In an extraordinary rant against the "hate filled Democrats," former deputy campaign manager for Donald Trump David Bossie told Democratic strategist Joel Payne that he was “out of your cotton-picking mind.”
Payne who had previously told Bossie that, “you don’t have to be a golden retriever to hear all the dog whistles coming out of the White House these days and from my friend David here,” was stunned by the remark, but fired back quickly.
“Cotton-picking mind?” he interjected. “Brother, let me tell you something, I got some relatives who picked cotton and I’m not going to sit back and let you attack me on TV like that."
“Attack you how? You’re out of your mind,” Mr Bossie replied.
The segment ended shortly after without comment from the host Ed Henry, who waited till after the ad break to condemn the outburst.
"I want to make sure that Fox News and this show, myself, we don’t agree with that particular phrase," he said. "It was obviously offensive and these debates get fiery, that’s unfortunate. We like to have honest and spirited debates, but not phrases like that, obviously. And so I will just leave it at that.”
In response to this appallingly racist incident, Fox News decided Bossie deserved a whole two week suspension. It's hard to know what is worse, Bossie's sickening comments towards an African American, or Fox News's ridiculously pathetic punishment.
“David Bossie’s comments today were deeply offensive and wholly inappropriate," said Fox in an official statement. "His remarks do not reflect the sentiments of Fox News and we do not in any way condone them.”
So why only a 14 day suspension?
Bossie, an angry racist and current unofficial advisor to the president, apologized on Twitter for his remarks, but given the gravity of his attack on Payne, no one is taking it seriously:
Bossie's overtly racist comment and his employer's feeble response is indicative of the new climate America finds itself in under Trump. Racism and racists are now completely acceptable on mainstream television, and there is next to no accountability from the White House or the corporate executives at its official propaganda outlet. This was bizarrely the exact point Payne was making on air, so the response emphasizes just how bad things are getting. For those of us who begged and pleaded for Americans to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016, this is exactly what we were talking about. Under a Democratic presidency -- or even under a regular Republican presidency -- bigoted nitwits like Bossie would likely never have gotten airtime. And if they did, even far right outlets like Fox would have fired them on the spot. But today, a racist xenophobe is running the country, and the right wing media has fallen in line behind his repellent neo-fascism and is now allowing outright racists to espouse their views on air. A two week suspension is about as meaningful as a 24 hour Twitter timeout for the president, and Bossie now knows he can say pretty much whatever he wants without being seriously reprimanded. Again, it must be the job of all decent Americans to refuse to normalize this. Bossie accused the left of being hysterical anti-Americans who can no longer be reasoned with, a reminder of just how delusional Trump Republicans really are. Having dragged the country so far right that banning Muslims from entering the country and likening immigrants to animals is now well within mainstream discussion, the Trump right cannot be allowed to shift the political center any further. The fact that Joel Payne was unable to have a meaningful discourse with David Bossie is not an indication that "both side" are just as bad as each other -- it is a sign that one side has gone completely insane, while the other remains tethered to reality and human decency. Men like David Bossie cannot be negotiated with, reasoned with, or even talked to. They must be defeated at all costs and sent back to the infested cesspools they slithered out from. Fox News must also be considered an enemy that cannot be reasoned with. It is interested only in power and allaying itself with a racist president surrounded by racist henchmen for its own survival. Fox does racism because its Trump supporting viewers are racist. Its pathetic response to the vicious attack on Joel Payne says all you need to know about its commitment to ethical journalism and the values of the country it supposedly reports on. Fox News and its racist contributors are a danger to democracy, and the sooner forces are mobilized to defeat it, the better.