Because that's the only one reason I can think of to explain why Politico continues to cover a book release about a two-year-old campaign as if it were a lunar landing; because Politico's under contract to gin up publicity.
Let's go to the tote board:
-"Palin aide warned of 'epic debacle'" (Jan. 7)
-"Sunday talk show tip sheet" (Jan. 9)
-"Palin attacks book; Reid regrets" (Jan. 9)
-"Reid confirms racial remark" (Jan. 9)
-"Book: Obama, Biden clashed in '08" (Jan. 9)
-"Republicans charge Lott-Reid double standard" (Jan. 10)
-"Harry Reid holds his ground" (Jan. 10)
-"Steve Schmidt: Sarah Palin has trouble with truth" (Jan. 10)
-"'Game Change': The freak show" (Jan. 10)
-"Raising Tim Kaine over Harry Reid" (Jan. 11)
-"Harry Reid apologizes again" (Jan. 11)
-"Game over: The Clintons stand alone" (Jan. 11)
-"Inside the Reid eruption" (Jan. 12)
-"Coburn bucks party, backs Reid" (Jan. 12)
The scary part? Game Change has been in stores for only 48 hours. I'm guessing that by week's end, Politico will have churned out close to three dozen Game Change-related stories.
And a note to Politico's publisher: If your pub isn't on retainer, it ought to be.
The Washington Times responds to Sen. Harry Reid's controversial comments by penning a January 12 editorial in "Negro dialect":
I cain't believe all the fuss that's been kicked up over what I said about th' president not bein' like a reg'lar Negro.
Lawks a mercy, I was complimentin' the man.
Billy Bob said a few years back he'd be the one fetchin' the coffee; I don't see people getting' so danged riled up about that.
That's way worse'n what I said.
I said he had no Negro dialect. NO dialect. None.
He ain't like them other Negroes.
People can understand what he's sayin'.
Unless he wanted to talk like a Negro, of course.
Dang right. And jumpin' on me for sayin' he's light-skinned. Well he is! It is a fact! Judas Priest, he's half-white.
I'm saying he's not like the rest of 'em; that's my point. He appeals to white folk. He can get votes. Nothin' negative about it.
You said great things about the man, and anyway, you already apologized for 'em.
Now here I'm gettin' dumped on by them dang reporters when the president already said he forgave me.
He said the book is closed, his own words.
Yep. He stood by me. Proves my point.
Mighty white of him.
Yep, he's one a th' good uns.
PARKS: Well, first off, the liberal establishment seems to have a problem with dark-skinned black people. Look at what happened to O.J., the darkening of his picture for the Newsweek cover. If you look at Hollywood in general, light-skinned black women seem to be the preference of Hollywood, and the darker-skinned black male usually tend to be the bad guys when it comes to these kind of portrayals.
As far as Harry Reid is concerned, I think he's just more embarrassed and has been pushed to apologizing because he got caught saying these statements. I don't see anything in his recent history that shows that he has any kind of great love for black people. I'm not saying that -- I'm not going to jump right out and say he's a racist like a lot of other people are saying, but I think his apology is more out of convenience than out of sincerity.
PARKS: Well, this is where I could probably get in some trouble, but I'll say it anyway. I think a lot of black people like being the victim. And whenever a racist statement is issued, they can get all offended, but if you look at the way that the Democrats' policies in the past -- if you don't mind, I'm going to read a quote from my "bonehead of the day," which was Eleanor Holmes Norton on January 10:
"Eleanor Holmes Norton (IF she can be intellectually honest with herself) should look at all things that Democrats like Reid have done To blacks instead of for them: the destruction of the black family through entitlement programs, politically endorsed mass abortion of black babies, denial of school vouchers to help black kids escape failing schools run by liberal teacher unions (sound familiar, Congresswoman?) economic development broken promises, a liberal entertainment cul-ture that discourages black education and towards sports and rap are prominent things that come to mind."
The Democratic Party can scream racism all the want. The Congressional Black Caucus, which I don't believe sends any of their kids to public schools, they can scream racism all they want. And unfortunately, the black community will hear this. Hopefully, at one point in the near future, the Republicans, the conservatives will come out and throw the history of the Democratic Party back in their faces, so they may think twice before going this knee-jerk route of race-baiting.
From Jason Cabel Roe's January 11 BigGovernment.com post:
Republicans have, of course, drawn parallels to another famous majority leader's race gaffe, Senator Trent Lott (R-MS). There are major differences however that no number of Al Sharptons can - or should be allowed - to paper over.
Lott's comment about America being better off if centenarian Senator Strom Thurmond would have been elected as a Dixiecrat in 1948 was a light-hearted salute to an old man at his birthday party. Rather than being considered an article of faith, it rightly should have been considered a gratuitous tribute at someone's birthday celebration. It is like giving your grandpa a t-shirt that reads "World's Best Grandpa."
However, Reid's comments show a belief. And further, that belief is a stereotype and it is only made worse that Reid now says that he thought he was off the record - as if that makes it better.
From Ramesh Ponnuru January 11 post to his Washington Post Right Matters blog, headlined "Harry Reid and Trent Lott: There's No Comparison":
Republicans and conservatives are comparing Harry Reid's comment about "Negro dialect" to Trent Lott's remark about how we would have avoided a lot of problems if Strom Thurmond had been elected. Just as Republicans turned on Lott and forced him to give up the Senate majority leadership, they say, so Democrats should turn on Reid and make him resign his post.
But the comparison is off the mark. Lott's comment implied that the country would have been better off keeping segregation and enforced white supremacy. What Reid said isn't within a lightyear of that.
We had thought/hoped that no one else would be stupid enough to pick up and run with Erick Erickson's moronic attacks on Erroll Southers, President Obama's nominee to be chief of Transportation Security Administration. We were wrong.
Back story: In a 2008 interview, Southers discussed the dangers posed to the United States by Al Qaeda, as well as Middle-East-based groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. Asked about domestic groups, he referenced "World Church of the Creator, National Alliance, Aryan Nations," and black separatist groups. He was then asked, "Which home-grown terrorist groups pose the greatest danger to the US?" He replied:
Most of the domestic groups that we have to pay attention to here are white supremacist groups. They're anti-government and in most cases anti-abortion. They are usually survivalist type in nature, identity orientated. If you recall, Buford Furrow came to Los Angeles in, I believe it was 1999. When he went to three different Jewish institutions, museums, and then wound up shooting people at a children's community center, then shooting a fellow penal postal worker later on. Matthew Hale who's the Pontifex Maximus of the World Church of the Creator out of Illinois and Ben Smith who went on a shooting spree in three different cities where he killed a number of African Americans and Jews and Asians that day. Those groups are groups that claim to be extremely anti-government and Christian identity oriented.
In a reaction reminiscent of their frenzied response to the release of a Department of Homeland Security report on "rightwing extremists," the conservative blogosphere has decided that Southers' comments are either 1) actually targeting them or 2) worth mocking.
The video, headlined "Obama's TSA Nominee Worries About Those Who Are 'Christian Identity Oreiented' by Breitbart.tv, features Southers' comments with the captions "Anti-Abortionists?" "Survivalist-Types?" and "Identity-Oriented?" flashed over the video. At the end, a caption reads, "Christian Identity Oriented? What does that mean? Not fit to head the Transportation Safety Administration."
So in 2008, Southers noted that anti-abortion rights extremists and white supremacists could commit dangerous terrorist acts. In 2009, Dr. George Tiller was murdered by someone who opposed abortion rights, and a white supremacist shot up the Holocaust Museum, killing a guard. In 2010, the right-wing is mocking Southers for suggesting that white supremacists who are anti-abortion could be dangerous.
The ignorance of the "Christian Identity Oriented? What does that mean?" comment is similarly staggering.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, "Christian Identity is a religious ideology popular in extreme right-wing circles. Adherents believe that whites of European descent can be traced back to the 'Lost Tribes of Israel.' Many consider Jews to be the Satanic offspring of Eve and the Serpent, while non-whites are "mud peoples" created before Adam and Eve. Its virulent racist and anti-Semitic beliefs are usually accompanied by extreme anti-government sentiments." The ADL has written of Christian Identity attacks in the 1990s:
In the 1990s, Identity criminal activity continued apace, including efforts by an Oklahoma Identity minister, Willie Ray Lampley, to commit a series of bombings in the summer of 1995 in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh. The following year, the Montana Freemen, whose leaders were Identity, made headlines for their "paper terrorism" tactics and their 81-day standoff with the federal government. In 1998, Eric Rudolph, who had been associated with Identity ministers such as Nord Davis and Dan Gayman, became a fugitive after allegedly bombing gay bars, the Atlanta Summer Olympics, and an abortion clinic. The following year, Buford Furrow, a former Aryan Nations security guard, went on a shooting spree at a Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles, wounding four children and an adult, and later killing a Filipino-American postal worker.
Breitbart and co. apparently find anti-Semitic hate groups hilarious.
Eighty advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred of white people." Here are his December 2 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
On page 218 of their book Game Change, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin write:
But Bill [Clinton] then went on, belittling Obama in a manner that deeply offended Kennedy. Recounting the conversation later to a friend, Teddy fumed that Clinton had said, A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.
Note the lack of quote marks around the statement attributed to Clinton. That means it's a paraphrase, not a direct quote. That means that Heilemann and Halperin did not or could not verify that Clinton said those exact words -- their source is not Kennedy or Clinton, but someone else who was supposedly aware of a later, alleged conversation between Kennedy and a "friend." As The Plum Line's Greg Sargent points out, the authors do indeed admit in their book: "Where dialog is not in quotes, it is paraphrased, reflecting only a lack of certainly on the part of our sources about precise wording, not about the nature of the statements."
As Sargent notes, Clinton may have said something along those lines, but: "In cases like these, when people are hinting at racism, the precise wording is everything. And in this case, the whole claim is based on an anonymous source's recollection that someone who has now passed away told him or her that Clinton said something like this."
So why are news organizations treating this as an exact, direct quote?
"A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee," the former president told the liberal lion from Massachusetts, according to the gossipy new campaign book, "Game Change."
"A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee," Clinton told Kennedy, according to the book -- a comment that angered Kennedy, who later endorsed Obama.
When powerful Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) was in the process of deciding which fellow Democrat to endorse, former President Bill Clinton reportedly made disparaging, apparently race-based remarks about Mr. Obama, commenting, "A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee."
In a phone call in which he tried to get the late Ted Kennedy's endorsement for Hillary Clinton's campaign, the former president said of Obama. "A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee." The book says the remark left Kennedy "fuming" and may have pushed him into the Obama camp.
From the January 11 edition of MSNBC's The Dylan Ratigan Show:
You'd expect right-wing websites to make ignore the fact that Clinton's statement is a paraphrase and not a quote -- Fox Nation, for example, was quick to oblige. Shouldn't the "mainstream media" have higher journalistic standards than Fox Nation?
From an interview with Esquire posted January 11:
I ask a question, and I am attacked from the extreme Left as a quote-unquote birther. I mean, what the hell is that? When you can create a controversy by asking what seems to me still a perfectly commonsense question? It has been used in the extreme Left to create a toxicity that is just unbelievable.