A lot of leading thinkers on the right have warned about this, but now with President Barack Obama no longer enjoying high approval ratings and many of his defenders with their back against the wall, the race card is being deployed as one of the last lines of defense.
And one of the most bizarre and egregious examples of this desperation to defend the President at all costs came from MSNBC “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann. On his Jan 28 program, he singled out Erick Erickson of RedState.com, John Stossel, host of the Fox Business Channel's “Stossel”, Jay Nordlinger of National Review, former Bush speechwriter and Washington Post contributor Marc Thiessen, John Hood, also of National Review and Fox News host Glenn Beck as racist for criticizing the president's demeanor during the Jan. 27 State of the Union address.
“But our winners, these guys, assessing not the speech, but the president himself,” Olbermann said. “Erick Erickson, 'cocky.' John Stossel said he hoped the president would admit he was, quote, 'arrogant.' Jay Nordlinger, 'looks arrogant whether he is arrogant or not.' Marc Thiessen, 'defensive, arrogant.' John Hood, 'flippant and arrogant.' Glenn Beck, 'like a punk.'”
But here's where Olbermann played the role of race hustler. From just those comments, the MSNBC host divined what is in the hearts and minds of these individuals..
“Here's a little secret, gathered, sadly, from witnessing it my whole life, even from some in my own family,” Olbermann said. “When racist white guys get together and they don't want to be caught using any of the popular epithets in use every day in this country about black people – and there's a chance one of them, or worse still a white guy who doesn't get it, might wander in and hear the conversation, when there's a risk even in saying “uppity” or “forgetting his place,” the racist white guys revert to euphemisms and code words.”
Therefore, based on Olbermann's supposed life experiences, criticizing the President for exhibiting a particular character trait earned these six individuals the distinct honor of being labeled Olbermann's “Worst Person in the World” for Jan. 28, 2010.
“And among the code words that they think they're getting away with are cocky, flippant, punk, and especially arrogant,” Olbermann concluded. “Mark Thiessen of The Washington Post, Eric Erickson of Red State, John Hood and Jay Nordlinger of the National Review and Glenn Beck and John Stossel of Fixed [Fox] News, today's 'Worst Persons in the World.'”
Compare this to Olbermann's reaction to Harry Reid's comments revealed in John Heilemann and Mark Halperin book “Game Change” – that Obama was a “light-skinned” African American “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” On his Jan. 12 program, Olbermann hosted a segment with Newsweek's Howard Fineman about the report. Fineman warned Republicans shouldn't use the remarks for political gain and Olbermann complained of the attention the story got versus the stale criticisms from ex-John McCain presidential campaign staffers about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
“Far less reverberation in the media echo chamber today, this week,” Olbermann said. “Well, certainly today, it didn't happen before today, but Mr. McCain's remark about that book and how accurate or inaccurate it was on the vetting process for his vice presidential candidate relative to the amount of talk there has been and continues to be about the Reid comments about Obama. Somebody pointed out that at one point Politico.com had 14 stories posted about Reid at the same time. Why was that story not expected to not fizzle out and which of these statements is actually more important politically?”