Conservative media launched vicious attacks against former Secretary of State Colin Powell in an effort to discredit his remarks and Republican credentials after Powell criticized Republicans for having a “dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party.”
Colin Powell Declares “Dark Vein Of Intolerance” Within GOP
Powell On GOP: There's “A Dark Vein Of Intolerance In Some Parts Of The Party”; “They Still Sort Of Look Down On Minorities.” During the January 13 edition of NBC's Meet the Press, former Secretary of State Colin Powell condemned Republicans for “intolerance” toward minorities. Powell specifically pointed to racially charged comments directed at President Obama during the recent presidential campaigns by former Republican Govs. Sarah Palin and John Sununu:
POWELL: There's also a dark -- a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party. What do I mean by that? I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities. How can I evidence that? When I see a former governor [Sarah Palin] say that the president is shuckin' and jivin' -- that's a racial-era slave term. When I see another former governor [John Sununu] after the president's first debate where he didn't do well, says that the president was lazy. He didn't say he was slow, he was tired, he didn't do well; he said he was lazy. Now, it may not mean anything to most Americans, but to those of us who are African-Americans, the second word is shiftless, and then there's a third word that goes along with it. [NBC, Meet the Press, 1/15/12]
Right Wing Media Attack Powell For His Comments
Fox's Laura Ingraham: " The Weapon Of Mass Destruction Has Been Found, The Democrats Found It. It Was Colin Powell." On the January 15 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham attacked Powell for his comments on Meet The Press. During the interview she claimed that Powell was trying to atone for his testimony on weapons of mass destruction as secretary of state in the Bush Administration. She continued:
INGRAHAM: Again, look, Colin Powell, I happen to know him a little bit. I think he's a very nice guy. He's a wonderful person, patriotic man, great service to this country. But it's a very curious thing right? Colin Powell went to the U.N., he gave his testimony about weapons of mass destruction. He wrote in his memoir that that was kind of a low point for him, he didn't have all the information. It seems that Colin Powell is trying to continue to expiate for his sins of that testimony.
So the weapon of mass destruction, Gretchen, has been found. The Democrats found it. It was Colin Powell, OK? It's blowing up on the Republicans. I wrote a piece about Colin Powell in 1995, an op-ed for TheNew York Times, saying why Colin Powell is a bad choice for the GOP to be the nominee. It was a long time ago when I was a lawyer. But again, I like Colin Powell, but I'm not really clear why he's a Republican these days. It doesn't seem to really compute. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/15/2013]
Fox's Kelly On Colin Powell Interview: “With Friends Like That In The Republican Party, Who Needs Enemies?” After playing a clip of Powell's comments, Fox host Megyn Kelly commented that Powell still claims to be a Republican, “but, whoa, with friends like that in the Republican Party, who needs enemies?” [Fox News, America Live, 1/14/2013]
Fox's The Five: “Colin Powell Unhinged.” During the January 14 edition of Fox News' The Five, the co-hosts discussed Powell's comments as a graphic on a video wall behind them stated, “Colin Powell Unhinged.”
[Fox News, The Five, 1/14/13]
Wash. Times Repeats Right-Wing Writer's Claim That Powell Is A “Man Of Little Character,” An “Increasingly Despicable Backstabbing Lout.” The Washington Times gave a platform to conservatives angry at Powell by publishing the most egregious attacks on his character, his military career, and his Gulf War record:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, conservative bloggers and commentators took issue with that claim. And pretty much everything else that came out of Mr. Powell's mouth.
One labeled Mr. Powell's performance “disgraceful.” Another asked, “why does Powell continue to call himself a Republican?”
For sheer jilted vitriol, however, writer Quin Hillyer of the American Spectator earned a gold star, labeling Mr. Powell a “man of little character,” an “increasingly despicable backstabbing lout” who “was afforded credit he didn't deserve” for the first Gulf War and “a nasty apparatchik currying favor with those in power. Maybe that's all [Mr. Powell] ever was.”
Other than that, Mr. Hillyer, how did you enjoy the morning show?
Mr. Powell's response -- “Is this really the kind of party that we want to be when these kinds of spokespersons seem to appeal to our lesser instincts rather than our better instincts?” -- drew return fire from Mr. Limbaugh, who said that if Mr. Powell continued to criticize the Republican Party, he should stop claiming he's a Republican interested in reforming the GOP and instead become a Democrat. [The Washington Times, 1/15/2013]