I Love the Smell of Facepalm in the Morning

NBC is Making Inroads Against SNL
The hardest job for the writers on Saturday Night Live has got to be writing a comedy parody of events that sound like a comedy parody to begin with.

Case in Point: NBC Goes All-In with the Race Card
Newt Gingrich made a speech after the results of the Florida primary, where he scored a fairly distant silver to Romney’s gold. In covering the speech for MSNBC (an undeclared arm of Obama’s campaign staff since 2008) Rachel Maddow elected to go into inflamed mode (wait, she has another?) about what she perceived as a racist statement by Gingrich.

To be fair, it would appear anything short of praise for Mr Obama is perceived as “racist” by Ms Maddow, but this one drew particular ire. In a jab referencing the president’s decision to favor the cameras with his singing voice, Gingrich remarked:

I’m not gonna compete with Obama in singing because I’m not running for entertainer in chief; I’m running for president. ~ Newt Gingrich

Maddow concluded this was a “minstrelsy” statement, an allusion to black-face performers from the late 19th / early 20th century that we all think of so frequently. Oddly I missed that when I heard him say it, but clearly I lack Ms Maddows finely tuned sense for detecting veiled racism (or preoccupation with minstrel shows, pick one).

On cue, the Reverend Al Sharpton…
…who would himself be considered a pejorative racial sterotype were he really a TV character instead of a real character on TV… dutifully stated that the racism was intentional, and Gingrich knew exactly what he was doing and who he was trying to appeal to.

[Based on later events, maybe he meant Newt was appealing to those crackers in the Florida panhandle?]

CLIP: Newt Crows/ Maddow Carps/ The Pres Croons
The following includes Gingrich’s statement, Maddow’s charges, and last but not least, the President doing a presentable snip from a Todd Rundgren classic.

[I still can’t believe we aren’t charged to watch this stuff.]


Meanwhile, SERIOUS Journalism (NBC style)
Apparently Ms Maddow doesnt watch NBC political coverage herself, as her finely tuned radar didnt flag the following:

“Chuck, a lot of the counties in the Panhandle, in north Florida, the cracker counties, if you will…more resemble Georgia and Alabama than they do Florida.” ~ NBC’s Jonathan Martin of Politico

C’mon… you know… CRACKER counties
Those must be the ones with uneducated racist white hicks… not the ones with spics, the darkies, or them money-grubbin Hebes?

Debunking the comment?
In response to a few lame attempts suggesting this was a reference to cowboys cracking whips in the Florida Panhandle, NOT a reference basically calling them uneducated white trash… I searched the net for a reference to Florida and “cracker counties” that pre-existed Tuesday’s comment by Martin. If the term was in use, it should be somewhere on the net, right?

The only reference I found used in a descriptive comment about the residents of that region was in a scholarly paper written about a 1950s Florida primary. It referenced the supposedly ignorant cracker vote of rural / backwoods / smalltown northwest Florida.

Somehow that reference sorta ate up the probability there was a different version of the word “cracker” in play when uttered by Martin. But hey, it’s not racist if it’s not about a minority, right?

OK, thanks to NBC / MSNBC for the educational moment
Guess we can look forward to another election season of unbiased campaign coverage from you. That’s nice. Anyway, thanks for starting us off with a double face-palm. Saves time.

I'm Rob Jones... and I approve this message.

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