Thursday, December 05, 2013

My Response To Sarah Palin

I have to say something in response to this.

The Crooks and Liars post tells us that a certain former half-term governor of Alaska recently opined that, because of the episode where Martin Bashir of MSNBC told Sarah Palin to eat shit (in so many words) for which Bashir resigned, that individuals could “(be) hesitant to jump in the arena anyway, to get out there and serve the public or start a business.”

Please excuse me for a minute or two while I try to unpackage all of this idiocy.

All of this started with an interview Palin gave to Jake Tapper, including the following (from here)…
TAPPER: So, you obviously feel very passionate about the national debt. The other day, you gave a speech in which you compared it to slavery.

PALIN: To slavery. Yes. And that’s not a racist thing to do, by the way, which I know somebody is going to claim it is.

TAPPER: Don’t you ever fear that by using hyperbole like that — obviously, you don’t literally mean it’s like slavery, which cost millions of people their lives and there was rape and torture. You’re using it as a metaphor.

But don’t you ever worry that by using that kind of language, you — you risk obscuring the point you’re trying to make?

PALIN: There is another definition of slavery and that is being beholden to some kind of master that is not of your choosing. And, yes, the national debt will be like slavery when the note comes due.

TAPPER: So you’re not — you’re not work — I mean I’m — I’m taking it as a no, but you’re not — you’re not concerned about the language —

PALIN: I’m not one to be politically correct, evidently.
Um, I guess not.

So in response, Martin Bashir said the following (from here, and no, he didn’t actually say “defecate in Palin’s mouth,” though he clearly implied it)…
BASHIR: It’ll be like slavery. Given her well-established reputation as a world class idiot, it’s hardly surprising that she should choose to mention slavery in a way that is abominable to anyone who knows anything about its barbaric history. So here’s an example.

One of the most comprehensive first-person accounts of slavery comes from the personal diary of a man called Thomas Thistlewood, who kept copious notes for 39 years. Thistlewood was the son of a tenant farmer who arrived on the island of Jamaica in April 1750, and assumed the position of overseer at a major plantation. What is most shocking about Thistlewood’s diary is not simply the fact that he assumes the right to own and possess other human beings, but is the sheer cruelty and brutality of his regime.

In 1756, he records that “A slave named Darby catched eating canes; had him well flogged and pickled, then made Hector, another slave, s-h-i-t in his mouth.” This became known as Darby’s dose, a punishment invented by Thistlewood that spoke only of the slave owners savagery and inhumanity.

And he mentions a similar incident again in 1756, this time in relation to a man he refers to as Punch. “Flogged Punch well, and then washed and rubbed salt pickle, lime juice and bird pepper; made Negro Joe piss in his eyes and mouth.” I could go on, but you get the point.

When Mrs. Palin invoked slavery, she doesn’t just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms that if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, then she would be the outstanding candidate.
And as the post tells us, Martin Bashir apologized. But of course that wasn’t good enough for the faux outrage machine, so now Bashir has resigned.

When it comes to stuff like this, I generally apply what I call the “Bill Orally Test,” named after a certain Fix Noise pundit, of course. And in a matter of words, here it is – no matter how outrageous a remark a media personality has made (as opposed to a politician, someone able to write or vote on actual legislation), as long as no one is physically injured or killed over it, if this person apologizes for it (even a half-assed one like Billo gave us here), then I will relent on that person.

And I’ve stuck to that, by the way, even while O’Reilly made those disgusting, inflammatory remarks about George Tiller, the family planning doctor and abortionist in Kansas who was ultimately murdered. Did O’Reilly pull the trigger? No. Does he share some measure of responsibility for his incessant “George Tiller, Baby Killer” rhetoric? Along with Glenn Beck, he sure does. Have I ever called for O’Reilly’s resignation? No. What he says is thoroughly idiotic at best, but it’s still free speech.

Do I defend Martin Bashir’s highly offensive (and thoroughly atypical for him) imagery? Of course not. Did he encourage anyone to do physical violence to Sarah Palin? No. Did he genuinely apologize for what he said? Yes. However, as noted earlier, that will never be good enough for the wingnuts looking to shout us down every chance they get (I maintain that the worst thing Bashir did was to not just ignore Palin altogether, which is the treatment she deserves – I would still be doing that if it weren’t for her disgusting display of self-pity).

Also, here’s something else to consider. Though Palin was of course engaging in hyperbole with just about no relationship to the world of facts and evidence (as usual), she is typically WRONG to not point out that THE DEBT IS SHRINKING!!!, as noted here.

Finally, to emphasize Palin’s air-headedness (which should be plainly obvious), I give you the following from here):

Sarah Palin is probably the last person on earth who has a right to feel victimized by a TV commentator for inappropriate language. The fact that she always has a ready forum for her utterly brainless spasms of vocal ineptitude is a hallmark of our thoroughly compromised corporate media, which would be better served if it were to pass her by and stick a microphone in front of a flatulent animal instead.

Update 12/20/13: And in a related story, as they say, John Amato asks a great question here concerning that "Duck Dynasty" idiot.

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