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Marion On June - 7 - 2010


Early in 2009, shortly after the President’s Inauguration, Glenn Beck took to the airwaves to warn people that soon the President would be coming for their guns; yes, indeedy, he’d be sending the police after people’s beloved guns. So urgent and heated was Beck’s warning that one poor, deluded man took his precious guns, went to the local copshop and blew away five policemen, before turning the gun on himself.

Immediately, cries arose from the Left that Beck, or his employer, Fox News, should be prosecuted. Although Freedom of Speech contains strictures against incitement to crime or riot, Beck’s diatribe did nothing of that sort, directly. In this regard, Beck is the master of the soupcon of suggestion. That’s his schtick. He didn’t tell the victim to take his guns and defend the Second Amendment, he planted a suggestion, and the fellow acted upon it.

Later, we witnessed the killing of a security guard at the Holocaust Museum by a white supremacist, and people, rightly, reckoned that this was a Rightwing reaction to a black man in the White House.

Still later on, we were introduced to the rather ludicrous Tea Party, with their “Don’t Tread on Me” peculiar interpretation of Jeffersonian democracy and their misunderstanding that their cries against perceived socialism might incorporate their Medicare, Social Security or disability allowances. When they appeared with their mis-spelled signs and pictures of Obama as Hitler or an African chieftan, we knew exactly what they meant to say when they cloaked their racism in terms like “socialist,” “communist,” or “Nazi.” And we were rightly offended.

So offended, that when Glenn Beck actually turned the tables and declared Obama a racist with a deep-seeded hatred of white people, no less an intellectual powerhouse (not) than Arianna Huffington, with her intense and expert knowledge of the Constitution, demanded that Beck be denied his First Amendment rights, irrespective of the fact that those same rights that allow Beck to declare the President of the United States a racist, also allowed this faux neocon disguised as a Progressive-for-Profit the right to demand that the Vice President of the United States resign in protest of the President’s as yet (then) undisclosed plan for the war in Afghanistan and lead a protest movement – something just about an inch short of sedition.

Such were the outcries, as the fundits from the Right got more and more outrageous, culminating in Glenn Beck’s disgusting parody of the President’s daughter a few weeks ago.

As stated, quite rightly, people vehemently protested against such behaviour from the Right.

But, what happens when someone not identified with the Right makes an incongruent statement?

Imagine several scenarios.

Imagine Rush Limbaugh in a broadcast, referring to President Obama as “President Sanford and Son.”

There would be hell to pay from the depths of the sofas of the sedentary Left. Blogspaces would implode. The cable news network – most likely CNN and MSNBC, for Fox would strategically ignore it – would obsess about it for weeks. Limbaugh, for the umpteenth time, would be Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World.” There would be calls for Limbaugh, at most, to be taken off the air, at least, to apologise. Of course, neither result would occur, but the Left, quite correctly, would never let Limbaugh forget about that verbal faux pas.

Or, imagine Beck opining that when he knew there was a black President elected, he wanted to see a black President in action, watch him swagger into the boardroom of some corporate CEO, with a gun on his hip, ready to kick ass and demand if this mothafucka didn’t wise up, he’d get shot in the leg. In other words, present a white person’s grossly exaggerated stereotype of a ghetto justice-dispenser and market that as how the President should behave as a black executive.

Once again, the infotainment media would be rife with protest from all sections and factions of the Left, from the moderates to the loonies. And, again, they’d be right to be offended. Such a stereotypical depiction by Beck would be as offensive as the Tea Party’s mock-up post card of the White House watermelon patch.

But, although both of these aforementioned incidences occurred, it was neither Rush nor Beck who uttered the words, and this, perhaps, is the reason why you’ve heard no comments, no protests, no outrage from the Left.

They were spoken by Bill Maher.

Three weeks ago, in a meltdown episode of Real Time, when Bill’s faux atheism was revealed by quirky conservative atheist, S E Cupp, he ended the program with his signature editorial, this time criticizing the President as a backward-looking, underachieving, bumbling black man, out of his depth in governing a country. By pointedly referring to Obama as “President Sanford and Son,” Bill channeled the ultimat 70s image of a man so laid back and incompetent, he couldn’t even manage a junkyard.

Instead, Bill called for corporate mogul, Steve Jobs, to govern America, the same way he managed Apple, and thus, move the country foreward. Never mind that the editorial had been based on a commencement speech the President had made or that one sentence from that speech had been removed and spun centrifugally by Bill and his writers in order to obtain a totally different meaning than originally intended, the “Sanford and Son” reference drew a gasp from the audience, but nothing from anyone else on the Left.

Huffington strategically left this part of the editorial off her aggregate. Olbermann said nothing. Bill’s icon, Chris Matthews, a man who sometimes admits that he “forgets Obama is black”, was curiously mute.

Silence.

In the program which aired on May 28th, Bill admitted in his opening monologue the real reason why he was disappointed in Obama. Obama, he said, was too professorial. When Bill voted for a black President, he wanted a black President delivered. An articulate rapper, with a ghetto mind and sense of justice, who kicked ass at the point of a gun worn on his hip. That’s the man he voted for.

Well, sorry, Bill. I didn’t vote for a stereotype, I voted for the person best qualified to do the job.

I was actually grateful that Bill as much as admitted his cognitive dissonance in this regard, because I think this has been a disconnect with a great many so-called Progressives with regard to Obama and his cool, calm, demeanor. They voted for John Shaft and, instead, they got a cross between Carlton from The Fresh Prince and Dr Cliff Huxtable. And, so, like Bill, they didn’t get the man whom Bill referred to in his post-Electoral editorial as a “kickass black ninja.”

Stereotyping is a form of racism too.

This time, various fans of Maher made protest about this remark, but from the mouthpieces of the Left … crickets. Lots of excuses, mind you, from his dittoes … Bill’s a comedian … it’s supposed to be funny.

Sorry, Bill’s a comedian only when his mouth doesn’t engage with his brain and he says something that backs his ass against a wall. That’s when he reverts to “I’m a comedian” mode.

Witness: “If u get a flu shot, u r stupid.” (But that’s a joke, funny ha-ah.) Sorry, not even close.

And, sorry, again, but stereotyping isn’t funny. Not for African Americans, not for women and not for any ethnic minority.

Which leads me to another anecdotal incident.

Imagine, if you will, Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh attending a public function, during Jewish Heritage Week. Imagine a Jewish broadcast unit with camcorder and microphone, calling one of them over and asking for some thoughts or message to the Jewish community during this week. Imagine either man saying his message would be for the “Jews” to get out of Palestine. Get out of Palestine and “go home.” When asked to qualify where, exactly, “home” was, imagine either Beck or Limbaugh, replying, “Germany. Poland.”

There would be a shitstorm of protest from the Left. Beck’s remaining sponsors would fold up their merchandise tents and slope away. Limbaugh would be vilified.

Helen Thomas, octagenarian doyenne of the Left, knew very well what she was saying when she uttered the above sentiment, and she knew how it would play. The new babes of the ueber Left would associate “Palestine-Left Bank-Gaza” and have her back. But this has nothing to do with either the Left Bank or Gaza, and it happened a few days before the initial Gaza flotilla incident.

Thomas would have been 28 when the UN created the State of Israel from a territory heretofore known, loosely, as Palestine. Prior to that official act, the British government, big guns in the Middle East, during their raj, set the wheels in motion for the establishment of a Jewish state with their British Mandate for Palestine in the 1930s. She certainly would have remembered that, also.

Thomas, a professional wordsmith, was honing her art at its best, using the utmost double entendre to convey subtly that she really didn’t approve of Jews being in the area formerly known as Palestine at all and that the few elderly who’d made the actual transition from holocaust to Haifa, as well as any of their descendents, and various other assorted immigrants, should just go back from whence they came – even if that meant going back to places where they were labelled personae non gratae, tortured, imprisoned and displaced.

We on the Left freely label people in Arizona “Nazis”. Some of the people still alive who remember the formation of Israel had first-hand experience with real Nazis.

Within the past week, and many times before during the Netanyahu government, Israel has done a fair enough job touting herself as her own worst enemy in the eyes of the world. Criticizing that would have been justifiable, but being clever and inching across a message that the country doesn’t deserve to exist at all, not good. Just as Pat Buchanan’s suggestion that the status quo prior to the Civil Rights amendment was preferable to the present day.

Bill Maher is as constant in his unwavering support of Israel as he is in his equally unwavering support of the death penalty, both ideals giving the lie to his touted Progressivism. It will be interesting to see if he touches upon this incident with Thomas in his show this week, and to see how it plays against his own much-stated belief in freedom of speech, which is about as valid as his Progressive politics … not.

Categories: News & Politics

17 Responses so far.

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  1. javaz says:

    It doesn’t seem that Democrats ever react to the statements made by the right or the left while the GOP picks up on every little thing and make the news.

    Do you think that it might have something to do with the media being corporate right-wing?

    I’ve noticed that CBS is turning more and more into FOX, and as an example is the anti-choice ads during the Super Bowl, but there have been signs before and since, such as Bob Schieffer hosting “Face the Nation” whereby he doesn’t even pretend anymore to be non-biased towards the right.
    Heck, he campaigned for McCain on his show!

    I’ve only seen Maher one time and it was years ago while we were in France and it was on the BBC and Maher back then didn’t know the difference between a Senator and Congressman, and that’s when I dismissed him as a political analyst.

    He’s a comedian, and really, I don’t think that I’ve ever heard of him until he was fired for something or other after 9/11.

    I don’t know who he is, except to wonder how in the world he ever became relevant when it comes to politics.

    But then I wonder the same about Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Hannity, Beck, Coulter, et all.

    They are media creations.

    At least Jon Stewart was on “The Nanny”!

  2. Marion says:

    Sorry, the guy whom Beck “influenced” was in Pittsburgh.

  3. dildenusa says:

    In my post of May 24, 2009 “Now Presenting the Sequel To….” I showed how demagogues on the right are planting the seeds of hate and moving their minions to go out and attack Mosques and police officers they think are trying to confiscate their guns. This is absolutely remeniscent of 1920’s and 1930’s Germany when thugs rampaged through the streets attacking anyone they thought was an enemy of the state.

    Being of Jewish heritage I am constantly aware of what could happen here. And if anyone thinks it can’t happen here, I hate to tell you, it is. And when a pretty face demagogue like Sister Sarah of the Frozen North starts telling her minions that Obama will tell them what kind of car they have to buy, what doctor they have to go to, what kind of food to buy, the thugs in the streets are not far behind.

    • Khirad says:

      By the way, thanks for the mosque story.

      I’m amazed that nobody picked up on that story.

      …nah, just foolin’! Of course they didn’t pick up on it. Muslims are supposed to be the terrorists, not be the victims of Christian terrorism.

      And, as you drive at, as a Jew, it is of utmost importance to be concerned about any minority (particularly religious, non-Christian) being targeted.

  4. dildenusa says:

    I’ve not been able to find any news archives of 5 police officers killed at the same time in the line of duty for 2008 or 2009. Was this the shootings in Oakland, CA or Pittsburgh, PA or Tacoma, WA.

      • choicelady says:

        There were three or four killed by a white supremacist in Pittsburgh. There have been quite a number murdered by white terrorists last year.

        Marion -- I agree with you. I hate Beck and Limbaugh, Coulter, and company, but I am very wary of the censorship screed from “my” side. Throughout the prochoice movement, there was a whopping double standard by prochoice people -- WE should be free to ignore police orders, to be in the streets, to cross police lines because OUR ideals are noble. The opponents should not be allowed to utter a word or hold a sign.

        Somehow, somewhere, we have to stop the double standard. I am sympathetic to the Muslim students who took on a crass Zionist near her a few months ago -- but they did NOT try to stop his appearance. They called him OUT, and it was worthy.

        Silencing the right is hypocritical on one hand and gives them ammunition for martyrdom on the other. One caveat -- they do NOT get to appropriate governmental institutions for their RW religious views. There are time and place restrictions on ALL free speech, and that is one of them. But that would go for me, too. I have no more right to preach at the Pentagon than does Franklin Graham. That said, if someone distasteful is invited to talk somewhere that is an open forum, even if they are paid, and that payment is not extraordinary, then LET THEM TALK and stand up in opposition!

        I’m not sure when we got to be as rigid as the right, but it benefits NO one to be that way. If Orly Taitz had been silenced, she’d not be the laughingstock she is today. So what if some people follow her? They’d follow anyone with the views they share. Nothing does away with hate and prejudice and nuttiness faster than sunshine. Let them air their wackiness. And let’s hold Bill and his ilk to the same standards of criticism. He’s a bigot, I HATE his pretenses, and his racist “insider” comments that try to make him look as if HE can say these things ’cause he’s COOL. He’s not. He’s a brat, and deserves to be called out just as much as Glen Beck.

    • Khirad says:

      Now that Iran has announced it will be sending

    • AdLib says:

      The trap here is to simplify everything into an either/or binary argument. If one does not hate or turn their back on Helen Thomas, one approves of what she said.

      Of course, this is erroneous. Speaking for myself, I am very upset with Helen Thomas over this but it is hard for me to jettison her nearly 60 years of service to this nation as a committed journalist over this incident.

      An issue that this raises is where respect and loyalty end and principle begins.

      We’ve seen the purist Dems turn on Obama swiftly once all of their desires weren’t quickly met. Such people seem estranged from the concept of loyalty.

      It does seem that Dems and Progressives, are much more likely to abandon one of their own than Republicans. When it comes to Repubs, they can take bribes, have affairs, be with prostitutes and Republicans keep blindly embracing them. That however is not loyalty, to eternally look the other way when someone is in your party, that is being dishonest.

      Should Helen Thomas be pushed out on an ice floe for this incident, with no regard for the nearly 60 years of work she’s done on behalf of the American People? Some may fairly say yes, I’m not as comfortable about that but nevertheless, there she goes on that ice floe.

        • AdLib says:

          Yes, from everything I’ve read, it seems that the outrage was so strong, no doubt pushed over the top by the WH’s condemnation, that she would either resign or be fired.

          It was wrong, offensive and stupid.

          Yet, that describes an entire “news” network…and despite calls from many ethnic, religious and political groups, Fox continues to happily employ their prejudiced crew.

  5. nellie says:

    Helen Thomas is a respected, professional journalist. I think it’s actually a good sign that she comes under fire for this kind of comment. It shows we expect more from her than we do for paid entertainers with nothing to lose or corporate shills at the end of money leashes. Perhaps the trash talk of the airwaves has made us forget that paid political blather is different from journalistic investigation and reporting. They are not the same. Helen should have known better. And I am one of her biggest fans.

    It hurts me to hear her compared to the likes of Rush Limbaugh — as if what goes for him is okay for her. It isn’t.

    • AdLib says:

      I would hope that what you describe is what happened, that this was an example of how the people won’t tolerate journalist’s saying such types of things.

      However, who is the “we” that made the determination on Helen Thomas’ “resignation?

      It appears to be the White House, not citizens. Once the WH condemned her, her career was over.

      • nellie says:

        I don’t know why she resigned. I haven’t found any details about that. If you know of any, I’d like to read them. It may be that she herself decided she was not carrying out her responsibilities the way she wanted to. Or maybe she just thought it was time. I do know her agency dropped her, which I think was harsh. But many Jewish people don’t see it as harsh. It’s a public relations nightmare for the agency. I think they should have kept her, but they didn’t.


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