Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Daily Race-Baiter

So, there's this internet "news" site out there going by the name the Daily Caller. It was started by Tucker Carlson, a bow-tied right-wing twat-weasel who was once famously savaged by Jon Stewart.

Now, despite the fact that he staffed his little paper with GOP advisors and got most of his funding from Foster Friess, who famously bankrolls presidential candidates like Rick Santorum, Carlson likes to claim that "we're not enforcing any kind of ideological orthodoxy on anyone."

Which might even be true, except... well, they ran with this story on Monday. A fluff piece, about Obama buying a new dog. Another Portuguese Water Dog named Sunny, to give First Dog Bo a playmate. Cute, right?
Well, kind of. It's a story that means absolutely nothing to anybody. Man buys dog. Until, not even 50 words in, you come across the following sentence.
Apparently it’s a girl and it was born in 2012 in Michigan, where the unemployment rate was 8.8 percent last month.
OK, motherTucker, define "non sequiter" for me, will ya?

What exactly is that little factoid doing in the second paragraph of a human-interest fluff piece? Is it, maybe, to show that "Obama reigns over a failed presidency"? "Obama doesn't care about poor people"? How does that even belong there?

But that's not the gold. Oh, no. Here's the gold - the last two sentences in the piece.
With the addition of Sunny, the Obamas now have two black Portuguese water dogs.

The Obamas do not have any white dogs.
Yes, that's right. They aren't even trying to hide it anymore.

We now officially have a new definition for "dog-whistle politics."


Murr Brewster said...

Holy deep-fried crap on a stick.

Nameless Cynic said...

Does it have to be deep-fried?

Because that's really going to stink up the oil.

Josh said...

Making my Futurama Fry meme face and can't really tell if you're being serious or not with the condemnation. I'm hoping not, given the complete context.

I read the story and took it as a weak attempt by non-funny elitists to be funny. It's right-wing, for sure, but in the same way that Fox's Red Eye is. Only Red Eye is actually funny.

I also clicked on Howley's link and browsed over more of his articles. That seems to be his tone. He wrote one that pondered whether or not Larry David criticized Obama's golf play, like Larry's character on HBO's Curb would have, and one about the CIA and Area 51 with a pic of Daniel Craig from Cowboys & Aliens and a Fox Mulder reference. And one where you know what the game is solely from the title, referring to "President Romney" and photoshopping Romney over Obama for a Christie handshake, and just replacing "Obama" with "Romney" throughout.

Hmm. Confused. Maybe this just popped up in an email and you didn't check it all out?

Not my business; to each their own concerning their health. But I doubt this is anything to get your blood pressure up about.

Nameless Cynic said...

That's an interesting theory.

But going back to the article, I'm not seeing where it seems to be tongue-in-cheek. And there are too many people who actually believe this kind of thing.

Plus, the set-up is entirely too long and unrelated to the punchline. Of course, he could just be a crappy joke-teller.

So, as you suggest, I went to his history, to see what else he's written.

Organizing for Action denies that it sent people to heckle Ted Cruz: Pretty straightforward. Don't see anything that might even be a failed joke.

Eliot Spitzer appears with racist anti-Semite: Again, no joke, but openly slanted. Starts with: Spitzer appeared at a public housing event Wednesday with a politician who previously accused a fellow black politico of being an “uncle Tom Nigger bitch” who “sucks White/Jewish cock.” Then an extended explanation of the racist behavior this guy has done. And then, only in the last paragraph, does it point out that Spitzer had no idea who the guy was, and he was never invited. At the spot in the story that a lot of people wouldn't get to.

Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate brags about shutting down a McDonald’s [VIDEO]: Again, straightforward but slanted (that's what you consider "bragging"?), and includes a bonus lie about why ACORN shut down.

New York Times confused about its own liberalism: (Golly, I wonder if this will be biased at all?) If you look, you find that the story is rooted around an interview with a NYT editor who gave a nuanced answer, which the story presents as confusion. And it takes the same course with two "supporting" stories, and even ends with a video that refutes the story itself. But it isn't a joke.

(Oh, and a bonus from the end - "A just-released Pew Research Center survey found that The Times’s ‘believability rating’ had dropped drastically among Republicans compared with Democrats, and was an almost-perfect mirror opposite of Fox News’s rating." Huh. And Republicans get a lot of their ideas from Fox, which has smeared NYT since the beginning, and strongly supports the "liberal media" meme. I wonder if those are related?)

Three of the ’72 Dolphins refuse to meet with Obama: Wow. So three old white guys are partisan and stubborn? (You know that the average age for the Fox "News" audience is 65 and older, right?)

Funny thing, though. Story doesn't mention that over 3 dozen members of the team did go. Nowhere in it.

And that's just the top 5 stories when I went there.

So, no. I don't think he's a crappy humorist. I think he's a crappy, partisan reporter.

Malcolm Bondon said...

I guess some of the righties want Affirmative Action for dogs. I'm not buying the satire angle either Nameless Cynic. If the article was meant to be funny, it's just another example of how conservatives aren't very good at it. To the best of my knowledge, The Daily Caller doesn't delve into Onion-style humor. Also, I think one of the tags on the article would have been "humor" or something along that line if this was tongue-in-cheek. Now this fluff story could have been done from a humorous angle. The Onion or Stephen Colbert could turn this into comedy gold. Sadly, it appears Patrick Howley wanted to play partisan politics and race bait to boot.

Josh said...

The title and lead-in say it all for me:

"The Obamas Got a New Puppy, Everyone!

There’s a brand new adorable member of the First Family, everyone, and if you read the Washington Post or the Huffington Post or Buzzfeed or whatever you’ll probably see all kinds of listicles and memes about how cute it is."

Funny? Definitely subjective. But objectively: It's snarky. It's certainly not assuming the pretense and haughtiness of "journalism"--even fluff journalism--from the colloquial language alone. It's definitely from a partisan viewpoint.

But race-baiting?

It's about the color of dogs. It's very odd, I feel, to read that and to think so little of human beings who don't share a similar ideology that they'd read Howley and be up in arms. "OMG, y'all! Obama don't got no white dogs! That mean he hate the white!!"

I understand the loathing associated with partisanship on both sides. I had to step away from politics a few years ago because it's too divisive by its nature -- it requires hate and low expectations and exclusiveness rather than inclusiveness. But dang! Dogs, dog. Dogs.

Nameless Cynic said...

You are correct. There is a great deal of divisiveness. And it all seems to be coming from the right, from where I stand. We got a black president, in a White House, and suddenly the white folk be all, like,
"Yo! Hold up, now!"

And their first move is to try and paint the president (and by extension, every other black person in America) as racist. It's called "projection."

Yes, it's a story about the color of a dog. But WHY is it a story about the color of a dog? What are those last two lines trying to say?

Would they even be there if the president had gotten, say, a golden retriever? And that second statement? "The Obamas do not have any white dogs."

Obviously, it means something, or he wouldn't have closed out that article with that statement. So what, exactly, is he trying to say?

I'm right there with you in the last statement of your post.

But dang! Dogs, dog. Dogs.

Malcolm Bondon said...

I try to give people (regardless of political ideology) the benefit of the doubt. However, other than to stoke racial animosity towards the Obamas, I don't understand the point of the last sentence in Mr. Howley's article. Even though I have rarely if ever found "Red Eye" to be funny, I can at least tell when they are attempting humor. Howley wasn't even trying.

Josh said...

To the point about it all coming from the right. Maybe that's right. After all, Bush was loved by one and all. No effigy burnings. No hordes of Hitler, Fascist and terrorist signs. No one complaining; no one insulting him or angry at him. No conspiracy theories. No smear pieces written. No mockumentaries made. No unfair coverage. Hollywood was so kind. Sunshine and unicorns, I guess.

Sarcasm aside, I suppose it's all perspective mixed with who's actually in power. But if one wants the same people who hate Obama to be fair with it, that's asking too much, in blatantly hypocritical fashion, and flies directly in the face of politics.

As to "why" the dog point was mentioned: I haven't the slightest idea.

It makes absolutely no sense that someone wanting to bait others into racial divisiveness would use animals. And I really don't find it chuckle-worthy to go that route either. But, then again, I also can't explain Pauly Shore in Son in Law, but I don't think he was farmer-baiting.

If I had to venture a guess--strictly an against-the-wall assumption--I'd say: With the incredibly fickle and over-reactive racial environment today, where simply being white and non-liberal is often enough to prove you're a racist, might as well play into the narrative and extend the intense focus on the skin color of people to the hair color of dogs. It would be my attempt to show how inane this race business is -- a hook solely for hypersensitive lefties. Liberal-baiting, using the silliest "racial" language I could think of.


It's what I'd be thinking to have brought up the dog point. And I say that because if I wanted to be racially divisive, I would have brought up matters concerning actual people.

Then again, "race-baiting" can be incredibly vague. Perhaps trolling for the type reaction some had to it fits a definition close enough to use. I just assumed you had to, at the very least, be speaking about "race" first. So, personally, I'd classify it more as one of those lovely self-fulfilling prophecies.

Nameless Cynic said...

Well, golly, Josh, I don't know. Do you think that getting the US into two unfunded wars, and invading a sovereign nation which had nothing to do with attacking the US might have had something to do with the animus against Bush?

Whereas, aside from his horrid blackness, what has Obama done? Why, he's forced us to allow the poor and minorities to get medical care! The horror!

I've got to admit it, Josh. You've shown that you can spell, punctuate, and construct a simple sentence, so I can't pretend that a simple metaphor is beyond your comprehension. I could suppose that you're simply stubbornly blind to the faults of the right wing, but Occam's Razor won't let me cut that shallowly.

I guess the only question here is who are you trolling for? I'm going to guess it's for your own pleasure. Because assuming you're working for someone, and feel that you should comment on a little blog like mine, would be approaching paranoid status - nobody would bankroll that.

Josh said...

That type of strange, semi-hostile, bickering, uber-partisan conspiracy fodder response is why I backed out of this scene a few years ago.

Your comment makes no sense to me.

You put my previous comment on divisiveness, of which I was clearly speaking of both sides, wholly on the right-wing, which prompted a sarcastic reply regarding Bush taking lumps too. And people obviously dole out those lumps depending on ideological viewpoints.

And it's obviously partisanship to think an exceedingly long piece of jumbled government legislation will actually help anyone. Trusting government to fix or even to help takes a devoutly religious level of faith.

But at what point am I "blind to the faults of the right wing"?

Does an opposing viewpoint tangle your undergarments that tightly?

I agreed with everything about your post, except for the race-baiting part. Personally, I find it to be a very weak attempt at humor -- perhaps a jab at folks like you who will take it as a hanging offense. But where am I blind to right-wing faults in any of that?

That makes zero sense to me.

And throwing out there a theory that I'm possibly trolling for someone else....I can't even wrap my head around a cogent response. I found this blog via Malcolm's a few weeks back and commented on a post I found in his sidebar. And I found a title that intrigued me there earlier. So, like some people on the Internet tend to do occasionally, I stopped by and commented. Behold the miracle of Internet traffic!

This has strayed past the point of loony. A disagreement on something as simple as what constitutes "race-baiting" has prompted this? I'm either a right-wing zealot or in someone's pocket and trolling?

Man. Good luck with all that.

Sorry for the intrusion, and keep up the good fight.

*returns to master with news of the successful trolling...

Nameless Cynic said...

Gotta work on that "reading comprehension" thing. You are bad at spotting irony, aren't you?

I'm going to guess it's for your own pleasure... nobody would bankroll that.

Josh said...

Maybe I'm horrible at it. Then again, I always thought I was pretty keen when it came to spotting someone hedging their bets.

After all, if you weren't attempting to prod and insult to get a rise out of me, wouldn't you have just listed the conclusion and not the accusation-riddled journey you took to reach it?

If I said to someone, "I thought you were an asshole, but then I thought you were a dick, but I'm pretty sure you're just a loon," I'm not sure I could expect someone to not think I was calling them an asshole and dick along with. If they called me on it, though, I'm technically covered. "Hey, I didn't say you were those things. Learn to read!"

This is why "lulz" were invented.

Nameless Cynic said...

No, I just think you're either trolling, openly unwilling to see obvious racist trolling, or simply illiterate.

Please explain why the last sentence in the article was "The Obamas do not have any white dogs."

Who was that aimed at? What was the point?

Particularly since Bo is not simply a black dog, but black and white. What is the purpose for making an incorrect statement about the Obama dogs?