For all those worried how Fox News would take two vile racist rants in the news in one week, you can relax now. Fox wants you to know that the shockingly racist comments of both Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy are great news for America! You see, the outpouring of disgust and contempt are proof that racism is no longer a problem. That is, except for the black people who don’t see it that way. Just pay no attention to the blatantly racist comments found right there on the Fox Nation website.
O’Reilly’s Talking Points Memo suggests Snoop Dogg and Sharpton are the real race problems in America
In his Talking Points segment tonight, O’Reilly acknowledged that both Sterling and Bundy are “finished in the court of public opinion.”
“Here’s the headline,” O’Reilly announced about Sterling. “It’s primarily his problem, not the country’s problem. He’s shameful but does not represent anyone other than himself.”
But for some reason, O’Reilly felt it very important to make African Americans villains in this story, too. “Not all the reaction to Sterling was appropriate,” O’Reilly said sternly. Apparently, some didn’t get the Dos and Don’ts memo from Fox on the proper way to react.
Exhibit A: an outraged, curse-ridden clip of Snoop Dogg, whom O’Reilly pointedly called by his real name:
So let me ask Calvin Broadus something. Do you really think that helps the cause of anti-discrimination in the United States? Or are you just trying to get publicity for yourself? I think we all know the answer.
If you ask me, that begs the question as to how playing the clip of a black rapper – someone the elderly, overwhelmingly white O’Reilly Factor viewers almost certainly have no interest in – helps that cause either.
There are bigots in every country. There are bigots of every race. For example, what are we to think of the thousands of people who go to hear Louis Farrakhan rants against whites and Jews? But those folks represent a very small portion of the African American community. Same thing with Rev. Jeremiah Wright. …So it’s not fair to draw any general conclusions from Wright or Farrakhan or Sterling or Bundy. They are just misguided individuals. Nevertheless, the anger they engender is real.
This country has come a very long way from the days when denying Americans opportunity because of their skin color was acceptable in some places. Now racists pay a huge price.
It's ridiculous to equate either Farrakhan or Wright with Sterling and/or Bundy. But did you notice how O’Reilly painted Sterling and Bundy as pariahs while painting Farrakhan and Wright as popular?
But back to etiquette for African Americans:
Finally, there will be people who seek to exploit Sterling and Bundy. Right away, Al Sharpton began threatening to boycott if Sterling wasn’t dealt with the way he, Sharpton, thinks he should be. Instead of allowing the National Basketball Association to investigate and issue a ruling – which it will tomorrow – Sharpton exploited the situation immediately, trying to bring attention to himself. Really sad.
Great Van Susteren likewise exultant about Sterling and admonishing toward Sharpton
In her “Off the Record” commentary tonight, Van Susteren said:
I’m glad the LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, got caught. He got outed. …I want racists out in the open so they can be condemned and not sneaking behind closed doors. …So good. I’m glad Sterling got caught.
And one other thing. This is not the time for some to grab what Sterling said, which is horrible, and run with it. Yes, racism exists, yes it is terrible, it is awful. But racism can be a two-way street. We need a good dialogue, an honest one but that means not throwing gas on the fire. Rev. Sharpton, are you listening?
Charles Krauthammer announces affirmative action “gives advantages” to African Americans
Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer discussed the situation with O’Reilly and came to a similar conclusion about our country’s “remarkable success” eradicating racism. To Krauthammer, Sterling and Bundy – along with Paula Deen – represent an older generation of white folks “literally dying” out. Or, you might call them Fox News’ base.
Look, this is a country with affirmative action… where the big fight is whether you should give advantages to people who 50 years ago were instantly disadvantaged and legally disadvantaged. If that isn’t a reflection of the sea change, then nothing is.
Not that O’Reilly noticed this hint of animosity. He went on to ask Krauthammer about racism “on the other side.” As if “the other side” is thrown in when discussing black or liberal wrongdoings.
Black racism, O’Reilly said, is “tolerated because the white power structure basically set the agenda and so yeah, we understand why Louis Farrakhan is mad and says these terrible things. Reverend Wright, on and on. How do you deal with that?” Implying that this is a problem, unlike Sterling and Bundy, no?
Bernard Goldberg calls the Sterling story “the good news about racism in America”
On The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly marveled at the condemnation against Sterling: “How about that, Bernie? Have you ever seen such universal condemnation so swiftly?” she asked.
…So he’s not proof, as some would have us believe, he is not proof that racism is alive and well in America. He is proof of precisely the opposite, that racism is on its last leg. The American people have turned Donald Sterling into an outcast.
Now, look, are there some racists in a country of 310 million or so? Yeah, lurking in the shadows, yes. And that’s also good news. Because they’re lurking in the shadows. Not too long ago. Not a hundred years ago in this country, bigots didn’t lurk in the shadows. They said what they said out in the open and they certainly didn’t apologize if they hurt anybody’s feelings.
…We should be celebrating the American people and how they’ve reacted to Donald Sterling and his ugly remarks.
To his credit, Goldberg did not take the opening Kelly handed him when she “asked” if “people are out there” seeing the situation differently.
Racism is alive and well in Fox Nation
But whether Sterling is good news because now bigotry is out in the open (as Van Susteren said) or is now “lurking in the shadows” as Goldberg said, the truth is it’s common among the Fox Nation readers. And tolerated. Here are a few comments our contributor Aria found last night on these two threads about Sterling (the screen grabs have been slightly elongated to make them legible in our narrow column):
I’m betting tarnished Sterling will be a guest on seannie poo’s show in the not too distant future.
They understand using blacks and Latinos for sex and sports (singing, telling jokes, etc…), but socializing with “them” is still a no-no. Who do you think was calling him to complain about the pictures? He was embarrassed for his image among his racist peers. The harm comes when the private feeling of his peers affect the lives of innocent people. HIs peers are the rich movers-and-shakers of America, his fellow billionaires.
As President Obama said recently, a lot of progress has been made towards making that sort of talk a no-no in polite society, but we’re not yet at the end of that road. FNC’s desperate attempt to backtrack and deviate is an excellent proxy indicator of the extent to which even conservatives are aware that racism is not “cool”.