The resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder gave Fox News one last chance to exploit the right’s long-running race-baiting attempt to tie the Obama administration and the New Black Panther Party together, but even on their own air, that dog won’t hunt. Although Fox’s airwaves were lousy with references to Holder and the “Black Panthers” (all black panther-y groups look alike to them), it was Andrea Tantaros who made the blackest, pantheriest attack on Holder during Thursday’s episode of Outnumbered. Along with calling Holder “dangerous” and slamming him both for giving terrorists trials and not giving them trials, Tantaros let out this subtle slam:
“He ran the DOJ much like the Black Panthers would.”
The Black Panthers, of course, disbanded in the 1980s, and have actually sued the group that Tantaros was really referring to, the New Black Panther Party. The point of the reference, however, wasn’t historical accuracy, it was The Black, stupid.
Earlier in the segment, Bill O’Reilly stooge Jesse Watters had teed Tantaros up by dredging up the NBPP while criticizing Holder for, among other things, suing “almost every Southern state,” because in FoxLand, defending voting rights in the South is a bug, not a feature. Co-host Kirsten Powers made a pretty decent attempt at debunking Watters’ lies:
Powers is correct that no voters complained of intimidation, and that the incident did take place in a mostly-black precinct. What she left out, though, is that the Holder Justice Department didn’t “let the Black Panthers off the hook,” the case wasn’t “dropped,” it was resolved on the legal merits. The man who carried the club was punished, and the default judgments that were not supported by the law and the facts were dismissed.
The right-wing obsession with linking President Obama with the NBPP dates all the way back to the 2008 presidential campaign, when conservative blogs falsely claimed that the Obama campaign was working with the group, and even included John McCain’s campaign desperately trying to exploit the polling place story in the waning hour of election day. Since then, the incident has become one of the incantations right-wingers recite when they’re running through their NOBama Rosary.
Not to be Out-dumbered™, former MTV VJ, Kennedy astutely observed how the Obama administration obviously tried to conceal this resignation by giving a big speech about it in the State Dining Room, she offered exactly the sort of description you’d expect from a Fox News host:
“He’s slimier than a salamander covered in Vaseline.”
Kennedy’s unfamiliarity with the consistency of petroleum jelly notwithstanding, this hateful little segment is emblematic of Eric Holder’s place in conservative lore. Where others see a history-making AG with a complicated legacy on civil liberties, Fox News’ panicky white audience sees a puppet for black rage who must be reduced to slime, even on the day of his resignation.