Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise is still hospitalized and in serious condition but liberal MSNBC host Joy Ann Reid didn’t let that stop her from portraying Scalise as an extremist just three days after an angry left-winger shot Scalise and tried to assassinate dozens of Republican congressmen in Alexandria, Virginia on Wednesday.
Reid had NAACP board member Rev. William J. Barber II — a prominent liberal who spoke at at the Democratic National Convention last July — on her show Saturday morning and the two quickly set about attacking Scalise, who is physically unable to defend his record.
“There’s a whole country out there and a lot of people, at least in my Twitter timeline, and it’s a delicate thing, because everybody is wishing the congressman well and hoping that he recovers, but Steve Scalise has a history that we’ve all been forced to sort of ignore on race,” Reid claimed.
“He did come to leadership after some controversy over attending a white nationalist event, which he says he didn’t know what it was,” Reid said.
The liberal host appeared to be referencing the fact that Scalise allegedly spoke to a white nationalist group as part a series of talks he gave about tax legislation in 2002. “I didn’t know who all of these groups were and I detest any kind of hate group,” Scalise said three years ago, adding at the time that “as a Catholic, I think some of the things they profess target people like me.” Democratic Rep. Cedric Richmond, who is black, dismissed the accusations of racism and said: “I don’t think Steve Scalise has a racist bone in his body.” Reid did not note that Scalise has repeatedly condemned the group.
“He also co-sponsored a bill to amend the Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. He co-sponsored the House healthcare bill, which as you said would gut healthcare for millions of people including three million children and he cosponsored a bill to repeal the ban on semiautomatic weapons,” Reid continued, bashing Scalise for holding mainstream Republican positions. “Because he is in jeopardy and everybody is pulling for him, are we required in a moral sense to put that aside in the moment?”
Barber answered that they’re required to hope Scalise recovers but that the Republican “should not go forward being homophobic” because one of the Capitol police officers who saved his life was a lesbian. Neither Barber nor Reid noted that the officer was a member of Scalise’s security detail.
Barber also asserted that “the only way you can get to civility, is you must start with the establishment of justice. you must provide for the common good and you must provide the general welfare” and that Republicans “have to have a change in the trajectory of policy.”
Reid promoted the segment in a Twitter post that said Scalise “was shot by a white man with a violent background, and saved by a black lesbian police officer, and yet…” and included a screenshot of a one-sided MSNBC graphic on Scalise’s record.
— AM Joy w/Joy Reid (@amjoyshow) June 17, 2017
MedStar Washington Hospital’s Dr. Jack Sava told reporters that Scalise arrived at the hospital “in critical condition with an imminent risk of death.” Scalise remains serious condition but his chances of death are “substantially lower,” Sava said. One doctor who spoke to CNN said “it is possible that within three months or so, [Scalise] can … be back on his feet.”