MSNBC Host Attacks Limbaugh for Questioning Powell Endorsement

     It’s one thing for the media to have a bias for Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, but it’s another thing to be overt about it as MSNBC “Politics of Money” co-host Contessa Brewer was Oct. 20.


     Brewer slammed conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh in an interview with Republican strategist and MSNBC regular Ron Christie. Limbaugh has suggested former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s endorsement of Obama was based on race.


     “He [Powell, on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Oct. 19] spent half an hour explaining why he was making that decision and was very clear he wasn’t making this decision about race,” a frustrated Brewer said. “Where does Rush Limbaugh get off questioning the motives that Colin Powell has?”


     The show, hosted by Brewer and CNBC “The Call” co-host Melissa Francis, has become a regular in MSNBC’s daily lineup as the financial crisis has taken center stage in the new cycle. Analysis often focuses on how is the turmoil is impacting the election.


     Brewer’s frustration stemmed from Limbaugh, who blasted the “drive-by” media for criticizing him over his claim the Powell endorsement was based on race.


     “Now back to General Powell,” Limbaugh said on his Oct. 20 show. “I just want to button this up because the drive-bys had a tizzy over my allegation that his nomination [endorsement] was about race. Well, let me say it louder, and let me say it even more plainly: It was totally about race. The Powell nomination, or endorsement – total, totally about race.”


     Powell claimed his endorsement wasn’t about race on NBC’s Oct. 19 “Meet the Press.” But he cited McCain being “unsure” about how to handle the “economic crisis” as one of his reasons for endorsing Obama.


     Limbaugh and other conservative critics of Powell’s endorsement have pointed to a comment Powell made in September as evidence his endorsement is at least partially about Obama’s race. Powell told students at George Washington University it would be “electrifying” to “send that kind of message.”


     Brewer, host of a show about business, doesn’t have a perfect record of analysis. She made a mistake in reporting on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) on Oct. 6 “The Politics of Money,” saying the Dow had fallen below 10,000 for the first time in 10 years, even though it had fallen as low 7,181 in 2002.


     “I mean, we’re seeing it down now below the 10,000-mark for the first time in 10 years,” Brewer said.