Chris Hayes says he can’t understand!

SUNDAY, APRIL 14, 2013

Do you believe Chris Hayes: Chris Hayes made a heartening choice of topics on Friday night. He spoke with PBS education reporter John Merrow about Michelle Rhee’s endless problems with the truth.

Merrow had received and revealed a memo which shows that Rhee was warned about possible cheating in the DC schools even in her first year as superintendent. But she didn’t choose to investigate hard—and in Year 2, the problem got worse.

Meanwhile, Rhee made various public remarks which seem perhaps a bit inaccurate in light of the new memo. To read Merrow’s report on these matters, click this.

To watch Hayes’ subsequent segment with Merrow, just click here.

We're glad Hayes conducted that interview. In discussing these matters, Hayes broke a prime time taboo of his pseudo-liberal channel—the taboo which keeps this channel’s seven-figure TV stars from discussing the interests of low-income children.

Gay soldiers, yes; black children, no! This is the ugly, cynical choice this ugly channel and its stars have relentlessly made. We’re glad to see Hayes widen the list of topics which can be explored on this channel.

We think it’s great that Hayes has decided to buck his channel’s taboo. But alas! In another segment Friday night, he adopted a pose that’s very hard to credit.

(We aren’t giving you many excerpts because, in standard fashion, MSNBC hasn’t yet posted the transcript from Friday’s program.)

In this second segment, Hayes addressed the recent screeching complaints about a promotional ad aired by his colleague, Melissa Harris-Perry. Last week, Fox New staged an overwrought nervous breakdown about this promotional ad.

For our previous post on this topic, click here. On Friday night, Hayes said he can’t understand why Fox did that.

“For reasons I genuinely don’t understand, Fox decided this was the most scandalous, pressing issue facing the nation,” Hayes said, referring to the flap about the ad and overstating the extent of Fox's nervous breakdown. To watch his whole segment, click this.

That was a strange thing for Hayes to say. In truth, there are two blindingly obvious reasons why Fox behaved as it did.

Why did Fox stage a nervous breakdown about Harris-Perry’s ad? Let us count the (two) reasons:

Duh! In part, Fox staged a breakdown about the ad because it’s the nature of cable “news” to stage such partisan breakdowns.

Stupidity is one of the principal products of our partisan cable “news” channels. Fox stages these breakdowns all the time. We have no idea why Hayes wasn’t willing to make this obvious statement.

That said, Hayes’ professed incomprehension was almost as foolish for a second reason. Given that Fox is required to stage nervous breakdowns, why did it choose to focus on Harris-Perry’s ad?

Duh! In part, Fox did this because the ad contained a lot of odd statements. The frenzied reaction by Fox was foolish and overwrought. But at the same time, the ad itself was tone deaf, strange and basically rather dumb.

Do you really believe that Hayes doesn’t know this? Or was he simply lying to you in order to support his colleague and serve the corporate line?

Did Hayes tell the truth Friday night? Does he really fail to understand the objections Fox made to that ad?

We find that rather hard to believe, although it’s always possible. In many ways, Harris-Perry just isn’t real sharp. What is the truth about Hayes?

Michelle Rhee, when she was new: How big a deal is that memo to Rhee? That is a matter of judgment. That said, Rhee’s clownish dishonesty was fairly obvious in 2007 when she was named to head the DC schools.

As we noted in real time, her claims about her own teaching career were so extreme that there was little chance they could be true. And if Rhee was even dimly competent, she pretty much had to know that.

No one with an ounce of sense would have believed those self-glorying claims. But so what? Our fiery liberal leaders didn’t say squat ot squadoosh in real time.

As with Lawrence and Rachel now, so too with the rest of the tribe! We liberals stopped talking about low-income kids several decades ago. Rhee’s claims didn’t make any sense, but none of our heroes cared.

We’re glad that Hayes interviewed Merrow. In 2007, the liberal world gave Rhee’s first set of ludicrous claims a complete total uncaring pass.

We quit on black kids a long time ago. We hope Hayes makes up for lost time.


  1. How much hell did Hil get for "It Takes a Village"?

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  3. Were msnbc to cover black kids more frequently, Bob would just accuse them of playing the race card and being tribal. Oh, and of course alienating white working class voters and sabotaging progressive interests.

  4. It isn't black kids, but poor kids, Bob. Sure, they're often one and the same, but not always -- and Volvo-Subaru liberals don't care about the difference. In that sense, at least, we live in a post-racial society.

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  6. Til: Evidence?

    Or just the same subjective nonsense Bob derides elsewhere?

  7. Actually, it was Bob's progressive heroes Clinton and Gore who didn't care about poor kids, as they consigned millions more of them into poverty, just to make sure the 1996 election wasn't close.

    And Bob wonders why many progressives "ran and hid" or "slept in the woods" or whatever.

    1. Failing to agree with a Confused person on the internet that Clinton and Gore are objectively as bad as George W. Bush is not the same as calling them "progressive heroes."

      But a Confused idiot such as yourself might not be expected to understand that.

    2. Anon 11:43

      You might consider changing your moniker to "Ad Hominem."

  8. Bob regularly equates supporting Clinton and Gore with supporting progressive interests. If anyone would like to discuss people not caring about black kids, a good place to start might be "welfare reform".

  9. This is a terrible post, for a variety of reasons, but it does nicely illustrate the problems of self righteous hyperbole. Yes, once upon a time liberals did seem to care more about social problems like bad inner city schools. You could expect to see a news report on such things from time to time. But the liberal media (when it because less liberal) lost track of such things. But they lost track of a LOT of important things. Another one would be the Defense Budget, which actually just might impact such things as how much society has to spend on inner city schools. But, somewhere along the line, members of our tribe like Bob lost interest in things like the Defense Budget.
    The beef here seems to be that Harris Perry said something that, while true, was stated in such a way as to make right wing idiots blow a gasket. However foolishly they behave, it is always dumber for us to expect them NOT to do so, because, that's the way they roll or something. Bob is very slippery, however, in coming right out and saying so. But it's a fair question: I Harris Perry is wrong, and children ARE property of their parents, then why SHOULD I care about the state of the schools? It's a slightly complicated issue, and Bob would rather declare everyone stupid and leave the field.
    Harris Perry, we might note, seems to have a knack for getting noticed that is possibly not as dumb as Bob would imagine. If She hadn't published that stupid but much noticed Nation article on liberal racists, would She be on MSNBC today? Seems to me Mary Elizabeth Williams is right (for once) about the advantage of pissing off the right people.

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