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Tim Russert: Obama Responsible For Harry Belafonte, Too

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I think most people this side of Brit Hume winced uncomfortably when Tim Russert tried to make Barack Obama responsible for everything Louis Farrakhan had ever said in last week's debate.

I'd forgotten (until Jamison Foser reminded me) that this was standard operating procedure for Russert. I wrote this in 2006:

What the hell is Tim Russert asking Barack Obama to express his opinion about Harry Belafonte for? Harry Belafonte said George Bush was the "greatest terrorist in the world" this week, but it was virtually identical to a comment he made two weeks ago in Chile. Russert has had two weeks to ask anybody on his show about it; why does he save this particular question for Obama? What sort of special expertise does Obama have about Harry Belafonte, a private citizen with no connection to the Democratic party, that none of Russert's other guests would have?

It's interesting to note that the only other time Russert questioned anyone about Harry Belafonte before, according to what Glenn Greenwald (via email) could find was when he asked Colin Powell.

On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume said Russert's questions to Obama regarding Farrakhan had nothing to do with race. If he's just concerned about the endorsement of religious figures that might be of concern to Jewish people, then why is he not pressing John McCain, who is "proud" to get the endorsement of John "God so loved the Jews he gave them the Nazis to drive them back to Israel" Hagee?

Jane Hamsher blogs at firedoglake.com.