On The Ed Show: Jesse Jackson Compares Scott Walker to Racist Governor George Wallace

On the eve of the Wisconsin recall election Ed Schultz invited on the Reverend Jesse Jackson to compare Republican Governor Scott Walker to the segregationist George Wallace and call him “a threat to democracy.” Schultz, on Monday’s edition of The Ed Show, prompted Jackson to explain the comparison, to which the founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition responded that the former Alabama governor “tried to block the vote and lost and Walker is trying to stop the vote and will lose.”

Jackson joined Schultz as part of a typically slanted line-up of liberal guests. Out of a total of seven panelists only one, Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman, was a Republican. Last night’s disparity was a microcosm of 15 months of Ed Show guest bias. A recent MRC study showed that from February 14, 2011 through May 18, 2012 anti-Scott Walker guests outnumbered pro-Walker guests on The Ed Show by 237 to 1.



The following exchange between Jackson and Schultz was aired on the June 4, 2012 edition of MSNBC’s The Ed Show:

ED SCHULTZ: Last night I had chance to see firsthand the enthusiasm for this recall election. Reverend Jesse Jackson rallied hundreds of voters in northwest Milwaukee. He called this election one of the biggest moments in the history of our democracy. He compared it to Emmett Till’s lynching and Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat. The Reverend also compared Governor Walker to Alabama’s governor George Wallace.


REV. JESSE JACKSON: So now you have a governor -- Wallace did it in Alabama – and now Walker in Wisconsin. Trying to take back access to voting. [inaudible] Protect the basic right to vote!



SCHULTZ: Why did you compare Wisconsin’s governor walker to Alabama’s segregationist George Wallace?

JACKSON: Well, one has tried to block the vote and lost and Walker is trying to stop the vote and will lose.


JACKSON: The genius of the Wisconsin, here you have onsite/same day registration. You literally register and vote on the same day. And by using voter ID he attempted, in fact, to suppress that vote. To make it more difficult for seniors to vote, for minorities to vote, and he’s losing those battles. So, anyone that seeks to block that vote must be seen as anti-democracy.

SCHULTZ: Why do you see this as the civil rights issue of our time? I mean, you know, we’ve, we’ve had the gay marriage issue, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. There, there have been a lot of social things that have taken place in the Obama years. But, you have really singled this out as a, as a major civil rights issue. Why is that?

JACKSON: Dr. [Martin Luther] King’s last act on Earth was fighting for workers’ rights to collectively bargain. So, if he’s using his power to take workers from the tables - it’s one thing to purge voters, now to purge workers from the table? The right to collectively bargain is an American right. It’s morally right. And so, if he’s able to set the tone in this, in this campaign, to set the tone to undermine collective bargaining for workers, of public workers, police, teachers, firemen, that’s a real threat to democracy.


Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Geoffrey Dickens on Twitter.