George Will on 'Liberal McCarthyism': 'When In Doubt, Blame Racism'
Leave it to George Will to perfectly explain in just two words all the recent accusations by Democrats and their media minions that anti-government sentiment sweeping the nation is caused by racism.
Fortunately for those not understanding the reference, Will explained further when the Roundtable discussion on Sunday's "This Week" turned to all the recent pronouncements of racism directed at anyone having the nerve to challenge President Obama's agenda (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
What we’re hearing is the liberals’ McCarthyism, which is, when in doubt, blame people for racism. Litigators have an old argument: When the law’s on your side, argue the law. When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When neither’s on your side, pound the table. This amounts to pounding the table.
I have yet to see evidence, is there -- does evidence even intrude in this conversation? Is there any evidence that these people are racists? I think not.
Unfortunately, those pounding the table include so-called journalists who should be exposing the lack of evidence rather than participating in the charade.
Such happened moments after Will made this statement when guests Donna Brazile and Robert Reich predictably disagreed with him:
BRAZILE: Well, George, there’s some evidence that -- not an overwhelming amount of evidence -- that some of -- a small fringe of this movement, clearly there’s some racism. And you don’t have to know the motives of someone’s heart to understand when you see signs, incendiary signs that basically compares him to a witch doctor, an African heathen. We know racism; we don’t have to be told or taught that. That -- that much we do know. [...]
REICH: Yes. The difference, though, I think -- and, by the way, I think Donna is absolutely right. There is some element of racism here. You can’t avoid it. The question is whether it’s the dominant element. I don’t think it is the dominant element. I think Peggy [Noonan] put her finger on it just now, and that is, when 1 out of 6 Americans is underemployed -- either unemployed or underemployed -- and when you have about 1 out of 3 Americans worried that they could be, there is an element of anxiety and fear in the population right now that demagogues either on the right or left will almost inevitably use to position themselves. The politics of resentment is something we’ve seen before in this country. Right now, you have right-wing talk radio people who are whipping it up, not just against the president, but against foreigners, against immigrants, against blacks, against elites. This is what happens in this country when people are scared.
Now, a real journalist, after what Will postulated, would have asked Brazile and Reich to offer evidence to support their positions. Host George Stephanopoulos didn't and instead changed the subject:
But -- that’s true, and it’s -- but it’s right and left. You know, Ed, I was struck this week -- I spent an evening flipping between Fox News and MSNBC. And it’s like you were living in parallel universes. They are basically taking completely different takes on a similar issue to just attack each other and not -- and not really look at -- look at the problem.
Given what Will stated at the beginning of this segment, why didn't Stephanopoulos ask Brazile and Reich to offer evidence that any of the current anti-government sentiment in the country is caused by racism?
Or would that be too much like journalism for ABC News's chief Washington correspondent?