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An Observation on all this Discussion of Martin, Owens, and the Blogosphere

I don’t have time for a lenghty post, but the following has been rolling around in my head for a day or so now.

So let me get this straight:  we are supposed to accept the notion that the media coverage of the Trayvon Martin case is creating a wave of revenge attacks across the country but at the same time it is ridiculous to even think about the fact that there is nothing in the history of the United States that would have given legitimate pause over a situation in which an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed with no arrests made and seemingly an inadequate investigation was undertaken.

Am I getting this right?

In short:  the power of a doctored NBC clip and the President answering a question in a press conference is overwhelming while the power of racism and our complicated history with race has no power whatsoever.

This is, at least, the way the Treachers, Da Tech Guys*, etc. are coming across to me.

It would seem that concern over the racial components of the Martin-Zimmerman incident is race-baiting and crazy talk designed to spark riots and violence.

However, immediately jumping on the Owens beating as an example of NBC, race-baiters, and the President fomenting violence is dispassionate analysis.

Again:  am I getting this right?

(And seriously:  if I am getting this wrong, tell me how).

—–

*And I certainly agree with his statement:  “You the reader can read us both and make up your own mind.”

Although I will say, his umbrage at my comment “And yes, I have almost certainly started another round of Ridiculous Comment Thread Theater, so my apologies to the regulars” is misplaces (either that or he didn’t read the thread in question.  My problem with that thread has nothing to do with dissenting voices—that I welcome.  My problem was the childishness of Treacher.   On that count, I highly recommend jukeboxgrad’s breakdown of the thread and Treacher’s contributions in particular.

Related Posts:

About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Loviatar says:

    America is a great country, however its had a stain from its birth that has negatively affected every aspect of its existence. And unfortunately we’ve always had a section of the population (27%) who refuse to see this as a problem.

    Three-Fifths Compromise

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  2. Tsar Nicholas says:

    we are supposed to accept the notion that the media coverage of the Trayvon Martin case is creating a wave of revenge attacks across the country but at the same time it is ridiculous to even think about the fact that there is nothing in the history of the United States that would have given legitimate pause over a situation in which an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed with no arrests made and seemingly an inadequate investigation was undertaken.

    No. You’re still missing the point.

    There’s a difference between creating something and fostering it. There’s a difference between fomenting preexisting racial schisms and causing them ab initio.

    By analogy, if a suicidal kid comes to me for help and I tell him he’s a loser and has no reason to live and then he offs himself did I kill him? No, of course not. He killed himself. I sure as hell didn’t help out, however, did I?

    The manner in which the left-wing national media has covered this story has been a disgrace. The same holds true for its coverage of the Duke lacrosse fiasco. The Texas dragging death case. The Rodney King fiasco. The Central Park jogger case. So on, so forth. It’s what the media does. It can’t contain its agenda and its biases.

    At present the media isn’t causing any revenge attacks. Not in the literal sense. To the extent those revenge attacks occur, however, the media isn’t blameless. That’s the key point.

    Regarding the handling of the Zimmerman/Martin case itself, you’re simply ignorant of how investigations and prosecutions work. It’s not at all unusual when arrests aren’t made after shootings. Zimmerman claimed self-defense. There was not anything neon sign obvious that would have negated that contention. It’s not as if Martin was shot two times in the back.

    It takes time to conduct an investigation. That there was an obvious racial angle here would have made the local authorities more circumspect, not more precipitious. It’s also a small city in which this occurred. It’s not as if this happened in Miami or even in Jacksonville. Local police and prosecutors even in good times do not swim in resources. Florida at present also has a terrible economy. Separately, maybe the local authorities simply were incompetent. That happens. Remember the Jonbenet Ramsey case? The Elizabeth Smart case? Sometimes local authorities in major cases are in way over their heads. They screw up. They go deer in the headlights. They spin their wheels. The subject of race is a red herring. They’re just slow, is all.

    A rush to judgment is a rush to judgment. Regardless whether the media considers it a black and white case, pun intended.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 12

  3. anjin-san says:

    Am I getting this right?

    Yes you are. Day is night, and yes is no.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  4. Loviatar says:

    Steven,

    Everyone before commenting should really read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ column, on Racism vs. the Race Card.

    @Tsar Nicholas quickly gives an example of Ta-Nehisi’s point point on “how the conservative movement thinks about racism. For them it isn’t an actual force, but a rhetorical device for disarming your opponents.”

    Racism vs. the Race Card

    From comments:

    We conservatives will have a purge of the folks you liberals especially hate if you liberals have a purge of the folks we especially hate.

    I think this sort of thinking is endemic to how the conservative movement thinks about racism. For them it isn’t an actual force, but a rhetorical device for disarming your opponents. So one does not call Robert Weissberg racist and question his ties to National Review because one seeks to stamp out racism, but because one hopes to secure the White House for Democrats. Or some such. Even if you have a record of calling out bigotry voiced by people deemed to be “on your team,” it doesn’t much matter because there’s no real belief in it existing to begin with.

    The conservative movement doesn’t understand anti-racism as a value, only as a rhetorical pose. This is how you end up tarring the oldest integrationist group in the country (the NAACP) as racist. The slur has no real moral content to them. It’s all a game of who can embarrass who. If you don’t think racism is an actual force in the country, then you can only understand it’s invocation as a tactic.

    This is a very old way of you thinking. It’s what you get out of watching Buckley’s bumbling response to Baldwin–he neither regards Baldwin with any seriousness, nor the issue with any real concern. It’s a game to him. He is effectively a homer for team red. Nothing else matters.

    That tradition of viewing racism, not as an actual thing of import, but merely as rhetoric continues today. To abandon that tradition, I suspect, would be cause for an existential crisis.

    EDIT: A bit more:

    so, in your view, this justifies black panthers’ death threats or the racism of al sharpton and the likes (White folks was [sic] in caves while we was building empires), or the racist attack mobs of black youths against white people, the fact george zimmerman is hispanic but the “post-racial” leftwing media shoved down everyone’s throat that he in fact is a “white hispanic” ensuing a nationwide anti-white wave amongst black thugs, black teenagers murdering 90 year old white women, etc, etc.

    Notice the same formula. The argument isn’t really important. What’s been written in this space isn’t really important. It’s a game.

    The piece is worth the visit as the comment section is one of the best and well written comment sections on the web.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  5. SKI says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    It takes time to conduct an investigation.

    Especially if no investigation is actually being conducted – which was the reason for the outrage that mounted over weeks into a national story.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  6. LaMont says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    You are correct to point out that the media sensationalize everything. And this tactic has the potential of fostering a very real adverse affect on crazy (suicidal in your example) people’s minds. However, crazy people are just that – crazy (unbalanced, delusional, demented, etc.) , and the world can’t and never will revolve around their potential actions. Furthermore, their is that real possibility that crazy people could think of the coverage as “fostering” some underlying message when in all actuality it isn’t fostering anything – remember, they’re crazy.

    But I digress – I can not see how this point supports your argument in the Owens case. As we have found from Steven’s last post, this conflict was likely not a retaliatory effort stemming from the Martin/Zimmerman case. The investigation that has already been done has provided this information. On the other hand, It was the lack of investigation in the Martin/Zimmerman case that made it a story IN THE BEGINNING. And Martin was dead several weeks with no investigation before the mass media reported it.

    Which brings me to my next point. I call BS on the logic of your “crap happens” or “incompetency by general igorance” view of the investigative efforts in the Martin/Zimmerman case. The very point that Steven is trying to get you to comprehend is that the race stained history in this country begs the race question in the Martin/Zimmerman case at the very least. Nothing more or less. The discussion only becomes toxic when a polarizing veiw takes aim at discrediting this reality by either not acknowleging it or undermining the discussion by hanging their hat on a false equivalence (as is the Owens case).

    Yes the media gets things wrong (and often does). However, I can discern that for myself. In other words, I also know when not to paint a broad picture of media mishaps on reality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  7. Rob in CT says:

    The media puts out sensationalistic garbage, it’s true. And that stinks, which is why I haven’t watched TV news in a long time (with a brief exception for footage of the Japanese Tsunami).

    There is a ton of it. Frankly, I think there is a whole lot more stirring up of hatred and resentment coming from RW media sources than the ditzy “librul” MSM. I’d like to see it all calm down quite a bit. This is why I was absolutely on board with letting NBC have it over their selective editing. Meanwhile, the ranters on wingnut radio continue w/o missing a beat. Do they have some culpability if/when some crazy ahole does damage?

    Is there consistency to the argument, or not? I think anyone with an audience should be careful about what they say.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  8. Tillman says:

    while the power of racism and our complicated history with race has no power whatsoever.

    We didn’t evolve to keep complicated histories in mind. The easiest mental route to an issue is to ask whether it’s done or not, and if it’s done, move on. Most white people have done this with race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  9. Gustopher says:

    I’d say you got it right.

    A mixture of not understanding racism, trying to score points, and in some cases just being racist. In the end, a miserable hodgepodge of arguments that make no sense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  10. james harper says:

    According to the Writer, the local authorities were incompetent and/or racist, because no one had been charged in the time specified. But these same local racists had scheduled a Grand Jury session for April 10. Well, we can’t have the wheels of justice grind at their schedule, and we need to get the black mobs off the street, so the Governor of Florida appointed Special Prosecutor Corey–who is well known for aggressively putting folks on trial for murder, and disliking all Grand Juries. What’s the result? Corey cancels the Grand Jury session, declines to empanel another, and comes up with Murder 2.

    Even normally liberal legal pointy heads are criticizing the integrity of the charging document, and the over-charging implications.

    To paraphrase an aged Los Angeles Trial Attorney, “if there’s blood on the head, Corey’s case is ____.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  11. merl says:

    Treacher is nothing if not childish. Get ready for him to start trolling your comments, it seems like he has nothing better to do with his time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  12. merl says:

    Check out Mobile news stations, there has been one arrest so far and more to follow. They will probably be charged with a hate crime, also.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. mantis says:

    According to the Writer, the local authorities were incompetent and/or racist, because no one had been charged in the time specified.

    What writer?

    had scheduled a Grand Jury session for April 10.

    They did no such thing until the public outcry forced them to do something.

    Well, we can’t have the wheels of justice grind at their schedule, and we need to get the black mobs off the street

    Who said we “need to get the black mobs off the street,” exactly?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  14. Moderate Mom says:

    Interesting. However, Steven, you should be able to acknowledge that some people will use the Martin case to try to excuse their actions. Right now there is a case in Oakbrook, IL where two young black men beat the crap out of a nineteen year old white man. According to the local paper, the older of the two assailants said they did it because they were mad about the Treyvon Martin case. The older boy is in jail, under arrest, and the younger one has been referred to Juvenile Court. The local police chief has called on the Justice Department to investigate the attack as a hate crime.

    If the media had not spent so much effort in framing the Martin case in such racial terms, do you think attacks like the one in Oakbrook would have occurred?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 14

  15. PJ says:

    @Moderate Mom:

    If the media had not spent so much effort in framing the Martin case in such racial terms, do you think attacks like the one in Oakbrook would have occurred?

    And there would never have been any carjackings before GTA!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  16. merl says:

    @Moderate Mom: maybe not, who knows?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  17. mantis says:

    However, Steven, you should be able to acknowledge that some people will use the Martin case to try to excuse their actions.

    He has already acknowledged that and denounced it.

    Right now there is a case in Oakbrook, IL where two young black men beat the crap out of a nineteen year old white man. According to the local paper, the older of the two assailants said they did it because they were mad about the Treyvon Martin case. The older boy is in jail, under arrest, and the younger one has been referred to Juvenile Court. The local police chief has called on the Justice Department to investigate the attack as a hate crime.

    It’s Oak Park, not Oakbrook. Not a big deal, but it happened very near where I live so I just thought I’d correct.

    If the media had not spent so much effort in framing the Martin case in such racial terms, do you think attacks like the one in Oakbrook would have occurred?

    Yes. If Martin had not been killed, the assailant would not have said that, but probably still would have mugged the guy (and it was a mugging). It happens a lot in that area, as it is right at the border of the far west side of Chicago, which is a pretty rough neighborhood, and the more tony Oak Park.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  18. Jenos Idanian says:

    juke’s study of Treacher’s comments is very thorough, but somehow manages to neglect one key element: the comment from MBunge that triggered so many of his remarks. I’ve quoted it about four times, but they keep getting hung up in moderation. I’ll try to quote it in the next comment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  19. Jenos Idanian says:

    Here’s the comment — which currently has 23 approvals and 10 disapprovals.

    Jim Treacher is a good example of the real problem here.

    It’s very difficult to deal with a racist who acknowledges his or her own bigotry and defends it.

    It’s damn near impossible to deal with a racist who hides behind this complex construction of psychological denial where either everybody else is a racist or they’re an ignorant coward who just can’t face up to the truth.

    I think I’d call that “provocative…”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  20. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian: There’s a lot more thought put into that one reply by MBunge than pretty much all of Treacher’s put together. And while it may be provocative, there really wasn’t any evidence it wasn’t true. It’s pretty much the same reaction I had to Treacher’s original blog post.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  21. Jenos Idanian says:

    @David M: “(T)here really wasn’t any evidence it wasn’t true?” Is that the standard for such an accusation — “I’m calling you something bad, it’s up to you to prove it wrong?”

    Treacher’s response was note-perfect: a vile insult delivered with absolutely no supporting evidence is only worth the most contemptuous response. And Treacher used exactly the same standard of proof as MBunge offered — he just didn’t try to disguise the total immaturity behind the thought like MBunge did.

    Yeah, a lot of us have gotten a lot of mileage out of the term “RAAAAACIST!” as we emphasize how it’s become a joke accusation, often tossed out with absolutely no supporting evidence as an attempt to simply shut up the other side. And that’s because, if not challenged in some way, it can be a career killer — witness Michael Richards and Mel Gibson, for example. (Note: I’m not defending them in the least, or saying the charges were unfounded — but look how their careers went after they were accused.)

    Some get all huffy and indignant and angry (justifiably) about the charges, and that never works. And even if it does, it immediately puts the accused on the defensive — and that means the topic is no longer the original subject, but the side accused of racism.

    So far, though, open mockery does seem to do some good. It immediately turns the attack around to the original attacker. And even if it doesn’t, it tends to defuse the whole issue.

    Treacher saw where MBunge was going, knew it was a no-win scenario for him, and changed the rules on him. It’s one of many reasons Treacher is a professional at this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  22. anjin-san says:

    It’s very difficult to deal with a racist who acknowledges his or her own bigotry and defends it.

    There you go. I have called bithead out several times on his “Obama is Jimmy Carter in blackface” remark. Clearly, he is proud of it. He has challenged me several times to disprove it. He does not seem to understand that is it basically a cowardly way of calling Obama a n**ger, and that he has not presented a rational statement that can be disproved.

    Treacher strikes me as the same sort of guy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  23. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: It seems to me that what this “bithead” is saying is that there are very few differences between Carter and Obama, and those differences are literally skin-deep.

    On substance, I’d disagree. Carter was/is a very dedicated Christian, a military veteran, and a successful businessman. But in office, there are far more similarities than differences.

    And Carter is considered by many as one of our worst presidents.

    So it seems that the only context in which Obama’s race is to be noted is when praising him? To mention it (even in a non-derogatory way, as in the quote you cited) is inherently racist? How about those people who make a point of saying they only hate Obama’s white half?

    Treacher strikes me as a very, very intelligent man who doesn’t bother making intelligent arguments against people who wouldn’t understand or respect them, and has a brutally cutting wit. (Check out his “Top Ten Reasons to Accept That Job Offer from David Letterman,” published after it came out that Letterman had been having “affairs” with a long succession of female staffers. I dare you not to laugh.)

    So, you gonna call me a racist, too, because I didn’t agree with you and your Legally Binding Authority To Decide Just Who Is A Racist? I’m kinda hoping you do, ‘cuz it would just make my night.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  24. anjin-san says:

    Did someone say something? Nahhhhh. That was no one, saying nothing :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  25. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: He does not seem to understand that is it basically a cowardly way of calling Obama a n**ger, and that he has not presented a rational statement that can be disproved.

    So, how many iterations from “the n-word”* does one have to go to avoid being called a racist?

    Obama is, by most definitions, black.

    Step 1: “Black” is one of the current acceptable terms.
    Step 2: Prior “acceptable” terms that have fallen out of favor include “Negro.”
    Step 3: “The N Word” derives from (literally) slurring “Negro.”

    So, saying Obama is black is only two steps away from calling him “the N word.”

    See how that works?

    * I have no problems using “The N word” — in proper context. Here, I would use it freely, as we are actually discussing the term itself, not using it in any pejorative sense. I agree with George Carlin, who wanted to fight “hateful words” by diluting and demystifying them. However, I suspect the filters on this site would block my comments, and besides, I strongly suspect the hosts would not approve of the use of the word, and I will defer to their (presumed) sensitivities on their site. However, if anyone would like to replace “The N word” with the actual word itself, and presume I actually said it, I would be absolutely fine with that, as it would more accurately represent what I intended to say.

    Plus, it would simplify the nigh-inevitable accusation of “RAAAAACISM” from anjin-san, and I don’t feel like waiting around for him to toss that at me. Might as well get it over with on my schedule, not his.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  26. Jenos Idanian says:

    …alternately, anjin could go back to playing “I’m giving you the silent treatment!” game.

    Just as well; I wasn’t directly talking to him, but using him to talk to the other readers. I know reasoning with him is a lost cause…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  27. An Interested Party says:

    To paraphrase an aged Los Angeles Trial Attorney, “if there’s blood on the head, Corey’s case is ____.”

    Ahh, so perhaps George Zimmerman will get away with murder in the same way that O.J. Simpson did…

    However, Steven, you should be able to acknowledge that some people will use the Martin case to try to excuse their actions.

    So what? Such people should be charged and tried for their own crimes, not for why they claimed they committed those crimes…

    If the media had not spent so much effort in framing the Martin case in such racial terms, do you think attacks like the one in Oakbrook would have occurred?

    If the media had not spent so much time on this case, Zimmermen probably would have never been charged with anything at all and Martin would never have received any kind of justice…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  28. Jenos Idanian says:

    @An Interested Party: A question, sir: you tap-dance right up to the line of pronouncing Zimmerman guilty, but never quite cross it. “perhaps George Zimmerman will get away with murder.” “Zimmermen probably would have never been charged with anything at all and Martin would never have received any kind of justice…”

    Are you saying that Zimmerman DID commit murder, and there would not have been “justice” if prosecutors had looked at all the facts and then concluded that they had almost no chance of winning a conviction? Or are you just heavily implying such beliefs, without actually expressing them?

    You remind me of Pat Buchanan, who also plays similar games with words, but from the other side.

    And I think he’s an a-hole, too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  29. An Interested Party says:

    You remind me of Pat Buchanan…

    And you remind me of Jay Tea…

    And I think he’s an a-hole, too.

    What was it you wrote on another thread…ahh yes…

    “Voice of experience.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  30. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    You know, being a racist would hardly even be the worst thing about you, so I don’t get why you worry about it so damn much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  31. Jenos Idanian says:

    @An Interested Party: How many times have you lied about ignoring me in the future?

    Dance, my little puppet! Dance for your master!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  32. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly: Apparently you missed where I noted that successful (but not necessarily accurate) accusations can be extremely damaging. Which is why it’s such a go-to weapon for the left.

    Too bad you’ve overused it so much, it’s now remarkably simple to defeat it.

    But then, I get the impression you miss a lot of things…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  33. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    How’s it going to damage a guy who makes copies for a living? You afraid they’ll take away your collating privileges?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  34. An Interested Party says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Actually, it is anjin who has talked about ignoring you, not me…perhaps you are confused because someone repeatedly bashed the back of your head into some concrete…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  35. Jenos Idanian says:

    @An Interested Party: What can I say? You all look alike to me. To be honest, I don’t see much value in constantly differentiating several of you.

    And you did make a point of declaring you didn’t “hear” me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  36. An Interested Party says:

    What can I say? You all look alike to me.

    That’s hardly surprising…after all, you thought Trayvon Martin looked like a totally different person too…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  37. anjin-san says:

    @AIP

    With all the back & forth over the racially motivated attack in Mobile that was not a racially motivated attack, no one has been talking about Romney’s numbers, which are not encouraging for a guy who just got all his primary ducks in a row. Maybe we can move of white victimhood soon and get back to the election. My track day got rained out, bring on the politics…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  38. MarkedMan says:

    Can I get Jenos and Eric and all the other members of the “Zimmerman was railroaded” to respond to this thought experiment:
    Do you all agree that it would have been better for Martin if he had a gun and when the creepy white guy was following him and he legitimately feared for his life, he simply turned around and shot Zimmerman dead? That is what the law states, and that is why you believe Zimmerman should be given the benefit of the doubt, right? It doesn’t matter what he did to cause the situation, the law states that as soon as he feared for his life he could kill the person he was afraid of?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  39. Jed says:

    As I’ve stated before, the first I’d heard of this case was in the national media and included several bald statements that seemed outrageous on their face. Things such as: never taken into custody, allowed to retain his weapon, no questioning or injuries. Things so unlikely as to make one believe that the reporting was seriously deficient, incompetent or malicious.

    Went to the local reporting, which was quite a bit better; yet the national outlets couldn’t be bothered to do the same. Over and over again the same falsehoods were reported as fact and are still repeated as rote by people who should know better.

    I’m not interested in playing Team Red v. Team Blue on this case. Nobody should be. It shouldn’t even be an issue. How it got to be one is simply more proof that the default for human is dumbass.

    I am interested in holding the people who get paid to report facts accountable, and that’s why this is an event rather than a chain of circumstances with a tragic result. Some media types are seemingly guilty of willful misprision of facts. That is unacceptable, as is their unwillingness to correct the record. Even here (OTB comments) false story-lines are given hearing as if there were no evidence to prove them meritless. Repeated, but not rinsed, until they become bedrock beliefs. Like the Plastic Turkey that forty years from now some folks will still swear happened.

    When you’ve got writers ( like that fellow at the Daily Beast ) suggesting that Zimmerman take a plea on Man2 to avoid riots, and dolts like Spike Lee and Roseanne Barr foolishly being themselves and the people who are supposed to be reporting facts brazenly editing tape from the non-emergency police call to completely, fraudulently misrepresent actual evidence … well, that’s kind of a problem.

    I just want the facts. I want reporters, not journalists and I want opinions to stay in the opinion pages. Can anyone honestly say that the reporting on this case has not been substandard at best, ill-informed, incompetent and presented in an inflammatory manner? That any backlash from that coverage was unforeseeable? I’m surprised and grateful that it hasn’t been worse.

    Again: am I getting this right?
    (And seriously: if I am getting this wrong, tell me how).

    Because you are viewing this narrowly. There is absolutely nothing about this case that merits national attention, yet it has received same due to the insatiable “must make an earth-shattering story over any perceived injustice” maw of our popular culture. Because it is popular, you became interested in it. Like a Kardashian. When somebody pointed out a Lohan, you started saying “Lohans and Kardashians are nothing alike! And how dare you!!” And, you are partially correct. You are also partially wrong.

    and seemingly an inadequate investigation was undertaken.

    Well, that’s the way you heard it. On the news. Did you look it up and find out that what you were being told was inaccurate? I’m guessing not. So grieve me no grievances. I’ve worked cases that took years to resolve and the Iron Rule is that everyone lies. The reports fit in a channel in the way you think, you believed them and even now are loath to re-examine the actual facts.

    That is silly. As we all know, silly lays with foolish and begets asinine which might explain a good bit of the commentary on this case/story.

    In short: the power of a doctored NBC clip and the President answering a question in a press conference is overwhelming while the power of racism and our complicated history with race has no power whatsoever.

    Don’t really care about what president Obama had to say, although it’s not usually a good idea for heads of state to weigh in on local matters and it’s hard to have a beer summit with an underage body; but it wasn’t really a good idea. The NBC clip, on the gripping hand, appears to be somewhat intended to drive an incomplete, if not downright false, perception and should merit introspection as to what you believe you know or hear. Manipulation of actual records has become so easy. It’s a damnable shame that you can’t believe your own ears anymore. Bob Sommerby at The Daily Howler (that reactionary right-wing site) has been tearing his comb-over out about this. Even low, sloping-forehead David Carr has lamented the performance of how this has been reported. So our “complicated history with race” becomes more complicated when falsely used to further a complete misapprehension of the actual facts.

    Still, the facts remain. They appear to show that the initial incident had nothing to do with race, the outcry and media attention did, the escalation certainly did and the incidents that purportedly followed on from that may or may not have.

    Do I have that right?

    Now, if you will excuse me, your sidebar has an item in it that might be a cartoon that teaches me how not to use the Oxford comma. Likely sage advice. When I’m training the niece and nephew I’ll sandwich it in-between JLU and Phineas and Ferb. With a side of Schoolhouse Rock. Did you know they’re not even bothering to teach cursive these days?

    Progress!

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  40. Jed says:

    @MarkedMan: Well, I’m not Jenos, Eric or a member of a “railroaded” posse (which word you seem to have left out) but I am a member of the “wait for the facts” crowd.

    Do you all agree that it would have been better for Martin if he had a gun and when the creepy white guy was following him and he C, he simply turned around and shot Zimmerman dead?

    Is being followed enough to put one in fear of one’s life? Case law says no. I’m a huge fan of the absurd, but you’re stretching the limits here. How, exactly, was there a situation where he he legitimately feared for his life? From what we know, and what can be proven in court, he was not even approached by the shooter.

    That is what the law states

    Decidedly and (likely) willfully false. That is such a perversion of what the law actually is that it reads like a bad-faith argument; the very thing that makes one wonder if you care about the case, or the law.

    that is why you believe Zimmerman should be given the benefit of the doubt, right?

    Oh, that pesky innocent until proven guilty foolishness.

    the law states that as soon as he feared for his life he could kill the person he was afraid of?

    Well …no. That’s not what the law states. Assuming one had a deathly dire peanut allergy and ate at a Chinese restaurant that used peanut oil and informed them of one’s allergy, by SYG law one would be able to kill everyone in the restaurant for they might have had a hand in your stir-fry?

    No.

    There is a small word in the law, and a large concept behind it: reasonable. If I am following you through public thoroughfares, you can not shoot me for simply following you. Nor can you bop me one in the snout and proceed to smash my head into the concrete, which (barring further evidence) seems to be the case, here.

    Not what we first heard, though. Nor is it, despite facts to the contrary, what you want to believe. What you must believe. So, my condolences. Overtaken by facts. Sucks. Have a beer. Talk about the good old times when the media didn’t spout falsehoods in your face. Like …

    Well, talk about the times you knew better. Didn’t believe the hype. Weren’t a sheep, more of a goat and actively stood up and said “Baaaa” or y’know …

    It doesn’t matter what he did to cause the situation,

    Yep.

    That is what the law states

    As an amalgam of monster and man, I often have to explain to my spawn why the law is important, and why I violate it with impunity and a lack of irony, hypocrisy and the self-awareness that should make humanity a commonality. It’s because of you, and those like you. You didn’t even read the law, the primary documents the evidence, the facts that not even the prosecutors deny and now you presume to lecture on and upon it. What you have said is a lie. I’m giving you the opportunity to retract it, but I’m guessing you won’t. You would rather pretend that you have some unvarnished truth that has no relation to any fact or fact based suppositions. Fact of the matter is you heard an inaccurate report, fitted it into your worldview and blocked out any evidence that contradicted same.

    Old-thinking has overtaken old age and senescence. A mind that is as inflexible and pig-stupid as pig-iron …

    Kind of reminds me of just about everybody I’ve ever met. Including myself. Nae’theless, there must be something we can agree on?

    “I’m not getting fatter, the mirrors are getting smaller” is at least a start. Let’s beer-summit it. You bring the beer, I’ve got a line on good fireworks and (maybe) some poteen.

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  41. Jenos Idanian says:

    Mr. Taylor, your trusted analyst Mr. jukeboxgrad is now on that thread talking about how Treacher just mysteriously disappeared, and expressed mocking concern for his well-being.

    Conveniently ignoring Mr. Treacher’s fond farewell at 21:12.

    Your trusted analyst seems to have a bit of a blind spot for comments that don’t fit his theory. He omitted mentioning MBunge’s unsupported accusation of racism against Mr. Treacher, too.

    I tried bringing this up on that thread, but once again I was caught up in the moderation filter.

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  42. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly:

    That was a low blow; I shouldn’t have said that. Sorry, Jenos.

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  43. rodney dill says:

    we are supposed to accept the notion that the media coverage of the Trayvon Martin case is creating a wave of revenge attacks across the country

    The period of time over which ‘the real’ information comes out is also a factor. The very first Owen’s news post I read (can’t remember which one it was now) mentioned it as a possible racist attack including the the ‘justice for Trayvon’ comment. Too many people react to these inital, sensationalist reports without stepping back to see what further information comes out in one or two more news cycles. In the Martin/Zimmerman case I think most people heard about it when Sharpton and others started pushing it more publicly so the ‘liberal’ response is associated immediately as coincident with the shooting without acknowledging the time lag.

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  44. @Jed:

    Did you look it up and find out that what you were being told was inaccurate?

    I am basing my assessment of the original investigation of the Trayvon Martin shooting on the local press reports.

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  45. @Jenos Idanian: You do realize that the main reason that jukeboxgrad focused on Treacher’s comments and not anyone else’s had to do with the sheer run of said comments and their repetitive nature?

    You current fascination with demand for some sort of equal treatment for all posts is getting really tiresome. You have not discovered some impressive and clever new argument.If you want to comment on X, comment on X–don’t demand that I (or others) do so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  46. @Jenos Idanian: The link was broken–it is now fixed. The post was always there.

    In regards to Treacher’s last post: what’s your point?

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  47. Rob in CT says:

    They appear to show that the initial incident had nothing to do with race

    I disagree, what with “these guys always get away” and Zimmerman’s general attitude toward Martin, based on basically nothing (he was walking slow in the rain = he looks like he’s on drugs). This is not, in and of itself, some awful thought crime. Really. But Zimmerman then appears to have added his stupidity to the mix. After that, we have an information blackout (no one knows what happened when Martin & Zimmerman had their encounter, until Zimmerman shot Martin). Anyway, the initial basis for Zimmerman’s suspicion of Martin is, in my opinion, heavily influenced by race (plus gender and possibly age as well). In a word, prejudice. This happens. Usually, however, it doesn’t lead to a deadly confrontation.

    Anyway, the initial national news reports did indeed contain inaccuracies. The case was sensationalized. I do disagree, however, that there was nothing about the case to merit national attention. The local authorities (the DA in particular) were entirely too credulous of Zimmerman’s tale, and their investigation still looks (even with accurate reporting, not the distortions) shoddy to me.

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  48. Rob in CT says:

    Treacher strikes me as a very, very intelligent man

    Hah.

    Treacher is a poo-flinging fool with the emotional maturity of a 8 year old boy. If that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  49. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    I’ve been mulling over your notion that there is a terrible threat of false accusations of racism abounding, wreaking havoc on innocent lives, rivers and seas boiling, 40 years of darkness, dogs and cats living together and so forth.

    I’m afraid I’m just not seeing the devastation. Even undeniable, straight-up, stone-cold racist expression doesn’t usually elicit much in the way of consequences beyond a slap on the wrist or maybe having to find another job. But, I’m going to guess that ANY pushback, ANY perceived loss of white privilege, ANY reminder of America’s history of injustice must feel like the world is coming to an end to guys like you. Otherwise, why put so much energy into defending something as nasty as racism with your silly “cry wolf!” deflection?

    Most normal, decent people don’t want to be thought of as racist and will likely make some effort to avoid triggering that reaction. Some of them might even appreciate being alerted to instances of unconscious racism or unthinking exercise of white privilege and will take corrective measures in the interest of social harmony, which is a pretty nice thing to have, I’m led to understand. Taking the view that this is “PC thuggery” is just one more unfortunate way to support the racist status quo. Why would anyone want to do that?

    You think we’re protesting too much, that we’re not REALLY offended; we’re just using feigned outrage to score political points, blah di blah. Maybe some people are. Wouldn’t surprise me. But, what do you gain by taking a hardline stance against a few cynics? You’re still fighting FOR racism, and that’s some wack shit.

    This is, sadly, still a racist, sexist society. It has very real, very hurtful consequences for those on the receiving end. You must be aware of this,surely. I don’t know, maybe you assume that we want Hammurabic revenge for the centuries of oppressive shit that has gone down, and that’s why you resist change so vehemently. Sure, the idea of payback has a certain attraction, but the vast majority of us would be really, really happy just to be able to get on with our lives without further obstacles and impediments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  50. @Rob in CT:

    Treacher strikes me as a very, very intelligent man

    Hah.

    Indeed.

    It is an odd assertion (to be kind) as it assumes facts not in evidence (based on that thread, for example). To assess intelligence requires being able to read/hear the thoughts and thought processes of an individual. Treacher did nothing but write mocking one-liners for the most part. That makes assessing intellect a bit difficult, yes?

    It would seem that Jenos considers “intelligence” to correlate simply with people with whom he agrees regardless of the quality of the argumentation. Of course, Jenos argues, often, using the exact some techniques.

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  51. @Jenos Idanian:

    Carter was/is a very dedicated Christian

    So you’re saying Obama isn’t a Christian?

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  52. rodney dill says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Treacher is a poo-flinging fool with the emotional maturity of a 8 year old boy. If that.

    Just because in any given instance he’s using his intellect to ridicule or mock, you or others, doesn’t mean he’s not intelligent. But, I do agree more with Steven that what ever Treacher was trying to accomplish with his one liners pretty much precludes any measurement of intelligence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  53. datechguy says:

    Rather than another long post I’ll explain in brief:

    There are those who profit both financially and politically from the narrative that the USA circa 2012 is still the USA 1930.

    The MSM not only enabled such folks in this case but created a series of false and misleading reports in order to fuel it. This is the same media that ignores the problem of inner city violence where blacks are victimized because it doesn’t fit the story they want to tell.

    The fallout from the media’s actions will be felt for a long time after this case is closed one way or the other.

    Meanwhile my friends rightly pointed out the consequences of these actions, the false media story (that went far beyond the NBC edit) and the media’s seeming double standard on this case vs others

    If you think a re-examination of the Martin case was warranted, that is certainly a legitimate position. If you have a different opinion on the Owens case, the Baltimore case or the Chicago case, that’s fine and if you want to make the case that the right is overstating the consequences of the Martin case, knock yourself out. I wouldn’t have taken any notice of it.

    But as long as you ascribing calumnious and dishonorable motives to friends of mine and their work, then I am going to object, loudly and publicly.

    Simple as that.

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  54. mantis says:

    There are those who profit both financially and politically from the narrative that the USA circa 2012 is still the USA 1930.

    Examples of this narrative, and who exactly profits from this narrative, please.

    The MSM not only enabled such folks in this case but created a series of false and misleading reports in order to fuel it.

    Other than one deceptively edited audio tape, I’ve seen no evidence the media did anything worse than their usual habit of reporting everything they hear without verifying. Please identify, beyond NBC’s audio tape, intentional falsehoods by the media.

    This is the same media that ignores the problem of inner city violence where blacks are victimized because it doesn’t fit the story they want to tell.

    By “ignores” I can only guess you mean “reports on it all the time.” Because otherwise, you’re just lying. Would you like some links to media reports about inner city violence? I could provide millions if the spam filter didn’t block them.

    The fallout from the media’s actions will be felt for a long time after this case is closed one way or the other.

    No, it won’t, but please tell us what you consider “fallout.” Wingnuts whining about stuff?

    Meanwhile my friends rightly pointed out the consequences of these actions

    Actually, they just made those up.

    But as long as you ascribing calumnious and dishonorable motives to friends of mine and their work, then I am going to object, loudly and publicly.

    Of course you are. You are just as big a liar as they are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  55. Rob in CT says:

    @rodney dill:

    I have yet to see a single comment from this Treacher character (among, like 100 or so posted here at OTB) that has displayed any intelligence whatsoever. Regardless of target.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  56. Rob in CT says:

    Seriously, what is this myth about supposed ignoring of inner-city violence? WTF? All my life there’s been tons of reporting on exactly that (though it’s my understanding that violent crime rates, while still far too high, have been falling for some time, a fact rarely noted).

    But as long as you ascribing calumnious and dishonorable motives to friends of mine and their work, then I am going to object

    Your friends, right or wrong, eh? So if a friend of yours really did something calumnious and dishonorable, you’d object to criticism? Or is it that you believe that your friends couldn’t possibly do such things?

    We all have a tendency to protect our own. It can lead us to act ridiculously when one of our own does something crappy. Because you end up defending crappy behavior.

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  57. mantis says:

    A few April headlines in just one of my local papers, the Chicago Tribune:

    Roseland churches vow to take to streets to fight violence

    McCarthy speaks on gang violence

    18 charged in drug busts on West, South sides

    2 members of violent biker gang sentenced to prison

    1 killed, 6 wounded in separate Chicago shootings

    Man slain in South Side drive-by shooting

    4 wounded in South Side shootings

    5 shot, 2 dead, Friday night

    4 wounded in South Side shootings

    There were more but you get the point. That is just one media outlet reporting on inner city violence. Other Chicago outlets “ignore” it to the same degree.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  58. mattb says:

    What needs to be understood is that the entire “media ignores inner city violence” members is a two-for-one for certain right-wingers.

    First, it lets then make the arugment that democrat policies have fairer black communities and led to an uptick in violence. The ultimate point of this is that blacks are either stupid for or being fooled into voting for democrats who pretend to care.

    The second argument is that this “lack to coverage” also hired how violent blacks are. This ties I to the larger “its not profiling if it has some basis in fact” argument (which is currently being used to justify Zimmerman beginning to tail Martin).•

    • – of course this also ignores all of the ways in which statistics around Martin would suggest that he wasn’t a good profile fit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  59. @datechguy:

    But as long as you ascribing calumnious and dishonorable motives to friends of mine and their work, then I am going to object, loudly and publicly.

    You do realize that making this about protecting friends that you are underscoring my point that the narrative is about protecting the team and not about the actual topics under consideration.

    You are going to have to explain to me how an immediate reaction by, for example, Glenn Reynolds, to make the Owens beating about Obama or Treacher making it about NBC, et al. isn’t jumping to conclusions in a way meant to bolster their point of view. This is what they did (and now the evidence suggests that this wasn’t even about Trayvon Martin). You have repeatedly reiterated your point of view, but you haven’t actually explained how I am incorrect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  60. PT says:

    @datechguy:

    There are those who profit both financially and politically from the narrative that the USA circa 2012 is still the USA 1930.

    The MSM not only enabled such folks in this case but created a series of false and misleading reports in order to fuel it

    .

    Heh, even if you truly believe in such an X-Files-esque conspiracy by the MSM, don’t you understand with all your fervor and bluster you are simply, as @Rufus T. Firefly put it:

    still fighting FOR racism, and that’s some wack shit.

    And if there are those profiting financially, it isn’t who you think it is.

    Remarkable. And sad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  61. Jenos Idanian says:

    I’m starting to think I should automatically double-post all my comments, because no one seems to actally read them before taking their pot-shots.

    @Rob in CT: Treacher is a superb humorist, and actually manages to make a living off his online work. I linked to one of my favorite pieces of his.

    @Steven L. Taylor: You lauded juke’s work. I pointed out that he is fundamentally dishonest; he discussed Treacher’s epic run without once mentioning what catalyzed it — an unsupported charge that he was racist. Then, after Treacher had announced his departure, came out with “Treacher, are you OK? I’m a little worried about you. Yesterday, you were omnipresent. You were here from 9 am to 9 pm, posting a new comment every 5 minutes (on average), all day long. 142, all together. Now instead of being omnipresent you’re not present at all. Is it something I said? It was not my intention to drive you away.”

    The common element: juke ignores facts that would undermine his points — no matter how relevant they may be. It would be like talking about how terrible the firebombing of Tokyo was without mentioning that the US was at war with Japan at the time — a war Japan started.

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  62. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Stormy Dragon: No, if you look, you’ll see the qualifiers I piled on Carter, who wears his faith on his sleeve. Obama… not so much.

    Unless you’d like to discuss his long affiliation with the Trinity United Church…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  63. mantis says:

    It would be like talking about how terrible the firebombing of Tokyo was without mentioning that the US was at war with Japan at the time — a war Japan started.

    Indeed. Calling Treacher a racist is the same as bombing Pearl Harbor. Look at all the bodies!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  64. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    @Steven L. Taylor: You lauded juke’s work. I pointed out that he is fundamentally dishonest; he discussed Treacher’s epic run without once mentioning what catalyzed it — an unsupported charge that he was racist.

    Yes, I’m sure Treacher would have behaved rationally and argued cogently in good faith if only it hadn’t been for those meddling kids and their wild accusations. Just like he was over at The Voice. Oh, wait, no, he was insane there, too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  65. @Jenos Idanian:

    You lauded juke’s work. I pointed out that he is fundamentally dishonest; he discussed Treacher’s epic run without once mentioning what catalyzed it — an unsupported charge that he was racist.

    The part that you clearly missing is that regardless of provocation the quality of argument has to stand on its own. Treacher, for the most part, simply tried to provide one-liners (often, in fact, the same one more less). There was no argumentation. There was no evidence. There was no rational discourse.

    BTW, the comment you are quoting is not the comment I was referring to.

    Treacher is a superb humorist, and actually manages to make a living off his online work. I linked to one of my favorite pieces of his.

    Let’s say that we have a clear difference of opinion on that count.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  66. @Rufus T. Firefly:

    Yes, I’m sure Treacher would have behaved rationally and argued cogently in good faith if only it hadn’t been for those meddling kids and their wild accusations. Just like he was over at The Voice. Oh, wait, no, he was insane there, too.

    It’s his way. He has done it here at OTB before as well. I am unclear how the behavior in question equates to him being a “a superb humorist,.”

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  67. mantis says:

    I am unclear how the behavior in question equates to him being a “a superb humorist,.”

    Look at the person making that assessment. One man’s “superb humorist” is another’s petulant child repeating himself in the most annoying fashion.

    One wonders why Treacher doesn’t just post “Why are you hitting yourself” a thousand times. Jenos would find it brilliantly clever.

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  68. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    If, for you, the height of hilarity (featuring the essential component of payback to a hated enemy) is to stick your finger in your little sister’s face and screech, “I’m not touching you! I’m not touching you! Mom said not to touch you and I’M NOT TOUCHING YOU!!” then you’ll probably agree with Jenos.

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  69. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @mantis:

    Jinx.

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  70. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    I pointed out that he is fundamentally dishonest; he discussed Treacher’s epic run without once mentioning what catalyzed it — an unsupported charge that he was racist.

    You keep complaining about MBunge’s comment, while never once acknowledging that it was in response to this original post by Treacher:

    Hey, that’s what he [Owens] gets for having a similar skin color to someone we’ve all been instructed to hate. Well done, Spike Lee. Nice job, NBC. Keep up the good work, ABC. And to everyone else who’s been using a shooting in Florida to foment hate and divide people by the color of their skin, kudos. Don’t let this attack, and similar attacks across America, bother you.

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  71. anjin-san says:

    I am unclear how the behavior in question equates to him being a “a superb humorist,.”

    The hipsters at OTB would not know real humor if it bit them on the nose. This country has been going downhill ever since those commie Smothers Brothers and their fifth column tool Pat Paulsen got on TV.

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  72. mantis says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly:

    Jinx.

    …….

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  73. Jenos Idanian says:

    Oh, and as far as the seriousness of accusations of racism: Michael Richards, Mel Gibson, and George “Macaca” Allen are unavailable for comment.

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  74. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I saw Treacher’s response to MBunge as entirely fitting for such a stupid and empty insult. MBunge made an assertion without offering any proof, and Treacher took that and beat him over the head with it. With luck, MBunge won’t act like that again. And while Treacher is a guest here, it was he who was the target of the attack, and I didn’t see anyone else (especially in a position of authority) challenging MBunge.

    If you see it differently… (shrug).

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  75. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Michael Richards, Mel Gibson, and George “Macaca” Allen

    I seem to recall that they did actually say some pretty racist shit.

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  76. @Jenos Idanian:

    I saw Treacher’s response to MBunge as entirely fitting for such a stupid and empty insult. MBunge made an assertion without offering any proof, and Treacher took that and beat him over the head with it

    No. What Treacher did was engage in a silly, childlike game. I am not surprised that you find it clever, given your own rhetorical style. If you wonder why you aren’t taken seriously, however, some reflection in this realm might be useful.

    And if you want to challenge a commenter, stop expecting me to do it for you. Instead: development and hone some skills in argumentation. And recognize that you are not always going to convince people of your POV (he said, with great self-awareness).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  77. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly: I didn’t say “unfounded” charges. I was speaking of “unchallenged” charges. Those three show what happens when the charges aren’t successfully challenged.

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  78. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: How about throwing me a bone here: how would YOU have counseled Treacher to respond to MBunge’s attack?

    Ignore it? Then he talks about how he didn’t deny it.

    Defend himself? Then Treacher’s on the defensive, talking about himself, not the topic at hand.

    I am greatly interested in your advice here.

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  79. @Jenos Idanian:

    I didn’t say “unfounded” charges. I was speaking of “unchallenged” charges. Those three show what happens when the charges aren’t successfully challenged.

    So, are you trying to demonstrate how unserious you are about race? Because you are certainly succeeding,

    The problem with the individuals you cite is not that they failed to challenge charges of racism leveled at them (Allen, for example, did try) but the main problem was the public racist comments they made.

    Again: to you and too many others, this is all a rhetorical game.

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  80. @Jenos Idanian: How about a) acting his age, and b) trying to provide a reasoned defense of his position?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  81. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    How does one “successfully challenge” being stone cold guilty of something? Is Treacher’s “neener-neener” echolalia part of the technique? (Gibson kind of seems to be going that route, come to think of it.)

    Dr. Taylor is right; you’re just jerking off.

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  82. al-Ameda says:

    Essentially, what Treacher did was to trivialize “racism.” It was his way of saying, ‘see, it’s all bulls***.’

    The conservative movement has moved on to the point where they now routinely dismiss the subject of racism by turning the tables on liberals by suggesting that the fact that racism is brought up is an indication of the racism of liberals. In fact many conservatives now suggest that ‘reverse racism’ is a bigger problem than our garden variety racist history of over 300 years of slavery, apartheid, segregation and Jim Crow Laws.

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  83. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Carter was/is a very dedicated Christian

    So what? Bush was a dedicated Christian, and unlike Carter, he was a 2-Term failure.

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  84. Jenos Idanian says:

    @al-Ameda: No, MBunge trivialized racism when he leveled his charge against Treacher. Treacher then uttelry trivialized MBunge.

    Both of them treated the racism charge as a joke. The main difference? Treacher knew it was a joke; MBunge was totally unaware.

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  85. @Jenos Idanian:

    Both of them treated the racism charge as a joke. The main difference? Treacher knew it was a joke; MBunge was totally unaware.

    Someone is unaware. This much is certain.

    One thing is for certain: Treacher was very much treating the situation as a joke.

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  86. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: How about a) acting his age, and b) trying to provide a reasoned defense of his position?

    Treacher’s position wasn’t under attack, Treacher himself was. MBunge didn’t go after Treacher’s positions, he went after the guy. It was an out-and-out personal attack. The kind that is officially frowned upon, as I recall.

    Let me refresh my own memory:

    Jim Treacher is a good example of the real problem here.

    It’s very difficult to deal with a racist who acknowledges his or her own bigotry and defends it.

    It’s damn near impossible to deal with a racist who hides behind this complex construction of psychological denial where either everybody else is a racist or they’re an ignorant coward who just can’t face up to the truth.

    MBunge is saying Treacher is a racist, and it’s pointless to even try to discuss anything with him because he’s so racist. There’s literally nothing to debate there. There’s no “reasoned defense” to that kind of insult.

    My own response to such charges is usually a variant of FYNQ. (“F___ You, Next Question.” I picked it up from Ace Of Spades; it’s incredibly useful as an answer to “when did you stop beating your wife” situations.) It doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously. And I can’t condemn someone for the particulars of how they don’t take it seriously.

    Mr. Taylor, are you actually saying MBunge’s comment deserved a serious response?

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  87. An Interested Party says:

    Treacher is a superb humorist…

    Compared to whom? Gallagher? Carrot Top perhaps?

    No, MBunge trivialized racism when he leveled his charge against Treacher.

    No, MBunge made an accurate observation based on Treacher’s own words…

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  88. An Interested Party says:

    It doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.

    Actually, what doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously is tripe like…

    Hey, that’s what he [Owens] gets for having a similar skin color to someone we’ve all been instructed to hate. Well done, Spike Lee. Nice job, NBC. Keep up the good work, ABC. And to everyone else who’s been using a shooting in Florida to foment hate and divide people by the color of their skin, kudos. Don’t let this attack, and similar attacks across America, bother you.

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  89. Jenos Idanian says:

    @An Interested Party: You’re just upset because Treacher picked on one of your buddies. If you bothered to check out any of his other work, including the Top Ten List he put together after David Letterman’s habit of sleeping with his staffers, you might have a different impression.

    Or, not. You don’t strike me as someone with a very well-developed sense of humor.

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  90. Jenos Idanian says:

    @An Interested Party: I take it about as seriously as “the next time I am in Florida and want to shoot someone, I’ll be sure that I’m alone with that person and that I have some blood on the back of my head after I shoot that person… “

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  91. An Interested Party says:

    @Jenos Idanian: You’re still confused…that cement must have really had a deleterious affect on your head…as for “picking on one of my buddies”, commenters here haven’t formed some kind of secret club to harass you and your fellow travelers…it’s really not our fault that you’re full of $hit…and contrary to what you think about my sense of humor, I found Treacher to be quite amusing, but probably not in a way that he would appreciate…

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  92. @Jenos Idanian:

    Treacher’s position wasn’t under attack, Treacher himself was. MBunge didn’t go after Treacher’s positions, he went after the guy

    The only basis anyone had of making an assessment of Treacher was the quote posted above (as well as Treacher’s broader body of work, which I have no idea if anyone consulted).

    If Treacher wanted to defend himself he needed to engage on the quality of his commentary, the nature of his evidence, and the persuasiveness of his argument. Instead, it sounded like something a kid would do (and I know, I have three of them).

    All of this gets to a general phenomenon (which is well exemplified by talk radio) and one that you specifically engage in constantly: the notion that snark or ridicule equals argumentation. It doesn’t. If you truly want to be taken seriously (and it seems that you do) you need to learn this fact. If you prefer not to be taken seriously (save by only a specific subset of the population) then have it.

    I would note that the responses that I have received from people like Dan Riehl and Donald Douglas exactly fit the template I am discussing: no intellectual engagement, not arguing on facts or dealing with issues. No, Douglas called me a name and then Riehl when asserts that I “crapped my pants” in his blog post and then offered to arrange a group hug for me on Twitter. And Treacher comes by to play playground games. This is serious discourse?

    The sad thing is: many, many people think that it is.

    And yet: it isn’t.

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  93. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    R. T. Firefly’s Rules for “Successfully Challenging” an Accusation of Racism:

    1) Don’t say racist shit.

    2) If you say something that might be interpreted as racist, stop and think about it. Try to look at it from a point of view outside your personal demographic. Try not to get angry and defensive because you’ve been embarrassed in a gaffe; this only makes you seem more racist. If you still think you’re right:

    3) Ask an expert.

    4) If he’s good with it, you’re probably cool and should carry on being so.

    5) If he says some swears at you, sorry, it’s racist. You should probably apologize and try to stop saying racist shit.

    P.S.@Steven L. Taylor: sorry about all my swears, but sometimes you just have to.

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  94. mattb says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly: 6. Understand that the best defense for being accused of racism is NOT: “nuh-uh, you’re the REAL racist.”

    7. An even worse defense is to keep repeating #6 only louder.

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  95. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: If Treacher wanted to defend himself he needed to engage on the quality of his commentary, the nature of his evidence, and the persuasiveness of his argument. Instead, it sounded like something a kid would do (and I know, I have three of them).

    I’m going to stand by my position, then drop this: MBunge’s attack was out of line, and Treacher was under no obligation to respond to it seriously. As I said, defending yourself against such charges is a waste of time; the attacker isn’t arguing in good faith, and then the conversation is not about the subject, but the character of one of the debaters. If you play by the other guy’s rules, you’re doomed to lose.

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  96. @Jenos Idanian: You simply don’t understand what argumentation is. I really don’t know what else to say.

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  97. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Steven Taylor: Obviously, I don’t grasp the subtle nuances and finer aspects as demonstrated by such stalwarts as MBunge, WR, Hey Norm, and others.

    For example, I’m sure there’s a fine reason why my simple question of how Treacher should have responded to MBunge’s unsupported accusation went unanswered.

    If you want to make your comments section a formal debating society, then I would recommend you post or link to some rules. Then you could start calling out all who violate them.

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  98. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Please refer to @David M and @An Interested Party above. That you claim to be unable to see the racism in Treacher’s thesis doesn’t mean that everyone else requires an explanation. But, this garden path is pretty typical for you – sidetrack, smokescreen, obfuscate, put up strawmen, move goalposts, bog down the conversation with trivial minutiae – that’s what you do. It’s not a f***ing argument, it’s a sideshow.

    Most of the time, it’s amusing to watch the others play with you like a cat batting around a cockroach. But when you’re willing to take it to the mat in defense of racism, it’s just plain despicable. You should be embarrassed for yourself. If I thought you had an ounce of self-awareness, I’d be embarrassed for you.

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  99. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly: Just for giggles, I’ll review the Treacher quote you cite.

    Cynicism, entirely justified. The initial discussions around the shooting made it clear that it was a case of some white guy hunting down and killing a defenseless black child. Since the details have started to emerge and shred that narrative, many of the loudest who pushed it are still pushing it. A bit of anger is more than justified.

    There have been three reported Martin-inspired attacks. One has been rather effectively challenged; two are still quite possible. And the rhetoric of the “Justice For Trayvon” side has been exceptionally inflammatory. How bizarre that some people might worry that some might people might get inflamed over it.

    Would you like quotes and citations of some of the more heinous ones, or should I just mention the New Black Panther Party and their bounty, NBC’s defamatory editing, and one Congresswoman who proclaimed that “Trayvon was hunted down like a rabid dog. He was shot in the street. He was racially profiled… Mr. Zimmerman should be arrested immediately for his own safety.”

    That’s Representative Frederica Wilson (D-FL). And that’s the kind of thing Treacher was incensed over.

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  100. Jenos Idanian says:

    OK, let’s go a bit further, and discuss the individuals who Treacher cited.

    Spike Lee: Tweeted Zimmerman’s home address — which was actually NOT his home address.

    NBC News: maliciously edited the 911 tape to make Zimmerman look like a racist.

    ABC News: Aired the police video of Zimmerman at the station where they obscured the sequence when we would have had the best view of Zimmerman’s head, so we could see if he had, indeed, been injured the night of the conflict.

    The question is, why the hell aren’t you angry about this?

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  101. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    So, we’re agreed that you can’t see it?

    How bizarre that some people might worry that some might people might get inflamed over it.

    Here’s a hint. Look at what you just wrote and see if you can figure it out.

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  102. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Yes, Spike Lee behaved irresponsibly. Several news outlets bungled the coverage in a very bad, very unfair way. I find those events to be terrible, indeed.

    Yet, somehow, I manage to refrain from becoming convinced of an incipient race war. I wonder why that is?

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  103. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly: You know what? You’re not the teacher here. I’ve been granting you some kind of authority here, and you have none.

    Perhaps you ought to practice what you preach — look at what Treacher said, look at the events to which he was referring, and see if you can understand both his anger and his way of expressing his anger. Because to me, it’s all entirely justified and accurate.

    The underlying message of your comments is “you’re either stupid or ignorant, and I will deign to try to correct your ignorance.” I do understand enough of your position to reject it — and to understand why I’m rejecting it.

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  104. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    I have looked at Treacher’s anger. It sounds just like “ooga-booga” to me. And if “ooga-booga” is justifiable to you, well, I think I know all I need to know about you on this issue.

    If I thought you were truly interested in correcting your own ignorance, in examining your own white privilege, I would be more patient and forgiving. But you are obstinate in your ignorance, and I am disinclined to spend my energy on your remedial education. There’s a great big internet out there, chock full of information on how to not be a racist. Do your own homework.

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  105. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly: If I thought you were truly interested in correcting your own ignorance, in examining your own white privilege, I would be more patient and forgiving.

    Ain’t that mighty white of you.

    I don’t accept your calling me “ignorant.” I don’t accept your diagnosis of my having “white privilege,” and I have no use for either your patience or forgiveness.

    You only seem to bother to take notice of the provocations of Lee, the NBBP, Sharpton, NBC, and the rest when others — those you look down upon — call them out. And usually, you pooh-pooh the actions. You seem to get more angry over those of us who point them out than those who do the original offenses.

    Spike Lee, NBC, and the NBBP should be held legally liable for their actions. But they won’t.

    And I bet you’re just cool with that, right?

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  106. jukeboxgrad says:

    steven:

    I highly recommend jukeboxgrad’s breakdown of the thread and Treacher’s contributions in particular.

    Steven, thanks for the compliment.

    Sorry I’m doing this belatedly, but I had my attention in various other places and didn’t notice this until just now.

    ===============
    jenos:

    Conveniently ignoring Mr. Treacher’s fond farewell at 21:12.

    I ignored that comment because it has no relevance or importance. This is what he said:

    Well, it’s been nice talking to you fellas. No hard feelings, I hope?

    Have a great night!

    How do those words give him a license to dump 142 comments in a thread and then not stick around to address questions raised by those comments? They don’t. If he was something other than a cowardly hack he would have checked back in to deal with those questions. His failure to do so is one of many indications that having a real conversation is the last thing on his mind.

    He omitted mentioning MBunge’s unsupported accusation of racism against Mr. Treacher, too.

    I didn’t mention what MBunge said because it has no relevance to the point I was making. I don’t agree that the accusation was “unsupported,” but even if it was, that’s no excuse for the way Treacher responded. That’s why I said this:

    Whatever point he thinks he is making by saying that could have been made by saying it once.

    You obviously think it was somehow brilliant for Treacher to respond by using the word “racist” or “racism” over 50 times, in dozens of comments, but it wasn’t. It was infantile. Although I realize that by saying that I am insulting infants. No surprise that you admire him, because the two of you are peas in a pod.

    I realize that Steven and others have also tried to explain this to you.

    MBunge’s attack was out of line, and Treacher was under no obligation to respond to it seriously.

    Treacher was under no obligation to refrain from making a fool of himself, and he rose to the occasion.

    I’m sure there’s a fine reason why my simple question of how Treacher should have responded to MBunge’s unsupported accusation went unanswered.

    What you noticed was the absence of an answer that you have the capacity to grasp. That’s not the same thing as the absence of an answer.

    ===============
    datechguy:

    Meanwhile my friends rightly pointed out the consequences of these actions

    Since you’re pushing the same crap, you should answer the question that your pal Treacher is too cowardly to address.

    Jenos, this also applies to you.

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  107. Jenos Idanian says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Hey, you “confused” two different points. And astonishingly enough, you did so in a way to make yourself look better. What an astonishing coincidence.

    Here, let’s look at that thread one last time, to put that “goodbye” comment in the original context, before you yanked it:

    Treacher, Wednesday at 21:12: Well, it’s been nice talking to you fellas. No hard feelings, I hope?

    Have a great night!

    jukeboxgrad, Thursday at 17:57: Treacher, are you OK? I’m a little worried about you. Yesterday, you were omnipresent. You were here from 9 am to 9 pm, posting a new comment every 5 minutes (on average), all day long. 142, all together. Now instead of being omnipresent you’re not present at all. Is it something I said? It was not my intention to drive you away.

    If you have the time to post 142 comments in a single thread, you should be able to make the time to stick around and address questions raised by those comments, like the questions I asked you here. When you cut and run instead, that tends to create the impression that you’re a despicable, cowardly troll whose MO is to shamelessly make bogus claims and then disappear when challenged.

    Treacher, as you noted, dropped over 140 comments over 14 hours before politely tendering his farewells. Then, almost a day later, you snidely imply that you chased him away with your cutting wit and incisive analysis. Let me guess — your favorite character in “Monty Python And The Holy Grail” was the Black Knight? Next, will you threaten to bite Treacher’s knees off?

    And no, MBunge’s comment wasn’t “irrelevant.” It was the catalyst. “Authorities have no idea why the powderkeg just exploded, but they say the presence of a lit fuse was totally irrelevant, and have no interest in finding out who lit it.”

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  108. Jenos Idanian says:

    Screw this. I just had yet ANOTHER comment eaten by the overly-sensitive filters here, and there wasn’t a single objectionable word in it. Short version: juke’s once again demonstrating his fundamental dishonesty. Film at 11.

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  109. Jenos Idanian says:

    @jukeboxgrad: I’ll play your little game — but only one round, unless you play, too.

    As far as Spencer goes, show an example as blatantly false and/or blatantly inflammatory as NBC’s editing of the 911 tape, ABC’s obscuring of Zimmerman’s head, or Spike Lee Tweeting Zimmerman’s (wrong) home address, and I’ll consider it. But as far as demanding that Spencer live up to the impossible “100% accurate” standard… go to hell.

    Now, for my question: why did you wait 22 hours after Treacher had said goodbye to snidely cheap-shot him and imply that you had chased him off?

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  110. Jenos Idanian says:

    Test…

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  111. Jenos Idanian says:

    (Three comments withheld. To hell with this.)

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  112. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Awfully generous of you to invent for me the positions you imagine I have on those various things when most of my non-joking comments here have been about anti-racism. I guess all anti-racists look alike.

    Unlike you, I have many unexpressed thoughts. I also don’t think it’s a requirement that I denounce every stupid little thing that a black person does in order to be an effective anti-racist. But, if it will make you feel more superior in your righteous anger to know exactly where I stand, here is a recapitulation of my thoughts on the supposed “provocations” you listed:

    “Jeezus, Spike, way to be a dick. Those poor people are probably going to have to disconnect their phone and move to a motel for a few days to avoid any harassment. I sure hope Spike does the right thing, ha, I made a pun, I’m so damn funny inside my own head. Oh, good, he apologized and compensated them for the trouble he caused. I must remember to watch Bamboozled again real soon. I like the soundtrack very much.”

    “NBBP? No, I think that’s NBPP. New Black Panther Party, right? Good thing nobody gives a crap about them. Those idiots need to shut their racist asses the hell up. Man, I hope no fool decides to take a shot at Zimmerman because of these shits. Oh, good, nobody did.”

    “Rev. Sharpton is a cool guy. I like his TV show. He’s lost a lot of weight, but it’s nice to see he’s still rocking that James Brown ‘do, just like he promised he would. Wait, did he do something to piss off Jenos? I guess it’s just his existence, then. Well, boo-hoo.”

    “NBC? Cracker assholes. God, I kill me with these mad puns.”

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  113. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly: So, the Panthers are allowed to freely break laws, because they’re pretty much inconsequential? Tell that to various militia groups…

    Tell you what — go ahead and respond to my blocked comments. You tend to ignore what is actually said, so your response would be just as relevant.

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  114. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    I don’t give a flying frog’s fatass if the NBPP get charged with picking their toes in Poughkeepsie. If somebody can make a case, more power to ‘em. I feel no obligation to copy you and hyperventilate about it on the internet so I can look like a tough guy.

    You need to f*cking DROP the idea that ANYTHING the news media, Spike Lee, Rev. Sharpton, or any of your other go-to boogeymen have said about the Martin case has inflamed/will inflame African-Americans into an orgy of retributive violence against whitey. It’s racist. It’s racist. It’s racist. Knock it the hell off.

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  115. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly: So, it’s racist to expect the law to apply to all people equally, regardless of race?

    Al Sharpton is a tax cheat whose incitements have actually gotten people killed, and ruined lives. Despite that, he hosts a TV show on the same network as Saint Maddow.

    Spike Lee tried to get a questionably-innocent man killed. Instead, he ended up endangering some genuinely innocent people.

    And if any right-wing group did HALF the illegal things the Panthers have done, they’d be in federal prison (and rightfully so).

    You seem to insist that we shouldn’t hold certain people to the same standards because of their race. That indicates you don’t think that blacks can’t be expected to act as civilized as white people. That is far more racist than anything I — or Treacher, for that matter — said. As the saying goes, it’s the “soft bigotry of low expectations.”

    Why can’t you acknowledge your own racism?

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  116. jpe says:

    You need to f*cking DROP the idea that ANYTHING the news media, Spike Lee, Rev. Sharpton, or any of your other go-to boogeymen have said about the Martin case has inflamed/will inflame African-Americans into an orgy of retributive violence against whitey. It’s racist. It’s racist. It’s racist. Knock it the hell off.

    It’s also true.

    I guess reality is racist.

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  117. An Interested Party says:

    It’s also true.

    Oh really? Do point out all the orgies of retributive violence against whitey that have occurred…

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  118. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @mattb:

    You called it. Is that “Bingo!” yet?

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  119. Stimpee says:

    @An Interested Party: So if a “party” (group or individual) attempts to incite violence, but the people that are being incited do not respond as hoped, it then eliminates that party’s culpability in their attempt?

    Interesting logic.

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  120. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Stimpee:

    Not as interesting as the massively racist assumption that the intent was to incite violence. Because WHAT ELSE would black people do when angry, right?

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  121. mattb says:

    @Stimpee:

    So if a “party” (group or individual) attempts to incite violence

    Again, with the exception of a few protesters on the extreme, like the New Black Panther Party*, where was the incitement to violence? Or are you suggesting that it’s between the lines (encoded).

    And if that’s the case, how, for example, should we read the attacks on members of the Islamic community by right wing talkers over the last decade? Clearly, those often contain the exact same code. And we know for a fact that attacks on Muslims, Sihks, and Hindus within the US increased over the last decade as well. So are right wing pundits culpable for those increases?

    What about the more paranoid among those Commentators who constantly suggest that we are in a fight for the future against a marxist government? Those who say that if things don’t change society is going to fall (I’m looking at you Glen Beck). We know that their writings have been found in the possession of some mentally unbalanced individuals who literally attacked the government. Does that make Beck, to some degree, responsible for that attack?

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  122. mattb says:

    * – Also, please find me anyone outside of the extreme who defended the New Black Panther Party.

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