Tuesday, May 12

Janeane Garofalo vs the "Tea Baggers"

In yet another example of Ambush Journalism Fox News sent one of their "Producers" Boston AM Radio guy Ken Pittman challenged Janeane Garofalo over her "Racist Redneck Tea Bagger" comments, and almost manage to make me think she might have had a point.

Now when she made her original comments on Countdown, there were a lot of Democrats - myself included - who thought she'd gone WAY over the top. Now my sentiment, for one, has changed.

This time she gets repeatedly asked if she'd apologize for her comments that "all the tea baggers were redneck racists" - and she just WON'T do it.

I don't agree with the blanket nature of her original statement, but she does manage to turn the interview they're trying to have with her, into an interview of them - and they kinda FAIL.

This is what happens when you try and ambush a person whose a faster thinker and better at media than YOU are.

Her main point, "Where was all this outrage while Bush was running record deficits?" Also I'd like to point out again, that the Bailout was Bush's plan, and the AIG bonuses were his mistake. Most of the massive up-tick in Obama's budget comes from not hiding the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars anymore. Most of the complaint is about his stimulus plan, which so far, seems to be working. So where were the Bush=Hitler posters when he started robbing the poor to give to the rich 8 years ago? In fact, where are they now?

These are some of signs she's talking about.

It would be ridiculous to argue that this represents everyone involved, but the problem the Fox guys have is that these aren't a figment of Janeane's imagination, and when you stand next to the guy with the Obama-Hitler sign and refuse - REFUSE - to call him out for it, your silence indicates that you accept the premise - it means you essentially ENDORSE it.

I'm certain there are and were many people who have legitimate tax concerns who are willing to speak out against this stuff, but all I've heard them say is "I didn't do it!" Yeah, well, that's Not. Good. Enough.

You can't whine about Obama bowing to the Saudi King while you're bowing to the guy with the URKEL poster, by failing to call them out.

Earlier in the program Van Susteren talked to Karl Rove and he spent the one portion of the interview talking about how "Civil and polite" the Republicans are and how Mean and Vicious the Democrats are. Yes, Really!

They have an example of a CBS guy saying U.S. soldiers would shoot Nancy Pelosi and strangle Harry Reid before taking out Osama Bin Laden. A) So much for the "Liberal" Media and B) I think predicting and assassination of two national leaders is much worse than wishing health problems on a guy with a drug history - but maybe that's just me.

Look, again I don't agree with Sykes Kidney comments, but frankly I didn't see many fans of Limbaugh calling HIM out for his vicious LIE that Michael J. Fox was exaggerating his M.S. Parkinson's symptoms just to generate sympathy and greater support for Clair McCaskill. Fox had also support Arlen Specter while he was still a Republican so his endorsement was purely based on what he said it was - her support for Parkinson's research - period!

I didn't see many Republicans calling out George Allen for his Racial "Maccaca" slur.

I don't see people except for Colin Powell objecting when Limbaugh says he wants Obama to fail, all of them ignoring the fact that if he fails - America FAILS. They'd rather watch the country go down and flames out of partisan spite rather that try to support a "liberal" idea, even after 8 years of every one of their ideas falling flat on their face in FAIL. And Powell seems to be being repaid be being excommunicated from the Party via Cheney.


That's a real big PUP tent the GOPasauras are pitching these days.

During the Garofalo ambush they accuse her of being "Bigoted Ideologically" of being "Biased Against Conservatives" - a charge which Janeane counters with the fact that the current Republican party bares no resemblance to what Barry Goldwater the "father of Modern Conservatism" actually stood for. A point which is emphasized in more detail by John Dean's Book 'Conservatives without Conscience".

But I think the more interesting assertion is the idea of Conservatives as a Protected Class. This view explains why Conservatives feel they should have their own form of Affirmative Action and have a nominal representative everywhere in the media. They certainly act like they're in a perpetual state of victimhood, but consider this - if someone can be bigoted ideologically against conservatives then someone can be an anti-Liberal BIGOT too.

If that's true, then they pretty much just proved Janeane's point - because the reason so many people were willing to passively stand-by in solidarity with the element of racists who were there and lend them additional credibility is because they are IDEOLOGICAL BIGOTS themselves.

And that's something I completely agree with in the case of pretty much everyone involved in this Tea Party Effort, ideological intolerance isn't really all that much different from being racist itself. Either way it's still bigotry.

After this video I now feel that Garofalo should apologize when Anyone from the Tea Partier movement apologizes for those signs or failing that when Limbaugh, Coulter, O'Reilly or Michael Savage apologies for just a fraction of the anti-Liberal Hate Speech they've spewed over the years.

I would prefer that people generally calmed down and acted in a CIVIL manner with each other but yeah, I know...we're all going to be waiting a long, long time for that to happen.


Update: Here's Janeane's side of the story without Fox editing. More on this from Here w/Marc Maron.

Now if she could just explain why the hell she's on "24" - watching her get bullied by Jack and into violating FISA against her better judgment, then embarrassed by Chloe and turned into a yipping petty harpy when she finally figures out something Chloe can't is not Zesty.

Update 2: Great Comment Here. Emphasis mine.

I think she has a point, maybe it is possible that if ANY Democrat got into office, they would be protesting all the same. But there is no similar past effort to look back on to set the precedent. Instead what we see are a bunch of people who are afraid of what they view as an outsider taking office. Many think he is Muslim, they question his motives and there is a heightened level of fear in their irrational minds.

I think it is perfectly logic to believe that irrational fear is stemming from the fact that there is now a Black man in office with a Muslim sounding name. That is racism. Keep in mind that for the two or three years of the primaries (it went for ever it seemed), these were the Fox viewers being told that Obama is buddies with terrorists, that he is Muslim, that his birth records are suspect, and seeing news stories where he is often confused with Osama bin Laden.

So why is it so wrong and out of line to think that these people, who have been fed years of racist-based stories and misinformation, are racist.

And what I find hillarious is the line of questioning they give her. "The people I know who were protesting, and I only know super smart, informed, and fair and balanced people, truly believe they were being patriots." Lol. OMG that is classic. First of all, they fall for the typical BS that because you are friends with them, and agree with them, that must make you all smart, normal, nice and far people.

Second, well...if they really BELIEVE something, no matter how stupid, ignorant and misinformed and detached from reality...surely they can't possibly be criticized. Nope. Leave it to the crazy christian right to confuse their beliefs with actual reality.

Finally, they conclude by associating everything they do with patriotism. Once again proving the right has turned the word into a cliche and effectively made it a meaningless, worthless term. And Garafalo busts them for it...no they aren't patriots. If they were patriots, they wouldn't have spent the last 8 years DEFENDING and rationalizing Bush's crippling spending habits. Hell, they actually condemned anyone who did criticize Bush's spending as being shrill, America hating, vitriol and nothing more than Bush hatred. Not long ago it was patriotic to support massive spending. It was patriotic to just accept that Bush/Cheney's buddies were robbing the tax payers blind and billions were disappears and soldiers were being poisoned, etc.

Patriotism? Please. These are the same people who thought criticizing the president during a time of war was equal to treason. Now they LOVE dissent and President bashing and calling the President Hitler. Gee...what ever happened to demoralizing the troops? Patriotism? What happened to all the demonizing of the Bush protests or the many other protests that occurred over the past 8 years...all of which were much much larger than these pathetic tea-bag parties? Suddenly they all love protesting and it is the act of great American?

Sorry, if you ask me, Garafalo didn't go over the line. She should have gone further and called them ignorant, confused, misinformed Fox puppets as well.

She probably will in a hot minute, give it time.

I disagreed with her initial statement because it was so overgeneralized and I feel that unfounded accusations of racism greatly diminish the power of addressing Real Racism, but then when you look at it in wider context - I'm now agreeing with her. Standing next to an ignorant racist without commenting or opposing them makes you a Racist Appeaser, an Aider and Abetter, and there's pretty much no excuse for that.

There's no first Amendment protection for Hate Speech, and for good reason.


Dena said...

I really agree with your comments that we need to call out some of these people, who are making so many of these outlandish (and, yes, racist) statements. Colin Powell is the only Republican that is unafraid of Rush, for example. (And I just do not understand the GOP's fear of that man.) Colin Powell also noted in his endorsement of Obama that if he were a Muslim (and I know people that STILL think he is), so what? The irrational comments being made by so many in the GOP really are doing a great deal of harm to this country. (Witness the "debate" over the use of torture.) We do need to start standing up to these people. Yes, they have the right to their opinions. That sword has two edges, however. WE have the right to stand up and tell them that they are out of line.

Vyan said...

Thanks, well said.


Mike (Seattle) said...

Can I ask.... does anybody remember the Tea Parties last year, and the year before when Bush was doing do much of his spending? Obviously not.

So, now is it going to be considered racism if anybody protests anything that Obama does? Hmmm..... that doesn't sound very American to me.

Also, is there any proof that people with those signs were not confronted? Because, I saw MANY instances where people who had those signs were instantly confronted and asked to take them down because they were offensive.

This attempt to demonize the GOP is pretty shallow. Sorry guys.

Anonymous said...

She did a pretty good job defending herself, but I'm sorry, her original comment was still stupid.

Calling everyone who attended racists is just as bad as when republicans called everyone who attended anti-war rallies "America Haters".

Just because I and my fellow anti-war protesters did not get the opportunity to distance ourselves from each and every BUSH DID 9/11 and AMERIKKKA sign doesn't mean we tacitly approved of them.

Anonymous said...

The notion that they "should have been protesting this when Bush did the same thing" rings equally hollow to me when considering average attendee #26713.

For many conservatives, this was the first time that such an opportunity to attend a protest existed - the first time someone they agree with had gone to the trouble of organizing such a rally. Not everyone has the initiative to set up their own protests each time something they don't like happens, and because of this, I do not believe it is fair to call those in attendance "hypocrites" en masse. You can call the organizers hypocrites all you like though.

Vyan said...

No, people don't remember the Tea Parties from last year because they weren't cheerled and boosted by Fox News, instead they were mostly sponsored by Ron Paul supporters and Libertarian and from what I've seen most of them were *Pissed* at having their idea stolen.

You say some people were confronted for offensive signs, good but not good enough. Instead of Janeaane apologizing *They* should be apologizing to her, and to you for sullying up what you were trying to do.

My initial reaction to Janeane's comment, which is linked at the top of this post was to oppose it as an unfair generalization. I still think that over-targeting racism is dangerously wrong - but it seems everyone is more angry at her than at the actual racists who were there. AND THEY WERE!

Even if you do look at all the other "reasons" for the Tea Protests, it is completely misguided to aim them at Obama - he JUST GOT THERE - and most of the problem took place before he took office. Yes, the budget deficit took a jump, but a large part of that was not hiding the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars anymore. His future budget is projected, under the best available numbers, to cut the deficit in half by 2012 - so why attack him, he's doing th best he can, and probably the best would could even hope for?

It's lunacy.