Bernard Goldberg appeared on The O’Reilly Factor last night where he attacked the left for accusing the right of racial attacks on President Obama. Bill O’Reilly called it “unseemly” and “cheap” and Goldberg dismissed the accusation out-of-hand as some kind of white guilt. Yet somehow neither of them managed to consider the very racialized context that the right has used to make criticisms of President Obama. And Fox News is Exhibit A in that proof.
O’Reilly asked, “Am I a racist because I criticize Barack Obama? … This is cheap.”
Goldberg answered, “We’ve heard this approximately 22 million times from liberals inside and outside of the media. If you disagree with Barack Obama, it must be because you’re a racist. It can’t possibly be because you disagree with him on ObamaCare or the stimulus or…”
O’Reilly interrupted to ask, “Where does that come from?”
Goldberg answered, “It comes from liberals like Sam Donaldson looking at things through this racial prism because – and this is the important part – because it makes them feel better about themselves because then they can say you see, I’m one of the good white people, I’m not like those right-wing bigots.”
Goldberg also wondered if right-wingers would be racist toward a conservative black man if he were president. “I think they’d love him,” Goldberg said. “It’s clearly his liberal politics that that these conservatives don’t like, not the color of his skin.”
For the record, I think Goldberg is mostly correct that the right would probably embrace a conservative black president. But the right has deliberately used race to gin up hatred toward Obama. And nowhere in the mainstream media does that happen more than on Fox News.
I’d love to know, for example, if Goldberg really thinks that Donald Trump’s birtherism claims are merely because he thinks Obama pulled off the greatest fraud in American politics? And why has Fox News given Trump such leeway to promote that theory? If there’s any truth to it, why hasn’t Fox investigated the claim?
Even without the birtherism, Trump has made specifically racial allegations about Obama – also without challenge – that he was elected thanks to black racists. In fact, those accusations were echoed by other guests.
Then there are the suggestions that he’s really Muslim. Do you think that would happen on Fox if Obama were not black? Or how about the bogus New Black Panther Party controversy in which Megyn Kelly repeatedly tried to push the meme that scary black men would be coming to intimidate white folks at voting booths because the Obama administration didn’t want to prosecute African American voting crimes?
Before Goldberg points the finger at anyone else, he really needs to take a good look around his own digs.
My point is that no host would come out and use the n-word, for example. But they all know how to blow the racial dog whistle and they do so often, especially with President Obama.
Not German, French or Spanish. Swahili.
I wonder how that kind of subtlety sounded to the Faux audience. Cause I know how it sounded to me.
Why don’t you bring that one up next week, Bernie??
Of course, he’ll never accept that equivalency.
I have tried to find an example of overt racism from several Fux Noosies and none of them come right out and call Obama a N*****. But the sum total of all their subtlety and prodding of guests add up to enough to make any thinking human sure their is a racist slant there.
I’ve heard plenty of subtle racist digs at Obama, all the way from the idea that he couldn’t have gotten into Harvard by being a good student. And I’ve heard the more direct stuff, including various references to lynching.
That said, Goldberg is correct to note that we’re at a real low point in civility when people celebrate Neil Munro’s antics or celebrate Bush having shoes thrown at him. That kind of thing smacks of “I like it when it happens to the other team’s guy” which gets us nowhere in the end.
This is one area where I’m mixed opinion; Fox News, Nation, AM Radio and the majority of RW hosts seem to be a little too quick to the draw pointing out people’s ethnicities.
There’s also a trend I noticed where they insert a lot of their own racism when talking about how persecuted their black people are. You should hear all the AM callers on Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh and Savage spewing their own racism talking about Allen West, while trying to claim a big-name Dem said it.
And these people want West to be the first Black Republican POTUS. The idea of “President Allen West” (almost puked typing that) has lasted with the AM radio crowd for a long time now. They’re screaming for him in the White House one day, then breaking out the talk the next?
Yeah, they can scream all they want- even if they could (mostly) accept a black president based on GOP cred, They’ve shown West will get just as bad, and he’s one of the ones they seem to like better- can you think of another black person they’ve shown that kind of long-term support for?