On Friday, author and criticÂ TourÃ© waged a very public war with CNN’s Piers Morgan over the British-born journalist’s Thursday interview ofÂ Robert Zimmerman, Jr., the brother of href=”Trayvon Martin” target=”_blank”>Trayvon Martin‘s killer, George Zimmerman.
“These are things that hurt as an American very deeply and you are too new to this situation to fully understand what’s really going on here, what’s really at stake for America,”Â TourÃ© told Piers Morgan when he appeared on Morgan’s show on Friday, after being invited by Morgan, post Twitter-war.
â€œWhat a load of fatuous nonsense you speak, donâ€™t you TourÃ©, donâ€™t you,” Morgan responded. You think you have the only right to speak about whatâ€™s serious in America? You donâ€™t think I have the right as somebody from Britain who spent the last six, seven years here, to address a story like this?â€
â€œYouâ€™re showing clearly that you donâ€™t understand the depth of the pain in the American soul that is at play in this situation,â€ TourÃ©Â told Morgan, adding, “You did not do a quality interview last night [with Zimmerman],” and â€œIâ€™m not saying youâ€™re taking this case lightly but there are notes, subtleties, nuances. Thereâ€™s a depth of history within this that you canâ€™t possibly understand.â€
Saying Morgan looked “tone deaf,”Â Allison Samuels at The Daily Beast in, “Piers Morgan Vs. TourÃ©: How the CNN Host Blew It,”Â called Morgan’s tweets with TourÃ©Â “childish,” and “one of the most painful moments Iâ€™ve watched on primetime TV in a good while.”
But what was really disturbing about the more-than-20-minute showdown was the relative ease Morgan took in dismissing the African-American writerâ€™s long and well-documented journalism background. Yes, TourÃ© suggested that Morgan be professional in his initial tweet, but Morgan crossed the line by insinuating that TourÃ© wasnâ€™t a real journalist at all and by offering him tips on how real journalists do their jobs. That displayed a level of arrogance by Morgan that was completely uncalled for.
Those quips seemed to be all Morgan had in response to TourÃ©â€™s suggestion that he didnâ€™t fully appreciate the historical situation at hand. The writer even painfully added that after only being in the United States for seven years, Morgan could have no clue as to how deep the black-white divide actually is in this country. A fair point on many levels. The trials of blacks in Europe are based on a different set of circumstances, though the attitudes toward race and historyâ€™s consequences may be the same. African-Americans are the only group of once-enslaved people who continued to live in the area where their ancestors were held in shackles.
That creates a unique and tense dynamic for this country that is too often dismissed and misunderstood. But even more to the point, if TourÃ© were not a serious journalist, why have him on the show in the first place? Why be so offended by a nonjournalistâ€™s criticism when Twitter is full of such negative critiques aimed daily at the work of everyone from Don Cheadle to Lady Gaga. Jamal1 and Ray Ray23# had the same thoughts as TourÃ©, so why not have them on for a heartfelt chat? Or better yet, debate my 78-year-old Aunt Josephine in Macon, Ga., who was also in complete agreement with TourÃ© but just didnâ€™t have a Twitter account to express it. (Iâ€™m setting her up with one next week.) How Aunt Josephine would relish the chance to put on her signature red lipstick and red â€œSunday go-to-meeting hatâ€ to go a round or two with Morgan on air. That would surely cement her star status as the toast of the Macon County church missionary club for years to come.
Ebony Magazine created the following Storify. Take a look at the tweets in chronological order to see what precipitated the story that everyone is talking about right now — fueled by CNN’s re-reporting and re-running it over and over and over and over…
[View the story “Toure v. Piers Morgan” on Storify]
Personally, my money is on TourÃ©. Not because Morgan, being British, might not be able to grasp the full concert of American racism, but because Morgan is a poor excuse for a journalist. Granted, he followed in Larry King’s footsteps, but no one ever thought King a journalist. CNN raised our expectations with Morgan, and we’ve been more often than not disappointed.
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‘Chutzpah’: Biden Blasts Johnson ‘Taking Credit’ for $30 Million Project He Voted Against
Speaking in Pueblo, Colorado to promote his highly-successful “Bidenomics” fiscal program, President Joe Biden on Wednesday blasted Speaker of the House Mike Johnson for “taking credit” for a major federally-funded infrastructure project despite having voted against the legislation that made it happen.
“All across America,” the editorial board of the Las Vegas Sun wrote in August, “the success of Bidenomics is well beyond debate.” They also quoted former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, who “wrote in an essay last month, Bidenomics ‘is turning out to be the most successful set of economic policies the United States has witnessed in a half-century.'”
President Biden traveled to Colorado and spoke to voters in the district represented by U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO).
“The company that Biden visited, CS Wind, is on the home turf of Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who has described the president’s climate policies as ‘a massive failure,'” The Associated Press reported.
“’Did you all know that you’re part of a massive failure?’ Biden said to the workers and local officials gathered for his speech as he touted hundreds of new jobs fueled by tax incentives for clean energy initiatives. ‘None of that sounds like a massive failure to me. How about you?'”
At one point, President Biden targeted Speaker Johnson and Florida Republican Vern Buchanan, one of the wealthiest members of Congress.
“The new Republican Speaker of the House, along with Republican Congressman Vern Buchanan just visited Sarasota, Florida yesterday to tour the construction of a new terminal at that airport. It’s going to create thousands of jobs over time. The project is funded with nearly $30 million from the bipartisan recession law. It’s going to generate more than $30 million for Florida, multiple times times over and guess what? Both the Speaker and the Congressman voted against the law. And spoke against the law. But now they’re down there taking credit for it being built.”
“As my mother would say, ‘God love ’em,'” the President continued. “As one of my friends back home would say, ‘that’s real chutzpah.'”
Watch the President below or at this link.
Biden: The new Republican Speaker with Vern Buchanan just visited Sarasota to tour the construction of a new terminal. Both of them voted against the law but now they’re down there taking credit for it.. pic.twitter.com/KS5fyVg5Xj
— Acyn (@Acyn) November 29, 2023
How Mike Johnson Spent the Day Protecting Mike Johnson
Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson made two major statements Wednesday at a press conference on his Biden impeachment inquiry, both of which serve to protect not the rule of law, the public’s faith in the credibility of Congress, or American democracy, but Mike Johnson.
Johnson, elected Speaker by every House Republican just five weeks ago, was widely described as a “back-bencher,” (a British term Americans have co-opted to refer to a low-profile or lower-level member of Congress,) yet he was anything but. While not well-known by the American people, Johnson had made his mark during the 2020 election, leading The New York Times recently to call him “a key architect of his party’s objections to certifying President Biden’s victory.”
“Mr. Johnson played a leading role in recruiting House Republicans to sign a legal brief supporting a lawsuit seeking to overturn the results” of the 2020 presidential election, The Times reported. “In December 2020, Mr. Johnson collected signatures for a legal brief in support of a Texas lawsuit, rooted in baseless claims of widespread election irregularities, that tried to throw out the results in four battleground states won by Joseph R. Biden Jr.”
In an opinion piece last month, The New York Times’ Jamelle Bouie declared, “Mike Johnson Is a Right-Wing Fever Dream Come to Life.”
In addition to Johnson’s far-right wing views on religion and social issues, Bouie pointed to the Speaker’s “tireless advocacy on behalf of Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election.”
He noted: “Johnson wrote one of the briefs purporting to give a legal justification for throwing out the voting results in several swing states. He advanced the conspiracy theory that Venezuela was somehow involved with the nation’s voting machines. On Jan. 6, 2021, he urged his Republican colleagues to block certification of the election on the grounds that state changes to voting in the face of the pandemic were illegitimate and unconstitutional. When questioned, during his first news conference as speaker, whether he stood by his effort to overturn the 2020 election, he ignored the question, and his fellow Republicans shouted down the reporter who asked it.”
Johnson “is, in short, an election-denying extremist who believes that his allies have the right to nullify election results so that they can impose their vision of government and society on an unwilling public.”
On Wednesday, Speaker Johnson falsely described both impeachments of Donald Trump as “meritless.”
It was an important statement for him to make, for Mike Johnson.
“I’m a lawyer. I’m a constitutional law attorney,” Speaker Johnson told reporters Wednesday, a statement he frequently uses to remind people of his status. “I served on President Trump’s impeachment defense team twice. And we lamented openly, we decried how the Democrats politicized that process, they were brazenly political, and how they brought those meritless impeachment charges against the president.”
Donald Trump was impeached the first time for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress after “Trump froze military assistance for Ukraine,” NPR reported in early 2020, “at the same time he sought investigations that he thought might help him in the 2020 campaign.”
The second time Trump was impeached, in January 0f 2021, was for “incitement of insurrection.” Speaker Johnson calling that meritless is in direct contradiction of a Colorado judge’s recent ruling that Trump did, in fact, “engage in insurrection.”
“This, what you’re seeing here, is exactly the opposite,” Johnson continued on Wednesday, referring to his committee chairmen’s impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. It is an inquiry that Republicans have been forced to admit, even while on Fox News, they have no actual proof of any impeachable offense.
“We are the rule of law team,” Johnson continued. “The Republican Party stands for the rule of law. And the people in charge of this are doing this thoroughly, carefully. methodically. They’re investigating and gathering all the facts and to do this appropriately and to do it in a manner that upholds our constitutional responsibility. requires time, it requires a sound process. You don’t rush something like this. You can’t.”
Speaker Mike Johnson during a news conference dismisses both of Trump’s impeachments as “meritless” pic.twitter.com/twXn3ztSh2
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 29, 2023
It was critical for Johnson to mischaracterize and demean Democrats’ impeachments of Donald Trump, especially Trump’s second impeachment over his “incitement of insurrection.”
Remember, as The Times noted, Johnson was a “key architect” of Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. The insurrection was part of that effort.
Two weeks ago NCRM noted the stakes for Johnson “are simple: his three-vote majority is already razor-thin. Speaker Kevin McCarthy made clear Santos would be allowed to stay as long as possible. Will Johnson direct his leadership team to actively whip to expel Santos, knowing his majority will slip even further?”
Johnson answered that question on Wednesday. Despite having just called his House Republican caucus “the rule of law team,” Johnson effectively declared he opposes Republican efforts to expel U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY), who is facing 23 federal felony charges, and a damning Ethics Committee report.
Johnson’s tiny majority would become even smaller, should the House expel the embattled New York GOP lawmaker. And early next year it could shrink even more, given the announced upcoming resignation and exit of U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), not to mention the other “House Republicans who may head for the exits.”
Dana Houle, a former chief of staff for a Democratic Congressman noted, “Ohio law is murky, but it’s possible [Bill Johnson’s] (overwhelmingly Republican) seat will remain open until November. It’s a reason why Santos won’t be expelled; if Santos’ & Johnson’s seats are vacant the GOP will have only a two seat majority.”
And that’s likely another reason why Speaker Johnson on Wednesday declared, “we’re going to allow people to vote their conscience” on the Santos expulsion vote, expected Thursday. “We’ve not whipped the vote and you wouldn’t I trust that people will make their decisions thoughtfully and in good faith. I personally have real reservations about doing this. I’m, I’m concerned about a precedent that may be set for that.”
Speaker Johnson says he has “real reservations” about expelling George Santos pic.twitter.com/JyaluKfVET
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 29, 2023
Watch the videos above or at this link.
Speaker Mike Johnson to Be Keynote Speaker at Hardline Christian Nationalist Lawmakers’ Gala
Last week, Christian nationalist religious-right activist and former Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert announced that House Speaker Mike Johnson will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming National Association of Christian Lawmakers gala that is being held at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC on Dec. 5.
The National Association of Christian Lawmakers, as its name suggests, is a far-right Christian nationalist organization founded by Rapert in 2019 that seeks to spread its far-right “biblical worldview” across the nation and “take authority” over every level of government.
Rapert, who last week was appointed to the state library board by Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is a hardline anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ activist who has declared that no Christian can ever vote for a Democrat because Democrats have “been enlisted to further the antichrist cult in our country.”
Christian nationalist Jason Rapert attempts to topple the “LGBTQ cult” that has allegedly taken over the country: “Let go of our reins of government in this nation! You will not drag us into your pit!” pic.twitter.com/2F2UXrKzYC
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) September 25, 2023
Christian nationalist Jason Rapert is sick of all “the idiots in the country that want to make you think that a man’s gotta be able to go up and slobber all over another man and hug and kiss him and pretend like they’re married.” pic.twitter.com/pYRmZvy7eo
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) February 7, 2023
Former Arkansas state senator and founder of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers Jason Rapert declares that Christians “must take authority” over government: “Do you think that America is gonna be free with a bunch of drag queens running this place?” pic.twitter.com/cUp6pyr4XF
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) February 2, 2023
“This is what the NACL does every day all across this country,” Rapert bragged. “We are fighting against the people that are putting the queer books into your school libraries and trying to groom these children into homosexuality.” https://t.co/frIHtEAF05 pic.twitter.com/USWXPyFxiq
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 22, 2023
Christian nationalist Jason Rapert has high hopes for the 2024 presidential election: “My hope is that the people of this nation will reelect Jesus to be on the throne here again in our country.” pic.twitter.com/lCrNGFt8A0
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) May 5, 2023
When the National Association of Christian Lawmakers held a meeting earlier this year, participants used it as an opportunity to discuss plans to strip public libraries of their funding, convince states to designate June as “Christian History Month,” and defend the practice of imposing “the death penalty for sodomy.”
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is reprinted here by permission.
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