The people Obama should speak to next!


Perhaps with O’Reilly’s assistance: Yesterday, President Obama announced an initiative designed to help black youth.

In the New York Times, Michael Shear quotes the president:
OBAMA (2/27/14): He called the challenge of ensuring success for young men of color a “moral issue for our country” as he ticked off the statistics: black boys who are more likely to be suspended from school, less likely to be able to read, and almost certain to encounter the criminal justice system as either a perpetrator or a victim.

“We just assume this is an inevitable part of American life, instead of the outrage that it is,” Mr. Obama told an audience of business leaders, politicians, philanthropists, young black men from a Chicago support program, and Mr. Martin’s parents. “It’s like a cultural backdrop for us in movies, in television. We just assume, of course it’s going to be like that.”

“These statistics should break our hearts,” he added. “And they should compel us to act.”
At one point in his remarks, Obama semi-joked about the sweep of the program’s appeal as he cited two of his guests. “If I can persuade, you know, Sharpton and O’Reilly to be in the same meeting,” he said, “then it means that there are people of good faith who want to get some stuff done.”

Mr. O and Reverend Al were there, black and white together! But if Obama wants to encourage other folk to get off their keisters and care about this, he should speak to the pseudo-liberal stars found on The One True Channel.

As we’ve often noted, you have to shoot and kill black kids to get MSNBC to take interest. As a general matter, the channel focuses on the rights desired by people of their own class.

Those rights are important. But manifestly, MSNBC’s exalted hosts don’t give a fig about the interests of our “underclass” youth.

We’re so old that we can remember when the problems of “inner city schools” occupied a major place in the liberal playbook. Those days are long gone.

Are black boys “more likely to be suspended from school, less likely to be able to read?” When’s the last time you saw a discussion of low-income schools on MSNBC?

(A bit of advice: Start your search at “never.” You’ll be pretty close.)

MSNBC has made it clear—it doesn’t bother with black kids. Maybe Obama should take O’Reilly and have him yell at Rachel, Chris and Lawrence.

Let’s take an updated look at the record: Personally, we’re not gigantic fans of Diane Ravitch. But among liberals, she’s the current state of the art concerning low-income schools, and she knows about a wide range of public school issues.

In the last two years, according to Nexis, Ravitch has appeared on The Ed Show twice, in each case for an extremely short segment. She appeared on All In once, for a fairly short segment.

That’s the channel’s body of work over the past two years.

For what it’s worth, NBC News has been hopelessly devoted to “education reform” over the past five years or so. Who knows? MSNBC’s liberal stars may be bowing to the preferences of the corporate suits.


  1. OMB

    Of course BOB failed to note a significant segment of Chris Hayes program with three guests & sadly with a commercial break, was devoted to Obama's initiative.

    That's the bloggers body of work, er modus operandi over the last many years.

    1. Over the course of two years that is rather scant. "Rach" has probably spent more time than that over the past two weeks speculating what Officer Chip might or might not have said.

    2. Yes, but you see, we didn't mention Rachel. We mentioned Chris Hayes, who got included by BOB with Rachel and Lawrence. In doing so he also disappeared that Hayes did a segment on the very topic of his post last night.

      It's not the first time. Today he mentions Hayes show in this MSNBC put down "In the last two years, according to Nexis, Ravitch has appeared on The Ed Show twice, in each case for an extremely short segment. She appeared on All In once, for a fairly short segment."

      Of course, Hayes hasn't been on the air for two years. He replaced the host of the show on which Ravitch appeared twice. And BOB forgot about that appearance on All In back on January 7 of this year. We took the liberty of reminding him and his many readers of that fact in a comment which outlined a continuous torrent of unkind things BOB has had to say about MSNBC and low income kids.

      We won't do a Nexis search. We just searched BOB's archives. We'll treat you to few things in BOB's own words which refute BOB's own words.

      "According to the Nexis archives, Ravitch has appeared on the channel’s late afternoon and evening programs exactly once in the past year, for a single segment on the October 4 Chris Hayes program. To his great credit, it seemed that Hayes had actually read Ravitch’s book, as we’ll note below!"


      As noted above, BOB forgot this just eighteen days later. And of course Ed disappeared because just a one year search was needed then.

      "In our view, Hayes’ discussion with Rhee last night was basically underwhelming. In effect, he brought an education person onto the show, then kept asking her about future job prospects for low-income kids who do get good educations."


      An underwhelming performance is still a performance.

      "We're glad Hayes conducted that interview. In discussing these matters, Hayes broke a prime time taboo of his pseudo-liberal channel—the taboo which keeps this channel’s seven-figure TV stars from discussing the interests of low-income children."


      BOB had yet to give Hayes his funny derogatory nickname.

      "For many years, we’ve tried to tell you: The millionaire leaders of your tribe simply don’t care about black kids. Some of them run promotional ads designed to make you think they care. But black kids haven’t been on your tribe’s play-list for a great many years.

      That said, one program did discuss Atlanta—the new All In with Chris Hayes. On Monday evening, Hayes devoted two segments to the Atlanta schools."


      He was just a new kid on the block.

      I have no idea how many other times low income kids get discussed on MSNBC, but I know not to trust BOB's selective Nexis searches. The man made up a test score category for mercy's sake. Invented it out of whole cloth to support his meme.


  2. "MSNBC’s liberal stars may be bowing to the preferences of the corporate suits."


    But how about some sourcing for that statement about NBC's commitment to (so-called) education reform?

  3. Bob's fans and trolls share one thing.

    They don't care about black children.

  4. deadrat February 13, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    Remind me why Chic Bob shouldn't post on the topics he wants.


    Remind me why Rachel Maddow should report on topics that Bob only uses as cover to bash young female authors until even his fans are bored to tears..

    1. Now Obama is a young female author? Ravitch is female but not particularly young. Hard to see how this comment makes any sense.

    2. You don't care about black kids. Two comments and all you have contributed is critiques of other comenters.

      You asked me moments ago to speak for myself. The people who like this blog and dislike it don't care about low income kids any more than Somerby claims MSNBC does.
      Their silence in this comment section proves that.

      Nine comments thus far. Four are yours and mine.

    3. There is nothing to say when you agree with a post.

      If you trolls would clear out there might be real discussion here.

    4. Then, to paraphrase everybody's great friend deadrat, if you agree with the post, skip the comment box if what you find there offends you.

      If you want to find a great example of exactly the kind of "troll free" commentary box you seek on a similar topic and a timely post soon to be revisited by Somerby, follow this link:

  5. What? Who, me? Oh, sorry, I was miles away.

    You want to know why an individual with a blog and the host of nationwide cable broadcast nominally dedicated to important issues of the day should be held to the same standards of coverage?


    1. No, not really. In fact not at all. That wasn't his question at all, as best I can tell. I don't think being held to standards was even mentioned.

      I know readers of the comments section appreciate your question very much even if it didn't answer his question and posed a different one instead.

    2. Perhaps I misunderstood. That happens regularly. Anonymous @7:30P dredged up a comment of mine from 2/13 basically saying that TDH gets to write about topics he wants. He's under no obligation to cover topics his readers want covered.

      @7:30P And then asked why Darlin' Rachel should restrict herself to topics that TDH wants covered. (I'm ignoring the trollish snark that Bob is obsessed with "trashing" young females and that Bob is boring.) Now clearly TDH doesn't demand that Darlin' Rachel cover only topics he considers important. He complains that she rarely covers these topics.

      So I took the comment to mean that there's an equivalent mandate, and what's good for the blogger is good for the host. In other words, if criticism of TDH's subject matter is ill-founded, then TDH's criticism of Darlin' Rachel's is ill-founded as well.

      If I'm wrong, @7:30P can correct me. Maybe that's you only four hours later.

  6. There is no will in this country to address the problems of the underclass. For those who do care, the means seem out of reach and it is an overwhelming situation without an obvious solution. I could say cynical things about Obama but why bother?

  7. The things you give are very convincing, I have read it many times and feel very logical. This is my own opinion, but many people may not be like that, but I hope you continue to develop to have more similar articles.