In the aftermath of the revelation that a particularly ham-handed Republican donor was thinking of resurrecting the Jeremiah Wright narrative for this year's election, MSNBC couldn't resist bringing on a collection of its favorite (mostly liberal) contributors to bemoan the idea. Unfortunately for those contributors, S.E. Cupp was among them, which meant a little critical thinking was going to also be involved.
For those expecting a fire-breathing performance from Cupp, though, there was also disappointment. Cupp was relatively subdued throughout most of the segment, and agreed with the contributors involved that the proposed move was a terrible idea. However, as anyone who's watched the Mercury contributor knows to be the case, there are some things S.E. won't put up with, and religious bigotry is probably the prime example.
To that end, Cupp pointed out - pointedly - that the Left was also known for trying to scare average Americans using this or that politician's unconventional faith. And rather than go for the obvious point about mainstream media displays of anti-mormon bigotry, Cupp instead chose to go straight for the jugular and point out how many savagely unfair attacks had been made against Sarah Palin's religion when she was running for Vice-President.
This prompted one of the other contributors - Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead - to react with something between incredulity and horror. Surely Cupp wasn't suggesting that the media had an obligation to be fair to people like that?
“I would say there’s videotape," Winstead began, "of Sarah Palin at a church with a person praying over her…”
“So?” Cupp fired back.
“What I’m saying is, that does scare people,” said Winstead.
“Praying scares people?"
"There’s a difference,” Winstead countered weakly before Cupp shot her down completely.
“People do that every Sunday,” said Cupp.
Watch the exchange here, courtesy of Mediaite:
Now, in the interests of fairness, it should be noted that Winstead wasn't hallucinating about that video of Palin with a person praying over her. However, the reason the video in question was notable wasn't because prayer was involved. It was because of what the pastor in the video was praying for. For those wanting a quick refresher, you can watch the original video below:
So the issue was that Palin was being prayed over by a man who apparently still believed witches exist. However, as Hot Air's AllahPundit noted at the time:
Why prayers about witchcraft would be deemed alarmingly kooky or outre when prayers about angels, demons, or Satan are perfectly mundane and unexceptional escapes me, but then an atheist wouldsay that, wouldn’t he? Meanwhile, Bill Donohue, as quoted by Tapper, makes a level-headed point (for once) about how different cultures understand evil. Is it really shocking that a guy who comes from a part of the world where they believe in witchcraft would pray for protection from it? Was Palin supposed to have run screaming from the altar when he mentioned it rather than have stood there politely and waited for him to finish?
Quite right. And to drive the point home even further, which is the more unacceptable superstition? That witches exist, or that America should be struck down to hell because it's not a socialist country? Winstead's obviously right that this video scares people, but as to whether those people are "average Americans"? Unlikely.