Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Shirley Sherrod

Bring the Hammer Down

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Shirley Sherrod will sue Andrew Breitbart. Good! I hope she has a good lawyer, working for cheap, whose plans for discovery are ambitious.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 29, 2010 at 4:46 pm

The Most Offensively Stupid Thing You’ll Read Today

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Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectator declares Shirley Sherrod lied when she characterized a relative as a victim of lynching because the man was merely beaten to death on the steps of a courthouse while under arrest and in handcuffs—not hung. As you can see, Jeffrey Lord is today’s absolute worst person in the world. Yglesias delivers an appropriately righteous smackdown:

If you read the anti-lynching section of the Truman administration’s landmark report on civil rights, “To Secure These Rights,” you’ll see that at no time did anyone think the purpose of federal anti-lynching legislation was to ensure that lynching victims were shot or beaten rather than hanged.

Adam Serwer (“Finally, how many times are conservatives going to try and smear this woman before some sense of shame or decency kicks in?”) and Paul Campos (“It’s hard to understand how this kind of thing gets published in a world that includes editors, higher cognitive function, and/or common decency.”) are likewise aghast—and that’s before you get to the fawning comments at the Spectator.

Unbelievable.

On a lighter note, via Steve Benen, E.J. Dionne offers up the tantalizing possibility that the Sherrod moment could be be a turning point for American political journalism. God, I hope so.

The Very Long Game

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Written by gerrycanavan

July 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Stonehenge! Where the Demons Dwell!

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* Rachel Maddow on fifty years of race-baiting from the right. See also Tim Wise:

The pattern is familiar. In every generation whites have hyped fears of black anger, black bigotry and the supposed desire of African Americans to exact revenge on whites. From fears about slave rebellions, to claims that integration would lead black children to knife white children in the hallways and rape white girls, to paranoia about Obama’s secret plan for “white slavery,” the cult of white victimhood has long had its charter members. Sadly, nowadays the cult has the attention of the media and a white public already anxious about changing demographics, the presence of a black president and economic insecurity. Unless the targets of their race-baiting (including the President) show the courage to push back and expose them for the venal fear-pimps they are, their methods will only get more extreme, their lies more bold, and their ability to inflict lasting damage on the nation more definitive.

* Shirley Sherrod says she might sue Andrew Breitbart, who is still lying about the entire mess. I don’t know if she has a case, but I hope she does and I hope she wins.

* Debunking the moon landing debunkers the Darryl Cunningham way.

* Lost Kafka writings have resurfaced, but the legal bureaucracy (legendarily immune to irony) is preventing their publication. There really ought to be some word for things like this.

* Sorry, local independent bookshops: Amazon has a new Amazon Student program that includes a free Amazon Prime membership for a full year.

* A “Woodhenge” has been discovered in Ohio. A wooden monument has also been uncovered near the real Stonehenge, which we visited just today. It’s clear that the aliens who ruled over prehistoric Earth loved wood. But why? Why?

* The headline reads, “Stone age dildo unearthed in Sweden.”

* Could the public option return?

* According to NASA, 2010 is on course to be the planet’s hottest year since records started in 1880. The current top 10, in descending order, are: 2005, 2007, 2009, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2004, 2001 and 2008. Climategate! Al Gore! It snowed one time in Washington, D.C.!

* And UNC has pledged to end all coal use by 2020. Sounds like a good start.

Lies and Lying Liars

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Shirley Sherrod, who never should have been fired in the first place, has now been offered a new job at the Department of Agriculture, working on civil rights. Gibbs has also apologized on behalf of the White House.

There’s been a lot of interesting commentary today on the Sherrod moment and what it says about right-wing domination of mass media, as well as about conservative media more generally. Kevin Drum and Steve Benen are begging “grown-up Republicans” to finally speak out against the race-baiting, though frankly I wouldn’t hold my breath. Sherrod too has gone after Fox directly for its racist slant on the news. Of course there’s plenty to be said about Andrew Breitbart and his striking refusal to even pretend to apologize. But the most important questions it seems to me have to do with the rot at the core of “conservative journalism” so-called. As Yglesias puts it:

At some point conservatives need to ask themselves about the larger meaning of this kind of conduct—and Andrew Breitbart’s—for their movement. Beyond the ethics of lying and smear one’s opponents, I would think conservatives would worry about the fact that a large portion of conservative media is dedicated to lying to conservatives. They regard their audience as marks to be misled and exploited, not as customers to be served with useful information.

It’s been this way for a long time. Most of the political conservatives I know don’t seem to be aware of this, and those that are just don’t seem to care. The fact is some of these people we can’t win back; we have to accept they’ll always hate us, and just dedicate ourselves to winning enough of the rest that we stay in power and they stay out.

Belatedly Closing Some Tabs

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* When Breitbart says “Jump!”, the Obama administration asks how high. Humiliating. They should reinstate Shirley Sherrod tomorrow and call Breitbart and Fox out by name. More links and discussion at MetaFilter.

* Surprising: The generic Congressional ballot again favors the Democrats. Steve Benen says caveat emptor. Could this have something to do with their bizarre new “rehabilitate Bush” strategy?

* How Roger Ebert destroyed film criticism.

* How the universe might handle time travel paradoxes.

* Climate change whip count. Doesn’t look good.

* Sarah Palin has a 76% favorability rating among Republicans. If the economy hasn’t significantly recovered by 2012 she could really be president, folks.

* Constance McMillen has received $35,000 from her Mississippi school district. I thought the damages might be higher.

* Arizona, desperate for me to like it again, has disabled all its speed cameras.

* Friends don’t let friends commit confirmation treason.

* Rumors of the next Superman film.

* The Catholic Church’s official impotence index.

* And Glenn Beck says he’s going blind. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.