Part 1—What David Carr and Paula Deen said: Early this morning, in an undisclosed location, we were struck by the very first thing we read.
Each Monday, David Carr presents his Media Equation column in the New York Times. This morning, he started like this:
CARR (6/24/13): On Thursday night, the host of “The Daily Show” riffed on Paula Deen’s liberal use of both butter and racial slurs, chatted about journalism with Tom Brokaw and parodied the gangster code of honor that has been in the news in the Whitey Bulger trial. Along the way, he did a honey-dripped Southern accent and dropped into a Cagney-esque wiseguy voice.We were struck by that highlighted passage. Here’s why:
We’ll admit it! At this time last week, we had never heard of Paula Deen.
We have never watched the Food Network, although we assume the channel is on our cable system. Last October, we were surprised when Ruth Marcus cited something called “Cupcake Wars,” which she identified as a Food Network series.
Incomparably, we were saddened. Why would a journalist be aware of something like that?
(Programming note: We single men will start watching The Food Network when it starts inventing new ways to pour milk over cereal.)
Whatever! This Wednesday or Thursday, we finally became aware of Paula Deen. We were so apprised when Salon began its latest effort to invent, then loathe, The Other.
This morning, that general loathing issued in that highlighted passage from Carr. Here’s why we were struck by Carr’s reference to Deen’s “liberal use of racial slurs:”
Heaven help us! Inspired by Salon’s desire to loathe, we actually read the May 17 deposition which has inspired the current wave of attacks on the loathsome Deen.
We not only read it—we read it twice! And we’ll make another admission: Having performed this civic duty, we don’t know what Carr means when he refers to Deen’s “liberal use of racial slurs.”
By all accounts, Deen has never employed racial slurs in her three million public appearances. In her deposition, she describes using the most famous of all racial slurs once, apparently in the year 1986, in a conversation with her husband after she was held up at gunpoint.
In our view, the world would be a better place if she hadn’t done that in 1986. In her deposition, Deen also says that she may have repeated the N-word at some other point or points in recounting arguments between black employees.
In her deposition, she specifically says that she hasn’t used the N-word in racial jokes because she doesn’t tell racial jokes. Although she wearily says at one point, “Every man I’ve ever come in contact with has one.” Click here, scroll to page 22.
For the record, Deen seems to live in a world which is somewhat different from ours. We were born in the same year as Deen. But we can’t say that we’ve ever heard a man (or a woman) tell a racial joke, excluding public performances by comedians, who are often hilarious artists. In our personal life, we can’t say that we’ve ever heard a white person use the N-word in a derogatory or dismissive way.
“Every man I’ve ever come in contact with has” a racial joke, Deen wearily says. At another point, she rolls her eyes at the way the men she knows share sexual material with each other over the Internet.
That world is somewhat different from ours. Still, because we’ve read her deposition, we don’t know what Carr has in mind when he breezily refers to Deen’s “liberal use of racial slurs.”
In her deposition, Deen refers to using a racial slur once, apparently in 1986. And because we've read a few southern newspapers which have included more facts about this case than the New York Times has been willing to share, we have learned that the (white) woman who is suing Deen and her brother made the statements you see below in her own deposition.
We can't judge this woman's case, in which she is seeking $1.2 million, but her name is Lisa Jackson. This is part of the news report from yesterday's Augusta Chronicle:
SKUTCH (6/23/13): Deens’ attorney, Franklin, asked Jackson: “You have never heard Paula make a racist remark, have you?”We can’t judge the merits of Jackson’s suit. But if you read a few southern newspapers, you will be allowed to know that Jackson said she’s never heard Deen make a racist remark.
“Not heard it,” Jackson replied.
“You have never known Paula to discriminate against a person based on gender, have you?”
“I’m not aware.”
“And you have never known Paula to sexually harass anyone, have you?”
Here's the bad news:
If you read Salon or the New York Times, you will be exposed to a much more limited set of facts. This morning, you will see Carr open his column with a puzzling remark.
What exactly did Carr have in mind when he referred to Deen’s “liberal use of racial slurs?” We don’t know, but he may have been reading too many Yankee papers over the past several days.
And he may have been reading Salon! In the past week, Salon went on a merry old chase in which the newly low-IQ pseudo-liberal journal kept itself extremely busy inventing The Other and training its readers in the best ways to loathe.
Liberal readers were fed highly selective strings of facts about a wide array of matters. In the case of Deen, the New York Times has basically played along.
We awoke this morning to find Carr making a puzzling statement. What is David Carr talking about? And in what essential way does he differ today from the same-name pseudo-conservative hit man, Boston’s own Howie Carr?
All week long, we will examine the various ways Salon kept inventing The Other last week, while training its liberal readers in the best ways to loathe. In the past, these impulses haven’t worked out especially well for progressive causes or for the American interest. But lord, it can feel so good!
Increasingly, Salon has been working out of a low-IQ trash can. But will our liberal lizard brains permit us to process this fact?
Tomorrow: Lazy, bogus, selective claims in a wide range of cases