MSNBC debased itself Friday night with a vile display of hatred for America, the Constitution (except the freedom of the press), the Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers, and positive celebrations of both where the country has been and where we hope to go.
Led by The Beat host Ari Melber, it was a despicable 103 minutes of venom for President Trump’s speech at Mount Rushmore and filled with calls to go beyond Confederate statues and “cancel” the Founders from American history and convince people that not only was America never “great,” but its ideals of equality and freedom have always been “a myth.” Rather, America has been and continues to be one of “white supremacy.”
It should be noted that the following advertisers helped make (and thus gave their tacit approval to) a night eviscerating the country and demanding the Founding Fathers be “canceled,” “demolish[ed]” and “eliminate[d]” from the “American story”: Aleve, Allstate, Febreeze, Home Advisor, Infinity, Progressive, and Qunol. Contact information to inform these advertisers of what they paid for can be found in the links.
Below is a Notable Quotables-style package of the worst moments.
We Must ‘Eliminate’ Founders, Statues of ‘White Supremacy’ from the ‘American Story’
“[Trump’s] taking a day that we will all acknowledge as we’re challenging statutes coming down of Confederates and outright slave owners and racists and say, ‘no, I’m going to even put it in your face. I’m going to land that Native Americans were owed. It was theirs. It was a treaty violated. I’m going to celebrate Presidents, some who advocated slavery and who, in fact, owned slaves themselves….This is going to be a cultural war election, and I’m on the side of white supremacy. I’m on the side of holding up the statues and relics of those that represent the dehumanization of people of color, particularly black people’….He, in his mind, is saying ‘I’m holding up the greatness of America’ and those of us with an increasing amount of Americans, some folks saying majority is saying, no, those are the disgraceful days that we need to eliminate out of the continuing American story and I think that it is a line in the sand that many of us on the other side are going to resist.
— MSNBC’s PoliticsNation host Al Sharpton, 10:15 p.m. Eastern.
America Is a ‘Lie’ and ‘Myth’ That Was Never ‘Great’; GOP ‘History’ Is ‘White Resentment’
“I think what we’re seeing is a President who is determined to fly in the face of….people that are saying there’s really a myth of America that this idea that America treated people well, that they treated men and women equally, that — that we founded this country just by our own wits, that that is actually a lie and we’re seeing a celebration of America’s independence on land that was stolen from Native Americans and it’s over — and it’s being seen and overlooked by two Presidents — they’re figures, rather — that owned slaves and a third President in Roosevelt who — who talked about going westward and oversaw the desecration of native land.”
“You saw so many people in this country, especially people of color look really, really disturbed when the President and then candidate Trump started saying Make America Great Again because, of course, the quick question was, ‘well, what part of America and what period are you talking about? Is it when African-Americans were enslaved? Is it when women couldn’t vote? Is it when native American people were literally run off their land?’….[H]e’s fitting in this history that is, in some ways, a Republican history about the idea they’re really looking at white resentment….President Trump wants to be on the side of the myth of America. I also want to be on the side the myth of the fact that the pandemic is over[.]”
— MSNBC political analyst and PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor, 10:27 p.m. and 10:32 p.m. Eastern respectively.
Maybe We Should ‘Demolish’ All Statues of Founding Fathers
“[S]o the argument the President made tonight, the train may have already kind of left the station on that. The larger question may be with these Founding Fathers, with these monuments that we don’t want to forget, what do we do with them? Maybe they don’t stand in the town square, but should they stand anywhere? Should we demolish them? That’s the next phase of the question. The President may be answering an old argument, which is already over with.”
— MSNBC host Joshua Johnson, 11:42 p.m. Eastern.
Mt. Rushmore Presidents Embodied ‘Ideals of White Supremacy,’ ‘Slaughter’ of Minorities
“[T]here is another side that hearkens back to where Native Americans were slaughtered, where Black folks were demeaned on a regular basis and so as we’re having this conversation about Confederate monuments and what it means as American citizens to walk in the shadow of that reminder of that very ugly American past, here we are at Mount Rushmore, two of the four Presidents, two enslavers. We love to — to — to herald George Washington, but let’s not forget about the Fugitive Slave Act. Let’s not forget about the treatment of his enslaved people. Let’s not forget about how he shifted his enslaved people around from state-to-stage to make sure that, when they were in free states for more than six months, they were never free, so the backdrop is tremendous.”
“[W]hen you think about the intent here and you go across the country and there is some folks who may, quite frankly, be ignorant of the history. Let’s not forget the ideals of white supremacy, part of which is the masking of history, the shadowing of history to lionize certain individuals…[S]o we call it a dog whistle or it is a whistle whistle, right, that everyone can clearly hear[.]”
— MSNBC correspondent Trymaine Lee, 10:02 p.m. and 10:07 Eastern respectively.
Speaking Fondly of Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Washington Is ‘Out-of-Step’ with Our ‘True History’
“I think that what we heard tonight is a message from the President that is just out of step on — on the dual pandemics of both coronavirus and racism. You have four Presidents here on Mount Rushmore that are looking out across history and a President who stood underneath them and — and rejected a lot of what we now know about the true history of our country. During the pandemic, we say that we’re all in this together. I think that it is an open question of whether or not that is going to be true with regard to how we respond to how race is lived in America.”
— The 19th editor Erinn Haines, 11:41 p.m. Eastern.
Looking Fondly on America’s Past Is ‘Propaganda’ to ‘Erase, Ignore, Lie About’ Our ‘Ugly Parts’
“[M]uch of American political propaganda over the course of our history has tried to completely erase, ignore, lie about the ugly parts of our history, that we would be better to simply address and move forward. What’s more patriotic than obviously improving ourselves? I’m curious what you think about that long-running and admittedly-complex prism for a big holiday with the President obviously not engaging on most of those things forthrightly.”
— Host Ari Melber, 10:28 p.m. Eastern.
‘Ignorant’ Trump Speech Part of ‘Racial Culture War’ ‘Lionizing’ Unworthy Men
“Donald Trump choosing to speak in front of a monument with his advisors previewing a speech that will dig into a racial culture war.”
— Melber, 10:00 pm. Eastern
“Is the Trump administration ignorant of all of these things or are they choosing to be ignorant of it and make all these stops across the country? When you look at this place, this land, the Black Hills, the history is a dark one. But it is an important one because it is instructive of where we are as a country.”
— Perry, 10:04 p.m. Eastern.
“It’s also worth noting that some of the — the rhetoric at this event….has very much had to do with upholding these symbols of the nation. I don’t know that history is on the President’s side in terms of lionizing these images or denouncing some of the institutions like journalism for example.”
— Johnson, 11:30 p.m. Eastern.
Rushmore Is No Different Than ‘Confederate Monuments’
“It’s the theft of history, the theft of the narrative, and places like Mount Rushmore or spots in communities all across this country where Confederate monuments have been erected. It was to steal the history and steal the truth, to always reflect back on those ideas of white supremacy and power and domination and we see that again. And so as folks are gathering at risk of their great health, we see the pandemic continuing to spread, we think about this moment of reconciliation, of who we are and who we’ve been and who we could possibly be[.]”
— Lee, 10:50 p.m. Eastern.
Cancel Culture Is Important to ‘Tell the Full Truth About America’
“[T]he momentum of progress really seems to be sustained by a flu pandemic that has really laid bare a lot of the truths about America that make us want to cancel some of the myths we have been telling about ourselves as a country. So, you know, I think, you the pushback against cancel culture, I think, is a resistance to want to tell the full truth about America, and you have the President now here yet at another culturally irrelevant site in our country, saying that he is there to do truth-telling and while there’s been a lot of truth-telling by a lot of people on the show tonight, I don’t know how much truth-telling we’re going to hear at this Fourth of July celebration here in South Dakota.”
— Haines, 10:59 p.m. Eastern.
Chuckling MSNBC Contributor Fantasizes About Fireworks Causing Fire, Destroying Mt. Rushmore
“The President of the United States wants fireworks at a place that may well go up in flames as a result of it. It’s — it is the perfect encapsulation — the perfect metaphorical encapsulation of everything we have seen during his presidency.
— MSNBC and New Yorker contributor Jelani Cobb, 10:26 p.m. Eastern.
‘Cringe,’ ‘Fascist,’ ‘Unsafe’ Gathering by ‘Authoritarian Regime’ Had Protesters ‘Risking Their Lives for Equal Rights’
“We’re also going to be covering a Presidential appearance tonight which critics call downright unsafe.”
— Melber, 10:00 p.m. Eastern.
“[T]here was an incredibly ugly scene just about a mile up the road where I am where police were arresting protesters in a completely peaceful manner, but you had Donald Trump’s supporters yelling and mocking these protesters in sometimes racial ways, in very upsetting ways…People [in Tulsa] felt like they had to go out during the pandemic to change the narrative, literally risking their lives for equal rights and then today, the same thing, the name narration playing out.”
— MSNBC/NBC correspondent Cal Perry, 10:05 p.m. Eastern.
“[I]t just makes me cringe…[I]t feels like this speaks of someone who has the makings or the consciousness of an authoritarian regime where he is consciously leading his own people against their health and well-being.”
— Former Obama official and NBC medical analyst Dr. Kavita Patel, 10:12 p.m. Eastern.
“When somebody makes, you know, a sort of dark film rendition of these awful, awful four years, this, you know, surreal and noirish and frankly kind of fascist in an ascetic spectacle is going to be part of the de nu mon.”
— MSNBC contributor and New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg, 11:07 p.m. Eastern.