Conservative MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on Thursday paused for seven seconds of silence to shame the National Rifle Association (NRA) after he decided that the lobbying group’s new advertisement had unfairly darkened a photo of President Barack Obama the same way that Time magazine “shaded” O.J. Simpson’s mug shot in 1994.
In a new 30-second ad attacking West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) for supporting expanded background checks, the NRA shows the senator with two photoshopped images of Obama, who is black, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is Jewish.
“But now, Manchin is working with President Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg,” the ad says. “Concerned? You should be.”
On Thursday, a Morning Joe panel found themselves shocked that the NRA would attack a senator who had an A+ rating from their organization.
“Is Barack Obama — I don’t know — he’s shaded awfully, awfully — I think the shading is rather dramatic,” Scarborough noted. “I don’t know, is that just me? Do you remember when O.J. — when Time magazine shaded O.J. in that mug shot?”
“Let’s just look at this and let it breath for a few seconds. This picture and the photoshopping brought to you by the National Rifle Association of Wayne LaPierre.”
Then-managing editor of Time magazine, James R. Gaines, promised to “be a little more careful” after publishing the darkened photo of Simpson in 1994, but he insisted that “no racial implication was intended.”
“It seems to me you could argue that it’s racist to say that blacker is more sinister, but be that as it may: To the extent that this caused offense to anyone, I obviously regret it,” Gaines said in a statement at the time.
Watch this video from MSBNC’s Morning Joe, broadcast June 13, 2013.
[Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons]