Sunday, August 09, 2009
Hate Speech Radio (Ava and C.I.)
Friday, Kris Welch fumbled through her (written) introduction at that top of her show, KPFA's Living Room, "Coming up we're going to spend most of the hour on uh GOP and race politics, from uh calling Sotomayor uh racist to now calling Obama Hitler it's uh breaking out all over. And what will this do to the party's chances in further elections we're going to discuss-discuss this with a bunch of folks."
In "further" elections? We believe you mean "future," Kris, or, as you might put it, "Uh, future, uh elections." No time to consider that for long because, after Andrea Lewis flubbed reading cribbed (meaning she didn't credit them despite reading them word for word) AP stories passed off as headlines, Kris and her flat and nasal tones were back to explain, "Welcome back. With a piece in Huffington Post entitled 'For The Modern GOP It's A Return To The White Voters Strategy' uh we're going to look into exactly that and what recent developments uh from everything from even as we speak uh people wearing t-shirts and carrying signs that call President Obama, Hitler to the very lopsided party line vote for the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor discuss the racial politics and the new GOP turning Whiter and Whiter and the country turns more colorful." No, it's not really a sentence by any grammarian's standards.
Are you laughing at Kris Welch's stupidity yet? You should be. But let's hurry you along to the first punch line. One of the topics is whether or not bigotry ("racism," Kris ignorantly called it) was shown by the GOP during their interaction with Sonia Sotomayor during her Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Sotomayor is a Latina, as she herself defines. We realize it's hard for some people but the race classification is: White. And, here's the thing, if Kris had booked one Latina or Latino on her program, we might have found that out.
Instead it was part of KPFA's continued pattern to render Latinos and Latinas invisible. Not unlike when African-American Andrea Lewis decided to broach the same topic with White Anglo Phyllis Bennis. At KPFA, everyone gets to weigh in on Latinos and Latinas . . . except Latinos and Latinas. No one's supposed to notice. They toss in an African-American or two and, in their Anglo White smugness, don't grasp just how damn offensive that is.
So let's explain it to KPFA, if the topic is the first Latina nominated to the Supreme Court (she was confirmed last week) and you want to discuss her heritage, America doesn't need to hear a bunch of Anglo Whites or African-Americans -- who don't know the first damn thing about being a Latino or Latina -- gas bag over what a huge moment it is.
It just underscores how in the KPFA world -- despite the demographics in the Bay Area KPFA allegedly serves -- it's all White and African-American hosts and guests and the only grouping that ever had to 'rise up' was African-Americans. It's an ignorant and, yes, racist view of things but KPFA's run by a lot of White racists these days.
There's a lot to cover here and you're going to have bear with us as we break it down for you. Before her segment even starts, Kris Welch needs tremendous correction. For example, the Huffington Post piece she mentioned? Written by Thomas B. Edsall.
Now such a piece would require a poli sci major to have any serious currency at all. It would require someone who knows poli sci, who studied poli sci and, even then, even appearing in a peer reviewed journal, it would be a hypothesis. 68-year-old Thomas B. Edsall did not major in
poli sci. He writes for the opinion-journal The New Republic. He did a two-month stint as a columnist for The New York Times, and he floundered for years as a reporter at The Washington Post.
He's a reporter who got lazy and just wanted to opine. He lacks the training to tackle emerging political trends and can only comment on them with any degree of knowledge (however tiny) after the trends have made themselves present in an election cycle. But he writes to the tribal beat of We-Are-So-Much-Better so he can find work at the partisan Huffington Post, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, The Nation, The Washington Monthly, The American Prospect and any other Democratic Party organ posing as a legitimate outlet.
Ignorant, elderly and White Anglo, Edsall wants you to know that the GOP (Republican Party) has no chance of finding any gains among "Hispanics". That's based on some social science? No, that's based on his own ignorant musings and his own personal bigotry whereby economics don't mean a thing to non-White Anglos. Edsall believes it's all about identity politics for those who aren't White Anglos.
Yes, it is offensive for him to stereotype like that and, yes, it does feed into the Anglo White egos of Arianna Huffington and Kris Welch, who lap that uninformed bigotry up like mewing kittens. Ignorance is the only reason anyone would cite Edsall's 'study' which contains nothing that reveals current trends by the GOP. To round out his unsupported musings (which can be boiled down to "All Republicans are bigots"), he finally gets a sports numbers cruncher to drop back to the 1980 elections and number crunch those. Yes, it is laughable to anyone who has ever taken a research & methodology class. (No, Edsall never has.) Yes, it is half-baked, junk science and exactly the sort of 'trend' story that Susan Faludi decries in Backlash. Search in vain for any Republicans Edsall's spoken to about his 'thesis' and you'll find none. You'll find no supporting evidence -- no matter how weak. You'll just find an elderly man, who probably should have retired long ago, pounding the tribal drums and a lot of idiots for whom thought is but an aspiration grunting along in satisfaction.
Kris Welch twice mentioned Barack being called "Hitler" before the segment ever began. According to her presentation, that has to do with "race." Really? Because when George W. Bush was compared to Hitler, not only did Kris never object, she frequently made the comparison herself. She was far from alone on the left. Indybay Media originates from the same area KPFA does. Back in the spring of 2007, an article on Sasha Lilley's attempts at censorship at KPFA attracted the following non-unique comment:
I am surprised to hear that KPFA has a program director because what we hear on KPFA's news and the Morning Show is not programming. On the 6 p.m. news on 3/20/07, we heard a good 15 minutes of the latest Hitler in the White House telling us his in his 8-year-old child babble his view of the firing of US attorneys. We NEVER need to hear the voice of this American Hitler in order for the news to be conveyed to the listeners. We also do not need to hear the endless promotionals and interviews of Democrats, equally despicable as the Republicans. The latest round has been with the utterly reactionary senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, a proud supporter of bombing Iran, of torture at Guantanamo, of the death penalty and of Israel. He is another Elmer Gantry and KPFA should teach its audience who the character of Sinclair Lewis' novel, Elmer Gantry, is. Since every single Democratic official and every single Republican official by definition supports Israel, the US military base that exists to protect US oil profits in the Middle East, there is no reason to hear their garbage or promote their million dollar fundraisers for their worthless money machines. The Democrats simply exist to keep the Reds and Greens out of office. Both the Democratic and Republican campaigns are nothing but money machines. We do want to hear from the 2 peace parties on the California ballot, the Peace & Freedom Party and the Green Party. Considering KPFA's news and Morning Show is filled with the Democrat-Republicans, there is not much to listen to on either program. We also need to have Guns & Butter, now heard on Wednesdays at 1 p.m., moved to prime time, namely 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. during the week or 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. This excellent muckraking program covers everything from the 9/11 Inside Job to the economic crises. Since Larry Bensky is finally leaving KPFA at the end of April, we need to have Labor Workweek replace his Democratic Party promotional program on Sunday morning. Flashpoints, heard 5-6 p.m. on weekdays, should be the benchmark program of the kind of news that should be covered on KPFA. Another benchmark that should be included in the evening news is Workers' Struggles Around the World on the World Socialist Website at: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/mar2007/wkrs-m20.shtml
No, Kris never called out comparisons of Bush to Hitler. She did, however, make them herself
so maybe she should try answering why it's okay for her to call someone in the White House "Hitler," but it's not okay for others to?
And Democrats.com? Over 40 articles in two years comparing Bush to Hitler (click here for Google cache). Well, Kris wouldn't book the head of Democrats.com for her show then, right? Wrong. Bob Fertik was among her 'knowledgeable' guests booked to spin (and, no, he never mentioned that he and his site had repeatedly compared Bush to Hitler).
There is no explanation for Friday's nonsense except for the fact that Kris Welch doesn't support free speech. She supports hate speech and you were clued into that early on in the broadcast.
Repeatedly. And the segment still hadn't aired. At nearly 20 minutes in, she was teasing again, "Coming up next we're going to talk to a slew of folks who can't wait to get on this story and talk about the return to the what strategy -- that's what it looks like the GOP is doing with Mr. Obama in the White House. Don't go away, it promises to be lively." Yes, she said "what" and not "White." Her promise that it would be "lively"? If you love echo chambers, she was serving you better than David Brock in the late eighties.
Her guests were Anglo White Bob Fertik of Democrats.com, African-American Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report, African-American Jamala Rogers of The Organization for Black Struggle and African-American Ronald Walters of the African American Leadership Institute.
For a panel that allegedly had the expertise to weigh in on Sotomayor's nomination and its meaning to the Latino community, notice not a single person was Latino. Now Ronald Walters
told The Washington Post last year that 70% of the United Stats was White. That's incorrect. The 2006 figure is 74% and doesn't include White Latino. In 2006, Latinos made up 14.6% of the US population and African-Americans made up 13.4%. Remember that the next time KPFA again 'discusses' Latino issues with only Anglo Whites and African-Americans allowed to take part in the conversation. Grasp that bigotry thrives at KPFA and grasp that they still don't get how insulting their slate of guests are.
44.3 million Americans are Latino but KPFA couldn't find one single person to book. Kris did find time to insult a Latino, right-wing Linda Chavez for pointing out that Sotomayor's credentials would not translate into support from the entire Latino community. For the 'crime' of being factually accurate, Chavez was sneered at. It's really important to grasp that. Latinos were shut out of the discussion but, when one was actually quoted, it was time to dog-pile and attack.
Though we're sure Kris enjoyed being bitchy to (the not-present to defend herself) Linda Chavez and that the tribal mentality supported Kris, the facts support Linda Chavez. As Zogby found at the end of last month, Latinos were nearly evenly split on Sotomayor -- 47% supported her and 43% opposed her. That backs up Linda Chavez' statement.
Latinos are a wide ranging classification of people and they are liberal and they are centrist and they are conservative. And a Latino guest would have been have been able to offer that point but Kris didn't want reality, she wanted to serve up propaganda that would ensure any objection to Barack Obama's governance be seen as "racism." The bigotry on display reminded us of when we coined the term Panhandle Media.
Back then, we were on the ground in Texas and happened to catch KFPA's 'analysis' (two hours) of the Democratic Party debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (which they billed as "Obama versus Clinton") and we laughed as one guest after another declared Barry O the winner -- we laughed because KPFA didn't bother to inform you that every guest had publicly endorsed Barack Obama. Yeah, they rigged the outcome of the analysis ahead of time, they fixed the findings. (For the record, Kris Welch noted that Glen Ford did not support Barack Obama in the 2008 election -- she forgot to say he supported Cynthia McKinney and she failed to mention her other guests' support. They all supported Barry O.) But the most hysterical moment for us was when the girlish Clarence Lusaine clicked his ruby red slippers together and, from up north, could see Barack beating Hillary in the primary because Barack had the support of Latino voters. We laughed because, it turns out, castratos aren't psychics. Hillary won the Texas Latino vote. (She also won the primary.) This time, northerner Ronald Walters wanted to explain that Kay Bailey Hutchison (current US Senator, running for Texas governor) was going to lose because of the Hispanic vote.
We're getting really damn sick of people who've never been on the ground in a state LYING. For the record, in November 2008, John McCain won the state of Texas. That alone would suggest that Kay Bailey Hutchison's political party is not going to hurt her. In the general election, PEW found Barack got 63% of Texas' Latino votes. That's when he was a blank canvas and any myth could be painted upon him. He's now hurting in the polls -- and, yes, that includes among people of color (despite Bob Fertik lying otherwise). So it's probably a good idea for Ronald Walters to consider knowing the facts and visiting the state before weighing in. Repeating, John McCain carried Texas just nine months ago. At this point, there is no basis for Walters to claim that KBH will lose.
But for approximately 36 minutes, listeners were treated to ignorance on display, bigotry and Jamal Rogers tossing around the phrase "sexism" in relation to Sotomayor's treatment but the level of discourse was such that Jamala merely used the term as an unexplored buzz word. Was sexism involved? Kris Welch listeners have no idea because no one booked was able to handle the topic -- nor was Kris.
Of White male voters, low income and middle income, Kris added, exempting the wealthy apparently, "they're frightened." If so, of what?
Kris couldn't tell you. It was just racism according to her and her guests. Racism. Racism. Racists White men just didn't like bi-racial Barack because he was "Black." White men, according to Kris, didn't care for Barack because they were racist. It's really reassuring and comforting for the tribe when the elders tell you that all the disagreements you may ever have result from racism. If the other side is just flat out racists, then you're forgiven for not dialoguing with them and, most of all, if they're all just racists, you're forgiven for lying about them as well.
Kris then went into a lengthy rant about Democratic members of Congress holding town halls and the "mob" (Kris' term) they faced. For example, she snarled about the "Texas Democrat shouted down by right-wing hecklers from outside his district." Could we get a name here? We know Lloyd Doggett's been whining. We also know that Lloyd Doggett's townhall will attract a ton, A TON, of people from outside his district. Why is that? It's because of the jerry-mandering. The districts were redrawn in 2003 and Molly Ivins, on KPFA and numerous other outlets, explained what it meant for various reps including Lloyd Doggett. But, hey, she's dead and from Texas and didn't Bob Fertik make it clear that "southern Whites" were stupid and racist? (Yes, he 'explained' that 'fact.:' "southern, racist base.")
Jamala Rogers provided hate and comic relief. Comic relief came as she repeatedly spoke of "Black and Brown folks" and "Black and Brown people." For the record, some African-Americans may enjoy being called "Black" but Latinos don't generally dub themselves "Brown folks." And it's bigotry and ignorance to refer to them as such. But it is comical that Jamala thinks she can speak for Latinos, it's also comical to listen to her struggle with the English language. Jamala, if you don't know the word, don't use it. But bigotry and hate is all Jamala had to offer as she spoke of her opponents as "crazy White folk" and "yard dogs" and declared, "These are the bitter folks who are hanging on their religion and guns. I can say that, I'm not running for president."
No, Jamala, you can say it because you're a bigot filled with hate and rage.
It was cute to hear the panel gas bag over the objections to ObamaCare and call these objections racism over and over. It was cute to hear that it was bad for American citizens to object to proposals, to question and call out politicians, and to hear whining that burning a politician in effigy was criminal and insane. This same crowd which would defend, grasp this, burning an American flag.
What country did these fools grow up in? If it was this country, they don't appear to have learned their history and they also have no appreciation for a lively exchange, for protests (when they come from the other side) or for anything that is political speech -- which, for the record, is Constitutionally protected -- another fact they never acquainted themselves with.
But facts never mattered. Bob Fertik, speaking of Republican US Senator Mel Martinez declared, "You've got Mel Martinez retiring today he was the only person of color in the Republican Congress in the Senate or the House."
What a f**king idiot. And had KPFA the least bit of concern with Latinos, that little lie would have been corrected immediately. You can be damn sure, had a Latino guest been on the panel, Bob's f**king lie would have been called out immediately. Mel Martinez is not the only Republican of "color" n the Senate or House. Latino Republicans in the House? Mario Diaz-Balart (of Florida), Devin Nunes (of California). As for the Senate, Martinez was the only Republican Senator who was Latino. But before you feel as smug as Bob Fertik did, grasp that Martinez' departure reduces the number of Latino Senators to . . . one. (Bob Menendez out of New Jersey.)
If Bob Mendenez retired tomorrow would Fertik spin that as destruction for the Democratic Party? No, he wouldn't.
As a general rule, hate speech is never concerned with facts.
Hate speech is about inciting, angering, creating the "mob" Kris pretended to be worried about.
There was no need for facts, there was no interest in discovery or truth. Your first clue really should have been that Kris Welch booked four guests to discuss the state of the Republican Party and not one guest was a Republican. How can you discuss the state of the Republican Party fairly or honestly without including someone from that camp? You can't.
But Kris and KPFA aren't interested in fairness or interested in informing you. They are interested in whoring for Barack Obama. Barack's is falling in the polls. Bob Fertick dismissed the polling while also LYING that Barack was always above 50% in all of the recent polls. (Quinnipiac's poll last week found Barack at 50% approval rating. Rasmussen Reports have found him at 50% and below in the last week on their daily tracking poll.)
As one lie after another slid by unchallenged, you should have grasped what an echo chamber you were being provided with. KPFA, in the midst of a never-ending pledge drive, has a new banner which proclaims its 'independence.' Someone ought to inform them that 'independence' is action, not sloganeering. But someone also better inform them that hate speech really doesn't advance their cause.
It does, however, tar and feather all Republicans as racists and that was the entire point of the 'discussion.' Any objections to Barack Obama must be racism! That's what they pushed in the primaries, it's what they pushed in the general election and it's what they push today. Note, they do while calling Barack "Black" when he is bi-racial. 6 million Americans claim bi- or multi-racial. Calling the child of a White mother and a Black father "Black" isn't progress but it is in keeping with KPFA's non-stop bigotry.
For more on this topic see Betty's "Sick of KPFA's racism and especially Krish Welch."