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The Internet, Class Warfare, And The Dumbing Down Of America

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Does it bother anyone else out there besides me how we as a people seem to be rather methodically being dumbed down by the media?

From where I sit, the most obvious example of this lies in the whole "revolutionary" idea of the rhetoric being spouted by the tea-party folks. The thing is, the whole idea of a "revolution" (no matter how it is colored) sounds very exciting and romantic — especially to those of us who grew up during the volatile sixties. A lot of us sixties kids are pissed that we missed out on all the action back then.

But this?

I mean, what is it that the tea party crowd are actually rebelling against? As tea-party superstars like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck spout their rhetoric about God, guns, taxes, and the like, and attempt to liken their protests to some sort of populist uprising, the actual picture looks very much the same as the same party line that conservatives have spouted all along:

Let the rich be rich, let the rest sort it out amongst themselves, and let the privileged amongst us get back to our lives — thank you very much, and can I get an amen?

The suspects may change over the years, but the song has always remained the same. Whether it's "Commies For McGovern" in 1972; "Adulterers for Clinton" in 1996; or the completely bizarre assortment of nutcases, birthers, and the like attempting to pin every sort of label from closet socialist to Antichrist fascist on Obama now, the agenda is always the same.

The big difference now, however, is that Barack Obama — as America's first elected African-American president — represents the sort of target that feeds into whatever lingering suspicions and prejudices remain in an entire generation of white Americans who are about to die out.

Personally, I thought that as a nation we had long since moved beyond this sort of nonsense, but there is ample evidence to the contrary. Just turn on your TV…

This is only further complicated by the fact that we are presently living in economically challenged times — a crisis that in fact was brought on by eight years under a Republican administration that spent public money like drunken sailors in order to finance an agenda that amounted to a combination of daddy issues and a war on the middle class.

You wanna' talk fascism?

How about the Immigration law just passed in Arizona? Nothing says Hitler quite like a law that demands that a racially profiled group of people "show me ze' papers."

Here in Seattle, the city council just passed a similar law targeting the more aggressive pan-handlers who inhabit the downtown area. Now, as a shopper myself (at least when I have the money), I can certainly speak to the fact that nobody likes a homeless guy following you for blocks on end attempting to shake a quarter or even a buck down from you.

But Seattle already has numerous laws on the books to combat this. Fining a guy who can scarcely afford it fifty bucks for asking for spare change to me sounds like class warfare more than anything else. Why not just string the beggars up from the highest telephone pole, right?

The solution isn't criminalizing poverty, but rather coming up with a viable alternative to it. Thankfully, newly elected Seattle mayor Mike McGinn looks to be vetoing it.

As an unemployed person myself (16 months and counting for those paying attention), there simply has to be an alternative to casting those who have fallen on hard times aside. Cutting off unemployment benefits, as some Republicans have rather aggressively pushed for (and which I can tell you from personal experience doesn't come close to paying the bills anyway) simply isn't the answer.

Yet, this is what many of those so-called "radical," romantic tea-party types actually want. This isn't a revolution. It's class warfare, albeit hidden by the same sort of "new conservatism" bullshit the Republican party has pushed for years, if not decades. Remember Newt Gingrich and his "Contract for America" in the nineties? Same dance, different partners.

What makes it different this time around, is that Barack Obama, as America's first African-American president, makes for such an easy target. As a progressive Democrat, I'm not real thrilled with Obama so far either — although my reasons for that probably differ greatly from those listening to the garbage being spewed by the tea-party crowd. Which brings me to the real point of this article…

My parents.

I love them dearly.

But every time I go over to their house for dinner, they are glued like zombies to Fox News. Which means that in between stories about the Octo-Mom, Kate Gosselin, Lindsay Lohan, or whoever the celebrity trainwreck of the week happens to be, they are being force-fed the sort of garbage journalism of how Obama is some kind of combination of Hitler, Charles Manson, and the Antichrist all rolled up into one superhuman, demonic sort of being.

The Octo-Moms and the Lindsay Lohans of the world are of course all distractions from the real problems facing the nation, and I believe they are personally designed as such. Color me a conspiracy theorist that way if you choose…

The problem here is there is simply no arguing with them about the trash they are being spoon-fed by the media here. And although Fox News is the most obvious culprit here, they are by no means the only guilty party.

As much as I love my Mom and Dad, there is no escaping the look in their eyes when I try to explain away why I haven't taken that job flipping burgers for Jack In The Box.

When the tea-baggers appeal to middle-America about over-taxation and a health care bill that is all about killing unborn babies, what they are really trying to protect is the gold-plated steering wheel on the company yacht. I'm all about the American Dream, but not when it involves common folk being put under Wall Street's thumb. That just isn't right.

The way they attract the votes of middle America has always been the same. What's different now is how they wrap that in the same nice package of Christian values and such media perpetuated sideshows as the Octo-Mom, Britney Spears, or whoever the celebrity tragedy of this week happens to be.

Guess what Farmboy? Britney's laughing at you while snorting coke from a glass slipper. Sure sucks to be you, doesn't it?

The nature of an internet journalism model based upon "content" over quality investigative reporting has only further complicated this.

However great the appeal of the "wild, wild west" atmosphere of the internet holds towards old sixties types who still romanticize the idea of a communication revolution, the fact remains that it was co-opted by Corporate America long ago.

They've already killed the checks and balances of traditional journalism, and they have certainly killed the fly in the ointment that was once represented by rock and roll.

That is unless your idea of the next John Lennon or Bob Dylan is Jay Z, or that guy from MGMT or whoever…

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

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About Glen Boyd

Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ, released in May 2012 by Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard Publishing. He is a former BC Music Editor and current contributor, whose work has also appeared in SPIN, The Rocket, The Source and other publications. You can read more of Glen's work at The Rockologist, and at the official Neil Young FAQ site. Follow Glen on Twitter and on Facebook.
  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Great article Glen, I submitted it to Digg for you.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Indeed, Glen, I second.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But why haven’t you taken that burger-flipper job, you haven’t explained?

  • Mark

    “This isn’t a revolution. It’s class warfare…”

    trickle down class warfare

  • Rob

    Disagree with you completely…

    I have never been to a rally or officially joined, but I am on the Tea Party side, and I will vote in November.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Glen, I’m glad you brought out the race subject here. I touched on it on my own Tea Party article, but wasn’t sure how to word it without sounding like a bigot myself (which I’m not)

    I’m glad to see it touched on intelligently for a change.
    Jet

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    #5-The blind leading the blind

  • George Bailey

    Dumbed down is an understatement. The bigger problem I think is that it rapidly becomes self fulfilling. People start to believe the stuff and it goes downhill from there. I don’t have the answer, but I for one avoid the sensationalism as much as I can. Try to keep positive!

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Glen,

    The difference between your article and Jet’s is that you got right in there and talked about real issues instead of setting up straw men to be knocked down in a wave of laughter. And for that reason, your article stands higher in my eyes than his.

    As I pointed out to Jet, if I lived in the States, I’d be full of despair. The reason is that I am basically a socialist who wants to see a socialist agenda put through in the United States – but I have enough sense to see that the US of A can no longer afford such an agenda. And having lived on the streets once, I understand very clearly that what you cannot afford you don’t attempt to buy!

    Folks around this site this seem to think this attitude of basic fiscal prudence is ignorance or hatred.

    But there is more, and I’m going to lay it out for you in clear gutteral English.

    The media is being dumbed down on all sides (this is happening in Israel as well) – but that isn’t the point. The point is that you (particularly the regular commenters here) ought to be smarter – after all, a lot of you are mavens of one sort or another on the media. You are writers like me, damn it!! And, for the most part, a lot of you aren’t. And this is disappointing.

    I do not believe that race is the issue that “progressives” have made it. The big issue is class.

    Obama is a man who has absorbed the white élitism of the WASPs at “Hahvahd” who see themselves as the “old money” that owns America. Add that to his affinity for Islam, his dislike of Jews who have pride in being Jews (all his “Jew-boys” are assimilated scum running away from their heritage as fast as their traitorous legs will carry them), his belief that America is the bad guy, his adopted affinity for black people (Crow Jim, in other words), and his shilling for the big bankers and insurance companies, and you have a formula for disaster.

    That is what “progressive Democrats” have brought you in America.

    Glen, you have illustrated well the faults of the other side of the fence – but the other side of the fence is also the WASPs who represent the “old money” that believe they own America. In other words, no matter where you look, you have the same pile of shit – with a slightly different stink, maybe, but the same pile of élitism, contempt for the common man and unwillingness to take responsibility for the downfall of what was once a great nation.

    That would make anyone despair.

    That is why I am so glad I am not an American anymore.

  • Mark

    #9 – “I do not believe that race is the issue that “progressives” have made it. The big issue is class.”

    I agree and note that class trumps nationality and religion, as well. Makes your rabid religious nationalism seem oddly misplaced.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    I have noted many times that the tea partiers are railing against the supposed loss of “their” country as if they own it lock, stock and barrel’ that the rest of us – that being the liberal left – are illegitmate usurpers. The TPs talk of “taking back their country” as if something material has actually been snatched from their hands. They have lost nothing.

    However, they have eagerly and willingly been led by the nose by the likes of Limbaugh and Beck, Gingrich and Palin, and yes, by the likes of Nalle and Arch, etc., etc. into believing the evil dark cloud which has descended into the White House is, even as we speak, plotting to take away our guns (god bless the guns!,) our money and our rights. That they plan to herd us into leftist gulags for “reeducation” and that grandma is history. That we should “reload” and “take aim” against our “gangster government.”

    It does come down to class warfare, and the gloves have come off. The TPs are overwhelmingly white, and largely middle-class, upper middle aged to seniors who have not been able to come to terms with having an “uppity” president who “doesn’t know his place.”

    BAR tlesby

    Oh, just a reminder: This is bring poultry to your doctor week. Don’t forget. Cluck, cluck.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s an odd, one-sided relationship, one of class. It’d seem that the moneyed-class is more conscious of it, in terms of excluding those who “don’t belong.” (E.g., rich, well-to-do African Americans, such as Tiger for example, prior to the scandals, would be accepted).

    On the other hand, the “lower classes,” though excluded, do not appear to be necessarily exercised by the “class notion,” perhaps because they bought into the American idea/myth of egalitarianism.

    Consequently, the class division in American society doesn’t quire correspond to the kind of situation that may still exist in Europe (although given the present crisis, all bets are off.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s an odd, one-sided relationship, one of class. It’d seem that the moneyed-class is more conscious of it, in terms of excluding those who “don’t belong.” (E.g., rich, well-to-do African Americans, such as Tiger for example, prior to the scandals, would be accepted).

    On the other hand, the “lower classes,” though excluded, do not appear to be necessarily exercised by the “class notion,” perhaps because they bought into the American idea/myth of egalitarianism.

    Consequently, the class division in American society doesn’t quire correspond to the kind of situation that may still exist in Europe (although given the present crisis, all bets are off.)

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Mark,

    I agree and note that class trumps nationality and religion, as well. Makes your rabid religious nationalism seem oddly misplaced.

    NO!

    Class trumps nationality and religion in the United States – as it should. THAT IS NOT TRUE IN ISRAEL.

    What trumps everything in Israel are visions of national destiny – full stop.

    Everything else – religion, class and all the rest – are part of the visions of national destiny. That brings with it its own problems – problems that cannot be properly addressed in this article or comment thread appended. But the failure to realize that is at the heart of the crisis that the Middle East is shoving down your throats.

    PS. On an entirely different subject, Joanne Huspek could use a kind word in designing a smithy to make jewelry.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s an odd, one-sided relationship, one of class. It’d seem that the moneyed-class is more conscious of it, in terms of excluding those who “don’t belong.” (E.g., rich, well-to-do African Americans, such as Tiger for example, prior to the scandals, would be accepted).

    On the other hand, the “lower classes,” though excluded, do not appear to be necessarily exercised by the “class notion,” perhaps because they bought into the American idea/myth of egalitarianism.

    Consequently, the class division in American society doesn’t quire correspond to the kind of situation that may still exist in Europe (although given the present crisis, all bets are off.)

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Roger seems to be having problems with sending messages to this medium.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz Alan Kurtz

    Glen, in ostensibly decrying the dumbing down of America, you exemplify it. First, your article is repetitious. Paragraph 7 proclaims, “The big difference now, however, is that Barack Obama–as America’s first elected African-American president–represents the sort of target that feeds into whatever lingering suspicions and prejudices remain in an entire generation of white Americans.” Paragraph 17 reiterates: “What makes it different this time around, is that Barack Obama, as America’s first African-American president, makes for such an easy target.” Paragraph 18 is another ditto: “But the thing is, Obama makes a perfect target for those folks. Because of who he is, Obama feeds perfectly into the sort of prejudice and suspicion–particularly for Christian White America–that allows for the sort of particularly incendiary rhetoric we have seen from the tea-baggers.”

    Are Blogcritics readers really so dumb that you have to rehash this stale revelation three times within the space of 500 words? As cited above, you twice identify Obama as America’s first elected African-American president, label him as a sort of target, an easy target and a perfect target, and repeatedly have him feeding into the suspicions and prejudices of Christian white Americans. Your writing style is the equivalent of dunking a donut into tepid coffee until all that’s left is a soggy mess.

    Even dumber is that your title leads with “The Internet,” yet that subject appears in only two brief sentences near the end, where you charge that an online journalism emphasizing content over investigative reporting is (a) the result of long-ago cooptation by Corporate America and (b) partly to blame for class warfare and the dumbing down of America. That might make an interesting blog topic, but you fail to discuss it.

    Only in paragraphs 18-21 do you at last disclose the real point of this article: “My parents. I love them dearly. But every time I go over to their house for dinner, they are glued like zombies to Fox News.” I admit, FNC is enough to spoil anyone’s free meal. But what does that have to do with the Internet?

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    The way I see it Alan is that if you repeat something enough times it will eventually be accepted as fact. Hey, works well enough for the rightie-talkers, right?

    -Glen

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Thanks for the Digg submission, Jet.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    My pleasure Glen, did you like what I wrote in the description?

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    18-Glen if you’re going to paraphrase my article, (Page one paragraph three) at least leave me a comment over there on whether you liked it or not?

    you. you. you. you friend you. :)

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Jet,

    I haven’t even read your article yet, so I have no idea of what you mean by paraphrasing it. I’ll make a point of having a look later tonight, but if there are similarities, it’s just a coincidence.

    -Glen

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    I meant no harm, nor was I implying anthing my friend… Promise.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    It’s not necessarily bad to repeat oneself. In giving speeches I was taught to start out by telling them what you’re going to tell them. Then tell them. Then tell them what you just told them. That gives some people at least a snowball’s chance to hear and actually understand what they just heard.

    Not necessarily the same with written work, but still not a bad principle.

    BARracuda

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    No worries and no harm done. You do have me a little curious now that our articles might be at all similar though. Like I said, I’ll be sure to have a look a bit later. I’m tempted to reply with a quip about great minds thinking alike…but I’ll need to read what you had to say first.

    -Glen

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    As an editor myself I personally loathe redundancy, but sometimes can be guilty of it myself when I’m off on a rant…like this one, for example…

    -Glen

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Robin Williams “In the dictionary under “redundant,” it says “see redundant.”

  • Les Slater

    Speaking of internet class war, right here on BC we are subjected to what seems to be endless commercial content. Usually that garbage slows down refresh of editorial content quite a bit.

    Won’t be able to participate too much in the next couple days, getting ready to drive to Boston.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Have a nice trip, Les. Later.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    You mean you can’t text while driving 75 or 80 on the interstate? Gotta be able to multi-task in this day and age, even if it means dying in the process.

    BARstool

  • Baronius

    Bar – You realize that “taking our country back” was a battle cry of the left under Bush? Consider two books published in 2006, Take It Back: Our Party, Our Country, Our Future, by James Carville & Paul Begala, and The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right, by Michael Lerner. Conservatives are using the slogan now, and liberals will take the slogan back in 2013 or 2017.

  • Jeff Forsythe

    Baronius I will now file that under “plagarism is the most sincere form of compliment” on the part of your right leaning friends

    Probably because they could not think of something more clever on their own?

    Mr. Forsythe

  • Baronius

    Forsythe – You missed my point. Chesterton said that every revolution is a reaction. I’d bet that every political movement in the nation’s history has claimed to be taking our country back. So Baritone has no grounds for being offended by the slogan’s current users.

  • Jeff Forsythe

    Point taken now in context. Quite fortunately we do not have to deal with the buggers here in Utopia

    Mr. Forsythe

  • John Wilson

    This guy “Glen Boyd” (if that’s REALLY his name) sounds pretty radical, even un-American, to me.

    I’d like to see your papers, Mr. Boyd.

    Including a long form birth certificate (and I retain the right to question anything I see fit about it).

    Is your middle name ‘Hussein’, or ‘Carlos’ or something that might reveal your TRUE origins and beliefs? Maybe your middle name is even ‘Sven’ and you’re one of those radical Norwegian Leftist Socialists. We all know how dangerous THEY are!

    ‘fess up!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Glen –

    It’s like I always said: “-oyds are better than -ecks!”

    Sorry – couldn’t resist. Greetings from Bremerton!

    But when it comes to ‘dumbing-down’, I agree and disagree. Even my libertarian brother is agreeing that No Child Left Behind was a travesty. The MS state government just took over all the public schools in the county he’s in because the schools were ignoring almost all other subjects and teaching the kids ONLY English and math so they could pass those Fed-required tests.

    Furthermore, the ‘dumbing-down’ is at least partially due to the rise of the internet. Why? Because the internet has allowed users to choose who they get their news from…which has resulted in the polarization of the news, and legions of Faux News nuts.

    BUT I think that in the larger view, the people as a whole (American and foreign) are NOT being ‘dumbed-down’. That is only the appearance to those of us who had a better ‘classical’ education. In reality, more of the younger crowd are more aware of what is going on across the country and around the world than at any other time in human history…

    …and that’s good news for us. Why? Because a major Republican leader (I think it was Mitch McConnell) recently pointed out that the Right needs to tone down the anti-climate-change rhetoric because the great majority of college students believe it’s real.

    That, and in the last election, Obama won 68% of the under-30 crowd. That particular statistic should send a shiver of fear down the spine of any Republican strategist.

    No, the kids aren’t being ‘dumbed-down’. They’re at least as smart as we were…but they’re learning different lessons in a wholly different way than we experienced. It’s the age of Dr. BitsandBytes, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Internet(s).

  • Baronius

    Glen, in a recent article Jet complained about “have you stopped beating your wife” scenarios. It occurred to me that this article accuses the right of being greedy, racist fascists, without even trying to support those claims. (Well, you cite the immigration law in Arizona, so I guess that counts for something.) Where’s your justification for the name-calling?

    Certainly, the majority of tea partiers don’t profess to be racist. They’re not espousing any racist cause. Except for a few signs at rallies, there’s no trace of racism among them. I’m still waiting see a video with the n-word from the rally outside the Capitol. Anyway, I think that’s a pretty lousy thing to accuse people of without proof.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Apparently calling someone a liar isn’t as lousy. Does John Lewis have a history of not telling the truth about that sort of thing?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Glen, where are the accusations of racism in your article?

    I failed to notice, so perhaps you can point them out?

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Here is an interesting video on the internet and its increasingly ubiquitous nature.

    Perhaps the changes noted there will, eventually, limit the “dumbing down” of the country.

    Dan(Miller)

  • zingzing

    roger, they’re right beside the “ignore that what i just said is what the right says about obama/the left all the time without any support” in baronius’ head.

  • Baronius

    El B, in 2008 John Lewis compared McCain and Palin to George Wallace, so no, I don’t consider him above reproach. But I didn’t accuse him of being a liar.

    He says that he heard the crowd chant “nigger” fifteen times. None of the videos of the event recorded it. It’s tough to get a crowd to chant something that isn’t rehearsed. So my guess is that he heard the crowd chanting “kill” and assumed they were saying “kill the nigger”.

  • Dan

    I have to credit the Fox News channel for a new, wonderful developement of the already valuable relationship I have with my parents. Like Glens parents, mine also have gone with Fox News as a sort of default channel when I go to see them.

    My mother, in particular, has astounded me with her sudden interest in some finer points of political deception.

    Always before I didn’t think she was all too interested in politics and I respected her enough to not make a thing of challenging her woefully uninformed but typical views extracted from the relentless indoctrination of old media.

    Once, I think, She was telling me how Bush “stole the election” (she voted Gore), and I thought I’d go ahead and probe. I told her that Bush won the first count, then the recount, then the re-recount…etc, but she still thought the Supreme court handed Bush the election.

    In other words, there was no use. But then, somewhere about the time that Opra refused to consider Sara Palin for interview, Mom got wise. She began to watch Fox to find out what Sara was about.

    Now, with her new transformation, we have really great conversations with a connection of enthusiasm and shared interest I never new existed.

    We trade books. (she’s an avid reader) She loaned me Glen Beck, and I lent Saul Alinskys Rules for Radicals. (perhaps the most damning of all is when liberals tell the truth)

    She saves things from Fox to DVR for me to see. A month or so ago she had a clip from a Fox news source of several black thugs, outside a voting precinct, dressed in paramilitary clothes, brandishing billy clubs and intimidating white voters who might be tempted to vote for McCain. She was up on the whole story. How they were brought up on charges but didn’t bother to show up. And then the case was thrown out by Eric Holders staff, along with subsequent stonewalling of any explanation for a grotesquely racist dereliction of duty.

    Forbidden knowledge of social political reality is the draw. The old media would never have even hinted at an honest description of the way racism is truly most often directed in this country.

    With such meticulous devotion to so phony a leftist template as the old media has been engaged in for decades, it seems long overdue that some media business interest would finally see fit to market the truth. Or at least an attempt at objectivity.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “So my guess is that he heard the crowd chanting “kill” and assumed they were saying “kill the nigger”.

    This is ridiculous.

    And thanks, zing. Just as I thought.

  • zingzing

    baronius: “So my guess is that he heard the crowd chanting “kill” and assumed they were saying “kill the nigger”.”

    your guess is that he added two words? “KILL, KILL, KILL, KILL” is a pretty dumb thing to chant as well, given the environment. it’s not a football game, and the violent messages of the tea party (even from the republican senators) is just about the dumbest thing they can do. not that it stops them.

    maybe you meant “kill the bill?” even then, it’s hard to mistake “bill” for “nigger.” an extra syllable, neither “b” and “n” or “l” and “g” sound anything alike, etc, etc.

    either way, that doesn’t sound like a plausible answer. i just don’t know why he’d make something like that up. he doesn’t want to totally alienate them, and our side was already in his corner, so he doesn’t need us to get more angry. the tea party does their own damage to themselves. maybe he wanted to discredit the tea party further, but it’s not like there’s a shortage of racist tea party signs all over the internet. i think he was genuinely upset, although he tried to play it off after the fact. but if that’s what he heard, you can bet it took all of his professionalism not to jump into a mob. then again, a mob is a ridiculously dumb, violent thing, which would explain both how decent people could do that, and why lewis didn’t bum rush the hicks. plus, he’s like 90 or something.

    (i see you couldn’t think up a reasonable response to my question over at jet’s tea party article. but, you know, that was the inevitable non-response i predicted, so i guess i got what i wanted. sigh, thanks…)

  • zingzing

    dan, so your mother starts watching fox news and she totally switches sides just like that? maybe she she watch some other stations to get the other side of the story… either way, it sounds like she is easily influenced. (nothing against your mother, of course, but your story begs the question…) if i had her watching looney tunes would she turn into an anarchist?

  • Baronius

    Sorry if that was unclear. They were chanting “kill the bill”. Look, either it happened, or Lewis heard wrong, or Lewis made it up. I’m going with the most polite alternative that doesn’t contradict the available evidence.

    As for our exchange on Jet’s thread, we both said what we thought, so I didn’t see a need to take it any further. There’s a link to the Tim Wise article, so anyone can read it and see which of us they agree with.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Dumbing down. Dumbing down. The only ones who aren’t dumbed down are the ones saying everything’s dumbed down. Go on, try it, you’ll feel better about yourselves!

    But no, remind me when in history the public was sufficiently informed abut shit. So I’ll go the other way: we’re as smart as we’ve ever been in history.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “we’re as smart as we’ve ever been in history.”

    So you think the Earth’s flat or the Sun revolves around it?

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    The video I provided showed teabaggers spitting on a very famous black senator involved in the early civil rights movement-NOT yelling kill the nigger.

    However, the camera did pan up to shoe republican congressmen on the balcony egging them on.

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Yeah, but how about those chinese shoes (#49)?

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    I’m always hungry an hour after I put them on…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “. . . in 2008 John Lewis compared McCain and Palin to George Wallace . . .” #42

    And perhaps he was right.

  • Baronius

    Interesting fact: I’m currently the top commenter on BC with a 24-hour total of: 5. (This’ll be six.) Alexa shows a huge drop in this site’s activity as of two weeks ago.

  • zingzing

    baronius, well, we can both agree they want to kill something. and least they’re specific about it. but “polite alternative” and that crowd don’t mix.

    “As for our exchange on Jet’s thread, we both said what we thought, so I didn’t see a need to take it any further.”

    frankly, BULLSHIT. you can’t answer the fucking question because you know it’ll throw a bad light on the tea party. if it were minorities doing this, the right would be freaking out (not that that’s not what they’re doing already–“show us your documents, brown man in arizona…”).

    it’s disgusting when people can’t engage in any sort of thought on difficult questions. or maybe it’s pure cowardice. or laziness. or maybe that’s what’s wrong with america.

  • zingzing

    el bicho, did i miss something or did you miss matt’s point?

  • zingzing

    baronius, look at the 2-year trend… from the last quarter of 09 and into the first quarter of 10, site traffic nearly doubled, then dropped off back to normal levels during the last two weeks. maybe alexa had something screwy in their data collection and they fixed it. or maybe bc’s bubble burst. nothing can grow that quickly in a sustainable way. (look out, china.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You know, zing, that it’s gotta be me and Cindy – no need to look for another explanation.

  • Baronius

    Zing, you have no idea how often I give people the benefit of the doubt. The truth is, people have been trying to smear the tea partiers with charges of racism from day one, but it wouldn’t stick, so a group of black Congressmen and one gay Congressman decided to walk through a crowd of angry protesters (going out of their way to do so) in the hope of getting someone to say something offensive. No one did, but they made the charge anyway. This time it stuck, and took the health care debacle off the front page. That’d make John Lewis a race-baiting scumbag, and anyone who believes him a dupe. But you know what, I’m not going to interpret events that way, because I could be wrong, and maybe someone did call him “nigger”. So I’ll make the argument that he misheard “kill the bill”, because it’s the most civil explanation.

    Don’t ever, ever think that when an opponent walks away from you, it’s because you’re too smart for him.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “so a group of black Congressmen and one gay Congressman decided to walk through a crowd of angry protesters (going out of their way to do so) in the hope of getting someone to say something offensive . . .”

    Is this what really happened?

  • zingzing

    baronius: “No one did, but they made the charge anyway.”

    do you know that to be true?

    “But you know what, I’m not going to interpret events that way, because I could be wrong, and maybe someone did call him “nigger”.”

    ah, so… you admit it’s a possibility. you also, then, admit that just because no tea party attendee wants to put up a video that would undermine everything they hope to achieve, said video could very easily exist.

    “So I’ll make the argument that he misheard “kill the bill”, because it’s the most civil explanation.”

    but “civil” has nothing to do with it. it’s what you want to believe, that’s all.

    “Don’t ever, ever think that when an opponent walks away from you, it’s because you’re too smart for him.”

    i don’t. i don’t doubt you can explain your feelings on the subject. i just think you don’t want to, because it’s not going to be good. i think that’s plenty clear. abundantly. i’m calling you a chicken, mcfly, not a moron.

  • zingzing

    roger, i wonder what baronius thought the congressmen should do in order to cross the street… hover above the crowd, burrow below them? they HAD to cross the street, but baronius wants to turn the decision to cross the street into some nefarious political plot. there was no way to avoid that crowd. unless there are secret tunnels connecting the capitol and the cannon house…

    abc news has the footage of frank being called a “faggot,” and the washington post–not the most left-leaning of major newspapers–has confirmed that underneath all the bleeping, there’s a “faggot.” proof that the tea party is racist? of course not. proof that there is an element of hate? yhuuuuuP.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What does surprise me, zing, is that Baronius for the most part tries to be fair to the other side. So if he does deviate from what used to be his MO, the situation must indeed be getting sticky. It looks like the entire country is falling apart at the seems as far as people’s attitudes go.

  • John Wilson

    People look to the super-speedy internet for articles that confirm positions they’ve already taken. They don’t typically look for information to help them form opinions.

  • Baronius
  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    #54 That’s about the time that the Digg sidebar vanished isn’t it?

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    #59 Baronius-walking up the capital steps to get to your office is not “going out of your way” to get there.

    It’s a time-honored method of entering the building as many constituants are there waiting to lobby or greet you. Republican senators do it all the time.

    Had they gone in another entrance you’d be doing a Sarah Palin immitation just as selfrighteously claiming they went out of their way because they were trying to avoid the press or a confontation about a bill you don’t support because they where ashamed of it.

    Sorry Baronius-you sore loser, they walked proudly through the front door in plain site-which is something to be proud of not mocked.

    The knife cuts both ways, and you can’t deny the shot of him being spit on, nor the GOPs egging them on from the balcony.

  • zingzing

    heh. well, then, baronius. i guess they didn’t have to walk across the street. point to you. doesn’t let the crowd off the hook.

    still, if they had walked below, you’d probably find something wrong with that. is it too much to ask that people can walk in the street? i doubt they were looking for a confrontation. that’s pure conjecture on your part. mobs are dangerous things, but if the tea party wants to be taken seriously, they certainly shouldn’t present enough of a threat that even your side thinks a black congressman walking in the streets presents enough impetus for a certain confrontation.

    i’m apt to believe him. he has no good reason to make it up. and it’s a dangerous thing to do.

    the barney frank situation is documented and backed up by a journalist from the washington post. what’s your take on that? how do you defend that? if they’re willing to call him “faggot,” why do you think they’re incapable of calling lewis “nigger?”

    this and the gun rally in dc a few weeks ago really make the tea party look like a bunch of ignorant hicks. that said, the gun rally was pathetically attended. a joke. those who were there were made fools of. at least most of the tea party/gun nuts had enough sense to stay away from that exercise in stupidity.

  • Dan

    zing, mom is more informed now that she watches fox, that’s why she gets it now.

    for instance, if you would have watched fox, you would know about the Capital subway system that the legislators usually take. That’s the part of the story non fox users are ignorant of.

    There is no evidence of “faggot” “nigger” or any such bullshit. If there was, we’d see it.

    There was a lot of violence from the Arizona protesters though. But violence is typical from the left.

  • Baronius

    So Zing, where are we so far? You’ve admitted that there’s no evidence of the word “nigger” being used, and you’ve acknowledged that the congressmen didn’t have to pass through the crowd. You haven’t disputed that John Lewis has played the race card before. You’ve said that I can’t know the congressmen’s motivation, but you’ve claimed to know the crowd’s motivation.

    Do you want to keep doing this?

  • Clavos

    BUT I think that in the larger view, the people as a whole (American and foreign) are NOT being ‘dumbed-down’.

    I agree.

    They’re just as dumb as they’ve always been.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    As I pointed out in Scott Nance’s excoriation of Scott Brown –

    So, let me see if I get this straight. First Geo. Bush (a banker’s grandson) sells out to the big banks in Sept. 2008. Then Obama sells out to the big banks and brokers (like Goldman-Sachs) and calls it “stimulus money”. Now Obama wants to “regulate” these big banks and the Republicans are again selling out to them.

    How are any of these pigs different? How do you tell all the pigs as different when they all do the same thing – sell you out?

    How come you Americans can’t see you are being fucked over royally from all ends? Or are you all just ashamed to admit it and have to argue like animals in the mud, instead?

    AND… You guys have been rolling in the mud arguing with each other instead of understanding that you are being screwed over through every orifice.

    It’s been a joy to watch…..

  • Baronius

    Dan, I think there’s footage of someone getting beaten up and being called a “nigger”. Sure, it was SEIU people attacking a tea partier, but that’s got to be big news, right? Violent protesters attacking and shouting racial slurs? So it must have been on the nightly news every day for a month.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Another bulletin from our fiddler on the roof.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Good to see you’re still around. Stay clear of Arizona, though…unless you’re okay with a trooper approaching you and saying, “Papers, please.”

    Yep! Good old conservatives! The government should stay out of peoples lives – unless they’re brown and speak with a Spanish accent!

  • zingzing

    dan: “zing, mom is more informed now that she watches fox, that’s why she gets it now.”

    she’s informed to fox’s agenda.

    “for instance, if you would have watched fox, you would know about the Capital subway system that the legislators usually take. That’s the part of the story non fox users are ignorant of.”

    yeah, well. if a man can’t walk through the street without being harassed, that’s not a good thing.

    “There is no evidence of “faggot” “nigger” or any such bullshit. If there was, we’d see it.”

    there’s evidence of the “faggot.” abc news ran it and the washington post confirms it.

    “There was a lot of violence from the Arizona protesters though. But violence is typical from the left.”

    arizona is a travesty. and so is your last sentence… completely biased bullshit.

  • zingzing

    baronius: “So Zing, where are we so far? You’ve admitted that there’s no evidence of the word “nigger” being used”

    there’s no evidence it wasn’t used. and it depends upon whether you’re going to call a civil rights hero a liar.

    “and you’ve acknowledged that the congressmen didn’t have to pass through the crowd.”

    so? they damn well better have walked there in public with their heads held high. that they were harassed on the way is not something i’d be too proud of, sir.

    “You haven’t disputed that John Lewis has played the race card before.”

    i didn’t know i had to…

    “You’ve said that I can’t know the congressmen’s motivation, but you’ve claimed to know the crowd’s motivation.”

    hell no, i don’t. i can’t imagine why they’d want to do the things they have. fucking deplorable. i don’t understand their mindset at all.

    “Do you want to keep doing this?”

    yup. what about barney frank? and why shouldn’t the black congressmen be allowed to walk with dignity? and how is it that you think that the released videos are proof that nothing happened? you acknowledge that it’s a possibility, and given the “faggot” comment and the general tenor of the crowd… well, i’d be hard-pressed to discount the idea.

    tell me about barney frank, unless you’d like to discontinue this discussion.

  • Baronius

    So, you want to go with a narrative based on Barney Frank? How would that work? Do you claim that the tea partiers are all homophobes who are angry because the President is black? That the real reason they’re protesting isn’t because of health care, but because there are a few dozen gays in Congress? Angry racists, you can make that story work. Angry homophobes doesn’t make any sense. At this point, I don’t even know what you’re defending.

  • Baronius

    I remember just after this incident, one of the liberal BC regulars said that he’d heard the word “nigger” in video footage. If memory serves, Zing, that was you. Am I right?

  • Baronius

    Another thing, Zing. You do claim to know that the crowd’s motivation was racism. What was Jesse Jackson’s motivation for hanging out on the Capitol steps, laughing at the protesters and batting one of their signs, in front of a line of cameras? Why do you think he did that? Because he’s never seen a protest rally before? Or maybe it was his first time at the Capitol, and he was looking around at the scenery? Or maybe he was trying to incite something and catch it on tape? What do you think?

  • Clavos

    This will probably not come as a surprise to you, Glenn, but I’m not a supporter of illegal immigration, amnesty for those already here, nor birthright citizenship.

    Oh, and not all mexicans are brown, nor do all of us espik weeth a espanich assent.

    ¡Caramba! We really do need to take back Aztlán, if for no other reason than to run all you gringos outta the Southwest…

  • zingzing

    “At this point, I don’t even know what you’re defending.”

    that’s because you both miss and overstate my point. i’m certainly not defending anyone or anything. you are. i’m making the accusations. of course, those accusations aren’t really mine. i wouldn’t say that all of the teabaggers are homophobes and/or racists. never said any such thing. but even the tea party acknowledges that they have to find a way to cut the fringe off.

    “I remember just after this incident, one of the liberal BC regulars said that he’d heard the word “nigger” in video footage. If memory serves, Zing, that was you. Am I right?”

    not about lewis. although i have looked at some videos and there are moments of doubt… it’s a possibility that there’s an n-bomb on one i’ve seen. but the sound is too muddled to really tell. there is another video where you can hear someone yelling “nigger” at a black woman, but i can’t recall who she is. in the video she’s on a balcony about 10 feet above the crowd with another person. of course, without seeing the video again, i’ll have to admit that the same thing goes for this video as for the others… the sound is muddled.

    “You do claim to know that the crowd’s motivation was racism.”

    i certainly do not. their motivation is clearly a reaction against this legislation, based on a fiction the right developed to scare them. still, there is racism involved, which you can easily see on google images. “go back to kenya,” “monkey-this, monkey-that,” “muslim” (various spellings)… it’s an endless barrage of ignorance.

    “What do you think [about jesse jackson/sign swatting]?”

    who ever knows what jesse jackson is thinking? i haven’t seen the video. you have a link? jesse jackson is often right about things, but his working methods usually leave something to be desired. he’s an angry man, but i think he’s earned that anger more than most.

  • Baronius

    “There is racism involved.”

    How much racism? Like there’s H2O in ocean water, salt in ocean water, or gold in ocean water? When you say that there’s racism involved, you’re being too broad. There’s more concern for the poor, for example, at tea parties than there is racism. It’s up to you to prove that racism is a substantial motivation for these people, or to stop throwing around the charge.

    You’re defending a position in the sense that you’re arguing on behalf of a position. You’re saying that racism motivates X% of a crowd on the basis of a few signs and the claim of a congressman, but without any documentation. And let’s be honest; at this point, you’re saying it despite the documentation.

    This is the video of Jesse Jackson at the Capitol. He’s obviously trying to generate a negative reaction.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “There’s more concern for the poor, for example, at tea parties than there is racism.”

    That’s an odd statement.

  • John Wilson

    I’m not fond of looking at youtube news videos because it is so easy for an editor to separate the audio and video and then patch a foreign audio track in with the video track.

    I confirmed my suspicions by examining a couple of the ACORN/pimp videos and easily found that live questions were replaced with studio questions so as to create incriminating audio track. The forgery was obvious and clumsy.

    I looked at the video tracks relating to the Congressional Black Caucus members and, without examining it deeply (which can be done easily with a spectrum analyzer), it looks like another forged audio track, this time with crowd sounds from elsewhere played in a loop.

    Unless one can vouch for the provenance of such videos they aren’t worth looking at.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    The fact that the man was called a nigger is debatable-that he was spat upon isn’t

  • zingzing

    baronius: “It’s up to you to prove that racism is a substantial motivation for these people, or to stop throwing around the charge.”

    it IS a substantial motivation for the fringe that is motivated by it. if the tea party wants to be taken seriously, they need to cut that element away. healthy protest and discussion will only be possible when they do that.

    “There’s more concern for the poor, for example, at tea parties than there is racism.”

    the tea party, it seems to me, is the enemy of the poor.

    “And let’s be honest; at this point, you’re saying it despite the documentation.”

    go type “tea party racism” (or any variation) into google images. and a lot of things happen without video documentation. that’s why there’s such a thing as a “witness,” which there are plenty of in this case.

  • Baronius

    Racism is a substantial motivation for the people who are substantially motivated by it? Really? Is ice cream a substantial motivation for people who are substantially motivated by ice cream too?

    But what do you think was Jesse Jackson’s motivation for mixing with the tea partiers? What about Lewis et al? Go on, take a guess.

  • zingzing

    jesse jackson was doing what jesse jackson does. which i often don’t understand. it does look like he was stirring shit up.

    lewis was walking across the streets to cast a vote. he may have been looking for something, but that doesn’t mean the crowd has to give it to him, and all the man did was cross the street. your argument sounds like “well, don’t wear revealing clothes if you don’t want to get raped.”

    as to your first sentence, you know what i was saying. it’s not a motivation for much of the tea party. but for the racist fringe, it’s a motivation. all of their judgment is clouded by it.

  • Baronius

    What reaction do you think Jackson was hoping to stir up? Do you think he was trying to ignite a homophobic reaction? Do you think he wanted the crowd to react to his fathering an illegitimate child? (I only mention that because someone in the crowd did.) If memory serves, Jackson has mentioned race more than once before. Maybe he was hoping for a racist reaction?

  • Dan

    “it depends upon whether you’re going to call a civil rights hero a liar”— zing

    phhhhhhtttt! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

    Baronius, here’s Andrew Breitbarts site where he goes into some detail on the hoax.

    Originally the “hero” had altered his story to saying it happened upon leaving the Cannon office building when the original video didn’t match with his vicious accusation.

    Andrew Breitbart offered a hundred g’s for anyone who could verify him. Instead he was able to get footage of the congressman leaving the Cannon office. It’s a real calm scene, teapartiers are milling around not even noticing him as he walks a clear path to cross the street.

    I guess every tea party protester will need to begin strapping a frigging camera to their head to avoid phony racism smears.

    I’m not believing the “faggot” story either. Until I see it. I’ve looked. Even if… it would seem pretty tame compared to the rock and bottle slinging done by those anti-AZ “progressives”.

  • zingzing

    dan: “Andrew Breitbart offered a hundred g’s for anyone who could verify him.”

    best be reading that post again. he didn’t offer $100k to people. he chose who would get the money very carefully, and very well.

    baronius, your guess is as good as mine.

  • Baronius

    Really, Zing, you can’t guess if Jesse Jackson, black congressmen, and Barney Frank attended a tea party to instigate a negative reaction? With all the articles labelling the tea partiers racists, with all the cameras rolling, with the press’s reaction being entirely predictable and exactly what the Democrats wanted, you can’t venture a guess? Try a little harder.

  • zingzing

    what do you mean, barney frank and the black congressmen attended a tea party? they were there for many reasons, none of them having to do with the tea party. unless you’re referring to something i’m not.

    jesse jackson appears to be everywhere.

  • Dan

    “…he chose who would get the money very carefully, and very well.”—zing

    “When I offered a reward of $100,000 to be donated to the United Negro College Fund if anyone produced video and audio evidence that this occurred…”—Breitbart

    hmmm, I think I see what your saying. United Negro College Fund = Breitbart phony front group?

  • zingzing

    no, i’m saying that he’s not offering 100k to someone who produces a video. he’s offering it to the united negro college fund…

    how you got from point a to point b on that one is beyond me.

    but why you’d forget to include that little tidbit of information is not.

  • Baronius

    OK, would you accept “walked through the middle of a tea party rally and stood next to it laughing and batting at the signs” instead of “attending a tea party”? What else do you think I’m talking about?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Taking Andrew Breitbart’s version of anything as ‘truth’ is problematic in itself. The man is a raving fraud machine. I guess you could claim that means he knows other people’s fraud when he sees it, but face it: he’s just an ideologically motivated serial liar. Cite him as a source at the peril of your own credibility.

    I’ve never seen Baronius so worked up. It’s rather entertaining, in a repellent sort of way.

    There has been plenty of extreme rhetoric associated with tea partiers: signs, slogans, intemperate shouting. That doesn’t mean ‘all’ tea partiers are anything. But there is a loud and unpleasant loony fringe. And enough racism in the mix to be disturbing. Is that what gets our righty friends so twisted-panties overwrought — that we might be on to something?

    Mr. Lewis and Mr. Frank were walking to work. Why should they have to pick a different route because a protest is going on? And to accuse them of deliberately inciting the crowd is based on zero evidence of any kind. Pure, raw partisan conjecture presented as fact.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Thanks to Zing for fighting the good fight. Sorry I missed so much of the thick of it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “I’ve never seen Baronius so worked up.”

    Indeed, neither have I. He was clearly on the offensive here, not his usual style.

  • zingzing

    baronius: “OK, would you accept “walked through the middle of a tea party rally and stood next to it laughing and batting at the signs” instead of “attending a tea party”? What else do you think I’m talking about?”

    that might be jesse jackson, but it’s not what we’re talking about…. the rest of them were just walking across the fucking street. if your beliefs don’t let black or gay men walk across the street, i dunno what to tell you.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Really, Zing, you can’t guess if Jesse Jackson, black congressmen, and Barney Frank attended a tea party to instigate a negative reaction?”

    If just their attendance would “instigate a negative reaction,” then aren’t their accusers right about them?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Indeed.

  • Baronius

    Handy, I’m not really worked up, but you’re right that I don’t usually hammer away on a topic like this. What happened was that I was trying to find a convenient way out of this argument and Zing got all sweary and obnoxious, so I thought I’d demonstrate to him how ridiculous his position is.

    El Bicho, they didn’t get a racist reaction from what I can see. They got a negative reaction because it’s the right of every American to react negatively to his politicians. Handy and Zing, they did pick a different route because the protest was going on – the route through the protesters.

  • Dan

    “If just their attendance would “instigate a negative reaction,” then aren’t their accusers right about them?”—El Bicho

    That’s obviously what they hoped for when they went out of their way to provoke a negative reaction, but they were wrong, so they went ahead and lied about it anyway.

    The second Breitbart film demonstrates that the civil rights “heros” revised story is also a lie. So now I guess the story just dies the same way all accusations of racism do when they are found out to be false, and we move on to the next hoax without examination or acknowledgement.

    “Taking Andrew Breitbart’s version of anything as ‘truth’ is problematic in itself. The man is a raving fraud machine. I guess you could claim that means he knows other people’s fraud when he sees it, but face it: he’s just an ideologically motivated serial liar. Cite him as a source at the peril of your own credibility”—handyguy

    I’m inclined to cite him since no credible evidence exists to doubt him with.

    After all, he exposed ACORN for what we all knew it was. The way he did it shows a very comprehensive understanding of deceitful leftist pathology. One incidence, or even a couple would naturally be swept under the rug, or isolated as atypical. So he repeated the same experiment multiple times, then released them sequentially as each previous one was being covered up/rationalized. Sort of a Chinese water torture for leftist zealots.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Dan, if you swallow Breitbart’s “journalism” whole, uncritically, that doesn’t reflect very well on your ability to filter out counterfactual propaganda.

    The deceit was in the way the Acorn videos were edited and presented — ground that has been covered over and over here and elsewhere. They proved little or nothing about Acorn or anything else.

    You’re not interested in the truth. You’re only interested in listening to people who share your narrow worldview. If anyone else says something different, you cover your ears and shout “Not listening! Leftist!”

    Thus in a nutshell the problem of trying to have an actual discussion here — and often in the outside world as well.

  • zingzing

    baronius: “I was trying to find a convenient way out of this argument and Zing got all sweary and obnoxious…”

    que? am i not allowed to curse at grandpa’s house? really, me cursing doesn’t mean shit either way.

    “so I thought I’d demonstrate to him how ridiculous his position is.”

    too bad you’ve failed. and too bad you’ve got some warped idea of what my position is. you can’t invalidate someone’s point if you miss it completely and try to say they said things they didn’t say.

    you’re defending something that is ultimately going to be seen as a bad joke. the tea party, like the right’s last few brushes with ultra conservatism and anti-“communist” fearmongering, is going to be an eyesore that americans 50 years from now look back on and wonder how we could have been so ignorant.

    then again, you defended mccarthy, so i guess you might not have learned that lesson yet. takes all kinds.

  • zingzing

    “Handy and Zing, they did pick a different route because the protest was going on – the route through the protesters.”

    so you’re saying they should have done the right thing… sneak around underground like rats, not show their face in public, etc, etc. because that’s what good politicians act like. and because there’s no way on earth you would be criticizing them for being cowards had they actually done that. sheesh.

    they walked in the street. it’s too much to ask under the circumstances. “nigger,” stay underground.

  • Dan

    Thanks hanyguy, you demonstrate precisely the absolute hell bent denial that Breitbart understood he needed to overcome by repeating the experiment to extreme redundancy.

    While 99% of anybody that cares waits for the disgraced organization to resurface under a new title to resume rigging elections, burning through Democrat sponsored Federal grants, and promoting child prostitution, you’re still clinging to some audio tampering fantasy.

    Now that video cameras are more proliferate than ever before, it is a lot harder for racism hoaxers to pull it off. Many have already been busted.

    To make matters worse for the anti-racist nutters, blacks and hispanics have much more frequently been caught on video violently assaulting whites. Sometimes with their own cameras, and just for kicks. Imagine that with races reversed.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad,com/ roger nowosielski

    I have no idea how Baronius can claim trapping you, zing. I’d let it go if I were him.

    There is a position in chess called “zuzwang.” Simply said, it means any next move made by a given player is only going to get him deeper in the hole.

    Well, it does definitely look as though Baronius had managed to get himself in that unenviable position.

  • Baronius

    Zing, what subtle aspect of your point did I miss? You’ve got an angry mob, the media running stories about the mob being racist, and a couple of black congressmen moving through the crowd and no one but them hearing racial slurs.

    And what’s with your preoccupation with fantasies? You say that I’d call them cowards if they took the normal route. You talk about how different things would be if the tea partiers were black. You say that I defended McCarthy, which is pretty close to fiction (I said that he was right to go after the communists). You’ve made up stories as to why the videos of the slur haven’t surfaced. You seem to enjoy speculating on things that never happened, but you won’t speculate on why the things that happened did. For instance, you can’t come up with an explanation for Jesse Jackson provoking the tea partiers in front of cameras.

    McCarthy’s great crime was accusing people based on association. Today, that’s practiced by you and others who see a couple of racist signs and condemn thousands of protesters.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    from The Raw Story:

    To back up his claim, Breitbart posted a short video clip of Reps. Lewis and Cleaver, among others, walking through the protest with no racial slurs audible on the video.

    But an article from the Associated Press says the video Breitbart trumpeted was not shot at the time the black lawmakers say they were targeted with the N-word; rather, the video was shot an hour later, as the group emerged from a congressional meeting. They had alleged that they were targeted as they were walking into the meeting.

    Asked by AP about the inconsistency, Breitbart responded, “I’m not saying the video was conclusive proof.”

    On Sunday, the Washington Post’s ombudsman asserted that there was at least some truth to the allegations of abusive behavior at the protest.

    Responding to criticism of the paper’s coverage by conservative activists, ombudsman Andrew Alexander went through a list of allegations of slurs, and found merit in many of them:

    ‘Many readers have told me there is no evidence to support The Post’s report that Frank was subjected to anti-gay slurs. They’re wrong. An ABC News video recorded the incident inside a House office building. When ABC aired its video, the epithets were bleeped. A review of the unaltered footage, made by ABC at my request, clearly captures a protester shouting, “Barney, you faggot.” Case closed.’

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    A quote from Rep Mike Pence, the very conservative Indiana Republican:

    “A couple of weeks before the alleged incident occurred, I was walking across the bridge in Selma, Ala., with John Lewis,” said Pence. “I take at face value what John Lewis said. If John Lewis said he heard it, I believe he’s a man of integrity. And I would denounce those kinds of statements in the strongest possible terms.”

  • zingzing

    baronius: “You’ve got an angry mob, the media running stories about the mob being racist, and a couple of black congressmen moving through the crowd and no one but them hearing racial slurs.”

    no i don’t. i’ve got an angry mob, with some people yelling out racist slurs at black congressmen, witnessed and reported by many at the scene. i never tried to paint the entire tea party as racist. you’ve just run with that idea. stop it.

    “You say that I’d call them cowards if they took the normal route.”

    the street’s not a “normal” route? whatever. in the end, if i (meaning me) knew that my very presence in a place would cause an uproar, you’d better be damn sure i’d be right there taking on the fuckers. if someone can’t walk somewhere without being harassed, you’re the ones who have fucked up. it’s not right.

    “You talk about how different things would be if the tea partiers were black.”

    i saw an article and i asked conservatives to think about it. you refused to. it’s a valid question. one that you can’t answer. (i don’t think you should bring that up again unless you intend to answer it. i think you should. it’s gone on so long now that if you don’t answer it, i dare to suggest that it’s because you know the guy is right.)

    “You say that I defended McCarthy, which is pretty close to fiction (I said that he was right to go after the communists).”

    he may have gone after communists, but he ended up ruining innocent american lives. the right wing of today is getting dangerously close to that mindset again. it’s frightening.

    “You’ve made up stories as to why the videos of the slur haven’t surfaced.”

    yet you seem to ignore the fact that some of them have. barney frank, the black woman on the balcony…

    “For instance, you can’t come up with an explanation for Jesse Jackson provoking the tea partiers in front of cameras.”

    he’s jesse jackson. it’s what he does. i’ve said this time and again, yet you can’t grasp it.

    “McCarthy’s great crime was accusing people based on association. Today, that’s practiced by you and others who see a couple of racist signs and condemn thousands of protesters.”

    horseshit. again, in case you missed it every damn time i’ve said it, the tea party as a whole isn’t racist, but the fringe element that is racist had better be cut off before it drags the whole movement down with it. want me to say it again? the tea party as a whole isn’t racist, but the fringe element that is racist had better be cut off before it drags the whole movement down with it. are you getting it now? the tea party as a whole isn’t racist, but the fringe element that is racist had better be cut off before it drags the whole movement down with it. one more time: the tea party as a whole isn’t racist, but the fringe element that is racist had better be cut off before it drags the whole movement down with it.

    in the end, it doesn’t matter. the tea party, if it is to continue, has to rid itself of the racist fringe it most certainly has. it tarnishes the whole movement and will cause these types of accusations to obscure the party’s message.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Baronius, neither Zing nor I have said all tea partiers or all conservatives are racists. What we objected to, fiercely, was and is your presumption that John Lewis and Barney Frank are either lying or deliberately tried to bait the crowd. You offer no evidence for either.

  • Baronius

    Then why bring it up at all? Either the charge of racism is a fair shot or a cheap shot. You’re trying to take the both sides, bringing it up constantly but backpedaling with the statement that racism only motivates the people who are motivated by racism. This is guilt by association.

    As for Tim Wise’s article, I didn’t read it for the same reason that I don’t frequent the Westboro Baptist webpage.

    Who’s the black woman on the balcony?

  • John Wilson

    ACORN was not exposed by those forged videos, the people who MADE the videos were exposed as fraudsters and liars.

  • zingzing

    baronius, you willfully miss the point.

    “As for Tim Wise’s article, I didn’t read it for the same reason that I don’t frequent the Westboro Baptist webpage.”

    why? i’ve asked you to clarify your idea that tim wise is a hater, but you’ve refused to do so. i’ve never read anything else by him. enlighten us. as to reading it or not, i summarized, so you know what his general point is. yet you refuse to give us your thoughts on that as well…

    “Who’s the black woman on the balcony?”

    dunno. told you that as well. i saw the video a month ago, didn’t know who she was then, don’t know who she is now. if i find the video again, i’ll let you know.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The simplest thing to do would be to admit that a fringe element of the teapartiers are racists, no less so than some Democrats may be racists as well.

    What’s so difficult?

  • Baronius

    OK, Roger, but only if you change your handle to “Roger Nowosielski, who is just as likely as anyone else to be a pedophile”.

    Zing, you willfully miss the point. And I’m not saying that to create a standoff, where we’re forced to agree to disagree. The idea that an adult wouldn’t be able to spot race-baiting by Wise or Jackson or Lewis is beyond me.

  • Jeff Forsythe

    Mr. Zing, I’ve looked at Westboro a few times in the cause of “Know thyne enemy”

    You Americans have a saying “Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer,” I believe.

    I have gained amusement from reading you people arguing with this Mr. Baronius fellow. The futility factor alone is entertaining because the man (assumption on my part) obviously is closed-minded and could not give a damn about anyone’s opinions but his own excluding and discarding all others at will.

    A pity really, he seems so intelligent
    Mr. Forsythe

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “OK, Roger, but only if you change your handle to “Roger Nowosielski, who is just as likely as anyone else to be a pedophile”.

    Is a statistical observation about a group of persons the same as a statistical observation about a given person?

    Aren’t we dealing here with two different kinds of claims?

  • zingzing

    baronius: “The idea that an adult wouldn’t be able to spot race-baiting by Wise or Jackson or Lewis is beyond me.”

    wise, like it or not, makes a point. a point which you have pointedly refused to consider. and, AGAIN, jackson is jackson… i have as many problems with his tactics as you do. (get it this time?) lewis, however, i’m quite willing to believe. he’s a good man. he doesn’t agree with you, therefore you vilify him.

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    I can’t believe you guys are actually still arguing about this. The reason I stayed out of it is because I know Bait when I see it, and decided not to bite this time.

    You guys on the other hand….

    -Glen

  • Jeff Forsythe

    Mr. Boyd since I have your attention, I did enjoy reading your piece.

    Mr. Forsythe

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Glen,

    I didn’t bite either. Wonder how come zing persevered for as long as he did.

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Thanks Jeff (#125).

    -Glen

  • Dan

    “But an article from the Associated Press says the video Breitbart trumpeted was not shot at the time the black lawmakers say they were targeted with the N-word; rather, the video was shot an hour later, as the group emerged from a congressional meeting. They had alleged that they were targeted as they were walking into the meeting.”—handyguy

    Handyguy, I allowed for the possibility, because it’s possible. So I went back to the Breitbart video that I earlier posted a link to. Here is what I found.

    First of all, the congressmen did not “allege they were targeted as they were walking into the meeting”. They alleged they were targeted coming down the steps of Cannon. “N-word, 15 times”. Breitbart plays the actual allegation from the congressmen when they arrived at the Capital.

    Second there is a video that was shot by Lee Fang, an employee of the liberal think tank, American Progress. He says he did not hear the slurs, but say’s he saw the crowd “erupt”. His video is not in dispute, but it is inconclusive.

    The new video Breitbart introduced shows the congressmen coming down the steps where they originally alleged they heard the slurs. If you watch closely you will see just before the congressmen cross the street in both videos, a champaign colored pickup truck with what appears to be small American flags fluttering above both doors.

    The videos were shot at the same time from different perspectives. Your source appears to be lying. As does the congressman who has since altered his story about when exactly he heard the N-word.

    Mr. Baronious fellow, I have gained amusement from reading the futile, but entertaining, close minded attempts of those who haved argued with you.

  • zingzing

    glen… because we like arguing? yup yup.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Don’t go overboard, Dan. He might take your compliment as gospel truth.

    It’s like saying to an intellectually challenged person that they’re doing just find. I understand the spirit behind positive thinking, we all need encouragement from time to time. But then again, you’re running the risk that they just might believe what you’re saying and abstain from doing any hard work which had gotten them to the point of being barely intelligible.

    You do get my meaning, I hope.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    My “lying” source was a very even-handed article by the Associated press dated April 13.
    Read it for yourself.

    I will point out that neither Zing, myself, Baronius, Dan nor Andrew Breitbart were there that day, so none of us has first hand knowledge of what happened. But I greatly admire John Lewis [see that Mike Pence quote, above] and I don’t think he’s lying. Baronius and Dan and Breitbart believe with all their heart that he is lying, with only the most inconclusive non-evidence to back them up.

    There’s a deep ugliness in the tone they insist on taking about this argument, almost in fact as repugnant as the name calling itself. “Well of course he’s lying. He’s a liberal.” Yes, an African American liberal. As if that’s all the motivation he would need to make up a vicious lie.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Quite right, Handy. They most vehemently object to even parts of the Tea Party movement as possibly being “racist” while they have no compunction whatever about affixing the epithet on a particular person – a person, mind you, they have no kind of personal knowledge of.

    It’s so skewed it’s pathetic. Which makes me wonder why zing even bothered to continue with this insanity. His responding only kept on adding fuel to the fire.

    When dealing with minds like that, the best strategy is to simply ignore all such. They’ll suffer natural death by attrition.

  • zingzing

    “His responding only kept on adding fuel to the fire.”

    the fire of fun! fun fire! BURRRRRRRRN.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Stop playing with matches.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    You can’t let that kind of infuriating pigheadedness go unanswered, after all.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I guess you’re right, Handy, but they all think they’ve won the argument; in fact, they’re congratulating themselves. So what was the gain?

  • Baronius

    John Lewis, playing the race card in 2008:

    “As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.

    “During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.

    “As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better.”

    To some people in politics, it’s worth digging at old wounds in order to win an election.

  • zingzing

    “To some people in politics, it’s worth digging at old wounds in order to win an election.”

    yeah, like all of them?

  • zingzing

    and of course, baronius, you’ll note that lewis’ “race-baiting” was a response to the crowd at a mccain-palin rally yelling “terrorist!” and “kill him!” about obama. of course, he wasn’t specifically talking about race, just the political hostility that was taking over mccain’s candidacy. you’ll note.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    To some people, it’s worth knowing history.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Baronius’s examples and counterexamples and “arguments” and “facts” often do not seem to mean anything coherent or to add up. Perhaps they seem obvious to him, but they’re more like code with the key missing.

    There is absolutely a continuity between the ugly anger that began showing itself in McCain-Palin rallies in the 2008 election and the anger simmering in the town hall meetings last year and now in the tea party rallies. It makes these people just so mad that this man — yes, this black, liberal man — is president.

    McCain did not share their anger but he has, uncomfortably, ridden it, both in 2008 and in his own tea-party-opposed reelection campaign this year. Did you read the comment below the quote you linked to, Baronius?

    You may recall that Sen. McCain, during the forum with Rick Warren, described John Lewis as one of the three “wisest” people he knew, who he would consult as president, adding that Lewis “continues to have the most optimistic outlook about America. he can teach us all about the meanings of courage and commitment to causes greater than ourself.”

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    And as for Dan, he revealed his true colors regarding race on the “To Catch a Racist” thread. See his comment #41 over there. Fairly nauseating.

  • zingzing

    handyguy–that statement he made was pretty odious. “historical culture of dependency?” that’s grossly hilarious given the fact that white people like him depended upon their labor for so much of american history. disgusting.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #141

    It’s not knowledge that they lack but good will.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    translation of #144: they’re still in the “slave mode.” Haven’t weaned themselves of the master’s tit.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Don’t worry, guys, Baronius is getting there, to the requisite Archie-Bunker level.

    A couple of more sessions like this and we’ll have a real conversion on our hands. Then we shall properly baptize him in the river Styx.

    I’ll volunteer for the role of John the Anabaptist.

  • kshery

    You are dumbed down by the progressive liberal media. They don’t tell the whole truth, the don’t report news if it’s against their agenda. They are Pravda! You have been duped for many years. I was duped, ignorant of the liberal bias, ignorant of the progressive movement, ignorant of people like Obama, who hate America and hate Capitalism.

    Instead of the government giving to the poor why not teach the poor to help themselves? Oh, but then the progressives would not be able to control the poor. You want big government? Here is your future. The progressive socialist government will control you if you are not one of the fortunate elite. I don’t want that for my Grandchildren and Children. I want them to live free, to pursue their own happiness, not a false euphora envisioned by a socialist.

    I am not against Obama because he is black (half black, half white). I am against him because of his socialist agenda, got it?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    John Lewis doesn’t have to be lying to be wrong, you know. There is a natural inclination in some situations to expect something to happen and then to think that it has happened even when perhaps it was mostly in your mind.

    With all the lies the media has fed the public – including John Lewis – he’s sure to have expected the worst when going into a tea party crowd, and with all the hubbub and background noise, something shouted out by someone in the crowd could easily been misinterpreted given his expectations and mindset.

    I’d submit that he’s not lying, just wrong. Kind of like George W. Bush when talking about WMDs in Iraq.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    “of course, he wasn’t specifically talking about race”

    “Civil Rights Movement…George Wallace…Birmingham, Alabama”

  • Dan


    “I’d submit that he’s not lying, just wrong. Kind of like George W. Bush when talking about WMDs in Iraq.”—Dave Nalle

    Except that Bush didn’t say there were WMD’s in Iraq. He said the intelligence reports suggested there to be WMD’s in Iraq. Which was correct, not wrong.

    On the other hand, Lewis claimed to hear “n-word” shouted at him 15 times comming out of the Cannon office building. As the Breitbart video demonstrates, nothing remotely like that occured.

    Given the prolific volume of phony accusations of white racism past and present compared to actual occurences of white racism, along with the tendancy to deceive among Democrat Congressmen as a group, he’s certainly lying.

    ““Civil Rights Movement…George Wallace…Birmingham, Alabama””—Baronius

    As tragic as it was, it’s not like that church bombing with the 4 little black girls story hasn’t been milked thouroghly enough already.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Except that Bush didn’t say there were WMD’s in Iraq. He said the intelligence reports suggested there to be WMD’s in Iraq. Which was correct, not wrong.

    That’s hair-splitting.

    “Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”
    President George W. Bush
    primetime address, March 17, 2003

    The conclusion Bush drew from that intelligence – and/or wanted the public to draw from it – doesn’t leave much room for ambiguity.

  • doug m

    All the intelligence reports didn’t say that, so he lied by omission.

  • Jeff Forsythe

    Quote 151-As tragic as it was, it’s not like that church bombing with the 4 little black girls story hasn’t been milked thouroghly enough already.

    I shall wager that you think the Jews have milked their millions of deaths during world war II too much too?

    I hereby revoke your tourist visa to Utopia young man.

    Mr. Forsythe

  • zingzing

    “As the Breitbart video demonstrates, nothing remotely like that occured.”

    except that’s not proof, now is it?

  • Baronius

    Zing, do you believe that if a candidate had nothing to do with a church burning other than creating the tense atmosphere that led to it, that the candidate shares some of the blame? Do you think that John Lewis blames Obama for the burning of Wasilla Bible Church?

  • Dan

    “That’s hair-splitting.”—Dr. D

    “hair-splitting” might be more accurately applied to someone defending the intelligence by bringing up the wmd’s that were actually found in Iraq. Such as the hundreds of sarin, and mustard gas weapons.

    In the case of interpreting the intelligence data, it would be like if you were driving down the road and your gas tank gauge read full. If you then immediately ran out of gas, you would still have interpreted your guage “correctly”. If your guage was on “E” and you interpreted it to be full, you would be “wrong”. If your guage was on “E”, you understood this to mean empty but told your passenger the tank was full, you would be “lying”.

    “I hereby revoke your tourist visa to Utopia young man.”—Jeff Forsythe

    If only the leftist vision of Utopia was a destination one could avoid rather than the fascist imposition it necessarily must be…

    “except that’s not proof, now is it?”—zingzing

    I guess it would depend on ones threshold of gullibility. The video seems fairly conclusive in neutralizing the Congressmans original version of events, maybe not as much for the second story.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dan,

    Whatever happened to the buck stopping… well, you know where?

    Would you let the current president off so easily?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004264362336 Kyle Hill

    You’ve lost my respect the moment you started bashing the tea party which are not a group but people from all over who want a simple government for basic needs. The end.

    • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com/ Christopher Rose

      You’ve never had my respect as you clearly know nothing about either politics in general or the tea party in particular, although you have proven the point about dumbing down rather well, so congratulations on that achievement…