There's nothing like tuning into an episode of "The View" for a little exploration of social sensitivities in the modern American culture.
In keeping with that tradition, on Black Friday, a term used to describe the Friday following Thanksgiving, which is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season, the use of the word "black" to mark this occasion was a topic of discussion on "The View" for its potential "racist" implications.
Co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, who has her own primetime HLN cable show, debated the use of "black" on the Nov. 27 pre-recorded broadcast. Goldberg, a black woman, took the meaning to be a positive and that there was nothing wrong with it used that way. Behar, however, was trouble with the word "black" used in conjunction with Friday, taking the meaning as a negative (emphasis added):
Want to know how the left really feels about free speech? Look no further than Huffington Post editor and co-founder Arianna Huffington.
Huffington appeared on MSNBC's Nov. 19 "Countdown" to discuss a report by the Anti-Defamation League that alleges Fox News host Glenn Beck is "the most important mainstream media figure who has repeatedly helped to stoke fires of anti-government anger" and therefore endangering society.
"It would be nice to think of Glenn Beck just as a joke, as fodder for this show and the "Daily Show" and others that point out how stupid some of this stuff is," "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann said. "But this report, you know, suggests something else, this is - fear-monger-in-chief term is frightening."
I haven’t seen “The Blind Side” yet, so I won’t say anything about the quality of the film. But based on the trailer and the true story, my wife and I are as excited about this as any film in a long time. It tells the true story of the adoption of Michael Oher by the Tuohy family in Tennessee and how they helped him go from homeless teenager to professional football star. The book was incredible, the story miraculous. We’re especially excited because we’re big adoption advocates, currently in the middle of our first of many planned adoptions. Also, the Tuohys happen to be conservative Christians like we are, and we don’t normally get to see families like that on screen, at least in movies that are watchable.
Apparently, this makes me a racist.
You see, Michael Oher happens to be black, and the Tuohys happen to be white. I actually think that’s pretty cool, especially because they live in Tennessee, and what gets us farther from the evil days of segregation than an increased number of mixed-race families? One would assume that liberals especially would be excited about that, right?
Not so fast.
On Monday's Countdown show, responding to Mississippi Republican Governor Haley Barbour's recent contention on NBC's Meet the Press that President Obama has personal popularity -- based partially on being the first black President -- that is separate from the unpopularity of Obama's policies, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann labeled Barbour's words as "incoherent," and charged that President Obama is in reality a "target of racism from the right." Olbermann:
But it was Mississippi's Governor Haley Barbour who had perhaps the most incoherent read, explaining that Obama, the target of racism from the right, remains popular not because of his policies, but in a Donovan McNabb way, because of his color.
During a discussion with MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe, Olbermann also suggested that "Barbour knows that members of his party hate the President for being a black Democrat," as he posed a question to Wolffe about Republicans being in denial about their party's unpopularity and the meaning of the 2009 elections. Olbermann:
On Friday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann suggested that Fox News is a racist organization that would hold race or religion against its employees in awarding promotions, as he used the show’s "Worst Person" segment to slam Fox and Friends co-hosts Brian Kilmeade, Gretchen Carlson, and Peter Johnson, for raising questions about whether Muslims serving in the military should be treated with more attention. While every show in MSNBC’s primetime and morning lineups has a host who is white and non-Muslim, Olbermann suggested that the Fox and Friends hosts would have trouble succeeding at FNC if they were Muslim or non-white. Olbermann: "Since we’re asking questions, I have one for Carlson, Johnson, and Kilmeade. You guys ever wonder if you all succeeded inside a company like Fox mostly because you’re not Muslim or black or Asian or Hispanic?"
Olbermann's allegation ignores FNC personalities like Geraldo Rivera and Julie Banderas, who have hosted their own shows; and Juan Williams and Michelle Malkin who have both guest hosted for The O'Reilly Factor in addition to their work as contributors. Even on Fox and Friends, Lauren Green used to read the show's news briefs.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the "Worst Person in the World" segment from the Friday, November 6, Countdown show on MSNBC:
An openly gay city council candidate is targeted by malicious campaign literature suggesting he may be a pedophile and subsequently loses his bid for alderman.
It's the type of story highlighting bigotry and homophobia that the mainstream media would love to trumpet and it happened just days ago in the 2009 city elections in Annapolis, Md.
Unfortunately for Scott Bowling, he's a Republican in the liberal capital city of Maryland.
Aside from coverage in the Annapolis Capital and the Baltimore Sun's Maryland Politics blog, a Google News search and Nexis searches of the AP wire, major newspapers, and network transcripts revealed no coverage of the story in the mainstream media:
Phillips and Velez-Mitchell interviewed Larry Whitten, the owner of Whitten Inn of Taos, New Mexico just after the bottom of the 2 pm Eastern hour. Whitten recently fired some Hispanic employees who wouldn’t conform to his guidelines, which included not speaking Spanish in his presence and asking those who operated the hotel switchboard to use Anglicized versions of their names. He is now being accused of racism by these former employees and by Hispanic organizations who have taken up their cause.
Her bully characterization is astoundingly hypocritical, given that she goes on to suggest that Obama bully Glenn Beck and other conservative commentators into silence. And the President hardly seems like the kid on the playground "least likely to fight back." He certainly has the means, and has been using his pulpit to deride Fox News for the past two weeks for saying things that he doesn't like.
In the schoolyard of American politics, President Obama is the big, smart kid with all of the test answers who's being bullied by a bunch of Neanderthal ankle-biters from all sides.
The Daily Beast writer appeared just after the bottom of the 6 am Eastern hour with anchor Kiran Chetry, who asked the “independent analyst,” as she labeled him, to begin with his choice for “wingnut” on the right: “Wingnut on the right, as you said, Louisiana Justice of the Peace Keith Bardwell, who denied a marriage certificate to an interracial couple, saying he was doing it for the kids. Maybe he was concerned they’d grow up to be president.” Avlon never gave Bardwell’s party ID during the segment. Perhaps its because he was a Democrat during most of his career. He only became a Republican last year, according to a Louisiana state government website.
The Obama ascendency, the president's acolytes have been keen on telling us, is the dawn of a new post-partisan era. But a development that undercuts that fiction -- the Obama Justice Department's recent move to scuttle non-partisan local elections in Kinston, North Carolina, on the basis of racial and partisan considerations -- has escaped the interest of the mainstream media.
Both the Washington Times (in a Tuesday front-pager) and NewsBusters sister site CNSNews.com have reported the story, but a Nexis search today yielded no stories from print outlets such as the Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, or Los Angeles Times. Broadcast news programs on ABC, CBS, and NBC have also failed to touch the story. Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" briefly discussed the story shortly before 7:00 a.m. EDT on the October 21 edition with Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund.
A search for news stories about the controversy on Google News this morning yielded only 14 hits, most of them from conservative organizations or blogs.
Below is an excerpt from CNSNews.com reporter Adam Brickley's October 21 story:
It made quite a contrast from how the Times treated a Democratic candidate for Congress who circulated truly scurrilous claims against her Jewish opponent in a 2008 primary election.
In Wednesday's story, both the online headline (the print edition headline is different) and a photo caption readily identified the offenders as members of the GOP, as did Brown in his first sentence:
Two Republican county chairmen in South Carolina have apologized for a newspaper op-ed article that stereotyped Jews as financial penny pinchers.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was out campaigning this weekend with current NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is running for a third term. The New York Times loathed Giuliani's 2008 presidential campaign, and has run several revisionist articles suggesting his mayoralty, during which the city's crime rate plunged, was ridden with racial demagoguery and racist police brutality.
Monday's Metro story by David Chen, "Stumping With Mayor, Giuliani Stirs Old Fears," raised the same points:
Raising the specter of a return to higher crime and greater anxiety, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani warned on Sunday that New York could become a more dangerous city if Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is not re-elected in November.
Mr. Giuliani did not mention Mr. Bloomberg's Democratic challenger, William C. Thompson Jr., by name. But during the first of two campaign events alongside Mr. Bloomberg, he said that not long ago many parts of the city were gripped by 'the fear of going out at night and walking the streets.'
"You know exactly what I'm talking about," Mr. Giuliani said at a breakfast sponsored by the Jewish Community Council in Borough Park, Brooklyn. "This city could very easily be taken back in a very different direction -- it could very easily be taken back to the way it was with the wrong political leadership."
Mr. Giuliani made his blunt -- and to some minds, incendiary -- comments a day before Mr. Bloomberg, a two-term incumbent, was scheduled to be endorsed by the city's largest police officers' union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, according to two people told of the plans. It would be a big step in his quest to secure the strongest anticrime credentials in the mayor's race.