Tina Brown, who has rich friends like Barry Diller bankrolling her activities, has launched a website called The Daily Beast heavy with liberal opinion pieces. A column by John Avlon lectured the Republican Party about a candidate for Republican chairman, Chip Saltsman, distributing a humorous song calling Barack Obama the "Magic Negro." Avlon, who found this disgusting, acted like an authority on Republican Party politics. But it turns out that he once worked for Bill Clinton and is a self-described "centrist."
Avlon was also "Director of Speechwriting and Deputy Director of Policy for Rudy Giuliani's Presidential Campaign," his bio says. I seem to recall that Giuliani was far too liberal for most Republicans, and that his scandalous personal life was an issue for many conservatives. No amount of speeches or press releases from Avlon could save Giuliani.
What do Giuliani and Clinton have in common? They are both notorious adulterers. Avlon apparently doesn't find this disgusting, but he is concerned about distributing a song making fun of Barack Obama. The "Barack the Magic Negro" song is sung to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon" and is only one of many songs on a "We Hate the USA " parody CD done by conservative satirist Paul Shanklin.
That this has become a "scandal" for "serious" people says something about Avlon and his peculiar agenda. The purpose, quite clearly, is to stifle any and all criticism of the President-elect. If the media can even intimidate conservatives and Republicans into not laughing about Obama, passing official measures to stifle serious criticism of the incoming Obama Administration, on the ground that such comments are "hateful" or "racist," can't be that far behind. The "Magic Negro" controversy is a trial run for what is to come.
Of course, Avlon's piece on The Daily Beast followed many similar stories in other mainstream liberal media outlets. Two candidates for Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman, Robert M. "Mike" Duncan and Saul Anuzis, have won praise from the liberal Washington Post for agreeing that distribution of such a song was inappropriate.
Duncan and Anuzis don't seem to get it. Media bias is far more of a problem for Republicans than a candidate for RNC chairman distributing a funny song based on a column from the Los Angeles Times and which first aired on the Rush Limbaugh radio show. They may just be trying to get a political advantage over Saltsman, but doing so by playing along with the liberal pro-Democratic media is terribly misguided.
To his credit, Saltsman has responded: "Liberal Democrats and their allies in the media didn't utter a word about David Ehrenstein's irresponsible column in the Los Angeles Times last March.Â But now, of course, they're shocked and appalled by its parody on the Rush Limbaugh Show. I firmly believe that we must welcome all Americans into our party and that the road to Republican resurgence begins with unity, not division. But I know that our party leaders should stand up against the media's double standards and refuse to pander to their desire for scandal."
He's right, of course. This is a completely phony scandal. And it demonstrates not only the liberal double-standard but the phoniness of people like Avlon, who presume to lecture Republicans about what is appropriate language and behavior when he worked for the likes of Giuliani and Clinton.
My curiosity led me to Avlon's website, where he informs us that he has appeared on "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central and that he wrote a book, Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics. It looks like his current project is to try to move the Republican Party further to the left by making phony charges against a conservative candidate for RNC chairman.
Another conservative candidate for RNC chairman, Ken Blackwell, who is black, recognizes the Avlon-type commentaries as the garbage they are, dismissing the phony outrage over the "Magic Negro" song as "hypersensitivity in the press regarding matters of race."
Frances Rice of the National Black Republican Association also had an appropriate response: "If it were not so hypocritical, it would be comical how Democrats and their media allies have created a media firestorm over a parody on racism in the Democratic Party.Â The Democrats' display of rank hypocrisy on race is a familiar scenario.Â First, Democrats exhibit vile racism. Then, any Republican who points out the Democrats' display of vile racism is attacked by Democrats as being racist."
She explained, "The current target of this Democratic Party racial jujitsu is RNC chairman candidate Chip Saltsman.Â So, what did Saltsman do to warrant being called a racist?Â Well, he dared to distribute a music CD with a parody about the fact that black Democrat David Ehrenstein called Sen. Barack Obama a 'Magic Negro' in an article published by the left-wing, Democrat-controlled 'Los Angeles Times.' Huh? None of the people now trashing Saltsman uttered one peep of protest when the article entitled 'Obama the Magic Negro' was first published in the 'Los Angeles Times' on March 19, 2007 with the subtitle:Â 'The Illinois senator lends himself to white America's idealized, less-than-real black man.'"Â
I heard about Rice's comments when she called in to a local Washington, D.C. radio show on WMAL in response to the host piling on Saltsman. The host, Austin Hill, insisted it was wrong for Saltsman to "poke fun" at Obama and that it was a diversion from more important issues.
The controversy is certainly a diversion, and that is why Hill and others in conservative talk radio should spend time discussing something of real value that is coming before the RNC. That is a resolution denouncing the socialist-style financial bailouts of the Republican Bush Administration.
Ralph Z. Hallow of the Washington Times broke the story on Tuesday, disclosing that the resolution condemns the bank bailout bill as "moving our free market based economy another dangerous step toward socialism." What's more, the resolution condemns President-elect Barack Obama's proposed economic stimulus, labeled "a cleverly disguised Government Bailout Plan," because it bails out state and local governments, as "the biggest earmarked spending program in our Nation's history" that "will not fix our economic woes, but rather will extend the current economic crisis, much as President Franklin Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration extended the Great Depression, and will cost the American taxpayers $1 trillion dollars or more..."
In response to this resolution, conservatives across the country are ecstatic and saying, "It's about time." They believe the Republican Party has to move in a conservative direction and that this can start by breaking ranks with the disastrous Bush Administration, especially on economic issues. Bush took leave of his senses recently when he said that he had abandoned free markets in order to save the free market system.
On January 5, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) will host a debate with the candidates for RNC chairman. ATR President Grover Norquist says, "We are working with bloggers and other activists to develop the questions to be asked during the forum, and we encourage everyone to visit rncdebate.org in the coming days to submit and vote on questions."
One of my favorite questions, posted on the site, is: "How can the RNC finally and successfully get around the ongoing and worsening political media bias that exists throughout the entire world from within the mainstream media?"
The "scandal" over the "Magic Negro" is just the latest manifestation of that bias. Avlon is a liberal "centrist" whose agenda should be plain for all to see. But those "conservatives" and "Republicans" who treat commentaries like his seriously are the real problem. They are a reminder that the mental condition known as Obamamania which has already captured the media is a real threat to our freedom to think, write, talk and even laugh.
The election of a new RNC chairman will be a test for the Republicans as to whether they intend to accommodate the new censors or take them on and fight for the survival of free speech rights in America .