Calling It 'ObamaCare' Is a Racist Smear; Kids Have 'Patriotic Duty' to Sign Up

Vol. 27, No. 1

Calling It “ObamaCare” Is Just a Racist Smear


“I want to talk today about a controversial word. It’s a word that has been with us for years and, like it or not, it’s indelibly printed in the pages of American history. A word that was originally intended as a derogatory term, meant to shame and divide and demean. The word was conceived of by a group of wealthy white men who needed a way to put themselves above and apart from a black man, to render him inferior and unequal and to diminish his accomplishments.... Y’all know the word that I’m talking about: ObamaCare.”
— Host Melissa Harris-Perry on her eponymous MSNBC show, December 8.


MSNBC Fantasy Land: ObamaCare’s Success Has Made “Losers” Out of Its Critics


“I’m tempted to say these are the biggest ‘losers,’ because this is the ObamaCare haters. You know, they really thought they had that moment. The health care site was just ready to fail completely, this was the last chance that they could stop this train wreck. And then it got fixed. And then people started to get better health care. And all of those individual stories that they globbed on to and said, ‘Look, someone didn’t get the health care,’ it turned out to be untrue. I’m afraid they are like those apocryphal people fighting the Second World War on a lost island somewhere in the Pacific. They’ll still be there, but health care will have moved on.”
— editor Richard Wolffe naming his “Loser of the Year” on MSNBC’s The Last Word, December 30.


NBC Doc Claims Kids Have “Patriotic Duty” to Sign Up for ObamaCare


Author Wes Moore: “You talk about your kids and the big challenges for ObamaCare and the rollout. How do we get the young and the healthy to sign up for health care, which  — it was a dynamic prior to ObamaCare — how do we get the young, how do we get the healthy to — that’s the reason they came up with the plan.”
NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman: “I made my kids sign up, because I just said ‘This is your patriotic duty.’”
— MSNBC’s Morning Joe, December 30.


Why Can’t Media Shut Up About ObamaCare Being a Fiasco?


Host Chris Hayes: “Nancy Giles, over-covered story of the year?”
CBS contributor Nancy Giles: “Over-covered? I thought the Web site glitches. I thought they were kind of covered without context, like, there was no mention of whether they could have been hacked. I saw all these different Web sites, you know,, you know, all kinds of problems that could have happened that way, site tampering, and there were a lot of people that signed up by phone and got on successfully. So I felt like the fixture on the Web site problems were a little too much.”
— MSNBC’s All In, December 23.


The Tea Party: A “Terrible, Destructive” “Racist Institution”


“Has it been good or bad for conservatism, the Tea Party? And not good or bad for the country. I think everyone at this table agrees that they’re bad for the country, really bad for the country, terrible, destructive in all the ways we talk about all the time. But good or bad for the conservative movement?”
— Host Chris Hayes on MSNBC’s All In, December 9.

“The essence of this Tea Party is a racist institution. It is born of the fact that they cannot stand the fact that a black man is President of the United States. But it also shows me that despite what happened in Virginia right? this Republican Party hasn’t learned one lesson. They still will go as far right as they can, as extreme on the extreme fringe of the Republican Party. That’s who’s leading the party today.”
— Left-wing radio host Bill Press on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation, December 16.


Let’s Honor Mandela by Releasing 100,000+ Criminals


“So what is Mandela’s message? Well, today we’re hearing even very conservative Senators and other figures talking about the spirit of forgiveness that he embodied in truth and reconciliation in South Africa. So my question tonight, Rev, is: Can we import that spirit of forgiveness and apply it to the hundreds of thousands of people incarcerated who, for the rest of their lives, you know, will be stigmatized by this? Could we figure out a way to forgive them, maybe expunge some of those records? Release some prisoners who, with three strikes and you’re out, you have, you have people who have been there for so many years?”
— MSNBC contributor and longtime Newsweek editor Jonathan Alter on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation, December 5, during breaking news coverage of Mandela’s passing.


GOP “Knuckleheads” Could Have Learned from Mandela


Host Bob Schieffer: “I think the great lesson in Mandela here is for all of us to step back and realize, he was a person who led, you know, he wasn’t worried about getting a primary opponent. He went out and stood for what he thought was right, and that does make a difference.”
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman: “He challenged his base, Bob. Look at these knuckleheads in the Senate, you know, on the Republican side. Now, these guys, are they really worried about agreeing to this minor, you know, budget deal? Not one of them is a profile in courage in the least....”
— CBS’s Face the Nation, December 15.


Republicans Are Today’s Practioners of Apartheid


Host Al Sharpton: “Look at what Mandela’s political views were. You mentioned Iraq, but he opposed economic inequality, opposed Iraq war, criticized war on terror, supported labor unions, supported anti-poverty programs. These aren’t exactly views that are in line with the current Republican Party.”
MSNBC weekend host Karen Finney: “No, they are not....If you think about what the word ‘apartheid’ means, ‘apartness.’ It was all about separating people and dividing people. That’s what this Republican Party has been about for the last several years.”
— Exchange on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation, December 6.


Only Conservative “Haters” Oppose Obama-Castro Handshake


“The conservatives, I think they just absolutely hate everybody that’s not 100 percent American, if you know what I mean....So what do you want the President to do? Walk up to Raul Castro and punch him in the mouth?”
— Host Ed Schultz on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, December 10.


Babs Wants End to “Ridiculous” Embargo Against Communist Cuba


“Everything about him [Nelson Mandela] was interesting. But to see some old enemies, maybe, shaking hands. Like it’s been 50 years since we had relations with Cuba, and there was President Obama shaking hands with Raul Castro....This may change our relations with Cuba after 50 years, because it seems a little ridiculous to me that we recognize China and our relationship, but we still do not have a relationship with Cuba. So maybe something — something — if Mandela could forgive, then maybe something like this could happen.”
— Co-host Barbara Walters on ABC’s The View, December 10.


It’s Even Racist to Criticize Obama’s Funeral “Selfie” reporter Irin Carmon: “This is a big tempest in a teapot. And it’s a confluence of racist and sexist stereotypes, as if Michelle is this angry black woman, as if President Obama is this oversexed black man who, every time he talks to a woman....”
Anchor Thomas Roberts: “Is that taking it a little too far, taking it as being racist? Or, just trying to, you know, do anything that, you know, the right-wing will do to paint a negative picture of something.”
MSNBC contributor and Lehigh Valley University Professor James Peterson: “It’s not taking it too far once you situate it within the context within which the right wing has attacked the First Lady since even before she was the First Lady. I mean, Irin is right here, that they’ve tried to couch her in this stereotypical racist and sexist narrative of the angry black woman.”
MSNBC Live, December 11.


Conservatives Just as Crazy as North Korea’s Killer Dictator


“You’ve heard the news from North Korea, how the young head of that country just executed his guardian uncle. Well, back here in America, the right wing is acting if not as brutally, certainly as crazily....The Mitch McConnells, the John Cornyns, the Lindsey Grahams, all scared to death at this moment that the Mark Levins and the Glenn Becks of the right-wing media circus will finger them for destruction the way Kim Jong Il — or Kim Jong Un, rather — just fingered his own unsuspecting guardian uncle over in Pyongyang.”
— Host Chris Matthews opening Hardball, December 13.


Pleased that Budget Deal Rebukes Tea Party “Fringe Types”


“I think this is great, what we’re hearing here. You’ve got Boehner saying to the fringe types, back off. We’re here to do a job. We have to compromise. Government has to work for the people. You’ve got Ryan standing up and stating that he made this deal for all the right reasons. And to me, it’s like this is exactly what’s supposed to happen. Isn’t it?”
— Co-anchor Chris Cuomo to correspondent John King on CNN’s New Day, December 12.


Bryant Returns to NBC to Denounce GOP “Extortion”


Co-host Matt Lauer: “At number five, the federal government shutdown. I think that was on most of our lists as well.”
Guest host Bryant Gumbel: “Yeah, but I called it the GOP shutdown....I thought it was a false equivalency for people to say it was a government shutdown, a failure of government. It was not. It was a few individuals who were trying to extort the government.”
— Reviewing the top news stories of 2013 on NBC’s Today, December 30.


“Nasty,” “Racist” Republicans Won’t Raise the Minimum Wage


“See, there’s a problem here. There’s a conflict on the right, hard right, nasty right. If you make fun of people for being unemployed or being underemployed and you get food stamps and stuff like that, help them make more money. Are you against the working poor, people who catch the bus at 6:30 in the morning and work 40-50 hours a week? Are they bad guys or good guys? They’re good guys. Treat them like good guys. You can’t make enemies of all the working poor and the poor and say we don’t like the bums or the ones with fancy fingernails or whatever the hell they’re talking about these days, these racists.”
— Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, December 20, talking about raising the minimum wage.


Duck Dynasty = “White Supremacist Hatred”


“Phil Robertson and the Duck Dynasty is part of a majority white supremacist culture that either consciously or unconsciously incubates hatred toward those who are different.”
— MSNBC contributor and Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson on Now with Alex Wagner, December 27.


Saddened That Obama Wasn’t Actually “the Next Messiah”


“We thought that he was going to be — I shouldn’t say this at Christmastime, but — the next Messiah. And the whole ObamaCare, or whatever you want to call that, Affordable Health Act, it just hasn’t worked for him, and he’s stumbled around on it, and people feel very disappointed because they expected more.”
— ABC’s Barbara Walters on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live, December 17.



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