You Just Can’t Make This Racist Sh*t Up: Fox News Owes Everybody a Great Big Honking Act of Contrition
Via TPM, and courtesy (sic!) of rightist media flack Brent Bozell and Fox News, this gem:
“How long do you think Sean Hannity’s show would last if four times in one sentence, he made a comment about, say, the President of the United States, and said that he looked like a skinny, ghetto crackhead?” Bozell wondered. “Which, by the way, you might want to say that Barack Obama does.”
You also might want to suck down a Clorox shooter, with a Sterno chaser at its back. The choice to do so would be less stupid.
Bozell might say he was provoked by Chris Matthews’ claim that everyone’s favorite amphibian gum disease “looks like a car bomber.” Which is, in fact, a stupid thing to say on many levels, but does at least bear some connection to the very broadly shared view of the Newtster as a bomb thrower. (See e.g. Bush I, and, by pretty direct implication, everyone’s favorite cyborg, Mitt Romney.)
But Bozell, were he to press such a “both sides do it” bit of weak sauce, would, of course, be (deliberately?) missing the real difference here. Calling Gingrich a man of violence assigns to him a specific crime. He has agency, individual choice, responsibility. Dude blows sh%t up.
Describing the President of the United States as a “ghetto crackhead”* falls into different order of rhetorical abuse. Bozell is saying that the President of the United States is defined by qualities, more or less immutable aspects of self and personality. “Ghetto crackheads” are (if one were to channel the disastrous Brooks) lost to the culture of their desolate place, and have abandoned agency to their drug. Such a person is inherently lesser than the non-addict, the non-cultural-determined poor. Morally, intellectually, there’s no way anyone matching the image in Bozell’s oddly torqued frontal lobes — all that skinny (black, black, blackity black) ghettoness with a monkey on its back — could possibly rise to the fully human capacity for thought and action that a properly brought up (white, white, whiter-than-white male) bomb thrower automatically acquires.
Which is to say that Bozell is a racist f**k not even trying to use the dog whistle anymore. He’s just flat out calling the President of the United States a drug-fiend slimeball (and did I mention, a black — oh no…please excuse me…a “ghetto” one?). He’s the kind of person a civilized society shuns; that he has such a bold megaphone tells you a great deal, not just about him, but about those who enable (endorse) the dissemination of those views.
Which is to say, if Fox News wants this as their brand, let’s make sure we don’t let them forget it.
Oh — and Main Stream Media: would you please, pretty please, sugar on top do me a favor?
Could you just this once ask each of the major GOP candidates whether they condemn these remarks, and the network broadcasting them? You could even ask if they think Fox owes Obama (and America) an apology.
*I’ll give him the skinny, I guess.
Image: Canadian War Bonds poster, “Je fabrique des bombes et j’achète des obligations – Achetez des obligations de la victoire.” (English: I’m making bombs and I’m buying bonds. Buy Victory Bonds!” before 1945.