Tag Archives: Politico

Does Murdoch Think Obama is a Racist- Or What?

The Grand Poobah of the Fox empire got himself in some hot water when he said he basically agreed with Glenn Beck’s characterization of President Obama. You may remember Beck said the president was racist, and “had a deep seated hatred of white people”. That was after Obama said police had acted stupidly in arresting Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates.

Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch

Murdoch was interviewed on (what else?) Sky News Australia. He said the president “made a very racist comment”. And what comment would that be, Mr. Murdoch? Like Beck, he must have been talking about the word stupidly, which last I checked doesn’t have racist connotations. No matter. The irony of a man commenting on race who owns the New York Post and pays the salaries of Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and an anchor who once called a fist bump terrorist shouldn’t be lost on anyone.

But wait! Faster than you can say Media Matters, one of Murdoch’s minions rushed to clarify his remarks. He doesn’t agree that President Obama is a racist, or so spokesman Gary Ginsberg told Politico. He wouldn’t comment any further on the interview, however. The White House wouldn’t comment at all. Barack Obama understands too well what a loaded time bomb race is now that he’s president. After the administration’s criticism of the Fox News Channel, is it a reach to think Murdoch was hoping Obama would go for the bait?

Which brings us back to Murdoch’s empire. I’ve always been amazed at the number of people of color who read the New York Post. It must be masochism, or habit, or something I’ll never be able to figure out. And the Fox News Channel? More of the same. Which brings up the question when will folks stop participating in their own marginalization? Ask yourself this question. According to those in Murdoch World, has Barack Obama done anything right since he’s become president?

And still the Post, which is losing money like just about every other paper in America, survives. It survives even after a woman who was fired sues the paper, saying one of her bosses referred to her as “Cha Cha Number One.”  Maybe the empire stays alive because people who ought to know better don’t take it seriously. How many times have you heard somebody say “that’s just the Post, or that’s just the Fox News Channel?”

No matter how many denials Rupert Murdoch may issue about his own views, too many of his media holdings have questionable histories when it comes to race. Remember the infamous “chimp cartoon?” Murdoch apologized for that, but no one, save Sandra Guzman, the woman mentioned earlier, got fired. She had the guts to complain about the cartoon.

All of which means, in the end, it doesn’t matter whether Rupert Murdoch says he doesn’t think Barack Obama is a racist. If it walks like a duck…..

Or am I wrong? You tell me.

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Should Barack Obama Protect Senate Incumbents?

I seriously thought this morning about trying to explain to the loyal readers of this blog the utter nonsense that’s going on in the New York State Legislature. However, that soap opera will probably change before midday from what I’m reading. Besides, when I talk to friends about it, their eyes glaze over after less than a minute. Another post, another day.

Today let’s talk about President Obama, and whether he wants to get involved in possible challenges to incumbent US Senators. We already know he dissuaded one potential challenger to newly minted Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

kirstengillibrand

Now she faces a challenge from veteran New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, and indications are she won’t back down no matter what the president says.

There’s also the matter of Pennsylvania, where Republican turned Democrat Arlen Specter could face Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak in a primary.

joe_sestak

Like Maloney, he’s saying a possible Obama intervention won’t stop him from making a run. So now the question is this. Will President Obama risk putting political capital on the line to keep these insurgents from challenging the two incumbents?

The end game, as we all know, is a filibuster proof 60 vote majority in the Senate (though keeping all of them in line is another tough task). However, as Politico’s Jonathan Martin points out, does this president, the ultimate insurgent, want to now get into the incumbent protection business? Maybe not. Maybe he shouldn’t. Everyone, including the insurgents, are aware of the conventional line about why they shouldn’t run. The winner of a bruising primary then has to face a Republican opponent in a weakened position, both politically and financially.

But wait, isn’t that what they told Obama about running against the presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton? And didn’t he run anyway? As an insurgent (even though Clinton wasn’t an incumbent)? Why not let the process play itself out? If either Carolyn Maloney or Joe Sestak can’t raise enough money to seriously challenge Specter or Gillibrand, who says they’ll actually run next year?

The smart move would be for President Obama to stay out of these races, if they in fact happen. He intervened once on behalf of Sen. Gillibrand. Let it end there. Primary challenges can make an incumbent more politically responsive, and in these cases, both Sestak and Maloney will challenge from the left. On issues like the Employee Free Choice Act (which Specter has yet to embrace) and real health care reform, these moderate Democrats could be made to see the light if they have to worry about a challenge.

Besides, democracy is a good thing. President Obama should leave well enough alone, shouldn’t he? Or should he?

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