MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan’s “cut off this man’s microphone” segment with Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams has been hailed by grassroots leaders as a victory, and an example of the left trying to discredit the Tea Party movement by unfairly aligning its members with racism.
But in an e-mail circulated around a number of Tea Party activists — including those involved in Williams’s Tea Party Express — not all think Williams came out on top.
Kelly Eustis, a Tea Party activist and former employee of the Tea Party Express aligned PAC Our Country Deserves Better, wrote in the e-mail chain that “Oh my … Mark Williams looks foolish in that video. I’ve been laughing all day at this.”
“Don’t try to turn this as though MSNBC was against you and you had to walk off … clearly you already know what that channel is about. You played it up,” Eustis continued.
Ratigan, after questioning the Tea Party Express leader on whether “you accept Nazis and racists at the Tea Party?” told producers to “cut off this man’s microphone” after telling Williams, “You’re wasting valuable oxygen.”
“Can we please cut off this man’s microphone? He has no interest in answering my questions. Mark, a pleasure. Actually, not really a pleasure, it was offensive,” Ratigan said. “You’re offensive. You’re treatment of my show as a vehicle to spread your propaganda, ignore my questions — offensive — and an indication of what is wrong with the dialogue in this country. Period. Not to mention a group that would accept Nazis and racists.”
Eustis, in the e-mail, asked of Williams: “Can’t answer a simple question from lame MSNBC host? C’mon … do you, or do you not, allow racists at Tea Party rallies?”
“A quick answer would be that, ‘They would be asked to leave.’ Is that so hard?!” Eustis wrote. “Jeez. Grow a set rather than grow a further ego. There are a few crazies at every rally but that means showing that they don’t belong. Deal with it.”
Joe Wierzbicki, a leader of the Tea Party Express who said Eustis has been “bitter” since he was fired from the Our Country Deserves Better PAC, said “Instead of making the tea party movement look racist, [Ratigan] made himself look hateful and psychotic.”
“The good news to report is that despite Mr. Eustis’s comments to the contrary, [Tuesday’s] segment on MSNBC with Dylan Ratigan was fantastic. It showed how desperate the left is that they’ve had to pull out the ‘racist’ charge again, but that the host acted so insanely crazed that virtually no-one watching it (probably not even most of MSNBC’s viewers) would be impressed,” Wierzbicki wrote.
He continued: “We here at the Tea Party Express and Our Country Deserves Better Committee are happy to have the Left define themselves this way. Like we said in our e-mail – ‘More Please!’”