No Debate; CNBC Debate Moderators' Abysmal Performance

Editor’s Note – Here at SUA we often find ourselves watching endless coverage of Congressional hearings, reading almost every headline published and devouring most of the more impactful articles in depth and you can bet the house on the fact that we watch every debate, sometimes more than once.

But last night may prove to be one of those “I paid for this microphone” moments we will remember for decades to come – an abysmal performance by all at CNBC we may never forget.

It not only started out bad with insipid pre-debate banter that over ran into the time the candidates were being introduced where one commentator actually brought up previous memorable debate moments like the Reagan line, presaging more memorable moments about to be heard.

Debate moderators Carl Quintanilla (L), Becky Quick (C) and John Harwood  question candidates at the third Republican Presidential Debate hosted by CNBC, October 28, 2015 at the Coors Event Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado.  AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK        (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images) But will they still have jobs after last night?
Debate moderators Carl Quintanilla (L), Becky Quick (C) and John Harwood question candidates at the third Republican Presidential Debate hosted by CNBC, October 28, 2015 at the Coors Event Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Ironically, that Reagan v. Bush debate was also on NBC when Ronald Reagan so famously scolded the moderator then like Mitt Romney should have scolded Monica Crowley in  2012.

Mr. JON BREEN, Moderator: Would the sound man please turn Mr. Reagan’s mic off for the moment?

Mr. RONALD REAGAN, GOP Presidential Candidate: Is this on? Mr. Green…If you ask me… I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Green!

Reagan may have gotten the name wrong, but he certainly put Breen in his place and last night, Sen. Cruz put the entire panel of moderators in their rightful place – ignominy!

Last night we saw virtually every candidate feel the need to scold the moderators from CNBC and correctly so in our opinion. In fact, many think Crowley recovered okay but John Harwood and Becky Quick may have ruined their careers with their performances last night.

These two may take the gold and silver as the following article explains, but it was more than Mr. Priebus on the carpet now, it may also have been the death knell from Jeb Bush who was bested at least twice, one by Rubio and then by Chris Christie:

The mainstream media—as represented by the business cable network’s principal moderators, Carl Quintanilla, Becky Quick, and especially John Harwood—took it on the chin as candidate after candidate, to hearty applause from the partisan audience at the University of Colorado, pointed out that their questions were inaccurate, unfair, or otherwise plain silly.

“Are we truly talking about fantasy football?” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie demanded after Quintanilla asked former Florida governor Jeb Bush whether the online sports industry should be regulated as a gambling enterprise by the federal government.

Bush however may be the biggest loser for another reason, not only did he get bested by his former “student” he also wasted his scant time (he had the least) on talking about his fantasy football prowess instead of how to fix the nation.

Perhaps our favorite line of the night also came from Senator Cruz when he pointed out the irony of an all democratic set of moderators at a Republican debate as well as Democrat debates:

…nobody watching at home believed that any of the moderators had any intention of voting in a Republican primary. (Read the entire transcript here.)

Senator Cruz rightfully scolds the moderators...
Senator Cruz rightfully scolds the moderators…

Also, why were there so many moderators and why were they always appearing to yell? Jim Cramer…shake the head folks! Last night proves what we all know…media bias is a clear and present danger to our nation!

Please watch here for the “ten best moments” as compiled by the Washington Post then read on:

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CNBC’s Harwood Now Media Bias Poster Boy After Career-Altering ‘Moderating’ of GOP Debate

I had to watch it again.

I had to make sure I witnessed what I just witnessed.

And upon absorbing the whole thing and double checking my notes from watching last night and again this morning before sunrise, they were practically identical. Conclusion: CNBC, a solid niche network with solid talent, just performed the worst moderation of any debate — and we’re including all presidential, vice presidential, fictional… the one fromOld School (Will Ferrell’s Frank the Tank vs. James Carville moderated by Jeremy Piven’s Dean Pritcher), the one from Clueless (Alicia Silverstone vs Amber on the plight of Haitian refugees) — in American history.

So who’s to blame? Here’s your Top 3 culprits:

1) Gold — John Harwood.

I was foolish enough to believe that Harwood, who doesn’t hide his biases leftward, would be professional and (more importantly) aware enough of being on the biggest stage of his career to ask substantive questions without editorial. First question out of the gate? Dubbing the GOP frontrunner’s (RCP average) candidacy as fiction, as right out of a “comic book.” That set the tone for the entire evening, and most of the candidates on stage sensed what was happening. Ted Cruz, who tied winning this debate with Marco Rubio, seized the opportunity with this haymaker:

“Let me say something at the outset,” said Cruz. “The questions that you have asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people do not trust the media.

“This is not a cage match,” he said.

“And if you look at the questions: Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math. John Kasich, will you insult two people over here. Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen? How about talking about the substantive issues people care about.”

I’ve never been one to reflexively use the term “liberal mainstream media” anywhere–TV, radio, columns. It’s a beaten-down term that sometimes has some weight (via a specific hard example) behind it, but oftentimes doesn’t (via reaching to connect the dots around conspiracy theories). And it’s used so often that the impact gets lost (Google any instance the term “liberal mainstream media” has been used in this space, win valuable prizes). But last night wasn’t one of those times where Republicans and conservative media were whining without warrant for being treated different than their Democratic counterparts. They were treated differently. Blatantly. At two points Harwood outright lied (yes… lied… these weren’t cases of simply misstating the facts).

The first instance regarded Rubio’s tax plan, which Harwood had to correct himself on in a story written two weeks ago:

HarwoodTweet

HARWOOD: Senator Rubio, 30 seconds to you. The Tax Foundation, which was alluded to earlier, scored your tax plan and concluded that you give nearly twice as much of a gain in after-tax income to the top 1 percent as to people in the middle of the income scale. Since you’re the champion of Americans living paycheck-to- paycheck, don’t you have that backward?

RUBIO: No, that’s — you’re wrong. In fact, the largest after- tax gains is for the people at the lower end of the tax spectrum under my plan. And there’s a bunch of things my tax plan does to help them. Number one, you have people in this country that…

HARWOOD: The Tax Foundation — just to be clear, they said the…

RUBIO: …you wrote a story on it, and you had to go back and correct it.

HARWOOD (now lying): No, I did not.

RUBIO: You did. No, you did.

The second time Harwood lied regarded the length of the debate itself. Per about 1,000 media outlets and the network itself, CNBC had planned for three hours, but shortened it to two after Trump and Carson threatened a boycott. And when Trump was bragging about getting the network to acquiesce to his demands quickly, Harwood inexplicably insisted the debate was two hours all along. It’s not hard to imagine an executive producer back in the control room using the CBS Sports director line from the movie Tin Cup, when Kevin Costner’s Roy McAvoy was self-destructing on the final hole of the U.S. Open: “That’s insane! Somebody tackle him!”

Needless to say, no objective person will take Harwood seriously about anything for a very long time. This was career-altering stuff we witnessed last night.

2) Silver — Becky Quick.

She had Trump dead to rights on a disparaging quote regarding Mark Zuckerberg and Rubio (calling Rubio the Facebook founder’s “personal senator” on his own website). We’ll avoid the details, because the true relevance here is Quick’s preparation and sourcing. Here’s the transcript:

QUICK: You have been very critical of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook who has wanted to increase these number of H1b —

TRUMP: I was not at all critical of him. In frank, he’s complaining that we’re losing some of the best people … I am all in favor of keeping these talented people here so they can go to work in Silicon Valley.

QUICK: So where did I read this and come up with this you’re —

TRUMP: Probably, I don’t know. You people write this stuff.

Moderator 101 stuff: If you’re quoting someone to their face with millions watching, you might want to have the source of where that quote came from at the ready. Quick did not, even after having weeks to prepare for such a moment. Again, like Harwood, this was another unforced error that will at least ensure she’s never part of any presidential debate going forward.

3) Bronze — Reince Priebus.

The RNC Chair should take a few lessons from Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who rules with a Vladimir Putin-like iron fist when it comes to debates, format, moderator selection, etc. You can blame CNBC all you like, but Priebus agreed to this Fugitive-esque train wreck. Many conservatives on Twitter are calling for him to be fired for allowing Harwood anywhere near the moderator table and not vetting the network better beforehand. That won’t happen, of course, but if and when it eventually does, mark Oct. 28/CNBC in your calendar for when that ball got rolling.

Honorable mention — Saturday Night Live. Will NBC mock their own sister network the way they did Fox and CNN for prior debates? Don’t count on anything too edgy… we’ll put it that way.

The Republicans held their third debate last night. It was so bad, it had to be viewed twice just for confirmation alone. And just like the first two debates, the next day we’re not talking about who made the best arguments, presented the best ideas or who appeared the most presidential.

Instead, in a recurring theme on this reality show: It’s all about the moderators, the food fights, and in last night’s case, the unmistakable bias marinated in snark.

 

The jokes are on us, and so are the lies – Williams & Stewart

Editor’s Note – Over the weekend, the NY Post published an opinion piece by Kyle Smith that examined the way people get their news, who they believe, and why, in a manner that nails it on the head. Well done Kyle Smith!

His piece addresses two major figures in the news recently, Brian Williams of NBC, and Jon Stewart of the Daily Show – and all the lies!

In a well-written, well-researched, and amusing critique of Stewart’s recent show where he tackled and defended Brian Williams, it represents the answer to the questions above.

He concludes the article by saying: “Brian Williams has become a joke for telling lies, but Jon Stewart is a liar for the way he told jokes.” Couldn’t have said it better.

To be frank, Smith did what we wish we could have done and have been trying for years, showing how societal memes rule the day. Showing how lies become ‘truth,’ and showing how disingenuous the media is today.

WilliamsStewartLies

 

Bill O’Reilly might take a valuable lesson from Smith’s piece, so the next time he gives air time to Stewart, he doesn’t lend legitimacy to Stewart so undeservedly. Alan Colmes, Juan Williams, Rachel Maddow, and Kiersten Powers could also learn a thing or two here.

If it ain’t “cool,” eyes glaze over, if it isn’t entertaining, yawns abound, if it ain’t pretty, the thumb on the clicker couldn’t hit ‘next’ fast enough. If it’s about how the left is lazy, hides, spreads lies, or rattles on with tired and untrue memes…crickets! Again, thank you Kyle Smith.

The only thing Smith did not address was the 800 pound ‘lying gorilla’ on all our screens daily; Obama – he of the liar-of-the-year fame. But then again, we all know that already – right? After all, this piece is already long, but well worth the read!

How Jon Stewart turned lies into comedy and brainwashed a generation

So Brian Williams goes out (for six months) humiliated and derided. Jon Stewart goes out (permanently, one hopes) the same day, but on a giant Comedy Homecoming King float, with a 21-gun salute from the media, his path strewn with roses and teardrops.

Why? Brian Williams lied about his personal exploits a few times. Jon Stewart was unabashedly and habitually dishonest.

Though Stewart has often claimed he does a “fake news show,” “The Daily Show” isn’t that. It’s a real news show punctuated with puns, jokes, asides and the occasional moment of staged sanctimony.

It contains real, unstaged sound bites about the day’s events and interviews about important policy matters.

Stewart is a journalist: an irresponsible and unprofessional one.

Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart onstage at O’Reilly Vs. Stewart 2012: The Rumble In The Air-Conditioned Auditorium. Photo: Getty Images
Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart onstage at O’Reilly Vs. Stewart 2012: The Rumble In The Air-Conditioned Auditorium.
Photo: Getty Images

He is especially beloved by others in the journo game. (For every 100 viewers, he generated about 10 fawning profiles in the slicks, all of them saying the same thing: The jester tells the truth!)

Any standard liberal publication was as likely to contain an unflattering thought about Stewart as L’Osservatore Romano is to run a hit piece on the pope.

The hacks have a special love for Stewart because he’s their id. They don’t just think he’s funny, they thrill to his every sarcastic quip. They wish they could get away with being so one-sided, snarky and dismissive.

They wish they could skip over all the boring phone calls and the due diligence and the pretend fairness and just blurt out to their ideological enemies in Stewart style, “What the f–k is wrong with you?”

Most other journalists aren’t allowed to swear or to slam powerful figures (lest they be denied chances to interview them in future). Their editors make them tone down their opinions and cloak them behind weasel words like “critics say.” Journalists have to dress up in neutrality drag every day, and it’s a bore.

Yet Stewart uses his funnyman status as a license to dispense with even the most minimal journalistic standards. Get both sides of the story? Hey, I’m just a comedian, man. Try to be responsible about what the real issues are? Dude, that’s too heavy, we just want to set up the next d- -k joke.

Stewart is often derided by the right as having minimal impact and low ratings. That’s not true. He and Stephen Colbert ruled the late-night ratings among 18- to 34-year-olds for most of the last five years, though Jimmy Fallon has lately surpassed both.

Jon Stewart’s defense of Brian Williams was “The Daily Show” in a nutshell — laugh off a scandal and change the subject. Photo: Getty Images
Jon Stewart’s defense of Brian Williams was “The Daily Show” in a nutshell — laugh off a scandal and change the subject.
Photo: Getty Images

About 522,000 Americans in that age range watch “The Daily Show” on an average night, but that means many millions of occasional viewers, with millions more watching clips online.

To a key audience, he was a strong influence. Longtime Cooper Union history professor Fred Siegel says his students constantly came to him repeating Stewart’s talking points.

College students, of course, are both little acquainted with realities of adult existence and walled off from conservative views, so they’re the perfect audience for Stewart’s shtick, which depends on assumptions that are as unquestioned as they are false.

This week’s “Daily Show” segment in which Stewart defended Williams was distilled, Everclear-strength Stewart. It was as amazing as watching Barbra Streisand run through a medley of her greatest hits in only seven minutes: In this little chunk of error, cliche, preening and deception, Stewart managed to pack an example of just about everything that is unbearable about his style. It bears close study.

Stewart made some mild jokes at the anchordude’s expense, interrupted with insufferable Jerry Lewis-style mugging, baby talk, high-pitched silly voices and the inevitable reference to whether Williams was “high” (authority figures getting high: always comedy gold to the campus audience).

Stewart slipped in a line of blatant editorializing: “Being caught is punishment enough, no?” Really? Why? If so, argue it, don’t just point the sheep in the direction you want.

Williams is a news anchor. A guy whose three main skills are being good-looking, an ability to read the English language out loud and seeming credible. To put his case in Stewart-ese: “If you want to be considered a trustworthy source of facts, maybe try NOT LYING!!!”

Declaring that media coverage of Williams’ lies was “overkill,” Stewart then built a wedding cake of bullcrap, layer after layer of untruth.

His first move was to change the subject. He used a variant of the rhetorical fallacy known as the “tu quoque” argument, or calling out alleged hypocrisy. Taken to its endpoint, tu quoque (“you, too”) reasoning means no one would ever slam anyone for anything because, hey, we’re all imperfect.

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Tu quoque-ism is a generally meaningless gotcha game that can, of course, be turned right around on Stewart: Hey, Jon, you really think you’re the guy to call foul on nuking media personalities who have made misstatements?

In high dudgeon, as though the thought weren’t already a cliche we’d all seen many times on Twitter and Facebook, Stewart declared sarcastically, “Finally, someone is being held to account for misleading America about the Iraq War.”

Then came the inevitable gotcha sound bites: News figures discussing intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s WMD program. Why such a bizarre tangent into an unrelated matter? Because in Stewart’s mind, and those of his viewers, everything has to be the fault of an evil Republican, preferably George W. Bush.

Near the end of the segment, Stewart, with the prototypical combination of blustering self-righteousness and sarcasm that crystallizes his appeal to the college mentality, wondered whether the news shows will now start examining the “media malfeasance that led our country into the most catastrophic foreign policy decision in decades.”

Then (using comic bathos) Stewart cut to more newscasters making apparently trivial points about Williams’ lying. Stewart’s logic is this: The media can’t report negatively on anything anymore, because they dropped the ball on Iraq.

Stewart doesn’t actually believe that: It’s just a cheap gambit meant to get his buddy Williams off the hook by minimizing his serial lying. If Stewart were a public defender, he’d be even funnier than he is as a comic.

What judge or jury could fail to bust out laughing if a defense attorney said, “I have no rebuttal of any of the charges against my client, but lots of other people not in this courtroom are guilty of stuff, too!”?LiesQuoteLenin

I look forward to the next time a Republican assistant municipal treasurer in Dirt Falls, Idaho, says something awkward about race and Stewart says, “I forgive this guy given that the actual vice president of the United States once said of Barack Obama, ‘I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.’”

Let’s look at the media reports on Iraq that Stewart is arguing make Williams’ untruths pale in comparison. Problem: Those reports were not lies. Journalists trying to figure out whether the war was justified called up credible experts with experience in the field and passed along what they said. As a more honest version of Stewart might say, “Dude. That’s not malfeasance. That’s Re. Por. Ting.”

Stewart added that “it’s like the Bush administration hired Temple Grandin to build a machine that kills the truth.” Even the audience of devotees seemed to find this simile baffling.

The idea that “Bush lied” is itself a lazy, ill-informed and false statement.

As Judge Laurence Silberman, co-chairman of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, wrote in The Wall Street Journal last week, essentially nobody in the Washington intelligence community doubted the major report that Iraq had an active WMD program in 2002.

Obama.Bush.LiesThe National Intelligence Estimate delivered to the Senate and President Bush said there was a 90 percent certainty of WMDs. Democrat George Tenet, the Clinton CIA director who continued to serve under Bush, said the case for WMDs was a “slam dunk.”

John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and Joe Biden all looked at the intelligence and voted to authorize force. Sen. Jay Rockefeller argued strongly for the war. Then, years later, when it wasn’t going so well, he published a highly politicized report ripping Bush.

There is a serious case to be made against the Iraq War, but it’s a lot more complicated than the playground taunt, “Bush lied about WMDs.” (“Hey, I’m a comic, you expect me to do serious? Please welcome our next guest, Henry Kissinger!”)

Yet another lie on top of that is the absurd implication that the news media were too soft on Bush. The only way you could possibly consider the media to be too conservative would be if you were an extremist well to their left, which Stewart is.

During the Iraq War buildup, even as overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress authorized the use of force, 59 percent of the sound bites aired by the evening newscasts were antiwar, 29 percent pro-war.

To take another of innumerable examples, in 2006 Bush had about the same approval ratings that Obama suffered in 2014. The network news both commissioned far more polls when Bush stood to suffer, and reported on the Bush results far more.

Again, this isn’t close: The score was 52 to 2, as in 52 mentions of low Bush approval ratings versus two mentions of (even lower, at times) Obama approval ratings.

In every Gallup poll this century, more Americans called the media “too liberal” than “too conservative.” The numbers were 45 to 15 in 2003, the year of the Iraq invasion. In 2008, as Obama was being elected, it was 47 to 13. Last fall it was 44 to 19.

Thanks to polemicists and clowns, the myth that “Bush lied” has caught on, and now a majority of Americans believe it. Stewart-ism won the day.

Liberal comics make things up, liberal journalists chortle and praise and internalize the lies.

Before you know it, if you point out that Bill O’Reilly’s audience is just as well informed as NPR’s (as a Pew poll found), or that Sarah Palin never said, “I can see Russia from my house” (that was “Saturday Night Live”), you’re just a buzzkill.

Brian Williams has become a joke for telling lies, but Jon Stewart is a liar for the way he told jokes.

NBC – Zero Black support for Romney, Black Conservatives respond

Editor’s Note – When does a media outlet approach a zero rating itself? NBC sure comes close, especially when their poll shows that Romney has ZERO support from the black community. Makes one wonder how not even one black American supports Romney according to NBC, truly mystifying.

What is more believable is that not one NBC employee likes Romney, or any conservative!

Well black conservatives are speaking out! Grab a camera and a recorder NBC – these are black people too!

From the Blaze:

A whopping 0 percent of black voters support Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, if you trust the accuracy of a new NBC/WSJ poll.

While it isn’t surprising that President Obama leads Romney among black and other minority voters, the assertion that the GOP candidate has no support in the black community is hard to swallow.

NBC News breaks down the numbers from the poll:

Obama continues to lead Romney among key parts of his political base, including African Americans (94 percent to 0 percent), Latinos (by a 2-to-1 margin), voters under 35-years-old (52 percent to 41 percent) and women (51 percent to 41 percent).

Romney is ahead with whites (53 percent to 40 percent), rural voters (47 percent to 38 percent) and seniors (49 percent to 41 percent).

And the two presidential candidates are essentially even when it comes to the swing groups of suburban voters, Midwest residents and political independents.

Read the rest here.

Black Conservatives Speak Out After NBC/WSJ Poll Shows Black Support For Romney At ZERO

By “The Rat” at Mikes Right Blog

Remember the last presidential election in Iraq under Saddam Hussein? It was a nail-biter: Saddam won: 100% – 0%. As unbelievable as that seems, it’s happened again – right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. Yep, according to a poll conducted for NBC/WSJ, zero percent of blacks in America support Mitt Romney. Not 5% – or even 1%. 0%. Zilch. Zip. Squat. Amazing, huh?

These people are a figment of your imagination

So, the question arises: In order for 100% of the findings of this poll to be correct, 100% of the polling data needs to be correct, right? (Even if we assume Romney is supported by less than .005 blacks and the number was rounded down.) Therefore, we shouldn’t be able to find any black supporters of Mitt, right?

Being the superb investigative conservative political blogger that I am, guess what? I found some. After the poll’s findings were released, Twitter and Facebook were abuzz with comments from – wait for it – black conservatives! A sampling:

I hesitate to bust out the “R” word – given that we’re accused of it from the Left on a daily basis, (just yesterday for me, in fact), but is it not racism to virtually ignore the existence of a group of blacks – simply because they’re conservative? Is it not racist to relegate them to zero in a nationally-conducted poll? Doesn’t it say, “You don’t exist, and even if you do, you don’t matter – you’re zero.”? This non-existent black conservative said it best:

Listen, I’m not suggesting that Mitt Romney will get anywhere near 10% of the black vote; as I’ve said before, O could declare himself a communist, paint the White House black and set George Bush on fire, and his support among blacks would “plummet” to 85%. What I am saying is this: For generations, blacks have sought an “equal voice” – an opportunity to  ”just be heard.” Apparently this only applies to liberal blacks. After all, if you’re black and conservative in liberal America – you’re zero.

Come to think of it, if you’re black and conservative in liberal America, you’re worse than zero; you’re a traitor.

Holder's Revenge – Reverse Discrimination

Editors Note – The battlefronts around the globe are growing exponentially as more hot zones are growing out of burning embers. There is one distinct hot zone upon America now that is festering with the help of the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

This smoldering ember is bursting into flames, into a true civil and racial meltdown in America with fuel being added by the likes of Spike Lee, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters, and Sheila Jackson Lee. There can be no denial that the White House and the DoJ have the matches and these grass fires around the country will soon become an explosive fire where more deaths will hit the headlines.

The White House owns the media and they too are fanning the flames. The next phone call Mr. Obama makes should be to NBC. He should tell them to stop fanning the flames through “creative editing”. NBC is supposedly conducting an internal investigation, but if the President were genuine about the need for truth to emerge, he should start by demanding that NBC apologize to this nation.

Today aired a portion of the 911 clip, where Zimmerman says: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”

The Today Show - Deliberately mis-led America

However, the full call actually has Zimmerman stating: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”

The 911 operator replies: “Okay. And this guy, is he white, black or Hispanic?”, to which Zimmerman responds: “He looks black.”

Holder’s Revenge

By John T. Bennett

American Thinker

Reverse discrimination against whites has just begun, according to Attorney General Eric Holder.  Now, the exploitation of Trayvon Martin’s death has thrown the cycle of racial resentment and favoritism into overdrive.

There has been much poisonous rhetoric following Trayvon Martin’s death, and more is sure to come.  It is hard to imagine that any other current topic could result in racial madness exceeding that tragedy.  Nonetheless, an exceptionally ominous and instructive remark was recently made byAttorney General Eric Holder — a remark more outlandish than any heard so far in our national conversation about Martin.

Attorney General Holder recently addressed the question of affirmative action, and for how long it would be required.  He answered, stunningly, that reverse discrimination has only just begun: “Affirmative action has been an issue since segregation practices,” Holder said.  “The question is not when does it end, but when does it begin[.] … When do people of color truly get the benefits to which they are entitled?”

We see in these remarks the soil out of which rises the bitter fruit of racial resentment.  Holder’s attitude is best summed up as the elite victim mentality.  The belief is one of perpetual entitlement, fueled by bitterness, and given the stamp of official approval by politicians at the highest levels of national office.  The Trayvon Martin upheaval is made possible by this carefully cultivated attitude, which exists within all income levels.  Whether it’s under the guise of injustice, inequality, underrepresentation, or white supremacy, the effect of the attitude is the same: sheer resentment towards the majority and its institutions.

Not all minorities share this attitude, while many non-minorities do.  For instance, Professor William B. Eimicke of Columbia University supports a lawsuit against New York City because the city doesn’t have enough black firefighters.  Eimicke, who is white, says, “The reality is the [fire] department should look like the city it serves.”  In other words, the fire department has something wrong with it because there are not enough blacks employed.  This is an example of an educated, mainstream leader promoting an arbitrary standard of underrepresentation.  Such standards will only fuel more demands for special treatment, and more resentment when the arbitrary standard proves predictably impossible to meet.

Take the example of Eimicke’s fellow Columbia faculty.  Of the 70 core faculty members in Prof. Eimicke’s department, there are 3 blacks.  Seventy-five percent of the faculty is white, and 4% is black, whereas New York City is 45% white and 27% black.  Presumably, the principle that a fire department “should look like the city it serves” also applies to the faculty of a tony university.  If the faculty “should look like the city it serves,” then Columbia needs to expedite the removal of white professors.  Will Eimicke enlist in the righteous cause of minority representation and quit?  Or is that a sacrifice he prefers to delegate to students or middle- and working-class whites?  We all know the answer: elite liberal hypocrisy protects many academics and politicians from the application of their own dogmas.  Columbia’s faculty will never match the ethnic makeup of New York Citybecause professors are typically protected from purported racial favoritism, while firemen are fair game.

As the attorney general’s remark shows, the cycle of elite liberal hypocrisy and racial favoritism will never end, so long as liberals control racial discourse.

In the meantime, the results will become increasingly absurd.  The attorney general’s daughters, and each successive generation, will continue to benefit from affirmative action to the same degree as truly disadvantaged minorities.  This incongruity grows more and more evident, as Democratic Senator James Webb pointed out in his famous Wall Street Journal editorial piece.  Sen. Webb noted that affirmative action policies have “expanded so far beyond their original purpose that they now favor anyone who does not happen to be white.”  Racial preferences extend to business startups, prestigious academic admissions, job promotions, and expensive government contracts.  Many of these preferences have no relationship to discrimination, oppression, or even socioeconomic class level; they even benefit recent immigrants whose ancestors never faced discrimination in America.  Instead, we are actually creating a government-sanctioned nobility — a favored class of citizens with officially endorsed, race-based hereditary privileges.

Under the sway of of identity politics and racial grievance, even the most privileged members of our society will hold onto petty gripes.  In a 2009 commencement address, the First Lady complained about her childhood experience with the University of Chicago.  Recalling that she grew up right near the campus, she stated:

[T]hat university never played a meaningful role in my academic development. The institution made no effort to reach out to me — a bright and promising student in their midst — and I had no reason to believe there was a place for me there.

That she felt entitled to be “reached out to” in the first place is astonishing.  The egomaniacal sense of entitlement contained in her remarks will strike most people as utterly foreign.  Yet this way of conceiving of one’s own position in society is commonly shared.  Amongst the lower class, this attitude takes the form of demands for “Obama money” and other such hilarity.

Perhaps Michelle Obama should have made an effort at some point to understand why young white students, many of whom were not from Chicago, would have been reticent about venturing out into the South Side of Chicago.  The reasons are not hard to discover.  Immediately after their report on the First Lady’s address, CNN aired a segment on violent crime on the South Side.  Chief Ernest Brown of Chicago’s Organized Crime Division explained the high rate of youth violence by saying that “their behavior is just inconsistent with civility.”  With that in mind, many students — of all races — may not feel that it is their place to step into another community and attempt to help its youth.  In fact, not even Dr. Martin Luther King and his family stayed in urban Chicago for long after starting to work in the city in 1966.  Cohen and Taylor write that Coretta Scott King was concerned about violence in the neighborhood, and the Kings spent little time there [1].

Our own attorney general, ostensibly committed to even-handed enforcement of the nation’s laws, referred to blacks as “my people.”  Strangely, it is socially acceptable for only certain groups to proudly claim ethnic group membership.  If similar tribal loyalties were publicly boasted by a white ethnic, that would be seen as sinister.  Just imagine the reaction if a President Bush had identified — on the basis of race –– with a victim of minority-on-white crime by saying, “Channon Christian looks like my daughters.”

Identifying with an ethnic group as one’s own “people” will lead in most cases to in-group favoritism.  Cultural pride is one thing, but proclaiming exclusive ethnic group affiliation while occupying a position of public trust is another.  This tendency is too often written off as a harmless cultural tic or a healthy form of therapeutic identity formation.  The trouble is that there is a worldview lying beneath the “my people” language.

In his remarks, the attorney general has provided the most explicit statement of ethnic favoritism and racial grievance by a high public official in American history.  And the racket has just begun: “When do people of color truly get the benefits to which they are entitled?” asks Holder.  The question is rhetorical, and his constituents know the answer.

In this liberal, racialized conception of society, minority groups are supposedly not getting “benefits to which they are entitled.”  The danger in this attitude is not just that people are asking for free stuff from the government.  The danger is that minority group members are made to believe that society is purposefully withholding benefits from them due to their racial group membership.  Hence the resentment and latent animosity lurking at the core of the welfare state, and its ever-expanding legion of dependents.

This menacing fact was once openly recognized by sociologists.  Decades ago, Edward C. Banfield wrote that urban social problems will increasingly come to be regarded as the fault of “callousness or neglect by the ‘white power structure'” [2].  Just as expected, we now have a cult of anti-white resentment named Critical Race Theory being taught in law schools around the nation.

The constant use of physical metaphors like “white power structure” will guarantee that some people view themselves — usually falsely — as being intentionally excluded from that structure.  Of course, structures comprise people, so real human beings will inevitably become targets of the resentment originally intended for abstract “power structures.”

The victim mentality feeds off racial bitterness, which is constantly politicized and enflamed.  We see this in the rhetoric of Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-Florida), who said that Trayvon Martin was “hunted down like a dog.”  The attorney general and president are doing their part to sow the seeds of bitterness, entitlement, and racial favoritism.  By acknowledging those seeds, one begins to understand why racial double standards and potential violence are so easily stirred up amidst controversies such as the current one involving Trayvon Martin.

John T. Bennett (MA, University of Chicago, Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences ’07; JD, Emory University School of Law ’11) is a writer living in Atlanta, GA.