EYES OFF THE PRIZE: The things we liberals can’t be told!

FRIDAY, MAY 2, 2014

Part 4—Saint Joan keeps us barefoot and clueless: In large part, we agree with something we read in Salon.

Can things like this be said at Salon? In a typically muddled piece designed to stir our liberal hate, Paul Rosenberg said something good about the racial attitudes of the American people:
ROSENBERG (5/1/14): [Donald] Sterling’s self-immolating drama vividly illustrates what the questions involve. It’s not just that Americans—unbeknownst to Sterling, Cliven Bundy and Limbaugh—have come to an overwhelming consensus that racism itself is evil, though that’s certainly enormously important in and of itself. But there’s also the additional factor of interpersonal depravity—psychopathy, if you will, which people are increasingly coming to see as significantly overrepresented in the 1 percent.
Is that true? Have Americans “come to an overwhelming consensus that racism itself is evil?”

We wouldn’t go that far. And for the most part, we tend to stay away from the E-word altogether.

But we were pleased, and quite surprised, to see this statement at Salon, which more typically tries to claim that a ridiculous outlier like Bundy represents the American norm. (Just see our earlier post.)

All too often, Salon seems eager to fuel your hate—and to keep you barefoot and clueless. What is it like when we liberals got conned by our Fox-like leaders?

What’s it like when we got played? Consider what Joan Walsh did.

On Wednesday, April 23, Bundy shared his ridiculous thoughts about race in America. The next morning, Walsh swung into action, inventing various bogus claims about Rand Paul and pounding away at Sean Hannity.

Over the years, there’s been a great deal to pound away at Hannity about. The liberal world has done an extremely poor job confronting the reams of disinformation he has constantly spread.

On this particular day, Walsh was in her glory. She closed her piece with a bit of McCarthyism—and with the latest sign of her own wondrous good faith:
WALSH (4/24/14): Let’s face it: Paul’s been a better ally to Cliven Bundy than to the inner-city poor. I’m not saying he would endorse Bundy’s remarks about “Negroes”; he knows better than that. At least I think he does. But culturally and politically, he’s quicker to empathize with the lawbreaker in Nevada than those thugs in Chicago.


Here’s hoping that Rand Paul denounces Bundy’s remarks early Thursday. It won’t change the sad fact that way too many people who think like Paul politically think like Bundy racially.

I don’t expect Hannity to say a word about Bundy’s predictable descent into the muck of racism, but I’d love to be surprised.
In truth, Paul had done very little “empathizing with the law-breaker in Nevada,” although a range of pseudo-liberals (and mainstream reporters) took turns telling you different. Feeding bullshit to us rubes isn’t just for Fox anymore!

In best McCarthyite fashion, Walsh said that “many people who think like Paul politically think like Bundy racially.” Then again, many people who think like Walsh journalistically have been involved in world history’s worst racial and ethnic slaughters!

Whatever! As she closed, our own emerging Saint Joan shared her greatness with us. She said she didn’t expect to see Hannity reject Bundy’s racial theses—but she’d love to be surprised!

The very next day, our emerging saint engaged in an act of self-abnegation.

On Thursday evening, Hannity had given Joan exactly what she wanted. Right at the start of his Fox News program, he denounced Bundy’s racial lunacy, just as Saint Joan had hoped:
HANNITY (4/24/14): And we kick things off tonight with reaction to some disturbing comments that are being attributed to Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. Now, they appeared in today's New York Times and were made by Bundy in what the paper likened to a town hall meeting with supporters. Now, audio was recently posted of the alleged remarks on line. Take a listen.

[clips of Bundy’s racial remarks]

HANNITY: All right, allow me to make myself abundantly clear. I believe those comments are downright racist. They are repugnant. They are bigoted. And it's beyond disturbing. I find those comments to be deplorable, and I think it's extremely unfortunate that Cliven Bundy holds those views.

Now, while I supported the Bundy ranch as they took a stand against the Bureau of Land Management, I was absolutely dismayed and frankly disappointed after reading the article and then hearing the commentary.
Saint Joan’s dreams were coming true! Hannity started the evening’s second segment like this:
HANNITY: And welcome back to Hannity. Now earlier, we told you about the disgraceful comments made by rancher Cliven Bundy. Now, Cliven addressed those racist remarks during a press conference today. Take a look:

[clips of Bundy’s additional racial remarks]

HANNITY: Joining me now with reaction in studio, radio talk show host—and by the way, you fill in on this show—our good friend David Webb is here.
“It is racist what he said,” Webb declared. “And that he goes back and supports it proves that he’s an idiot.”

Saint Joan’s dream had come true! She didn’t think Hannity would “say a word about Bundy’s predictable descent into the muck of racism,” though she said she’d “love to be surprised.”

Well hallelujah! Hannity had gone on the air and denounced Bundy’s “disgraceful comments,” his “racist remarks!” Surely, Walsh was surprised—and pleased!

That’s where the saintly self-abnegation came in.

Every saint must be willing to deny herself worldly pleasure. On Friday, April 25, Walsh wrote about Hannity again, even discussing the previous evening’s program.

But how strange! Saint Joan never told her readers about the way Hannity had denounced Bundy’s “racist remarks.” Apparently, we the peasants who read Salon had no need to know!

We tend to agree with the gist of Rosenberg’s statement. By and large, we’re inclined to think that the bulk of the American people turned the corner on these matters quite a while ago.

No situation is perfect, of course. And no one will ever be quite as perfect as we the liberals are. But we tend to agree with what Rosenberg said, although we’d tone it down.

Have Americans “come to an overwhelming consensus that racism itself is evil?”

We wouldn’t be quite as dramatic as that. But on balance, we think most people are ready to continue moving into the all-American future. We think most people would like to be inspired and challenged about our all-American future rather than propagandized and taught to hate, the way we get taught at Salon.

Objectively, Walsh is a hater. She’s also a stone propagandist. That said, here’s the good news, the news you will never hear at Salon:

When it comes to the racial nonsense of Bundy and Sterling, it has been hard to distinguish the reactions of Hannity and O’Reilly from the reactions heard at MSNBC.

In particular, O’Reilly has savaged both men at considerable length. (He's also been scornful of Hannity for his initial reactions to Bundy.) But you will never be told that fact by the hustlers and saints at Salon.

In our next post, we’ll post extended excerpts of what the two Fox hosts have said. Their comments have been fascinating—but saints like Walsh will work quite hard to keep you from hearing about them.

In our view, saints like Walsh are bad for the common good. We would assume that they’re also bad for progressive interests.

(In fairness, saints like Walsh are probably good for the corporate bottom line. Not that she cares about that!)

To judge from appearances, Saint Joan Walsh has hustled us rubes every step of the way. This dates back to the days when she covered for the horrible conduct of her owner, Chris Matthews.

Now, the corporate mission has changed at MSNBC and at Salon. Walsh and Matthews have changed along with it.

Real progressives should spit in the street when Our Own Saint Joan strolls by. Last week, our own emerging saint was keeping us barefoot and clueless.

Walsh was openly playing her readers. At Salon, we fiery liberals swallow this bullshit whole.

Next post: Extended excerpts of the material you’ll never read at Salon


  1. "When it comes to the racial nonsense of Bundy and Sterling, it has been hard to distinguish the reactions of Hannity and O’Reilly from the reactions heard at MSNBC."

    Yes, Bob. And why is that?

    Could it possibly be because there exists today in America "an overwhelming consensus that racism itself is evil”?

    No, that can't be it. The answer has to be "we don't know" and "we wouldn't go that far".

    1. Except that for blogger, the Bundy/Sterling statements are never more than "crazy" or "ridiculous".

      This is the strip-tease he has been doing ever since the "great change".

    2. Why are you guys in such a rush to adopt the biblical language of religion to describe human frailties?

      Do you believe in good and evil in a Manichean sense? The term evil has special meaning for many people -- beyond just words like despicable or bad or wrong or mistaken or messed up. It refers to actions springing from an essence. More temperate people are reluctant to condemn the entire being or soul of an individual on the basis of isolated actions. That's why the word "evil" is over the top.

      Somerby is willing to consider extenuating circumstances in the lives of these two men. Words like crazy leave room for age-related dementia. Ridiculous implies that their statements are foolish. Bundy lives far from any member of any minority group and his ideas have no practical application. Sterling says abhorrent things while paying members of minority groups (including his girlfriend) huge sums of money. He perhaps discriminated against renters in the past, but given the descriptions of his units, perhaps he did them a favor. This just doesn't rise to the level of evil.

    3. Lordy, what pseudo-intellectual bullshit.

    4. Lordy, what anti-intellectual bullshit. Did "Manichean" throw you? Google it. You don't even have to sound out the letters. (If you do, treat the "ch" like a "k.") Maybe you'll learn something. If you do, maybe you'll even like that feeling.

    5. I don't need to google it: he's that senator from West Virginia.

    6. Yes, deadrat aren't we ever so smart and clever to drop third-century Gnostic philosophy into the conversation about Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy.

    7. So you did google it. Good for you!

  2. Boy, Somerby is working hard to start a feud and gain some attention. Once upon a time, he was considered important enough for Walsh to answer. Nowadays, like Cliven Bundy next rant, he is being ignored.

    1. Not by you, apparently.

    2. Nope, I get a big belly laugh by clicking on here every day to hear this phony pretend to be a liberal lecturing liberals.

      Almost as much fun as watching his sycophants lap up whatever right-wing talking points he invariably regurgitates.

    3. Anonymous @12:03P just can't quit him. He's here "every day" reading minds and wasting time on someone he considers phony. It's fun!

    4. I must add, however, that I skip past posts by "deadrat." Pretty damned boring.

    5. It's called Tough Love. Liberals should expect to be represented in the media well. When they're not, Somerby calls the offenders out.

  3. Rosenberg casually throws Rush Limbaugh into the group of racists that includes Bundy and Sterling. Does Rosenberg know or care that Limbaugh has chosen to work with a black sidekick for many year? That Limbaugh chose to have his wedding officiated by a black man?

    From the liberal POV, these don't disprove the charge or racism. Once a conservative is accused of being a racist, nothing he does or says can disprove the accusation.

    1. Ah, the only "some of his best sidekicks are black" defense.

      And which one of his weddings was officiated by a black man?

    2. Since the subject is the NBA, let's check on what Rush has said about that organization:

      "You just gotta be who you are, and I think it's time to get rid of this whole National Basketball Association. Call it the TBA, the Thug Basketball Association, and stop calling them teams. Call 'em gangs."

      He also had harsh words for the NFL:

      "The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it."

      Then there is this gem about New York's first black governor appointing the successor to U.S. Rep Eric Massa:

      "So, David Paterson will become the massa who gets to appoint whoever gets to take Massa's place. So, for the first time in his life, Paterson's gonna be a massa. Interesting, interesting."

      His views on Obama?

      "Hey, Barack Obama has picked up another endorsement: Halfrican American actress Halle Berry."

      "Singing a song in my head here during the break: "Barack, the Magic Negro, doo doo do doo."

      "Obama's America, white kids getting beat up on school buses now. I mean, you put your kids on a school bus, you expect safety. But in Obama's America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering "Yay! Right on, right on, right on, right on."

      " . . . we've elected somebody who's more African in his roots than he is American, loves his father, who was a Marxist, and is behaving like an African colonial despot."

      "There's rioting in the streets now! And there's going to be more rioting in the streets because that's part of the program here. And next up there are going to be race riots, I guarantee it. Race riots are part of the plan that this regime has. That's next."

      Yep, nothing racist there. After all, Rush as a "black sidekick" and one of his weddings was officiated by a black man.

    3. That suggests that Limbaugh's many bigoted remarks spring from a cynical appeal to the prejudices of his audience rather than personal bias. I think that is worse and does constitute evil. Making money by appealing to people's worst nature is far uglier than being the sort of misguided, ill-informed isolated creep represented by Bundy and Sterling.

    4. Maybe that "suggests" it to you, but I think Limbaugh's words pretty much speak for himself.

      By the way, I know Bob has thrown you the sweet hay that Bundy and Sterling are merely "isolated creeps" but is that true?

      Bundy sure seemed to have a lot of buddies with guns. And Sterling was tolerated until he finally said something even Bill O'Reilly couldn't stand.

    5. Are the buddies with guns there in support of his racist statements or his anti-govt stance?

    6. "From a liberal POV ...."

      How would you know?

  4. At Salon, if you are keeping score, I think the "My Racist Older Lover" article bests all other posts in terms of being both vile and ridiculous. I tip my hat to Kareem for writing the only accurate account of The Sterling Tape. I expect even Bob knows Jabbar is correct, but you can only take on so much....

  5. Its plain and simple:

    Blogger has nothing left except being white and male. And he sympathizes with others in his cohort.

    Almost everything he writes can be understood based on this.

    1. So nice to reduce things to simplistic terms that make the world easy to understand.

    2. Add a little race baiting and it's pure hog heaven.

  6. Walsh a "hater"? I don't see that, so it cannot be true "objectively." That's an extremely obnoxious thing to say without offering a shred of support for it.

    Now let's see the "sycs" rush to his defense.

  7. I can't take it anymore! Somerby is into some really crazy shit. He (of the "we liberals/progressives") focuses all his considerable animus on people who, however imperfect, at least care about the poor, the hungry, the disadvantaged. Somerby may well be insane; he is certainly totally self-absorbed. Really, Walsh is our problem? Paul is not? And David in Cal, are you showing your true colors? I once thought you kind if misguided. So now, Rush Limbaugh is to be defended? Wow. So maybe you have been being paid all along.

    If anybody wants a take that is critical of MSM coverage but actually insightful, try (as usual) Ta-Nehisi Coates.

    1. I don't see any evidence that people like Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Maureen Dowd or the other targets here care anything at all about the poor, the hungry, the disadvantaged. I think they care about their own careers and their own incomes. THAT is the point of this blog. I also don't think Rush Limbaugh is being defended here. That is a major misreading of what has been said.

      At some point in the 1980's the sense of shame someone might feel about being wealthy while others suffer was lost, as was the sense that those with wealth must give back by caring for others. My values are so different than those of people like Rachel Maddow that I could not be her and accept her multi-million dollar salary without feeling like a major hypocrite every time I opened my mouth to talk about the struggles of others. It is a moral failing to accept a huge salary for what she does and it takes a kind of blindness to talk about people's problems while doing so. She offends me without even opening her mouth because she exemplifies the way that important concerns have been co-opted and trivialized. People's problems are not fodder for entertainment TV, but that is what news has become and it is sickening.

    2. Perfectly put, anon 11:34

  8. focuses all his considerable animus on people who, however imperfect, at least care about the poor, the hungry, the disadvantaged.

    Thanks for the laugh