On Wednesday’s Newsroom, CNN’s Rick Sanchez used a recent pro-Texas secession rally in Austin to renew attention on Governor Rick Perry’s April 2009 speech to a tea party where he appeared to endorse this political view. Sanchez, along with CNN political analyst Roland Martin, later strongly hinted that Governor Perry could be painted as a racist for using “states’ rights” language.
Sanchez began the last segment of the 3 pm Eastern hour with a clip from a rally organized by the Texas Nationalist Movement, where Republican Debra Medina (who was not identified by the anchor or by the on-screen graphics) quoted from Thomas Jefferson in her plea for Texas secession: “Stepping off into secession may, in fact, be a bloody war. We are aware. We understand that the tree of freedom is occasionally watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.”
Medina is running for the Republican nomination in the Texas gubernatorial race in 2010, which pits her against Governor Perry. Despite this detail, the CNN anchor then raised the possible tie to the executive’s tea party speech:
Mr. Sanchez then introduced Martin, and asked, “Is the governor partly responsible for some of this crazy talk?” The CNN political analyst initially minimized Governor Perry’s role in the push for Texas secession: “You’re going to have this conversation, regardless of whether the governor made the comment or not, but…You have a governor who is now embroiled in a very difficult race. He’s facing Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison….He is trying to appeal to these hardcore conservatives because he knows if he can knock her out in the primary.” Despite this outline, Martin added that Perry’s rhetoric was “still just stupid talk. It’s just ridiculous.”
After Sanchez questioned the governor’s sincerity in cheering on the “states’ rights” issue, Martin, a Texas native, continued to criticize Perry and introduced the race issue, comparing the Republican to a notorious segregationist governor during the 1960s:
Martin didn’t directly call Perry a racist, but Sanchez took that next step against Perry. The anchor replied, “‘States’ rights’ has racist overtones- I’ll say it for you.” The analyst made no reply to this more open critique of Perry.
Despite the clearly controversial nature of the secessionist and states’ rights positions, Sanchez and Martin are unsurprisingly continuing the media’s double standard of portraying the political opponents of President Obama and his leftist allies as “fringe” elements, to use the term the anchor himself used, while portraying left-wing protesters as mainstream.
Posted on September 2, 2009 by pnaction