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WATCH: Angela Rye calls Joe Walsh “a bigot” after he misconstrues her tweet

Liberal political commentator Angela Rye keeps getting misconstrued through no fault of her own.

In a Tuesday appearance on CNN, Rye argued that had former president Barack Obama been accused of being the recipient of help from Russia or some other country, that would be the only thing the news media would talk about.

“If this would have been under the Obama administration, there would be no end to this,” she said.

She continued, adding her view that the former president had to be perfect in everything he did or he would receive criticism for it.

“Barack Obama had to be the next best thing to Jesus; and here we are, just two months in and some change, there is issue after issue. Maybe it’s not Russian collusion, maybe its collusion with the Intel committee chair. But it’s highly problematic.”

Her response was then taken out of context by a number of conservatives who accused the Democratic political consultant of comparing Obama to Jesus, something which in context she clearly did not do.

That inaccurate characterization set off Joe Walsh, a former congressman who is now a talk radio host after serving a single term.

Trying to get into a debate with a regular contributor, Walsh goaded her on Twitter:

She responded several times, correctly accusing him of twisting her words:

Eventually, Walsh seemed to realize his error but instead of apologizing to Rye, he deflected, claiming that Obama was held to a “lower standard” for a president, allegedly because he is part black:

Finally, Walsh apologized:

Seeing potential ratings fireworks, CNN producers decided to invite Walsh onto the air to debate Rye about their Twitter spat. Rye flatly refused, citing the tweets above.

“I’m not talking to bigots, Joe,” Rye said, after host Brooke Baldwin asked her to respond to one of his assertions.

Rye continued, addressing Baldwin directly:

You all decided to give Joe Walsh a platform today. I’m not giving him the time of day. I’m interested in having conversations, Brooke, that will move racial—people of all races forward in this country. I’m interested in having a conversation that will help us to admit the wrongs that were done in this country and how we move forward.

I am not interested in trying to convince and change the mind of a bigot. Someone who will openly troll me and say things that are offensive, that he knows are not true.

Instead of leaving it at that, Baldwin prolonged the segment, asking Rye to expand on her sentiments she had expressed on CNN Tuesday. The Democratic strategist did:

I’m tired of people telling me that black people are beneath a standard when we have to be twice as good all the time. And that is why I said I am not interested in having a dialogue with someone like Joe who has demonstrated a propensity towards bigotry. And he did that on Twitter yesterday in 140 characters or less.

Walsh played the sympathy card, sarcastically saying to Baldwin that he “apologize that you invited a bigot onto your show.”

“I don’t need an apology,” Baldwin said.

Walsh continued, claiming that Obama was not “vetted” like other presidents had been. It’s no surprise he would say such a thing given that he believes that the former president is a secret Muslim. He also believes in the ludicrous “birther” conspiracy theory that Obama was born outside of the United States. In August of 2015, he even argued on Twitter that Obama had not ever “let a voter feel his birth certificate.”

Sure, her dismembering of Walsh’s argumentation was entertaining but let’s not miss Rye’s main point from yesterday:

“I am not interested in trying to convince and change the mind of a bigot. Someone who will openly troll me and say things that are offensive, that he knows are not true.”

Matthew Sheffield

A writer, web developer, and former tv producer, Matthew Sheffield covers politics, media, and technology for Salon. You can email him via m.sheffield@salon.com or follow him on Twitter.

Matthew Sheffield.

Source: Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture > Politics

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