Ed Driscoll

The MSM's Airbrush Flows Both Ways

At the Tatler today, Bryan Preston notes, “Obama and Univision Conveniently Forget that George Zimmerman is Hispanic when Addressing a Hispanic TV Audience:”

Appearing on Univision’s Al Punto over the weekend, President Obama and his host, Enrique Acevedo, discussed immigration “reform” and the Trayvon Martin shooting. Regarding immigration reform, Obama blamed the Republicans for his failure to address the issue, despite the fact that for the first two years of his term, his Democratic Party controlled both houses of Congress with supermajorities and could have taken the issue up at any time. Obama declares that immigration reform is “personal” to him, but not enough evidently to have taken it up when he could have gotten it through Congress. Host Acevedo never challenged Obama on this point.

Contrast that with MSNBC’s approach in 2009, when it wanted to make the Tea Party appear as a group of gun-toting, pigmentally-challenged yahoos. (Click on screen cap to go to video):

On Tuesday, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer fretted over health care reform protesters legally carrying guns: “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 failed to mention the man she described was black.

Following Brewer’s report, which occurred on the Morning Meeting program, host Dylan Ratigan and MSNBC pop culture analyst Toure discussed the supposed racism involved in the protests. Toure argued: “…there is tremendous anger in this country about government, the way government seems to be taking over the country, anger about a black person being president….we see these hate groups rising up and this is definitely part of that.” Ratigan agreed: “…then they get the variable of a black president on top of all these other things and that’s the move – the cherry on top, if you will, to the accumulated frustration for folks.”

Not only did Brewer, Ratigan, and Toure fail to point out the fact that the gun-toting protester that sparked the discussion was black, but the video footage shown of that protester was so edited, that it was impossible to see that he was black. The man appeared at a health care rally outside of President Obama’s speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Phoenix, Arizona.

Note that in 2009, some bloggers were calling this incident at an NBC-affiliated network “Edit-Gate.” Who knew that term would be used again so quickly at NBC? But then, as John Nolte wrote earlier this month at Big Journalism, “Three Strikes and NBC’s Steve Capus Should Be Out.”