August 02, 2004
Sharpton, Obama, and the pundits
Obama spoke at the Convention, a damn good speech IMO, and was hailed as a presidential contender. Hillary applauding from on high must have realized that her chances at a nomination were looking even slimmer. This speech was really the news for the night, as pundits practically broke out the inaugural Bible for Obama to lay his now-gesture-trained hand upon. Obama was declared the new "black... face" of the DP, which set the stage for the next night....
Sharpton spoke, and as the talking heads began to wax sub-poetic on his words, we saw that they absolutely hate this man. Various terms used to describe Sharpton and his speech - impresario of hatred; demagogue; hate-monger; racist clown; huckster; sly... sometimes we get the backhanded compliment "articulate". I can't recall the last time I heard that word used to describe a white person by a pundit. - http://www.blackpeopleloveus.com/ - We also hear about how Al is deflecting attention away from Obama and his "positive message"? What's this all about? Can there only be one "black face" on the DP and only one message from "black" people? What kind of not-so-subtle racism is this? Obama is only half-black for one, and two or more "articulate" black leaders is more than we can take I guess.
We've probably all heard about Matthews dropping away from Sharpton's speech to blast him for Tawana Bradley, and to toss out a few choice insults. Great coverage Chris, as we saw on The Daily Show it makes a lot of sense to drop the speech to bitch about how Sharpton doesn't need to be on MSNBC and then interview him right after said speech.
Then we saw the rest of the talking heads ignore Al's words and focus on smearing him. I have to wonder if they had this same campaign of insults ready to go if Al had given a little 6-10 minute speech that was nice and mild. What motivated the attacks? The power of Al's speech clearly shook some of these folks. They couldn't even listen rationally and think about what he was talking about. It was too much for folks like Wolf Blitzer, who after spending 15 minutes complaining about Shapton going 14 minutes over his time, began to give his own biased analysis of the speech. Greenfield, sitting along with Wolf said this In reference to the "Clarence Thomas" line - "He has (is?), in effect, saying George W. Bush sympathized with the segregationists of the 1950s."
No that's what you said Jeff, what Al was saying is that Bush supports nominating "strict constructionists" to the SCOTUS. You know the folks who were always in favor of states rights before that whole Florida Election Debacle thing that showed them the error of their ways. Strict constructionists are against "affirmitive action", they were against "integration" and calling out the National Guard to protect black children who were going to white schools. The strict constitutionalist view did not, and does not hold that the federal government ought to be involved in matters that are the state's concern. Of course the "matters" that are held to be the state's concerns are always changing, so now a strict constitutionalist like Thomas supports Brown vs. BOE.
No matter what your thoughts of Al, and I'm sure his negatives couldn't possibly be much higher than Clinton or Bush, to be a journalist you have to be objective and fair, you have to deal with the man's ideas and words at some point instead of unleashing a torrent of vicious off-topic attacks. I've heard the slurs, I've seen the undercover coke-deal video, and you know what? Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.