About Jon Stewart …

In the big scheme of things what Jon Stewart says about me or what I say about him doesn’t amount to much.  It doesn’t really amount to much in the small scheme of things, either.  But this is the United States of Entertainment, after all, so here goes.

The other night Jon Stewart played a few clips of Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and me, condemning the Left for tarring Tea Party protestors as a bunch of racists, because of what a few people might or might not have said at a rally in Washington.

Stewart said he agreed with us.  Generalizing like that, he said, was wrong.  Then he fired the heavy artillery.  He ran a montage of Fox News commentators making broad generalizations about liberals, including one of me saying that Democrats and liberals think people who live in the middle of the country are a bunch of jerks.

Get it?  We’re condemning generalizations then what do we do?  We generalize about liberals, proving that we’re nothing more than a bunch of right-wing hypocrites.

End of story?  Not quite.

O’Reilly asked me to go on his show and tell his audience what I thought about Stewart’s take.  What follows is a transcript of what I said:

“I am pleading guilty. And that’s a sincere plea of guilty. I said that liberals think people who live in the middle of the country are a bunch of jerks, and obviously all liberals don’t think that. But I will tell you what, an awful lot of liberal elites think that. I worked with these liberal elites for 28 years at CBS News, and they were always throwing around the term white trash, by which they meant poor southerners who didn’t go to Harvard. I’m not sure why that makes them trash. As far as the middle of the country is concerned, you know, this was flyover country where people flew the flag on the Fourth of July and went bowling and ate at Red Lobster. You know, they were a bunch of hicks. But even all liberal elites don’t think that. So I am saying I was wrong, Jon Stewart is right.”

That’s not something you hear on cable television very often.  A commentator saying, I was wrong.  But that wasn’t the end of the story, either.  I then went on to make another point, looking straight into the camera.

“But let me speak directly to Jon Stewart for just a few of seconds, because I know he watches. He is a big fan of the show. And Jon, if you have an ounce of introspection, you may want to take this seriously. If you just want to be a funny man, who talks to an audience that will laugh at anything you say, that’s okay with me, no problem. But if clearly you want to be a social commentator, more than just a comedian and if you want to be a good one, you better find some guts because even though you criticize liberals as well as conservatives, congratulations on that, when you had Frank Rich on your show, who generalizes all the time about conservatives and Republicans being bigots, you didn’t ask him a single tough question. You gave him a lap dance. You practically had your tongue down his throat. And how about those black columnists who play the race card and generalize about Tea Party people being racists? Why don’t you go after them by name and do it with the same passion and gusto that you use when you are going after Fox people? And how about Bill Maher? Bill Maher generalizes about people who go to church being a bunch of dopes. Is there some rule that says a comic can’t go after another comic?

“Here is my final word, Jon, you can do whatever you want. But if you don’t do that [take on your fellow liberals – with gusto!] guess what? You are not nearly as edgy as you think you are. You are just a safe, Jay Leno with a much smaller audience, but you get to say the f-bomb, which gives your incredibly unsophisticated audience the illusion — the illusion — that you’re courageous and that you’re a renegade. But it’s only an illusion.”

No, there’s no big message here.  No great moral of the story.  Slandering the tea partiers as racists is still wrong.  And implying that all liberals think Middle Americans are dopes is wrong too.  But you know what, it’s not nearly as wrong — because, as I said on O’Reilly’s show, way too many liberal elites look down their noses at “ordinary” Americans.  So here’s one more generalization Jon Stewart won’t like:  Liberal elites  think they’re not only smarter and more sophisticated than the kind of Americans who live in Kansas or Mississippi and like to bowl or eat at Red Lobster – they think they’re … better! And if you don’t believe me, just ask those libs.  They’ll tell you how wonderful they are.

The Love Affair Has Cooled Down — For Now

I was never a John McCain fan, and nothing he’s done recently has changed my mind.  Sort of.

The lamestream media, on the other hand, loved McCain the Maverick.  They would tell us – and who knows, maybe they actually believed it – that they liked him because he was independent, a profile in courage, a rare politician who did what he thought was right.

These are the same people who slobbered over Barack Obama then looked us in the eye and said they were objective journalists.  So as we used to say in the old neighborhood, let’s cut the crap. What they really loved about McCain is that he wasn’t reliably conservative; that he seemed to enjoy sticking his thumb in the eye of fellow Republicans; and most of all, they loved him because in 2000 he ran against George W. Bush.  If  independence is what they admire in a politician, then they’d love Joe Lieberman.  But they detest him.

And now, sad news has arrived from the political front.  The love affair between the lamestreams and the maverick has cooled down.  You see, McCain is running in the Arizona Republican primary later this year against a real conservative, former congressman J.D. Hayworth – and being a “maverick” isn’t such a good thing as far as a lot of conservative Arizona Republicans are concerned.

As Newsweek put it, “Many of the GOP’s most faithful, the kind who vote in primaries despite 115-degree heat, tired long ago of McCain the Maverick, the man who had crossed the aisle to work with Democrats on issues like immigration reform, global warming, and restricting campaign contributions.”

When he was running against W, McCain and his team couldn’t tell us enough about what a maverick he was.  Now he tells Newsweek, “I never considered myself a maverick.”  I don’t know, maybe it’s me, but I expected a little more backbone from a guy who took everything the North Vietnamese had to give.

Yes, politicians have been known to conveniently change their minds from time to time. But selling your soul for votes is no mere flip-flop.  So when he heard that the maverick said he was no longer a maverick, Jon Stewart, the fake journalist, said, “Now, normally, this is obviously where we toss to a montage of John McCain calling himself a maverick, but I don’t even f—ing need to.”  And that was just for openers.  “You always felt like he maintained a controlling interest in his soul,” Stewart said, but now it’s like “printing your soul on Zimbabwe dollars.”

And then Politico joined the fun and ran a piece that said:  “Truth be told, McCain has always donned the maverick mantle as a convenience. …

“He was a standard-issue Reagan conservative during his years in the House, to which he was elected in 1982, and in his early Senate career. Aside from campaign finance reform, there were few examples of apostasy as he began his 2000 presidential run.

“But with George W. Bush winning much of the party’s establishment support, McCain’s best political bet was to play up his penchant for candor and wisecracks as a refreshing alternative to his opponent’s more conventional approach to the campaign. And after he returned to the Senate in 2001, his voting record began to mirror his rhetoric. He gleefully opposed the Bush administration and the conservative base on a variety of issues and even flirted with switching parties.”

And on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, a panel of liberal journalists – (forgive the redundancy) — were bemoaning the fact that John McCain, a guy they once admired (for running against the hated George Bush), had sold out and had become become so pathetic.  What they mean by that, of course, is that John McCain is no longer sticking it to conservatives – not while he’s running against one in the primary anyway.

I admit, I like the current conservative incarnation of John McCain.  But I know what’s coming. Someday he’ll take a trip in the time machine and go back to the future.  Someday he’ll be the old-new John McCain who will stick that thumb in conservative Republican eyes and laugh that self-satsified laugh.  That’s when he will once again be a “maverick” to journalists of the lamestream media.  And then, the they will love him again.

Norah O’Donnell, Lamestream Media “Deep Thinker”

From the “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” Department:

The other day, Newt Gingrich took a pot shot at President Obama.  He told Republicans meeting in New Orleans that, “shooting three-point shots may be clever, but it doesn’t put anybody to work.”  It was a reference to President Obama’s televised shoot-out with CBS sports analyst and former basketball star Clark Kellogg during the network’s coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.

No big deal, right?  Guess again, Sunshine.

A day later on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, Norah O’Donnell, the cable network’s chief Washington correspondent, told the other guests the following:

“But I’m not sure what he [Gingrich] means by this particular sound bite and I think it’s open to some criticism because it suggests that the President is an athlete and some people may suggest, you know, because all black people are good athletes. I mean that’s what it sort of sounds like to me.”

No kidding.  She really said that.

The good news is that the rest of the panel didn’t buy it.  There was a lot of scoffing at Ms. O’Donnell’s expense.  But she wasn’t done.  “Well what’s this suggestion about him playing basketball? That he’s not doing his job?” O’Donnell demanded to know.

One of the panelists defended O’Donnell’s take on Gingrich’s remark.  Jonathan Capehart who writes editorials at the Washington Post said, “Norah, I will back you up, because my eyebrow arched as well.”

Hey, my eyebrow is arching too.  It often does when I’m about to call members of the lamestream media … dolts!

But since exploring dopiness can be fun, let’s try to answer the million dollar question:  Why did Ms. O’Donnell see racism in Gingrich’s pot shot.  The answer, sports fans, is simple:

Because she’s a liberal, that’s why.

Liberals see everything through the prism of race.  If someone throws garbage in the river and you complain, you’re a good citizen who cares about the environment.  If the guy who tossed the garbage is black and you complain, you’re a racist.

On the eve of The Masters, Augusta National chairman Billy Payne delivered a  public lecture to Tiger Woods, which prompted this from New York Times columnist George Vescey:

Just asking, but would Payne have been so quick to deliver his little sermon to a white golfer who was caught straying?”

I thought the election of our first black president was going to usher in a wonderful post-racial era.  Well, it hasn’t.  Just the opposite has transpired.  Now you run the risk of being tarred a racist if you criticize President Obama for just about anything. As far as some liberals are concerned, there is no such thing as honest disagreement over policy.  No, if you disagree with the messiah, you hate black people.

That’s how the tea party protestors are caricatured.  There have been at least four recent columns, all in major newspapers including the New York Times and Washington Post, that have accused tea partiers of racism.  Never mind that they think President Obama is spending us into the poor house.  That’s just a cover to mask their bigotry – or so the narrative goes.

And if your name is Newt Gingrich and you have an eye on the White House, and you try to score political points by accusing the president of spending time playing ball when he should be working on jobs, then you’re something akin to a racist, too — at least according to the ever-vigilant Norah O’Donnell.

Liberals are doing the nation a lot of harm with their promiscuous slurs.  A lot of Americans are starting to think that yelling “Racist” is just a way to shut up the opposition.  And they’re getting tired of it.  Besides, you can cry wolf just so many times before people stop listening altogether.  Something to think about, Norah.

The Latest Entry in the Slime Sweepstakes

There’s been a lot of hand-wringing lately, much of it from sensitive liberals, about how uncivil we’ve become.  Just look at those white racist Neanderthals who go to tea parties, liberals will tell you — in case you need proof.

There were the columns in the Miami Herald, the Washington Post and the New York Times, to name just a few – all decrying the supposed rampant racism at the tea parties.

Proof?  Well, what about those racial slurs that the tea partiers yelled out at black congressmen?  Isn’t that proof enough?

Well, no.  The more I look into those charges the more I come away believing they never happened.  (See my recent columns on this subject.)

A mere technicality, because tea party racism has become a mantra on the Left, an accepted truth that only fools, conservative Republicans, and other bigots wouldn’t see.  And surely, these liberals must figure, if they say it over and over again it will become ingrained in the national conversation:  tea partiers are bigots, period.  The bad news is that it’s working.

Every conversation about the tea parties comes around to race and racism.  The innocent victims can deny the charges all they want, but the charges out there nonetheless.

And now comes the latest entry in the slime sweepstakes, this one from a United States congressman, no less.  Steve Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee went on a satellite radio show the other night and had this exchange with the host, Michael Shure.

Michael Shure: We’d like to just talk to you  … about sort of the pervasive feeling in Washington right now, all this vitriol, all this hate. What is being done in America about this now?

Cohen: Well, I’m not sure what’s being done. The Tea Party people are kind of, without robes and hoods, they have really shown a very hardcore angry side of America that is against any type of diversity. And we saw opposition to African Americans, hostility toward gays, hostility to anybody who wasn’t just, you know, a clone of George Wallace’s fan club. And I’m afraid they’ve taken over the Republican Party.”

Let’s see if I have this right:  tea party demonstrators are like the Ku Klux Klan, without the robes and hoods.  They hate black people, but only for openers.  In actuality, they hate everybody – at least everybody who didn’t support George Wallace, the segregationist governor of Alabama.

Good thing liberals are the open-minded ones, the good ones, the civil ones, the ones who detest hateful speech with every fiber of their being.

Okay, enough of the all-too-easy sarcasm.   Here’s the point:  unless Democrats denounce this kind of hateful talk, they will have no standing to condemn anybody else’s incivility, real or imagined.  They will have lost every ounce of their credibility.  They will be nothing more than enablers of hateful speech, no matter how much they claim to long for a more civil time in America.

Oh yeah, Steve Cohen is a white Jewish guy who has a precarious hold on a mostly black congressional district in Tennessee and will face a black opponent in the Democratic primary – the former mayor of Memphis who says Tennessee needs a black voice in it’s all-white delegation, and whose African American campaign manager says, “This seat was set aside for people who look like me.”  Translation (as if we need a translation):  kick the white guy out.  Two years ago when Cohen ran against a black woman in the Democratic primary, he was targeted by a black minister who sent out fliers declaring that, “Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen and the JEWS HATE JESUS.”

So how does Steve Cohen deal with black bigotry when it’s aimed at him? He turns it around and aims it at white tea party folks, accusing them of bigotry. And if slandering tea partiers as George Wallace fans minus the hoods and robes is what he has to do to convince black voters he’s one of the good white, Jewish guys — and win his upcoming primary, it looks like that’s what he’s prepared to do.

But race is way too sensitive a subject in America to play with so recklessly.  Liberals ought to know that, even if they’re prepared to throw liberalism under the bus just to win an election.

More Sludge from the Lamestream Media

When we last met in this space, I was telling you about Frank Rich, the New York Times columnist … about how he was pontificating on healthcare reform … about how the anger out there isn’t really a manifestation of the unhappiness with the way healthcare reform turned out, according to Mr. Rich.  Instead we were angry, Frank Rich informed us  – or more accurately, fearful – because a black man is president, a woman is Speaker of the House, a Latina is on the U.S. Supreme Court and a powerful congressman is gay.

Painful as it may be to read his tripe a second time, here it is, just so you may recall that either a) you are a bigot or b) Frank Rich is a shameless left-wing twit:

“That a tsunami of anger is gathering today is illogical, given that what the right calls “Obamacare” is less provocative than either the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Medicare, an epic entitlement that actually did precipitate a government takeover of a sizable chunk of American health care. But the explanation is plain: the health care bill is not the main source of this anger and never has been. It’s merely a handy excuse. The real source of the over-the-top rage of 2010 is the same kind of national existential reordering that roiled America in 1964. …

“If Obama’s first legislative priority had been immigration or financial reform or climate change, we would have seen the same trajectory. The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play.”

Frank Rich’s predictable observations stem from an episode that might or might not have happened – the shouting of racial slurs at two black congressmen outside the Capitol before the vote on ObamaCare.  No need to re-hash that story except to say:  no audio proof has turned up to support the allegation.  And as for the “spitting” episode which supposedly took place when a white Tea Party demonstrator let loose on a black congressmen – well, video shows it didn’t quite happen that way.

Yes, the demonstrator was shouting at the congressman as he walked by — just as he had been shouting at white members of Congress — but from the pictures it looks like the protestor was guilty of nothing more than saying it and spraying it at the same time.  Not nice, but not racist either.

So based on these incidents we not only got Frank Rich’s two cents about racist white America, but also a dirty little piece of work by Colbert King in the Washington Post which ran under this headline:

In the faces of Tea Party shouters, images of hate and history

It gets a lot worse after that.  “The angry faces at Tea Party rallies are eerily familiar. They resemble faces of protesters lining the street at the University of Alabama in 1956 as Autherine Lucy, the school’s first black student, bravely tried to walk to class,” is how the column begins.

“Those same jeering faces could be seen gathered around the Arkansas National Guard troopers who blocked nine black children from entering Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957.”

So the tea partiers are no different — no better — than the racist thugs who tried to block integration some 50 years ago.

King goes on.  “Tea Party members, as with their forerunners who showed up at the University of Alabama and Central High School, behave as they do because they have been culturally conditioned to believe they are entitled to do whatever they want, and to whomever they want, because they are the ‘real Americans,’ while all who don’t think or look like them are not.

“And they are consequential. Without folks like them, there would be no Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity or Pat Buchanan. There would never have been a George Corley Wallace …

“Hence, an explanation for the familiarity of faces: today’s Tea Party adherents are George Wallace legacies. They, like Wallace’s followers, smolder with anger. They fear they are being driven from their rightful place in America.”

This is nothing less than slander. And shallow slander at that.  Even if one or two or three – or 10 or 15 – demonstrators crossed a very bright line and shouted racial slurs, does this mean the rest of the crowd – thousands of others – were also racists?  Does it mean that the entire Tea Party movement is rotten to its core?  No serious person would conclude that.  No serious person would write such nonsense.

But here’s something that seems to have escaped Mr. King and his sophisticated editors at the Washington Post:  Yelling racial slurs is indeed hateful, but so is yelling racism just because you feel like it.  Yes, some people see a racist behind every tree.  Some think it’s still 1957 in America.  This is their problem.  They should not make it ours.

I suspect we haven’t read or heard the last of this kind of journalistic sludge. Its goal, of course, is to silence critics of President Obama.  Who, after all, wants to be called a racist? (By the way, if we really were a bunch of racists, we wouldn’t care!)   So be careful out there:  if you criticize President Obama for almost anything, you run the risk of being tarred a bigot.

The election of President Obama was supposed to take us to a new better place.  He was, we were repeatedly told, not the usual politician.  He was The Future.  With the election of the first black president in a predominantly white country, race was supposed to fade into the background.

How’s that working out for you?