflict of races.

Bobby Kennedy was right back then.

Doubtless he would be appalled that members of the media are still playing the race card almost fifty years later.

Then again, if Bull Matthews and his fellow race card players like Joe Klein, Touré, Lawrence O'Donnell, Al Sharpton and the rest didn't play the race card every day?

They wouldn't have a show.

And NBC would be out of the cable news business.

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About the Author
Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author. He writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com.