Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, November 14, 2013 7:21 pm

The Washington Effing Post Needs to Fire Richard Effing Cohen. Today.

Filed under: Aiee! Teh stoopid! It burns! — Lex @ 7:21 pm

As you might be aware, so-called liberal Richard Cohen published a column in the Post a few days ago that, to anyone with half a brain, demonstrated that he is an unreconstructed racist. It included such gems as:

Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all.

So, people who gag at the thought of “a white man married to a black woman with two biracial children” are just “people with conventional views” and not, you know, effing racists. And it’s not that so-called cultural conservatives are racist, heavens, no. It’s just that the sight of a white man married to a black woman with two biracial children “doesn’t look like their country at all.”

Which is, I am sure, exactly how Thomas Jefferson felt.

(And don’t even get me started on “used to be a lesbian.” Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. Interrobang.)

Not only did Richard Cohen write this column, but presumably, no one at the Post even blinked during the editing process. Still, it is Cohen’s work, and it is a work of thermonuclear hate and stupidity so vile and staggering that the only decent, humane response from the standpoint of, you know, readers is to terminate him with extreme prejudice, or at least dump him and his desk out a second-floor window and plow the floor of his former office with salt so that nothing that stupid can ever grow there again.

(Ta’Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic offers a slightly more nuanced response.)

But there’s a bigger problem than Cohen. And that problem is that liberals, because they are so damn decent and forgiving, are willing, at the worst, to just shrug and say, “Well, that’s Cohen. Let’s move on.” Just like liberals said impeachment of Bush 43 for torture and other crimes against humanity was “off the table” once Democrats regained control of Congress in 2006. Just like at least some liberals think there might actually be some virtue in cuts, however minor, to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as part of a “Grand Bargain” to “fix the deficit.”

Aw, hell, no. On this one, I’m with John Cole:

This is not the [expletive] time to say “Can we all just agree that Richard Cohen is an [expletive] and move on?”Haven’t y’all been doing that for several decades (I’m kinda new to the cause, having converted late)? How has that worked out? Moving on and not talking about him has meant several more decades of talking about him. How about we once and for all do something about it?

This is what shocks me over and over and over again. Wingnuts, at any perceived slight, go for the throat — and more often than not they get the head. Don’t believe me? Ask Phil Donahue and Ashleigh Banfield and Dan Rather and David Schuster and on and on and on. And those are just media folks — you could start with Shirley Sherrod and work your way through public servants all the way through academia down to the smallest most insignificant guy working for ACORN. They go for the kill.

And here, we have an allegedly well-meaning guy who just wants to translate to the 75% of unenlightend Americans why interracial marriage is unconventional dead to rights, and folks wanna say “Let’s just move on.”

No. I’m not ready to move on. Moving on means moving forward, and moving forward means rejecting the status quo and working towards something better. And we can’t move forward until folks like Richard Cohen and his ilk are put out to pasture. If you want to change [expletive], do it one [expletive]head at a time. I’m tired of waiting for David Broder to die* while Fox News elevates Karl Rove.

Because I’m beyond sick and tired of putting up with this crap, and I’m done moving on.

*Yes, I know Broder is already dead. Cole knows it, too; I think he meant this in the sense of “Broder-style thinking.”



  1. Axing racists. ?? Let’s start here Carolla attacked what he saw as the narcissistic attitude that leads people to call others racists, sexists or homophobes

    { WARNING .. This may make you feel uncomfortable } …..

    During his podcast on Thursday, Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew discussed problems with the far left, racism, and Carolla’s simple success tips on family and education.

    After suggesting that Anthony Weiner should insist that his name is actually pronounced ‘Whiner’, in order to deflect the jokes about him, Carolla discussed what he perceives as the racist-baiting of the left.

    Carolla: “I did HuffPo yesterday… They wanted to get into why I called them ‘assholes’, basically, for taking my Gavin Newsome thing. They did what a lot of folks on the left do, which is they take a problem… Then they take the person who would like to find the root of the problem, label him a racist, offer no solutions for the problem, other than me and my racism and then move on. As conquering heroes, by the way. They make proclamations of a problem, and if you offer a serious solution to the problem…that becomes hate speak. I don’t know if you know this, but suggesting that families stay together and focus on education has become hate speak. Does that seem like hate speak to you? … So I get into it with [Lieutenant Governor of California] Gavin Newsom, the headline on the Huffington Post is, ‘Carolla wants to know what’s wrong with blacks and Hispanics.’ Is that what happened?… It’s not.”

    The conversation with Newsom, in May, centered on Carolla attacking the Lieutenant Governor for not having a clear answer about why poverty strikes African-Americans and Hispanics in such high numbers.

    Dr. Drew chimed in that “We [white people] are not allowed to weigh-in on much nowadays. Free speech is a fallacy.”

    Carolla then replayed and commentated on his discussion on Tuesday with HuffPost Live.

    CAROLLA: I gave him the answer which is family and education and we can all get out of this mess and he said it was more complicated than that.

    HUFFPO: It is more complicated than that. It is much harder to get out of a certain income bracket if you are born into it…

    CAROLLA: And that’s why you have to focus on family and education.

    HUFFPO: It won’t solve everything.

    CAROLLA: It would solve everything.

    HUFFPO: Just family and education? What about the drug war that we have, the school to prison pipeline…

    CAROLLA: The school to prison pipeline — if you focused on education, I think would interrupt the school to prison pipeline. Unless there’s physically a pipeline.

    HUFFPO: Yeah, I guess schools are focusing less on education and more on reprimanding kids.

    CAROLLA: Her argument, is what, about the minorities being expelled disproportionately from school? I would argue once again, family and education is going to interrupt that. But she wants to focus on why someone’s being suspended for fighting, or whatever reasons you suspend someone for. That’s been around for a long time. This hasn’t. What does she want to focus on? She wants less discipline. [She thinks] that certain cultures are being disciplined at a higher rate than other cultures.

    Carolla then went on a impassioned rant about the “super left-wing cool guy comedy club” that despite their claims of his racism, are in fact the racist ones for “treating races like kids” that “can’t handle the truth.”

    “You want to know what’s racist? Treating races like kids,” Carolla said. “Like they can’t handle the truth. Like they can’t pull themselves up by their own boot-straps. What’s racist is all the super-scared white people, who live in the fuckin’ triple-gated communities who are scared shitless about certain races and don’t believe, in their heart — ultimate racism — that they’re capable of doing what they’re capable of doing. That’s racism.”

    “Me asking somebody…to engage in a behavior that I know would lead to a path to success is not racist… Look, listen, there’s a club in this town… The cool guy comedy club is super left-wing, throws around a lot of terms like ‘the pipeline from schools to prisons’ and ‘voter suppression’ and things like that,” Carolla continued. “The little things that you and I wouldn’t think of as a big issue, such as getting valid ID in the state that you live in, or focusing on schoolwork and education and homework and things like that. These are the things that they don’t think that certain cultures are up to. And so they use that and they sit up on top of Mount Pious, and they look down, and they throw around these terms, and then they all go to their parties that don’t involve any of these nationalities, and they smoke weed and they talk about what a racist I am.”

    Additionally, Carolla attacked what he saw as the narcissistic attitude that leads people to call others racists, sexists or homophobes.

    “You have to understand, every time somebody says, ‘you’re racist’, ‘you’re sexist’, ‘you’re homophobic’, really what they’re saying is, ‘I’m not’, ‘I’m better.’ It’s not really about me, it’s about them,” Carolla said. “It’s much more to do with them than does with me… It’s mainly a narcism. ‘You are fat. Thus, I am skinny.’ ‘You are racist. Thus, I’m evolved.’ ‘You’re homophobic. Thus, I am not.’ You see what I’m saying? All the finger pointing is really about self-congratulation.”

    Dr. Drew warned Adam about the possibilities of the government prosecuting him for being perceived as a racist.

    “Do you have any fear that the government-overreach now becomes the daddy, the boss, that you get the Justice Department coming in here because somebody rings a bell and says, ‘Adam Carolla’s a dangerous guy, you need to investigate him’, and they find some ‘t’ not crossed in your OSHA regulations. You know what I mean? They could fuck you up. Government overreach is here, man,” Drew said.

    Carolla responded, “Oh no, I’m sure of it.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Friday, November 15, 2013 2:25 am @ 2:25 am | Reply

  2. People of ALL races find it statistically less and less likely to be able to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps in the U.S.: We have the lowest rate of upward social mobility of any large democracy besides the UK, and for a while a few years ago, we were even lower than the UK on that measure.

    More to the point, the fact that SOME people might charge racism wrongly SOME of the time does not change the fact that Richard Cohen said something incredibly racist here and has a long record of doing so and needs to be fired. That’s the point. Address it, don’t change the subject: You agree, you disagree. The column’s right there, so those are your options.

    Comment by Lex — Friday, November 15, 2013 2:52 am @ 2:52 am | Reply

  3. The deBlasio family deserves an apology.

    Cohens scalp means nothing to me . Dismissed or retained, the Post will not perish.

    Lex you are talking to the hand, If you want Cohen’s head on a pike then fire off a missive to his bosses ( one of who has defended him ) cause I doubt they read this blog.

    MSNBC would go to test pattern if insebsitive, hateful, cruel and yes racist language was cause for having a license being pulled .

    I think it’s reprehensible to say that because you disagree with something that you should fire me. That’s what totalitarians do

    ” Cohen’s boss, Post editorial-page editor Fred Hiatt, defends his man in this latest flap this way: “Anyone reading Richard’s entire column will see he is just saying that some Americans still have a hard time dealing with interracial marriage.” But Hiatt takes some of the heat himself, saying, ‘I erred in not editing that one sentence more carefully to make sure it could not be misinterpreted.’ ”

    And Cohen takes on his critics

    “I don’t understand it,” said the columnist, who lives in New York City. “What I was doing was expressing not my own views but those of extreme right-wing Republican tea party people. I don’t have a problem with interracial marriage or same-sex marriage. In fact, I exult in them. It’s a slander” to suggest otherwise. “This is just below the belt. It’s a purposeful misreading of what I wrote.”

    He added, “I think it’s reprehensible to say that because you disagree with something that you should fire me. That’s what totalitarians do.”

    Go find another windmill to tilt at, cuz the Post ain’t canning him. (-:

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Friday, November 15, 2013 4:21 pm @ 4:21 pm | Reply

    • Of course not. Fred Hiatt knows who butters his bread, and it isn’t people who give much of a damn about racism. I *will* give him credit for admitting he screwed up the editing, though. Never expected him to do that.

      Comment by Lex — Friday, November 15, 2013 4:23 pm @ 4:23 pm | Reply

  4. Developing: Alec Baldwin suspended for two weeks !

    Man.. They are cracking down hard over there at MSNBC. ( Chortle )

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Saturday, November 16, 2013 4:14 am @ 4:14 am | Reply

  5. Yeah, well, MSNBC has a history of that (Donahue, Ashleigh Banfield, etc.). At the same time, it looks like Baldwin brought this on himself not because of his politics but because his behavior bordered on criminal. I have no problem suspending him over that.

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, November 16, 2013 11:40 am @ 11:40 am | Reply

  6. But here’s a question, Fred: If the Blasio family deserves an apology as you say, then why? If Cohen’s column wasn’t racist, what else about it do you think was bad enough to merit an apology?

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, November 16, 2013 11:53 am @ 11:53 am | Reply

  7. Like the Post’s ombudsman I think Cohen’s column “was in poor taste and provided too much information”. Cohen say’s he not a racist and did express regret but it was a graceless, bordering on wierd, apology …

    Here is Martin Bashair ( MSNBC ) with a real and sincere apology to Sarah Palin.

    I am not going to link what he is sorry for saying but perhaps you should Google it .

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Monday, November 18, 2013 7:08 pm @ 7:08 pm | Reply

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