Appearing on Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, Reverend Jesse Jackson continued to promote the idea that Harvard Professor Henry Gates was a victim of racial profiling, despite new evidence to the contrary: "This issue of Dr. Gates being a victim of excessive force and bad judgment is a much bigger subject...This one case could open up the issue of the pervasiveness of race profiling."
Co-host Harry Smith had asked Jackson about a scheduled meeting between Gates, Cambridge police officer Sergeant James Crowley, and President Obama: "Do you think there's any chance these three men can embark after this meeting is over having found common ground?" Jackson argued: "Well, they have the supreme arbiter in the President of the United States of America. It's a big subject for a small meeting." He went on to compare the Gates case to that of Rosa Parks: " If Rosa Parks and James Blake, the bus driver, had met at the White House and did not deal with the issue of denial of public accommodations, it would have been personal and not policy."
Immediately preceding the discussion with Jackson, correspondent Bianca Solorzano reported on the newly released 911 call by Gates’ neighbor Lucia Whelan, and pointed out that Whelan: "...describes the scene, but what she doesn't mention is the men's skin color." Solorzano went on to cite Whelan’s attorney, Wendy Murphy: "Now she's glad to have an opportunity to clear the air and make it very clear she is not a racist."
A recent New York Post story brought up a point about the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. that few in the Old Media have paid much attention to. Apparently, Gates has since the arrest announced he is in the early stages of involvement in a PBS TV series on civil rights in America. It is odd that this single fact has not been a focus of much discussion.
After all, if Gates is about to start a TV show about civil rights, what better way to punch up that participation than to "suddenly" get mixed up in a national civil rights "abuse" case? What better way to highlight America's civil rights problem than to become a nationally known victim of so-called racism?
Why is no one asking how long Gates has been in the planning stages of this TV show? Was he planning it since before the arrest? It all leads one to wonder if Gates saw an opportunity to gin up interest in his TV appearance by becoming a victim? Instead of experiencing any actual racial tension, did Gates invent his own ready-made, sensational incident to turn his scholarly civil rights discussion into the quintessential TV reality show extravaganza? Was all this just a TV stunt in Gates' mind? Was it mere opportunism?
The networks might just as well have hung out a sign this morning: non-African-American experts on policing and racial profiling need not apply. Good Morning America, the Early Show and Today had a total of six guests on the subject . . . and every one was African-American.
Among the highlights: a writer from Tina Brown's Daily Beast suggested that given our incarceration rate, the USA meets the definition of a "police state."
Watching Associated Press reports evolve, or as is all too often the case, devolve, can be a revealing exercise.
Example: What happened between 8 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday that would have caused the Associated Press and writer Nancy Benac to water down the headline and opening paragraphs of their story about the Obama-Gates-Crowley situation from this ....
CNN daytime anchor Tony Harris has a bit of a different perspective on the Henry Louis Gates arrest.
Around 12:31 PM, after the Massachusetts Municipal Police Coalition held a press conference defending Sgt. Crowley’s conduct in the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Harris spoke to the CNN reporter on the scene, Don Lemon. Having been informed that one of the reasons the union decided to hold the press conference was a sinking morale among officers after President Obama’s remarks on the matter, Harris said:
NPR’s Juan Williams criticized President Obama’s “the police acted stupidly” response to the arrest of Henry Louis Gates during a segment on Friday’s Good Morning America: “The president has gone way, way too far without having looked at the police report, without knowing the facts of the case.” He later recommended that the president “walk it back and say, you know what- I spoke out of turn here.”
Anchor Chris Cuomo sought Williams’s take on the Democrat’s now infamous remarks on the detainment of the Harvard professor just after the beginning of the 7 am hour. He first brought up a standard mainstream media race question: “Do you think the police would have acted the same way, if Gates had been a white man?” The NPR analyst replied that he wasn’t sure, and gave an anecdote of his experience growing up in Brooklyn: “I don’t know the Cambridge police intimately....I grew up in Brooklyn during the ‘60s, and had...sort of a tense relationship with police- especially white police- as a young, black kid.”
Williams continued by giving his first critical analysis of the president’s answer: “My concern about the president speaking out here is, I’m not sure he saw the police report, where you can read that Gates was- had become rather aggressive with the cop...The cop was responding to a report of a break-in at the house, and by Gates’ own account, he tried to force his way into his own house, and that house had been broken into previously.”
Gates was arrested outside his home in Cambridge, Mass. for disorderly conduct on July 16 after Sergeant James Crowley arrived to investigate a report of a possible break in by two men. Gates had just gotten home from abroad to find himself locked out of his house, and asked the taxi driver to help him break down his front door.
Times reporters Susan Saulny and Robbie Brown aren't very interested in the factual details of the Gates arrest, or excerpts from the police report that painted Gates in an unflattering light, alleging Gates shouting accusations of racial bias and generally throwing his weight around. Saulny and Brown's story opens misleadingly, not with details of Gates's arrest, but with less ambivalent stories of racial stereotyping, leading readers to believe that the Gates imbroglio ran along similar lines:
"I wasn't at the press conference last night, and I also don't have all the facts, but I think it's fair to say that Obama handled that question -- oh, what's the word I'm looking for -- stupidly?"
So quite surpisingly said Comedy Central's Jon Stewart on Thursday's "Daily Show" in reference to the President's statement at Wednesday's press conference that the police officers involved in Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates's arrest "acted stupidly."
I kid you not.
In a fabulous display of bipartisan comedy -- Stewart deliciously lambasted Republicans, Democrats, Fox News, CNN, Brian Williams, healthcare reform, and, yes, the President -- Stewart ended the segment criticizing Obama's answer to Lynn Sweet's question about what the Gates incident says about race relations in America (video embedded below the fold, relevant section at 6:12, vulgarity warning, h/t NBer balboa):
Now that President Obama has weighed in on the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, it seems a metaphysical certitude news media will milk this story for all it's worth.
On Thursday, the CBS "Evening News" did exactly that by first opening its program with the President's statement made during Wednesday's press conference, and then following it with a segment on how this incident "spotlights a history of mistrust between police and minority communities."
As you watch the following video, ask yourself whether the content of this segment will improve race relations in America, or worsen them (video embedded below the fold with full transcript):
Here's something you don't see every day: a prominent anchor from CNN offering the same opinion as a prominent anchor from Fox News.
Such seems even less likely when the subject involves President Obama, but that's exactly what happened on Thursday's Steve Malzberg Show on WOR radio.
The conservative host spoke separately to FNC's Bret Baier and CNN's John King about the following remarks Obama made during Wednesday's press conference:
I should say at the outset that Skip Gates is a friend, so I may be a little biased here. I don`t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that, but I think it`s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry. Number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. And number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident, is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That`s just a fact.
In the L.A. Times on July 22, writer Catherine Lyons again revealed a bit of her Bush Derangement Syndrome by calling the war on terror a “so-called war on terror.” What is with these people that simply cannot accept terms of reality? It’s like this every time they use the word terrorism, or “terrorism” as the Old Media so often terms it, and the war on terror. The Old Media simply refuses to understand that terrorism exists, that it is a problem, and that we are at war with terrorists.
This usage of the “so-called” remark was doubly amusing because Lyons threw in her “so-called war on terror” comment into a story about U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s visit to a closed meeting of Muslims held in Los Angeles on July 18. Her scoffing at the war on terror seemed geared to let Muslim readers in on the fact that she didn’t believe there was terrorism or that Bush was really fighting a war on terror… wink, wink.
On Monday’s The O’Reilly Factor, FNC’s Bill O’Reilly gave attention to the recent dustup between Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer and National Black Chamber of Commerce CEO Harry Alford, as O’Reilly hosted Alford to discuss Boxer’s recent attempt to use other black organizations to discredit Alford’s opposition to Cap and Trade during a Senate hearing. While Boxer declined to appear on the show, O’Reilly defended her in his discussion with Alford, arguing that her attacks on black political figures like Justice Clarence Thomas are rooted more in her opposition to their conservative views than by race, while Alford renewed his criticisms of Boxer. Alford:
It was pure race. It was like down there in Mississippi back in the bad old days when one black preacher would rise up against the big boss. He'd go find another black preacher to fight against that black preacher. You know, it was ugly. And she jumped, she opened up a mud pit that I wasn't going to jump into.
Little has been made about yesterday's "The Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam" conference that was held at the Hilton Hotel Grand Ballroom in Oak Lawn, IL. The conference was held by the group Hizb Ut Tahrir; a group that has been banned in Germany, Russia, Pakistan and several other Middle Eastern countries. Yet most mainstream media organizations in the United States didn't even bother to mention the event.
The estimated 800 attending the conference discussed issues related to the global capitalist economic system and Islamic alternatives to that system, said spokesman Mohammad Malkawi. Opinions about Hizb ut-Tahrir varied widely. Outside the hotel, protesters said the organization is simply another terrorist group. - Chicago Sun Times, Muslim group's economic session draws opponents
You have to dig pretty deep into the book of varied reality to classify this event as an economic session. The video accompanying this article is a direct promotional video for the event. If the video alone doesn't convince you of the group's aim then perhaps the reasons other countries have banned the group will.
On Thursday, NewsBusters asked if the media would notice Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Cal.) being called out by the CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce for her racist and condescending treatment of him during a Senate hearing.
Such seemed a particularly important question as this disgraceful event occurred on the 100th anniversary of the NAACP.
Yet, according to LexisNexis, not one major media outlet other than FNC thought it was at all newsworthy that Harry Alford called Boxer "God-awful" for pitting the opinions of other black organizations against his.
You think this would have been boycotted, especially on the 100th anniversary of the NAACP, if Boxer had an "R" next to her name instead of a "D"?
For those interested in hearing more from Alford, he was interviewed by LA radio host and Sarah Palin documentarian John Ziegler Friday, and made some comments about Boxer I guarantee media will also ignore (video embedded below the fold, h/t Hot Air):
The New York State Senate, it appears, has reached an all-time low.
One might possibly overlook the legislative wrangling, the blatant power-playing, the use of thuggery to enforce a particular party’s control over the Senate. One might also overlook the unbelievable childish behavior of the Senate, in which even New York Governor Patterson, owner of the lowest approval rating of any governor in the United States, looks positively Lincolnian. And one might even ignore the dearth of media coverage – after all, one can be thankful that the national media is not as fixated on this as they are on the burial arrangements of Michael Jackson.
But there is a new development that should not be ignored – something so heinous, the media would prove themselves worthless, if they do.
Put plainly, the New York Senate Democrats’ behavior, over the course of five months of Senate control, appears to be blatantly racist.
Feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of media attention the networks have given to Michael Jackson? You're not alone, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll, and that fact puzzles MSNBC contributor Touré.
"And of course, the Jackson coverage raises a question," Snyderman said. "Has the media been spending too much time covering the Michael Jackson story? Certainly, it's something you can't get away from right now. A new poll by the Pew Research Center shows that 64 percent of people surveyed think that the coverage of the Jackson story is excessive. Three percent think, too little, 29 percent just about right."
"When they're runnin' down my country [music], man, they're walkin' on the fightin' side of me."
Merle Haggard's most famous lyric could well be adapted to express the reaction country music fans may have upon reading Joe Heim's latest review in the June 30 Washington Post.
Heim's lead paragraph begins with a drive-by attack on the genre as a whole:
Country music has always had something of an image problem, particularly among people who fancy themselves as progressives. Immigrant-trashing, gay-bashing, race-baiting, women-hating songs aren't hard to find in the country catalogue. Heck, sometimes you can find them all on a single album.
Heim set forward this straw man in order to more effusively praise country artist Brad Paisley as a "forward-thinking" artist in the vein of say the Bush-bashing "Dixie Chicks" for his latest album, "American Saturday Night" which "celebrates cultural diversity, lionizes women, stirringly welcomes a black president and, for good measure, whoops it up about drinkin' and fishin.'"
On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann slammed Jonah Goldberg of the National Review during the show’s "Worst Person in the World" segment because Goldberg complained about the treatment of neoconservatives by liberals, as the National Review Online editor recently charged that "mainstream liberalism and other outposts of paranoid Bush hatred have portrayed neoconservatives – usually code for conservative Jews and other supporters of Israel – as an alien, pernicious cabal."
Olbermann, who has a history of blaming conservatives like Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly for violent acts by extremists, accused the "far right" of "enabling" recent murders, and then claimed not to have ever heard the term "neocons" associated with a particular "religious or ethnic group." He went on to suggest that the word "neocon" may really be code for "belligerence, pig headedness, stupidity, wasteful, indifference to human life," and "paranoid."
For all the bluster from the Left during the Bush administration about the doctrine of preemptive warfare, it seems at least one journalist favors the doctrine adapted for use within the U.S. justice system to prevent lone-wolf terroristic violence.
U.S. News & World Report contributor and PBS "To the Contrary" host Bonnie Erbe on June 11 sounded a decidedly authoritarian note in a Thomas Jefferson Street blog post in which she called for "rounding up" hatemongers like James von Brunn or Scott Roeder before they turn violent.
Earlier, Brent Baker reported that ABC's Pierre Thomas went off the deep end with a story claiming that America's white population was increasingly prone to a "wave of domestic terror." Now the Associated Press also wades into the same murky waters with a June 11 piece claiming that the "potential for an increase in violence from whites who feel they are slipping from power is high." Naturally, the AP employed the Old Media's favorite source for the claims. It's "some say," and "others believe."
Worse than the "some say" line of proof employed, this tale also relies on some experts that end up being expectedly biased sources. The AP asks a white supremacist what he thinks -- as if there is any doubt that he would be for increased racism -- and a university professor hawking a book on racism -- as if there would be any doubt that she'd see racism everywhere. There is also all sorts of claims and worries by authorities, but no proof of any real "growing racist movement" is presented.
Anchor Rick Sanchez used another crazed gunman’s rampage to blast conservative media during CNN’s Newsroom program on Thursday, and brought on Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert as his aide to bash talk radio and Fox News. He hinted that the white supremacist who killed a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, might have been “motivated to move by right-wing pronouncements...on some TV and radio outlets.”
Sanchez began his panel discussion with Boehlert and Accuracy in Media’s Roger Aronoff at the end of the 3 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program with his indicting line of questioning against conservative radio and TV: “Was there a tone in this country that was actually started with the election of our first black president that is bringing the crazies out of the woodwork, and are they being motivated to move by right-wing pronouncements, like he’s dangerous- he’s a socialist- he’s a Muslim, and he isn’t even a U.S. citizen? This is what we hear on some TV and radio outlets.”
After introducing his two guests, the CNN anchor let the left-wing partisan Boehlert “start with the premise” which, of course, echoed the preceding introduction: “I don’t think there’s any doubt since Barack Obama’s been elected, there’s been a complete unhinged reaction from the conservative movement in America, and sort of this vigilante and- and militia-style rhetoric has become a cornerstone of the movement, and certainly of conservative media.”
For example, Ann Coulter is responsible for yesterday’s tragic shooting at the Holocaust Museum.
Bill O’Reilly is responsible for the shooting of well-known abortion doctor George Tiller.
Oh, and the coup de grace: Sarah Palin and all of her supporters are raging racists.
That’s not to mention the implication that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, and all of Fox News were the favorite news sources of James von Brunn, now-infamous shooter at the Holocaust museum.
Idiotic though these claims most certainly are, liberal bilge of this magnitude demands confrontation. First, examine what Rowe wrote on Ann Coulter:
With recent anti-Semitic remarks, Whoopi and Joy finally condemned Reverend Wright, while Joy ludicrously denied ever supporting President Obama’s former pastor. On the June 11 edition of "The View," Joy Behar logically concluded Wright is indeed an anti-Semite and even branded the reverend "evil."
When Elisabeth Hasselbeck noted such comments are on par with Wright’s past ravings, Behar immediately countered "no one liked him on this panel." While Joy may not have been Wright’s biggest cheerleader, she has attempted to justify Reverend Wright’s extreme remarks even labeling Wright’s "God Damn America" sermon "righteous," spinning an anti-Italian slur as a "compliment" and refused to "sit in judgement" over Wright’s sermons "because I’m not black."
I'm sure the talk show host can defend himself just fine; however, the following shows just how low MSNBC will go to trash Republicans and conservatives any chance they get. On last night's Rachel Maddow Show, the host used a long-known ersatz quote supposedly uttered by Rush Limbaugh to, well, y'know, get some cheap digs in:
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, CONSERVATIVE RADIO TALK SHOW HOST (discussing Newt Gingrich's views on Judge Sotomayor): I didn‘t know why he retracted it and I still don't. I'm not retracting it. Nobody's refuted it. She would bring a form of racism and bigotry to the court.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: When you get called racist by the guy who says the assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr. should get the Medal of Honor, consider yourself honored. Also, nauseated.
It was a liberal-fest on MSNBC's weekly "New York Times Special Edition on MSNBC" show, hosted last Friday by John Harwood and Norah O'Donnell and featuring a rotating gaggle of Times reporters, both in studio and on location.
To preface a discussion about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor about 20 minutes into the show, host Harwood (who also writes for the Times) broadcast a clip of former Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo describing the liberal Hispanic activist group La Raza, which Sotomayor once belonged to, as the "Latino KKK without the hoods and-or the nooses."
For that bit of commentary, Harwood called Tancredo "a little kooky." Next, reporter Adam Nagourney accused Rush Limbaugh of "incendiary" comments on Sotomayor, while Sheryl Gay Stolberg lamented that "with an African-American president trying to bring people together, now we're seeing those old ugly culture and race wars bubble up, and it'll be interesting to see if President Obama himself can kind of tamp that down."
In the run-up to Obama’s election, journalists were promoting him as a “post-racial” candidate. Now with the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for Supreme Court we know that both the media and the candidate were lying to us.
As USA Today columnist DeWayne Wickham wrote on May 5, 2009, “For many people in the USA, Obama's election ushered in a post-racial era that was expected to push race to the back burner of our national consciousness.” But his presidency isn’t “post-racial.” It’s not just the obvious identity politics where craven political calculations are used to pick candidates of appropriate age/race/gender/class/shoe size. It has to do with Obama’s stance on using racism to correct racism.
That position was evident in Obama’s deliberate choice of Sotomayor who figured prominently in a major case of racial injustice. The case in question – Ricci v. DeStefano – involves 18 New Haven, Connecticut, firefighters who sued because they were blatantly discriminated against because of their race. The 17 white and one Hispanic firefighters took the lieutenant’s and captain’s exams and, when they did well and black firefighters did not, the city canceled the results. On appeal, our likely next Supreme Court “justice” ruled against the men even though the evidence was stacked on their side.
On Friday's Special Report with Bret Baier, FNC host Baier informed viewers that the Justice Department had dropped charges against New Black Panther members who engaged in blatant voter intimidation in Philadelphia last November. As previously documented by Newsbuster Noel Sheppard, last November Fox News ran a report by Rick Leventhal detailing the activity which was ignored by the mainstream media. On Friday's Special Report, Baier quoted a former 1960s civil rights lawyer: "The most blatant form of voter intimidation. They were positioned in a location that forced every voter to pass in close proximity to them. The weapon was openly displayed and brandished in plain sight of voters."
Margery Eagan of the Boston Herald has done it again. She's unleashed her deathless prose filled with soaring rhetoric and high concepts all revealing her infinite sagacity. OK, that was just sarcasm. In truth, Eagan has given us another example of the sort of low-end, guttural, sputterings that we have become so used to seeing drip like sour milk from her pen. Her latest Boston Herald piece is a prime example of the unprofessionalism that pervades her work.
In a posting titled "Men in throes of Supreme panic," Eagan gets into her best name calling mode against all those eeeevil "white men" out there that might find reason to oppose President Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, a woman well known for positing that female Hispanics are inherently better judges than white men -- a sentiment that if reversed would be considered a racist statement.
Ann Coulter and James Carville went head-to-head on Good Morning America this morning. Incredibly, James Carville survived.
At least, it sounds incredible until you read the transcript. A total of nine questions were asked of the two pundits, seven of which went to Coulter. Carville, on the other hand, was simply allowed to respond to Coulter without questioning - an unfiltered rebuttal, with free airtime provided by ABC.
This, however, was not the most egregious point of controversy. Carville was allowed, with no challenge from the host, to provide ad-hominem attacks against conservatives – as well as irrelevant, non-sequitur praise for Judge Sonia Sotomayor. The transcript speaks for itself:
Norah O'Donnell and Rachel Maddow can't seem to make up their minds. In the same segment, Maddow argues - and O'Donnell fails to question - that Judge Sonia Sotomayor was not picked as an affirmative-action nominee, and follows with the mystifying non-sequitur that opposing "the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice" would be politically damaging for the Republican party.
O’Donnell was interviewing Rachel Maddow (normally exiled to the prime-time wing-nut section of MSNBC programming, Maddow instead made an appearance just after three PM on Tuesday), and immediately served up a steaming dish of Rush Limbaugh controversy. In keeping with the liberal myth of Republican racism, Maddow immediately pounced: