O’Reilly’s remarks about Donald Sterling!

FRIDAY, MAY 2, 2014

We regard this as good news: Over the weekend, Cliven Bundy basically disappeared.

The kooky rancher was blown away by Donald Sterling, the pitiful NBA owner. On Monday evening, Bill O’Reilly opened his Fox News program with extended remarks about Sterling.

Below, we show you a large portion of what O’Reilly said. For background, see our previous post.

We regard it as good news that Fox News viewers have been hearing these remarks and quite a few others like them. You’ll never be told about this at Salon, where you’re constantly propagandized and trained in tribal hate. (In fairness, that’s probably good for the corporate bottom line.)

That said, here’s the bulk of what O’Reilly said on Monday night. There’s a lot of crap at Fox. But we regard this as good news:
O'REILLY (4/28/14): Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.

Another racial controversy in the USA. That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo. Let's take it step-by-step:

Last week, Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy, who defied the U.S. government by not paying grazing fees for his cattle, made some ridiculous comments about black Americans and slavery. Mr. Bundy instantly lost any credibility he might have had.

A short time later, the billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, 80-year-old Donald Sterling, was embarrassed when his mistress released tape recordings of him insulting black people. Reaction was fast and furious, led by President Obama.

OBAMA (videotape): The United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation. That's still there—the vestiges of discrimination. We've made enormous strides but you are going to continue to see this percolate up every so often. And I think that we just have to be clear and steady in denouncing it, teaching our children differently.

O'REILLY: Well, that's right. American children have to be educated about why, why this stuff is happening. But so do adults. Sterling's comments are just despicable. There is no excuse. And like Mr. Bundy, he's finished in the court of public opinion.

But why would these men say these things? The answer is twofold.

First, both men are ignorant. Bundy has no idea what slavery was, and Sterling doesn't seem to understand that in America you cannot deny anyone anything because of race.

Second, both men have a sense of entitlement and that's the key. Cliven Bundy sincerely believes that he should be exempt from paying grazing taxes, an insane sense of entitlement when others in his circumstance have to pay them and are paying them. Sterling has too much money and thinks he can shoot his mouth off and say whatever he wants because he has bought his way out of past controversies.

In 2005, Sterling settled a discrimination suit brought by some of his minority tenants in Los Angeles. In 2009, he settled a federal discrimination lawsuit and had to pay close to $3 million. Also in 2009, the general manager of the Clippers, NBA legend Elgin Baylor, sued Sterling for racial discrimination among other things.

Mr. Baylor lost that one. However, there is no question that Sterling has a problem.

But here is the headline. It's primarily his problem, not the country's problem. He is shameful but does not represent anyone other than himself. However, Sterling has brought pain to other people.

The coach of the Clippers, Doc Rivers, is a fine man. How do you think he feels? His team is in the playoffs. Twelve of the 14 players are black. Mr. Rivers is a man of accomplishment and pride. You can imagine what this has done to him and his team, which has worked hard all season.

Other NBA legends have been insulted as well:

MAGIC JOHNSON (videotape): I met with Donald two or three times. He wanted to discuss the issues with his Clipper team. So I had a friendship with him. So for him to then make these comments or alleged comments, about myself as well as other African-Americans and minorities, there is no place in our society for it.

CHARLES BARKLEY (videotape): We cannot have an NBA owner discriminating against a league that—we're a black league, Ernie, we are a black league. I don't know the number. But I would probably say 80 percent of our players are black.

O'REILLY: Now, the outrage felt by those men and others is a positive thing. They have a perfect right to be angry and to demand that Sterling be punished and he will be. He will most likely lose control of his team. I can't imagine that he can hang on to the Clippers but not all the reaction to Sterling was appropriate.


The bigger picture, there are bigots in every country, there are bigots of every race. For example, what are we to think of the thousands of people who go to hear Louis Farrakhan to rant against whites and Jews? But those folks represent a very small portion of the African-American community.

Same thing with Reverend Jeremiah Wright who has made a number of anti-white comments and was condemned in his own country. The vast majority of black religious people are good and decent, so it's not fair to draw any general conclusions from Wright or Farrakhan or Sterling or Bundy. They are just misguided individuals.

Nevertheless, the anger they engender is real. I believe when most Americans see and hear racism in their own lives, they get furious. One of the strongest scenes ever in a movie was this upcoming sequence in Mississippi Burning when FBI agent Gene Hackman confronts a racist deputy:

GENE HACKMAN, Mississippi Burning: I've got a question for you, Clinton. You don't mind if I call you Clinton, do you? I feel like I know you so well.

On the night of the murders, you made a short speech as the bulldozer buried the kids in the dam. How does Lester tell it? "Mississippi will be proud of you. You struck a blow for the white man." Is that what you said, Clinton?

You've got a stupid smile, you know that? Can you see it? Good!

Did you smile when the bulldozer ran over the black kid's body? Did you? Did you smile when the bodies were covered over? Did you? Did you smile that same stupid smile? Did you?

Make no mistake about it, Deputy. I will cut your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) head clear off and not give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) how it reads in the report sheet.

O'REILLY: Now, that scene epitomizes how most decent people want to confront individual racism. But we can't. We can't. We have to leave it to the authorities. And understand that this country has come a very long way from the days when denying Americans opportunity because of their skin color was acceptable in some places.

Now, racists pay a huge price. For the rest of his life, Donald Sterling will be a pariah. He will not be celebrated anywhere or welcomed anywhere other than the lunatic fringe precincts.

Finally, there will be people who seek to exploit Sterling and Bundy. Right away, Al Sharpton began threatening to boycott if Sterling wasn't dealt with the way he, Sharpton, thinks he should be. Instead of allowing the National Basketball Association to investigate, then issue a ruling, which it will tomorrow, Sharpton exploited the situation immediately, trying to bring attention to himself. Really sad.

In the end, racism will never be wiped out. It's a neurosis, a mental deficiency, it will always be around. But America is a place that no longer tolerates it in the public arena, as Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy have learned the hard way.

And that's the Memo.

Next on the rundown, reaction: Mary Catherine Ham, Juan Williams, Charles Krauthammer. The Factor will be right back.
As a courtesy, we left in the parts about Sharpton and Wright so we can find ways to maintain our sense of tribal division and hate.

We think it’s a very good thing that Fox News viewers heard that commentary. O’Reilly has continued pounding Sterling; Hannity’s critique of Sterling has been similar.

Some viewers haven’t agreed with what they’ve heard. On Wednesday, this was the start of O’Reilly’s letters segment.

First, O’Reilly reads a letter, then he replies:
O’REILLY (4/30/14): Now the mail.

Madeline Norton, Frisco, Texas: I can't believe after all the years of watching you, Bill, you're not standing up for Donald Sterling and his rights as an American citizen. His comments were reprehensible, but he has a right to his opinion.

Not if his opinion denies opportunity, Madeline. Sterling clearly told the woman that taped him not to take blacks to the Clipper games. That's a civil rights violation because he has power in the marketplace, Sterling does. He's not just some clown spouting off.

Dave King, Fort Worth, Texas: Bill, you don't speak for everyone. The man makes a mildly racist statement. Shame on him, but he did not bomb a church.

So what, Dave, so what? He brought shame to his industry and the league has a right to hold him responsible, a legal right.

Ed McNulty, Bridgeport, Connecticut: Bill, why did you call Jim Gray “Gray” and [former NBA player] Cuttino Mobley “Mr. Mobley?” You treated the black man differently and that is called discrimination.

Hard to believe Ed—hard to believe. I've known Jim Gray for years. He is a friend, and I call many friends by last names. I don't know Mr. Mobley. So he got the “Mister.”

Now let me ask you a question. Do you think you qualify for pinhead status?

Jim Gregson, Calgary, Canada: When Snoop Dogg makes vulgar racist comments, is he banned from the music industry for life?

No, he is not Jim, because that industry doesn't care what rappers say. But Mr. Dogg has no power over anyone and that's the big difference legally between him and Sterling.
In our view, his answer to the woman from Frisco doesn’t really make much sense. But we think it’s good that Fox News viewers are hearing this type of discussion.

(Last night, O’Reilly said that about ten percent of his mail is defending Sterling. He sighed as he said it.)

Hannity’s comments have been similar, though less extensive. You will never be told this on MSNBC or at Salon, where you’re constantly propagandized and urged toward tribal hate.

(In fairness, these are sound business decisions.)

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

In the end, we don’t know how to answer that question, which involves several hundred million people. But we think it’s good that viewers of Fox are hearing these analyses.

We think it’s bad that people like Saint Joan Walsh don’t want us liberals to know about this. We’re glad to see these views broadcast on Fox.

Why can’t we liberals know?


  1. Is it true that in America you cannot deny anyone anything because of race, as O'Reilly states? Does that apply to interpersonal interactions like friendships? Does it apply to romantic relationships? How far does this go? Must any man or any woman accept a date with a person without regard to personal appearance, on pain of being considered racist? What if you prefer brunettes to blondes? Is that now bigotry instead of chemistry?

    Bundy is an idiot, but Sterling was talking about a personal intimate relationship with a woman, not hiring, not renting an apartment. It is hard to tell what he was upset about from the fragment of conversation posted, but it sounds more like he didn't want her to appear to be anybody's girl, than that he objected to her being or being with an African American man. She was, after all, biracial, and he acknowledged that. Further, he clearly states it isn't race that bothers him, it is publicizing her behavior on Instagram or appearing in public at his games. I sounds like he is upset about her behavior, making it obvious that she is with others, including men who are his employees or rivals in business. That is not racism -- it is sexual rivalry or jealousy.

    How can we possibly apply ideas about fairness in hiring or renting or buying and selling to personal intimacy? Are we now going to require all men and women to fill out forms explaining the basis for accepting or declining any proposal or offer to date, as we now routinely do to conform to requirements for fairness in employment?

    Sterling cannot explain his objections clearly, perhaps because he is unaware he has to, unaware he has an outside audience who will be hearing his private remarks to his girlfriend. To whom must we all be accountable now for our personal choices? Must we all worry about justifying every interpersonal decision? If I say no to a dinner invitation will I be called racist if the host is of a different racial group than I am? Must I keep records to show I was actually busy doing something else that evening, in case the public decides to accuse me of racism?

    This stinks. We shouldn't be congratulating ourselves for striking a blow against racism. We should be horrified at what this means for each of us in our everyday lives. Or perhaps you think your lack of money or importance will protect you. In the world of Facebook, that isn't any protection, as many unfortunate teens targeted by cyberbullies have found out. You only need to be on the radar of someone motivated to hurt you, and live an imperfect life, as we all do.

  2. I see. When race is discussed on MSNBC, it's those liberals throwing around the R-word again and showing off how much smarter and morally superior they are than Bundy or Sterling

    When O'Reilly does it, we're glad Fox viewers are treated to such a frank and honest discussion.

    That about sum it up, Somerby?

    1. Does it not matter to you that the audience at FOX is presumably different than the one at MSNBC?

    2. It matters to me a great deal. In fact, it pretty much answers the question Bob didn't know the answer to -- that indeed we have reached a point where at least SOME expressions of racism are not toleranted, even on Fox.

      But does in not matter to you that O'Reilly and Walsh are saying basically the same thing? Bob praises one, condemns the other. Guess which?

      And that should tell you something about Somerby if you take the time to think.

    3. I don't like either one. But, Somerby is complaining because Walsh disappeared info about Hannity after claiming he would have acted differently. He is complaining about her dishonesty, not her racial statements. O'Reilly is being discussed for an entirely different reason -- because he is deploring racism.

      That is an important distinction. Somerby is criticizing Walsh for something different than what he is praising in O'Reilly. They are not doing the same thing when it comes to acknowledging mistaken statements -- his focus in his post about Walsh. You are focusing on the two things they said that are similar and suggesting that is what Somerby was complaining about -- it wasn't, if you go back and read his post about Walsh.

  3. Thought experiment: put OReilly's words, word for word, in Rachel's mouth. Make it HER opening monologue. Now imagine Bob's post. Enough said.

    1. Now we understand why you're always so confused.

    2. Exactly, Confused. We would be reminded of "our own Rhodes scholar" showing off her moral superiority.

      He might even dig up some years-old media profiles of her to prove what a phony she is.

    3. Rachel hasn't been accused of being a racist, to my knowledge. So her words wouldn't be surprising and wouldn't contradict any stereotypes or mistaken statements about her. Somerby wouldn't write about that at all because (1) he would agree with her, and (2) there wouldn't be any point in it.

    4. 1:52 FTW

      But just try getting a troll to admit understanding it!

    5. Hate to break the news to you, 1:52, but there is seldom any point to what Somerby has written about Maddow except to expose his green-with-envy soul.

    6. Where is the reminder of all the mean, nasty things O'Reilly said about Gore in 1999 and 2000?

      Oh, I forgot. Fox News obviously took no part in the "War on Gore."

  4. Racism is not a mental neurosis or deficiency. It is the result of having negative experiences with individual members of racial minorities and generalizing those to the broader group. It is also the result of learning incorrect generalizations about a group from one's family or culture and never examining those teachings to determine whether they are true or not.

    The Implicit Association Test is used to measure unconscious racial attitudes. Members of minority groups, including African Americans, frequently score in ways suggesting they regard their own ethnicity negatively. They do that, in part, because they are members of a society that teaches its citizens such attitudes. They learn negative cultural stereotypes just as members of the mainstream do. They are neither neurotic nor deficient.

    Researchers who study this stuff make a distinction between casual prejudice and motivated desire to harm members of other racial groups. That distinction seems to have been glossed in public discussions.

    1. I see. So all those parents who blocked the doors of Central High in Little Rock merely had "negative experiences with individual members of racial minorities".

      Thanks for clearing that up.

    2. How about focusing on the other definition. They had misinformed ideas about members of another race.

    3. How about owning up to what you wrote and trying not to weasel out of it by saying you also said something else?

      The very first definition offered is right out of the "blame the victims" playbook. Not suprised that you don't want to defend it.

    4. Do the people who are clamoring about this think we are still living in the 1950's? Anon @12:46 pretends parents today would behave the same way.

      Why did parents do that in the 50's? Because they were afraid of having their lives upset by federal mandated rules. Because they didn't want racial mixing that might lead to their sons or daughters intermarrying. Because they feared the negative traits associated with minority group members might rub off on their children and prevent them from becoming hard-working, successful, industrious adults. Because they thought being schooled together with members of a lower socio economic group would lower their own social status and they would be treated as underclass too. Lots of reasons -- mostly arising from misinformation and incorrect assumptions about minority group members and about the consequences of change.

      Motivated hatred comes from personal injury. That's why punishing people for hatred produces the opposite effect to what you want to see happen. Fear isn't hatred.

      If you want to think simplistically about complex matters, you can feel very self-righteous but not make racial progress. Stigmatizing people by calling them names doesn't produce a willingness to change attitudes or beliefs. Fining them and ostracizing them doesn't either.

    5. Studies show that the most effective way to break down racial barriers between groups is to intermix the groups and assign them to work toward a common goal. That's what happened during WWII to a limited extent and continued with the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950's. Now it happens routinely in school and work environments.

    6. Anon @1:00 pretends to know too much.

      But look at the poor boy reach to explain away what happened in Little Rock in 1957.

      What next? The cops on the Edmund Pettis Bridge were afraid of having their lives upset? James Earl Ray thought his daughter might marry a black man?

      And this beauty: "Because they feared the negative traits associated with minority group members might rub off on their children and prevent them from becoming hard-working, successful, industrious adults."

      The cleaner just called. Your sheets are ready.

    7. I once asked a racist if he could name two black people he admired. He said Michelle Obama and Condi Rice ("because she wasn't afraid of being evil").

    8. I didn't explain it away. I explained it.

      What is your explanation -- that all of those parents were evil people? Do you perhaps confuse an explanation with an excuse? I don't. Explanations give clues about how to change things. Labeling using terms like "evil" do not. You are left saying, "Don't be evil." That doesn't work.

      As for the last -- are you attributing to me the beliefs held by people in the 50's in Little Rock? I wasn't there. I am saying how some of those people felt. Do you think people didn't think that? Some of them did wear those sheets. Do you think I am advocating those beliefs?

      You continue to confuse the mistaken beliefs of everyday people with the motivated hatred of those who would harm others. Ray was probably paid, and I have no idea what the cop on the bridge was thinking, but I don't think the motives of those who kill and lynch are the same as those who engage in casual lifestyle racism (like the ladies in The Help).

      No point talking with someone who cannot read or think but just wants to call names.

    9. I don't have to explain it, genius. It speaks for itself, and was a pretty ugly chapter in U.S. history.

      Your the one in knots trying to explain it away.

    10. "I wasn't there. I am saying how some of those people felt."

      Do you even realize how stupid that is?

    11. No. What I described is the same interpretation as anyone who has studied that time period has said.

      It is stupid to ascribe to the past the attitudes, beliefs and feelings of people in the present. The name for that mistaken approach is "presentism." People are studied in the context in which their behavior occurs. The past is not the same as the present.

      It is even more stupid to ascribe to me the beliefs of the people I am talking about. If that were OK, then any person who has described the behavior of Sterling would be a racist too and deserve the same reprisals, even if they went on to say they deplored his behavior.

      But you don't care about changing racist behavior. You only care about calling people names. Do you even realize how self-defeating that is?

    12. Buddy, I am ascribing these "beliefs" to you because they are coming out of your head to explain away the actions of people you admit you know nothing about.

      Standing in front of a school and threatening violence against kids trying to enter the door doesn't need "explaining." And it certainly didn't need explaining to Ike when he nationalized the Arkansas National Guard and sent in the 101st Airborne to protect the kids.

      But go ahead. Conjure up some more reasons to explain that what happened in Little Rock really wasn't so bad after all.

      Right. I've got no interest in changing racist behavior by calling it by its name and confronting its evil.

      You, on the other hand, can't even see racist behavior when you can dismiss it so cavalierly.

    13. Standing on the street waving protest signs and yelling at the authorities escorting the kids into the school is that "threatening violence against kids". It is exercising the right to free speech. You seem to think that the right to hold opinions and express them ends when you think those opinions are wrong.

      I think that many parents want a good education for their kids. I also think they are wrong that sending their kids to an integrated school will result in a worse education. Other parents disagree about that. They have the right to try to help their kids in whatever way they deem best. I do not doubt for a minute that they are concerned about their kids and not engaging in such demonstrations because they have a desire to hurt African American children.

      I never said their behavior wasn't racist. It is racist under the second definition -- the one about holding mistaken negative stereotypes. I disagree that these people all got up to protest integration because of a strong desire to hurt black people.

      If you think this description is solely my fantasy, you know nothing whatsoever about the time period. I doubt you lived through it but apparently you haven't read much history or interviews with people from that time period either.

  5. Choosing to take strong offense to an ambiguous remark made by an 81 year old slumlord and become very very hurt by it seems like a silly thing to do. How you think about such things is a choice.

    I am trying to remember when the guarantee was made that one should be able to go through life without ever being insulted by anyone in any circumstance. Was it perhaps only made to African American people? I think we are behaving as if that were the case.

  6. Bill O'Reilly makes two claims that are more opinion than fact. The first is that he "does not represent anyone other than himself" and the second is that you can't do anything about racism. Both are arguable at best. The two cases at hand prove otherwise. Sterling WAS representing others if you listen to the tape. His whole opinion was based on the argument of "What will other people say?" And you can do something about racism, you can point it out and call for those people to be disciplined, exactly what was done with Sterling.

    1. Sure, but let's not play the Somerby Game and pick out the one or two points we might disagree with.

      O'Reilly's take on this was pretty spot-on, especially taking on his viewer who tried the false equivalency game with Sterling and Snoop Dogg.

      Once again, there is an overwhelming consensus that racism is, at the very least, "not good" in case Bob's tender ears don't want to hear the vile "e-word."

    2. Is it OK for Charles Barkley to say that the NBA is a black league?

    3. I don't know. Would it be OK for him to say that the NHL is a white league?

    4. I'm not offended by Barkley's comment, but I think it's likely if a white person affiliated with the NHL were to say such a thing, that the league should make a decision based on it being "a white league", then yes, it would very likely be made into an issue.

    5. "Is it OK for Charles Barkley to say that the NBA is a black league?"

      "Would it be OK for him to say that the NHL is a white league?"

      Not if truth matters or you think stereotypes suck since neither are one or the other.

  7. The good news Somerby refers to is that only a small percentage of the viewer comments are supporting Sterling or Bundy. He is pointing out that Fox and conservative viewers don't seem to be as racist as they are being portrayed by the left.

    1. Then who's responding to the GOP dog whistles?

    2. Correction to Anon. at 2:00's "as they are being portrayed by the left." You mean" as bob somerby portrays (maybe better, caricatures) them as being portrayed by the left. For someone who claims to abhor "tribalist" thinking, bob practices it as much as anyone else and more than most.


    3. I get so freakin' disgusted with those who feel compelled to explain with the blogger really means, refers to or points to, and usually ends up wrong.

      It's the very first sentence in the post: "Over the weekend, Cliven Bundy basically disappeared."

    4. The clarifications wouldn't be necessary if trolls were not attacking this blog in the comments by writing gross distortions of what is said. I see the clarifications as an objection to the trolling.

    5. "as bob somerby portrays?"

      What a load.

      I am in a big family of self-identified lefties. They watch MSNBC. They get email alerts from Bold Progressives or whatnot.


      It's not a phenomenon Somerby invented. It's quite real.

  8. Each troll has 2 or more heads?

  9. comments tl;dr --

    Somerby's point -- that many FOX viewers may not be as racist as some like to think, and that FOX viewers sometimes receive pretty clear condemnation of racism from FOX talking heads -- is basically undisputed by his troll crew, who NEVERTHELESS continue to troll endlessly.

    1. Is it undisputed or just considered, at best, a point hardly worth making?

      Do some people on the left overestimate the extent of racism among Fox viewers? Probably. "Some" is a pretty capacious term, after all. And racism of what kind and to what degree are these "some on the left" attributing to how many Fox viewers?

      Btw, there's no better cover for the steady drumbeat of racist reporting by Fox on all kinds of news than the occasional presentation like O'Reilly's here -- that is, if you're naive enough to let O'Reilly's noble sentiments here serve as cover for him, Fox, or many Fox viewers.

    2. It seems to me, and I may be wrong, that the post might just suggest or infer a number of "points." Thus, your contention of agreement on his "point" certainly could, in some quarters, be accurately described as not particularly correct.

  10. Have Americans “come to an overwhelming consensus that racism itself is evil"?

    Yes, but there is also a near-consensus that some types of racism should be ignored as much as possible. E.g., a commenter on the last thread harshly criticized Rush Limbaugh for mentioning a case where some black children on a school bus beat up some white children while the other black children cheered. IMHO if the same thing had happened with the races reversed, talking about it would not engender criticism of the speaker.

    1. I have some tea leaves I'd like you to read for me.

    2. Perhaps David in Cal has a valid point. Are the Trayvon Martin stories getting disproportion more attention because of the race of the victim?

    3. Which victim? Tragically, Trayvon Martin was killed, so he's a victim. However, the evidence pretty much shows that Martin made an unprovoked attack on George Zimmerman, so Zimmerman was also a victim. IMHO this evidence-based version has gotten disproportionately less attention because of Martin's race. To see this, note how little national attention was paid when Roderick Scott, a black man, shot and killed an unarmed white teen, Christopher Cervini. (Scott was also acquitted on self defense grounds.)

    4. When DAinCA says that the "evidence shows that Martin made an unprovoked attack on George Zimmerman," what he means is that there is not the slightest iota of such evidence beyond the unsworn and self-serving statements of the killer.

      There is convincing evidence that Martin was winning a fistfight with Zimmerman when the latter shot and killed the former, but there is absolutely nothing reliable to tell us what precipitated the fight.

      As usual for DAinCA, the "H" in IMHO stands for "Hopelessly-ignorant."

      It's hard to say how much race played a part in the lack of attention paid to Scott, but perhaps the fact that the case played out as people expect had something to do with it. Scott was immediately charged with murder (later reduced to manslaughter), and testified at his trial that Cervini was committing a crime in his presence. Scott said that he confronted Cervini, warned him that he was confronting an armed man, and shot him when Cervini charged at him, screaming.

    5. there is not the slightest iota of such evidence beyond the unsworn and self-serving statements of the killer.

      Except for the combination of four minutes passing and evidence the fight was initiated where Zimmerman was crossing the sidewalk while on the phone

    6. Evidence including dropped flashlight and keys exactly where the "self serving" victim of Martin's attack said the fight started.

    7. Four minutes passing

      So what? Are you making the case that Martin should have high-tailed it home or that unprovoked, Martin attacked Zimmerman? 'Cause I agree with you on the former.

      the victim of Martin's attack said the fight started where there's evidence it started.

      So what? Are you making the case that Martin struck Zimmerman or that Martin was the aggressor? 'Cause I agree with you on the former.

      At some point, the two came face to face. Each had a right to be on the public right of way; each had a right to confront the other (short of making threats); and each had the right to self-defense in the face of a reasonably (even if mistakenly) perceived threat. But we're missing reliable evidence for the events immediately following the face-off.

      Now, you can keep your mind so open that your brain falls out, like the Anonymous who's angry at TDH for saying that a witness saw M "pummeling" Z, when the witness couldn't testify to blows landing. Or you can keep your mind locked shut, like DAinCA, who's never met a story he liked that he thought bore checking. Or you can balance what you know with what you'd like to believe.

    8. deadrat --let's look at the evidence both ways
      Evidence that M attacked Z:
      1. Zimmerman's statement
      2. Witness testimony that M was on top pummeling Z
      3. Z's injuries
      4. M's lack of injuries
      5. This may not have been admitted in court, but M's friend who he talked to on the cell phone said in an interview that M said things to her consistent with his attacking Z.

      Evidence that Z attacked M:
      1. ?

    9. DAinCA,

      Let's first be clear about what evidence I'm talking about. Here's your claim: "… the evidence pretty much shows that Martin made an unprovoked attack on George Zimmerman…." (Emphasis mine.)

      "Unprovoked" here is crucial because it puts Martin in the wrong and substantiates Zimmerman's claims of self defense. So let's see what you've got:

      1. Zimmerman's statement. Self-serving, unsworn hearsay from his police statement.

      2. Witness testimony of pummeling. None exists. The witness (whose name is Good) observed the two tussling but pointedly refused to testify that he saw or heard blows land.

      3, 4. Injuries. Given Good's testimony and the injuries to Z's face and M's hands, we have good reason to infer that Z was losing a fistfight to M, when the former shot the latter. Nothing tells us what precipitated the fight, nothing tells us that Martin struck first, and nothing tells us that Martin was unprovoked.

      5. Of course M's friend's cell-phone narrative came out in court. The friend, Rachel Jeantel, testified at the trial. Not only did Ms Jeantel have a large credibility problem as a witness, she knew nothing of either M's or Z's actions. All she knew was what M told her on the phone.

      Evidence that Z attacked M -- presumably you mean before Z shot M -- is none, but that's not the issue in question, is it?

      So, as usual, you've got nothing but your ignorance.

      Let me say it again in the futile hope that you'll abandon your ignorant position: Martin was in a public place, where he had every right to be and where he had every right (short of a threat) to confront Zimmerman. Martin had every right to defend himself had he reasonably perceived a threat from Zimmerman, even unto striking first and even if in hindsight he turned out to be mistaken.

      Of course, the same may be said about Zimmerman to counter the ignoramuses on the other side, who are just oh-so-sure that Zimmerman disobeyed a legal police order to stay in his car. You and they deserve each other.

    10. deadrat -- to say that the evidence I listed has weaknesses doesn't mean that it's non-existent. These pieces of evidence exist. We'll never know, but IMHO if the police had arrived before the shooting while M was on top of Z, I think M would have been convicted of assault.

      You write: Evidence that Z attacked M -- presumably you mean before Z shot M -- is none, but that's not the issue in question, is it?,

      Well, yes it is the issue. If Z didn't attack M, then M's attack on Z was unprovoked. (Well, you could imagine some far-fetched scenarios, but if Z was merely looking at M, or even if he was still following him, those acts don't count as legal provocation.)

    11. DAinCA,

      I just don't know how to make this any clearer. The evidence you listed is certainly evidence; it just doesn't support the claim that Martin made an unprovoked attack on Zimmerman. It certainly supports the claim that Martin was winning a fistfight he was having with Zimmerman, but it says nothing about how that fight started, which is crucial to knowing who, if either, was on the wrong side of the law.

      Of course, there's no reliable evidence that Zimmerman made an unprovoked attack on Martin, but that absence of evidence tells us nothing as well.

      There's your IMHO again. Need I remind you what the "H" stands for? The police arrive to find Martin on top of Zimmerman; they pull the two apart, and they find that Zimmerman is carrying. Why again do you think Martin would have been convicted of assault? Because he was winning the fistfight when the cops showed up? Under the law, that makes no difference.

      [B]ut if Z was merely looking at M, or even if he was still following him, those acts don't count as legal provocation.

      But if Z brandished his weapon at M or showed the weapon and yelled, "I'll shoot!" or even if he didn't show the weapon and yelled, then that would count as legal provocation.

      Of course, we don't have reliable evidence of looking, brandishing, showing, or shouting from either party. And that's what's required to know.

      It's not required for you. You've got your HO.

  11. Welcome to alternate realities: so far, one person has given a modestly accurate account of what took place on the Sterling tape: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Even he puts mildly. Otherwise, the popular misconception about this is roughly the same as Susan Rice's famous "Meet The Press" appearance. Though he is being baited in a fashion that might qualify as elder abuse (ARP has yet to weigh in), one quote you might take from a perfectly sincere Serling is "I love Black People." So it's no reason "he's been sued" is used to buttress what smells to high heaven like a power grab or a revenge move by the Elgin Baylor camp. And might we add, as a billionaire who runs a no union shop, Oprah is as close to a modern day plantation owner as is out there. She has worked hard her whole life keeping wages down for working people.
    As to the rest, some of it's true, and no serious person has a more than a half ounce of respect for Salon at this point (the occasion good article still appears), but if O'Reilly gets to call "race hustler" I think I can mention the High Tech Uncle Tom that sits on the Court.

  12. You chop one off and two more grow back in its place.

  13. Bob's tribe is pretty obvious: white, male, privileged compared to most (but not compared to those in bob's immediate upbringing, from mom to some Somerville-Affleck boy -- therefore, the world owes him!). But a white male who wants to think of himself as not just smarter than almost everyone else (only almost, because not smarter than his roommate Gore, though certainly than most of his Harvard professors, those rubes) but also kinder than all those bleeding heart Anglo females (Anglo Gore, he's different, he's a god). Really, somerby is a pathological mess.

    1. According to:


      this blog's readership is 13% African American and 52% female with 36% graduate education.

  14. This is the same Bill O'Reilly who went out to dinner with Al Sharpton at Silvia's in Harlem. When discussing it afterward, and by way of trying to burnish his racial-friendly cred, BillO noted how surprised he was that the people at that principally black restaurant acted civilized. Really, he thought that was genuinely astounding and worthy of note.