"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.
In a September 28 article on Time.com entitled, "What Bill O'Reilly Really Told Me," Fox News contributor Juan Williams explained the context of his conversation with O'Reilly that found itself fodder for context-mangling by liberal interest groups and O'Reilly's perpetual ratings victim, Keith Olbermann:
So, O'Reilly says to me that the reality to black life is very different from the lowlife behavior glorified by the rappers. He told me he was at a restaurant in Harlem recently and there was no one shouting profanity, no one threatening people. Then he mentioned going to an Anita Baker concert with an audience that was half black, and in sharp contrast to the corrosive images on TV, well dressed and well behaved.
Last night's GOP presidential forum was marked by a lack of attendence from the top candidates who said they couldn't come due to "scheduling conflicts."
Could the real reason they didn't come was that the debate moderator, liberal PBS host Tavis Smiley, has a long history of making offensive remarks about Republicans?
Attending the debate in person, I decided to ask that question to Smiley, specifically about his remark that he considered then-Texas-governor George W. Bush to be a "serial killer" for his enforcement of that state's capital punishment laws. His answer was both misleading and evasive.
People who are sick and tired of the smear campaigns against conservatives emanating from the left take heart, for it appears that last night's "O'Reilly Factor" was a foreshadowing of things to come.
Just hours after Bill O'Reilly came out strongly against media representatives parroting factually inaccurate statements promulgated by leftwing websites and organizations, the host of the "Radio Factor" issued a strong warning Thursday to press outlets participating in such smear campaigns.
Fasten your seatbelts, because this is really delicious (audio available here courtesy Johnny Dollar):
Keith Olbermann this week has been happier than Ralphie Parker on Christmas morning over a left-wing group-generated controversy over Bill O'Reilly. But like the BB-gun-receiving protagonist of "A Christmas Story," lil' Keithie needs to know the dangers of (metaphorically) putting his eye out. After all, on September 9 on NBC's "Football Night in America," Olbermann made a cryptic crack that could be taken to be racially insensitive, if not racist.
The morning after CNN and MSNBC began salivating over a potential “Imus moment” pushed by a far-left group to suppress Bill O'Reilly over a supposedly racist remark, CBS and NBC on Wednesday advanced the liberal group's cause with multi-part segments on the topic. But while NBC's Today at least provided some balance and proper labeling, CBS's Early Show, with “In Hot Water” and “O'Race Factor” on screen, aired a story which failed to identify the ideology of Media Matters and followed with Julie Chen pressing the only guest to agree O'Reilly's comment was racist and that he must issue an apology. Amazingly, neither show bothered to mention that Juan Williams, the black journalist who was on O'Reilly's radio show when the FNC host made the remarks in question, defended O'Reilly: “It had nothing to do with racist ranting by anybody except these idiots at CNN.”
Harry Smith teased Wednesday's Early Show: “Bill O'Reilly in hot water over race remarks. The controversy ahead, early this Wednesday morning, September 26th, 2007.” Chen hyped a “firestorm” over O'Reilly before reporter Bianca Solorzano innocuously described Media Matters as a “watchdog group.” Solorzano asked an employee at the Harlem restaurant O'Reilly talked about: “Do you feel Bill O'Reilly's comments about his meal here are racist?” The woman affirmed: “Definitely. One of the worst stereotypes ever of our customers, of our people.” Chen next interviewed Alex David of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. She pressed him: “You say ignorance, but do you think racist?” Chen also urged him to agree: “Does he need to apologize at this point, do you think?”
Even after the Juan Williams "idiots at CNN" rebuke, CNN still pressed on about Bill O’Reilly’s race remarks, and a guest on Wednesday’s "Newsroom" took the language being used against O’Reilly and Williams to new lows. Syracuse University professor and blogger Boyce Watkins appeared on the CNN program, and compared O’Reilly to a murderous movie villain and to Iranian tyrant Ahmadinejad. "If the villain in a movie comes up and says, 'I love you very much,' that usually means he wants to kill you. The fact is that Bill O'Reilly is a guy who has made a career demeaning, degrading, and devaluing every black institution he can get his hands on.... You know, he's about like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, when it comes to making ridiculous assertions and waiting for people to respond."
After his villain/Ahmadinejad comparison, Watkins blasted NPR host and Fox News contributor Juan Williams for coming to O’Reilly’s defense. O’Reilly’s race comments had come from an hour of his radio program that involved a segment with Williams. "Juan Williams sitting there, is sort of the 'Happy Negro' agreeing with Bill O'Reilly, doesn't impress me at all. A man cannot walk into your home and congratulate your mother for not being a prostitute and not expect you to be offended."
Are profane, sexist, and violent rap lyrics harming America? That question was asked at a House hearing convened yesterday to examine the role of the music industry in public affairs:
Lawmakers, music industry executives and rappers disagreed Tuesday over who was to blame for sexist and degrading language in hip-hop music but united in opposing government censorship as a solution.
"If by some stroke of the pen hip-hop was silenced, the issues would still be present in our communities," rapper and record producer David Banner, whose real name is Levell Crump, said in prepared statements to a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing. "Drugs, violence and the criminal element were around long before hip-hop existed."
Less than a half-hour after Kiran Chetry and Roland Martin speculated whether O’Reilly’s recent comments on race would be the next "Imus Moment," the cast of MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" mocked the Fox News host. Co-host Mika Brzezinski put on her best Meryl Streep imitation after a clip of O’Reilly’s comments were played. "Oh, my God.... Wow... That's attractive," and also made an audible Al Gore-style sigh. Guest host Willie Geist went further. "Also, using the term 'blacks.’ I don't think anybody's said that since like 1973." Come again?
Brzezinski, Geist, and host Joe Scarborough discussed O’Reilly at the top of the 8 am Eastern hour on Tuesday’s "Morning Joe." While the cast played the O’Reilly clip for the first time, a caption spun O’Reilly’s words: "O’Reilly Shocked That Harlem Restaurant is ‘Normal’ (see above picture). The three were so "overwhelmed" by the clip that they played it again.
On Monday’s "Nightline," co-anchor Terry Moran spent almost the entire 30 minute program gushing over Bush-bashing rapper Kanye West. The ABC host asserted that West’s 2005 comment that "George Bush doesn’t care about black people" turned West "into a cultural force to be reckoned with" and extolled the "complex and thoughtful pop star." Moran even opened the program by asking, "What went through [West's] mind when he blasted the President in the wake of Katrina?" The co-anchor breathlessly wondered, "Would he say it again?"
Moran could hardly be more effusive in his adulation for the rapper. During the course of the program, he rhapsodized that West "is more than merely popular. He's a very interesting figure on the cultural landscape, a complex icon of music and style." Dropping all pretext of objectivity, Moran lauded the performer, who essentially called President Bush a racist, as "a shrewd and self-reflective observer of America's racial politics" and someone who has "got a lot to say." The ABC host briefly played music critic and marveled at West’s "complex and intricate rap lyrics." It’s probably not surprising that, during a discussion over whether the rapper is boastful, Westcomplimented Moran as "definitely one of the better reporters who have interviewed me."
CNN co-host Kiran Chetry and CNN contributor Roland Martin, in a segment on Tuesday’s "American Morning," discussed comments on race Fox News host Bill O’Reilly had recently made on his radio show, and the question you might expect came up: "Is this going to be one of those Don Imus moments?"
Chetry asked this question to Martin due to some blogs "buzzing" over O’Reilly’s comments about a visit he made to a "soul food" restaurant in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City with Al Sharpton. Martin denied that this was going to be O’Reilly’s "Imus moment."
O’Reilly, in a conversation with NPR host and Fox contributor Juan Williams, had said of his visit to Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem, "I think black Americans are starting to think more and more for themselves. There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, ‘M-Fer, I want more iced tea.’ They were ordering and having fun, and it wasn't any kind of craziness at all."