Lawrence O'Donnell denounced Rush Limbaugh for the radio host's attack on one of O'Donnell's guests.
The back-and-forth between the two emanated from O'Donnell's Monday show. The MSNBC anchor hosted writer and commentator Touré to talk about Herman Cain. Touré made some provocative statements, saying that Cain was a "lightweight" who was engaging in "minstrelsy" with the GOP by "[reasserting] this myth of black docility" within the party. He also discussed the recent attempts by people like Limbaugh and Ann Coulter to cast Cain's recent sexual harassment scandal as the racially motivated targeted of a conservative black man, saying that such statements were an effort by the right to muddy the waters surrounding racial discourse.
Limbaugh fired back on his Tuesday radio show, saying that Touré was simply lashing out at the idea that conservatives could have a credible analysis of racism.
"What he was trying to say is, 'they are stealing our technique,'" Limbaugh said. "...We are the ones who get to decide who is racist and who isn't...we own that ploy!"
On his own Tuesday show, O'Donnell seized on the word "ploy," using it to charge Limbaugh with a calculated effort to wield the charge of racism. He also highlighted Limbaugh complaining about having been called a racist for 23 years. To O'Donnell, there was a very good reason that such criticisms have dogged Limbaugh.
"In a country with a long painful and ugly history...you would think that Rush Limbaugh could comprehend why some of the things he has said over the years might offend the racial sensibilities of some reasonable people," he said. "Rush Limbaugh can remember black children being killed in churches by the Ku Klux Klan during his lifetime."
He then played a series of racially charged clips from the past few years of Limbaugh's radio show. There were many to choose from (Limbaugh certainly has made many controversial statements in his time).
O'Donnell concluded by saying that Limbaugh has earned his considerable living off of telling lies and trafficking in "pure hatred." Limbaugh often revels in such feuds. It remains to see whether he will have a response to O'Donnell.