Poor Laura Ingraham! After repeatedly smearing LeBron James and Kevin Durant as, basically, too stupid to have valid opinions, she just can’t understand why anyone might construe her comments as racist.
In case you missed it, Thursday night, Ingraham announced “dumb-jock alert” and played a clip of James, Durant and ESPN host Cari Champion criticizing Donald Trump and calling him racist on Champion’s podcast.
Ingraham introduced the clip by complaining that the comments were “barely intelligible, not to mention ungrammatical.”
“Must they run their mouths like that? Unfortunately, a lot of kids and some adults take these ignorant comments seriously,” Ingraham continued after the clip. She snarked, “Look, there might be a cautionary lesson in LeBron for kids. This is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA. And it’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid $100 million a year to bounce a ball. Oh, and LeBron and Kevin, you’re great players, but no one voted for you. Millions elected Trump to be their coach. So keep the political commentary to yourself, or as someone once said, shut up and dribble.”
A slew of athletes called out Ingraham’s comments on Twitter.
Instead of apologizing for her insensitivity, instead of hosting someone who might understand where they are coming from (and confirm that other African Americans think Trump is racist), Ingraham played the victim and attacked James and Durant for “throw[ing] down the race card” after “I call them out for their insipid commentary.”
Ingraham’s defense was that saying, “Shut up and…” is a long-time tag line of hers, ever since her book, “Shut Up and Sing” (subtitled: “How Elites from Hollywood, Politics, and the Media are Subverting America”). As if telling any and everyone you don't think has a right to an opinion to "shut up" is decent behavior.
But I gave Ingraham the benefit of the doubt that she did not intend her comments as racist. Nor, by the way, did Bill O’Reilly when he gushed over the good behavior of the patrons at a restaurant in Harlem. But, as my then-colleague chrish said about O’Reilly’s remarks, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
And then there’s the hypocrisy, given that Fox regularly promotes conservative celebrities and athletes and gives them a friendly platform to air their political views: Ted Nugent, Jon Voight, Curt Schilling, and Bob Kuechenberg, to name a few. Repeat guests Scott Baio and Gene Simmons will probably not be returning any time soon but not because of their punditry.
Furthermore, James, Durant and Champion are not just some dumb jocks on a high school sports team but have risen to the top of their respective professions. Also, it's not as though they were arguing the nuts and bolts of Trump’s tax policy. They were speaking about him broadly as his constituents and, even more significantly, as African American constituents. On that score, I’ll bet they know plenty more than Ingraham.
But after running through all those meanie accusations against her, Ingraham brought on two like-minded African Americans, Niger Innis and Burgess Owens, who’s a retired NFL player. They were not just there to assure viewers Ingraham is not racist but to help her attack the left (and the black athletes) who found her comments as such.
OWENS: This is the new normal for the left. When white conservatives call the black liberal “clueless,” they’re called racist. If white liberals call a black conservative “Uncle Tom,” they’re called “enlightened.” This is what these people do. They’re bullies. … The problem we’re having now is we have too many quote, leaders that are going from poor to wealthy, becoming elitists and skipping through what’s called middle class. Middle class is where you find empathy, service and understanding and relationship and we’re missing that.
Wait a minute, isn’t this an athlete straying out of his lane?
Funny, Ingraham didn’t challenge a word.
The irony is, I believed Ingraham when she said her original comments were not made out of racial animus. Now, I’m not so sure.
Watch it below, from the February 16, 2018 The Ingraham Angle and share your thoughts.
(NewsHound Brian assisted with this post but the opinions are mine, alone)
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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