Michael Eric Dyson: Obama Played It Safe Because Fox Called Him ‘Angry Black Man’ Night Before
by Noah Rothman | 12:37 pm, October 4th, 2012
Appearing on MSNBC’s NOW on Tuesday, Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson claimed that, in his opinion, President Barack Obama was overly deferential to Mitt Romney during the debate because he was concerned he may come off as an “angry black man.” Dyson said that a tape released by The Daily Caller and broadcast on Fox News Channel on Tuesday night may have been on Obama’s mind during Wednesday night’s debate.
NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie complimented Romney’s style over Obama’s. She said that, judging by body language alone, Romney appeared comfortable and confident. Dyson interrupted Guthrie, saying that Romney’s performance only told half the story.
“He had the least to lose,” Dyson interjected. “Mitt Romney came into the game, so to speak, not expected to do well – back against the wall – and, therefore, he’s free to throw darts and see what lands.”
Dyson then pivoted to what he believed could be in Obama’s head during last night’s debate, which was The Daily Caller tape of him from 2007 attacking the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and suggesting there were unresolved racial issues behind that insufficient response.
“Obama has just been subject to the Fox News treatment of ‘angry black man’ again,” said Dyson. “Let’s not forget this. Lest we pretend that that doesn’t make a difference to the specter hanging over his neck that ‘I can’t come off as too vigorous, because then it looks like I’m being an angry black man.’”
Dyson said that, because of the “angry black man phenomenon,” Romney was able to exploit Obama’s deference and “play to his strengths.”
Following last night’s debate, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore made a similar accusation, saying that Fox attacking Obama for being an “angry black man” may have made Obama appear timid:
Watch the segment below via MSNBC: