Republicans really hold racist double standards when it involves teenage pregnancies and marriages. This according to Joy Behar, who shared such a sentiment on the September 3 edition of "The View." Discussing the pregnancy of Sarah Palin’s daughter, Bristol, Behar expressed sympathy for the father and fiancé, Levi Johnston.
Behar exclaimed it’s "the end of his life" because "he’s married at 17" (Johnston is actually 18, which is the legal difference between a child and an adult) When Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked "why isn’t that the beginning of another [life]?" Joy Behar, implying Republicans are racist, rebutted "if this was a black teenage couple, you wouldn’t be saying it so easily. Not you, but the Republican party would be all over that." Behar subsequently added "they’re white, they’re Christian. Everybody loves them on the right wing."
CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin echoed Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean on the subject of "diversity" in the Republican Party during CNN’s Tuesday evening coverage of the Republican convention: "I'd just like to make an observation about sort of the night as a whole. Fred Thompson, George Bush, Joe Lieberman -- the Republican Party, are they the party of old, white guys? I mean, this is who the Republican Party put forward first, and the only other people there were wives.... It is not a diverse party. It is not a party where women have had great success" [audio available here].
Are PUMAs racist? Colbert I. King seems to think so. In his WaPo column of today, A Suicidal Choice for Clinton Supporters, King delivers a laundry list of reasons why, in his opinion, it makes no sense for Hillary fans to support McCain. Since he brooks no rational justification for good Dems to desert Obama, by process of elimination, King apparently sees racism as the explanation.
Here's King's punch line [emphasis added]:
So what's drawing Hillary Clinton's die-hard fans to John McCain? Is the attraction only skin-deep?
In an election pitting McCain against the first major-party African-American presidential candidate in history,
Of all the criticisms an apparently panicky Dem party has heaped on Sarah Palin in the hours since her selection was announced, Keith Boykin [bio] has come up with perhaps the unseemliest. The former aide to President Clinton has accused Palin of being an "affirmative action" pick.
Boykin, a graduate of Dartmouth and Harvard Law, was debating the selection with Republican Joe Watkins at the end of MSNBC's 4 PM EDT hour. After some preliminary jousting, Boykin dropped his bomb.
KEITH BOYKIN Let me just say something about this choice. The reason why she doesn't help, quite frankly, is because it's an insult. It's an insult to women. I spoke to several women today at the Democratic National Convention who said it's insulting John McCain would pick somebody—an affirmative-action candidate basically—who is not qualified.
How does Keith Olbermann view pre-Obama America? Apparently akin to the Soviet Union, and South Africa under apartheid. Here was his statement from the top of tonight's DNC coverage.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: It is an iconic night in history: we'll all remember this night as long as we live. This is the night that the first Western government, the first Western political power, or party, has nominated an African-American, someone of African heritage, to lead the country. It's something that took a long time to happen, almost like an old Polaroid film developing. But here it is. It happened officially last night, and tonight it is crowned, this achievement. And it's going to happen at a football field.
KEITH OLBERMANN: And it happens as suddenly in some respects as the Soviet Union crumbled or apartheid was beaten in South Africa. These seemingly invincible hurdles that could never be overcome and within a short period in our historical timespan, suddenly they're gone. And almost nobody saw it coming. Certainly no one at all saw it coming more than four years ago.
At the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith set the tone for the show’s coverage of Barack Obama’s upcoming nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic convention: "First, history being made in Denver today." While Obama being the first African-American presidential nominee of a major party is historic, the Early Show went far beyond the other network morning shows, doing three stories on Obama being the first black Democratic nominee, with numerous comparisons to Martin Luther King and the 45th anniversary of King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech.
Meanwhile, NBC’s Today made no comparisons between Obama and King. On ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts made only one brief reference to King’s 1963 speech at the end of a segment on preparations for Obama’s speech at Invesco Field. Speaking to editor-at-large for ‘O’ Magazine, Gayle King, Roberts asked: "And as we stood in the enormous empty stadium I couldn't help but feel the sweeping hand of history. I know my mother said she never thought she'd see this day. How do you feel about being here? We have seen grainy photos of the '60s of historic moments but to now know that we are also going to witness something like this."
In contrast, Thursday’s Early Show included four comparisons of Obama and King. The first reference was in a report by correspondent Bill Plante, the other three references were all by Smith. During a segment in the 7am half hour featuring poet Maya Angelou, he remarked: "Barack Obama was 2 years old when Dr. King shared his dream...Tonight Barack Obama will deliver another speech, loaded with history and promise."
Ah the wit and wisdom of Chris Matthews. Did you know that Joe Biden's hometown of Scranton, Pa., is stuck in 1957? Or that Sen. McCain hopes to peel off Michigan from the Democrats due in part to white voters anger at black Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick? Did you know you shouldn't bother to ask a Mormon what he did over the weekend?
Oh, and the media used to love John McCain because they were his base.
In the wake of Barack Obama officially becoming the first African-American presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith declared: "This day, August 28, is steeped in history. Barack Obama delivers his historic acceptance speech and 45 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his 'I Have A Dream" speech. August 28, 1963, hundreds of thousands of people came to Washington, D.C. They came to march for jobs, and for freedom, and for equality."
Smith went on to describe Obama as the culmination of all of King’s efforts: "Barack Obama was 2 years old when Dr. King shared his dream. In 2004, Obama burst on to the national scene with a speech that paid homage to King and those who came before him...Tonight Barack Obama will deliver another speech, loaded with history and promise. And expectations are high." Smith also got reaction from poet Maya Angelou: "I mean, we all know he's going to, in front of our very eyes, metamorphose into Martin Luther King -- not really, no. He has a different background. He has, I think, pretty much the same dream. I think he had the same dream that any leader has for her people, for his people." Smith responded by adding: "A dream that would become the American dream."
Smith then wondered: "And if Dr. King were alive today?" Angelou speculated: "It'd be a lot of 'I told you so, we could do this.' To America, not to blacks, not to whites, and not to Asians. But to Americans, 'I knew we could do this.' Amazing, these are really historic moments we're in."
Windy City newspapers this morning are devoting coverage to a he said/she said mini-scandal roiling among Democratic Convention delegates. From the Chicago Sun-Times.:
DENVER -- A black Hillary Clinton delegate on Sunday accused state Senate President Emil Jones of calling her an "Uncle Tom."
Jones -- Barack Obama's political mentor -- denied using the racially loaded slur against Chicago political consultant Delmarie Cobb, but two aldermen who said they witnessed the Saturday night exchange back up Cobb's account.
"Last night, I was called an 'Uncle Tom' by Emil Jones in the lobby of the hotel, right in front of [Ald.] Freddrenna Lyle and [Ald.] Leslie Hairston and [Ald.] Latasha Thomas," said Cobb, a member of Clinton's Illinois Steering Committee. "I walked over to him and asked him, 'What did you just call me?' "
The embarrassing flap came on the eve of the Democratic National Convention, which will open tonight with a string of Chicago speakers talking about Obama's life story. Jones is often referred to as Obama's "political godfather.''
Joe Biden's insulting remark about Indian-Americans and Dunkin' Donuts franchises didn't indelibly taint the Delaware senator not because the media don't hype Democratic race gaffes but because "no one ever accused Biden of being a racist."
That according to Newsweek's Jonathan Alter in an August 23 column exploring why some politicians' gaffes stick and go on to practically define them -- Dan Quayle's misspelling of "potato" for example.
Argued Alter, "[t]he most common standard for [a meme's] stickiness is whether it fits into a pre-existing impression."
You know the old software programmer's excuse: "that's not a bug. That's a feature!" John Harwood of CNBC/NYT has produced a political variation on the theme to buff up Joe Biden. Biden's gaffes, including the racially-insensitive ones, are actually . . . "a strength."
Harwood was chatting with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on a special Morning Joe edition today, and the topic of Biden's famous "clean and articulate" comment about Obama arose. Biden also made headlines of course with his crack about 7-11s being populated by people with Indian accents.
JOHN HARWOOD: He is not somebody who is infused with political correctness, the verbal equivalent of putting his pinky up when he opens his mouth. So this is what, the way ordinary voters are as well. They're not always worried about sort of calibrating every single word by "ooh, is this racially insensitive?" That's something that Joe Biden brings as an asset to the ticket. The gaffes actually show one of his strengths.
Leave it to the liberal print media to find some way to kill everyone's Olympics buzz.
For instance, did you know that the choice by the U.S. Olympic Committee to have Ralph Lauren stitch the threads for Team USA's opening ceremonies uniform was an unfortunate nod to racism and classism and a futile, nostalgic clinging to America's waning WASP empire? That according to Sameer Reddy (pictured at right, photo via Newsweek) in an August 20 online exclusive for Newsweek (emphasis mine):
The biggest sports-related news stateside has been the redesign of the U.S. uniforms by Ralph Lauren, who took the reins from Canadian company Roots. Lauren has built an empire by becoming the unofficial outfitter of the American Dream, marketing an idealized image of America's former ruling class to the nation at large. However, the WASP aesthetic he sells-think of characters from "The Great Gatsby," clothed in tennis whites and delicate tea dresses-has come to represent a classist and racist set of ideals, hardly representative of the current multicultural social fabric of the United States. A strange choice then, to redefine the U.S. team's visual identity in this way, even as it marches further away from the 20th century, when WASP power reached its peak. But if one stops to consider America's shaky status as the world's preeminent superpower, Lauren's nostalgic, retro creations begin to make more sense.
That didn't take long. Tanned and rested on his first day back from vacation, Chris Matthews suggested on this evening's Hardball that under the guise of the "inexperience" charge, John McCain is handing out "permission slips" to racists to vote against Obama.
Matthews put his poisonous point to Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me ask you this. Isn't he [McCain] handing out permission slips to vote against Barack? "Inexperience" is my favorite. Because you could have all kinds of problems with Barack Obama: ethnically, politically, culturally, class—I don't know what the adjective is for class, but "classily." And you can have every problem in the world with Mrs. Obama. But you could hide it all under, not hide it all, you could present it all under one word: "you know, I've got nothing against him. He's a bright young man with a quality education, interesting new ideas. But he's not quite ready yet." And that's a fair critique which covers all your reasons for opposing him.
Barack Obama has been fond of playing the race card in this campaign telling his enraptured audiences that Republicans will attack him because he's black, even though no GOP candidate or campaign has done so to date. But, Obama is a newcomer to the racemongering game when compared to Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. True to form, in a recent interview Dean has once again called the GOP a "white party" attempting to make this campaign about race issues instead of candidates and platforms.
This is the sort of cynical, hate-filled garbage that Democrats have universally parlayed as campaign rhetoric since the 1960s. As recently as the August election in Tennessee's 9th District, for instance, a black challenger to a white, Jewish incumbent featured both racial and religious epithets thrown at the Congressman by the black, Democrat challenger. That obscene campaign barely rated a mention in the Old Media. The response by the Old Media to the ease with which Democrats resort to race baiting, though, also shows the impunity that Democrats enjoy on the issue. That Dean knows he can say such a thing and not feel he'd be taken to task for it proves not only that the Democrats are dividers and not uniters, but that the Old Media can be relied on to give them a complete pass on their divisiveness.
Peter Beinart at the Washington Post is afraid this Presidential campaign is going to be about race. He is warning Obama that it shouldn't be. It has been brought up though. But by whom? Here is what Beinart had to say:
That's the lesson of recent weeks, when the McCain campaign brought up race (on the pretext that Obama had brought it up first). The Obama campaign tried desperately to change the subject but couldn't. Once the chum was in the water, the media sharks went wild.
On the pretext that Obama brought it up first? Excuse me? Obama did bring it up first. Obama was the one who threw "the chum" in the water.
John McCain implies Obama is the anti-Christ as ABC’s Kate Snow reports. On the August 13 edition of "Good Morning America," Snow followed "Time" magazine’s cue, featuring a Democratic hack, Obama supporter Eric Sapp, finding the "anti-Christ" message in McCain’s "The One" ad.
On a story on subliminal message in advertising, Snow did not feature McCain supporters responding to the ludicrous charge. She did, however, play sound bites of "Left Behind" fans who did not see any "Anti-Christ" message.
Additionally, Snow suggested racial overtones existed in McCain’s "Fan Club" ad, observing all of the women praising Obama were white.
On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann attacked Sean Hannity for his recent declaration on FNC's Hannity's America that Obama "can’t point to a single instance in which President Bush or McCain or Karl Rove or Sean Hannity or talk radio or any other major Republican has made an issue of Obama’s race." Missing Hannity’s point that conservatives are not attacking Obama for being black or suggesting voters should be afraid to vote for him because he is black, Olbermann cited quotes from Hannity and Rush Limbaugh which, in the MSNBC host’s mind, proved Hannity wrong, and that "short-term memory is often the first thing to go right after ethics." Olbermann mocked Hannity and Limbaugh by concluding that, "What Hannity means when he says nobody has made an issue of Obama’s race is: He and Limbaugh haven’t called him the ‘N’ word." After a brief pause, Olbermann added: "Yet." Olbermann, who has a history of distorting the words of conservatives, read quotes from Hannity from the past about Obama and the race issue without conveying the context that Hannity was referring to Obama’s links to the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan, who are known for espousing racist views. (Transcripts follow)
Conservatives are more racist than the population at large, and John McCain plans to "viciously" stir up racism to beat Barack Obama. That is John Heilemann's belief, as propounded in his New York magazine article, The Color-Coded Campaign, and spelled out in a CNN appearance today. The author even broke out the trite "Wonder Bread America" epithet to describe that portion of the country not lucky enough to be NYC.
Interviewed by Kiran Chetry on "American Morning" today at 6:32 AM EDT, Heilemann's jumping-off point was the question of why Obama's lead over McCain is smaller than the 10-15 points by which Dems are generically leading Republicans nationwide. Heilemann gave short shrift to the possibility that Obama is a weak candidate, given his lack of experience and most-liberal-in-the-Senate record that puts him at odds with the electorate. He focused instead on what he claims is an under-reported factor—Obama's race. It was there that he equated conservatism with racism.
JOHN HEILEMANN: During the Democratic primaries during the exit polls we would ask people whether race was an important factor for them. And somewhere, in places like New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania, 10 or 12 percent of the vote said race that was an important factor and voted for Hillary Clinton. And that's for many people a reasonable proxy to tell you about what the numbers were like for people who voted for Hillary because she was white, didn't vote for Barack because he's black. And that number will be larger in the general election because general election is a more conservative electorate than the Democratic primary electorate was.
Just one paragraph tucked toward the end of a column. But Judith Warner's words offer a revealing insight into how liberals view economics and the world at large. In the lefty mindset, making it isn't a matter of doing or making something of value. It comes down instead to contriving to get a piece of the action, a share of the wealth that some undefined other has created in some undescribed way.
The gist of Warner's column, Compassion Deficit Disorder, is that Americans have become increasingly cranky and suspicious of how others are gaming the system. She cites Michael Savage's accusations that the reported outbreaks of autism, asthma ADHD are false epidemics, the result of doctors and parents conniving to produce false diagnoses that yield increased services or welfare. Warner also points to high school students applying to college who dream up minority status of one sort or other to work affirmative-action levers to their benefit.
Do you know who the Associated Press thinks is secretly hoping for a Barack Obama win? Why, it's "racist groups," dontcha know? See, as the AP reports it, a black man as president couldn't be a more perfect example of how the dark race is takin' over and ruining the white man's world, right? At least, that is according to the AP's favorite go-to racist guy, David Duke, anyway. And what better way for the AP to prove that only racists oppose Obama, eh?
AP decided to dredge up the aforementioned David Duke to let the country know that "the racists" are wringing their hands in a gleeful expectation that a president Barack will swell the ranks of the KKK and other racist groups. Sternly telling us that "They're not exactly rooting for him, but prominent white supremacists anticipate a boost to their cause if Barack Obama becomes the first black president," the AP lets the cat out of the bag for the hooded set.
Want proof? Well, the AP is happy to give it... such as it is.
E-mailer and frequent NB commenter Gary Hall sent me a link to a July 30 LA Times article about how worldwide AIDS deaths are down 10%.
In discussing the improvement, it's hysterical in one sense, but very sad in another, to watch how reporter Thomas H. Maugh II studiously avoided using the word "abstinence" (the A-word), which does not appear even once in his entire piece.
Just to be sure no reader could possibly leave the article thinking that the current administration has contributed to an overall improvement, Maugh pointed to the increased prevalance of AIDS in the US African-American community, and gave antagonistic spokespersons free rein to criticize an alleged lack of urgency without a countervailing response.
First, here's a sample of Maugh's A-word avoidance (noted in bold):
Somebody call the Epidemiology Branch at the NIH. It's looking as if we're on the verge of a full-fledged epidemic of Obamania. As we noted here, NYT columnist Bob Herbert suffered an acute bout of the malady on live national TV yesterday, seeing visions of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Washington Monument where none existed in the McCain Obama/Spears/Hilton ad. By yesterday evening, Keith Olbermann had contracted the affliction in aggravated form, claiming, as NewsBuster Brad Wilmouth has noted, to see no fewer than three phallic symbols in the same commercial.
Now, yet another variant of the dread disease can be reported, affecting mental rather than visual acuity. In When "Skinny" Means "Black" at his "Chatterbox" column at Slate, Timothy Noah [file photo] claims to see, yes, racism, in mention of the fact that Barack Obama is thin.
When Bob Herbert, a columnist for the New York Times since 1993, recently charged in his column that the Republican Party deliberately targets black Democrats using ads featuring attractive white women to exploit racial resentment, and claimed as proof that the GOP does not run such ads against opponents who are white, the liberal columnist could have disproved this thesis by consulting a 1994 article in the paper he writes for regarding that year's Virginia Senate race involving former Senator Charles Robb, a white Democrat. The New York Times article, titled "THE 1994 CAMPAIGN: THE AD CAMPAIGN; The Senate Race in Virginia: Robb and North Trade Barbs," from October 15, 1994, describes an ad run by Republican Oliver North's campaign depicting the Playboy cover image of Tai Collins, a young blonde with whom Democrat Robb was romantically linked. (Transcript follows)
Warning: excessive adulation of Barack Obama is harmful to the vision and can in extreme cases cause hallucinations.
We're all familiar with how an Obamania overdose produced strange tingling sensations in Chris Matthews. A new, virulent strain of the affliction has now emerged, claiming its first victim in the person of Bob Herbert, who on live national TV saw visions of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Washington Monument where none existed.
The NYT columnist, a guest on today's Morning Joe, expanded on the theory set forth in his column of this past Saturday, Running While Black, that the McCain campaign ad mocking Obama as a Paris Hilton/Britney Spears-type celebrity was actually "designed to exploit" racist anxiety about black men and white women. Herbert lumped the McCain ad with the "call me" ad the RNC ran against Harold Ford, Jr. in his Tennessee senate race.
It was in describing the McCain ad that Herbert's symptoms surfaced.
On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann and Newsweek Washington correspondent/MSNBC political analyst Howard Fineman went after John McCain for his recent ads attacking Barack Obama, and the Arizona Republican's charge that Obama was "playing the race card" because the Illinois Democrat has repeatedly joked that his opponents will try to discourage people from voting for him because "he's black." Olbermann started off the show suggesting that McCain's ad against Obama featuring Britney Spears and Paris Hilton exhibited "almost subliminal racism, a black man with two women," and that the ad "intermixed footage of that black candidate with images of two young white women."
Fineman charged that McCain is using negative attacks to distract from the "substantive issues" Obama is "trying to raise in the campaign," and suggested that McCain is in danger of seeming as "obsessed" as Jack Nicholson's character in "A Few Good Men" as the Arizona Senator is planning to "demonize Obama to draw out the Republican base." Fineman further characterized McCain as being "in survival mode. It's not quite like the prison years, but he's a tough character in a tough spot, and he's going to use anything he can to survive."
Fineman also seemed to voice agreement with Obama's joke that Republicans will try to use race against him. After noting that Obama campaign advisor Robert Gibbs was not telling the truth in denying that Obama was referring to race in his controversial joke, Fineman suggested that Obama was being "honest" in warning that "the country needs to be on guard," and the Newsweek correspondent recommended that Obama "should have all of his advisors and spokespeople be honest, too." (Transcript follows)
Thank you, Andrea Mitchell. No, really, I mean it. Thank you for providing some of the clearest evidence yet of just how much the press corps following Barack Obama has blinders on for its man. Mitchell has let it be known that "the people covering the campaign" don't think Obama played the race card with his currency crack. Andrea appeared on Morning Joe today just before 8 AM EDT.
ANDREA MITCHELL: I have to tell you that the people who heard Barack Obama say what he said Wednesday night—and it's very similar to things he's said in Paris and Berlin and a lot of other stops—it's very self-deprecating. He says "I don't look like other people who have been President of the United States," most people who watched that, I don't know very many people who've watched that, and the people in the audience, the reporters, have never interpreted it, have never inferred from that, that he is making some kind of racial statement, but that's the way the McCain camp says that they took it, and Rick Davis by putting it out there, sure --
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Andrea, excuse me for a minute. How can it be self-deprecating when he says, when Barack Obama says, that John McCain's camp is going to say "I look different"? Or when he says they're going to try to scare you because I'm black. How is that--because I've heard "self-deprecating" a couple times--how in the hell is that self-deprecating?
David Shuster surely knows better. Wherever you come down on the issue of who's playing the race card, one thing is glaringly, blindingly, incandescently obvious: when Barack Obama says McCain will point out Obama doesn't look like the other guys on the currency, the Dem candidate is doing much more than making the innocuous point that he is the first black major-party presidential nominee. Yet that is precisely how Shuster chose to misinterpret Obama's remark on today's "Morning Joe." Fortunately, Tiki Barber was there to run to daylight through the gaping hole in Shuster's line of logic.
The show began with a clip of Obama intoning his stock line that Bush and McCain will try to "make you scared of me" by pointing out, among other things, "he dudn't look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills. You know?"
You might say nothing could be more unsurprising than a panel of political pundits admitting the obvious: that Barack Obama is playing the race card when he accuses John McCain of saying the Dem candidate "doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency."
But what makes the punditry panel's unanimity notable is that no one would accuse them of being McCain backers, and what's more, that they turned up on Hardball. Surely Chris Matthews, were he not on vacation, would have found one diehard to deny reality. But with Mike Barnicle guest-hosting, a consensus of truth-telling broke out.
Barnicle began by playing a clip of McCain, interviewed by CNN's John King, saying that it is legitimate to accuse Obama of having played the race card. The video is worth viewing if only to watch McCain end the interview by shaking a surprised King's hand and walking away. Then the panel commented. Perry Bacon of the Washington Post said he would decline to answer directly, but his answer left no real doubt as to his view.
After Barack Obama’s more-than-enthusiastic greeting by many attendees at the UNITY convention for minority journalists in Chicago on Sunday, some in the media have expressed outrage that some have now questioned their objectivity, despite the appalled reactions from some of their own peers to the display and the live video shown on CNN (at right).
April Yee wrote on Andrew Romano’s blog on Newsweek.com on Monday about the question of whether minority journalists can cover the Illinois senator objectively. She quoted Ernest Suggs of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who objected to this question even coming up in the first place: "That mindset needs to change.... It is offensive that because we have the same color or the same agenda, our journalistic ethics and responsibilities go out the window."
Suggs might have a point, since two of the biggest cheerleaders for Obama in the media are white men: Lee Cowan and Chris Matthews.
May he live to be 120, but when Bob Shrum eventually goes to his reward, his epitaph could read "Here lies Shrum. He thought he was great. But his presidential record . . . was 0-8."
After Shrum taunted Pat Buchanan on today's Morning Joe as "living on Mars" for supposedly overestimating the power of affirmative action as an issue, Pat fired back, reminding Shrum of his dubious lifetime achievement of having consulted on eight losing Dem presidential campaigns with nary a win.