Thursday, October 04, 2012

‘The Daily Show’ dismantles the Right’s anti-Obama “bombshell”

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If there’s anything that’s more predictable and satisfying than seeing the far-Right flame out over yet another failed attempt at discrediting President Obama or other prominent Leftists with “explosive” videos that invariably turn out to be complete duds, I’ve yet to experience it. Here’s Jon Stewart & co. of The Daily Show taking a rather amused look at the recently (re-)revealed video that purports to show a 2007-era then-Senator Obama (D-IL) at his class-warfare-est – when all he does is reiterate what everyone else was already saying at the time (including one then-President Bush).

Part 1:

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Part 2:

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Transcript: (click the [+/-] to open/close →) []

[VIDEO 1: “Oh the Spew-Hannity”]

JON STEWART: Just a short time ago, Barack Obama and Gov. Romney wrapped up their first debate – if they had their first debate. I don’t know. It was scheduled. The show was obviously taped before that debate, and who knows if they even had the debate after what happened with yesterday’s bombshell: Full-day, Drudge-con-1, blue-siren-alert, Obama race video. Hannity had the exclusive:

SEAN HANNITY (10/02/12): Tonight, you will hear from Barack Obama like you have never heard from him before. […] A video has been uncovered from a campaign event in 2007 of then-Candidate Obama. […] It contains some of the most divisive class warfare and racially charged rhetoric ever used by Barack Obama.

STEWART: “Casually tossing out words like ‘cracker’, ‘honky’, “White trash”, ‘[?]’. SPF-45-wearing-mother—!”

And even though, as it turned out, the video-in-question had been widely covered when the event occurred back in 2007, that doesn’t matter! ’Cause – I’ll let Hannity’s guest, Tucker Carlson, explain:

TUCKER CARLSON (03/02/12): People say, “This has already been reported.” Well, actually, it hasn’t been reported, and I know, because I reported on it the first time.


STEWART: So, let’s see some of the highlights of this explosive video.

CHRIS ROCK (during comedy routine): Cracker ass cracker! I’ll put my foot in the crack of your ass, cracker-ass cracker! I wish that cracker would’ve said some [shit] to me, saltine-ased, mother[fucking] cracker!

STEWART: Obviously, that’s just Chris Rock, one of his fine comedy skits on racial relations in America. I showed that in lieu of the Obama tape, because the Obama tape is far more explosive. In it, Barack Obama discusses how the events of Hurricane Katrina and that regions entrenched poverty has a racial component and advocates for concerted effort to rebuild the area, including these grenades:

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL) (06/05/07): We don’t need to build more highways out in the suburbs if we have people in the cities right now who wanna work, but have no way to get into those jobs. […] We should be investing in minority-owned businesses in our neighborhoods so people don’t have to travel from miles away.

JON STEWART: It is a volatile point-of-view, first expressed by this notorious Black liberation theologist speaking from New Orleans in 2005:

FMR. PRES. GEORGE BUSH (09/16/05): There’s also some deep, persistent poverty in this region as well. That poverty has history in roots of racial discrimination. […] When the streets are rebuilt, there should be many new businesses, including minority-owned businesses along those streets.

STEWART: “You see, what I’m trying to say is this: We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock, you see, won’t get landed on again. Hehehehehe.”

So, despite the fact that what Barack Obama was was saying in that speech kind of echoed the sentiments of other, more acceptable mainstream politicians of that era, and despite the fact that what Barack Obama was saying in that speech was echoed in his own speech that he gave in 2007 that actually aired live on CNN, Obama’s real crime here was not the content and the message, but the rhythm. Ooh, the rhythm. The rhythm is gonna get you.

HANNITY: You notice a change in the way he delivers this speech before a predominately African-American audience? […]

CARLSON: They speak a different language. Different cadences, different accents, different gestures. I mean, the falseness here is overwhelming. […]

HANNITY: We’ve got the accent, we’ve got anger, we’ve got ra— “They-don’t-care-as-much-about-you”.

STEWART: “We’ve got jive talk! We’ve got ‘No Justice, No Peace’! We’ve got ‘by any means necessary’! We’ve got ‘Say it out loud, I’m Black and I’m proud’! All this and more on K-Tel’s Now That’s What I Call Race-Baiting.”

By the way, if you actually do believe that a candidate speaking “Black” before Black voters disqualifies them from being president, I have unearthed a video that just might turn this entire presidential race upside-down.

MITT ROMNEY (01/21/08): What's happenin’, got some bling-bling here too, look at that. […] Who let the dogs out, who, who?

STEWART: “Who let the dogs out?” Did you know Mitt Romney was one of the original Baha Men? Not the band, he just keeps his money in Baja.

All right, here’s what’s crazy about this. If I’m not mistaken, Sean Hannity, you believe this president to be what?:

HANNITY (01/13/12): He’s the worst President we’ve had in my lifetime.

HANNITY (07/18/11): He is the worst President on record.

HANNITY (04/06/10): […] a worse President than Jimmy Carter.

HANNITY (04/06/12): This is the worst President America has ever had.

STEWART: The worst! Ever! In your lifetime! On record! Ever, ever, ever, ever! And on the eve of the first presidential debate, the best, most explosive critique that you could deliver of the worst president we have ever had in this country, is treating us to some reanimated bull[shit] video already been seen, as though it were the Rodney King tape in reverse.

[VIDEO 2: “The Great Black American Panel”]

STEWART: For more, we’re joined by our Great Black American Panel: Senior Black Commentator Larry Wilmore, Senior Black Correspondent Wyatt Cenac, Junior Black Correspondent Jessica Williams. Watching that Hannity piece, it’s almost unbelievable to see such naked race-baiting on television. Black people talk weird? What is that?

WYATT CENAC: It’s some bull[shit]!

JESSICA WILLIAMS: Yeah! [Fuck] Hannity! Your October Surprise is that the President is Black?

LARRY WILMORE: They are some desperate mother[fuck]ers.

STEWART: Um … What about this attempt to portray a relatively middle of the road left-of-center technocrat as some kind of angry Black radical?

CENAC: It’s some bull[shit]!

WILLIAMS: Yeah! [Fuck] Hannity!

WILMORE: They are some desperate mother[fuckers].

STEWART: Ah, that’s the same thing you said. Do you not want to talk about this?

CENAC: No, Jon, we love being part of your Great Black American Black Panel of Blacks. Black.

STEWART: Would it be better to have this discussion without the White guy moderating?

WILMORE: [all three nod their heads] No, Jon, this is your show. [points for Jon to leave] You should stay here and moderate this Black discussion.

STEWART: All right, I’ll be over here, it’s fine, I’ll read. [puts on headphones] You guys can just talk amongst yourselves. It’s fine. [starts reading Philip Roth’s ‘Portnoy’s Complaint’]

WILLIAMS: Can he hear us?

CENAC: I don’t know, let’s see. Jon, I’ve been siphoning gas from your car!

STEWART: [removes headphones; tinny music is heard] What? Did you call me?

CENAC: Nope. Not at all.

Jon puts his headphones back on and returns to his book.

WILMORE: He can’t hear.

WILLIAMS: OK. So, how do you feel? Does it make you angry?

CENAC: It’s not really angry as much as it’s depressing. I mean, this is the same dog-whistle stuff they've been pulling all the time, like, it’s, you know, ACORN and Shirley Sherrod and Common at the White House. It’s the same stuff.

WILMORE: Was he listening to ‘Fiddler on the Roof’?

WILLIAMS: You know, seriously, I cannot believe that they say [shit] like that out loud sometimes. I mean, it’s just desperate.

WILMORE: Yeah, I can. Look, when you’ve got no rational argument, okay, you have to bypass that part of the brain that processes rational arguments, right? You just stick the probe straight into the medulla, you know, the reptile brain. And you just jolt it with enough coded language and racial imagery to trigger the fear response.

WILLIAMS: By the way, is there a reason Jon can’t hear this conversation?

WILMORE: Nah … please.

CENAC: We just want more airtime. Speaking of, should we probably …?

WILMORE: Yeah, wake him up.

Wyatt throws ball of paper at Jon and accidentally misses. Jon pretends to jump in surprise and tries to keep a straight face at the mishap.

STEWART: Hey, what’s up? So, uh … [tinny music lasts a couple seconds too long before being silenced] So, thanks. You guys done rappin’ and jammin’?

WILMORE: Yes, Jon, we’re done rapping and jamming.

WILLIAMS: It’s all good.

STEWART: All right! Hey, I think it’s informative when we can discuss these things with a panel of people directly affected by them. Just wondering, how do you think your conversation will be seen by people who read the Drudge Report and watch Hannity?

CENAC: I don’t know, let’s run it through the old Drudgity Cam and see how it plays.

STEWART: Oh, right, the lens they filter all their information through. I forgot we had one of those. Can you cue that up?

Cenac, Williams & Wilmore look through ‘Drudge Report’-style frame.

CENAC: We’re in your front yard and we’re still mad about slavery!

WILMORE: Yeah, bitches! We’re gonna buy crack with the food stamps you’re payin’ fo’!

WILLIAMS: And then, we’re gonna rape your White babies!

CENAC & WILMORE: Hey, whoa!


CENAC: Calm down!

WILMORE: It’s too much!

WILLIAMS: I’m sorry, this is my first Black Panel, you guys, I’m really excited.

WILMORE: It’s too much!

JESSICA WILLIAMS: It’s really nice to be here.

A general tip, folks: When the people behind a video they claim will totally shock everyone with hitherto unrevealed information about a given public figure decide the best person to make the revelation is Sean Hannity, you might wanna let up on the hype just a bit lest you end up with yet another batch of singed eyebrows.