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April 20, 2012

Is Tommy Christopher Punking Us?

A lot of the supposedly "professional" news websites engage in traffic-whoring games. For example, posting lots of celebrity/sex stuff (Huffington Post), with computer-generated SEO headlines (also the Huffington Post).

Another game is the ludicrous trolling headline -- a headline designed to troll partisans from the other side.

See, look: Traffic is nonpartisan. Money is nonpartisan. Cranking up your hit count puts money in your pocket, even if you have to enlist partisans from the other side to do so.

So a game has emerged, especially on the left, of just writing the most absurd Troll Headline possible.

Please don't go over to Mediaite for this. Let's not play. But I will "credit," ahem, Tommy Christopher for his, ahem, "writing." And quote all you need to know of it.

Don't bother going over to comment about what a dickbag he is -- he knows he's a dickbag. He intends to be a dickbag. Being a dickbag gets him traffic and praise from his dickbag bosses.

If you want him to know he's a dickbag, don't worry, I'll tell him on Twitter later. And he responds, because he's always so afraid that They're all gonna laugh at you, they're all gonna laugh at you. If you have a good "You're a dickbag" comment, I'll pass it along to him.

Anyway, here's the risible troll headline:

Mitt Romney’s ‘Obama Isn’t Working’ Banner Evokes Racial Stereotypes

Let's note what we always note, and we always note it because it's true: This didn't occur to us. We weren't the ones whose minds immediately sprang to the notion that some minorities don't like working.

That was Tommy Christoper -- but he's not a racist, and you are.

We just thought it was a halfway decent linkage of several notions: 1, Obama actually doesn't work much, with his golf and his vacations, 2, the country isn't working much, due to Obama's policies, and 3, Obama's in over his head he's not working out.

But for Tommy Christopher -- the man who is so anti-racist he must become a raging racist for the Good of the Community -- immediately leaps at hoary stereotypes from the 1940s.

The slogan is a multiple entendre, but one of those entendres, intentionally or not, is evocative of a nasty racial stereotype about black men.

When I first saw the banner this afternoon, the multiple meanings were clear: President Obama‘s policies aren’t working, the Obama presidency isn’t working, President Obama…isn’t working, as in, doing any work.

Uh, obviously. This is what I just said. The obvious intended meaning.

That’s not a nice thing to say about any president, but like it or not, it becomes a more loaded accusation when leveled at our first black president.

Why is it loaded?

Look, I don't happen to believe that a black person cannot be criticized. That is pure condescension, and all condescension is the result of a strong feeling of superiority.

This is the way you'd treat children or the mentally impaired.

Does Tommy Christopher think a black man -- even one who is serving as President of the United States of America -- must be condescended to as if he were a slow child?

Gold stars for the mental gimp?

I don't agree with this. I think this is every bit as racist as the cruder, more direct, and ultimately more honest ravings of Kluxer.

Tommy is instead dishonestly masquerading his transparent disdain for the capabilities of blacks in the guise of being "sensitive" and "anti-racist."

Here is how we treat normal, legally-competent people: We judge their job performance, we rate them, we criticize them.

If Obama, whether by race (as Tommy seems to think) or by lack of talent and intelligence, fails to rise to the level of "normal, legally-competent person whose performance can be judged as anyone else's might be," Obama cannot be President.

Sorry, that's a base-minimum qualification: If you're so incompetent that it is mean-spirited to say you're incompetent, you're too incompetent to hold the job in the first place.

As Obama said: "They talk about me as if I was a dog."

Just to be sure it wasn’t just me, though, I asked several friends...

Oh, this should prove, scientifically, this is in no way a silly, racially condescending conceit.

...about the banner, and four out of four pointed out, unprompted, the stereotype of the “lazy,” “shiftless” black man. One of the people I called was cable news fixture Goldie Taylor, who, upon hearing my description of the banner, said “Are you kidding me? You have got to be kidding me.”

Complete side-point here, but there was once an age when we identified people by their skill-set or profession -- plumber, engineer, entrepreneur, cop -- rather than non-descriptors like "cable news fixture."

Kim Kardashian is a cable news fixture. This description doesn't really pin it down for me.

Wikiepedia says she's a "social critic," editor of a website called "The Grio," and, yes, a "cable news personality."

I guess I'm having trouble with that as a job descriptor -- "Personality."

Anyway, what is she a "fixture" on cable TV to talk about? I looked up her YouTube clips. First one, "the Racist Roots" of Trump's birth certificate charge. Third one, her wearing a hoodie while talking to Lawrence O'Donnell about Trayvon Martin, demanding that the Sanford Chief of Police be suspended for not arresting Zimmerman.

So: Her "social criticism" is pretty much just calling "RAAACIST" on everything.

And this is the person whose sage counsel Tommy Christopher sought out to make sure "it wasn't just him" thinking Romney was a racist.

Now, in a way, all the above is pointless; if he hadn't asked Goldie Taylor, he could have asked another bud like, I don't know, Matthew Yglesias, and would have, of course, got the same answer.

Pretty much all of Tommy Christopher's friends think exactly the same things, because, see, they're diverse.

I can't figure out if this stupidity is just Tommy Christopher being stupid and self-unaware as usual (it's true, Tommy-- as the unexamined life isn't worth living, unexamined thoughts aren't worth having), or if this is some kind of crafty Secondary Trolling beneath the Primary Trolling Layer.


One other observation here: Because the media is so liberal, a conservative really doesn't have to engage in gross overstatement and stupidity to seem different from the media. Just posting an unreported fact (like "Obama ate a dog") is enough to differentiate oneself from the media.

But if the media is liberal, as it is, what's a liberal troll like Tommy Christopher to do to get attention? He can't just say what the media is saying.

No, he's got to say things that are even 40% stupider than what the media's saying. To garner attention from a public already drowning in liberal bias, he needs to be extreme and, indeed, rather absurd.


And yet people like Tommy Christopher and his Very Good Friend Goldie Taylor are acceptable voices as far as the media is concerned, but no one in the media will ever call me for a quote.

Because, see, I'm the one who's unreasonable, illogical, and partisan.

Bonus: You'll not be surprised to learn there might be some double-standards in play here. For when Obama made merry of Romney's use of the word "marvelous," Tommy Christopher asked, approvingly, gilddily: Did Obama Just Play the "White Guy" Card on Romney?

And s/he thought that was just TEH ROXXOR.

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posted by Ace at 12:25 PM

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