If one can accept the hyperbole of right-wing blowhards Tucker Carlson and Matt Drudge — two has beens looking for ways to generate Internet “buzz” — a video of a 2007 speech by then-Senator Barack Obama is a “smoking gun” that can bring down his presidency.
While a real smoking gun would be a welcome insertion into a lackluster Presidential year, the repackaging of Obama’s speech to black leaders in Hampton Roads, Virginia, ain’t it.
Not even close.
Carlon, his his highly-partisan “news” site — The Daily Caller — calls his opinionated “exclusive” a major scoop. He fed info to Drudge, who hyped the story as a “bombshell.”
The key — both claimed — was a claim that the mainstream media “ignored” Obama’s supposed racism in a speech that played to a black audience and claimed the government ignored the troubles of a mostly black New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city while jumping quickly to the aid of mostly-white Homestead, Florida, after it was hit by another storm.
In reality, the government — then led by Republican President George W. Bush — did delay in moving to help New Orleans and the response was much slower than the aid to Homestead.
And those in the “mainstream media” who covered Obama’s speech in 2007 were none other than Tucker Carlson — then the host of an MSNBC show — and Fox News.
Said Carlson in 2007:
Barack Obama was talking about a quiet riot today. And no, it was not a reference to a 1980s heavy metal band, unfortunately. The senator waded into the controversial waters of race during a speech Hampton University in Virginia. He said the Bush administration has done little to quell a brewing storm among some black Americans. He compared the current tension to what fueled the L.A. riots in the wake of the Rodney King verdict.
Over at Fox News, Brit Hume reported:
Senator Obama today said the Bush administration has done nothing to defuse what he calls a quiet riot among black Americans, a riot he suggests is ready to erupt. Obama said African American resentments and frustrations are building, especially, he said, because so many blacks from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are still displaced 21 months after Hurricane Katrina. Obama warned against conditions similar to those in Los Angeles 15 years ago.
Now Carlson and Fox News claims the “meansteam media” which at the time included them ignored the story.
Obama is not he first President or candidate to tailor his remarks to his audience. George W. Bush used to sharpen his Texas twang when speaking in the south and played on themes that stirred passions in the GOP base.
Both sides do it.
In politics — and on partisan “news” web sites — hypocrisy is the only constant.