MSNBC Host Ali Velshi: Conservatives Hate Women, Want a Real Life Handmaid’s Tale

National   |   Brad Wilmouth   |   Sep 6, 2022   |   1:37PM   |   Washington, DC

On his eponymous Sunday morning show, MSNBC host Ali Velshi devoted a segment to smearing conservatives as trying to enact a draconian society based on The Handmaid’s Tale as he showed portions of a previously recorded interview with the novel’s author, Margaret Atwood.

Velshi set up the segment by declaring that the overturn of Roe v. Wade has “opened up a horrific new chapter in American history,” proclaiming that red states have enacted a succession of abortion laws, with each one being “more cruel than the last.” The MSNBC host noted that he had first shown part of his interview to viewers last May, but is now showing more of his discussion with the liberal author.

As part of the interview, the MSNBC host was seen noting that Atwood wrote the novel in 1985, and he then declared: “In 2022, totalitarianism and authoritarianism are in better shape than they were when you wrote it.” He then fearmongered about conservative Christians as he posed: “Do you still think, if it were the United States and we were to get that kind of authoritarian rule, that it would be based in religion?

This is a very interesting line of questioning coming from Velshi, who worked for the Islamic dictator of Qatar for a couple of years in the Obama era at Al-Jazeera America. The Emir of Qatar has three wives and 13 children.

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After Atwood recalled the difference between beliefs and opinions based on facts, Velshi followed up by asking her whether she is more or less optimistic now than she was in 1985:

May I ask you about what you were thinking in 1985. It’s a dystopian novel — it’s about a future that could be bad — in that particular case, bad for women but really bad for everyone, bad for democracy, bad for society. There were some winners in it, but it was grim generally. Do you feel better or worse about the future in 2022 than you did in 1985?

Atwood fearmongered about the future:

Oh, it’s going a lot worse. It’s because something that was a nascent movement in the 1980s has become pretty full-fledged, and people have seen raising religious slogans as a pathway to political power, and they have taken that pathway, and many of them have conceded. But it is a sham version of Christianity, in my opinion.

Back on May 1, when he showed the first part of the interview, Velshi had recalled that the election of President Donald Trump raised fears that The Handmaid’s Tale had predicted the future:

Weeks after President Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, The Handmaid’s Tale saw a resurgence, hitting the New York Times bestseller list after nearly three decades in print. The fictional world that Margaret Atwood created felt suffocatingly close to the new realty in that moment. The writing was on the wall and on the pages of Atwood’s bestseller what felt like a possible future.

Velshi read from the novel about doctors being punished with the death penalty for crimes that they had committed retroactively and suggested that Republicans were behaving similarly: “The part that struck me there is, ‘Their crimes are retroactive.’ That’s reminiscent of some of the abortion legislation that we’re actually seeing here in the United States.”

Sunday’s episode of Velshi was sponsored in part by Subway.¬†Their contact information is linked. Note: Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst for the Media Research Center and a graduate of the University of Virginia. This column originally appeared on the NewsBusters web site and is reprinted with permission.