Thursday, July 22, 2010

LESSONS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF AG "RACISM" RESIGNATION

One of the smartest people I ever knew once told me the two intellectually laziest things one could do were to accuse another of being a racist or to accuse another of being an "Uncle Tom."  Boy, does this bring that wisdom foursquare back to my mind!

The other thing that sticks in my mind here is real disappointment in Andrew Breitbart.  I don't care that he broke the story.  It is sad that his people didn't fully investigate it (or did and decided to jam a square peg into a round hole) but that doesn't trouble me much.  There will always be dishonest or incompetent practitioners of any profession.  Here's what I found really disappointing, to the point where it changed a rather positive opinion of him:  He went on Hannity and, in effect, said he ran the story because the NAACP said something untrue about the Tea Party.  Is that how a journalist decides what is worthy of reportage?  Is that how we ferret out the truth?  Retaliation by pseudo-journalism is crappy journalism and crappy policy.  If he would have simply stood up for his story, no problem.  Justifying one's questionable conduct with the conduct of others is another way of adopting situational ethics, of saying one's standards exist on a sliding scale.  I didn't think that was Breitbart but he just told me it is.

This is not to pass on Vilsak.  I thought he was better than that.  So afraid of the race card you can't do a decent investigation, Tom?  Maybe we have the wrong resignation here.

In the words of Ray Donovan "Where do I go to get my good name back?"

20 Comments:

At 4:46 AM, July 22, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your selective outrage is cute.

 
At 6:41 AM, July 22, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when did Breitbart claim to be a journalist? He's a straight up propagandist thug. Of course he didn't review the whole tape, just like he didn't review the whole ACORN tape. The only real surprising thing is that anyone takes him seriously.

 
At 7:45 AM, July 22, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...

0446,

My outrage is always selective. If you've got something substantive to say, say it.

I take crap from my Democrat friends for being too hard on BHO and from my GOP friends for "always" supporting the Democrats. Since I don't know which, if any, you are, you will have to explain yourself if you actually have a point.

TYFCB

 
At 7:47 AM, July 22, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...

0641,

I know two Breitbart associates and they are straight shooters. He has sold himself as the counter-MSM and I had no problem with that. This is the first time he's actually acknowledged his motive was revenge. That's a HUGE departure from his earlier posture to the effect "We're just giving people a choice."

No matter what your politics, you gotta admit that ACORN is a target-rich environment.

TYFCB

 
At 8:57 AM, July 22, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For someone who is "counter-MSM" he sure loves him some air-time on FoxNews and Good Morning America. Don't be a sucker. He's a conservative Ariana Huffington- and that is not a complement.

 
At 9:15 AM, July 22, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...

You mean "compliment." On further review, however, in terms of symbiosis, he might also be a "complement."

TYFCB and I won't be a sucker, now that he has outed hisownself.

 
At 11:02 AM, July 22, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't read it as revenge, but that it was a more relevant story in light of the NAACP's defaming statements of TEA party racism making headlines. If NAACP propaganda was the news cycle narrative, Breitbart's "counter narrative" was called for (though full context would have helped).

NAACP's charges were not well questioned by big media. The TEA party as Nazi's or racists has for some time been the ongoing narrative from Pelosi, Democrats and the complicit media.

This woman's other statements (and blind charges of others as racists) indicate to me she is indeed racist, at least much more than those she has been blindly attacking.

The statement was out of the immediate context, but seemed to still fit with the remoter context of her race colored world view. In the age of the sound bite, the "summary statement" needs to be hard hitting, so that little bite did it.

I don't know Breitbart's motivation, and I hope it was not deliberate misuse of the quote, but I do think "big media" does that intentionally and maliciously all the time, and they deserve greater scorn.

Here are Breitbart's comments and the link.

BREITBART: Yes. But enough about me, Sean. I'm going to get to the heart of the issue right here. Mary Francis Berry was the former chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights appointed by President Carter and Clinton. This is not a conservative, OK.

This is what she said that has to do with what's going on right now and why this is not about Shirley and Andrew, this is about the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus and the Democratic Party: "Tainting the Tea Party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There's no evidence that the Tea Party adherence are any more racist than other Republicans and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging the ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats in November, having one's opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing —

HANNITY: All right. Let me ask you this last question.

BREITBART: — joblessness." This is about politics. And this is about tarring the American people and the Tea Party Movement with the false charge of racism.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,597324,00.html

This was high profile, and I'd bet Vilsak got "the call" to act. It's the Chicago way.

 
At 11:03 AM, July 22, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't read it as revenge, but that it was a more relevant story in light of the NAACP's defaming statements of TEA party racism making headlines. If NAACP propaganda was the news cycle narrative, Breitbart's "counter narrative" was called for (though full context would have helped).

NAACP's charges were not well questioned by big media. The TEA party as Nazi's or racists has for some time been the ongoing narrative from Pelosi, Democrats and the complicit media.

This woman's other statements (and blind charges of others as racists) indicate to me she is indeed racist, at least much more than those she has been blindly attacking.

The statement was out of the immediate context, but seemed to still fit with the remoter context of her race colored world view. In the age of the sound bite, the "summary statement" needs to be hard hitting, so that little bite did it.

I don't know Breitbart's motivation, and I hope it was not deliberate misuse of the quote, but I do think "big media" does that intentionally and maliciously all the time, and they deserve greater scorn.

...

This was high profile, and I'd bet Vilsak got "the call" to act. It's the Chicago way.

 
At 11:03 AM, July 22, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here are Breitbart's comments and the link.

BREITBART: Yes. But enough about me, Sean. I'm going to get to the heart of the issue right here. Mary Francis Berry was the former chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights appointed by President Carter and Clinton. This is not a conservative, OK.

This is what she said that has to do with what's going on right now and why this is not about Shirley and Andrew, this is about the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus and the Democratic Party: "Tainting the Tea Party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There's no evidence that the Tea Party adherence are any more racist than other Republicans and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging the ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats in November, having one's opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing —

HANNITY: All right. Let me ask you this last question.

BREITBART: — joblessness." This is about politics. And this is about tarring the American people and the Tea Party Movement with the false charge of racism.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,597324,00.html

 
At 11:21 AM, July 22, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah...compIment. I have an acute case of malapropitis.

 
At 12:18 PM, July 22, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...

1121, stop that! You're hurting me!

 
At 12:56 PM, July 22, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alright-
So the NAACP passed a resolution at their shindig asking the Tea Party (which has no leader...and is not actually a party?) to repudiate racist elements in it's group. A Tea Party leader(?) named Mark Williams then fires off a strange blog post for which he is then chastised and excommunicated by other Tea Party leaders(?). So...didn't the Tea Party do what the NAACP asked? If in fact the Tea Party is a party?

 
At 5:59 PM, July 22, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...

1256,

I'm sure, as I reflect on it, I will find some way that links up to the topic here. I'll get out the original Rosetta Stone and figure it out sometime soon.

TYFCB

 
At 8:00 AM, July 27, 2010, Anonymous josephus said...

Just now read your post. Tony, none of this is journalism. Breitbart is not a journalist; he's a political operative. He knew damned well the video was doctored and false. Putting out this shit is what he does. You're giving this asshole a pass. I'm offended by the supine spinelessness of the Democrats in the face of outright lies by rightwing scum. (Or are all of you afraid of being too sanctimonious in case you want to do some of the same?)

 
At 5:39 PM, July 27, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Joe,

I guess that's what I was saying in the original post and the succeeding comments. I DID give him a pass on the ACORN thing because it was such a target-rich environment. Bad Motives did not make what he reported false.

Here, maybe I'm a little slow to the mark but I'm right with you. When he admits his truncated disclosure was just a "get-back", I leave the building.

Still Vilsak is as much a villain as Breitbart. My God, if you think an employee has engaged in misconduct, freakin' investigate it! The WH was either putting pressure on Ag or it wasn't. Try to tell the same story on succeeding days. There's enough fecal matter to go around here.

TYFCB

 
At 7:00 PM, July 27, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the second time you described ACORN as a "target rich environment" What exactly does that mean? An organization that runs get out the vote programs and helps poor minorities find home loans is worthy of selective video editing from some southern-fried frat boy? What he reported WAS fake. ACORN was cleared of any wrongdoing and it came out the tapes had totally been edited and spliced together. It was a scam, just like the Sherrod thing.

 
At 7:02 AM, July 30, 2010, Anonymous josephus said...

Yes, Vilsack is a prime example of the supine spinelessness that the right wing is counting on in November to give it the Congress.

 
At 8:21 AM, July 30, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8:26 AM, July 30, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Joe,

I guess I have this tendency to feel like DLC types are more centered, not just politically but behaviorially. Thus, I had a lot of confidence in TV's judgment and ability to lead.

Turns out he was just another knee jerk sycophant. Very disappointing. Also very perplexing. I fancy myself a Truman-Clifford type democrat (Pre-DLC nomenclature). Where is a guy like me supposed to go? Way left to the Deaniacs or the Total Netroots KoolAid? Hold on and try to at least slightly populate the party with people who are not totally redistributive? Some weeks, it's not easy and the couple have been difficult.

TYFCB

 
At 8:14 PM, August 05, 2010, Blogger josephus said...

Yes, and it's tough trying to be an Eisenhower Republican these days.

 

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