MSNBC host can barely ‘hold it together’ during interview with expelled Dem, invokes MLK

As the mainstream media reflects on the expulsion of two Democratic state representatives in Tennessee, they are once again diving into the histrionic end of the hyperbolic kiddie pool.

On MSNBC’s “The Saturday Show with Jonathan Capehart,” the emotional host interviewed State Rep. Justin Jones, who was expelled along with Rep. Justin Pearson for their roles in a rowdy gun control protest that brought the House’s session to a standstill.

(Video: MSNBC)

Capehart and Jones were joined by Democratic California Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and the host was so moved by his own over-the-top reference to Martin Luther King, he nearly burst into tears.

But first, Lee fawned over Jones.

“I just want to say to you, we are with you,” she gushed. “The world is watching. Just thank you for continuing this fight and we stand by you and whatever we need to do to be there with you, we’re there with you.”

It was almost too much for a verklempt Capehart.

“Congresswoman Lee, I am sitting here trying to hold it together,” he said. “Because on the screen right now, Representative Jones talked about a generational shift. That’s happening in Tennessee right now. And what I’m seeing on this screen is literally a generational shift for folks who have watched this program. And certainly for those who don’t know.”

“Congresswoman Lee got into politics to work on Shirley Chisholm’s presidential campaign,” he continued. “I don’t know if you were as young as Representative Jones is now, but the things you were you were fighting for back then are things basically that Representative Jones is fighting for today.”

“Congresswoman Lee,” he implored, clapping his hands together for emphasis, “fifty-five years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, can you please talk to us about what it means that right now in this country, the fights that you were fighting are still being fought by the young man on the other side of this screen?”

Lee, it turns out, was in tight with the radical Black Panthers back in the day, so she had a lot to say:

Well, Jonathan, I also, and I think you know this, I was a community worker with the Black Panther Party, feeding hungry children, protesting because people didn’t have enough to eat here in California and then Oakland specifically. And so I was reminded, and Justin reminds me of Dr. King and what he said in terms of the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards just as we’ve made a lot of progress in this country. But we haven’t addressed the basic issue of white supremacy and institutional racism. And, Jonathan, I remember the picture. I think we may have first met him in Selma, Alabama. He was there with Reverend Barber fighting, you know, for making sure we lift people out of poverty, fighting for democracy.

And so we have to continue this fight. It’s not, it’s multi-generational. I mean, we had, what, 250 years of enslaved Africans here in this country. And so the DNA in this country is DNA is white supremacy and racism. And so this is a marathon. It’s not a sprint.

And Jonathan, I just want to say Justin, Jonathan, is continuing with this fight. These young people are leading. These young people are showing up and say, we ain’t waiting anymore, no more waiting. We’re going to claim our right in this country, our rights in this country. And we’re not going to sit down and let these people develop an anti-democratic strategy to turn this country into an autocracy where only one point of view is heard or seen.


In the minute that was left, Capehart asked Jones to deliver a message about his fight not just to Tennessee, but to the whole entire country.

It wasn’t quite the “I have a dream” moment that such a staggering build-up demands, but Jones did his best.

“I just want to say to one of my dear inspirations, Congresswoman Lee, you know, who has stood up against the violence of militarism,” he said. “And that’s what we’re calling for. We’re calling for peace and justice here in the South and in Tennessee, calling for peace and justice for our children.”

Over on Twitter, folks weren’t quite as moved by the love-fest as the self-aggrandizing trio was.

“Oh, give me a break,” one user wrote. “You got folks out here that are struggling. We don’t care about this s***.”


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