While they await the next big, coordinated election-year flap, our media establishment friends have been busy killing time with War Room-inspired silliness, petty career-related jealousy and peculiar sensitivity to a pop star's passing.
What an annoying week! A few lowlights:
Attacks on syndicated talker / author Mark Levin seem to escalate whenever one of his books tops the New York Times Best Sellers list. As Ameritopia locked into position one for the fourth week in a row, libtalker Randi Rhodes (who never could get around to completing her own work) was on the warpath:
RANDI RHODES (06:40): Yelling does not work. I know in talk radio they think it does, that if you yell - like especially Mark Levin he thinks if you yell really really loud suddenly he will be right. But they have never been right!
There was an unusual series of flaps related to the passing of Whitney Houston, with hosts yanked from the air for stating the obvious: she was a drug addict. That talk radio censorship campaign, by the way, was spearheaded by an offended member of Al Sharpton's entourage, a regular fill-in for the reverend.
Less expected was this rare bit of Obama criticism from libtalker Bill Press, who thought the president was unwise to stay in the hotel where Houston had died just days earlier:
BILL PRESS (4:01): You know, President Obama, I saw last night he stayed at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
PRESS: It’s a great hotel I’ve stayed there myself many times.
OGBURN: It was a great hotel. Ha ha ha ha.
PRESS: I’ve been to hundreds of events there. A great location but sort of a has echoes certainly of Whitney Houston there for a while. I’m surprised that they [Obama] didn’t change hotels.
A White House War Room-generated diversion into a bizarre debate over contraception exposed some of the Party Opposite's true feelings about child-rearing. Here, Rhodes slams Ann Romney as a "breeder", a derogatory term often used in San Francisco and other child-free zones to refer to caring, loving, enthusiastic parents:
RANDI RHODES (39:50): Now, you have the conservative media playing this clip - expect just the bet part, ok! Not the explanation that it's about privacy rights and that Rick Santorum had said three days before this debate so it was news - three days before this debate that Stephanopolous hosted on ABC uh moderated - that he believed that the states had the right to ban contraception. He believed that. And so Stephanopoulos was asking the same question that Jake Tapper also of ABC had asked Rick Santorum at the debate - he asked the same question of Mitt Romney - and Mitt Romney said that contraception is working just fine. How does he know? I mean, his wife is a breeder!
'VANILLA' DIE Inflammatory, Divisive Words Spill From Show
Using terms like "vanilla side of town" and laughing hysterically at a "kill whitey" joke, racial divisiveness took center stage during Sunday's edition of the Smiley & West Show. Airing mostly on NPR stations, the program is heard weekly.
Hosts Tavis Smiley and Cornel West seemed particularly unconcerned with who might be listening as actor / comedian Garrett Morris had them in stitches over the fate of "whitey".
Yes, Morris is a funny guy and has been doing that kind of schtick since the seventies. But they enjoyed the crack just a bit too much.
Can you imagine jokes about killing black people airing on NPR?
But here, most likely to inflame tensions, "the vanilla side of town" (wherever that might be) was needlessly interjected into the conversation.
Both quotes have been placed together in the clip below:
CORNEL WEST: If the same thing happened on the vanilla side of town, among the upper-middle class white brothers and sisters, there would be a major outrage and in fact we’d probably get some comment from the White House, we’d get comments from the governor. We’d get comments not just from the mayor, but from a whole wave of people who for the most part are silent about these things and it’s just sad and ridiculous that we have to deal with this kind of double standard.
GARRETT MORRIS [GUEST]: Bill Duke and I and some other people we did a thing called "slave ship" and so when we were improvising with, you know, Imamu and Gilbert Moses and the NAC and places like that we did more improvisation that was for real about problems of addiction and stuff like that.
And so we didn’t have a lot of comedy and our improvisational space went from 'hate whitey' to 'kill whitey,' which is a very small space.
WEST: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
TAVIS SMILEY: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! A very small space, that’s funny!
Interestingly, however, Smiley & West continue to pound away at Obama for what they see as inaction on key issues affecting working people and the poor. Even the "vanilla" slam was partially directed at the president. So there is more than one agenda on display here.
Al Sharpton: Republicans Wrong To Claim There's A Social Safety Net
Sharpton Claims Poor People Are On Their Own
There are two men of the cloth in Barack Obama's life: hate-filled extremist Reverend Wright and his partisan establishment counterpart, Reverend Wrong. By the latter, of course, we mean Al Sharpton, who spent a portion of today's radio show blasting Mitt Romney over the issue of poverty in America.
As you may have heard, the former Massachusetts governor is taking heat for saying he's "not concerned about the very poor", meaning he believes there is a strong government-run safety net for the least wealthy in the United States.
But Sharpton's approach is different: he's furious with Romney for suggesting the poor have anywhere to turn at all in this mean-spirited, cold-hearted country. From today's edition of Keeping It Real:
AL SHARPTON (5:20): This statement by Mitt Romney today, he’s trying to walk it back saying that he wasn’t concerned with the poor concerned with the middle class said he’s trying to clarify it but even in his clarity he exposes to many the misconceptions he said, 'well there’s programs for the poor, I meant my focus'.
What programs for the poor? They [Republicans] keep acting as if poor people have all of these things helping them.
Yes, between food stamps, housing vouchers, SSI payments, etc, why would anyone be crazy enough to believe poor people could survive in America?