MSNBC, CNN Compare Trump to George Wallace

News & Politics

The liberal media appear to have adopted Rahm Emanuel’s saying “never let a good crisis go to waste” as their official slogan; especially when a crisis gives them an opportunity to trash President Trump. On-air personalities on both MSNBC and CNN have used Trump’s tweet announcing his plan of action to handle the unrest and riots in Minneapolis, namely “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” as an excuse to compare him to the late segregationist leader (and Democrat) George Wallace.

Appearing on The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell Friday, Joy Reid proclaimed that Trump “essentially challenged sort of a George Wallace.” She also compared Trump to “one of the most violent police chiefs in America” from the 1960s who also used the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” adding: “that’s who Donald Trump relates to. That’s who he speaks like. He speaks like George Wallace.” Reid’s commentary also featured standard liberal talking points about how in contrast to Joe Biden, whom she described as an “empathetic man and a decent man,” “Donald Trump is not a good guy.”

Two hours earlier, on All In With Chris Hayes, the eponymous host also invoked a Trump-Wallace comparison; describing the “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” comment as “a call back to a racist line from a police chief in the 1960s; as well as infamous segregationist George Wallace, who used that phrase in his 1968 presidential campaign.” For good measure, Hayes tossed some red meat to his Trump-hating audience by declaring “you could not find someone worse at this moment to be President than the person we have.”

Not surprisingly, one of the President’s fiercest critics, CNN’s Jim Acosta, also compared Trump to the late segregationist presidential candidate. Reporting from the White House on Friday’s edition of The Situation Room, Acosta trashed the President’s “choice of words” as “steeped in all kinds of ugliness, the Miami police chief back in 1967 when there was unrest in that city, he used that same expression. George Wallace, the segregationist, used words to that effect in 1968. So, this is an expression that is steeped in a lot of ugliness and hatred from the 1960s.”

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The media’s rush to compare the President to one of the most despised figures in American history should not come as that much of a surprise. After shouts of “send her back” erupted at a Trump rally, directed at far-left Minneapolis Congresswoman and Somali refugee Ilhan Omar, CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley used the occasion to compare the President to “demagogues” like George Wallace. During an appearance on MSNBC last year, another presidential historian, Jon Meacham, asserted that with Trump in the White House, it was “as if George Wallace had won in 1968.”

At a time when the nation desperately wants unity, the media have elected to create even more division by comparing the President to a segregationist. It looks like Tucker Carlson had it right when he declared that the media want people to “hate one another.”

A transcript of the relevant portion of Friday’s edition of The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell is below.

The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell

05/29/20

10:28 PM

JOY REID: Donald Trump can’t access that thing, that empathy; the thing that you need to have in you in order to grieve with us or in order to feel our pain. What Donald Trump did instead is he essentially challenged sort of a George Wallace. He…he, there’s a guy named Walter Headley, who was the Police Chief in Miami, in the city of Miami, for 20 years. And in 1967, he said it…“when the looting starts…starts, the shooting starts.” He was the…one of the most violent police chiefs in America. He was a Bull Conner. That’s who Donald Trump relates to. That’s who he speaks like. He speaks like George Wallace. So, you could not have a starker contrast between Joe Biden who, say whatever you want about you know, is his…are his political skills perfect? No. But he is an empathetic man and he’s a decent man and he’s a good man and for all of…whatever little gaffes he may make around, you know, around his campaign, he’s a good guy. And Donald Trump is not a good guy. He’s not an empathetic man and so he can’t evince what he doesn’t have.

A transcript of the relevant portion of Friday’s edition of All In With Chris Hayes is below.

All In With Chris Hayes

05/29/20

08:02 PM

CHRIS HAYES: You could not find someone worse at this moment to be President than the person we have; the man who tweeted last night that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” A call back to a racist line from a police chief in the 1960s; as well as infamous segregationist George Wallace, who used that phrase in his 1968 presidential campaign.

A transcript of the relevant portion of Friday’s edition of The Situation Room is below.

The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer

05/29/20

05:29 PM

JIM ACOSTA: Just what the President said a few moments ago. He said “the looters in Minneapolis should not be able to drown out the voice of so many peaceful protesters.” That obviously is a very mild version of what he was trying to say or he claims he was trying to say last night when he said…when he tweeted, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” That obviously is an expression that is steeped in all kinds of ugliness. The Miami police chief back in 1967 when there was unrest in that city used that same expression. George Wallace, the segregationist, used words to that effect in 1968. So, this…this is an expression that is steeped in a lot of ugliness and hatred from the 1960s.

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