Contact Me By Email

Contact Me By Email

Atlanta, GA Weather from Weather Underground

Monday, January 24, 2011

Antonin Scalia charms Tea Party caucus - Simmi Aujla - POLITICO.com

Supreme Court Justice Antonin ScaliaImage by The Higgs Boson via FlickrAntonin Scalia charms Tea Party caucus - Simmi Aujla - POLITICO.com

Justice Antonin Scalia steered cleared of hot-button legislation during his closed-door talk hosted by the Tea Party caucus on Capitol Hill Monday night that attracted 50 members of Congress, including three Democrats.

“We were delighted with Justice Scalia,” said chair of the caucus Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). “Both Democrats and Republicans stood up and asked questions of the justice. And he gave freely of his time.”

Scalia, the intellectual leader of the Supreme Court’s conservative wing, charmed the crowd with his wit during his hour-long presentation, which included the history of the relationship between Congress, the Supreme Court and the presidency. He urged members to read the Federalist Papers to understand the founding fathers’ intentions. He also took questions from the crowd.

“He has a very dry wit, and it was on display today,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said.

Members who attended said the Supreme Court justice didn’t touch any major legislation passed recently that could come up for judicial review, like the health care reform law.

Bachmann praised Scalia for talking to members and noted that he took questions from both Democrats and Republicans.

About 50 members attended the event in all, only three were Democrats — Reps. Melvin Watt (D-N.C.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.). Nadler and Watt are members of the House Judiciary panel.

Though he steered clear of any current legislation, Scalia did answer a question about earmarks. Scalia said that Congress can control where federal dollars go through earmarks, or forgo earmarks and allow the president to have more control over how money is spent, according to Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).

Scalia’s appearance hasn’t gone without criticism.

University of Maryland law professor Sherrilyn Ifill called the event “grossly inappropriate.”

“Federal judges should refrain from conduct that undermines the appearance of impartiality,” she wrote in POLITICO Arena on Monday. “But as Scalia revealed in his belligerent defense of his duck-hunting trip with then-Vice President Dick Cheney, he is unconcerned with the public’s perception of the judiciary. He has become the “in your face” justice, wearing his political conservatism on his sleeve.”

The New York Times said in an editorial last month that Scalia should reject the invitation from Bachmann or risk his reputation as an impartial judge.

“By meeting behind closed doors, as is planned, and by presiding over a seminar, implying give and take, the justice would give the impression that he was joining the throng — confirming his new moniker as the ‘Justice from the Tea Party,’ “ the editorial board wrote.

It’s not uncommon for members of the high court to speak to members of Congress. Last Wednesday, Justice Stephen Breyer spoke privately to the House Judiciary Committee at a bipartisan retreat to encourage communication between Republicans and Democrats. In 2009, Sonia Sotomayor spoke to the Congressional Caucus on the Judicial Branch. The caucus, led by Reps. Judy Bigger (R-Ill.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), has heard from nine justices since 2003.

Former White House counsel Ed Gillespie compared Scalia’s appearance to Thurgood Marshall talking to the Congressional Black Caucus in the 1990s.

“I thought that was a good thing then and I think this is a good thing now,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Glenn Beck Shoot Them In The Head Video Clip Found.. glen Beck Incites Violence

CNN Discussion Of Keith Olbermann's Departure From MSNBC.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jerry Brown takes a big risk - Andy Barr - POLITICO.com

Jerry Brown takes a big risk - Andy Barr - POLITICO.com

By: Andy Barr
January 23, 2011 02:46 PM EST

After spending nearly 20 years working his way back to the pinnacle of California politics, Jerry Brown is risking it all with an opening gambit that will either lead his distressed state to solvency or leave him in political ruin.

Brown’s bet is that the fear over California’s enormous $25 billion budget hole will give him a six-month window to unite the state’s many powerful warring factions for the greater good – even as each of them takes a major hit.

He’s expecting the state’s dominant state employee unions to sign on to major cuts in salary and services, business to back tax increases and the counties to deal with an enormous shift in expenses onto their books.

On top of that, Brown needs the dysfunctional legislature in Sacramento to cast votes designed to cut services and increase taxes. Even if he can persuade his party to go along with the painful cuts – and that’s a big if – he needs the votes of several vulnerable Republicans in both the state Assembly and Senate to assemble the two-thirds majority needed to approve a budget.

And all of that has to get done by June in order for Brown to put the tax increases in front of voters for approval in July. Otherwise, the deal falls apart.

If he pulls it all off, California’s budget hole will be filled and a crisis will likely be avoided. If not, he could find himself mired in the same kind of drawn out budget battle that permanently damaged his predecessor, former GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“The path ahead is littered with pot holes and crevices and bottomless pits,” acknowledged Brown adviser Steven Glazer of the recently unveiled budget. “It’s a daunting path to follow. And that’s why previous legislatures haven’t had the courage to attempt it.”

“What we’re trying to do is get all the interests to recognize that unless we find common ground, the economic recovery we care about, the schools we appreciate – there will be no future,” he said.

For now, it seems Brown has a path to success.

“It’s going to be difficult, but it’s certainly possible,” said Allan Zaremberg, the president and CEO of California’s Chamber of Commerce.

Zarenberg said Brown is being given room to work because most of the state’s political interests believe it is smarter to be seen as taking a hit now for the betterment of the state than be caught hoping the deal falls through.

“He’ll have at least six months of a honeymoon,” the chamber president said of Brown.

Brown has been able to line up some support because he structured his budget proposal in such a way that the pain is spread around.

“The governor kind of took the baby and split it in half. He has $12.5 billion in cuts and $12.5 billion in revenue increases,” said state Assemblyman Jim Beall, the Democratic chair of the Committee on Human Services, which oversees the social programs that will take the biggest hit.

Brown has held frequent meetings with legislators of both sides. And he has so far been able to sell Democrats on the massive cuts by laying out the scary scenario of what happens if his budget doesn’t pass, the assemblyman said.

“I don’t think the governor’s budget is one that’s approved of in terms of the cuts,” said Beall. “But if we cut the full amount and had no new revenues, we’d have serious cuts to education – maybe a quarter of education – and maybe cut 30 percent of the revenue to health and human services.”

The magnitude of what Democratic interests stand to lose if Brown can’t get all sides in on a deal is what encouraged the California Teachers Association, one the state’s most powerful unions, to sign on to a $2 billion deferral in funds for K-12 education and a loss of $1 billion from the budget of the University of California system.

And making it all even more complicated, Democrats have to agree to the cuts on faith that voters will extend the tax increases enacted in 2009 and set to expire. Brown promised any new taxes would be put to voters, and the earliest an initiative could be placed on the ballot is July. So Democrats and labor will have to take the initial hit in hopes that voters agree to raises taxes, even as Republicans likely campaign against them.

“There really is not another option for labor and others. It’s either an all cut budget, or a budget that’s split up,” said Chris Lehane, a California Democratic strategist. “You have a Democratic governor who has a positive relationship with labor and labor is able to trust him.”

“The hole is just too deep,” added Jack Pitney, a political scientist at California’s Claremont McKenna College. “Democrats dislike the social service cuts, but the alternatives were to raise taxes even more or to go after K-12 education. His current tax proposal is a tough enough sell as it is: anything bigger would probably fail. And further cuts to K-12 education would trigger a furious reaction both from teacher unions and parents.”

Many of California’s pro-business interest groups are, for the most part, on board. That’s because there is no major Republican interest that takes the brunt of the tax increases, said Zarenberg. “You’ll have opposition, but you won’t have as well-funded of an opposition as you would if the tax was against one industry,” he said.

Still, winning over the handful of Republican lawmakers Brown needs to get to two-thirds will be tricky.

After watching what happened to the last group of GOP leaders who joined Democrats on a budget deal – the Senate minority leader was immediately sacked and three of the six Republicans who voted for the budget were not reelected – there is intense pressure on the state’s Republicans to oppose Brown’s budget.

The state Senate GOP leader has called Brown’s proposed cuts “difficult but necessary,” but has voiced concerns about the tax hike — a common talking point among state Republicans. Others have flat out said no. During a hearing last week, state Sen. Bob Huff, the GOP caucus chairman, called the plan a “non-starter,” adding that his district has “no appetite for raising taxes.”

In the state Assembly, Minority Leader Connie Conway acknowledged in a statement that “difficult choices lie ahead,” but would not commit to supporting tax hikes, saying that “voters made it abundantly clear that they want Sacramento to live within its means.”

“The best part about California today is that the Democrats own it,” said Linda Ackerman, a Republican National Committeewoman from California.

“We do not control the Assembly and we do not control the Senate, so all the fallout is going to come down on the Democrats,” she said. “The Democrats own it, let them own. Let’s see what they’re able to do with it.”

California’s GOP Chairman Ron Nehring has voiced similar sentiments, a message that is frustrating Democrats in Sacramento.

After state Sen. Tom Berryhill told reporters last week following a meeting with his Republican colleagues that “no one person in there is ready to support extra taxes,” the state’s Democratic president pro tem yanked the Modesto Republican’s leadership post on the Senate Agriculture committee.

Brown is hoping that he’ll be able to leverage the deep ties he’s built in Sacramento over a lifetime in state politics to convince all the players he needs to get on board.

“What he’s tried to do is just talk straight with everyone and be honest about what this budget will and won’t do,” said Glazer, the Brown adviser. “It’s not a magical formula. And some legislators seem to feel like you can just wave a wand and solve all these difficult problems.”

“Jerry Brown has been going around having meetings with the Democrats and Republicans on a daily basis…Jerry Brown is doing the things he should be doing,” added Beall, the Democratic assemblyman. “I’ve been impressed by his work ethic, especially in comparison to Governor Schwarzenegger, who didn’t do the personal kind of work.”

But even if Brown gets his budget, the peril is far from over.

Brown’s path to fiscal health for the state is paved at the expense of local governments. Rather than cut many services, he’s transferring the cost to counties and municipalities.

“Right now we’re expecting a cost shift of $1.2 billion from the state to the county,” said Ryan Alsop, the assistant CEO of Los Angeles County.

Counties suffering huge shortfalls on their own will be responsible for $6 billion in additional costs if Brown’s budget is passed, mostly in the form of taking over state social services that Sacramento is dumping on local budgets.

Los Angeles County is facing a $450 million cut alone in funding for CalWorks, the state’s temporary financial assistance program for the unemployed – a move that affects 37,000 families who will have to be taken onto the county’s books, said Alsop.

“It’s a hell of a cost shift. And it’s reliant upon a skeptical public in California voting to extend taxes when their opinion of government in general is in the toilet,” he said.

David Shuster Says Keith Olbermann Was ‘Mesmerized’ By His Fan Base


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Olbermann's MSNBC Exit Was Weeks in the Making - NYTimes.com

Cropped headshot of Keith OlbermannImage via WikipediaOlbermann's MSNBC Exit Was Weeks in the Making - NYTimes.com

On Thursday, NBC’s news division staged an elaborate presentation for advertisers, seeking to sell commercial time in NBC’s news programs over the next year. All the members of MSNBC’s prime-time lineup spoke at the lunch with one exception: Keith Olbermann, the network’s biggest star.

For the last several weeks, Mr. Olbermann and the network have been in negotiations to end his successful run on MSNBC, according to executives involved in the talks who requested anonymity because the talks were confidential. The deal was completed on Friday, and Mr. Olbermann made the announcement on his final “Countdown” hours later.

Friday’s separation agreement between MSNBC and Mr. Olbermann includes restrictions on when he can next lead a television show and when he can give interviews about the decision to end his association with the news channel.

The executives involved in the discussions confirmed that the deal carries limitations for Mr. Olbermann in terms of when he can next work on television, though he will be able to take a job in radio or on any forum on the Internet. The deal also prohibits the host from commenting publicly on the deal, the executives confirmed.

Mr. Olbermann did not respond to requests for comment Friday or Saturday. None of the executives who discussed the deal would reveal the exact length of the restrictions.

The decision was completed one year to the day from the last time NBC decided to end a relationship with an on-air star: Conan O’Brien. Mr. O’Brien agreed in the deal not to start up a new television show for nine months, and not to grant interviews for five months. The executives involved in the discussions with Mr. Olbermann said his agreement was not dissimilar to Mr. O’Brien’s.

Many of Mr. Olbermann’s fans responded to the decision by accusing Comcast, the incoming owner of NBC Universal, of forcing him out for political reasons. Several of Comcast’s top executives have been financial supporters of Republicans; Mr. Olbermann is largely credited with establishing MSNBC’s liberal voice.

Comcast issued an official statement Friday denying any involvement in the decision, saying it had no operational control of the company yet, and adding: “We pledged from the day the deal was announced that we would not interfere with NBC Universal’s news operations. We have not and we will not.”

But the company is still drawing criticism for the move. Marvin Ammori, a law professor at the University of Nebraska, said in an e-mail Friday, “Keith Olbermann’s announcement tonight, the very same week that the government blessed the Comcast-NBC merger, raises serious concern for anyone who cares about free speech. Comcast proved expert in shaking down the government to approve its merger. Comcast’s shakedown of NBC has just begun.” Professor Ammori is a former adviser to the nonprofit group Free Press, which opposed the Comcast-NBC deal.

Months before Comcast was expected to gain control of NBC Universal, Comcast officials were worried about the perception that they might interfere with MSNBC for political reasons.

One executive, who asked not to be identified because Comcast had instructed employees not to speak about the situation, said the company dreaded the prospect of being blamed if Mr. Olbermann were to quit soon after the takeover.

Mr. Olbermann had butted heads with his superiors long before the Comcast deal, including Phil Griffin, the top MSNBC executive. According to several senior network executives, NBC’s management had been close to firing Mr. Olbermann before, most recently in November after he revealed that he had made donations to several Democratic candidates in 2010 — one of them, coincidentally, was Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who has been the subject of many of his recent shows after being shot in an assassination attempt.

Mr. Griffin said the donations had violated NBC News standards. Mr. Olbermann was suspended.

Brian Stelter contributed reporting.

Keith Olbermann Leaving MSNBC: Will They Consider a Black Replacement? - BV on Money

Cropped headshot of Keith OlbermannImage via WikipediaKeith Olbermann Leaving MSNBC: Will They Consider a Black Replacement? - BV on Money


By Dr. Boyce Watkins

Apparently, eight years has been enough for both MSNBC and Keith Olbermann. The network announced Friday that this is the end of Olbermann's tenure with the network and that he is moving on immediately:

"MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract," according to a statement issued by the network. "The last broadcast of 'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors."

Olbermann addressed his departure from the network on air, starting off with a story about his time with ESPN many years ago:

"In the mundane world of television goodbyes, reality is laughably uncooperative. As God as my witness, in the commercial break just before the emotional moment, the producer got into my earpiece and he said, 'um, can you cut it down to 15 seconds so we get in this tennis result from Stuttgart.' So I'm grateful I have a little more time to sign off here. Regardless, this is the last edition of Countdown."

Olbermann's time spent hosting "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" helped MSNBC achieve record ratings for the network. He was also typically in the middle of signature feuds with his Fox News nemesis, Bill O'Reilly. In fact, this rivalry helped to elevate the careers of both hosts, and both were also bolstered by the surprisingly strong presidential candidacy of Barack Obama. While increasingly volatile rhetoric of the Right Wing and the populist backlash against the Obama presidency has not been good for the nation, it has certainly been good for MSNBC and Fox. There is always the question of whether networks benefit from the division or accelerate the division, but either way, the divide in media has certainly changed the way the American public thinks about its politics.

Olbermann was in the middle of controversy most recently when Politico unearthed donations Olbermann had made to three Democrats running for office. One of them was U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is in the hospital recovering from a recent assassination attempt. Olbermann apologized to his viewers, but only half-heartedly. In what probably irked NBC executives, he mentioned that his contract contained no such clause stating that he had to let the network know before making political contributions.

"It's not in my contract that NBC had rules about getting permission for making political donations, even though any rule like that in any company is probably not legal," said Olbermann, as he expressed frustration with NBC management.

"When a website contacted NBC about one of the donations, I immediately volunteered that there were in fact three of them; and contrary to much of the subsequent reporting, I immediately volunteered to explain all this, on-air and off, in the fashion MSNBC desired," Olbermann said in a statement.

NBC's decision to let go of Keith Olbermann is nothing short of shocking. If Olbermann decided that it was time to go or became incredibly stubborn during the negotiations, then this move might make sense. But Olbermann is the reason that MSNBC has become a juggernaut in cable news, for he has come to define an era in which media has undergone significant transformation. In fact, I dare say that MSNBC is not the same without Keith Olbermann.

I would argue that 20 years ago, Keith Olbermann could never have been a true news anchor. Before the age of the Internet and increasing fragmentation of news media, most networks were hosted by people like Walter Cronkite, who worked to give news from a direct and unbiased perspective. Today, news media has become a political pep rally, where viewers simply tune in to the network that gives them the information they want to hear the way they want to hear it. Iin fact, it has become a form of entertainment.

Keith Olbermann was never as much a news man as he was a comedian. His ability to provide news and analysis in a fluid style of communication that kept us laughing was one of the things that I actually loved the most. While I am not a fan of the liberal/conservative divide of news media, it was nice to see someone intelligently counter Bill O'Reilly with a degree of talent that O'Reilly could never match. So, although Keith was highly unconventional, I loved his show when I had a chance to watch it. I also appreciated Keith's defense of me when Bill O'Reilly spent an entire week attacking me on his show.

Now that Olbermann has moved on, it will be interesting to see if MSNBC considers bringing in a person of color to replace him. Rev. Al Sharpton makes note that all of the three major cable news networks are "all white, all night," and don't give any serious consideration to branding African American news hosts for their night time shows. MSNBC, the network that relies on African American viewership to support it's left-leaning analysis, should be the network to take the lead and offer a position to a talented African American host. I'm sure the National Association of Black Journalists can point them to scores of black folks who are talented enough to replace Keith Olbermann. If people like Elliot Spitzer, Marv Albert, Don Imus and Dr. Laura can get opportunities even after embarrassing themselves in public, one would hope that a talented African American with a spotless record might also get a chance. But then again, we do live in America, where a study stated that a black man with a clean record is less likely to get a job than a white guy with a criminal record. These stats seem to apply to news media as well, but I hope MSNBC has the courage to break us out of this form of modern-day apartheid.


Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and a Scholarship in Action Resident of the Institute for Black Public Policy. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

Bill Maher: “The Problem Isn’t Too Little Civility… It’s That There’s Too Much” This Is Very Good Stuff!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Keith Olbermann signs off - Keith Olbermann announces that Friday's Countdown with Keith Olbermann will be the last.

Keith Olbermann Ends Contract With MSNBC

Keith Olbermann 3Image by afagen via FlickrKeith Olbermann Ends Contract With MSNBC

Keith Olbermann and MSNBC have ended their contract, according to a statement from MSNBC. The last episode of "Countdown" will air this evening, Friday, January 21.

Lawrence O'Donnell's show will be moved to 8 PM; while "The Ed Show" with Ed Schultz will air at 10 PM.

MSNBC's statement reads as follows:

MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

Assemblywoman Calls Out Rush Limbaugh for 'Racist' Caricature of Chinese President | The New York Observer

Assemblywoman Calls Out Rush Limbaugh for 'Racist' Caricature of Chinese President | The New York Observer

By David Freedlander
January 20, 2011 | 1:39 p.m

Assemblywoman Calls Out Rush Limbaugh for 'Racist' Caricature of Chinese President

Flushing Assemblywoman Grace Meng is demanding a formal apology from conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh after he mocked Chinese President Hu Jintao manner of speaking on his radio show earlier this week.

Says Meng, who is currently the only Asian-American serving in the New York legislature:

"Not since Jerry Lewis impersonations of Chinese as buck-toothed and squinty-eyed has a public figure been so insulting to Asian-Americans and a visiting world leader. At least the Jerry Lewis offense has the very slight benefit of being popular over a generation ago. Rush Limbaugh should be ashamed of himself, but the real tragedy of this is that he'll likely feel no remorse. His advertisers and sponsors should be worried about impact to their reputation and brands. I personally suffered ridicule like this as a child, and had hoped we were past this for the sake of all our children. Sadly, that's not the case."

Limbaugh, as can be heard in the following clip, said about the Chinese leader's White House press conference, "Hu Jintao -- He was speaking and they weren't translating. They normally translate every couple of words. Hu Jintao was just going ching chong, ching chong cha," before launching into a 17-second imitation of Jintao's dialect.

Rush Limbaugh's ching chong Chinaman embarrassment - How the World Works - Salon.com

Rush Limbaugh's ching chong Chinaman embarrassment - How the World Works - Salon.com

The radio host mocks a speech by Chinese President Hu Jintao in a style sure to offend, oh, 1.5 billion people





Racist, Rush Limbaugh, One Of The Most Disgusting Human Beings In America- Boycott Sponsors Of His Radio Show And The Network Who Carry It.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Rush Limbaugh Speaks Chinese
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire Blog</a>Video Archive



It is time for real American's to stand up and call out Rush Limbaugh's racism.  The only way to effectively do it is to boycott the actively companies which buy air time when he is on the radio and boycott the radio stations which carry his filth.  Money is the only thing these people understand.  They must pay a financial price for their support of racism.

John H. Armwood

Parting lie from Lieberman defines legacy - Rachel Maddow points out Arianna Huffington calling out Senator Joe Lieberman for trying to rewrite history to justify his support for the war in Iraq.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Poll: Americans split over President Obama - Jennifer Epstein - POLITICO.com

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...Image via WikipediaPoll: Americans split over President Obama - Jennifer Epstein - POLITICO.com

It’s the Obama generation gap.

While a new poll shows Americans are sharply divided over whether President Barack Obama’s first two years in office have been a success or failure, a substantially larger percentage of voters over 50 see him as a failure compared with those under that age.

In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday to mark the second anniversary of Obama’s inauguration, 45 percent of voters under 50 say he’s been a failure and 47 percent believe he’s succeeded, compared with a majority - 51 percent - of adults over 50 who think he’s failed and 45 percent saying he’s done well.

“The generation gap that surfaced in the 2008 election persists two years later,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

“Most people who are 50 or older say that Obama has been a failure in office; a plurality of younger Americans think his administration has been a success.”

Overall, Americans are closely split on their view of Obama’s first two years, with 45 percent saying they consider his presidency a success, while 48 percent said it’s been a failure.

Americans aged 50 to 64 are the most negative on Obama, with 56 percent saying they consider his presidency a failure, while 41 percent consider it a success, CNN found. However, people over 65 see the first two years in a more positive light, with 46 percent of those over 65 saying they see the first two years as a success, while 44 percent say they’ve been a failure.

Americans ages 35 to 49 also aren’t happy with Obama’s first term. Only 38 percent of them say Obama’s been a success, while 51 percent said he’s been a failure.

People who support the tea party movement were overwhelmingly negative on Obama’s first two years, with 85 percent saying they had been a failure, while 11 percent called them a success. Among people who oppose the tea parties, 81 percent said Obama had been a success while 11 percent said he’d been a failure.

The poll hints at a decline in how Americans regard Obama’s presidency.

A year ago, 47 percent of Americans said Obama’s first year in office had been a success, while 48 percent said it had been a failure. Asked in August 2009 about Obama’s first six months in office, 51 percent of Americans called them a success, 37 percent said they were a failure and 11 percent said it was too soon to tell.

CNN/ORC surveyed 1,014 adults Jan. 14-16. The error margin is plus or minus three percentage points.

Jon Stewart Invites Glenn Beck To “Drop A Load On” The Daily Show


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stephen Colbert Reduces Sarah Palin To “Media Troll” And “Self-Promoting Ignoramus”

Beck Tries To Whitewash His History Of Calling Obama Racist | Media Matters for America

Beck Tries To Whitewash His History Of Calling Obama Racist | Media Matters for America

Beck Tries To Whitewash His History Of Calling Obama Racist
January 19, 2011 11:01 pm ET — 0 Comments
Glenn Beck made the laughably false claim that he only made "one comment, one time" accusing President Obama of being racist, adding, "and I made it early in the morning." In fact, Beck has repeatedly accused Obama of racism and of using the presidency to "settle old racial scores."

Beck: "I Made One Comment, One Time" Calling Obama A Racist - "And I Made It Early In The Morning"

From the January 19 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: A year and a half ago I made one comment, one time, about the President of the United States. And I made it early in the morning and I made it at a time when I was trying to figure out what the heck was going on. Look for the context. I'm not gonna -- I don't need to give it to -- I believe you've probably already done your own homework even if you hate me.

What was the context? I was trying to figure out what was happening. What is causing this guy to react and act the way he does. It was immediately something that I realized I shouldn't have said out loud because I hadn't finished my thinking on it. Said it was wrong to say. I don't even believe it. Didn't take me long to not even believe it. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 1/19/11]
Beck's Accusation Is Not Limited To "One Comment, One Time"

Beck: Obama Is A "Racist" With A "Deep-Seated Hatred For White People." From the July 28, 2009, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

BECK: This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don't know what it is, but you can't sit in a pew with Jeremiah Wright for twenty years and not hear some of that stuff, and not have it wash over.


BECK: I'm not saying that he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a problem. He has a -- this guy is, I believe, a racist. Look at the things that he has been surrounded by. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/28/09]
Beck, One Day Later: "I Stand By" Calling Obama A Racist. From the July 29, 2009 edition of Premiere Radio Networks'The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: Next hour I'm going to be addressing the latest rage now in the Glenn Beck tear-him-apart business. And that is that I said yesterday on Fox & Friends, "I think the president is a racist. I think he has race issues. Don't know if he hates white people, but there's something going on with the president." Well, I stand by that. And I -- I deem him a racist based on really his own standard of racism -- the standard of the left. Now I don't know what I'm supposed to -- I'm not sure how I'm supposed to judge people, how I'm supposed to be able say, "Well, wait a minute, I have these things that just don't fit. So what do I do with them?" So I have to use the community standard. I'm gonna lay that case out for you here. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 7/29/09]
Beck: It Is A "Serious Question" As To Whether Obama Is Racist. In September 2009, Beck was asked by CBS News' Katie Couric whether he was sorry for calling Obama racist. He responded:

I'm sorry the way it was phrased, because I think everybody has to -- living in a soundbite world, really a nasty place to live, and it is a serious question that I think needs serious discussion. [CBSNews.com, @katiecouric, 9/22/09]
Beck Distorted Comments To Accuse Obama Of Engaging In "Racism," "Profiling," And "Stereotyping." In June 2010, Beck distorted comments Obama made during a 1995 interview to claim Obama did not want to meet with BP CEO Tony Hayward because he is a "white CEO." Beck said that those comments were "code language" that "sounds like racism," "stereotyping," and "profiling." However, as Obama's full comments make clear, he was actually discussing personal responsibility on the part of both blacks and whites. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 6/14/10, via Media Matters]

Beck Has Repeatedly Race-Baited Obama

Beck Suggested Obama's Name Is Un-American. From the February 4, 2010 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: He chose to use his name, Barack, for a reason. To identify, not with America -- you don't take the name Barack to identify with America. You take the name Barack to identify with what? Your heritage? The heritage, maybe, of your father in Kenya, who is a radical? Really? Searching for something to give him any kind of meaning, just as he was searching later in life for religion. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 2/4/10]
Beck Said Obama Was Elected Because Of Race, Not Policies. From the June 8, 2009 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: You were voting for - you know, not change, but change, I think, in race. You were like, "Hey, let's put this behind us." I think a lot of people were there. They weren't necessarily for his policies because his policies and everything else are -- what are they? [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 6/8/09]
Beck: "The Health Care Bill Is Reparations. It's The Beginning Of Reparations." From the July 22, 2009 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: This guy is not who he says he is. None of his bills, none of his proposals are about what he says they're about. The health care bill is reparations. It's the beginning of reparations. He's going to give -- if you want to go into medical school, the medical schools will get more federal dollars if they have proven that they are putting minorities ahead." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 7/22/09]
Beck: "It Seemed, Maybe To Me, That [Obama] Was Even Promising Reparations" To American Indians. From the November 11, 2009 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: When the president was sitting there, or standing there, and he was talking about Native American rights in the middle of a tragedy, at Fort Hood, it didn't feel right. And it seemed, maybe to me, that he was even promising reparations.

BECK: Now, there's no questions that Native Americans have been mistreated. Treaties were broken, promises not kept -- by a bunch of dead people. But as he made his remarks to them, I couldn't help but think, "I've heard this before." I couldn't help but think, "There's something not right. Where have I heard this? 'Native American rights, broken treaties, what we owe them,' where have I heard this before?"


BECK: Ah, that's right. Van Jones. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 11/11/09]
Beck: Obama Agenda Driven By "Reparations" And Desire To "Settle Old Racial Scores." From the July 23, 2009 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: Everything that is getting pushed through Congress, including this health care bill, are transforming America. And they are all driven by President Obama's thinking on one idea: Reparations.


BECK: These massive programs are Obama-brand reparations -- or in presidential speak, leveling out the playing field. But, just in case the universalness of the program doesn't somehow or another quench his reparation appetite, he is making sure to do his part to pay the debt in other areas." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 7/23/09]
Beck Has A History Of "Racial Hang-Ups" And Ethnic Stereotyping

Beck's "Funny 'Black Guy' Character." From a September 22, 2009 Salon.com profile of Glenn Beck written by Alexander Zaitchik:

Beck's first full-scale zoo show was known as "Captain Beck and the A-Team." For four hours every weekday morning, Beck sat in WRKA's small, dimly lighted studio across from his producer and sidekick Bob Dries. Dries was Beck's Ed McMahon and Artie Lange, who cackled like a hen every time Beck cracked wise. "It was Dries' job to punch buttons to launch sound effects, and laugh like he'd just won the lottery at every single limp Glenn Beck joke," remembers a former WRKA colleague.

With Dries across the console, Beck directed a rotating ensemble cast and wrote or co-wrote daily gags and skits. Among the show's regular characters was Beck's zoo alter ego, Clydie Clyde. But Clyde was just one of Beck's unseen radio ventriloquist dolls. "He was amazing to watch when he was doing his cast of voices," remembers Kathi Lincoln, Beck's former newsreader. "Sometimes he'd prerecord different voices and talk back to the tape, or turn his head side to side while speaking them live on the air. He used to do a funny 'black guy' character, really over-the-top."

"Black guy" impersonations were just one sign of the young Beck's racial hang-ups. Among the few recordings of "Captain Beck and the A-Team" archived online is a show from February 1986 in which Beck discusses that night's prime-time television schedule. When the subject turns to Peter Strauss, an actor known for starring in television's first miniseries, Beck wryly observes, "They say without [Strauss' early work] the miniseries 'Roots' would never have happened." Clydie Clyde then chimes in with an exaggerated and ironic, "Oh, darn." The throwaway dig at "Roots," which chronicled the life of a slave family, wins knowing chuckles from Beck's co-hosts. [Salon.com, "Glenn Beck becomes damaged goods," 9/22/09]
Beck's Top 40 Radio "Racist Tropes." In an August 24, 2010 entry to the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hate Watch blog, Zaitchik wrote:

Throughout his career in Top 40 radio, Beck was known for his imitations of "black guy" characters and racist tropes. According to Beck's former colleagues in the late 90s, this included mocking unarmed blacks shot and killed by white police officers. Such was the case of Malik Jones, the victim of a controversial killing that took place in 1997.

"After the shooting, Beck sometimes did a racist shtick," remembers Paul Bass, a former radio host and Beck colleague at a Clear Channel station cluster in New Haven. "Glenn did routines about Jones' grandmother being on crack. Generally he made fun of his family and the loss of life--as joke routines."

Beck's racially tinged tirades did not disappear after he switched formats in 1999. During his first talk radio stint in Tampa, he often referred to the Rev. Jesse Jackson as "the stinking king of the race lords." [SPLCenter.org, "The Sick Farce of Glenn Beck's 'Restoring Honor' Rally," 8/24/10]
Beck Was Forced To Apologize For "Mocking Asians." From a Hartford Courant article published on October 20, 1995:

Under pressure from activist groups, a New Haven-area radio station agreed Thursday to apologize for broadcasting a sketch that offended Asian Americans and for ridiculing a man who called to complain.

The agreement with New Haven- based WKCI-FM was called an important victory by a coalition of four Asian-American groups, which represent one of Connecticut's smallest but quickly growing ethnic groups.

The negotiations between the station and the groups began as the result of a call to the station in August from Zhihan Tong, a 28-year- old computer network technician.

Tong was driving from his New Haven-area home to his job in Danbury when he tuned in to the station, commonly known as KC101, for a traffic report.

Instead, he heard Alf Papineau, the morning show's executive producer, pretending to speak Chinese to a bewildered Asian-American owner of a Chinese restaurant supposedly for sale. The piece was a canned segment. Neither the restaurant nor the owner was real; they existed only as taped dialogue from a comedy service subscribed to by the station.

When Tong telephoned WKCI- FM to protest the broadcast as a racial slur, disc jockeys Glenn Beck and Pat Grey made fun of him. The two played a gong in the background several times, and Papineau, the executive producer, mocked a Chinese accent.

Incensed, Tong called human rights organizations from Boston to New York, and eventually tapped into a small but increasingly vocal network of Connecticut Asian- American activist groups.

Under pressure from four of the groups, which formed the "Connecticut Asian American Coalition Against KC101 Racism," the radio station agreed Thursday to extensive remedies, including an apology to air in coming weeks and representation of Asians on a newly formed community advisory committee. [Hartford Courant, "Station Apologizes for Mocking Asians," 10/20/95, via Media Matters]