They Have to Decide if They Want to be Liberal — or Unhinged

For a while now I have been worrying about liberals.  Not all of them, of course, just most of them; especially the supposedly smart elite ones.

Some of the things they’ve been saying are more than a little screwy.  So I thought maybe they were going mad.  Now I have second thoughts.  Unfortunately they’re the same as my first thoughts.  Now I’m convinced they’ve lost their minds.

Before we start … a warning:  You may think I made up some of the following examples.  You may think I’m just having some fun at the expense of libs.  Nope.  Everything is real.  You know the old saying (that I just made up):  Out of the mouths of liberals comes some pretty wacky stuff.

First, there’s Old Reliable, Chris Matthews, the man who never lets you down when it comes to giving liberals a bad name.  During the GOP National Convention he suggested that when Republicans link Barack Obama to Chicago politics – (wait for it!) — they’re being racist.

“They keep saying Chicago by the way, have you noticed?” Matthews said on MSNBC, also known as Obama Re-election headquarters.  “They keep saying Chicago.  That’s another thing that sends that message – this guy’s helping the poor people in the bad neighborhoods, screwing us in the ‘burbs.”

That’s when another liberal, journalist and author John Hielemann, chimed in with, “There’s a lot of black people in Chicago.”

Get it?  Every time Romney tries to tie Barack Obama to crummy, corrupt Chicago politics, what he’s really doing is appealing to white racist Republicans, the only kind of Republicans there are, in the worldview of many elite liberals.

But if that was a 9.5 on the nutty scale, Matthews MSNBC colleague Lawrence O’Donnell hit the jackpot with a perfect 10.

O’Donnell was on the convention floor, and informed by MSNBC host Martin Bashir that later that evening Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would tell the delegates, “For four years, Barack Obama has been running from the nation’s problems. He hasn’t been working to earn reelection. He’s been working to earn a spot on the PGA tour.”

Here we have another ugly example of Republican racism, at least as far as Lawrence O’Donnell is concerned.  “We know exactly what he’s trying to do there,” he said.  “He’s trying to allied (sic) Tiger Woods, and surely the lifestyle of Tiger Woods, with Barack Obama. … These people reach for every single possible racial double entendre they can find in every one of these speeches.”

So if you say Barack Obama spends too much time on the golf course and not enough time trying to fix the nation’s problems, that’s the Republican not-so-subtle way of reminding everyone that a) Barack Obama is black – like Tiger Woods – and b) that he has the same “lifestyle” which almost certainly means that the president – like Tiger Woods – fools around with women who aren’t his wife.

Thank you, Lawrence, for that brilliant analysis.  I would have never thought of it.  And neither would anyone else on the entire planet – except for people suffering from CDS – Conservative Derangement Syndrome, a terrible disorder that strikes liberals young and old whenever they come into contact – even through the TV screen – with anyone to the right of Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

As Washington Post journalist Jennifer Rubin said on CNN: “MSNBC has to decide if it wants to be liberal or unhinged.”  I think we can agree that MSNBC has already made that decision.

And then there’s the hilarious “joke” from Yahoo! News Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian, who was caught on an open mic during’s Webcast during the GOP convention.  With a major storm heading for the Louisiana coast while Republicans were having a good time in Tampa, Chalian said Mitt Romney and his wife Ann were “Not concerned at all.  They’re happy to have a party with black people drowning.”

Before you could say “Mitt Romney used to be the Grand Wizard of the Michigan Ku Klux Klan” Chalian was fired.  But is that fair?  After all, he only said what so many other liberals in and out of the media say about Republicans — when chit-chatting among themselves.  Chalian’s crime was saying it out loud into an open microphone.  (He later apologized.)

And you remember Clint Eastwood’s routine with the empty chair.  Bet you didn’t know the lousy bigot was just one more old, white Republican male spewing racism on national television.

Someone called Mike Elk, who is described as a labor journalist, tweeted, “Eastwood chair rant was RACIST, white man putting dirty words into mouth of black man like a puppet.”

And a blog on the left-wing Think Progess Web site weighed in with this: “You can’t escape the racial subtext of what happened last night.  Eastwood scolded an (imaginary) black man for his perceived slights to the American way in front of an audience of millions, and a sea of mostly white faces laughed and egged him on.”

There’s another old saying (that I did not make up but wish I did): “The only people who see everything through a prism of race are skinheads and liberals.”

What Would Martin Luther King Think of Chris Matthews?

Like many people in our country, I was born after the African-American Civil Rights Movement. I wasn’t around to witness the shameful legalities of racial discrimination, and the bold acts of civil disobedience led by brave heroes to end that discrimination. No, I learned of the historical plight where many of us did: From school, film footage, and the words of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

King’s dream of a colorblind society has made him one of the most important figures in all of American history. He died for that dream, but thanks to his bravery, leadership, and moral messages of freedom and equality, his dream now flourishes in this country.

On the few occasions when I’m asked which people inspire me the most, Martin Luther King, Jr. is always right at the top of that list. In my view, King’s most powerful message was that he wanted his children to grow up in a country where they “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” It’s such an amazingly profound statement to me, and he phrased it so simply and earnestly that its meaning was unmistakeable.

That’s why I find it absolutely astonishing that, after nearly fifty years of amazing racial strides in this country, many proclaimed admirers of King seem to have absolutely no clue what the man gave his life for. They not only fail to understand it, but manage to unwittingly marginalize and even pervert King’s dream under the premise of defending it.

From a media standpoint, the most vocal offender has to be MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. While there’s no shortage of knee-jerk race-baiters in the left-wing media, Matthews is in a class all by himself. He has actually managed to pollute the sincere meaningfulness of the actual civil rights movement, by conducting a hair-on-fire, satirical civil rights movement of his own.

The Chris Matthews Civil Rights Movement isn’t about freedom, racial equality, or advancing society. It’s about taking viewpoints that he disagrees with, reflexively crumpling them up into something unrecognizable, then unraveling them through a nonsensical methodology to expose the inevitable conclusion of racism.

He’s been skipping down this tasteless and obnoxious path for some time now, but while broadcasting from the Republican National Convention this week, he demonstrated just how truly demented he has become.

Monday night, he interviewed former presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich. Matthews took the opportunity to accuse both Gingrich and Mitt Romney of using “racial code words” (a favorite phrase of his over the past year) by bringing attention to the large number of Americans that are on welfare and food stamps. According to Matthews, if you point out that an unhealthy, unsustainable number of people are reliant on these programs, you’re a racist. Why? Well, Matthews’ rationale is that when the public thinks about welfare and food stamps, they also think of black people. So if those programs are mentioned aloud, the public (presumably white people) will be inclined to believe that black people are a drag on our society. Matthews has been insisting that Republicans realize this, and that’s why they keep bringing up the topic.

Newt Gingrich found the obvious irony in Matthews’ logic: It’s Chris Matthews (not the Republicans) who is making the connection between welfare, food stamps, and the black community. The Republicans have merely stated the numbers without any mention of ethnicity. Of course, that observation was adamantly rejected by the Chris Matthews Civil Rights Movement.

That same day, an unhinged Matthews scolded RNC chairman, Reince Priebus, for the Republican party’s criticism of the president’s recent changes to welfare eligibility requirements. “You are playing that little ethnic card there!” Matthews chided, forcing even his liberal colleagues seated at the same table to squirm uncomfortably in their chairs . “It’s a race card!”

When Priebus stated that Obama is using a European approach in managing our economy, Matthews screamed, “You’re doing it again!… You’re saying he’s influenced by foreign influences! You’re playing that card again!” Matthews’ assertion was that if you believe the president is taking our economy in the direction of European economies, you’re a racist. I would love to be able to explain his thinking on that one, but I started to form a headache when I tried… so I stopped. Sadly, that statement wasn’t even the most outrageous one that Matthews made during the discussion…

He complained that Mitt Romney had a cushy life growing up, in comparison to the president. Matthews screamed that President Obama has “an African name, and he’s had to live with that!” Aside from the obvious racial condescension of that statement (again, not recognized by the Chris Matthews Civil Rights Movement), I found it humorous that Matthews was trying to evoke sympathy for the president’s name from a guy named “Reince Priebus”.

On Wednesday night, Matthews decried the Republicans for repeatedly mentioning that Barack Obama comes from Chicago. The nerve! How could they do such a thing?! As we all know, the president IS from Chicago. It’s the city where he has lived much of his adult life (and still has a house there), it’s the city he served public offices in, and it’s the city where his presidential campaign is based. According to Matthews, because there’s a significant black population in Chicago, mentioning Chicago in accordance with Obama is another “racial code word.” Yes, in the Chris Matthews Civil Rights Movement, saying the name of President Obama’s hometown is considered hate speech.

Later Wednesday, after Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan delivered his well-received speech to the RNC crowd, Matthews came forward with some unique, on-the-spot analysis. After hearing Ryan’s line about our rights coming from “nature and God”, he pondered what type of audience that comment was tailored for. His determination was that it was designed to resonate with people who received their rights prior to 1965. In other words, white people. The Chris Matthews Civil Rights Movement has apparently decided that either “nature”, “God”, or a combination of the two are also racial code words.

Now, maybe I should cut Matthews a little slack on that last one. It was pretty late at night when he made those comments. He may have just been a bit tired after a long day of identifying other, various forms of racism (I’ve heard that can be exhausting). Maybe a night’s sleep did him some good. When Chuck Todd interviewed him Thursday morning, it was a perfect opportunity to find out if that was the case. To his credit, Matthews’ didn’t repeat his 1965 reference. Nope, he instead took us back further in time and suggested that the Republican party wanted to take the country back to the days of slavery. Yes, slavery. Thanks for clearing that up, Chris! You’re a class act!

At least when Al Sharpton does stuff like this, the motivation is clear. He’s just trying to market his career.

But with Matthews, I think it’s more complicated than that. Sure, he’s a committed liberal with a crippling case of white guilt, who is astonishingly desperate to earn acceptance from the hardest-left elements of the Democratic party. But there’s something else, and I think it goes to his professional career. I think he has felt so tormented and bitter over the thumping he’s taken from conservative critics over his embarrassing fawning of Barack Obama, that he somewhere along the line blew a gasket.

Four years ago, Chris Matthews sacrificed any journalistic integrity he may have still had to serve as a shameless media-cheerleader from Barack Obama. No one has let him forget it. To this day, he’s still often antagonized by hecklers and guests on his show for confessing that he felt a “thrill” up is leg when listening to Obama speak. With his audience dwindling, his media colleagues regularly laughing at him, and his very relevance steadily slipping from his grasp, he’s made a life-decision to re-establish himself as a man of great importance – a crusader, if you will. And for a dedicated, bleeding-heart liberal like Matthews, there is no more noble crusade than that of exposing racism.

Thus, he appears to have made it his life mission to strike back at conservatives in the most lethal way he knows how: Exposing them as racists. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous he sounds in the process. It doesn’t matter how illogical his arguments are. It doesn’t even matter that his entire supposition (that wink-and-nod racism is somehow a political winner in a country that has soundly rejected racism) makes absolutely no sense. He has gone all in with the Chris Matthews Civil Rights Movement. The result is an angry man with a microphone who sounds more unhinged with each passing day.

Matthews’ often references Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his commentary. It’s clear he admires King. One has to wonder, though, what King would have thought of Chris Matthews. I have little doubt that he’d be absolutely ashamed of him, because Matthews’ plight pretty much goes against everything that King that stood for.

The Chris Matthews Civil Rights Movement isn’t about advancing an oppressed people. It’s about presuming racism in order to slander people that Matthews doesn’t like. The Chris Matthews Civil Rights Movement isn’t about judging people by the content of their character. It’s about condescendingly assuming that judgement of our African-American president’s job performance is not about his character, but about the color of his skin. The Chris Matthews Civil Rights Movement isn’t about striving for a colorblind society. It’s about identifying and differentiating people by their race.

While King risked everything to defeat racism, Matthews uses presumed racism to advance his own sanctimony. While King’s message transcends politics, Matthews’ message is nothing but pure politics.

Most importantly… Every time Matthews condemns imagined racism, he marginalizes actual racism. Genuine elements of racism absolutely still exist in this country, but those elements are largely ignored because official and unofficial followers of The Chris Matthews Civil Rights Movement have turned racism into a satire. They’ve turned what should be a serious charge – one worthy of attention – into a reflexive insult that is taken with a grain of salt. He’s not carrying on Martin Luther King’s dream. He’s trashing it.

Chris Matthews is earning himself a legacy alright, but not the one he wants. He’s securing his proper spot as the national media’s most abhorrent buffoon.

The Liberal Media Views Race Through the Eyes of Michael Scott

One of my all time favorite television characters is Michael Scott from The Office (back when the show was still funny). The self-centered and incompetent, though well-meaning office manager was portrayed masterfully by actor Steve Carell. One of the many trademarks of the character was his internal need to demonstrate to his subordinates that he was sensitive to racial diversity in the workplace. The problem was that in doing so, he would often use insensitive racial stereotypes or hail minorities within the office as triumphant, miraculous success stories for merely achieving the common job positions they held. His actions would reek of unwitting condescension and were often met with irritation by the people he was lavishing praise upon.

Though the character was fictional and such scenes were intended for the purpose of comedy, shades of this same form of racial condescension can be seen regularly in the supposedly serious professions within the media. The mentality essentially stems from the idealistic belief that even in this day and age, criticism of a non-white is less likely prompted by what that individual says or does, and is more likely prompted by the color of their skin. I’ve written about this in the past. It’s a fairly prevalent mindset.

But from time to time, we see such an outlandish example of this behaviorism that it deserves special attention. The recent reaction to Newt Gingrich’s talking down of Juan Williams in FOX News’ last Republican presidential debate is one of those examples.

To refresh everyone’s memory, Williams was one of FNC’s questioners during the South Carolina debate on January 16th. When Gingrich was asked by Williams about perceived racial implications in discussing poverty programs, Gingrich answered in a tone that could fairly be described as arrogant and parental. In other words, it was answered in the same Newt-like manner debate viewers have come to expect when watching Gingrich field an absurd question. Such moments usually result in an enthusiastic pop from the venue’s conservative audience, which is exactly the type of response Gingrich is aiming for.

Chris Wallace, John King, Maria Bartiromo, and numerous others have all drawn Newt’s ire under similar conditions. However, in the case of Juan Williams, who just happens to be an African American, some in the media saw something far more sinister. They saw despicable racist overtones.

Though it isn’t easy, let me try and explain their rationale…

First of all, they didn’t like how Gingrich began his answer by addressing Williams by his first name, Juan, which they apparently found disrespectful. Despite the fact that every panel member from every debate has been referred to by their first name by every candidate, the media saw racism in the case of Juan Williams.

Secondly, they didn’t like the way Gingrich said the name ‘Juan’. It wasn’t the pronunciation that they objected to, but rather the snide tone that came with it. Despite the fact that the tone was consistent throughout the entirety of Gingrich’s answer, and mirrored the same tone he’s used in previous debate performances, the media saw racism in the case of Juan Williams.

Lastly, they objected to Gingrich’s mere revealing of Williams’ first name. Because the name ‘Juan’ is a typically associated with a specific ethnicity, it was speculated that Newt purposefully won favor with the South Carolina crowd (perceived by the liberal media to be inherently racist) by dressing down a person with that name. So… The media saw racism in the case of Juan Williams.

Sound ridiculous and silly? It is. It’s every bit as ridiculous and silly as Michael Scott asking a Mexican employee if he’d rather not be referred to as a Mexican because it’s an “offensive” term. It’s every bit as ridiculous and silly as Michael Scott assuming that his only African American co-worker is good at basketball. It’s every bit as ridiculous and silly as Michael Scott asking a friend to read out loud a list of employees who might have a police record, then calling that friend “a racist” once he gets to the name of an African American co-worker.

But in the case of the Newt Gingrich/Juan Williams exchange, we’re sadly not talking about a sitcom. We’re talking about today’s media.

Here were MSNBC’s Chris Matthews’ thoughts on the day after the debate:

“There were interesting aspects to that, wasn’t there some applause when he called him Juan? I mean it’s an interesting thing here. I mean, I once, it’s very clever — I mean Newt is a very smart guy. He knows how to play an audience… Now it is his name, and Juan is his name, but there’s an interesting way it’s used and to personalize it, and Juan Williams has a lot of guts getting in front of that audience that’s conservative white in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and asking a question which is a reasonable question… This is going to get very, you know, very ethnic, very racial, it’s going to get very hot… And I think we’re looking for signs of coaxing people back to their sort of tribal attitudes. You know, and how it’s done and that use of the name Juan, the way he does it… It’s just the way he did that.”

Chauncey DeVega, who blogs for The Daily Kos and called Juan Williams a “paid pinata for white conservatives” and described the moment this way: “The cheering, snide glee of Newt Gingrich dressing down uppity ‘Juan’, and the audience’s cheering of a ‘boy’ being put in his place, would be missed by only the most in denial observer.”

And then there’s FOX News Channel’s own Geraldo Rivera, who’s never met a racial minority in the public eye who he didn’t feel compelled to defend against imagined persecution. On his WABC radio show last Thursday, he made these comments about the Gingrich/Williams exchange:

“I believe, you know, and I’ve thought about it and I’ve thought about it, I really believe that what Newt Gingrich did to Juan Williams at that debate, at that presidential debate in South Carolina on Monday really was, if it wasn’t racist it was racialist. Now, listen to this, folks, and you tell me when you listen to the way Newt Gingrich says Juan Williams’s first name. He says it like it’s a racial epithet, I swear to God, that’s my impression… All right, there is Gingrich being filled with disdain, utter disdain, for the only man of color maybe in that whole room.”

Oh my. What a comical bunch.

Maybe the NBC entertainment division should hire Matthews, DeVega, and Rivera to do some sitcom writing. That way, The Office might actually start being funny again.