This article is from the archive of our partner .

The growing popularity of the Tea Party movement has pushed some conservatives to attempt to purge its extremist elements, most notably its birther fringe. That would mean very little to polemicist Keith Olbermann, who thinks the entire movement is poisoned by racism. MSNBC's fiery host took a toned-down approach in his Special Comment, calmly outlining his Tea Party thesis: Fear ingrained in childhood leads to racism, which leads to Tea Parties.

While liberal bloggers cite Tom Tancredo's racist rant to support Olbermann's claims, conservative pundits like NewsReal's Paul Cooper argue Olbermann is projecting his own prejudice onto the Tea Party.


It’s clear that Keith Olbermann has some real issues.  He is obsessed with race.  He obviously has issues with his own dad’s prejudice and his own desire to label and judge people solely on the color of their skin.  It might shock the man to realize that many Americans have moved beyond that way of thinking.  At least we now know why Olbermann calls everyone he hates racist; he is revealing what lies in his own soul.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.