Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Friday, September 21st, 2007.


Still Speaking of Racism

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News Media

This is unreal

During the September 19 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, discussing his recent trip to have dinner with Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia’s, a famous restaurant in Harlem, Bill O’Reilly reported that he “had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously respectful,” adding: “I couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia’s restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by blacks, primarily black patronship.” Later, during a discussion with National Public Radio senior correspondent and Fox News contributor Juan Williams about the effect of rap on culture, O’Reilly asserted: “There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming, ‘M-Fer, I want more iced tea.’ You know, I mean, everybody was — it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn’t any kind of craziness at all.” O’Reilly also stated: “I think black Americans are starting to think more and more for themselves. They’re getting away from the Sharptons and the [Rev. Jesse] Jacksons and the people trying to lead them into a race-based culture. They’re just trying to figure it out. ‘Look, I can make it. If I work hard and get educated, I can make it.”

This would have been bad enough if O’Reilly were some teenage yahoo fresh from all-white Snipe Hunt, Kentucky. But O’Reilly is even older than I am, and grew up on Long Island, for pity’s sake. Did his parents keep him in a box?

Come to think of it, that would explain a lot.

Hilzoy says,

If it was wrong for Don Imus to refer to the Rutgers basketball team as ‘nappy-headed hos’, and it was, and if MSNBC rightly decided that they had to drop him, then why on earth does Bill O’Reilly still have a job?

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Still Speaking of MSNBC …

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Bush Administration

If you missed last night’s special comment by Keith Olbermann, here it is …

The special comment was followed immediately by Dan Abrams’s show. I want to call attention to what Abrams said, because it was a nice follow-up to Olbermann.

DAN ABRAMS, HOST: Today the thin-skinned U.S. Senate managed to muster the political courage to finally speak for our troops. Timeline for withdrawal? Not quite. No, they are defending our troops by taking the time to vote to condemn a newspaper ad. Yes, the same Senate that could not pass legislation to provide our troops with the proper rest in between tours of duty managed to rally behind a toothless resolution condemning an advertisement from the liberal group Moveon.org. The ad referred to the top U.S. commander in Iraq, General Petraeus, as “General Betray Us” and accused him of cooking the books for the White House.

Twenty-two Democrats, apparently fearing being tagged as anti-military, voted with all the Republicans. And today, the president, wisely seeing an opportunity to change the subject away from the substantive discussion about the war, hit this softball out of the park.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I thought the ad was disgusting. And I felt like the ad was an attack not only on General Petraeus but on the U.S. military. And I was disappointed that not more leaders in the Democrat party spoke out strongly against that kind of ad. And that leads me to come to this conclusion, that most Democrats are afraid of irritating a left-wing group like Moveon.org—or more afraid of irritating them than they are of irritating the United States military. That was a sorry deal. And one thing to attack me, another thing to attack somebody like General Petraeus.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS: My take. Please. What a sideshow. This is the same president who told a group of conservative columnists, People listen to Petraeus, not to me. And yet now the only one of the duo who people can criticize is the one who the president says people don’t listen to? By saying that Petraeus would essentially determine our Iraq policy, he made Petraeus more than just a military man.

But politicizing minutia is nothing new. It’s the Senate that’s even more disappointing here. Look, I, too, found the headline outrageous, certainly don’t agree with much of the ad. So what? It’s a political ad from a group with an agenda. Does this mean the Senate Republicans will now be called on to criticize every one of Anne Coulter’s books? Why shouldn’t a group, any group, be able to speak their minds about the most important issue facing our nation, even if it involves mocking someone who many revere? How perverse. While we’re fighting for democracy and freedom in the Middle East, back at home, our Senate is condemning political speech.

The first part of this clip shows the Abrams commentary, followed by Olbermann.

Abrams tends to focus on celebrity trials and missing white girls, but when he gets into real issues he can be surprisingly level headed. During the Terri Schiavo flap he was one of the few talking heads who actually challenged the wingnuts on their legal and medical “facts.” He may have a little of his father in him, after all.

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Speaking of MSNBC …

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News Media

I just captured this off the MSNBC TV web page.

Not that it’s going to do any good.

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Speaking of Racism …

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News Media

Warning: The video below has a Yuck Factor equivalent to three-day-old road kill. In July. I could only stand to watch a small part of it myself.

Beside being an exercise in classic projection, this video also belongs in the racism/sexism hall of fame. The speaker thinks “that girl” from Countdown (Alison Stewart; I don’t believe the creep who made the video even bothered to learn her name) was only chosen to be on Countdown because she “resembles” (as in being a young woman of color?) Michelle Malkin. He must think the guest host job should go by default to a white guy, and anyone else must be an Affirmative Action hire. That Stewart has smarts and poise to spare and got the job on merit isn’t a factor.

Nobody can replace Keith on Countdown, but IMO Stewart is his only recurring guest host of ANY race or gender who seems comfortable and natural in the role.

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Jena 6 Roundup

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Civil Rights

Eugene Robinson, “Drive Time for the ‘Jena 6‘”

Amina Luqman, “Jim Crow Comes for Our Kids

Los Angeles Times, “Soul Searching in Jena

Ed Pilkington, “Enough is enough: racial protest brings thousands to Southern town

Marian Wright Edelman, “Free the Jena 6

Jeff Douglas, “Rally Brings Change

Trey Ellis, “The Jena 6 Case Is History Written in Lightning

Matt Martinez, “Raise Your Voice

Update:

Gary Younge, “Jena: the next step

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