On Sunday, MSNBC guest Angela Rye went ballistic when confronted by Republican strategist Ron Christie over the fact that no evidence was found of Tea Party racism during the Obamacare debate of 2010.
Blasting supposed Tea Party racism, commentator Rye said that opposition to Obamacare was “was very very racial, whether any of them will admit it or not.” That’s when Christie stepped in: “Racial?! I will not sit here and allow you to say that. The Tea Party came in, there were 63 people who came in in 2010 because the government grew too much.” Rye, taken aback, said, “That’s fine, you should calm down just a little bit.”
But Christie would not be shut down. “No, no, no,” he said, “I will not allow people to sit here and say there was a racial aspect to it. That’s absolutely false.”
Host Melissa Harris-Perry cut to break. When she returned, she went back to Rye, who then claimed that Tea Partiers shouted the n-word at Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) as he walked to the Capitol to vote on Obamacare. That claim was proved false when Andrew Breitbart offered $100,000 for any videotape of the n-word being used. No tape was ever found, despite the plethora of cameras in the crowd, and the vast number of media outlets present.
Christie jumped on that fact to debunk Rye: “I’m curious, were you there that day?” When Rye responded in the negative, Christie followed up, “I was actually there that day. I was doing a stand-up for MSNBC. I was actually out talking with Tea Party people. I actually saw John Lewis walk out to go to the Capitol to vote. I did not hear the n-word being turned.” Christie went on to point out that Lewis had “never said on camera” whether he was called the n-word. Rye’s weak response: “Most of the members said that they would refuse to talk about that day because it was so insulting.” That, of course, is an odd claim given the representatives’ eagerness to rush to microphones to gin up supposed racism in that same crowd that day.
Later, Christie commented about the fiery interchange: “I enjoy the opportunity to appear on MSNBC to discuss politics with those who don’t share my conservative views. As one who rarely loses his temper on television, the combination of liberal condescension combined with the notion that Republicans and Tea Party conservatives are racist was just too much for me to let that comment remain unaddressed.”
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.