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December 31, 2013

MSNBC Goofs on Romney's Black Grandson and Then Does the Fake Apology Bit

Melissa Harris-Perry and crew found the adoption mock-worthy.

AllahPundit summed it up well here. They really had no idea what was mockable about the adoption or the picture -- they were just certain that it had to be mocked.

[T]he interesting thing about this is that they put the photo on the air even though they obviously didn’t have anything to say about it. Ostensibly it’s comic fodder for Harris-Perry’s panel of comedians to riff, but all they can muster is (1) hey, one of them looks different, (2) a Kardashian joke from MHP herself, and (3) a predictable dig at the GOP — which would have worked just as well as a dig at Obama’s 2012 campaign team, actually. It’s not that the photo’s inherently funny or that a white family adopting a black child is wrong — imagine them reacting to a photo of Tom Cruise with his adopted son — it’s that, I think, they felt they couldn’t let it go unremarked upon that the GOP’s last nominee seems happy to have a black child in his family. On MSNBC, racism is the only reason to become a Republican. They’ve got to mock, even if they’re not exactly sure what they’re mocking, to delegitimize the inconvenient possibility that Romney isn’t prejudiced.

I must point out once again that, despite the protestations of the media, despite its claims of professionalism, despite the belief of many in the media that they are "elite" in some fashion -- most cable shows are now essentially Televised Blogs. Melissa Harris-Perry and crew are just snarkin', because snarkin' is what the ADD audience loves.

It doesn't matter if no one can actually announce what it is, precisely, that they're snarking on; snarky-snark isn't really logical expression. That's not it's point. The chronic snarkster isn't snarking to communicate any particular idea, except for two very base, primitive ones:

1. We're Superior to This Thing We're Talking About, Whatever It Is, and

2. We Constitute a Tribe, You and I, Mutually Loyal To Each Other, Because We All Hoot and Grunt At the Same THings.

Gabe has written about this. In Hollywood fictions, as well as in alleged "news" stories recounted by the media, there are Designated Heroes and there are Designated Villains. Whatever the hero does is heroic not because of the intrinsic heroism of the action but simply because it is the Designated Hero doing it -- and thus the action is heroic, simply because he performs it.

Likewise, everything the Designated Villain -- here, the Romney family -- does is villainous. Not because adopting a black orphan is villainous, but simply because the Villains are performing the action, and you know they must be up to no good. After all, they're the Villains.

I'm not really "outraged" by any of this and I doubt people on the right are "outraged" either.

But there are several points to be taken from it:

1. As Ann Althouse notes, the segment directly following this one -- which Melissa Harris-Perry teases at the end of the clip -- is a round-up of allegedly "racist" statements. This segment is entitled "Hey, Was That Racist?"

I don't think Melissa Harris-Perry's Televised Blog snarking on the race of Romney's grandson is "racist" myself. But I am fairly confident that she would deem this sort of thing racist if someone from Fox were talking about a Democrat adopting a black kid.

By her standards, the "Hey, Was That Racist?" question is answered in the affirmative.

2. Despite their beliefs that they are elevated and enlightened, most leftists are exactly like most other people -- fairly crude and obvious in their thought, and frequently "offensive" when they're not watching their words carefully.

3. MSNBC is not a professional news operation. It is, as someone from Politico observed, "Animal House for lefties."

MHP has now kinda-sorta apologized to anyone who was "offended" (how they love that construction).

But while she apologizes for giving "offense," she makes no apologies for her own racism.

And yes, by her own standards, she is a racist. To speak of race cavalierly or flippantly or mockingly is racist, no matter what the context, is racist -- that is the standard she inflicts on others.

But she herself won't accept that standard for herself.

I don't blame her on that part of it. It's an unlivable standard. It is a punitive, vindictive standard which sets people up for failure and then condemnation.

And that is of course why she insists on that standard for others.


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posted by Ace at 01:31 PM

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