Tuesday, 27 September 2011

IS THE ASSOCIATED PRESS RACIST?

Ken Berwitz

Here is an absolutely asinine attack based on nothing rational.  It comes from MSNBC (pardon my redundancy).

When President Obama addressed the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) he did not speak to them the way he speaks to general audiences.  His speech patterns changed to something appreciably more 'down-home Black".  He accomplished this by, among other things, dropping the "g" in words that end in "ing".  

What Mr. Obama was doing was pandering to his Black audience, much as a Jewish politician talking to a Jewish audience might pander to it by intentionally tossing in a few hebrew expressions he would not use elsewhere.

I suppose this can be viewed as offensive, and maybe it should be.  But as offensive things go it is pretty mild stuff.

The problem, however, involves the fact that, when reporting Mr. Obama's comments to the CBC, a great many news venues "cleaned up" his speech pattern by putting back the "g"s.  But the Associated Press did not; it reported the speech pattern as Mr. Obama said it, without the "g" sound. 

Should the Associated Press have done this?  Of course it should have.  This was no slip of the tongue, it was an intentional speech pattern that the President used for a specific reason.  And the corollary - that other news venues should not have "cleaned it up", is every bit as true for exactly the same reason.

Enter MSNBC.

The following is excerpted from Paul Joseph Watson's blog at infowars.com:

Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes, Obama lectured the audience. Shake it off. Stop complainin. Stop grumblin. Stop cryin. We are going to press on. We have work to do.

 

However, after the Associated Press accurately transcribed Obamas dropped gs, MSNBC aired a debate segment asking whether the decision not to clean up Obamas words was racist.

 

On MSNBC, the African-American author Karen Hunter complained the news service transcribed Obamas speech without cleaning it up as other outlets didspecifically including the dropped gs, reports Yahoo News.

 

Hunter called the APs version inherently racist, sparring with New Republic contributing editor and noted linguistics expert John McWhorter, who argued the g-less version is actually the correct one, noting that the presidents victory in the 2008 election was due, in part, to how effortlessly he can switch into that [black] dialect.

 

It goes without saying that Hunters claim is completely ridiculous. Obamas dropping of his gs was blatantly deliberate. If the AP had cleaned up his speech it would have been completely misleading and inaccurate.

 

Hunter claimed the AP transcriber didnt fix Obamas grammar because of the color of his skin, while failing to mention the fact that transcripts of George W. Bushs speeches were routinely transcribed (accurately) by including dropped gs and other idiosyncratic styles of speech. She then ventured further into the realms of absurdity, claiming the AP writer was using a secret code through which to express his racism.

 

As we have documented on numerous occasions, the establishment likes to play the race card in characterizing any criticism, or even any portrayal that could be considered unsympathetic, of Obama as racist. MSNBC has proven itself adept at this dirty trick.

 

During an appearance on MSNBCs The Last Word recently, talking head Richard Wolffe mused that Republican opposition to Obama making a speech on a date that clashed with a presidential debate was down to the color of his skin.

 

Back during the Obama Joker poster era, when depictions of the President as the fictional character out of Batman were deemed racist by the establishment media despite identical images being produced of Bush as the Joker for years before, MSNBC host Carlos Watson insinuated that calling Obama a socialist to criticize his big government agenda was secret code for a racist slur.

Is it just me, or do you also find that the people who scream "racism" the loudest very often are the people who interject it the most?  

For these people, racism seems clearly to be their all-purpose answer for anyone who disagrees with them about Barack Obama, so they constantly seek out opportunities to use the accusation, no matter how ridiculous and unfounded they might be. 

That certainly is what has happened with the AP's wholly accurate reporting of Mr. Obama's speech.  And, as Mr. Watson points out, this is no isolated instance for MSNBC.  Their "analysts" (if you can use that word to describe them) repeatedly invoke racism at the drop of a hat (or of a "g").

Racism is real.  It is odious.  It should be fought and stopped at every turn.  But one of the major impediments to doing so is idiotic accusations like the ones enumerated above, which trivialize racism into something more deserving of derisive laughter than serious attention.

Shame on Karen Hunter.  Shame on Richard Wolffe.  Shame on Carlos Watson.  And, most of all, shame on MSNBC.


A MODEST PROPOSAL: NO ELECTIONS

Ken Berwitz

In 1729 Jonathan Swift, addressing the cruel, heartless conditions of poor people in Ireland, wrote "A Modest Proposal", which suggested that the poor might benefit if their children were eaten.  In one especially acerbic passage, he said:

"I grant this food may be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for Landlords, who as they have already devoured most of the Parents, seem to have the best Title to the Children."

"A Modest Proposal" was a sensation, and has endured for almost three centuries as brilliant satire and social commentary.

But, not to be outdone, Governor Beverly Perdue of North Carolina has come up with her own "Modest Proposal" for solving the USA's economic woes.  She doesn't want to eat children, she just wants to suspend elections.

Think I'm kidding (and I don't blame you if you do)?  Than read this account, excerpted from the Raleigh News and Observer -- please be sure to take note of the difference between its title and the body content I've put in bold print:

Perdue jokes about suspending Congressional elections for two years

Speaking to a Cary rotary club today, N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue suggested suspending Congressional elections for two years so that Congress can focus on economic recovery and not the next election.

"I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that," Perdue said. "You want people who don't worry about the next election."

The comment -- which came during a discussion of the economy -- perked more than a few ears. It's unclear whether Perdue, a Democrat, is serious -- but her tone was level and she asked others to support her on the idea.

Did she actually say that?  Yes.

Did she actually mean that?  Well, the headline says no.  But the article says maybe, with a strong lean toward yes.

My congratulations to the Raleigh News and Observer for making it impossible to reconcile its headline with its story.  It isn't every day you see this done as clearly.  

Regarding Ms. Perdue's modest proposal?  I have to wonder whether it has anything to do with the fact that a) Democrats got their clocks cleaned in 2010 and b) with the economy even further down the toilet now, they stand to take another drubbing in 2012, maybe even losing both houses of congress and the Presidency in the bargain.

Yep, suspend those elections.  Quick.  Just call it part of the "stimulus" package.

Zeke ... .... Hey ! ... That worked in Germany, in the 1930's. ..... .... Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? [Who will guard us from the guardians themselves ?] .... ..... .... (09/27/11)


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