NewsBusters readers are likely familiar with Jason Whitlock, the outspoken sportswriter for the Kansas City Star whose views on race relations in America typically go quite contrary to most in the mainstream media.
On Wednesday, Whitlock wrote an article for Fox Sports.com concerning the recent shooting of Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor.
True to form, Whitlock spoke of truths few press representatives and even fewer black leaders dare to today (emphasis added, h/t Larwyn, reader is cautioned that some of the language is a tad raw at times):
A conservative comedian [yes, there are some], appears at a venue in a heavily-white suburb at a campaign event for a white candidate and tells his audience composed overwhelmingly of people of pallor they'd be embarrassed if they supported a black candidate and the white candidate won, saying "Oh no. I can't call him now. I had that black guy. What was I thinking?"
What are the odds the MSM would laugh it off?
But when Chris Rock does the equivalent on behalf of Barack Obama, the MSM raises nary an eyebrow. Rock appeared last night at an event for Barack Obama at Harlem's famed Apollo Theater and said:
"You'd be real embarrassed if he won and you wasn't down with it. You'd say, 'aw man, I can't call him now. I had that white lady. What was I thinking?'"
Do none of the Republican presidential candidates, including the former mayor of New York City, care about crime in the African-American community? According to "The View’s" Sherri Shepherd, they do not. Joy Behar says those encouraging a more stable family structure are "mental midgets" because they will not discuss racism.
On discussing the Republican YouTube debate, Joy Behar said she was "slightly annoyed" that Mitt Romney stated a large factor in black on black crime are unstable families, and that he did not address racism. Sherri Shepherd scoffed that "not one of these candidates ever thought about black on black crime."
Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg also exclaimed why no one ever asks about "white on white crime." Joy Behar did concede that Rudy Giuliani dramatically reduced black on black crime in New York City, but questioned "the way he did it." Sherri Shepherd responded "because one of my cousins called me from jail."
During an appearance on CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday, former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw pointed out that before the invasion of Iraq, even "people who were critical of the war" thought that Saddam Hussein "had weapons of mass destruction," as he responded to criticism that the media were not aggressive enough about challenging President Bush before the Iraq invasion. And while commenting on racial issues, giving his view that "we need to have a dialogue in this country" about race, Brokaw lamented the problems posed by "political correctness" which means "you're in danger of being a racist if you go against the merits of some issues and just try to look at it objectively." Brokaw added: "Within the black culture, there's a fear about speaking out, about what some people see as wrong, because they say, don't go there, you know, it will only hurt our people." (Transcript follows)
The website The Black Commentator defined the loony left by calling for the end of the Thanksgiving holiday, since it's apparently an event for white supremacists. This is more about the Internet than the mainstream media, but remember that liberal blacks the news producers treat as sensible pundits -- like Julian Bond of the hallowed NAACP and Julianne Malveaux, the woman who hoped on PBS that Clarence Thomas would die young -- are on this website's board. Here's just a snippet of their anti-Thanksgiving rant:
On Saturday, State Representative Carla Blanchard Dartez (D-La.) lost her re-election bid to Republican challenger Joe Harrison in a heated and controversial run-off. Yet the largest newspaper in Louisiana, The Times-Picayune (TP), chose to bury it as an afterthought in its coverage of the statewide election results. The Times-Picayune online edition, NOLA.com, placed this paragraph at the end of its story.
The only two incumbent lawmakers to lose in either chamber were Democrats. Chris Hazel dispatched Rep. Rick Farrar of Pineville in the 27th District primary. Challenger Joe Harrison topped Rep. Carla Blanchard Dartez of Morgan City to claim the 51st District seat in the runoff.
The TP made no mention of the 'Buckwheat' racial slur or the other controversies which surrounded this incumbent Democrat. Why is that?
In the free-for-all that followed Tavis Smiley’s hostile GOP presidential debate in August, Michael Fauntroy was featured by Smiley’s show and several other liberal media outlets as an instant pundit on the subject, author of the book plainly titled Republicans and the Black Vote. But Sunday night on the Huffington Post, Fauntroy slammed a not-so-new documentary on blacks and the GOP as pathetic propaganda:
In arguing that the Dems were racist and that the GOP has been miscast by the liberal media as the enemy of Black people, Emancipation, Revelation, and Revolution completely overlooks the role of ideology in policymaking. Conservatives have long opposed Black progress. Conservatives opposed Reconstruction and civil rights. Conservatives pushed the "Lily-White" movement that purged Blacks from leadership of state Republican parties throughout the South. Conservatives have pushed for the maintenance of a racial status quo that held down Blacks and then blamed them for the lots in life.
In what began as a Veterans Day tribute to African-American military veterans, a segment on Sunday’s CBS "Sunday Morning,"soon became a rant against the Bush Administration as reporter Bill Whitaker exclaimed:
The concerned Department of Defense has studied why black enlistment has plummeted and found that many of the so-called "influencers" in the black community, parents, teachers, clergy, feel in general, that Bush Administration policies have hurt African-Americans. And more than any other group, they oppose the war in Iraq.
Whitaker then examined the case of Macio Sheffield, an African-American high school student in Los Angeles who was a member of the Junior ROTC. After Sheffield explained his reason for being in ROTC: "I enjoy learning about respect and discipline. I like the Army. I love America," Whitaker followed with, "But first Macio will have to get past his parents, Macio senior and Terry Craten, who, like the majority of the blacks in the survey, oppose the Bush Administration and this war." Whitaker then talked to Sheffield’s parents:
Times columnist David Brooks blew a hole into the left-wing myth of Ronald Reagan appealing to Southern racists to kick off his 1980 presidential campaign. What makes Brooks's Friday column doubly valuable -- it's a bank-shot sinking of fellow Times columnist and Republican-hater Paul Krugman.
Brooks's "History and Calumny" defends then-candidate Ronald Reagan from leftists like Krugman who have long slurred his 1980 campaign kick-off in Philadelphia, Miss. as a racist appeal.
"Today, I'm going to write about a slur. It's a distortion that's been around for a while, but has spread like a weed over the past few months. It was concocted for partisan reasons: to flatter the prejudices of one side, to demonize the other and to simplify a complicated reality into a political nursery tale.
"View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg, an African American woman who grew up in the "Jim Crow" era of the 1950's and 1960's, claimed America is "not as free as it was when I was a kid." This is the same Whoopi who compared modern America to Nazi Germany.
The November 12 edition of "The View" featured noted conservative radio talk show host and best selling author of "Power to the People" Laura Ingraham. Ingraham put veteran journalist Barbara Walters on the defensive on the "do you want to win in Iraq" question. Most notably, though was Whoopi Goldberg’s assertion that America is "not as free" as it once was to Ingraham’s astonishment.
Guess I won't be calling Mika Brzezinski a "newsreader" again anytime soon. The "Morning Joe" panelist went to Iowa over the weekend and scored an in-depth interview with Michelle Obama that elicited a highly-controversial suggestion from the candidate's wife. According to Mrs. Obama, her husband isn't polling better among African-Americans because in the back of their minds, many blacks think "others" are better.
On Saturday, CNN ran an interview with Bill Cosby on "Larry King Live," which originally ran on Thursday October 18, in which the entertainer plugged his new book "Come on People: On the Path from Victims to Victors," about problems faced by America's black population. While Cosby talked about such conservative themes as personal responsibility, which in recent years he has been famous for discussing, the entertainer also demonstrated that he has not entirely made the trip over to the conservative side as he derided Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as "brother lite," repeatedly charging that Thomas "doesn't want to help anybody." Cosby also proclaimed that he "loves" far-left Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. (Transcript follows)
In an article that is otherwise fairly balanced, Delaware's biggest daily, the Wilmington News Journal, proclaims in a headline today that senior Senator Joe Biden has a "Tangled tongue, but a civil record," with the sub-header "Biden's bloopers don't jibe with his votes."
Sen. Joe Biden sees black supporters as his base and maintains a stellar voting record with the NAACP.
But he's also gotten in trouble for comments involving race or ethnicity.
Biden's supporters say the apparent gaffes are merely examples of his unscripted style, which they admire. Others say he should be more aware of how his words come across.
Most recently, Biden drew a comparison between the nation's capital and Iowa that suggested to some he was blaming Washington's large minority population for its low-performing schools.
CBS's Public Eye blogger Matthew Felling sees curious timing in a controversy CNN reported on an October 31 program, but which took place weeks earlier, involving a stand-up comic and a noose:
Last night on CNN’s “Out in the Open” hosted by Rick Sanchez, he had a lively discussion/debate with an African-American comic who had worn a noose like a necktie as “a fashion accessory.” The segment began:
The Nazi comparison is often cited too casually particularly on "The View" where Joy Behar compared former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to Hitler. The October 26 edition was no exception.
In an unusually deep and interesting conversation about forgiveness, Whoopi Goldberg, who took the redemption side, pulled the Nazi comparison to 21st century America. Apparently those who want an aggressive War on Terror and wish to crack down on illegal immigrants are no better than those who tried to wipe out an entire race. (Video available here.)
GOLDBERG: Well, I think because one of the things that happens when you get nationalism whipped up in a country is people start going "yeah it's them, it's not us, it’s them, it’s not us, let's go get them!" We saw it happen. We saw it happen here.
It's time for a TGIF edition of one of our favorite games: WIARHSI. For you beginners, that's "What If A Republican Had Said It?"
What if a Republican had said, in explaining why schools in Iowa are performing better than those in Washington:
There's less than one percent of the population of Iowa that is African American. There is probably less than four of five percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you're dealing with.
It has been five days since Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen used an offensive ethnic slur to describe the Chinese workers who built the railroads across the American West in the 1800s. Bredesen used the term in a dispatch he wrote and emailed to some Tennessee newspapers while traveling in Beijing.
The ensuing media firestorm has yet to, well, ensue. Terry Frank explains why Bredesen's rude language won't be his "macaca moment," and takes issue with Bredesen's attempt to portray himself as the victim in the story. (He blames the newspapers for not editing his piece and, contradictorily, for suggesting the word might be offensive.)
Oh, did I mention that Bredesen is a liberal Democrat? That may explain why the media firestorm never ensued.
Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama is demanding that John Tanner, head of the Justice Department's voting rights division, be fired for racially insensitive remarks:
John Tanner's remarks came during an Oct. 5 panel discussion on minority voters before the National Latino Congreso in Los Angeles. Tanner addressed state laws that require photo identification for voting, saying that elderly voters disproportionately don't have the proper IDs.
"That's a shame, you know, creating problems for elderly persons just is not good under any circumstance," Tanner said, according to video posted on YouTube. "Of course, that also ties into the racial aspect because our society is such that minorities don't become elderly the way white people do. They die first."
"There are inequities in health care. There are a variety of inequities in this country, and so anything that disproportionately impacts the elderly has the opposite impact on minorities. Just the math is such as that."
In an era of shocking things, this has to be one of the most shocking: at the Hip Hop Awards aired on Black Entertainment Television Thursday, two members of the 'Jena Six' were actually introduced to help present the Video of the Year honors to Kanye West.
As reported by Matthew Balan earlier today here at Newsbusters, Nation of Islam [former] leader Louis Farrakhan gave a speech Tuesday night which included the implied threat of violence against law enforcement officials. But you sure wouldn't know that based on the Associated Press's account of the speech. Merely referring to Farrakhan as a "fiery orator," the AP was more interested in his fashion sense than the calls for possible violence:
Farrakhan cut a healthy-looking figure Tuesday in a gray and gold pinstriped suit, a wide smile flashing often under the trademark side-part in his wavy, black hair and thin-rimmed glasses.
CNN contributor Roland Martin, in an interview on Thursday’s "American Morning" about Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s apparent threat against law enforcement officials in a recent speech, tried to explain away the comments as "rhetoric," and tried to put them in the context of "the history of the Nation of Islam." "It is not like it is a surprise when you actually hear the kind of rhetoric."
Co-host Kiran Chetry interviewed Martin near the bottom of the 6 am Eastern hour of the CNN morning show. Chetry played a clip from Farrakhan’s speech that he gave at the recent 12th anniversary of the Million Man March in Atlanta. "Do you want me, as the voice of the honorable Elijah Muhammad, and really a voice of God, to ask our people to retaliate in matters of the flame? A life for a life? Is that what you are driving us to?"
Back in March, liberals tried to make a major controversy out of Rush Limbaugh’s parody of Al Sharpton singing "Barack the Magic Negro" (to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon") even though it borrowed the "magic negro" term from a black writer in the Los Angeles Times. Critics thought it was racist and made Sharpton sound like an idiot. One blogger called for station managers to drop Limbaugh and this "worst kind of vile, demeaning garbage." It even became a news story on NBC.
But what about when the left does a similar kind of satire against Clarence Thomas – and on National Public Radio, no less? On October 1, the first day of the Supreme Court’s new term, NPR’s All Things Considered aired a parody by Bruce Kluger and David Slavin, using ethnic and racial stereotyping for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, and Thomas. Scalia is pitched as the Godfather (complete with notes from the "Godfather" soundtrack) and Thomas is mocked as Scalia’s goon, who repeats everything Scalia says and even calls him "Boss." Fake Thomas also seems well-versed in the signals of public-restroom sex. (You have to hear it to believe it. Audio here.)
Reacting to the not-guilty verdicts in the Florida boot camp case involving the death of a 14-year old African-American boy, CNN anchor Don Lemon found the result "surprising." And both he and CNN reporter Susan Candiotti made clear that they bought into the prosecution's portrayal of the videotape of the incident.
Just before the verdicts came down, there was this exchange [emphasis added].
DON LEMON: How much of a role did this tape play into [sic] this trial?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI: Oh huge. This is the main evidence, isn't it? And as one of the prosecutors said, "there might not be sound on this tape, but it is screaming at you, 'why didn't someone do something?'"
Former ABC reporter Michel Martin has a history of one-sided bashing of Clarence Thomas. In 1994, the reporter then known as Michel McQueen helmed a 60-minute special on the ABC prime-time magazine Turning Point highlighting women who charged Anita Hill was right and Clarence Thomas was wrong. Pro-Thomas colleagues at the EEOC were not interviewed.
Outraged now at the new Clarence Thomas autobiography My Grandfather’s Son, Martin used her new forum, the National Public Radio talk show Tell Me More, to interview Angela Wright, a disgruntled employee that Thomas fired, who then denigrated him on NPR as "a mean-spirited, nasty, you know, fairly unstable person" who carried around "his self-loathing and his hatred for anything black or civil rights-oriented or affirmative action." She claimed that the Democrats never wanted her to testify. But the actual record from the hearing clearly shows that Sen. Joe Biden read a letter to Wright saying he would honor her request if she wished to testify, and then attached a statement from Wright saying "From Angela Wright, 'I agree the admission of the transcript of my interview and that of Miss Jourdain's in the record without rebuttal at the hearing represents my position and is completely satisfactory to me.'"
"View" moderator Whoopi Goldberg surprisingly called out Reverend Al Sharpton for sometimes jumping to conclusions too swiftly, particularly on the false Duke lacrosse sexual assault allegation. In discussing Al Sharpton calling for Isiah Thomas to apologize for his conduct with a female New York Knicks staffer, Whoopi Goldberg called for Sharpton to apologize for protesting the innocent Duke lacrosse players.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Will you do me a favor? Will you ask him to please apologize to the Duke lacrosse players?
The Washington Post put Latino organizing efforts for illegal immigrants on the front page again Tuesday with the headline “Latinos Unite Across Classes Against Curbs on Immigration.” (The word “illegal” in front of immigration didn’t fit?) Reporter Pamela Constable quoted no one opposed to illegal immigration in her story, but that didn’t mean racist-sounding Americans weren’t quoted. The surprise: the racially insulting quote came from a wealthy Colombian-born businessman, Jose Marinay, who suggested he was scary to white people when he “looked Latino,” dressed down and went unshaven:
"I dress well, and I drive a nice car. But on the weekends, when I am in shorts and sandals and I haven't shaved, I look Latino enough to scare a few folks," Marinay said. "There is a definite chill in the air. We may be a fragmented community, we may eat or celebrate in different places, but now they are looking at us in the same way. If we don't unite and work together, we will all sink."
Media's power was on full display last week when a popular rock singer published a song about the Jena 6.
The lyrics angered the embattled Louisiana city's mayor so much that he wrote a letter to the Associated Press complaining about how his town has "for months been mischaracterized in the media and portrayed as the epicenter of hatred, racism and a place where justice is denied."
The latest episode in this bizarre story began with the posting of this video at the website of John Mellencamp featuring his most recent song "Jena." In it, Mellencamp sings:
Oh oh oh Jena Take your nooses down
The town's mayor, Murphy R. McMillin, wasn't pleased by this, and wrote the AP:
CNN has highlighted the Media Matters-driven spin on Bill O’Reilly’s race remarks on his radio program since the beginning of the week, and has specifically used "Out in the Open" program, hosted by Rick Sanchez, to carry the water on the subject Monday through Friday of last week.
"Out in the Open" first did a segment on the O’Reilly issue on Monday, at the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour. Sanchez played select audio clips from O’Reilly’s radio show, outside of the greater context of the entire hour that O’Reilly discussed race. He also read some of the quotes from a transcript of the radio broadcast. CNN contributor and O’Reilly critic Roland Martin appeared unopposed during the segment, which lasted about six minutes. During the segment, Martin, in his attack on O’Reilly, played-up the parts from O’Reilly’s remarks that both Media Matters and Sanchez chose to highlight.
If Dems and Republicans are at odds over everything from Iraq to healthcare, there's one thing that has brought many of them together: shared criticism of the leading GOP presidential contenders for their decision to skip the recent debate moderated by Tavis Smiley, billed as oriented to the concerns of black Americans.
But beginning on yesterday's "Meet the Press" and continuing on today's "Morning Joe," Pat Buchanan has not hesitated to make a pragmatic political case in defense of the Republican candidates' decision. And alone, at least among pundits I've heard, he drew an interesting parallel to the venues the leading Dem candidate is skipping.