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February 27, 2014

Democratic Congressional Candidate Alex Sink: Without Amnesty, "[W]here are you going to get people to work to clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping?"

Perfect.

Over at Slate, Dave Weigel, of course, doesn't understand the phony, ginned-up outrage. Why it's all just so silly! Republicans have "created" a "gaffe" where none existed!

The Creation of a Gaffe

By Dave Weigel

...

I was sitting next to a Jolly supporter who muttered loudly when Sink answered anything, so I heard a tongue-cluck when she said that. In the larger room, it generated some "huhs," but no follow-ups. After the debate, in their media interviews, neither candidate was asked about Sink's answer.

But a tracker posted the video of that answer. Cue outrage.

So far Weigel's proof that this is not a story is that a room full of progressive, media-voting Democrats merely "clucked" at it, and, get this, asked Sink no follow-ups about it.

Weigel's proof that the media is not biased in failing to ask Democrats about their own racial faux pas is that the media doesn't ask Democrats about their own racial faux pas.

Well I'm convinced.

I'm not sure whether there's a term for thisómaybe it's Reductum ad Republicum. In lieu of an argument for why Sink was racist to point out that undocumented immigrants are currently employed as landscapers or hotel workers, they argue that a Republican couldn't say it. But Marco Rubio says it.

Marco Rubio is Latin himself, Dave. Are you playing dumb? Note that Barack Obama called himself a "mongrel," and that was taken as different from Ted Nugent calling him a "mongrel."

I agree with that distinction. So, of course, does Dave. But he pretends he's not aware of it when he needs to defend a Democrat.

By the way, he also goes on to submit that "context" of the whole quote saves Sink. This will be important later.

UPDATE: This post was written in a hurry as I went to catch a plane. Only later did I check my tape of the debate and remember Sink's full answer. After the "hotels" line, Sink praised Marco Rubio's work on the immigration bill, then said this:
For every example that you hear, I think about the high school valedictorian -- I believe he lives in this district now. He was brought here when he was a young man, nine or ten years old. He didnít choose to come here. His parents brought him. He was undocumented. And what does he do? How does he get an education? He did everything right. He became an incredible student. He even eventually ended up going to law school and becoming a lawyer. But right now he can't practice law because of his undocumented status. Thatís not right.

Funny. The tracker didn't include those lines. The conservatives who hectored the media for not covering Sink the way they'd cover a Republican didn't seek out the lines.

Let's be frank about what's going on here: The media believes Republicans are racist. Therefore, any statement about race is taken as confirmation of that pre-existing thesis.

The media believes Democrats -- the party they vote for in each and every election, and the party they fight to elect each cycle in their news coverage/political public relations efforts -- are not racist, and therefore they say "How silly" when conservatives note that Democrats, too, make clumsy remarks when discussing race.

Need I remind either of these fine gentlemen that Rick Perry's renting of a property which once had a rock upon which was written a racial slur (a slur, by the way, Perry painted over), was in fact a major deal in the news media and proof of his hostility towards blacks?

We point out that "Democrats say these things too" for a simple reason: Because they do. And such statements, from Republicans, are the media's case-in-chief of Republican racism.

Now, their actual case relies upon what they think they "know," in background: Republicans are racists, all of them, except for the ones who are liberal, like Jon Huntsman. But they can't report "things they know on a gut level," so they take the statements as their evidence.

And when a Democrat like Sink says something which would be used as proof of racism had a Republican said it, they say: "This is no evidence at all."

Well. I want that same "This is no evidence at all" standard applied to Republicans as well.

The media can believe that Republicans are all racist woman-haters if they want. But they cannot assign different standards to the same sorts of "evidence" for this, depending on whether the speaker is a Democrat or a Republican.

They can't have it both ways, but of course they insist on just that. They want to be free to take vague, ticky-tack, minor statements by Republicans as proof of racism, but the same type of Democrats are merely "clumsy" or "politically dumb" but otherwise no proof of anything at all.

Democrats, to the media, are Just Like Us; Republicans are Not Like Us. And it's easy to demonize the Other, and that's why the media does it: Because it's easy, and they don't work -- or think -- particularly hard.

Meanwhile, Democrats are, by their own confession, ginning up the "War on Women" messaging machine that worked in 2012, and which the media did its level best to make work in 2012.

Will Dave Weigel point out how silly all this is? Or will he gladly join in the Outrage Hunting?

Well, let's check the previous record: Did Weigel poo-poo ginned up Outrage!!! over Mike Huckabee's clumsy (but merely that) comments about birth control?

Dave Weigel's headline:

Mike Huckabee: Democrats Want Women to Think "They Can't Control Their Libido"

Here's what Weigel goes on to say:

Reporters were a little rattled by the line, but Huckabee's used it beforeóhe used it on the latest episode of his Sunday show.

....

So it's a crowd-pleaser, if only to a select audience.

UPDATE: Conservatives have responded to the quote -- well, more accurately, responded to liberals responding to the quote -- by insisting that the media ran it without context. Mea culpa/humblebrag: I was in the room at the time, filing quickly, but preferring not to stop my tape and transcribe the entire line. Here it is now:

I take that as an admission that of course he did not transcribe the entire line before dashing off his hot headline.

And of course that's true; he only gets to actually transcribing it in this update.

The conservative objection is that this full quote is not nearly as dismissive-sounding as the short, Twitter-sized version. That's arguable -- Huckabee's point remains that Democrats are calling women promiscuous and trying to buy them off with birth control. If Democrats want to object to that, they can.

"That's arguable." Weigel buys into the Democrats' interpretation, and does not knock it down, nor call it silly, nor imply, as he did with Sink, that a "gaffe" was "created" by an antagonistic partisan media.

Note that Weigel snidely says "Funny" when he notes that Republicans did not include the "full context" of Sink's remark -- and yet has nothing but excuses when he, and the rest of the Democratic media, failed to quote the full context of Huckabee's remark.

Why, context is sometimes good and sometimes important, and sometimes, when the Democrat media is preparing an attack line, just isn't.

This is the same sort of "rescuing" context-- Sink said something later in the speech praising Latinos (asserting they could be more than landscapers and maids). This is proof of her non-racist intent.

But when Huckabee makes a fulsome statement about women being more than, as Democrats seem to believe, baby-makin' machines, with a lot more interest in politics than crude Gimme Gimme buy-offs, Dave's not quite so certain this helps Huckabee at all.

Why the differing standards on ginned up Fauxtrage, Dave?

Ah, don't answer that. I know the answer. So do you. So does everybody.

Oh: Dave very much wants you to know that only a Republican-paid media tracker reported this line, and that the entirety of the Democrat media present in the room refused to do so.

He says this as if this proves the fact that the line was not objectionable.

I rather take it to prove that the media will consistently and deliberately refuse to report gaffes by Democrats -- even gaffes that Weigel admits rouse a few "huhs" and tongue-clucks from reporters who are present.

A "huh" and a tongue-cluck does not indicate that this is the biggest story-- but it does indicate the media registered it as a story.

And yet every single one of them apparently refused to report it all, leaving it to this damned "tracker" to report.

Weigel thinks this saves him?

Because I think it hangs him.


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posted by Ace at 10:53 AM

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