Left in a State of Rage

April 16, 2010 - 6:42 PM
If you're reading this, it's probably safe to assume you're a hateful right winger. At least, it's safe to assume that the mainstream media will assume you're a hateful right winger.
If you’re reading this, it’s probably safe to assume you’re a hateful right winger. At least, it’s safe to assume that the mainstream media will assume you’re a hateful right winger.
 
As one example, the cover of the latest Newsweek promises to uncover “Hate on the Right.” Well, how’s that news? Where else would it be?
 
The story notes that “the FBI arrested individuals for making death threats against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Patty Murray of Washington for their votes on health-care reform.”
 
But it plays down the fact that a Pennsylvania man was recently charged with threatening to shoot Republican Rep. Eric Cantor. “Some threats come from people who are truly unhinged,” the story says. “The suspect is not competent to stand trial.” Oh. Are there a lot of sane people threatening to shoot congressmen? If so, they’re probably all right-wingers.
 
This bias against conservatives explains why the media was so quick to place blame when congressional lawmakers cried racism.
 
“Protesters outside the Capitol hurled epithets at Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Andre Carson (D-Ind.) as they left the building after President Obama delivered an 11th-hour speech on behalf of the health care bill,” announced a story in The Washington Post March 20. “I have heard things today that I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to get off the back of the bus,” House Majority Whip James Clyburn told reporters.
 
After the incident, Rep. Carson told reporters he’d heard the “n-word” chanted “15 times.” Things were so bad, “I expected rocks to come.” After all, terrorism “really comes from racial supremacist groups” such as the tea partiers he’d just encountered.
 
Strong accusations. But where’s the evidence?
 
We live in an age when everything is on tape. Watch CNN for an hour and you’ll see pictures you never dreamed of: a train hitting a fire truck, a car careening into a rockslide. It’s Youtube on cable. Yet, at the biggest news story of the year, with dozens of cameras, scores of journalists and an untold number of camera phones, nobody managed to tape a protester shouting the “n word.” Fifteen times.
 
“I want to know,” Rep. Carson added, “those people who had cameras. I would love to get the actual [video].” Wouldn’t we all. If it existed, there’s no doubt we’d have seen it by now.
 
But why wait for evidence? Journalists were ready to run with the story.
 
 “There’s nothing entertaining about watching goons hurl venomous slurs at congressmen like
 
the civil rights hero John Lewis and the openly gay Barney Frank,” wrote columnist Frank Rich in The New York Times on March 28.
 
Interesting verb choice there. “Watching.” Click on the link he helpfully provided. You won’t be “watching” anything; it’s merely a link to a story in The Washington Post in which tea party protesters are (as the headline announces) “accused of spitting on lawmaker, using slurs.” For Rich, apparently, the accusation is proof enough.
 
It wasn’t for Andrew Breitbart, who offered to donate $100,000 to the United Negro College Fund if anyone could produce video of a slur. He hasn’t had to write a check yet. Because here’s the hidden secret: These days, most of the hate (and hate speech) is on the left.
 
A recent Associated Press story explains that black conservatives have “been called Oreos, traitors and Uncle Toms,” and that they “are really taking heat for their involvement in the mostly white tea party movement.” Taking heat, and taking slurs -- from liberals.
 
Meanwhile, “Opponents of the fiscally conservative tea party movement say they plan to infiltrate and dismantle the political group by trying to make its members appear to be racist, homophobic and moronic,” begins another AP dispatch.
 
“Do I think every member of the tea party is a homophobe, racist or a moron? No, absolutely not,” Jason Levin, the creator of a “movement” to derail the tea parties told reporters. “Do I think most of them are homophobes, racists or morons? Absolutely.”
 
Sounds as if Jason’s ready to write a weekly column for The New York Times!
 
In fact, race relations in this country, while not perfect, have never been better. If the Left wants to refight the battles it’s already won, and even use the same sort of racially-based personal attacks that were once (but are no longer) used against it, fine. That’s a sign of weakness.
 
These days, there are few liberal ideas. And most of those (President Obama’s health care law, for example) are already unpopular and get more so every day. Tea parties have nothing to do with race or hate, and everything to do with freedom and opportunity. “Mainstream” reporters may never realize that, but a growing number of Americans do.