Politico is (said to be) upset with Joan Walsh!


Joan Walsh runs the rubes: Yesterday morning, Salon’s Joan Walsh was back on her very high horse.

Few people have ever been quite so heroic. We were struck by what she said about the good folks at Politico.

This is the way Walsh began. We’ll include the pair of headlines, which she presumably didn’t write:
WALSH (9/10/13): You heard me: Rush Limbaugh is “a racist troll”
Mediaite and Politico think my saying that is news. Have they missed his 40 years of shameful racial stereotyping?

Politico and Mediaite are aghast that I called Rush Limbaugh a “racist troll” on “Politics Nation” with Al Sharpton on MSNBC Monday night. The immediate cause of my diagnosis was Limbaugh terming President Obama’s pitch for military intervention in Syria “Operation Shuck and Jive.” Or as Limbaugh said: “Bush had ‘Shock and Awe.’ We’re looking at ‘Shuck and Jive’ here. That’s what I’m going to name this. The Obama operation in Syria—‘Operation: Shuck and Jive’—because that’s what this is.”
Is Rush Limbaugh a racist troll? For various reasons, we wouldn’t be inclined to say that ourselves. We think it’s lazy politics—politics of the kind the plutocrats adore.

That said, we aren’t concerned with Joan’s heroic denunciation of Limbaugh. We were struck by her claim that Politico and Mediate were “aghast” at her saintly conduct.

We’re sorry, but that isn’t true. Surely, Joan of Salon must have known it.

Was Politico aghast? Walsh linked us to this short blog post. For the record, the piece was written by media reporter Dylan Byers, not by “Politico.”

We’re sorry, by Byers gave no sign of being aghast at Walsh’s heroics. The saintly one was making that up, sanctifying herself in the process and treating her readers like rubes.

Rather plainly, Salon is now inventing a culture in which liberal politics consists almost solely in dropping R-, B-, S-, M- and H-bombs. In these ways, We The Good People fluff ourselves as we take The Bad People down.

Who knows? This culture may work out well in the end. But can you build a truly progressive politics by making bogus statements?

In this case, Joan chose to stoke the sense of tribal warfare, pretending that “Politico” was very upset with her heroic conduct. This is the way we liberals get dumb.

This is the way saints get over.

In search of the aghast: For the record, Josh Feldman wasn’t hugely “aghast” at Walsh either, although his tone at Mediaite differed from Byers’ a bit. In all honesty, no one was aghast at Joan, who was simply running the rubes of a Tuesday morning.

Joan Walsh is an overpaid cable hack. Can you build a progressive politics this way, by having the overlord TV stars toy with the pitiful rubes?


  1. OMB

    Is Salon "inventing a culture"? For various reasons we wouldn't be inclined to say that ourselves. (But we haven't talked to our bald spot in a while, so we may be OK and with the "I" word after all.)

    We prefer a more nuanced phrase, like "Salon is taking the initiative to create a culture." That way we can debate the truth of the matter for decades.

    We know a previous commenter is having trouble with the "H" lettering, probably because it is easily confused with the real H-bomb. But she has no problem with the T-bomb, having dropped it on us before. In fact many a BOBfan likes to drop the old T-bomb just like Joan and Cecelia

    I wonder if the H-bomb could be the same as the F-Bomb, the Q-Bomb, or the all inclusive LGBT-Bomb as long as you fuse "phobic" to it to insure detonation?

    I agree with BOB. Racist Troll is lazy when confronting a master linguist who deals in cunning pearls of wisdom like "shuck and jive." Only a lazy Stalinist from Salonia would do a thing like that. Or so we've read.

    KZ (formerly Emp D from PD)

    1. Still doing it. Still doing it wrong.

      (The name's changed, but your shit sandwich tastes the same.)

    2. Limbaugh is obviously either a racist or someone who deliberately panders to racists. I agree with much of Bob's criticism of MSNBC, various pundits, and the press in general, but on this issue he is clueless, so upset that liberals overuse the term "racist" he can't bring himself to use it when it clearly applies.


    3. Since he started flogging this horse, Bob refuses to distinguish between tactics -- is the race issue useful or constructive for "progressives"? -- and the open exploitation of racial resentments by Republicans like Limbaugh and the party itself.

      Of course, if Somerby acknowledged the manipulation of racial resentments by Republicans, he'd be reduced to arguing that Democrats would be better off not commenting on the matter, because people who won't vote Democratic anyway don't like to be called racists. Besides, it annoys Somerby.

      But that sort of opportunist argument won't allow him to call anyone stupid or parade his superior virtue (his love of poor children and good-hearted right-wing rubes, etc.). So it's of no interest to the man.

  2. I'm inclined to think Limbaugh MIGHT NOT be a racist.

    Now, does he use language to play-up to racists? No fucking doubt. And I'm inclined to think you need to pay more attention, if you don't agree.


    1. Too much focus on language and too little focus on actions IMHO. Limbaugh has chosen for many years to work with a black sidekick, who goes under the nom de radio of Bo Snerdly. Limbaugh chose to get married by a black man, Clarence Thomas. I wonder, Berto, if you've made comparable life decisions.

    2. why my goodness my dear sir, his best friend is a negro so how on earth could he possible be a racist.Such talk is giving me the vapors.

  3. For ourselves (and our analysts, and our bald spot), we don't care much if Ms. Walsh correctly or incorrectly described the reaction to her charge. Nor do we care much about Ms. Walsh herself.

    More interesting -- if less consequential -- is Somerby's reaction to Ms. Walsh's alleged sins.

    Accordingly to Bob, the racial animus which has driven most of recorded history, from wars of conquest to colonialism to outright racial "extermination" and enslavement, to modern day conflicts in the Middle East, the Balkans, Eastern-Europe, etc. plays little or no part in American politics, and particularly little or no part in Tea Party/Republican politics, despite the claims of key Republican operatives to the contrary. Anyone who says otherwise, Ms. Walsh in this case, is playing you for a rube!

    Our analysts find this approach interesting, if puzzling. No longer, according to Bob, do age-old genetic imperatives, such as the urge to propagate and dominate other racial groups, operate in our culture. We're the exceptional nation, after all. People are good here, unlike the rest of the world, where folks hate other folks simply for having different genes. Imagine that!

    How does Bob know we're different? Well, not being a racist himself, no matter what the liberals say, Bob is clairvoyant. He sees outsized hatred of a left-wing commie marxist anarchist fascist black president (who in fact happens to be well to the right of Richard Nixon) as perfectly natural. They Tea Party types hated Bill Clinton, too! And, even worse, they hate Al! But they're good people, nonetheless, and couldn't possibly be motivated by racial hatreds. I mean, so what if one the prime complaints about Bill Clinton -- ludicrous as it may be, notwithstanding Toni Morrison's proclamation that Old Bill was the First Black President -- that he a traitor to his race and his betters?

    But no, says Bob. Our politics aren't racial! And, in particular, Tea Party politics aren't racist. How does he know? And why would he think so, when there's so much evidence that so much human history is indeed motivated by racial hatred of the Other?

    That he doesn't say. As for building a "progressive politics" by putting Joan Walsh on TV, the question would not appear to be serious. Surely Bob knows who owns MSNBC?

    1. Shorter anonymous: "waah, waah, give me my r-bombs back!"

    2. Shorter Matt in the Crown:

      I simply MUST chime in, even when I have absolutely nothing to say and no counter arguments. When someone as important as me decides to belch, the world simply must listen!

      See me, Ma!

    3. "even worse, they hate Al!"

      "even worse"?

      You are having a fever dream about an imaginary Somerby! Wake up, douchebag, wake up!


      Was it the loathing of Gore by Tea Party types that got Somerby's goat???

      And you are worried that other people are just chiming in to make themselves heard for no good reason??!

      We couldn't make you up!

    4. "We couldn't make you up!"

      Really? You just did, with silly misreadings (not everyting in American political discourse resolves around a Somerby framing), assorted irrelevance and the usual last resort of the desperate Bobbette -- "douchbag", "troll", etc.

      But never mind, Matty, Cecelia, or whatever other incarnation you're playing today. Bob loves you and will always tell you the truth.

    5. When I have nothing to say? That's a laugh. I told the truth: you prize your r-bombs above all else. The very notion that anyone'd dispute your dropping r-bombs on others caused you to drop an r-bomb on the messenger.

      That's how it works. The other tribe is racist. If you disagree with me, you're a racist. If you think that we shouldn't be so quick to call others racist, it's because you're from the other tribe and, naturally, you're a racist.

      You're just a fucking fool. All you're good for is undermining any chance at progress, especially progress on the racial front.

    6. Ah, Matty. The masks drops. How is it so many men (I assume you're male?) who clearly aren't the fighting macho type -- what would they be doing here if that were the case? -- routinely use language on the 'net which would leave either jobless and/or toothless if uttered often enough in public places, in the hearing of actual persons? Most men beyond the age of 9 understand that language can have consequences.

      Finally, your characterization of the issue is, I suppose, to be expected. Much as Bob claims to admire and respect right-wing rubes, while despising the left-wing variety, it's clear that 30-40% of the U.S. public can't be talked to or reasoned with, with a large proportion of them turning up in places like this.

  4. Anon destroys Matt here. Matt, what you engage in is name calling, which should not be mistaken as something to say. But the notion that Limbaugh is not a racist is not really defendable, though David in Ca is willing to make an ass of himself trying.