Salon’s Steve Kornacki, who will soon co-host a new show on MSNBC with The Blaze and GBTV’s S.E. Cupp, appeared on Chris Matthews’ Hardball Thursday to bash conservatives and regurgitate some routine accusations against House Republicans, that they are a bunch of racists for daring to question Attorney General Eric Holder’s level of involvement in operation “Fast and Furious.”
Obviously, none of that is surprising or out of the ordinary for an MSNBC broadcast. However, some viewers may have been surprised to hear Kornacki tell fill-in host Michael Smerconish that he didn’t consider Fast and Furious, the failed federal gunrunning operation that has killed hundreds of Mexican citizens and U.S. Border Agent Brian Terry, to be a “scandal.” He started by saying if it’s a scandal, it belongs to the “right,” blaming – who else – former President George W. Bush.
“I think the origins of this one are really important to kind of keep in mind here. And that is, this is a scandal that really began on the right, to the extent it’s a scandal at all, which I don’t really think it is,” he said of Fast and Furious.
And just to rule out the chance that he misspoke, Kornacki a few moments later said Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) don’t mind debating Republicans over Fast and Furious because “they can just look at the Republicans and say ‘there is no scandal here,’ let’s talk about jobs.”
Regardless of whether or not Kornacki believes Holder or senior officials were involved in the execution Fast and Furious, it’s still hard to fathom that a political writer would not consider a gun-walking program that resulting in hundreds of deaths, including a U.S. border agent, to be a “scandal.”
In addition to downgrading Fast and Furious from scandal status, Kornacki made some bizarre connections between Fast and Furious, Obama and racism.
And because conservatives’ resentment towards Holder couldn’t possibly be due to the fact that he has given false testimony, refused to provide subpoenaed documents and been generally uncooperative in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s investigation into Fast and Furious, Kornacki went on to say that the attorney general has become a “lightening rod” for the ire of Republicans.
Why? Because conservatives have manufactured a “caricature” of Obama as a “secret black radical” who is trying to take money away from “white people.” And because Obama, the “secret black radical,” appointed Holder, who Kornacki points out is also black, somehow that proves racism is fueling Republican criticism, at least according to him.
“Yeah. And, you know, look, I mean, you know, it can be uncomfortable to talk about this stuff, but I think you have to consider the possibility that there might be, sort of, you know, there might be an aspect of race and of culture to that. Because you have the Justice Department – Well, first of all, you have sort of, you know, the caricature of Obama that sort of gets sold on the right a lot is that he’s this, sort of, secret black radical and he’s looking to, sort of, um, you know, he’s looking to sort of, maybe, take away rights or take away, you know, take away this, sort of, you know, money from, you know, from white people and redistribute it and that sort of thing,” said Kornacki.
“So, you take, you know, prominent, you know, black lawyer and you put him in charge of the Obama Justice Department and I think that’s, you know, to people who sort of traffic in that sort of thing, you know, it really is kind of a lightening rod.”
Kornacki is set to co-host MSNBC’s newest show ‘The Cycle’ with Cupp and two others starting Monday at 3 p.m. ET. It is practically assured that sparks will fly on the regular between him and Cupp if he brings that type of unfounded rhetoric to the show.
You can watch Kornacki’s entire segment on Hardball here: