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Git Yer Mind Right, Tim Russert!

By Gary Markowitz  Posted by Gary Markowitz (about the submitter)     Permalink
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Tim Russert has this odd show on Saturdays that’s simply called “Tim Russert.” Not to be confused with Meet the Press on Sundays. It looks like its budget is about the cost of the electricity they use. There is a table, four chairs and a black sheet for a backdrop.

Tim to NBC News: Lemme have an hour on Saturday. It’ll cost a nickel. No script, no graphics – we won’t even roll credits. I’ll just wing it with a few B-level talking heads that didn’t make it on to the Sunday show.

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Today, Tim seems befuddled. I think someone must have slipped something in his Hires Root Beer. He stumbled into an obvious misquote of Bill Clinton. It was as if he stuck his thumb into the echo chamber and pulled out a moldy plum.

For the billionth time – the Talking Headocracy never seem to tire of this – they are talking about the race card in South Carolina. I thought for sure I had killed that off with my last editorial read by untold dozens of people in which I declared that there was to be no more talk of cards or code words or any of that nonsense. If you think Bill played the race card, please say the following words “Bill Clinton is a Racist.”

But here’s Tim, sagely, sadly, intoning “South Carolina” like it was some Civil War battlefield. It has replaced the obligatory, see-how-dialed-in-I-am phrase “The Kurds in the North,” in the early days of the I-War. But today he seems off-stride – like he keeps expecting his PowerPoint slides to pop up, forgetting it’s not in the budget. You’re a pro, Tim. Keep it moving – wing it baby. And so, from Russert’s wise, humble, yet massive head tumble the following words:

“Going into South Carolina Ron [Bernstein], all the polls indicated that, um, the African-American community was gonna split. Maybe 50/30, 60/40… and then came some comments by Bill Clinton, aaahm, he says they were misinterpreted, uh… the whole idea about Fairy Tale – applying to Obama’s position on Iraq, uhh [suddenly, he’s struggling to retrieve the data] other comments ‘bout risky roll the dice, ahh [starting to babble, now he stares at a spot on the desk… must maintain!], eahhh… a young, articulate, African American… [panicking - go to a quick wrapup] things that were heard diffintly [sic] by African Americans than a lot of whites.” [The latter said with a sympathetic “go figure” shrug of the shoulders and eyebrows.]

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(And I swore I’d never again use the phrase “Hello?”)

HELL-O?? If I’m not mistaken, that was a guy named Biden done said the “articulate” bit. It was in all the papers.

Big deal, you say? Well it was a big enough deal that he brought it up in all his shaggy sageness as being pivotal in the primary battle (yawn). Elisabeth Bumiller also seemed to struggle. She blurted out that alienated “African American voters FELT he had injected race into it…[whether he actually did or not].” Gee, wonder why it was perceived that way? When we catch the rascals responsible for all this preceivin’ someone should give them a good whuppin’.

Tim Russert served up a nice bowl of Wrong. Horseshoe rules seem to be good enough for the MSM. Russert mistook and conflated Clinton’s words with Biden’s immortal mouthful. "The first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy" was famously and universally described as clueless, insensitive, insulting and bizarre. Not however, malicious or racist – but part rather, of a familiar pattern of Biden Logorrheana. (Now collected in a handy, bedside edition.)

Here is something Bill Clinton did actually say in speech in the eponymous town of Clinton S. Carolina:

1) CNN

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"While I think it would be good based on my personal life experience to have the first woman president," Clinton said in this town that shares his name, "I also understand why a lot of African-American voters think it would be symbolically powerful and important to elect a brilliant, articulate, compelling vision embodied in Sen. Obama as the first African-American president." (Emphasis added.) The article went on to report:

“In Spartanburg earlier Friday, Clinton decried racial divisions in politics and said that Americans are ‘literally aching to live in a post-racial future.’”

(Whoops. How’d that crap get in there? Sorry it won’t happen again.)

Those of us who are attuned to, and care about the impact and implications of words will see that there is a world of difference between calling Obama “articulate” (i.e. remarkably sharp for a black person) and calling his vision brilliant, compelling and articulate. A seemingly minor difference but in fact and effect, worlds apart.

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