Keith Olbermann used his quick comment on his MSNBC program Countdown tonight to answer a video put out by the Dallas Tea Party in response to his questioning of the diversity of the Tea Party movement. Olbermann pointed out that in the entire Dallas Tea Party organization there appears to be nine minorities. I guess in today’s conservative movement any group with nine non whites is considered diverse.
Here is the tea party video:
Here is the Olbermann video:
Olbermann said, “So the Dallas Tea Party has one representative of diversity on its steering committee, and there appears to be six minority people besides her speaking or shown in its own video and a diarist at the Daily Kos examined photos of the Dallas Tea Parties and identified three others. This mind you is out of the hundreds, or thousands, or tens of thousands the Dallas group claims to represent, so once again, and this time directed to the Dallas group, where are the people of color?”
At its base, there is something offensive about this argument. Olbermann calls the Tea Partiers racist, so they make a video where they trot out all of their minorities. Olbermann’s retort is to refer to all of MSNBC’s minorities. The truth is that the tea party movement does cater to the angry white crowd, but they have do have a point in this case. Cable news as a whole is woefully lacking in terms of minority representation. There is also a lack of minorities in executive positions.
The Tea Partiers have attracted the racial fringe as part of their support, but I also think that a cable news network would be one of the last institutions I would hold up as an example of diversity. By the way, I think CNN is probably the most diverse network in cable news. It isn’t a matter of right or wrong. The fact that it is necessary to even have this argument in the first place is the most troubling conclusion of all.