Shuster-fied Tolerance

Hear all that shattering glass? That's David Shuster's house. The MSNBC host threw his latest rock when he snidely thanked Samuel Wurzelbacher, Joe the Plumber for a “lesson in tolerance” during the 11:00 hour of MSNBC's live news coverage on May 5.

Shuster reported:

And now a lesson in tolerance from Joe the Plumber. In an interview with Christian [sic] Today, he says we're supposed to love everybody and accept people, even has some friend who are gay. But he says he doesn't let his gay friends, quote, anywhere near his children. Oh, and according to Joe, queer is not a slur. It just means strange and unusual. Thank you, Joe the Christian.

Christianity Today asked Wurzelbacher about his views on same-sex marriage at a state level and he responded:

At a state level, it's up to them. I don't want it to be a federal thing. I personally still think it's wrong. People don't understand the dictionary – it's called queer. Queer means strange and unusual. It's not like a slur, like you would call a white person a honky or something like that. You know, God is pretty explicit in what we're supposed to do – what man and woman are for. Now at the same time, we're supposed to love everybody and accept people, and preach against the sins. I've had some friends that are actually homosexual. And I mean, they know where I stand, and they know I wouldn't have them anywhere near my children. But at the same time, they're people, and they're going to do their thing.

Shuster, as we all know, is incredibly tolerant of people who hold beliefs he apparently does not. Look how he treated Miss California Carrie Prejean following the media frenzy sparked by her spoken belief in marriage as between one man and one woman during the Miss USA pageant. As CMI noted, Shuster sent a Twitter message (a Tweet) to celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton stating, “Your view of Miss CA's intellect (and lack thereof) is spot on.”

Hilton stated in a now infamous video blog post, “Miss California lost because she's a dumb b----.” The next day Hilton told Shuster's colleague Norah O'Donnell, “I called her the b-word and hey, I was thinking the c-word and I didn't say it.”

O'Donnell failed to express any outrage over Hilton misogynic characterizations of Prejean.

Just last week Shuster invited Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization of Marriage, to apparently discuss same-sex marriage. Rather than act like a professional, Shuster reverted to shouting at Brown and asked if his opposition to same-sex marriage stems from a fear that he's actually “attracted to the gay couple down the street and that will somehow effect your marriage?”

Naturally Shuster picked the most inflammatory comments from Wurzelbacher's response to ridicule. He didn't bother mentioning that Wurzelbacher said same-sex marriage should be left to the states.

Does Shuster really want others to follow his example of “tolerance?”

Colleen Raezler is a research assistant at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.