On Friday, MSNBC continued dismissing Joe Biden’s racial controversies before they can damage him. On her noon ET hour show, the Democratic Party’s favorite “news” anchor Andrea Mitchell interviewed Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and treated the possible Biden vice presidential contender to a softball question about the presumptive Democratic nominee’s offensive remarks:
Obviously the real issue is the actual comment itself, not his articulation of whatever idea was floating around in his head. She didn’t mention Biden asking a black reporter if he was a “junkie” during that same event because that would clearly display racism in his comments, choosing instead to deflect for Biden’s political benefit. Mayor Bottoms was more than happy to go along with Mitchell’s generous framing of the topic:
The lengths that the media will go to protect Democrats is unreal. They would never engage in this kind of mental gymnastics to avoid the controversy for Republicans. If you watched this segment you might have blinked and missed their discussion of it at all, as they quickly went into Trump bashing and Obama loving again:
The effort to paint Obama as a victim president, suffering from large-scale racism is absurd. Obama earned 43% of the white vote in 2008, and somehow he suffered from racism from the electorate? The media methodology is simple, cover for Democrats and bash Republicans, no matter what.
Read the full transcript below to learn more.
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports
ANDREA MITCHELL: We begin today with the pandemic’s impact. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joining me right now, Madam Mayor, thank you for being with us. A new report from the Center for Public Integrity where Dr. Deborah Birx is mentioning increasing rates in Georgia as well as other states. Tell me about the situation in Atlanta. It’s among a handful of cities where there are still major concerns. How are you combating the disease in Atlanta?
KEISHA BOTTOMS: It’s unfortunate, Andrea, as I saw you mention that New York is opening up schools, because they’ve been able to get on the other side of covid-19. Unfortunately in Atlanta and across the state of Georgia we are headed in the wrong direction. Our numbers are continuing to rise, and our ICU beds are at and beyond capacity at many of our hospitals. And we are continuing to face this challenge of reopening the state while not taking the precautions necessary to put us in a place like New York and so many other states who have been able to get to the other side of this virus.
MITCHELL: As you talk about the schools there, there is some footage, really disturbing footage of a school north of Atlanta, where we see — I think it had to shut down, we saw pictures that went viral, taken in a hallway, a corridor packed, crowded with students. And that’s less than an hour from your city.
BOTTOMS: It’s very concerning, Andrea. I have four kids. I took two of my kids out yesterday to attend a taping that I had to do. And just watching my two kids fiddle with their masks. They’re kids. They were taking their masks on and off. It’s very difficult to expect our children to be able to abide by all of the rules that are necessary for us to combat covid-19. And that’s my concern, as schools are reopening across this state. Many school districts, including the school district in the city of Atlanta, have opted to go with virtual learning for the first few weeks of school. As I’ve said repeatedly, it’s not just about our kids. It’s about our kids often being asymptomatic and infecting teachers and custodians and cafeteria workers. But unfortunately, in Georgia, just yesterday, a 7-year-old with no underlying health conditions died from complications related to covid-19.
MITCHELL: So much for the president’s declaring that they are almost definitely immune from it, the children. We know that there are these tragic cases. They may be outliers, but this is the tragedy and this is the risk to the schoolchildren, while you as a mom of four children know how important it is to get them back in the classrooms. How is Atlanta responding to your urging them to wear masks, mandating it, the governor disagreeing, the lawsuit, how widespread is the wearing of masks from your observation?
BOTTOMS: As I’ve been out, I’ve been very encouraged by the number of people that I see with masks on. And it’s very hot in Atlanta, as you can imagine, right now. It’s 90 degrees plus every day. But as I’ve gone into the grocery store and other places, people are wearing masks. And I actually was pleasantly surprised, because I didn’t see many people wearing masks but people are certainly heeding the warning appreciative that we’re pushing forward with a mask mandate in the city. We’ve gotten notes from business owners who also express their appreciation.
MITCHELL: We’re rapidly approaching Joe Biden’s decision on a running mate. Can you at least clarify whether or not you have had an interview? I assume not an in-person interview, I don’t think you’ve been traveling.
BOTTOMS: Andrea, I’ll continue to refer you to the Biden campaign for questions about that. But as I’ve said repeatedly, this is the most important election of our lifetime. John Lewis reminded us of that with his parting words. If we don’t exercise our right to vote, we will lose it. So I know there’s a lot of speculation and excitement about who Joe Biden will name. But the most important person’s name on that ballot will be Joe Biden.
MITCHELL: The former vice president did try today to clarify a statement. He got a lot of backlash yesterday when he was saying that the Latino community is diverse, quote, unlike the African-American community. He tried to say that he did not mean to suggest that the African-American community is a monolith. But is this a problem, the way he was articulating this?
BOTTOMS: Well, I believe what he was trying to articulate was just in terms of voting patterns. But I know he doesn’t believe we are a monolith, because I’ve had these conversations with the vice president directly, and we’ve talked about the growing importance and voice of the Progressive wing of the party, fueled in large part by younger African-Americans. So I know that he does not believe that. And I thought that as his policies have come forth, his policies reflect his appreciation of diversity within the African-American community. I do think obviously that it perhaps could have been expressed better. But I know his heart, and I know the conversations that I have had with him directly, and what he’s expressed to me about his appreciation about diversity within the African-American community.
MITCHELL: And I know how busy you are, but I was really struck when I had a chance to listen to Michelle Obama’s podcast yesterday where she talked about what she called a low level depression that she’s experienced during the pandemic, largely because of the experience of George Floyd’s death, reliving a lot of the racism that she and president Obama encountered on their campaign and when they were first in the white house. And it struck me that that is — that experience, with all of these police cases, you’ve experienced them in Georgia, as you know, that’s something that a lot, millions of African-Americans, African-American women, are feeling.
BOTTOMS: Absolutely, Andrea. I appreciate the Obamas for so many reasons, but I especially appreciated that she had articulated that, because just a couple of days before, I articulated something very similar to my husband. I said, I’m waking up feeling really down, and I almost used the exact words, low key depression. And it is something that clearly is felt by so many African-Americans. And seeing it in our kids, the level of anxiety and fear and frustration. And it’s difficult as African-American parents because we are supposed to reassure our children that everything will be okay. And it will be okay. We know we’ll get to the other side of this. But it’s very difficult when adults and children are struggling to make sense of where we are in America, which again, is why I can’t stress enough the importance of this election. This term of Donald Trump needs to be a comma in our history, not a period.