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Lest There Be Any Doubt About Fox News’ Racist Agenda And Demographics…

Reported by Priscilla - January 2, 2009 -

As I’ve often said, Fox is a propaganda driven network which broadcasts its right wing schtick to a given demographic which, at this point, is the GOP conservative base – a group that is very, very white; but definitely “sees color. The Fox News “Grapevine” (December 29th) did a lead off piece about Chip Saltsman, former head of the Mike Huckabee presidential campaign and candidate for RNC chair, who sent a CD of “comedy” songs to his right wing pals for Christmas (along with, one assume, a suitable religious card that said “Christmas”). The CD is entitled “we hate America” (way to bring the nation together, Chip) and contains the infamous “Barack the Magic Negro” tune along with things like the “Star Spanglish Banner, a song denigrating Hispanic immigrants. While Jim Angle accurately reported that the head of the RNC, Mike Duncan, condemned this action, Angle described the CD as “poking fun at liberals.” (hardehaha!). On a subsequent “Grapevine,” Angle reported that conservative leaders (state leaders and Ken Blackwell) were rallying around Saltsman (how nice!). But Fox News showed its true color on New Years Eve during the Hemmer and Kelly Times Square show. They invited their viewers to send in New Years greetings and this uplifting message appeared on the *crawl: “HAPPY NEW YEAR AND LET’S HOPE THE MAGIC NEGRO DOES A GOOD JOB. LOVE JEN AND JOHN C. “ How nice. Wonder if Jen and John C. were shouting racial epithets at Palin rallies? That Fox gave its “imprimatur” to this obvious shout out from Jen and John to their fellow Fox viewers tells you all you need to know about the medium, the message, and the many who embrace it. More on the CD and the offensive song below the fold.

“Barack the Magic Negro” was written and sung by conservative satirist Paul Shanklin who, I believe is white. The song was popularized by Rush Limbaugh who is also a white conservative (and oxy addict who goes to the Domican Republic with Viagra even though he’s not in a sacred heterosexual marriage). Despite the contention that the song was based on an article, in the LA Times, by an African American writer, the only similarity is the phrase "magic Negro." The article was a sociological examination of the folk archetype, in film and literature, of the “magic Negro” – a black person who is gentle and helpful to white folks – in other words, a non threatening black. David Ehrenstein, the author, speculated that Obama’s appeal to whites could be a function of the “magic Negro” persona. The song, however, is sung from the perspective of a black politician who, in crude, shouted ebonics, is protesting Obama as not being a legitimate black politician. The writer of the song upon which the melody of the "parody" is based (Puff the Magic Dragon), Peter Yarrow of the great Peter, Paul, and Mary group (who sang at the famous “I have a dream” Washington March and whose songs were part of the Civil Rights movement) has soundly condemned this "meanspirited" parody of his classic children’s song. Although not getting the publicity, the Star Spanglish Banner is also rather vile. But fine, let Chip and his pals take over the Republican party and it will remain, for the foreseeable future, the party of ignorant, racist whites and thus continue as a minority (politically!) party. But back to “the Magic Negro” thing. Tim Rutten from the LA Times says it best:

“The point is, when it comes to discussions of race in America -- and particularly racial or ethnic humor -- context is everything. In fact, racial and ethnic humor are probably the most contextually sensitive of all forms of satire. They work only when everyone is clear that the person making the joke regards the differences and foibles of another group affectionately and as something that makes everybody's life more interesting. Lots of traditional Jewish and Irish humor falls into that category, though even there, it depends on who is telling the joke, and to whom.The right contextual conditions, however, never exist in politics, which is why ethnic or racial references in that venue nearly always offend -- or, at best, fall flat. It's also perplexing that anyone with a feel for public life would satirize the race of the first African American president. You might be able to do that with the third or fourth black chief executive, but not the first. It isn't funny because there's too much painful history being exorcised here, and there's nothing "politically correct" about saying that. It's simply an acknowledgment of reality.”

Comment: What next for America’s white News Channel? Minstrel Shows?

*HT to Think Progress