Dadgummit, once again, the right wing noise machine has framed the debate and the Democrats are forced to play defense. Of course, the Shirley Sherrod smear by Andrew Breitbart would be a topic of discussion on the Sunday shows.
But will they take a hard look at the responsibility of news organizations to fact check and contextualize before just blindly repeating a partisan smear from a known liar and smear merchant? Surely, you jest. Stop playing the blame game, you liberals.
There are liberals who call conservatives racist as a matter of tactics, too. That happens, as well. Listen, I was out jogging, you wouldn't know it to look at me. I was out jogging (LAUGH) you wouldn’t know it to look at me, I was out jogging on the mall. I was at a Tea Party rally, Tea Party rally. Also there was a group called the Back-- Black Family Reunion, celebration of African American culture. I watched these two groups intermingle. Sitting at the same table, eating-- watching concerts together. Among most of those people, there was a fantastic atmosphere of just getting along on-- on a warm Sunday afternoon.
And so, there are people, but I-- I was struck by a story of progress. A story of progress, that we're making some progress to this. And this whole week, that speech was about progress. We now have a gotcha culture that punishes people that say terrible things. So, I think overall, it's slow, steady--
Any one actually believe that anything like this actually happened? If so, I got a bridge to sell you...cheap.
But ultimately, it's entirely beside the point.
The issue is not nor ever has been whether ALL tea baggers are racist. It's an intellectually dishonest argument to paint any group of people with such a broad brush, and it was never done by anyone on the left. But since the right has grabbed hold of the narrative, they can dismiss any and all discussion by such a straw man.
Remember the timeline of events: The NAACP asked the tea party organizers to disavow the racist element that showed up at every tea party event. Not every tea bagger. But it's hard to argue that they didn't exist, especially with the preponderance of pictures proving so.
It's not an unheard of request. The Republican Party disavowed the fascist McCarthyites and also the extremist John Birchers at one point in time. Democrats were asked to disavow MoveOn for the Gen. Betrayus debacle.
But that doesn't work for polemicist and unabashed hater Andrew Breitbart. He instead decides that the way to respond to a call for civility and respect is to counter-attack with a smear, even if he has to make one up. And his thesis? If the tea party is racist, so is the NAACP. And to prove it, he shows an edited video of a 24 year old incident involving an African-American mid-level bureaucrat and a white farmer. So in Breitbart's Bizarro-World logic, NAACP = white racism = black government bureaucrat singly discriminating against white farmer (she didn't, but go along with the analogy)= ? Is Breitbart insinuating that a single incident 24 years ago is enough to indict the entire NAACP of white racism? And is Sherrod even a member of the NAACP? She's not an officer of the organization.
And don't think for a moment that the choice of a government employee who works to support the poor and needy is an accident either. This is just more serving of the oligarchy, a fact that the media conveniently lets slide down the memory hole.
If Breitbart--and the media enabling him and accepting his framing-- is going to use the analogy that one act condemns an entire group, why can't we call all tea baggers racist?
Let's see David Brooks answer THAT one.