Randy Newman – of the satirical “Short People” song fame – has written and performed a new satirical song with the repeated line, “I’m Dreaming Of A White President.” In it, Newman, a supporter of President Obama, takes on what he sees as a deep strain of racism in the electorate by singing from the point of view of someone nostalgic for a white president. So who did The O’Reilly Factor turn to for “insight” into the song? Bernard McGuirk, Don Imus’ long-time producer, who has a long history of making inflammatory racial comments, including taking part in the now-infamous “nappy-headed ho” discussion that got him and Imus fired from their radio show.
Not that any of McGuirk’s history was told to the “we report, you decide,” “no spin zone” audience. Instead, O’Reilly said provocatively, “I’m not getting’ the white thing.”
McGuirk told him, “This mentality, these people are the closet racists themselves. And this is sort of to exorcise the demons in his own head.”
Well, well, wouldn’t Dr. Freud have had a field day with that statement?
But O’Reilly continued to concern troll about the race aspect. Turning to his other guest, Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld, O’Reilly asked about Newman, “Isn’t he white, though, Gutfeld? He’s a little tan.”
Gutfeld “quipped” he had seen “better pipes in a toilet.” He added, “All these rich old white guys chasing Obama like he’s a Playboy Bunny.”
“But I don’t know what the white thing is, O’Reilly said.”
Had O’Reilly done a quick Google search, he would have found what I found, a slew of articles explaining Newman’s reasoning and reasons for the song. Or he could have gone to Newman’s website where he has this paragraph:
“No other Western industrialized nation would’ve elected a black president. I’m proud of this country for having elected Obama in 2008. But from the beginning of his term, I noticed a particular heat to conversations that wouldn’t ordinarily generate that kind of passion: The budget, appointments, health care.” He continues, “I think there are a lot of people who find it jarring to have a black man in the White House and they want him out. They just can’t believe that there’s not a more qualified white man. You won’t get anyone, and I do mean anyone, to admit it.”
Newman also noted, “I often write songs in character. You can’t always trust or believe the narrators in my songs… The guy in this song may exist somewhere. Let’s hope not.”
Or maybe some of the lyrics (also on Newman's site) would have clued in O’Reilly:
I’m dreaming of a white President
Just like the ones we’ve always had
A real live white man
Who knows the score
How to handle money or start a war
Wouldn’t even have to tell me what we were fighting for
He’d be the right man
If he were a
I’m dreaming of a white President
Someone whom we can understand
Someone who knows where we’re coming from
And that the law of the jungle is not the law of this land
I often say that the choice of guests on Fox speaks volumes about what the network is up to – and it also ensures to some degree what will happen in that segment. O’Reilly may have been genuinely puzzled by the “white thing” in Newman’s song. But to have done no independent research while looking to a guy like McGuirk for answers tells us just about all anyone needs to know about O’Reilly’s mindset here.
Since NO ONE in Canada went to the polls to elect Ms Jean, Newman’s comment remains quite accurate. Now, when Canadians elect a Black Prime Minister (or, more accurately, elect enough members of one party to form a government and the head of that party becomes Prime Minister as a result), then we can reconsider Mr Newman’s statement.
(On a side note, it’s sort of like the speculation before Matt Smith was announced to be the 11th Doctor. A lot of fans were, for some bizarre reason, rooting for a Black actor to become the new Doctor, as though this was somehow a more important achievement than Britons having their first Black Prime Minister. Admittedly, the majority of the “Black Doctor” advocacy that I read seemed to come from the American fans, largely because of Obama’s election.)
I just finished writing this up for my blog, but before I published it I did a quick Googalizer to see if I missed anything and saw it has already been written up here. One the comments below makes a similar point to one I made as well. Therefore, I felt a h/t was appropriate under the circumstances.
However, it’s another good excuse to invite people to see the latest on my blog: http://notnowsilly.blogspot.com/
With all my love,
“We’re rednecks, we’re rednecks
We don’t know our ass from a hole in the ground.”