Journalists, never known to shy from giving each other awards, will always make room for one more. How about this for a possibility?
... And our final nominee for gratuitous reference to race in cable-show polemic, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, shown here on May 26 --
MADDOW: Today in Alaska, crude oil production was all but stopped on the North Slope. Oil companies operating there were told to cut their production by more than 80 percent after thousands of barrels of crude oil spilled from the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline. The 800-mile Trans-Alaska oil pipeline, at least for right now, is shut down. That spill in Alaska is happening, of course, in the shadow of a much larger spill in the Gulf of Mexico. (Maddow pauses for effect)
And, uh, actually, you know what, if it's OK with you guys in the control room, I think we should just probably just have me stop doing this now and let the gravitas white guy anchor do this part. Let's do that.
Yes -- "the gravitas white guy anchor." Worth nominating, don't you think?
Maddow followed that bizarre construction with a brief clip from the "Today" show on June 13, 1979, anchored by the late Floyd Kalber --
KALBER: In Alaska, the pipeline has been repaired. Oil is expected to flow again today, but that crack that developed Sunday allowed 1,500 barrels of crude oil to escape, 700 barrels recovered. And in the Gulf of Mexico, oil workers are trying to handle a much-larger oil spill. A burning offshore oil well is dumping 30,000 barrels of crude each day into the Gulf ...
MADDOW: So, yeah, that was from 1979, June 13, 1979. That NBC News anchor reporting on a pipeline spill in Alaska on the same day that an oil well was leaking out of control and burning in the Gulf of Mexico.
Minutes later, Maddow showed another NBC News clip from 1979 on the same oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, this one from "Today" show reporter Willie Monroe (second part of embedded video). This time, Maddow held off and made no mention of race.Monroe, as can be seen here, is a man of color. Kalber, as evident in the video, was possessed of a pale skin hue. Hence, Maddow doesn't hesitate in referring to Kalber's race while she refrains from doing so with Monroe's. This is what passes for enlightenment on the left, and from one of the brightest stars in its firmament. Sad, really.
Contrast all of this with Maddow's denunciation of what she calls Arizona's "papers please" law -- more accurately described as its anti-illegal-immigration law -- on April 30 (last segment in embedded video) --
MADDOW: Today exactly one week after she signed the papers please anti-immigration bill into law, Arizona's governor Jan Brewer signed off on a package of amendments to the new law. That was quick. The original law required police in Arizona to stop people who look like they might be in this country illegally and demand to see papers proving otherwise. The changes passed bar police from using race as a reason to suspect someone is in the country illegally, though still no one's come up with any explanation of how exactly a police officer is supposed to know someone's an illegal immigrant just by lookin' at him.
And the basis for Maddow's kneejerk dismissal of Kalber as a "gravitas white guy anchor"? Just by lookin' at him.