CBS.com has to shut comments down on Obama stories.
Too many racist comments, huh? And CBS doesn't want to look as if they're effectively condoning them, by hosting them on a CBS web board. Hm. Hm, twice.
If you joke about how oppressed you feel about not being able to freely slur minorities (or women or gays) for entertainment’s sake without any impact, you can go ahead and do so to show how you’re sticking it to the PC Man. Look — Don Imus thinks that’s why he was hired — to stoke the fires of bigotry by pushing the race and misogyny envelope — otherwise he wouldn’t be suing CBS for $40 million. His attorney said that in Imus’s contract with CBS, the network specifically implored Imus to cover “extraordinary,” “irreverent” and, most important, “controversial” topics on his syndicated radio show, which was simulcast daily on MSNBC.
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If you are a New Plausible Deniability Racist and happen to foment racism, misogyny or homophobia among the sheeple in the process, that’s just a side bonus — and you can deny that you really meant what you said, or now say “that’s what I’m paid to do” as a defense.
David Niewart (Orcinus) gets it right, calling it the "new racism", involving,
staking out positions that, if not overtly racist, at least seek to resurrect some of the hoary mythology of the era of white supremacy. As with most of right-wing race rhetoric of the past twenty years, it's all done with a certain level of plausible deniability, couched in "jokes" or abstrations that let the speakers feign indignation when the racism is pointed out; the current trend is only slightly more overt in its racism, but the underlying sentiments aren't hard to read.
It's all about plausible deniability. It's all about the opposite of accountability.
People (trans. right-wing blowhards) like to bitch about "where America went wrong". I'll tell you where: the day any American isn't accountable -- isn't held accountable or doesn't hold themselves accountable -- for their words and deeds. That's where America "went wrong". But it's not past tense, friends and neighbors. Every day, every denial, is America going wrong, right now.