Posted in: Politics

Did ‘Angry Black Man’ Criticism Contribute To President Obama’s Debate Performance?

Is Obama an "angry black man?"

The latest theory regarding President Barack Obama’s widely-panned performance at the presidential debate last night is that the incumbent’s “timid” showing was caused by fears that he’d look like the stereotypical “angry black man.”

Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson appeared on MSNBC’s Now Thursday, claiming that President Obama played it safe during the first debate so that he wouldn’t come off as an “angry black man.” The 2007 tape released by the Daily Caller and Fox News just days before the debate may have been on Obama’s mind prior to his showdown with Mitt Romney. Though the tape’s release was widely criticized as a weak ploy by right-wing media to discredit the president, Dyson unwittingly gave the not-so-scandalous tape quite a bit of credibility by placing the onus of Obama’s debate missteps on it.

When Savannah Guthrie complimented Romney’s body language and confidence, Dyson interjected:

“He had the least to lose,” he said. “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 further criticized the 2007 tape’s release for tempering President Obama’s performance.

“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.’”

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore also reflected this opinion on his post-debate Twitter feed last night:

The answer? Probably not. I’d be more apt to blame the altitude, as ridiculous as that claim was. I think that President Obama’s supporters have enjoyed such success for so long that they don’t know how to lose. The election is far from over and there are still several debates left. My advice? Lose the battle. Downplay it. Next time, deliver. After all, aren’t the whining and the blame-game reasons many dislike the right so much?

Think about it!

Here’s the video of Michael Eric Dyson on MSNBC’s Now, via Mediaite:

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6 Responses to “Did ‘Angry Black Man’ Criticism Contribute To President Obama’s Debate Performance?”

  1. Rick Cordeau

    It just can't get any funnier watching MSNBC coming up with all kinds of stupid reasons for a bad performance. This time it was the President who had to try and defend a terrible record. It was much easier last time punching holes in George Bush's terrible record.

  2. Mike O'Hearn

    What if he is just way in over his head, and he has to rely solely on the fast that he is a smarmy, condescending, 'know it nothing'.

  3. Tnc Del

    More excuses. Let Obama make his own excuses, blaming Bush, etc. as he's been doing, since he's so good at it. See, "Michael Moore says, ‘John Kerry Is To Blame For Obama’s Debate Fail.’ Al Gore blames "thin air" in Colorado. Should they let Obama make excuses for his poor performance like he's been doing, or has it gotten too bad to do it alone?," here:

  4. Wolff Bachner

    maybe now people will realize why obama has sealed all his school records. Now maybe people will take the time to find out that obama was rated as a poor teacher by his fellow teachers and most of the students who took his classes filled out reports telling people not to take obamas classes. Maybe now people will realize that without a teleprompter or an adoring audience obama is just an empty suit full of tired old 60's radical cliches he learned from avowed communist Frank Marshall and terrorist Bill Ayers. Obama is a fraud. ROMNEY 2012.

  5. Heather Landin

    Wondering what planet I live on. I saw an intelligent civil Obama supporting his positions with facts while an angry white man with teary red eyes kept loudly contradicting himself and trying to sound like he agreed with Obama's positions when we all know he's been saying the opposite for months. If I were a republican I would be so confused by Romney at this point, I'd skip voting. On the other hand, it appears from all the comments I read that republicans are only interested in how loudly their candidate can shout down the opposition.

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