7 November 2011 >>
Recently, I brought a camera and a few multiple-choice questions to Zuccotti Park, where I conducted a quiz game with some of the Occupy Wall Street protesters. As a reward for getting the answers right, contestants were able to choose among several options for prizes. Unfortunately, one gentleman in the audience apparently did not appreciate the prize selections made by his fellow protesters, so he disrupted the game, bear-hugged me, grabbed the question cards out of my hand and attempted to run off with them before I stopped him.
31 March 2010 >>
Not too long ago, taking to the streets to protest your government was considered a patriotic act.
But it seems that publicly airing your grievances stopped being patriotic right around noon on January 20th, 2009.
Once President Obama was sworn in, protesting became incitement to violence.
If you’ve opened up a newspaper or watched a cable news program in the past week or so, you’ve probably seen members of the media painting Tea Party activists as dangerous bigots. That’s because disagreeing with President Obama on issues like government spending and high taxes makes you a racist, you see.
What’s interesting about the media’s latest freak-out is that there were radicals a-plenty under President Bush. They protested in the streets. They talked openly about revolution and killing. But oddly, the violent imagery used by people claiming to be advocates for peace never registered with the media. They were too busy fawning over Cindy Sheehan.
Why the difference in coverage? Did the media cheerlead protests against President Bush to hurt him politically? Are they trying to marginalize the increasingly powerful Tea Party movement because they favor President Obama’s agenda?
One thing’s for sure: If there is such a thing as dangerous rhetoric, then the media is at least one president too late in reporting the story.
Don’t believe me?
Well, then let’s take a trip down memory lane...
Implicitly, Obama was using the threat of violence to get the bankers to acquiesce.
During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama didn’t shy away from confrontation. In fact, he encouraged it by telling supporters to “argue with” opponents and to “get in their face[s].”
The Obama Administration’s confrontational tone included some violent imagery last August, when one White House official encouraged Obama supporters to “punch back twice as hard” against opponents.
Later that day, at an anti-ObamaCare rally in St. Louis, a black man named Kenneth Gladney was handing out “Don’t Tread on Me” flags when he was approached by pro-ObamaCare SEIU union members. One of the men asked Gladney, “What kind of nigger are you to be giving out this kind of stuff?”
Obama’s supporters got the message. They were getting in people’s faces, and they were punching. And kicking. Repeatedly.
Yet despite the fact that the Kenneth Gladney beating occurred the same day that the Obama Administration recommended supporters “punch back twice as hard,” there was no hyperventilating in the media about political violence or the veiled threats that encouraged it.
Today, however, the Democratic politicians who rammed through ObamaCare over the wishes of the American public are worried about the ugly environment that the Obama Administration spent over a year stoking. And if Obama and the Democrats truly believe that words lead to violence, then they should accept responsibility for the beating of Kenneth Gladney.
I’m certainly not condoning political violence, and would condemn any that actually happens. But there has been no reported violence against any Congressman, Senator or government official, despite the media frenzy of stories describing a crazed American public ready to terrorize politicians.
All politicians receive threats; any moderately trafficked blogger receives threats. So while I would hate for there to be any actual violence, excuse me if I chuckle at the chatter of the chickens in the media and our political class. This media-driven national freakout is a diversion, designed to de-legitimize opposition to ObamaCare and to take your attention away from the illegitimate and unprecedented usurpation of power by the Democrats in Congress and President Obama. They’re banking on you forgetting by November.
If the media is going to report on this atmosphere without discussing the Obama Administration’s words or the SEIU beat-down of Kenneth Gladney, if they are going to spend time breathlessly reporting rumored threats that have not been carried out while ignoring violence that actually occurred but didn’t fit their narrative, then it is yet more proof of the media’s patent bias.
An Associated Press dispatch, written by Erica Werner and Richard Alonso-Zaldivar, compares the House and Senate ObamaCare bills. We’d like to compare this dispatch to the AP’s dispatch earlier this week “fact checking” Sarah Palin’s new book. Here goes:
Number of AP reporters assigned to story:
ObamaCare bills: 2
Palin book: 11
Number of pages in document being covered:
ObamaCare bills: 4,064
Palin book: 432
Number of pages per AP reporter:
ObamaCare bill: 2,032
Palin book: 39.3
On a per-page basis, that is, the AP devoted 52 times as much manpower to the memoir of a former Republican officeholder as to a piece of legislation that will cost trillions of dollars and an untold number of lives. That’s what they call accountability journalism.
13 October 2009 @ 6:22PM >>
Months before Barack Obama formally accepted the Democratic presidential nomination, the name “Obama” was already being stamped on or sewn into objects of every type, and these objects could be purchased just about anywhere you happened to be standing. Keychains, buttons, hats, t-shirts were all readily available. I saw Obama skateboards and heard rumors of Obama bongs. Eventually, companies usually seen selling things like pewter gnomes and porcelain kittens got into the game, hawking commemorative coins and Obama dinner plates on late-night cable shows.
It was a time when Democratic politicians complained loudly whenever they felt their patriotism was being impugned. In those days, bumper stickers reminded us that “Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism” and Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House of Representatives, declared that disruptive protests were “very American and very important.” Now that protests are directed against a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress, Nancy Pelosi thinks such disruptions are “un-American.”
During the Bush era, the media looked the other way at the extremist element in the protest movement; the large number of protest signs bearing swastikas and mathematical formulae like “Bush=Hitler” just didn’t interest them. But it did interest me, and because the media didn’t want to report it, I did some reporting of my own. The videos I posted online inadvertently launched me on a second career as a documentary filmmaker.
I recently dug through my old footage and found many examples of the same kind of inflammatory speech that the media and the Democratic Party—forgive the redundancy—now decry. What follows are just a few examples.
7 August 2009 @ 9:06PM >>
Does someone at London’s Telegraph newspaper believe that Barack Obama is a country? Or do they just think that he’s so amazingly awesome that he deserves to be only human listed alongside the countries and continents in the World section on their website?
14 July 2009 @ 9:11AM >>
This weekend, while walking around NYC, I noticed a couple more propaganda posters put up by members of the Cult of Obama.
The first, “Siddhartha Obama,” is a large mural on the side of a building in Chelsea. It shows Obama as The Enlightened One holding solar panels, and features Dick Cheney popping out of a stars-and-stripes-painted Hummer and gas pumps bearing the Republican Party logo sitting atop coffins draped in American flags.
Whatever words you can use to describe these cult members, “subtle” is not one of them.
The second propaganda display was spotted inside the Blades board and skate store on Broadway near Great Jones. Adorned with pictures of Barack, Michelle and the campaign logo, it says simply, “Obey.”
“Siddhartha Obama” appears on a wall outside an art gallery, which is at least an understandable venue for over-the-top Obama worship; it’s almost a job requirement for artists that they be driven purely by emotion. The political naivete of assuming one politician will be Our Savior is the sort of thinking artists are almost expected to adopt.
But I find it strange that businesses keep attaching themselves to the Obama Cult, because in theory, they should want to minimize the number of customers they drive away with partisan propaganda.
Then again, in America today, as government takes over more and more companies and tightens regulatory control on the rest, customers matter less and less to companies.
“The customer is never wrong” is last century’s business maxim. Now, it’s “the government is never wrong.” So maybe companies are just making business calculations and deciding that it’s smart to make a public spectacle of their allegiance to Obama.
25 June 2009 @ 8:50AM >>
The mullahs in Iran have unleashed an even more brutal wave of violence against protesters opposing the recent questionable election. CNN reports:
Security forces wielding clubs and firing weapons beat back hundreds of would-be demonstrators who had flocked to a square in the capital on Wednesday to continue protests against an election they have denounced as fraudulent, witnesses told CNN.
They were among the more than half a dozen witnesses who told CNN that security forces outnumbering protesters used overwhelming force to crush a planned demonstration in Baharestan Square, in front of the parliament building. The witnesses said police charged against the demonstrators, striking them with batons, beating women and old men and firing weapons into the air in order to disperse them.
The melee extended beyond the square, according to one woman, who told CNN that she was traveling toward Baharestan with her friends as evening approached “to express our opposition to these killings these days and demanding freedom.
According to official figures, 17 people have been killed in clashes with government forces over the past 11 days. Anti-government demonstrators have taken to the streets in at least four cities outside Tehran.
But CNN has received unconfirmed reports of as many as 150 deaths related to the popular uprising. The government’s response to it appears to have hardened in recent days. CNN has received numerous accounts of night-time roundups by government forces of opposition activists and international journalists from their homes.
Some Tehran residents said they were too afraid to talk about the political crisis over the phone to anyone in the United States or Europe. Many protesters debated whether to venture into the streets.
“I am not going outside my house at all,” a 21-year-old college student from Tehran said. “The streets are too dangerous, and just so very busy with police. Ahhhh, when will our lives get back to normal?”
Worried the government was monitoring their phone conversations, some residents said the Internet was the best way to transmit information. However, the spotty connection made it difficult to rely on the Web.
“It’s beyond fear,” said a woman who arrived at a U.S. airport from Iran, but still did not want her name used for fear for her safety. “The situation is more like terror.”
Asked why the government has made it impossible for nearly all international journalists to report from Iran, [Iranian ambassador to Mexico] Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri accused the media of not accurately reporting events. “In Tehran, there were much bigger demonstrations in favor of the government that you didn’t report about,” he said.
Asked about the shooting of 26-year-old Neda Agha-Soltan, whose death, captured on video, has become emblematic of the crackdown on protesters, he said, “It is not clear who killed whom.”
However, the malice of the Iranian regime is self-evident in their treatment of Neda Agha-Soltan’s surviving family, as The Guardianreports:
The Iranian authorities have ordered the family of Neda Agha Soltan out of their Tehran home after shocking images of her death were circulated around the world.
Neighbours said that her family no longer lives in the four-floor apartment building on Meshkini Street, in eastern Tehran, having been forced to move since she was killed. The police did not hand the body back to her family, her funeral was cancelled, she was buried without letting her family know and the government banned mourning ceremonies at mosques, the neighbours said.
“We just know that they [the family] were forced to leave their flat,” a neighbour said. The Guardian was unable to contact the family directly to confirm if they had been forced to leave.
The government is also accusing protesters of killing Soltan, describing her as a martyr of the Basij militia. Javan, a pro-government newspaper, has gone so far as to blame the recently expelled BBC correspondent, Jon Leyne, of hiring “thugs” to shoot her so he could make a documentary film.
Soltan was shot dead on Saturday evening near the scene of clashes between pro-government militias and demonstrators, turning her into a symbol of the Iranian protest movement. Barack Obama spoke of the “searing image” of Soltan’s dying moments at his press conference yesterday.
Amid scenes of grief in the Soltan household with her father and mother screaming, neighbours not only from their building but from others in the area streamed out to protest at her death. But the police moved in quickly to quell any public displays of grief. They arrived as soon as they found out that a friend of Soltan had come to the family flat.
In accordance with Persian tradition, the family had put up a mourning announcement and attached a black banner to the building.
But the police took them down, refusing to allow the family to show any signs of mourning. The next day they were ordered to move out. Since then, neighbours have received suspicious calls warning them not to discuss her death with anyone and not to make any protest.
A tearful middle-aged woman who was an immediate neighbour said her family had not slept for days because of the oppressive presence of the Basij militia, out in force in the area harassing people since Soltan’s death.
The area in front of Soltan’s house was empty today. There was no sign of black cloths, banners or mourning. Secret police patrolled the street.
“We are trembling,” one neighbour said. “We are still afraid. We haven’t had a peaceful time in the last days, let alone her family. Nobody was allowed to console her family, they were alone, they were under arrest and their daughter was just killed. I can’t imagine how painful it was for them. Her friends came to console her family but the police didn’t let them in and forced them to disperse and arrested some of them. Neda’s family were not even given a quiet moment to grieve.”
Another man said many would have turned up to show their sympathy had it not been for the police.
“In Iran, when someone dies, neighbours visit the family and will not let them stay alone for weeks but Neda’s family was forced to be alone, otherwise the whole of Iran would gather here,” he said. “The government is terrible, they are even accusing pro-Mousavi people of killing Neda and have just written in their websites that Neda is a Basiji (government militia) martyr. That’s ridiculous - if that’s true why don’t they let her family hold any funeral or ceremonies? Since the election, you are not able to trust one word from the government.”
The Obama administration is seriously considering not extending invitations to Iranian diplomats for July 4 celebrations overseas, senior administration officials tell CNN.
No, that’s not a line from a news spoof in The Onion. It’s true: the only tangible action taken by the Obama Administration in response to the violence in Iran is to disinvite Iranian diplomats to Fourth of July barbecues.
18 June 2009 @ 9:07AM >>
The Washington Timesreports on an appearance made by former President George W. Bush:
He lamented the politics of personal destruction that he said is rampant in Washington, noting, though, that it has always been thus. Recalling how a treasury secretary and a vice president once fought a duel, he joked: “At least when my vice president shot somebody, it was an accident.”
11 June 2009 @ 8:15AM >>
President Obama’s former “spiritual advisor” is making news again:
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright says he does not feel any regrets over his severed relationship with President Barack Obama, a former member of the Chicago church in which Wright was the longtime pastor.
Asked if he had spoken to the president, Wright said: “Them Jews aren’t going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter, that he’ll talk to me in five years when he’s a lame duck, or in eight years when he’s out of office. ...
“They will not let him to talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. ... I said from the beginning: He’s a politician; I’m a pastor. He’s got to do what politicians do.”
I have a hard time believing that the supposedly brilliant Barack Obama never figured out—after 20 years of listening to this guy—that he’s a loony bigot.
1 May 2009 @ 9:04AM >>
Just because the media is trying to convince everyone that Barack Obama is the most popular president in American history doesn’t make it true:
Gallup reports that 56% of the public believes that Obama is doing an excellent/good job. Gallup reported 62% approved of George W. Bush’s job performance after the first 100 days.
I don’t put much stock in polls; careful tweaking of words and phrasing are well-known ways to produce whatever outcome you might want to see. The media seem to be obsessed with polling, though, so we should at least be aware of the games they’re playing.
And if Obama’s about as popular as Bush was at the same point in is presidency, how popular with Obama be by the time he leaves office?
President Obama’s media cheerleaders are hailing how loved he is. But at the 100-day mark of his presidency, Mr. Obama is the second-least-popular president in 40 years.
According to Gallup’s April survey, Americans have a lower approval of Mr. Obama at this point than all but one president since Gallup began tracking this in 1969. The only new president less popular was Bill Clinton, who got off to a notoriously bad start after trying to force homosexuals on the military and a federal raid in Waco, Texas, that killed 86. Mr. Obama’s current approval rating of 56 percent is only one tick higher than the 55-percent approval Mr. Clinton had during those crises.
It reminds me of a point I made in The Clinton Legacy: during the Clinton presidency, a 5.6% unemployment rate was a sign that the economy was doing well, while under Bush, the exact same unemployment rate was portrayed negatively.
The question is, how many people fall for it? Do we believe Obama is popular just because the media keeps insisting that he is?
17 February 2009 @ 8:14AM >>
The website Texas Rainmaker posted a couple of reader-submitted photos from a Borders bookstore in Dallas. Here’s a cropped version of one of them:
Apparently, this display was in the children’s section.
The photos do not appear to be manipulated and the particular store where the photos were taken was identified in the website’s post. Assuming the photos are real, I can only hope that whoever placed the Obama books in the Religion section has a highly developed sense of irony.
10 February 2009 @ 9:09AM >>
Being a member of the media isn’t much different from being an Obama campaign worker. The International Herald Tribunereports:
Republicans have long accused mainstream journalists of being on the payroll of President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, a common refrain of favoritism, especially from those on the losing end of an election.
But this year the accusation has a new twist: In some notable cases it has become true, with several prominent journalists now on the payrolls of Obama and Democratic congressional leaders.
An unusual number of journalists from prominent, mainstream organizations started new government jobs in January, providing new kindling to the debate over whether Obama is receiving unusually favorable treatment in the news media.
I know it’s unfair to characterize the entire media as Obama sycophants. There are still some hard-nosed journalists out there, bravely speaking truth to power. For example, there’s Judith Warner of the “All The News That’s Fit to Print” New York Times:
The other night I dreamt of Barack Obama. He was taking a shower right when I needed to get into the bathroom to shave my legs, and then he was being yelled at by my husband, Max, for smoking in the house. It was not clear whether Max was feeling protective of the president’s health or jealous because of the cigarette.
The other day a friend of mine confided that in the weeks leading up to the election, the Obamas’ apparent joy as a couple had made her just miserable. Their marriage looked so much happier than hers. Their life seemed so perfect. “I was at a place where I was tempted daily to throttle my husband,” she said. “This coincided with Michelle saying the most beautiful things about Barack. Each time I heard her speak about him I got tears in my eyes - because I felt so far away from that kind of bliss in my own life and perhaps even more, because I was so moved by her expressions of devotion to him. And unlike previous presidential couples, they are our age, have children the same age and (just imagine the stress of daily life on the campaign) by all accounts should have been fighting even more than we were.”
Many women - not too surprisingly - were dreaming about sex with the president. In these dreams, the women replaced Michelle with greater or lesser guilt or, in the case of a 62-year-old woman in North Florida, whose dream was reported to me by her daughter, found a fully above-board solution: “Michelle had divorced Barack because he had become ‘too much of a star.’ He then married my mother, who was oh so proud to be the first lady,” the daughter wrote me.
Now that the Obama presidency has transformed venerable news outlets like the New York Times into a poor imitations of Teen Beat, and with a former SportsCenter newscaster now Obama’s main cheerleader on the cable outlet of NBC News, I guess it’s not that bizarre to discover the Washington Post has transformed itself into a sports publication.
Why else, during President Obama’s press conference on the economy, would the Post’s White House reporter waste a question by asking:
What is your reaction to Alex Rodriguez’s admission that he used steroids as a member of the Texas Rangers?
I don’t know why news outlets still bother employing political reporters. I guess the only reason is that there are still a handful of people in Washington who need oversight. They’re called Republicans, and they ain’t gonna bash themselves.
2 February 2009 @ 8:58AM >>
During the Superbowl last night, NBC News was running ads for the Today Show touting an interview with President Obama. The ads contained a revealing line saying that Obama would enjoy “home field advantage” during the interview. In other words, NBC News has finally admitting to being nothing more than Obama cheerleaders.
They are not alone.
On the night of the Inauguration, The New York Times did its part to rally the true believers by handing out buttons with its logo prominently displayed beneath the profile of the new president.
Not to be outdone, CNN is selling t-shirts with the caption, “Obama raises hand, lifts a nation.”
And the Detroit Free Press is asking you to “see Obama in yourself” and send them a picture of your face behind a half-cutout Obama mask.
Perhaps the editors of the Free Press were worried that Obama worship wasn’t quite cult-like enough.
I guess I shouldn’t be shocked. As Helen Thomas—a White House reporter since the 1950s—recently said, “I’m a liberal, I was born a liberal, I’ll be one ‘til I die, what else should a reporter be when you see so much and when we have such great privilege and access to the truth?”
No surprise. Reporters are liberal, so they’ll favor a liberal president. But given the financial state of the news industry, perhaps political reporters can be laid off for the next for years, and the media can simply re-print White House press releases.
It would save a lot of money, and the resulting press coverage wouldn’t be any different.
30 January 2009 @ 8:21AM >>
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has started a campaign to get people to start calling fish “sea kittens.” The idea seems to be, if people think fish are as cute as kittens, they would be less likely to eat them. (Although there are some countries in which such a strategy would obviously backfire.)
On the About page of PETA’s Save the Sea Kittens site, there’s a “Sea Kitten Facts” box with a rotating list of fish factoids.
One of those items contains a gratuitous insult against President Obama:
The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto asks, “How dare PETA stereotype the first African-American president as lacking in intelligence?”
On behalf of our president, I demand that PETA retract this bigoted insult.
28 January 2009 @ 9:01AM >>The View’s Joy Behar, who considers herself a comedian, was asked by Larry King about the possibilities presented by the Age of Obama:
King: [I]s this administration going to be hard for the comics to have fun with?
Behar: Yes. And all I can say is thank you for Joe Biden, because he is going to always give us some laughs. He’ll say something crazy and out there, and it will be fun. And Sarah Palin, you know, we can always rely on her to come back and give us some material. But it is really not easy to make fun of the Obamas, because they’re really — they’re kind of really perfect, aren’t they?
Perhaps our new president really is too perfect for mockery. Obama’s disciples, however, are another story.
23 January 2009 @ 9:01AM >>
Apparently, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore are trying to do my work for me. I can’t find a better illustration of the disturbing cult-like quality among President Barack Obama’s more enthusiastic supporters than this video put together by the celebrity duo:
Movie star Susan Sarandon compared President Obama to Jesus. Broadway and film actor Alan Cumming thought of him more like Mahatma Gandhi.
“He is a community organizer like Jesus was,” Sarandon said Tuesday night on the bright blue carpet leading into the Creative Coalition’s 2009 Ball at the Harman Center for the Arts in Chinatown. “And now, we’re a community and he can organize us.”
I get why people like our new president. I understand the historical significance of his election. And there is one thing about his election that makes me very happy: it disproves the leftist slander that America is a racist, bigoted country.
But all this pledging to blindly follow and serve The Leader not only highlights the intellectual unseriousness of the pledgers, it also shows that none of these folks know enough history to understand where this sort of groupthink can lead.
The head of the Tibetan government-in-exile left the audience stunned when he said “I love President George W Bush.” He went on to add how he and the US President instantly struck a chord in their first meeting unlike politicians who take a while to develop close ties.
I think personally he is a good man who loves his family and loves his country. And I think he made the best decisions that he could at times under some very difficult circumstances.
Finally, in the Washington Post, Peter Beinart urges his fellow Democrats to acknowledge that—gasp!—President Bush may have been correct about at least one thing:
It’s no longer a close call: President Bush was right about the surge.
[President Bush’s] decision to increase America’s troop presence in late 2006 now looks like his finest hour. Given the mood in Washington and the country as a whole, it would have been far easier to do the opposite. Politically, Bush took the path of most resistance. He endured an avalanche of scorn, and now he has been vindicated. He was not only right; he was courageous.
8 January 2009 >>
Liberal political comedian Baratunde Thurston attended Washington D.C.’s prestigious Sidwell Friends School, where he often found himself as the only black student in the classroom.
Now that Barack and Michelle Obama are sending their kids to Sidwell, Thurston decided to share his experience in an open letter of advice to the incoming First Family:
Sidwell will assuredly meet the challenges of educating and providing security for the first daughters. Back in my day, Sidwell parents included three senators, the publishers of both The New York Times and Washington Post and, oh yeah, Bill and Hillary Clinton, whose pubescent progeny was two years behind me. The Roosevelts, Nixons, and Gores also sent their kids to Sidwell.
But what may prove more challenging is the burden Malia and Sasha will face, not as first daughters, but as plain ol’ black girls. They already represent the United States of America, but in a school like Sidwell, even though it may have a greater representation of minorities than in my time, they also will be expected to represent the United States of Black America, as I was.
They’ll be The Black Friend. They’ll suffer through many a white person wanting to touch their hair. (I strongly recommend Sasha and Malia avoid cornrows.) And they will likely be viewed as both exceptions to and spokespeople for their race. This means they should be prepared when fellow students and even teachers turn to them for “expertise” when the curriculum touches on anything black.
Black Sidwell students are often likely to end up being the only black kid in a classroom. When this happens, we are automatically deputized as a sort of Assistant Professor X. During a discussion of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Hurricane Katrina, or even Black Lung, all eyes swivel toward us as everyone expects us to break out our copy of The Negropedia: A Comprehensive Guide to All Black Knowledge for the Edification of White Folks. Let your daughters know this moment is coming. Drill them on black facts. Make them memorize Roots. This way, they can prepare their lesson plans in advance.
I joined Sidwell in seventh grade. My first day at school, a black student who’d attended since kindergarten pulled me aside and asked if I knew what an Oreo was. “Yeah,” I answered. “It’s a cream-filled chocolate wafer manufactured by the Nabisco Corporation since 1952, and it’s mad tasty.” He corrected me: “No, an Oreo is somebody who’s black on the outside and white on the inside.” He then pointed across the room. “See Darryl? He’s an Oreo.”
What I saw was a slightly nerdy black kid hanging out with some white friends. What I failed to see was the problem. Being nerdy was practically a prerequisite for admission, and with the small number of black kids at Sidwell, it’d be a pretty lonely life for a kid with no white friends. Besides, isn’t the point of being black at an elite prep school to collect as many white friends as possible for later use?
Be prepared to hear “I’m not racist. I voted for you!” as an excuse for such closed-mindedness, ignorance, or worse. Mark my words, this will be our era’s equivalent of “I’m not racist. I have a black friend.”
The assumption that any given individual is a natural spokesman for an entire race is a manifestation of an underlying belief that people of that race are essentially interchangeable.
It’s also the belief that leads to racial preference systems like Affirmative Action, which makes the assumption that white=privileged and black=oppressed, an equation that’s equally insulting to both races because it fails to recognize the fact that individuals are different—even individuals of the same race! (Shocking, I know.)
A lot of people would love to be as oppressed as the Obama family.
14 December 2008 @ 11:38AM >>
The day the world comes together as one may have to be postponed a bit.
Barack Obama’s election was supposed to usher in a new era in which America’s enemies shed their animosity, embraced hope, and began worshipping our new leader along with the rest of us.
Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell al Qaeda (which greeted Obama’s election with racial insults) and Iran.
The leader of the Iranian parliament “has branded US President-Elect Barack Obama’s comments on Tehran’s nuclear activities as ‘cowboy’ talk,” according to London’s Telegraph:
“These comments resemble those of old American cowboys. If you have something to say about (Iran’s) nuclear issue, just say so. Why wave a stick,” asked [parliamentary speaker Ali] Larijani, in a speech in Qazvin province.
“The new US president has said he wants to pressure Iran since it seeks to produce atomic weapons and because it supports the terrorists like Hamas and Hizbollah,” he added.
“We are proud of supporting Hizbollah since they are defending their homeland and you are wrong in calling them terrorists.”
Iran is a staunch supporter of the Palestinian Hamas and Lebanese militant group Hizbollah.
In an interview broadcast on Sunday, Mr Obama vowed “tough but direct diplomacy” with Iran, offering incentives along with the threat of tougher sanctions over its atomic programme.
As president from January 20, Mr Obama said he would make clear to Tehran that the nuclear program was “unacceptable,” along with support of Hamas and Hizbollah and its “threats against Israel.”
Mr Obama, whose offer of direct talks with Iran represents a break with three decades of US foreign policy, promised a “set of carrots and sticks in changing their calculus about how they want to operate.”
Three days ago, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi said “the carrot and stick approach has proven to be useless.”
Some problems may require a bit more than Mr. Obama’s kind smile and warm charm to solve.
The Post provided a lot of good campaign coverage, but readers have been consistently critical of the lack of probing issues coverage and what they saw as a tilt toward Democrat Barack Obama. My surveys, which ended on Election Day, show that they are right on both counts.
But Obama deserved tougher scrutiny than he got, especially of his undergraduate years, his start in Chicago and his relationship with Antoin “Tony” Rezko, who was convicted this year of influence-peddling in Chicago. The Post did nothing on Obama’s acknowledged drug use as a teenager.
One gaping hole in coverage involved Joe Biden, Obama’s running mate. When Gov. Sarah Palin was nominated for vice president, reporters were booking the next flight to Alaska. Some readers thought The Post went over Palin with a fine-tooth comb and neglected Biden. They are right; it was a serious omission.
I guess it’s too much to ask for media honesty before an election.
4 November 2008 >>
Although I didn’t vote for him myself, I do know there are a lot of people celebrating the symbolism of America electing its first black president. I’m happy for them. Considering that this country once counted black Americans as only three-fifths of a person, this aspect of the outcome is something about which all Americans can be proud, even if you would have preferred a different result.
Let’s hope this truly does usher in a post-racial America, one in which we move beyond the hatreds of the past and divisive policies like racial preferences. After all, if a black man can become president, do we really need laws that judge people on the color of their skin and not the content of their character?
I wish we knew more about Barack Obama’s worldview. During the campaign, we’ve seen plenty of hints, but the core of his true political philosophy has never been fully illuminated. (And for that, we can thank our selectively-inquisitive media.)
But all of this is a moot point now. Barack Obama will soon be our president. And when he is, we’ll see how he governs, and we can begin to assess his presidency.
I’m sure there will be many times when I will vigorously oppose our future president. But for tonight, my congratulations to Barack Obama and to his supporters.
29 October 2008 @ 8:53AM >>
I thought the job of the news media was to provide information, not suppress it. I guess I’m wrong:
Let’s try a thought experiment. Say John McCain attended a party at which known racists and terror mongers were in attendance. Say testimonials were given, including a glowing one by McCain for the benefit of the guest of honor ... who happened to be a top apologist for terrorists. Say McCain not only gave a speech but stood by, in tacit approval and solidarity, while other racists and terror mongers gave speeches that reeked of hatred for an American ally and rationalizations of terror attacks.
Now let’s say the Los Angeles Times obtained a videotape of the party.
Question: Is there any chance — any chance — the Times would not release the tape and publish front-page story after story about the gory details, with the usual accompanying chorus of sanctimony from the oped commentariat? Is there any chance, if the Times was the least bit reluctant about publishing (remember, we’re pretending here), that the rest of the mainstream media (y’know, the guys who drove Trent Lott out of his leadership position over a birthday-party toast) would not be screaming for the release of the tape?
Do we really have to ask?
So now, let’s leave thought experiments and return to reality: Why is the Los Angeles Times sitting on a videotape of the 2003 farewell bash in Chicago at which Barack Obama lavished praise on the guest of honor, Rashid Khalidi — former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat?
Is there just a teeny-weenie chance that this was an evening of Israel-bashing Obama would find very difficult to explain? Could it be that the Times, a pillar of the Obamedia, is covering for its guy?
Gateway Pundit reports that the Times has the videotape but is suppressing it.
Back in April, the Times published a gentle story about the fete. Reporter Peter Wallsten avoided, for example, any mention of the inconvenient fact that the revelers included Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, Ayers’s wife and fellow Weatherman terrorist. These self-professed revolutionary Leftists are friendly with both Obama and Khalidi — indeed, researcher Stanley Kurtz has noted that Ayers and Khalidi were “best friends.” (And — small world! — it turns out that the Obamas are extremely close to the Khalidis, who have reportedly babysat the Obama children.)
If Barack Obama is elected, he’ll probably be the president about which the American public knows the least. The media seems only interested in conveying feelings about Obama, not facts. As National Review’sMark Levin wrote:
Virtually all evidence of Obama’s past influences and radicalism — from Jeremiah Wright to William Ayers — have been raised by non-traditional news sources. The media’s role has been to ignore it as long as possible, then mention it if they must, and finally dismiss it and those who raise it in the first place. It’s as if the media use the Obama campaign’s talking points — its preposterous assertions that Obama didn’t hear Wright from the pulpit railing about black liberation, whites, Jews, etc., that Obama had no idea Ayers was a domestic terrorist despite their close political, social, and working relationship, etc. — to protect Obama from legitimate and routine scrutiny. And because journalists have also become commentators, it is hard to miss their almost uniform admiration for Obama and excitement about an Obama presidency.
Sure, we’ve heard about Obama incessantly, but what do we know?
We know he’s good-looking, super-cool, and he sports a spiffy halo. We know the celebrities in Hollywood love him, and European rock stars encourage Americans to vote for him on Saturday Night Live. We know that he will transcend race, even though he spent 20 years of Sundays in a racist church.
Aside from winning elections, we know that his greatest accomplishment to date has been to write two books about himself. We know he portrays himself as a moderate, but he hasn’t been on the political stage long enough to amass a record proving it. Even in his short time in the Senate, his votes have positioned himself further to the left than any other Senator.
True, the man has a voice that manages to soothe even as it commands respect. Unlike the raving lunatics and aging bomb-throwers he surrounds himself with, Barack Obama has the air of someone unflappably reasonable.
But who is Barack Obama really?
Given the lack of actual evidence backing up his supposed moderation—besides his take-my-word-for-it assurances—it is not only fair to judge Obama on the company he keeps, it’s pretty much the only way to judge him.
Perhaps that’s why news organizations like the Los Angeles Times wants us to know as little as possible about Obama’s associations. They know America would never elect a guy who keeps the company that Obama does.
27 October 2008 @ 8:24AM >>
An e-mail that’s making the rounds:
In a local restaurant my server had on a “Obama 08” tie [...]
When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need—the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.
I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I’ve decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.
At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient deserved money more.
I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.
6 October 2008 @ 9:31AM >>
In a report that isn’t labeled an editorial, the Associated Press contends that criticizing Senator Barack Obama for his connections to unapologetic domestic terrorist Bill Ayers amounts to racism. (Or, in the exact words of AP, pointing out the ties between Obama and Ayers “carrie[s] a racially tinged subtext.”)
The article objects to the following statement from Alaska Governor Sarah Palin:
“Our opponent ... is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country. This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America.”
The very first fundraiser of Barack Obama’s political career was held at the house of Ayers and his co-conspirator wife Bernardine Dorhn, two of the leaders of the Weather Underground. For years, the Weathermen terrorized Americans by bombing the U.S. Capital, the Pentagon, military recruiting stations and dozens of other locations, leading to several deaths. The Weathermen also killed a guard during an attempt to rob an armored car.
In addition to kicking off his political career at Ayers’s house, Obama was also tapped to lead an organization set up by Ayers to bring his goals for radicalizing education to Chicago public schools. Ayers, you see, is one of those folks who believes that, in order to be effective, indoctrination must start a lot sooner than college. And Obama worked to further the Ayers agenda for years.
But in the eyes of the establishment media, which has taken great pains to ignore the ties between Obama and Ayers, these years-long connections amount to nothing worth exploring. If one were to judge by the volume of coverage, Sarah Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy is much more relevant to the presidential election, it seems.
As for the argument that discussing Ayers and Obama’s work for his organization is somehow “racist,” well, the AP’s logic isn’t quite clear:
Palin’s words avoid repulsing voters with overt racism. But is there another subtext for creating the false image of a black presidential nominee “palling around” with terrorists while assuring a predominantly white audience that he doesn’t see their America?
In a post-Sept. 11 America, terrorists are envisioned as dark-skinned radical Muslims, not the homegrown anarchists of Ayers’ day 40 years ago.
Huh? So pointing out Obama’s ties to a white terrorist is somehow racist because we’re supposed to assume that all terrorists are “dark-skinned radical Muslims”? I thought it wasn’t politically correct to assume that. If anything, the AP should be congratulating Palin for pointing out that not all nutjobs who adhere to a murderous ideology are Muslim.
It doesn’t matter, though. Apparently, any criticism of Obama is inherently racist. We’re all just supposed to shut up and get out of the way so the media’s candidate can win the election and rule without opposition.