Previous NewsBusters posts (this one, for example) have dealt with the racial elements of Bryant Gumbel's Tagliabue/Upshaw/leash remark, but what about its substance? Is it true, as Gumbel contends, that NFL players have been shortchanged by weak union leadership? Two prominent columnists -- one white, one black, and, incidentally, both politically liberal -- aren't buying it.
Gregg Easterbrook, in this week's Tuesday Morning Quarterback column on ESPN.com, wrote:
As to the substance of Gumbel's claim, he's way off...Baseball long-term has had the most confrontational labor relations of the major sports, so let's compare MLB player pay with NFL player pay since the onset of the NFL salary cap in 1994. Adjusting for inflation, the average pro baseball player's pay has risen 71 percent since 1994, while the average pro football player's pay has risen 132 percent. NFL player pay increases have dwarfed all other team sports, which hardly sounds like the union is on a leash...
Update 9/01/06: As reported in a later entry, S R Sidarth was contacted via telephone and denied ever having posted at autoadmit as S R Sidarth. The postings at autoadmit have since been altered to include a different poster ID. While the ID's of posters at autoadmit ultimately remain anonymous to outsiders, it is not believed to be the S R Sidarth, recently in the news due to a remark by Senator Allen, who made the posts in question.
It’s been noted on this site before that David Shuster’s reports for MSNBC’s Hardball read like DNC press releases and last night was no exception as he attacked the administration on Katrina and Iraq and even found time to slam Sen. George Allen. Shuster opened fire: "Almost a year since Hurricane Katrina swamped the Gulf Coast, left the country shocked at the Bush administration's ineptitude the Bush team is now engaged in damage control for the year after reminder."
During his report Shuster cited Nancy Pelosi to attack Bush on Katrina, Sen. John McCain to hit Bush on Iraq and Howard Dean to slam Allen. Then Shuster called the Democrat's "wise" and doomed the GOP with this sign-off: "Reminding voters of your opponent's mistakes is a wise political campaign strategy and between George Allen, the problems in Iraq and the anniversary of the Bush team's Katrina debacle Democrats are now having a field day. Republicans are simply trying to hang on just 75 days before the congressional elections. I'm David Shuster for Hardball in Washington."
Film director Spike Lee could have created a stirring tribute to the victims of Hurricane Katrina who lost everything. Instead, his documentary "When the Levees Broke" featured Republican/Bush-bashing, conspiracy-mongering, and a disregard for victims of other races
Spike Lee focused primarily on the Lower Ninth Ward and the African-American victims of Katrina. So, viewers were left with the clear indication that the New Orleans area is almost solely comprised of African-Americans and the victims of Katrina were almost all African-American. However, the metropolitan area of New Orleans was 63% white prior to Katrina and 47% of the storm fatalities were not African-Americans, and of that group the vast majority was white.
Katrina was an equal opportunity destroyer and the flood waters did not discriminate. Incredibly, Lee found no time to investigate the damage in Old Metairie or Lakeview, two primarily white areas that were decimated. Was that just an oversight or an example of racial discrimination? Lee also completely bypassed the devastated Mississippi Gulf Coast, another primarily white region, which bore the brunt of the high winds and the storm surge of Katrina...
Talk about your culture clash! A hip hop music site juxtaposes a report on Bill Cosby's condemnation of that musical genre with news of the latest criminal doings of hip hop stars. AllHipHop.com bills itself as 'The World's Most Dangerous Site.' Currently up on the site is an article reporting a recent speech in which Cosby . . . "went on the offensive against rap music."
States the article:
"'They put the word 'nigga' in a song, and we get up and dance to it,' Cosby said.
"The two-hour Coppin State University-hosted event dubbed 'Fatherhood Works,' was the last stop on the entertainer's day-long visit to the city.
"In addition to hip-hop, Cosby expressed his views on teenage pregnancy, re-emphasized the importance of a good education and urged fathers to take a more active role in raising their kids, as he visited three West Baltimore elementary schools and the church."
So here was AllHipHop respectfully passing along Cosby's message. Meanwhile . . . to the right of the Cosby article is a column with links to the latest news from the hip hop world. But while reports of new record deals and other doings were mixed in, much of it read like a 'rap' sheet of an altogether different sort. Examples:
Foxy Brown Misses New Jersey Court Date, Must Attend Next Hearing
Estate of Slain Man In CCC Club Files Lawsuit Against Proof Estate
The Washington Post on Wednesday maintained its iron grip on Republican ethnic gaffes with political reporter Jim VandeHei repeating the Democratic talking points against Montana Sen. Conrad Burns, who’s made several jokes about Latino workers having their citizenship papers. The headline, playing off their incessant Macaca riffs, is “Comments Haunt Another Senator.” (They don’t mean Hillary’s Gandhi-gas-station joke.)
Just so you know that this is a one-sided tactic, the Post didn’t notice in June that San Diego Democratic congressional hopeful Francine Busby told a largely Latino audience, “you don’t need papers for voting,” until after she lost, despite playing up her chances over the last weekend as a possible bellwether of big GOP losses. Now look at the first paragraphs of VandeHei's story and ponder if it doesn't sound like he's writing for the Democratic Press Release Service:
The new season of CBS’ hit show "Survivor" was previewed on this morning’s "Early Show," and viewers learned that the show will have a segregationist beginning as contestants will be divided according to their race. In the past, tribes on the show have been determined by age or sex or by choosing sides, but this is the first time they have been determined by race, a fact which seemed to appall the co-hosts of "The Early Show."
At the top of the 8:00 hour, Harry Smith asked a random man gathered on the plaza for his reaction to this news, and the response was "it should be pretty interesting." Harry Smith, declared that a "safe" answer, which caused co-host Rene Syler to exclaim:
S. R. Sidarth, the Jim Webb for Senate volunteer who filmed Sen. George Allen nicknaming him 'Macaca,' appeared Tuesday on the far-left Pacifica Radio network show "Democracy Now" with Amy Goodman, the playground of wild-eyed radical leftists like Cindy Sheehan, Ramsey Clark, and Noam Chomsky. Sidarth replayed his outrage. But the show also featured Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an expert The Washington Post also used to denounce Allen. He was denouncing Allen as a racist on the nationally distributed show, traveling rapidly from little off-the-cuff nicknames to "neo-Confederate hate groups" and Trent Lott praising Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrat campaign for president:
Let us try, for a moment, to imagine a media figure. Let us assume that this figure has been a major media personality for more than 20 years, but has, on occasion, been known for making racially tinged comments. This media personality has built a reputation as an intellectual, so he's aware of what kind of comments can be mis-interpreted or mis-construed.
Now, let us a imagine a professional sports league which is in the process of changing commissioners. It has been an extremely successful league, with billions of dollars in revenue, and a long period of relative labor peace between ownership and the player's union. Let us suppose that the Commissioner in question (we'll call him "Paul Tagliabue") is a white man, and the President of the Players Association ("Gene Upshaw," for short) is a black man.
Juan Williams is a long-time columnist and commentator, who has been at the Washington Post (where he has an excellent column today) for years, as well as NPR and FoxNews. He has also written several books, the latest of which was reviewed in The Washington Post yesterday, by one Peniel E. Joseph.
Anyone who's followed the Washington media for any length of time over the past 20 years knows who Juan Williams is. And he knows that Williams is not a conservative. But the Washington Post, which has employed him and run hundreds of his columns, went out and found someone to savage his latest book. From the left.
Mr. Joseph, who is a teacher of "Africana Studies" at Stony Brook University, is apparently not interested in any discussion of black issues in America that isn't focused on white racism. The idea that blacks in America need to take any responsibility for their condition is apparently "simplistic."
Nine days after Sen. George Allen's less-than-monumental "Macaca" moment happened in southwest Virginia, The Washington Post is still flogging the story hard. In Sunday's paper, the article sprawled across the top of the Metro section is headlined "For One Group, 'Macaca' Recalls Slurs After 9/11." The subheadline is "Many Indian Americans Are Disturbed by Allen's Remarks, but Some See a Chance to Strengthen an Alliance." (It should not surprise you that the less disturbed aren't on the front page.) The story by Michael Shear and Leef Smith began:
Word of Sen. George Allen's controversial comments flashed across the country last week, but nowhere more rapidly than in Virginia's Indian American community, where frustration over ethnic stereotypes has intensified since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
We all remember how the MSM climbed all over Hillary Clinton when a few years ago she thought it was funny to claim that Mahatma Gandhi "ran a gas station down in St. Louis." Or more recently when she made her "plantation" remark.
And of course we recall the liberal media saying it was a career-ender for Joe Biden to have said "you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking,"
A friend e-mailed me that Mark Ambinder at The Hotline (formerly of the ABC News Political Unit) has his own analysis of the WashPost "macaca" mania -- Allen's campaign has upset the Post:
The death-knell for Republican candidates in Northern Virginia has been the active hostility of the Washington Post. Usually, a GOP candidate can neutralize the problem by neutralizing the Post -- not alienating the beat reporters and keeping the editorial page from beating the snare drum.
Two signs today that the Allen campaign has seriously angered the Post. First, there's the A1 placement of a story that is arguably interesting and compelling but not earthshatteringly newsy. Within the story, there's a hint that Allen's campaign manager, Dick Wadhams zoinked off the reporter who called him.
Most of the major American media had serious qualms about printing the Mohammed cartoons a while back. No major newspaper did as far as I can remember.
None of them seemed particularly outraged over a particularly vile cartoon by Wiley Miller, the creator of the syndicated strip Non Sequitur, which implied that Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia wants to enslave black Americans, and more specifically, his court colleague Clarence Thomas. (HT: Betsy Newmark)
In early July, Sen. Joe Biden joked before a C-SPAN camera that “you cannot go into a Dunkin Donuts of a 7-Eleven unless you have a slight Indian accent.” Conservatives had a little fun with it, but said: a harmless slip, but if a Republican ever did it, the media would have a much different standard. That day is now. Sen. George Allen mocked an Indian-American Democratic volunteer as a "macaca," and the Post played it up on the front page, along with a very tendentious staff editorial to boot insisting Allen's racial "bullying" was beyond "the bounds of decency." Washington Post coverage of Biden? None. Not in the paper.
'Rome is Burning' is ESPN's edgy sports-commentary show starring the eponymous Jim Rome. Jason Whitlock is standing in for Rome this week, and while I don't know much about him, from what I've seen I enjoy his shtick. He's smart, funny and seems to successfully walk the fine line of expressing strong views without being malicious.
Another plus: his physique and bearing remind me of one of my all-time favorite movie characters in my all-time favorite movie - Sydney Greenstreet as Signor Ferrari in Casablanca. Judge for yourself.
In any case, in the show's opening monologue, the host riffs on what 'he's burning about.' Among Whitlock's topics today was what he suggests be the top priority for about-to-be-announced new NFL Commisioner. For Whitlock, job #1 is
"Fixing the league's officiating crisis. The new commissioner shouldn't bury his head in the sand and pretend everything is OK with the zebras. It's not. The new millenium NFL player is souped up on supplements and moves at the speed of sound. It's ridiculous to have 50 year-old white guys chasing after 25-yr old black guys."
On the one hand, liberals enjoy portraying themselves as models of tolerance and racial sensitivity. But woe betide those who run afoul of their orthodoxy. Liberals don't hesitate to bring out the crudest racial imagery to mock them.
Add Joe Lieberman to the liberal media hit list. Have a look at the image of Lieberman that popped up at Huffington Post today. It's in a column by one Jane Hamsher, who, her bio informs us, is a 'progressive blogger.'
You may recall the past items I've posted about journalists who think they are exempt from the same behavior that they inflict on the rest of us. CBS News anchor Diann Burns is suing her contractors for skimping on her $3 million house because she is black. Of course the contracter gave her $92,000 in free perks, but she's still upset that they aren't going to fix the rain gutters on the neighboring house so they don't spill water in her yard. Obviously the neighbors are also doing this because she is black.
The punch line is this request to the court:
The filing asks that all attorneys, experts and court personnel involved in the case sign a "secrecy agreement," which would last up to five years after the suit has ended, barring them from talking about aspects of the case publicly or peddling pictures of the interior of the home.
The filing, which will be the subject of a Thursday court hearing, says that the luxury home is Burns' and Watts' "castle and refuge from the daily pressures of life," and that they "will suffer unreasonable annoyance and embarrassment if pictorial or verbal descriptions of the interior of their home" are made public and "may attract curiosity seekers, depriving them of the privacy and peace of the home to which every human being is entitled."
The filing specifically asks a judge to prevent information from being given "to the general public or the media" about the inside of their home...
Next time you see a reporter doing a live stand-up in front of an innocent victim's house, remember how this hypocritical CBS anchor believes that every human being is entitled to privacy and peace in their home.
Without any mention of the vicious hostility the NAACP displayed toward President Bush since he spoke before the group in 2000, including a TV ad linking Bush's refusal to sign a hate crime bill to the dragging death of a black man in Texas, the Thursday broadcast network evening newscasts portrayed Bush as the one responsible for the estrangement. All stressed how Bush's Thursday appearance before the NAACP convention was his first and all three ran soundbites only from attendees critical of him.
"It took five and a half years, but President Bush finally said yes to the NAACP,” ABC's Charles Gibson asserted, elaborating: “The President has ignored invitations throughout his presidency to speak to the civil rights group.” Martha Raddatz emphasized Bush's absences: "The White House saw this as an opportunity the President couldn't pass up. But it is an opportunity he had passed up every year since he was elected.” CBS anchor Bob Schieffer highlighted how Bush “spoke today to the NAACP for the first time in six years as President.” Jim Axelrod relayed how “prior to Katrina, he never spoke to the convention as President, but since September, he's reached out to the head of the NAACP three separate times." NBC's Brian Williams set up a story by noting how “President Bush spoke to the NAACP for the first time in his presidency.” David Gregory asserted that efforts to reach out to blacks “have failed” and “then came Katrina and charges that racism motivated the federal government's slow response.” (Transcripts follow.)
As President Bush speaks today at the NAACP convention for the first time, political reporter Adam Nagourney found the G.O.P.'s black outreach failing in Tuesday's "Republicans Coming Up Short in Effort to Reach Out to African-American Voters."
"There has been no end to speculation about what the party was up to. Was it simply a ploy to improve the party’s image with moderate white voters? Did the White House see an opportunity to make small though significant changes in the American political system by pulling even a relative few black voters into its corner in important states like Ohio? (Yes, and yes.)
"But as Mr. Bush is tentatively scheduled to speak at the N.A.A.C.P. convention in Washington this week -- after five years of declining to appear before an organization with which he has had tense relations -- it seems fair to say that whatever the motivation, the effort has faltered.
Another friend sent a giggle with the HBO press release on Spike Lee's forthcoming Katrina documentary. Is Spike Lee seeking a "wide range of opinions"? Bayou Buzz has details, including this piece of the press release:
Lee and his team selected nearly 100 people from diverse backgrounds, representing a wide range of opinions, to be featured in the film, including Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Harry Belafonte, Wynton Marsalis, CNN´s Soledad O´Brien, Terence Blanchard, Rev. Al Sharpton, Wendell Pierce, Sean Penn, Kanye West, local media and other New Orleans residents.
It might be a pretty big event: It "will have a world premiere August 16 in New Orleans before a potential 10,000 people. The premiere in New Orleans will be one year after the Hurricane Katrina disaster. On Wednesday, Aug. 16, Acts I and II will be presented free of charge before a potential audience of 10,000 people at the New Orleans Arena."
Let's imagine an American World Cup team member 'of pallor' had head-butted, oh, an Arab or African player. Would the MSM be quick to excuse, even to make the incident the object of humor? Or would we have been treated to mind-numbing disquisitions on racism in sport as a microcosm of society at large?
But when a French player of Arab ancestry head-butts an Italian? Well, CBS tells us, boys will be boys. CBS's Elizabeth Palmer, who narrated a segment on the incident on this morning's Early Show, informed us that "it's a male thing understood around the world." To prove her point, CBS ran a clip from an Adam Sandler flick showing the comedian, as a football player, taking a flying foot leap into another player who had insulted his mother. We were also treated to images of video spoofs and video games that the incident has generated.
As reported by NewsBusters here, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Delaware) made some rather insensitive statements last month concerning not being able to “go to a 7- Eleven or Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.” CNN invited Biden on Friday's 5PM ET installment of “The Situation Room” to discuss how things are going in Iraq – amongst other things – and then gave him a great opportunity to explain these Indian remarks (video link to follow).
Rather than challenge the Senator in any way, host John King filling in for Wolf Blitzer basically gave Biden a platform to rationalize why these statements weren’t inappropriate. After reading the offending sentences from Biden captured by C-SPAN, King simply asked, “What were you thinking?” Biden was then given the floor to make any statement that he wanted about this issue, without any grilling or interrogation whatsoever by King:
Where did he go wrong? Syndicated sports columnists Norman Chad was trying to lecture that there were not enough black sports editors in America, only 4 of 305. As Tim Graham noted, he even managed to get in a dig at Newt Gingrich: "We're whiter than Newt Gingrich's Fourth of July barbecue."
But later in the piece, he said he knew one of those few black editors, Garry D. Howard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
I actually know one of them pretty well — Garry D. Howard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which carries my column.
I noticed Howard was black the first time we met, largely because of his skin color. But once I got by that I realized he spoke English somewhat satisfactorily and understood sports and journalism reasonably well.
Via Romenesko, we learn that syndicated sports columnist/humorist Norman Chad was decrying the unbearable whiteness of sports section editors, but he encapsulated it with a political wisecrack: "We're whiter than Newt Gingrich's Fourth of July barbecue." (The column ran in the Washington Post on Monday.)
Since this is an attempt at humor, it's doubtful that Chad is trying to be factual, as if he has actually witnessed a Gingrich barbecue. But this is an odd joke, considering Gingrich has long been very Jack-Kempian in his reaching out to black audiences, supporting a Martin Luther King holiday and sanctions against apartheid-era South Africa in the 1980s, for example. Then there's his endorsements of black Republican candidate Dylan Glenn for Congress in his home state of Georgia. Are the liberals running out of easy GOP "bigot" targets?
The conventional wisdom in Maryland politics is that former Rep. Kweisi Mfume just can't stop the establishment connections and money of Rep. Ben Cardin in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes. Sunday's Washington Post puts a big crimp in that CW -- Mfume leads Cardin, 31-25, albeit with strong racial divisions. (Democrats believe Cardin is the man because he does better in head-to-head polls with Republican nominee Michael Steele.)
It's Michael Steele that really draws out the negative press from the Post, though. While Steele usually can't buy a spot on the front page of Metro for his campaign, it was B-1 all the way last Monday when the Post claimed "Steele's Donor List Raises Racial Questions." Reporter Matthew Mosk explained his rollout of the race card, a la Willie Horton:
As a veteran Couric watcher, I've recently come to follow [without actually watching] doings at The View, since Katie's replacement Meredith Vieira was for years a member of the show's cast. For those unfamiliar with it, The View is an all-female televised coffee klatsch and gabfest of which Barbara Walters is the creator, partial owner and a co-host.
The View has a distinct liberal tint to its patter. And as we know, one of the tenets of feminist theology is that women have a right to whatever body size they want, free of societal restraints.
How ironic - some might say hypocritical - that one reason for the recent firing of co-host Star Jones is that . . . she refused to stay fat! As you'll note from the before and after pics here, Star has undergone a dramatic physical transformation. According to this AP article:
So, where’s the media outcry when liberals resort to “hate speech?” First, Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, drops the “F-bomb” in a profane verbal assault on two employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs at a press event. The AP made a passing reference to the incident, then quickly removed it. No one else in the establishment media saw fit to report the story, or call for an apology (or even an explanation) from Filner.
Now, the website of Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.), who charged last March that the Capitol Police harassed her because she is "a female black Congresswoman," uses racial slurs, calling a fellow black female Democrat an “Oreo” and white Republicans "good ol' boy cracker-crats” having a “hootenanny.” Again, where’s the media outcry against the public, political use of these hurtful racial epithets?
In 2000, that darn MSM elected George Bush by bashing Al Gore. And when it comes to the theological argument as to whether gays and women should be Christian clergy, well, actually, there isn't an argument. There's only one side. The liberal one, of course.
Don't believe me? Ask Neal Gabler. The reliably liberal member of the Fox News Watch panel expressed those views on this evening's show.
Host Eric Burns asked whether the torture and murder of two US soldiers, coupled with the charges brought against a group of Marines in the killing of an Iraqi civilian brought us to a turning point of more open press opposition to the war.
Responded Gabler: "I think it is a right-wing frame to say is this a turning point to go overtly against the war. As if [the press] have been covertly against the war." In a strange non sequitur he continued "This press elected George Bush by bashing Al Gore. This press facilitated our entrance into the war and acted as if Bush had had a sudden turn-around by going to Iraq."
Lashawn Barber writes at Townhall.com that the Duke lacrosse rape story was just too good for the mainstream media to ignore: privileged white college students having their way with a poor black single mother.
When a black stripper claimed three white Duke University lacrosse players gang-raped her at a party, I knew instinctively it was a lie. The tale reeked of Tawana Brawley-like fabrications. At 15, Brawley claimed that six white men abducted and raped her, smeared her with feces and wrote racial epithets on her body. The media loved it.
It turned out that Brawley lied to get out of trouble for skipping school to see a jailbird ex-boyfriend. The media glommed on to the Duke rape story in a similar man-bites-dog fashion. Since news accounts of black-on-white crimes are rather commonplace, journalists jumped at the chance to exploit a fresh angle.