What should President Obama’s impending Supreme Court Justice be? A thoughtful jurist? A legal scholar with impeccable credentials? An experienced, accomplished, wise legal expert to judge whether laws are Constitutional?
Apparently, the most important thing to remember is that this justice should be a Hispanic woman.
Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” was conducting pundit interviews this morning for analysis on Justice Souter’s newly announced retirement. One such pundit was Tavis Smiley, and as a gentle segue into the subject of identity politics, Scarborough brought up Justice Clarence Thomas [emphasis mine]:
One of the latest tactics some global warming alarmists have employed is to compare their activism to struggles of the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s. Actor Edward Norton compared the "symbolic" Earth Hour of March 29 to infamous Selma's "Bloody Sunday" in an appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live," and again on NBC's "Today."
But this time, one of the movement's leaders, former Vice President Al Gore, made a similar comparison. Testifying for before a congressional committee on April 24 in Washington, D.C., Gore rated his activism to that of the civil rights movement.
"I believe this legislation has the moral significance equivalent to that of the civil rights legislation of the 1960's and the Marshall Plan of the late 1940's," Gore said. "I am here today to lend my support to one of the most important pieces of legislation ever introduced in the Congress."
You too can save the planet from the effects of carbon emissions by participating in the symbolic gesture of turning off one light switch at a time for Earth Hour on March 28.
That's the message from actor Edward Norton, the official U.S. ambassador for Earth Hour 2009, who appeared on CNN's "Larry King Live" on March 25. As Norton explained, this is a symbolic event for which everyone turns out their lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time on March 29. And this act will encourage world political leaders to cap or tax carbon emissions through the legislative process by demonstrating "global unity."
"You're right. The act of turning out the lights for an hour - is, it's not an act of conservation," Norton said. "It's not, um, meant to say that, ‘By doing this, we're going to solve the problem.' I think it's a symbolic act of global unity, of highlighting the number of people who do think this is one of the central issues of our time and motivating our leaders to take, um, purposeful and aggressive action on this issue."
Wednesday's NBC Nightly News highlighted the downbeat “State of Black America 2009” report, but failed to identify the group behind it, the National Urban League, as liberal nor note the left-wing policy prescriptions recommended in the report. Though NBC anchor Brian Williams acknowledged Barack Obama's election “was a reminder of the great strides this nation has made in race relations,” he warned that “today there was a reminder of how much work remains to be done to heal what has long been this nation's greatest wound.”
Reporter Ron Mott explained: “Two months on the job, President Obama today got a sobering message about the state of black America, detailed in the National Urban League's annual assessment of racial progress.” National Urban League President Marc Morial, the former Democratic Mayor of New Orleans, then charged: “The country's in a ditch, and black Americans have lost ground over the last eight years. Those are the facts, and those facts are not lies.”
On Wednesday, the New York Times did its best to muddy the seemingly clear-cut case regarding the character of cop-killer Lovelle Mixon, who shot and killed two motorcycle officers at a routine traffic stop in Oakland, then shot and killed two SWAT sergeants while on the run, before being himself killed by police.
The text box painted a mixed picture of the murderer of four officers: "A man who obeyed some conditions of parole, but not others," while the text from reporters Solomon Moore and Jesse McKinley suggested the killer had been "failed by an overloaded and flawed California penal system." Another omission: Three of the slain officers were white (the other had a Japanese surname). But even though Mixon was black, don't expect the Times to raise any hate-crime possibilities in this particular case. In fact, the Times didn't even mention their names.
When Lovelle Mixon walked out of a prison last fall in the remote town of Susanville, Calif., he knew exactly where he was headed: back to Oakland, back to his family and back to his life of dreams and zero prospects.
BET anchor Jeff Johnson bizarrely likened the popularity of President Barack Obama to the reaction many Christians have to the name of Jesus during a segment on Tuesday’s Larry King Live on CNN: “There’s a joke sometimes -- when you can be in a church, and if you just say Jesus, the people will shout. I mean, now, if you just say Obama, people will shout.”
Johnson, who was the main correspondent for BET during the network’s coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign, participated in a panel discussion during the second half-hour of the CNN program with Democratic strategist Paul Begala and former McCain campaign advisor Nancy Pfotenhauer. King’s program aired immediately after President Obama’s press conference on Tuesday evening, and the three participants gave their reactions to the reporters’ questions and the executive’s answers and main issues.
UPDATE: Stephanie Miller poked at this blog post on her show Thursday: "NewsBusters, as you recall, Chris, they are the right wing dopes that got me all the publicity on my [execute-Rush] comment on Larry King....So the test of the Moron Alert System is going splendidly."
After the second wave of hysteria about Rush Limbaugh’s Sharpton-mocking "Barack the Magic Negro" parody, you might think that a liberal radio host making an insensitive skit about African orphan adoption might capture some media attention. In the first hour of the liberal Stephanie Miller show on Wednesday, parodist Jim Ward had an ad for "ChildMax," mocking the Madonnas and Angelina Jolies who adopt a "little black bookend," an "ebony accessory" that’s "guaranteed not to cause inter-tribal massacre around the dinner table." Which liberal watchdog will sound an alarm on this skit? Or do they suspect this is a plea for publicity?[audio available here]
ANNOUNCER: Hey all you international celebrities who have already scored a malnourished African child, but are still feeling unfulfilled. ChildMax here and we know the answer to your on lee (?). Come on over to the Dark Continent and adopt another one. Our extensive research has indicated that post-adoption annoyance is due in most cases to a feeling of asymmetry. That’s right. Get a little black bookend to complete the set. Who needs a single black family member standing out like a raisin in a bowl of rice? Give the little nipper some company. I said nipper. And add a little more melanin to the landscape. You won’t regret it.
In the midst of a segment on Rush Limbaugh on Sunday morning's Reliable Sources portion of CNN's State of the Union, host Howard Kurtz scolded his journalistic colleagues for a remark which “totally got missed by the media,” how CNN host D.L. Hughley charged “that the Republican convention 'literally looks like Nazi Germany.' I don't understand how he can get away with saying that. I think that is an outrage.”
Kurtz, the Washington Post's media reporter, interjected his criticism after guest Amanda Carpenter of the Washington Times, and formerly with TownHall.com, had defended RNC Chairman Michael Steele's characterization of Limbaugh's rhetoric as “ugly,” a slam on Limbaugh he made on Hughley's show, D.L. Hughley Breaks the News, last weekend. She guessed Steele was thinking of “Rush Limbaugh's interpretation of 'Barack the Magic you know what,' so when he said 'ugly,' that was ugly, that was a very ugly part of the discussion that was in the run up to his election.” (Of course, “Barack the Magic Negro” was a song parody inspired by a black writer who used that term in a Los Angeles Times op-ed about Obama.)
It’s not surprising that despite this incendiary remark, Hughley is still considered to be a “valued colleague.” As my fellow NewsBuster Tim Graham reported earlier on Thursday, it was none other than CNN president Jonathan Klein who put the comedian on the network, and gave him the green light to “run amok” on his program.
In his column "Exposing the Truth About Exposing the Truth," New York Times sportswriter Harvey Araton defended his "good friend" Selena Roberts -- a former Times sports columnist now reporting for Sports Illustrated -- from "misogynist ravings" launched after her recent reporting on steroid use by Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez.
Roberts has Rodriguez dead to rights on his steroid use and even made him cough up a public apology for previously lying about it. But Araton failed to reveal his former colleague's own sexist attacks and unfair persecution of Duke lacrosse players when they were falsely accused of raping a stripper in 2006. The case fell apart, and the Times, which pushed hard for the prosecution on its front page, came off looking both vengeful and pathetic.
CNN host D.L. Hughley turned to the standard left-wing tactic of playing the Nazi card against Republicans on his program on Saturday evening: “The tenets of the Republican Party are amazing and they seem warm and welcome. But when I watch it be applied -- like you didn’t have to go much further than the Republican National Convention....It literally look[s] like Nazi Germany.” He went on to say that blacks weren’t welcome in the party: “It just does not seem -- like not only are we not welcome -- not only are we not welcome, but they don’t even care what we think.” He later described the GOP as “reactionary.” [audio available here]
The stand-up comedian-turned-TV host made the remark during a segment with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and Chuck D, a former member of the hip-hop group Public Enemy. Unfortunately, Steele did not verbally react to Hughley’s Nazi characterization. Chuck D, on the other hand, expressed his agreement with the host about blacks supposedly not being welcome in the Republican Party: “I covered the Republican convention in ‘96 for MTV...and -- seriously, their agenda was totally somewhere else, which totally -- you know, didn’t have black people or people of color in mind.” He then expressed his belief that there should be more major parties in the U.S.
Washington Times White House correspondent Christina Bellantoni has online conservatives a-Twitter with some overheard snippets of a Helen Thomas interview, including what may well be a racially-tinged joke about Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.).
breaking Helen Thomas tells filmcrew Bush worst POTUS in history, "too many people are dead" in Iraq sez Kennedy, Johnson best #whpresscorps
Coming from someone who constantly complains about how many soldiers President Bush "killed" by invading and occupying Iraq, it's odd that Thomas considers two Vietnam era presidents to be among the best presidents in American history.
A few moments later Bellantoni added a tweet that hinted at a racially insensitive crack Thomas may have made about Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R):
“Oh, god,” why did he have to use that word? According to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the GOP “outsourced” the Republican response to a young, successful Indian-American governor who “had nothing to do with Congress.”
They had to outsource the response tonight, the Republican party. They had to outsource to someone who had nothing to do with Congress because the Republicans in Congress had nothing to do with the programs he was talking about tonight or the record he referred to.
First of all, one might point out that Piyush “Bobby” Jindal was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2004 to 2006. Furthermore, Republican governors are quite important members of the party. The idea that the GOP was bringing in an outsider is flat out wrong.
We’ve endured two years of endless journalistic jawboning about Barack Obama, the great racial healer who would bind us together, the man who would get everyone singing on a sun-soaked hilltop with a bottle of Coke and a smile. So now that he’s in, what have he got? We have Obama’s attorney general Eric Holder telling us how Americans remain "voluntarily socially segregated," and that while we have the foolish pride to think of the United States as an ethnic melting pot, we have always been and continue to be a "nation of cowards."
Whether you support him politically or not, Obama’s election could not help but cause Americans to grow more positive about the state of American race relations. ABC News polls showed the number of Americans saying racism is a "big problem" dropped by more than half, from 54 percent in 1996 to 26 percent now. It was down sharply among blacks and whites alike. Not only that, 58 percent guessed Obama’s presidency would improve race relations. How does the Obama administration react? We are a "nation of cowards."
One has to wonder about the thought process of some people. Dan Gilgoff, Faith reporter with U.S. News and World Report and Huffington Post writer, is a perfect example of what I am talking about. After a February 23 posting on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's Catholic faith, Gilgoff followed up the next day with a post claiming that Sarah Palin fans were smearing Jindal over his supposedly "secret Muslim" faith. Where did Gilgoff get such a ridiculous idea? Why, from just two commenters that posted on his entry of the 23rd, that's where.
That's right, just two people claiming in the comments section of his U.S. News post that Jindal was a secret Muslim was enough for Dan Gilgoff to decide that Sarah Palin's entire support base is smearing Bobby Jindal as a secret Muslim. Just two people. Two nuts is enough for U.S. News and World Report to slander Sarah Palin and all her followers as crazy, racist, hatemongers.
There's no other way to describe the over-the-top political correctness that leads a major newspaper to issue a prophylactic apology for an unoffensive cartoon in the anticipation that someone somewhere will raise a fuss.
Yet that's what the Washington Post did yesterday in a correction posted on page A2 of the Sunday edition (via Jossip):
So Gene Weingarten from The Washington Post wrote an article called "Monkey Business" about men and women and their sexual fluidity, based on that New York Times trend piece from a couple weeks ago. But since the title of the article had the word "monkey" in it, and the accompanying picture was of a cartoon monkey, WaPo needed to clear up any misconceptions vis-a-vis The Post cartoon and our current president.
Anchor Campbell Brown’s show on CNN is subtitled “No Bias, No Bull,” but the show displayed plenty of bias during a Wednesday night segment about Attorney General Eric Holder calling America “a nation of cowards” on race issues. Brown praised Holder for “cutting through the bull,” and a panel discussion was utterly unanimous: Gloria Borger, Soledad O’Brien, and Roland Martin all toed the liberal line and praised Holder for lambasting the nation. Martin wholeheartedly agreed with Holder’s characterization. Borger defended the first black attorney general, stating that he was “trying to be provocative on purpose,” while O’Brien thought the Obama appointee was trying to start a “honest conversation” on race.
As for ‘cutting through bull,’ Brown should have corrected O’Brien when she repeated the old radical line that somehow Black History Month is the shortest month on the calendar due to some racial slight, which completely mangles the facts. It began as “Negro History Week” and was founded by African-American historian Carter Woodson in mid-February to honor Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, whose birthdays are on the 12th and the 14th respectively.
"Good Morning America" reporter David Wright on Thursday worried that a comic strip appearing in yesterday's New York Post could harm the "post racial glow" that America has been enjoying since Barack Obama's inauguration. Wright recounted the outrage expressed by the Reverend Al Sharpton and others over an editorial cartoon depicting a chimp shot by police and connecting it to the just passed economic stimulus bill. (Host Diane Sawyer, above, introduced the segment.)
Wright derided, "Ever since the inauguration, America has seemed to bask in a post-racial glow. But not so fast. Yesterday, the New York Post published a cartoon likening President Obama to a violent monkey shot by police." The GMA journalist chose to accept the most sinister view of the comic, that the dead ape was intended to represent the President. (Of course, since the comic refers to the chimpanzee as the writer of the stimulus bill and Obama didn't author the legislation, that argument doesn't seem to make the most sense.)
Wright featured no one who offered a different interpretation of the cartoon. He simply stated, "The paper refused to apologize for the cartoon, calling it a clear parody of a current news event." Instead, Wright used the controversy as an opportunity to uncritically repeat Attorney General Eric Holder's comments on Wednesday that America is a "nation of cowards." Wright lectured, "Despite evident progress on race, America still has a long way to go, according to the nation's first black attorney general who spoke yesterday at a separate black history month event."
Liberal blogger Steve Gilliard passed away in 2007, but his most infamous contribution to the blogosphere lives on as leftist bloggers continue to lodge racists attacks at Michael Steele, the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Gilliard's 2005 photoshop depicting then-Lt. Gov. Steele as a minstrel was re-syndicated by the leftist blog perceptionmanagers.org on January 31 (see screencap taken Feb. 10 at right).
The text of the blog post reads:
Apparently the Black community in Maryland (and the rest of Black America) doesn't like Michael "Oreo's fell like Locusts" Steele very much.
So the RNC would prefer to be known as the party of "Uncle Tom" instead of the Party of Racists. Way to broaden the base guys! Good luck with that in 2012.
At the end of Sunday’s Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer commented on former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele as chairman of the Republican National Committee: "So it was that the party of Lincoln, which had freed the slaves, but in the process had become the party of mainly white people, came full circle and turned to an African-American Moses to lead it out of the political wilderness."
Schieffer started his commentary by explaining how the Republican Party came to be the party of "mainly white people": "When Lyndon Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, he told a fellow Democrat 'we have lost the south for a generation,' and he was right. Richard Nixon capitalized on southern anger brought on by that act, developed a southern strategy, which emphasized states' rights, won the presidency twice, and a region where there had been few Republicans since the Civil War became the base of the reborn Republican Party."
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer went out of his way to point out the apparent lack of diversity in the leadership of the Republican Party during a panel discussion on Friday’s Situation Room. Just minutes earlier, Michael Steele had been elected the chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Blitzer brought up the race of many of those who had voted for him with Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez: “Take a look at the audience, though -- and I want to show our viewers a picture of the audience. Michael Steele, the first African-American leader of the RNC -- Leslie, I don’t see a whole lot of black people, at least in that group over there.” He went on to say, “It’s encouraging. I’m sure you’re encouraged that all these white people basically elected an African-American to be their leader.”
The anchor’s comment came during the CNN program’s regular “Strategy Session” discussion. Besides Sanchez, Blitzer hosted Democratic strategist Donna Brazile during the segment. He brought up Steele’s election as the first topic. After getting both women to respond to the news, Blitzer made his comment about the seeming lack of black people. Sanchez responded by conceding to his observation, in terms of the top RNC members, but then pointed out that “if you walked around that room, there’s so much diversity there. There was so much excitement for Michael Steele.”
Brent Bozell and others have asked if the ascent of President Obama will drain the swamp of hip-hop hate. In an interview with our news hounds at CNSNews.com (complete with video), hip-hop mogul and Obama supporter Russell Simmons suggested that hatred of the police and government continues, and he still doesn't see anything wrong with cop-killer anthems:
"Some people still see the suffering and the ignorance in the communities and the lack of opportunity – educational opportunity – lack of funding for health care and these things," said Simmons, "or if they still feel the police are an occupying force, they make a good song. My favorite song is ‘F--- tha Police.’ Right? Listen, I’m old. I like that song."
Simmons told CNSNews.com: "I don’t think there’s anything wrong with anything they said. They are not saying anything that’s not true."
ALSO, America apparently the land of permanent racism
I am wondering if CNN was out of the country last November 4? Maybe it missed that McCain lost the election because, once again, CNN trotted out an Old Media campaign lie aimed at making John McCain "as bad as" the Reverend Jeremiah "God Damn America" Wright by using the talking point that in Reverend John Hagee McCain had a "controversial" pastor, too? Not only did CNN fall back on the lie that Hagee is somehow just as bad as Wright -- and thereby smearing John McCain with Wright's racist hatespeak -- but CNN got a twofer with this piece by again portraying America as the land of permanent, unrelenting racism by hinting that Obama will never get a chance because he's black.
News flash to CNN: Barack HAS gotten a chance. He was elected with a comfortable majority of votes.
If anyone wonders what any criticism of Barack Obama will be termed by the Old Media, CNN's headlined "Will Obama have to be better because he's black?" seems to answer to that question. You see, Obama won't be given a chance, CNN tells us, because he's black. Any failure will be made larger because he's black. And any criticism of him is just racism forcing Obama to "work harder than whites" at his job.
If you were dying to know what Gwen Ifill was thinking when the controversy arose about her so-called Obama book and how that might have effected her ability to moderate the 2008 vice-presidential debate - now's your chance.
In that appearance, Ifill claimed she didn't believe the book inhibited her ability to moderate that debate and pointed out her ability to overcome racism as how she dealt with the controversy - by strapping on her "blinders." She also took a couple of passive jabs at former GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin - commenting on her "thin" biography and remarking on Palin's debate performance.
Sitting in a Washington bar with the Morning Joe crew on MSNBC Tuesday morning, former NBC anchor grew emotional remembering the 1960s. "I get very emotional. It has been hard for me to walk through the streets. And I think that the day is going to be very emotional." Brokaw even grew bold enough to tell the "bigots and rednecks" he met in the Sixties "when we were evolving as a country" to suffer through the Obama inauguration: "Take this. You know?"
The Morning Joe crew was discussing how Barack Obama was so different than past administrations in their lack of drama and in-fighting:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: As I was explaining to my wife, as my conservative brethren continued to beat me up, 'Why do you say, you know -- this guy is not going to be a leftist, how do you know he will not?' -- I said because of the people he is surrounds himself with. They are steady people. They are professional. A lot of ugliness you have seen in White Houses over the past 16 years, absent with this group.
On Monday's "Good Morning America," co-host Robin Roberts chose to tout only Democratic politicians in a piece honoring the civil rights movement and those "warriors" who made Barack Obama's election as president possible. Not a single Republican was mentioned or featured in the segment. Roberts began by announcing, "And on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we thought it would be appropriate to look back at all the warriors, black and white, who made this moment where we are today possible."
All the warriors? The piece went on to feature clips from eight Democratic politicians: Harry Truman, Hubert Humphrey, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, Barbara Jordan and Barack Obama, in addition to a number of non-political civil rights pioneers. Republican Abraham Lincoln went unmentioned, so did New York Governor Thomas Dewey who signed one of the nation's earliest civil rights laws in 1944 and President Ronald Reagan who made Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a federal holiday in 1983.
The piece also ignored the inconvenient fact that a higher percentage of Congressional Republicans voted for the historic 1964 Civil Rights Act than did Democrats. Another point left unmentioned was the heroic effort by the conservative GOP minority leader in the Senate, Everett Dirksen, in supporting that legislation:
Next time someone dismisses the idea that mass media can exert influence on American culture, point to a Jan. 18 New York Times article titled, "How the Movies Made a President." In that piece, Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott argue that fictional depictions of black U.S. presidents helped pave the way for a real one.
“The presidencies of James Earl Jones in ‘The Man,’ Morgan Freeman in ‘Deep Impact,”’ Chris Rock in ‘Head of State’ and Dennis Haysbert in ‘24’ helped us imagine Mr. Obama’s transformative breakthrough before it occurred,” the authors wrote. “In a modest way, they also hastened its arrival.”
Furthermore, Dargis and Scott say that a number of black filmmakers and movie stars have “helped write the prehistory of the Obama presidency.”
If the authors are correct and Hollywood did help lessen the role of race in the electoral equation, then it has performed a service to the nation and is to be commended. The mass media clearly holds tremendous power to influence public attitudes, and did so in this case for the better.
Discussing “post-racial” inauguration, CNN doesn’t call Lee on outdated racial term.
We’ve heard ad nauseam from a hopeful media -- Daniel Schorr of NPR, commentator Juan Williams and The New Republic among them -- that Obama will be a “post-racial” president. At least some of his supporters haven’t gotten the message.
Popular filmmaker and Obama supporter Spike Lee used a passé racial term for Washington D.C. when he appeared on Friday’s CNN Newsroom. Lee called the nation’s capital “Chocolate City.”
Chris Matthews won't be working alone. Back in November, the Hardball host said it was his job to make Barack Obama's presidency a success. Today, another TV journalist expressed a similar sentiment. Tavis Smiley has declared that "we're all working for Barack Obama" and that "we have to help make Obama a great president." [H/t reader dronetek.]
The host of Tavis Smiley on PBS was a guest on Morning Joe. Reacting to Harry Reid's claim last week that he doesn't work for Barack Obama, Smiley said Reid should "put down the crack pipe." Smiley added "we're all working for Barack Obama." It soon became clear that was no passing quip, but a literal description of how he sees his role.
A video report about last night's riot in Oakland related to the shooting death of an unarmed man at the hands of a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer actually calls it .... a riot. What's more, the reporter notes, as is really often the case in situations such as these, how people he characterized as "professional protesters" egged others on and created the atmosphere that led to so much violence and vandalism.
CBS5 reporter Joe Vazquez filed "Inside the Oakland Riot: A First-Hand Account." It's a little too "gee whiz" to me, but it least it gets some usually unreported facts out.