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CNN's Tapper Spotlights Democratic Rep. Thompson's 'Uncle Tom' Blast at Clarence Thomas

On Wednesday, Jake Tapper set aside a full segment on his CNN program to Rep. Bennie Thompson's "Uncle Tom" insult of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Tapper spotlighted the "racially-charged" and controversial" remarks, where the Mississippi Democrat also denigrated Senator Mitch McConnell and opponents of ObamaCare in general as "racists."

The anchor turned to correspondent Dana Bash, who pursued Rep. Thompson about his attack on the prominent official. Bash reported that the liberal politician "doubled down" in particular on his inflammatory labeling of Justice Thomas: [MP3 audio available here; video below]

DANA BASH (from pre-recorded interview): Calling him an 'Uncle Tom,' though, isn't that a racially-charged term?

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON, (D), MISSISSIPPI: For some, it is, but to others, it's the truth.

BASH: Because – you know, looking at that, and hearing that kind of language, that certainly wouldn't be – you know, appropriate if it was coming from somebody who was white.

THOMPSON: But I'm black.

BASH: So, it makes it okay?

THOMPSON: Well, I mean, you asked me the question, and I'm giving you the response.

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Tapper led the Thompson portion of the segment by noting that the Democrat "called into the New Nation of Islam radio program to say that he thinks Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is, a – quote, 'racist.' He said the Republicans are only against ObamaCare because President Obama is an African-American." The CNN journalist continued with a clip of the congressman's "Uncle Tom" jab at Justice Thomas, which took place during a conversation with "Son of Man" – the racist sect's leader.

Before turning to Bash, the anchor pointed out that the Mississippi Democrat "went on to suggest that it's almost as though Justice Thomas 'doesn't even like black people. He doesn't like being black because every decision where color had something to do with it, he went against it' – controversial comments from Congressman Thompson."

Earlier in the day, Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends program also covered the politician's slam of the conservative Supreme Court justice. Anchor Brian Kilmeade highlighted Rep. Thompson's comments on the Donald Sterling controversy, and wondered if the Democrat is "asking for a double standard when it comes to freedom of speech, and saying things that are flat out, in my mind, offensive."

The transcript of the relevant portion of the Jake Tapper/Dana Bash segment on Wednesday's The Lead With Jake Tapper on CNN:

JAKE TAPPER: Another racially-charged story today comes from Congressman Bennie Thompson. He's a Mississippi Democrat – ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee. He called into the New Nation of Islam radio program to say that he thinks Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is, a – quote, 'racist.' He said the Republicans are only against ObamaCare because President Obama is an African-American. And then, he said this about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON, (D), MISSISSIPPI (from New Nation of Islam radio program): And there's 'Uncle Tom' Clarence Thomas

"SON OF MAN," LEADER OF NEW NATION OF ISLAM: Yeah, brother – brother – you said that. I didn't. (laughs)

THOMPSON: Yeah.

[CNN Graphic: "'There's Uncle Tom Clarence Thomas...' Dem. Congressman blasts Supreme Court justice"]

TAPPER: And he went on to suggest that it's almost as though Justice Thomas 'doesn't even like black people. He doesn't like being black because every decision where color had something to do with it, he went against it' – controversial comments from Congressman Thompson.

You caught up with him. What did he have to tell you?

DANA BASH: He doubled down on those comments. I asked specifically about the 'Uncle Tom' comments and what he said about Clarence Thomas. Listen to what he said.

[CNN Graphic: "Lawmaker Calls Justice Thomas 'Uncle Tom': Rep. Thompson stands by racially-charged comments"]

BASH (from pre-recorded interview): Calling him an 'Uncle Tom,' though, isn't that a racially-charged term?

THOMPSON: For some, it is, but to others, it's the truth.

BASH: Because – you know, looking at that, and hearing that kind of language, that certainly wouldn't be – you know, appropriate if it was coming from somebody who was white.

THOMPSON: But I'm black.

BASH: So, it makes it okay?

THOMPSON: Well, I mean, you asked me the question, and I'm giving you the response.

BASH (live): Jake, he went on to say that the people he represents in Mississippi don't like what Clarence Thomas has done and the decisions that he has supported with regard to affirmative action, voter ID, and the Affordable Care Act. So, that – that's the gist of what he is saying. But he, again, did not back down on any of the things that you said with regard to the President – that people who oppose him do it – do so because he's black – and even his racially-charged comments about the Senate minority leader.

TAPPER: Interesting – Dana Bash, thank you so much.

— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.