In a post-Don Imus world, one would think journalists would be on their guard to not say or write anything that could be in any way perceived as racist.
Yet, just days after CBS's Andy Rooney made a racial slur concerning Hispanic baseball players, NBC's Matt Lauer actually called outgoing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales a "piñata."
Certainly, given Gonzales's ethnic background, and the context of the discussion, mightn't "whipping boy" or "punching bag" have been more appropriate?
Unfortunately, as he was speaking to Democrat strategist James Carville, this is what Lauer said on Tuesday's "Today" show (h/t Steve Hill of Target Rich Environment):
"James, you know, Ari's talking about the venom in Washington right now and when it comes right down to it, strange dynamic, an only-in-Washington story. There are a lot of Democrats who just victimized and villainized Alberto Gonzales over these last eight months, but when it comes right down to it this morning, are not all that happy he's gone, because in some ways they've lost a piñata, haven't they?"
Think there'll be a Don Imus outrage over this?
No, I don't either.