The Associated Press seems to have two unwritten rules on how and when to write stories about leftist controversies and setbacks:
Rule Number 1 -- Do little or nothing with the story until you can figure out a way to make center-right critics or victors look like the bad guys.
Rule Number 2 -- If you're thinking about covering the story any other way, refer to Rule Number 1.
On Thursday, the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law in Columbus, Ohio, which describes itself as "an independent legal center dedicated to protecting the constitutional rights of Ohioans from government abuse," announced a significant legal victory for Buckeye State residents interested in clean elections:
The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law achieved victory in its state RICO action against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). ACORN has agreed to settle the case and will cease all Ohio activity as a result. In its settlement with the 1851 Center, ACORN agreed to surrender all of its Ohio business licenses by June 1, 2010. Further, the organization cannot support or enable any individual or organization that seeks to engage in the same type of activity.
That seems like a pretty clear-cut result, doesn't it? Not if you're the Associated Press's JoAnne Viviano, whose brief item on Saturday followed the rules above, fabricated a supposed loophole in the settlement, and gave an unnamed spokesman an open mic to despicably play the race card:
On Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, during a discussion of Mitt Romney’s recent altercation with rapper Sky Blu on an airplane, host Maher seemed to suggest that Romney might have been motivated by anti-black racism in confronting the rapper as the Real Time host brought up racially tinged quotes from former Mormon church president Joseph Fielding Smith – who died in 1972 at the age of 95 after serving two years as president – as if the words were relevant to Romney’s scuffle. Maher: "I just couldn't help but think maybe this has something to do with the fact that the Mormons traditionally have not had a great relation with the black people."
After reading a quote from Smith that came from a 1963 article in Look magazine, in which Smith contended that "I would not want you to believe that we bear any animosity toward the Negro. Darkies are wonderful people," Maher claimed that the words were only 20 or 30 years old. Maher: "I'm just saying if you're a Mormon and this is the ‘pope’ of your church and he says things like this about Negro and darkies – and this is only like, I don't know how long ago this was, 20, 30 years ago." The HBO host then read a quote from the book, The Way to Perfection, published by Smith in the 1930s, without divulging the date.
Has Joy Behar run out of things to talk about? Is the HLN host and "The View" co-host allowing producers to select her topics?
On HLN's March 10 "The Joy Behar Show," Behar suggested it might be time for conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh to go after making certain remarks involving embattled New York Gov. David Paterson and former Rep. Eric Massa, D-N.Y.
"This whole Massa controversy gave him an excuse to make a racial slur against New York Governor David Paterson," Behar said. "Not that Rush needs an excuse to make a racial slur."
The comments that offended Behar involved Limbaugh saying Paterson was going to be a "Massa," a double entendre Behar asserted was racist.
I dream that my 10-year-old son of pale skin hue will one day grow to maturity in a nation where he won't be dismissed by liberals as some old white guy with a fetish for firearms. Rather, that my son will be judged by a still-revered belief in the singular importance of character.
Agreed, such an expectation is probably more delusion than dream, seeing how often left-wingers in positions of influence gratuitously invoke race.
Here, for example, is Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show this past Thursday talking about a volunteer law enforcement effort called "Operation Exodus" (the segment can be seen in its entirety here) --
MADDOW: These folks, these guys are volunteers in something called Project Exodus in Bossier Parish, La. The sheriff in Bossier Parish, Sheriff Larry Deen, put out a press release recently announcing the creation of this Operation Exodus group. It's now been reported by the Shreveport Times and that local reporting has been picked up nationally by Zack Roth at Talking Points Memo.
The Anderson Cooper 360 blog on CNN.com capped a leftward trend during the week of March 1 with a post on Friday from Obama supporter Tanya Acker, who accused pro-life activists of "racial paternalism" for highlighting the high abortion rate among blacks. Earlier in the week, the blog promoted the latest anti-conservative study from the Southern Poverty Law Center and sought anti-Jim Bunning sob stories.
On Tuesday's Rick's List on CNN, Rick Sanchez again hinted that Texas Governor Rick Perry is a racist. Sanchez, reacting to the distinct possibility that Perry would win the Republican gubernatorial primary, referenced a comment he made at a tea party rally in 2009: "He was talking about states' rights. States' rights is, to most people of color, a racist term" [audio clip available here].
The CNN anchor discussed the Republican primary with Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News. He asked the journalist, "Perry's going to win this thing, right?" After Slater noted how Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison lost her early lead in the polls over Perry, Sanchez responded, with some shock, "Why? I mean- you know, when he came out with his comment. Remember, you and I talked about it when he said it. I mean, he was all about secession from the union. He was talking about states' rights. States' rights is, to most people of color, a racist term, and I thought he had hurt himself. Why wasn't she able to, kind of, jump on that and use it?"
Slater explained that the typical Republican primary voter in Texas is "very conservative," and that Perry had actually won the nomination race after he had made his "states' rights" remark at the tea party. This didn't calm Sanchez, however, and he followed up by asking, "Well, but shouldn't we be frightened by that?"
Alice Roosevelt famously said, "If you can't say anything good about someone, sit right here by me." With Roosevelt long gone, you can do the next best thing - get booked on HLN's "The Joy Behar Show."
On the March 1 broadcast of her program, host Joy Behar featured a panel to discuss the tea party movement on its one-year anniversary. But rather than including tea party backers or even impartial observers, Behar talked only with people diametrically opposed to the tea parties and the views their mainstream followers hold, including the openly socialist senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, liberal talker Stephanie Miller and Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson. Behar cited a Feb. 17 Wall Street Journal column that was highly critical of the former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and the Tea Parties and pondered how the Democratic Party could take this on.
"Well, you know, it was interesting that Dorothy Rabinowitz of The Wall Street Journal wrote this week I quote her, and she said, that the Tea Party is a group of, quote, ‘conspiracy theorists, anti-government zealots, 9/11 truthers and assorted other cadres of the obsessed and deranged,'" Behar said. "Now, do the Dems even have to take on the Tea Party when their own side is attacking them like this?"
On February 14, CNN aired both segments of its special series “Black in America," and used the opportunity to perpetuate a harmful racial myth.
In the first installment, reporter Soledad O’Brien took viewers to Project Brotherhood, a clinic in the south side of Chicago offering free medical care and advice to its black residents.
“We are seeing an increasing amount of men with resources, who are just reluctant to access services elsewhere,” Dr. Pete Thomas, a clinic doctor told O’Brien.
“Why the reluctance? Dr. Thomas says black men are afraid of being exploited – a fear caused by history and the revelation that for forty years unsuspecting poor black men were used as medical guinea pigs in the infamous Tuskegee experiments,” O’Brien said.
Update further down in bold recounting thatHouse Democratic Whip James Clyburn once described health care reform as being part of "rectifying effects of past discrimination," which Chris Matthews referred to as "reparations."
On Tuesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann picked up on an item from the far left Media Matters for America to charge that conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh is "putting on his sheet" and "dropping any remaining pretense that the opposition to health care reform is not flat-out racism." Inspired by a quote in which Limbaugh used the terms "civil rights" and "reparations" while discussing health care reform with a caller, Olbermann began the segment on Limbaugh by recounting what he viewed as "race-baiting" against President Obama. Olbermann:
There is no mystery as to why President Obama has been accused more than any other recent Democratic President of being socialist, fascist, communist, take your pick. The ugliest surviving strain and stain in American politics is still race-baiting. But it`s particularly offensive when it surfaces so very blatantly. Maybe it is better this way, though. Rush Limbaugh has declared that the President`s health care reform package is a civil rights bill and constitutes reparations.
It's hardly news that black conservatives are reviled among much of the left. There seems to be a sense among much of the liberal media that they have betrayed their own interests through their conservative principles.
Few, however, would have the (dare I say it) audacity to lump prominent and accomplished African American political figures in with oppressive genocidal dictators and serial killers.
But TheRoot.com, a blog owned by the Washington Post, seems to have no qualms about doing so, as evidenced in its list of 21 "Black Folks We'd Like To Remove From Black History". Among the names are Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele.
Also included on the list: murderous Ugandan military dictator Idi Amin, the notorious "DC Sniper" John Allen Muhammad, Zimbabwean kleptocrat Robert Mugabe and the ruthless father-and-son Haitian dictators "Papa Doc" and "Baby Doc" Duvalier.
Reporter Kate Zernike continues to take heat for her false allegation, in a February 18 post on the New York Times's "Caucus" blog, that Jason Mattera of Young America's Foundation, a speaker at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, engaged in racial stereotyping during an anti-Obama tirade.
Her bizarre charge appeared under the headline: "CPAC Speaker Bashes Obama, in Racial Tones."
How can conservatives win the youth vote that overwhelmingly went for Barack Obama in 2008? At the Conservative Political Action Conference, apparently, some are betting on using racial stereotypes.
The left's comedic mud-slingers have been working overtime lately. Bill Maher injected his latest bit of invective Friday when he labeled the Tea Party movement a "cult" and hurled epithets at major conservative figures. Angry that Americans would dare object to his particular brand of ultra-liberal politics, Maher has recieved a bit of press lately for his unending stream of hatred for anyone who disagrees with him. He consistently mocks Sarah Palin and her son Trig. And he certainly has a lot of disdain for the American people--you know, the ones who "love the troops the way Michael Vick loves dogs" and are "not bright enough to really understand the issues." So Maher's latest bit of vitriol on HBO's "Real Time" - reserved for Americans who have the gall to voice their political principles - was hardly a surprise (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
After Barack Obama's election as the first black president of the United States, we were supposed to have entered a new, post-racial era. However, as many feel it has turned out, any dissent or criticism of the most powerful man in the free world or his agenda draws allegations of "racial tones," as happened on the New York Times Web site on Feb. 18.
Breitbart was accepting the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award for extensively covering one of the most "uncovered" stories of 2009 for corruption within the so-called community activist organization ACORN.
The New York Times suggests racist appeals were afoot at the Conservative Political Action Conference that kicked off Thursday morning in Washington. Reporter Kate Zernike filed on the paper's "Caucus" blog Thursday to chide as offensive "some" CPAC speakers, by which she evidently meant one in particular, young conservative author Jason Mattera: "CPAC Speaker Bashes Obama, in Racial Tones."
The teaser to the link repeated the plural: "At the conservative conference, some speakers are revving up the crowd in ways that could be considered offensive."
Evidently, mimicking comedian Chris Rock, as Zernike claimed Mattera did on a Thursday morning panel, is a scandalous use of "racial stereotypes" when done by a conservative. Interestingly, a quick tour of the blogosphere suggests that other left-wing sites, while trashing Mattera for his jokes about ugly liberal women, haven't gone so far as the Times did to accuse Mattera of racist appeals.
How can conservatives win the youth vote that overwhelmingly went for Barack Obama in 2008? At the Conservative Political Action Conference, apparently, some are betting on using racial stereotypes.
Inspired by a NewsBusters post, blogger Randy Haddock posted a video to his eponymous blog which refutes, in living color, as it were, a claim MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has made about the tea parties.
Haddock prefaced his response to Olbermann's question, "Where are people of color at Tea Parties?" with the case that in asking the question, Olbermann shows how race-obsessed he and other liberals are, whereas conservatives at the Tea Parties welcome any and all persons of any color who share a common belief in limited government:
[T]wo things in particular bother me about his question:
First, his choice of words. People of color? Who are these colored people he’s referring to? What does that mean? It may be because I’m not a native English speaker, but I find this “people of color” business to be really bizarre. So as a Boricua, am I colored? I guess I’m olive but if I hit the beach on a sunny day I can be golden brown. Is he referring strictly to skin color? Culture? Ethnicity? I mean, I’m not that much darker than Mr. Olbermann himself. Do I fall into his “people of color” category?
Or, as I suspect, are “people of color” just code for those who deviate too much from the skin color which Olbermann seems to deem as the standard? I mean, come on, Olbermann has no color, right? He’s white. That ain’t no color. That’s just how it’s supposed to be, right? So, all I can think of is that he means “black.” Black people are colored, and everyone else is just normal and a-OK. Man, this race and colors stuff is difficult to understand!
And secondly, the question is stupid, the premise terribly moronic and the insinuation totally insulting. The Tea Party protesters aren’t racist. Are there a few kooks with nefarious motivations? Sure, every movement has them. It’s nice how, during the Bush years, the MSM did everything they could to whitewash the fringe elements of the antiwar movement, but I digress. What’s Olbermann’s evidence that Tea Parties are overwhelmingly racist? Apparently, that there are no “people of color” at these rallies. That is so blatantly false as to induce uncontrollable laughter. There of people of all backgrounds at the Tea Parties. But even if an event is dominated by a certain race group, what does that prove? Similar to what Glenn Reynolds said earlier this month, if you look at a group of white folks and the first thought that pops into your head is “racists!” then you have some serious issues.
Barstow made sure to mention claims of Idaho groups "stockpiling food and survival gear, and forming armed neighborhood groups," though he doesn't present evidence that's actually occurring in significant numbers. He also sidled up to allegations (from a "civil rights activist") "of a puzzling return of racist rhetoric and violence" in the region, before letting the activist admit "it would be unfair to attribute any of these incidents to the Tea Party movement." So why bring it up in the first place?
On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann delivered a "Special Comment" aimed at Tea Party activists in which, rather than rhetorically bludgeoning them with his usual name calling, he came across as trying to reason with Tea Partiers, appealing to them to admit to having racist motivations against President Obama as the Countdown host suggested that he felt sorry for them. Before a commercial break, he plugged the segment, relaying that he would ask questions to Tea Party activists "sincerely and with sympathy." At one point, Olbermann even seemed as if he were on the verge of expressing remorse for his history of using terms like "Tea Klux Klan" and "tea baggers," which he referred to as "incendiary."
As he encouraged Tea Party members to be honest about feeling racism against Obama, he characterized racism as a normal human instinct, but for some reason singled out white men as all feeling some level of racism: "And I think, having now been one for 51 years, I am permitted to say I believe prejudice and discrimination still sit defeated, dormant, or virulent somewhere in the soul of each white man in this country."
After theorizing that the Tea Parties are a "backlash" against having a black President – analogous to the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow laws in post-Civil War America – Olbermann ended his show by asking Tea Party activists: "Why are you surrounded by the largest crowd you will ever again see in your life that consists of nothing but people who look exactly like you?"
And, as Olbermann suggested that some of the anti-government political complaints voiced by Tea Party activists are really "code" for racism against President Obama, he ludicrously claimed that a real socialist would support "stupid tax cuts," and, ignoring the massive economic stimulus package passed by the Democratic Congress during the Obama administration, he blamed the current budget deficit’s size on the Bush administration’s war in Iraq. Olbermann:
The liberal website Talking Points Memo continues to report on a bigoted individual who speciously claims to represent 6 million members of the Tea Party movement as a "leader."
In fact, he doesn't represent anyone but himself.
Readers can only infer from TPM's consistentcoverageofone Dale Robertson that the website is attempting to play up the most radical figure it can find who associates with the Tea Party movement. The website referred to Robertson today as a "prominent Tea Party leader" in the first sentence of a story headlined, "'Warning: Tea Party In Danger': Leader Slams Palin As 'Wolf In Sheep's Clothing.'"
But not only doesn't Robertson represent any faction of the movement, he has also been publicly and consistently rebuffed by a number of Tea Party groups who want nothing to do with his message. Even liberal blogs have noted the duplicity in associating him with the Tea Party movement.
According to Chris Matthews, the fact that racists have during the history of the nation invoked the rights of the states to perpetuate slavery or segregation immediately renders all proponents of states' rights -- a pillar of federalism and the American Constitution -- racist.
While Matthews and his Hardball guests on Tuesday cited names like Jim Crow and John Calhoun and compared them to Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Deborah Medina, Perry's libertarian-leaning opponent in the upcoming GOP primary, the names of the nation's founders -- who were ardent advocates of states' rights -- were conspicuously absent.
Matthews claimed to give his viewers a lesson in the meanings of "interposition" and "nullification" as they relate to the rights of the states and the Constitution. But he didn't say what they meant.
He just read a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. mentioning those terms as they related to the civil rights movement (video below the fold - h/t Liz Blaine of NewsReal).
Salon columnist Max Blumenthal continues to get flak for his slanderous, factually-challenged hit piece on conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe last week. The column, premised on a host of omissions and baseless assumptions, contended that O'Keefe's is a racist.
Blumenthal's latest critic is Columbia Journalism Review, Old Media's paragon of journalistic elitism. CJR has requested that he correct but one of the many errors that comprise his column.
But CJR really has a problem, it seems, that Blumenthal has given ammunition to critics who claim Old Media is rife with liberal bias. CJR contributor Greg Marx lamented that Blumenthal and other quasi-journalists, in ignoring facts to support their agendas,give "ready-made ammunition for that broader campaign."
A website owned by the Washington Post on Monday accused Fox News host Bill O'Reilly of racism. O'Reilly's slight? Informing his viewers of the widespread corruption in Haiti. The accuser, meanwhile, omitted key facts undermining his charge.
O'Reilly had the audacity in a January 13 "Talking Points" segment to make the "not particularly constructive" suggestion (in The Root's words) that his viewers be wary of the intermediaries they use to send aid to Haiti given the island's notorious problem with corruption.
First of all, O'Reilly is a very "constructive" donor to the Haitian relief organization Haitian Health Foundation. The organization's founder, Dr. Jeremiah Lowney, heaped praise on O'Reilly for his generous donations to the cause in a letter read on air on January 22: "Mr. O, thank you for your latest donation. Your generosity over the years to the Haitian Health Foundation has brought improved health and hope to our poorest neighbors. God bless you!"
Not content to merely omit facts in his dubious attacks on O'Reilly, The Root author Thomas Reed attributed O'Reilly's statement that Haiti is an immensely corrupt nation to "a far too familiar trope: Black as savage, other, incomprehensible. Inhuman. Is this hyperbole? Perhaps."
On Tuesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann highlighted suggestions by former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo that there should be civics literacy testing for registered voters made at the recent Tea Party convention, which Olbermann referred to as the "Tea Klux Klan," and painted Tea Party activists as wanting to deny minorities the right to vote using the tactics of the Jim Crow South. As if Tancredo wanted to discriminate against African-American voters, Olbermann referred to "Tancredo harking back fondly to the electoral strategies once used to keep poor people – specifically, explicitly, black people – from voting."
After bringing aboard the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson for further discussion, Olbermann’s first question employed the premise that "mainstream Republicans" wish to discriminate against minorities:
If you ever thought mainstream Republicans would openly reminisce about race-based election stealing, did you ever think that you would, as a grown man in the 21st century, see the once proud Republican party let it happen with the only kind of peep of integrity coming from the daughter of a Senator?
Robinson charged that Tea Party members were displaying "naked Jim Crow racism." Robinson:
It seems that even the most [what appears to be] level-headed of comics writers these days just can't resist the pressure to delve into the "progressive" political cesspool. This time it's Captain America scribe Ed Brubaker.Hunting Muses lays it out:
Enter Captain America.
You know, the WW2 hero who died recently and just came back to life to fight a 20 ft tall Red Skull in front of the Lincoln memorial. I had heard a lot of good things from Ed Brubaker. I picked up some trades shortly before Cap’s death, read them, and then finished out Bru’s run because they were great. Right up there with Geoff John’s Green Lantern series as what I want from a comic.
Then Brubaker had to go and not only insult me, but violate the core of what Captain America is all about in issue 602 “Two Americas part 1″. Here are 3 consecutive pages from the comic to help you get a full context:
Since Tea Party protests became an influential movement on the national scene last year, the left in general and the liberal media in particular have tried (unsuccessfully) to render it irrelevant in the eyes of the American people. By throwing around accusations of racism and dire warnings of impending violence, these pundits have tried, unsuccessfully to undermine the movement.
University of Virginia Professor Gerard Alexander explored this trend more generally in yesterday's Washington Post poses the question, pondering, "Why Are Liberals So Condescending?" In his column, Alexander details four types of condescension widespread among the far-left and omnipresent in its talking points. Perhaps unsurprisingly, all four have been employed by left-leaning journalists to bash the Tea Party movement.
"American liberals, to a degree far surpassing conservatives," Alexander writes, "appear committed to the proposition that their views are correct, self-evident, and based on fact and reason, while conservative positions are not just wrong but illegitimate, ideological and unworthy of serious consideration."
When the far-left finds a character to assassinate, it doesn't let facts get in the way. That, at least, is the lesson we can draw from the latest bout of liberal character assassination, this one aimed at James O'Keefe.
The slandering of his reputation has occurred mostly at Salon.com, the Village Voice, and an obscure hard-left organization called the One People's Project. Together, they have waged an all-out war on James O'Keefe's character by associating him with supposedly racist people and organizations. Just one problem: their claims are predicated on falsehoods, exaggerations, and assumptions (but mostly just falsehoods).
Max Blumenthal, who penned the Salon piece, and the stalwart non-journalists at OPP (the Village Voice, for its part, issued a mild retraction) alleged that O'Keefe had helped to organize a gathering of "anti-Semites, professional racists and proponents of Aryanism." They also claimed (and produced a cropped picture that could not possibly validate this claim) that O'Keefe had manned the literature table at the event.
Why let facts get in the way of a good liberal meme?
Paul Farhi sure didn't when he panned Oscar-nominated movie "The Blind Side" during a special "Hardball on Hollywood" segment with Vanity Fair's Michael Wolff and host Chris Matthews on the February 2 program.
The Washington Post media critic slammed the Best Picture-nominated drama -- based on a true story -- as just another movie in which the white characters' guilt is assauged by helping a black guy (video embedded at right; an MP3 audio clip is available here):
PAUL FARHI, Washington Post: The problem is that the black character is basically a prop to make the white people feel better about themselves, and that's been the major criticism. It's also the "magic negro," in other words, the idea that a black character will emerge to provide wisdom for the white people involved in the movie.
Former New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines returned to the pages of the paper Monday with an op-ed, "The Counter Revolution," on the lunch counter sit-in in Greensboro, N.C. in 1960, a seminal event in the civil rights movement. But Raines also took nasty partisan jabs at modern-day conservatism, as represented by Republican President Ronald Reagan, and Fox News, suggesting each would have been on the wrong side of civil rights history. (Never mind that the segregationist South was dominated by the Democratic Party.)
Raines served as executive editor of the Times from September 2001 until being pushed out in June 2003, felled by the journalistic malpractice committed by a young reporter he supported, Jayson Blair, and by his personal callousness and autocratic management style, and his propensity for playing favorites like Blair.
He reigned over an activist liberal paper which embarrassed itself on quixotic liberal crusades like forcing the Augusta National Golf Club (host of the Masters golf tournament) to admit women.
Raines covered the civil rights movement in the '60s and '70s, experience that gives him valuable historical background. But what should have been a stirring tale was ruined by Raines's usual nasty partisan poking at Republicans and Fox News, and his attempts to link modern-day conservatism to the Jim Crow '60s, as enforced by white segregationist Democrats in the "Solid South."
Once again some members of the media have taken to branding Rush Limbaugh a racist, offering backhanded compliments and genuine surprise that a black woman could have won the Miss America contest whilst he served as judge.
As Boyce Watkins lamented in his Black Voices article, (emphasis mine throughout):
"This week, Rush Limbaugh was standing in front of a talented black woman who was trying to become Miss America. I am not sure if Rush voted for her or not, but the black woman was able to win. Caressa Cameron, a 22-year old from Virginia Commonwealth University, was crowned Saturday night as the winner of the 2010 Miss America pageant."
Watkins, himself a fervent anti-conservative from the Al Sharpton School of race baiting, was merely voicing what many in the media are thinking - a black woman won despite the presence of Limbaugh.
Take NBC Washington for example, who explains that Rush was indeed charmed by Ms. Cameron, saying that she won simply because she: