News media figures from the left and right clashed this week when Megyn Kelly took MSNBC’s Jen Psaki to task, saying that the former Biden press secretary’s Sunday program is “failing” because of “drivel” like she saw on this week’s episode.
The segment in question? Psaki had a standalone report Sunday on “the reemergence of a very old GOP playbook” of pitting different groups of Americans against each another for the party’s political gain. The latest example, Psaki said, was what she saw as the right’s pitting of Muslim Americans against trans people.
“It gets covered by MSNBC as ‘the white man is evil and manipulative,’” Kelly said in response on Monday.
In her “Inside” report, Psaki broke down over a five-minute segment the GOP’s history, dating back to President Richard Nixon, of “pitting one group of Americans against another,” which under Nixon’s southern strategy saw him play to white southerners’ “fears of African Americans and the Civil Rights movement” to pull them away from the Democratic Party. She then fast-forwarded to today, which even after years of the right’s portrayal of Muslim Americans as “public enemy No. 1,” sees the party now courting them as a religious group that will support the party’s current fear mongering around trans people. She pulled up clips of Fox News’ Laura Ingraham in 2015 and today that show her flip-flopping stance on Muslims as an example.
“The right-wingers, the conspiracy theorists, the birthers, they now want us to forget the years they spent fear mongering about Muslims and Islam. Ten years ago, standing against Sharia law was the key GOP litmus test. Now that litmus test seems to be how fervently you oppose transgender people,” Psaki said, later adding, “Let’s be clear: This is the same old GOP playbook, another cynical ploy to tear at the fabric of our society and damage the idea that out of many, we are one, all because they want so desperately to regain the White House.”
Watch the full “Inside With Jen Psaki” segment below.
Kelly, meanwhile, wasn’t having it in her Monday installment of “The Megyn Kelly Show,” saying that to say that Muslim Americans have only just recently become anti-LGBTQ is inaccurate — “You could go back a long ways to find out why Muslims object to the LGBTQ agenda, the way it’s currently being taught in particular,” she said. She added that the report is “another diminishment of Muslims in America as, ‘You’re just too stupid to realize you are being manipulated. You can’t have a genuinely held belief.’
“Whitey is at it again!” Kelly said. “It’s the whites trying to pit the loving Muslims who have always been pro-LGBTQ against the poor trans people.”
Both reports stem in part from the recent protests seen in Maryland from hundreds of parents, predominantly those of Muslim and Ethiopian Orthodox faiths, over the state’s largest school district not allowing their children to opt out of English courses that teach lessons with LGBTQ themes.
“Why are they mad? What actually drags a parent out on a weekend to protest? It has to be a lot. Parents are busy. They’ve got jobs, they’ve got kids, they don’t really have a lot of time to protest, but they did it on Tuesday outside the Board of Education meeting because Maryland’s largest school district will not allow them to opt out their children from books and lessons that have certain LGBTQ lessons that they find objectionable,” Kelly explained. “Maryland state law doesn’t allow the opt out provision unless it’s a specific unit on sex ed, and this isn’t technically sex ed. They’ve folded it in under an English language arts curriculum. And these parents think it’s inappropriately sexual and has messages with which they do not agree when it comes to trans people. And so they’re going out there saying, ‘You can teach what you want,’ they’re not saying you have to shut down the lesson plan, but, ‘They’re our kids, and we should be permitted to be able to opt them out.’ And the school says, ‘No, you can’t.’
“This doesn’t get covered on its substance — a debate about whether the parents are right or wrong, or what’s in the text,” Kelly concluded. “It gets covered by MSNBC as ‘the white man is evil and manipulative.’”
Watch the full segment from “The Megyn Kelly Show” in the video below.