Rep. Alan Grayson (D., Fla.) fiercely defended his use of imagery comparing the KKK to the Tea Party in a fundraising email Friday afternoon on Martin Bashir.
The liberal MSNBC host was surprisingly suspect of Grayson and his decision to use the incendiary image, noting the Tea Party has never perpetrated any crime remotely similar to the KKK. Even Democrats like Rep. John Yarmuth (D., Ky.), Bashir noted, have condemned the wildly demagogic image.
The Florida congressman, citing anti-Semitic emails he receives from constituents, said he remains thoroughly convinced the Tea Party is a racist movement and thus the comparison is appropriate. Growing increasingly defensive, Grayson suggested Bashir was "collaborating" with the Tea Party simply for challenging him at all:
MARTIN BASHIR: […] The point I'm simply making to you is that is it appropriate to use such heinous crimes and to analogize them when describing the Tea Party when you and I know, members of the Tea Party have not perpetrated murders or lynchings?
ALAN GRAYSON: And the point I'm making to you, Martin, is that if you don't speak out against it, then in effect, you're collaborating with it. And, in fact, if you give someone like me a hard time for speaking out against it, then maybe you're collaborating with it.
BASHIR: I — am not collaborating with it, but Representative Alan Grayson we have run out of time.