Bozell: MSNBC Must Apologize for Fake Racial Conspiracy Story

Alexandria, VA - Media Research Center President Brent Bozell has demanded that MSNBC accept responsibility and apologize for concocting a racially charged "news" story that falsely accused a supposedly white health reform protester of carrying a gun out of hatred for a black President.

On August 18th, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer fretted over protesters legally carrying guns at a recent rally in Phoenix, Arizona, charging "A man at a pro-health care reform rally...wore a semiautomatic assault rifle on his shoulder and a pistol on his hip...There are questions about whether this has racial overtones....white people showing up with guns."

Brewer and MSNBC deliberately kept from their audience the fact that the man appearing on-camera was actually black.

MSNBC edited the footage so that only the man's weapon and shirt were visible; thus, viewers had no way of knowing that the man was black. The video trickery was first exposed on the MRC's NewsBusters blog days ago, but so far MSNBC's only response has been to defend the report. "Contessa was speaking generally and not about that specific person with the automatic weapon," was a spokesperson's lame spin to The Politico's Michael Calderone.

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell issued the following statement:

"This goes beyond 'sloppy' reporting by MSNBC. This was a deliberate effort to brand conservatives as racists - and now as violent racists.

"Since the beginning of the presidential campaign, this so-called 'news' network has tried desperately to convince viewers that opposition to Barack Obama must be race-based. Now they are actually producing deliberately misleading stories to push that agenda. As a 'news' network, MSNBC is a disgrace.

"MSNBC owes this man and the tens of thousands of protestors a public apology. It should also extend that apology to its tens of thousands of viewers."

Video available at:

Also available here: /biasalert/2009/20090818040310.aspx