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On the September 18 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, host Tucker Carlson called S.R. Sidarth, a volunteer with the campaign of Virginia Democratic Senate challenger Jim Webb, "[t]hat whiny little kid." On August 11, Sen. George F. Allen (R-VA), Webb's opponent, was caught on tape addressing Sidarth as "Macaca" and saying to him: "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia." Macaca is a genus of monkey and is also reportedly a slur used in Europe and North Africa against people of African descent; Sidarth is of Indian descent, but he was reportedly born and raised in Virginia.
As Media Matters for America noted, Allen has engaged in behavior in the past that has resulted in accusations that he has what The New Republic has called a "race problem." Yet Carlson said that if Allen "loses because he called this kid 'Macaca,' that's got to be the worst possible reason to lose a race." Carlson asked people who were "gonna vote against George Allen" because of the "Macaca" incident to "[p]lease, have some dignity," and repeatedly stated of the issue: "Who cares?" On the August 24 edition of Tucker, Carlson also stated, "He's not calling [Sidarth] a widely recognized racist term. ... I've never even heard that word before." He then asked, "[W]ho cares?"
From the September 18 edition of MSNBC's Tucker:
CARLSON: Next, the political career of Virginia Senator George Allen might hinge on a poor choice of words.
ALLEN [video clip]: Let's give a welcome to Macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.
ALLEN [video clip]: There was no racial or ethnic intent to slur anyone. If I had any idea that -- that -- that word, and to some people in some parts of the world -- world was an insult, I would never do it, because it's contrary to what I believe.
CARLSON: Senator Allen there still apologizing for a demeaning reference to a young college student of Indian descent. One month later, Allen is embroiled in a heated fight for his seat on Capitol Hill, and many political observers believe that remark has enabled Democratic opponent Jim Webb to quickly turn what was once an uphill battle into what is today a pretty level playing field.
Both parties are watching this race closely because the Democrats consider Virginia a prime target now as they aim to regain a majority in Congress and take back the Senate. George Allen may lose in the end. If he loses because he called this kid "Macaca," that's got to be the worst possible reason to lose a race.
Look, if you are against the war in Iraq, if you are not conservative, if you're liberal, and you disagree with George Allen's views on this, that, or the other thing, vote against him, but don't vote against him because he called some kid "Macaca." Who cares? Who cares? That whiny little kid.
This is a story that has essentially been fanned by The Washington Post, which is atwitter, outraged that George Allen would use that word. But if you're gonna vote against George Allen, again, do it for the right reasons. Please, have some dignity. Macaca? Please. Who cares?