Unfortunately for liberals, airbrushing history is so much tougher these days, what with Google and long memories and all.
Here's MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Wednesday disparaging Sarah Palin for her condemnation of liberals' kneejerk "blood libel" against conservatives in the wake of the Tucson shooting (audio) --
MADDOW: Also, for the record, blood libel is not a generic term. It is not a tough, vivid way of saying, don't say that mean thing about me! Blood libel is a specific historic thing. Maybe the best, less said about that the better, though.
More conveniently for Maddow and ilk, the less said the better about previous allegations of "blood libel" beyond its historical origin as a calumny against Jews.
[Video below page break]
In the embedded video, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson appears on Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" in October 2008 to discuss the allegation, later recanted, by a white McCain campaign volunteer that a black man robbed her and carved a "B" on her cheek. Here's the relevant exchange between Olbermann and Robinson at 2:15 in the clip --
OLBERMANN: Put if you would for me this narrative, the initial claim, the fact that it's not true, in some racial/historical context for us.
ROBINSON: The historical context is simple. It is the blood libel against black men concerning the defilement of the flower of Caucasian womanhood. It's been with us for hundreds of years and, apparently, is still with us.
Oddly enough, Robinson's previous reference to "blood libel" never came up when he chatted with Maddow on Wednesday, as can be seen on the segment in its entirety here.
Robinson isn't the only frequent Maddow guest to allege "blood libel" entirely removed from its historical origins in anti-Semitism. So has New York Times columnist Frank Rich, on Oct. 16 2006 while referring to former GOP congressman Mark Foley. Here's what Rich wrote, as cited by Jim Geraghty over at NRO's Campaign Spot (along with a dozen other examples, including Robinson's) -- --
The moment Mr. Foley's e-mails became known, we saw that brand of fearmongering and bigotry at full tilt: Bush administration allies exploited the former congressman's predatory history to spread the grotesque canard that homosexuality is a direct path to pedophilia. It's the kind of blood libel that in another era was spread about Jews.
Can't tell you how much I look forward to Maddow telling Robinson and Rich during their next guest appearances to refrain from such Palinesque ignorance in the future.