Democracy Has Prevailed.

July 25, 2010

Jack Kelly Sunday

This past Wednesday, I sent an email to a couple of friends (I'll refer to the first as "Friend A" and the second as "Friend B") this question:
How much you wanna bet on who mentions the Shirley Sherrod/Andrew Breitbart thing first - Jack Kelly or the Trib?
Friend A wrote back first:
Kelly has to wait until Sunday, so...
Good thing Friend A did not take the bet because it was Jack Kelly who was the first to mention l'Affaire Sherrod. He did it today.

When I pointed that out this morning, Friend B responded with a hearty yet succinct:
I have no idea whether Friend B would have taken the bet either but I should have gotten a few beers out of it. Or maybe a donut. A wafer thin mint, perhaps.

But I digress.

Jack's column is the usual, I guess. Immediately deflect the discussion to someplace else and then go from there. Here's Jack's opening:
Tainting the tea party with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective tactic for Democrats," Mary Frances Berry, a former chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, told the Webzine Politico Tuesday.

"There is no evidence tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans," said Ms. Berry, who is now a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. "But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one's opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness."

In 2008, a group of liberal journalists discussed how to handle news coverage of Barack Obama's long association with his hate-spewing pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

"If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose," Spencer Ackerman, now of Wired magazine, said in an e-mail to colleagues on Journolist. "Instead, take one of them -- [Weekly Standard editor] Fred Barnes, [former Bush aide] Karl Rove, who cares -- and call them racists."

Journolist was a list-serve created by The Washington Post's Ezra Klein. He shut it down after conservative commentators Tucker Carlson and Andrew Breitbart obtained e-mails members had sent to each other.
Journolist and Jeremiah Wright? And this involves Shirley Sherrod and Andrew Breitbart how? The issue is ostensibly about her, her speech, how Andrew Breitbart lied to the public with a selective editing of it, and her cowardly firing. To jump right in the matter and, within three paragraphs, to mention Jeremiah Wright is nothing more than a desperate diversion.

And I suppose it's is intended to plant in the reader's mind the phrase:
See? The Left does it too!
Except they don't. To quote Crooksandliars:
[W]here exactly are these misleading video clips posted from the left that destroy people?
Show me.

Let's turn, with this in mind to the end of Jack's column. Remember, he's commenting on Andrew Breitbart's use of a clip so edited that it appears to say something that it doesn't.

Now here's Jackie:
If Mr. Breitbart had the whole tape and released only a misleading portion, he's committed an offense as vile as Think Progress did when it chopped up the remarks of a tea partier, who was standing next to his black wife, to give the false impression he was racially prejudiced.
Whether Breitbart had the whole tape and edited it himself or merely received the edited version, his offense is the same. He failed to show the context of Sherrod's story and in doing so allowed his audience to think something of her that just isn't true. It's a lie and Breitbart is a liar regardless. (Keep telling yourself that and remember that the next time he posts something that gurgles up into the mainstream media.)

In any event Jack, did you think I couldn't find the Think Progress video? Here it is:

The gentleman Jack mentions shows up right at the beginning (about 7 seconds in). At that point the man says of President Obama:
He's too black to be President.
Sounds pretty racist to me.

But then, about 30 seconds later in the tape we hear him saying:
It's nothing racial. If you look at my wife, it's not the color of his skin that troubles me.
So where's the deception? Where's the deception as vile (Jack's phrase) as the one shown by Andrew Breitbart?

T'Ain't there. Indeed, if anything, the reality of that short short clip is precisely the opposite of what Breitbart did. As clumsy as it may have been, at least Think Progress included the video of the man reassuring us he wasn't a racist because the woman he identifies as his wife is black. How it invalidates the man's previous racist statement, I am not sure. And Jack, of course, leaves that part out.

This is Jack's evidence showing Think Progress doing something as vile as Andrew Breitbart.

I will include something I agree with from Jack's column (sit down, Ed. I know that's a shocker!):
Mr. Breitbart said his source sent him only the portion of the tape he aired. Even if he had no intent to deceive, it was reckless of him to release the excerpt without learning more about its context. He owes Ms. Sherrod an apology.

But it wasn't Mr. Breitbart who fired Ms. Sherrod without giving her a chance to tell her side of the story. To liberals as well as conservatives, the administration appears rash, cynical, weak and disingenuous.
Can't say I can disagree with that last part.

And if you're looking for any more evidence for racist elements in the tea party movement, go back to the video above and listen carefully at about second 28. A man with dark sunglasses is asked "Why do you hate Mexicans?" and he answers:
Because they're filthy stinking animals.
Yea - no racism there.

1 comment:

EdHeath said...

You know, I looked up that New Times/I think ABC news poll about Tea Partiers from back in April. Although the Times was amazed that Tea Partiers were wealthier and older (on average) than typical voters, I noted that they wer between 10 and 15 percent more likely to take what might be called racist stances. Things like that whites were no more likely to be able to get ahead than blacks, or that the Obama administration is helping blacks more. Of course I suspect that the Republican party would have similar numbers. by the way, a whole bunch of Tea Partiers thought that Obama has raised taxes, even though the administration has either lowered taxes or held the line on the Bush tax cuts (at least so far) and has not yet raised any taxes.

But really I don't think if it matters that much if more Tea Partiers are racist than average among the population (well, doesn't matter much). What's important to me is whether the policies their candidates might pursue (cutting government spending) could hurt poor people.

Don't get me wrong, I think tax revenue should be spent as efficiently as possible, and by the way, I don't think two wars (well, occupations) is a particularly efficient way to spend money. But anyway, I think that the higher tax rate on the rich is a god way to get money to put in the earned income credit, and I want to see that policy continued.

So that's what I think we should look at. That and the Washington Post article on the Secret Government and the Wikileaks business.