Ex-CNN's Franken Suggests Bloomberg Waging 'Class Warfare Against Everybody But the Super Rich'
Appearing as a panel member on Sunday's Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, liberal columnist and former CNN correspondent Bob Franken accused those who complain about "class warfare" against the wealthy of themselves waging "class warefare," but in their case, "against everybody but the super rich class."
Franken's negative interpretation of those who support capitalism came after host Harris-Perry read a quote from outgoing independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling Democrat Bill De Blasio's campaign for mayor "class warfare and racist." Franken:
Let's face it. When it comes to economic matters, he (Bloomberg) is the representative of the oligarchs, and I choose that word on purpose. He is somebody that will come up with all these different rationalizations for the unsavory conduct of the people in his little club, the one percenters they have been called or something like that.
The former CNN correspondent soon added:
But the last thing is people who use the term "class warfare" are the very people who have conducted a class warfare against everybody but the super rich class, and that kind of thing. That was, it was an amazing interview.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, September 8, Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC:
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY: The New York City of mayoral primary will take place next Tuesday, September 10th. Yesterday New York magazine published an interview with outgoing third term mayor Michael Bloomberg that revealed a great deal about him and his news about Democratic front-runner Bill De Blasio who has surges as a result of his opposition to racial profiling and his plans to address the city's going income gap.
De Blasio's campaign may be popular with potential voters, but Mayor Bloomberg doesn't care much for it, referencing ads in campaign appearances featuring de Blasio's black wife and his two biracial children, Bloomberg called de Blasio's campaign, quote, "class warfare and racist" in the interview in New York magazine.
Now, Bloomberg tried to qualify immediately afterwards saying, "Well, no, no. I mean, he's making an appeal using his family to gain support. I think it's pretty obvious to anyone watching what he's doing. I don't think he himself is racist, comparable to me pointing out that I'm Jewish and attracting the Jewish vote." De Blasio responded later on Saturday with this.
BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK MAYORAL CANDIDATE, CLIP #1: Very unfortunate and inappropriate as I said earlier.
DE BLASIO CLIP #2: I hope the mayor will re-consider what he said. I hope he will realize that it was inappropriate. And I think the people of this city are ready for us to move forward together.
HARRIS-PERRY: Okay, what do you make of Bloomberg's comments?
FARAI CHIDEYA, JOURNALISM PROFESSOR: Bloom-bido. You know, that's one of the nicknames. It's on the twitter feed. But, you know, what strikes me as fascinating is that this really, when you look at this interview by Mayor Bloomberg, who I am not at all against as a New York City mayor. It reveals an Achilles heel on race and class. It's not just about race. But in this, he also basically talks about why poor and working class people should be happy to be poor and working class in New York.
HARRIS-PERRY: Actually, I'm more worried about his class comment.
CHIDEYA: Yeah, exactly. But what he did, you know, he is, he said that he's in favor of the New York Times endorsing Christine Quinn. He essentially forced Christine Quinn to then denounce his remarks about race. So how does that help your candidate? I think's an Achilles heel-a-rama.
BOB FRANKEN, COLUMNIST: Well, first of all, he knows how potent the word "racist" is. He should be ashamed of himself for using that word and then trying to mealy mouth his way out of it as he did.
Secondly, let's face it, when it comes to economic matters, he is the representative of the oligarchs, and I choose that word on purpose. He is somebody that will come up with all these different rationalizations for the unsavory conduct of the people in his little club, the one percenters they have been called or something like that.
And I know, Robert, you and I are going to disagree on that. But the last thing is people who use the term "class warfare" are the very people who have conducted a class warfare against everybody but the super rich class, and that kind of thing. That was, it was an amazing interview.
-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.