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Once-reputable BAG News repeats big lie that Hillary called for Obama's assassination

Disgusting. If you can't hear it from me, maybe you can hear it from Bob Somerby: part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.

No, I really don't want to relitigate the primaries, but if you don't stomp the lies, they come back -- as we saw with CDS in the primaries.

It's a shame. I guess there's some Kool-Aid you just can't undrink.

NOTE We thought that some comments were deleted, but, being used to a single page of 300 or so threaded comments, missed that they had been moved by the CMS to another part of the forest after we posted them.

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herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

Before it is deleted/altered (I'm quoting this because I saw their post was edited and wasn't sure if they edit things out):

"3. What we have here, on the part of the NY Post, is a repeat of what Hillary Clinton did late in the primaries. Frustrated the contest was slipping away, she drew a connection between Obama's nomination and the assassination of Robert Kennedy. (See BNN's: Killing The Electricity.) In that case, she was trolling for votes by way of the scare tactic that Obama's charisma, paired with his race, made him a less likely bet in terms of his "durability." In this case, The Post is flat out playing on hate, taking aim at Obama (and blacks in general, as the monkey is black) by way of GOP hostility to the stimulus bill."

Submitted by lambert on

The sentence I called out was:

Frustrated the contest was slipping away, she drew a connection between Obama's nomination and the assassination of Robert Kennedy.

Artfully worded, but to anyone who paid attention at the time, a lie. BAG News -- still FITH.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Here is the deleted portion, the former item #4:

4. Although they are a little low (the upper part of the chest being clearly defined), the two bullet holes side-by-side like that still draws association to breasts, both sexualizing the image and feminizing Obama. (The fact monkeys are otherwise small, cute and naked also ties in with the tendency to infantilize Obama I wrote about the other day.)

Does anyone see the slippery slope here?

Delonas is obviously a racist.
Hillary is obviously a racist assassin.
The outer fringe of what's "obvious," then, becomes whether or not a lame, current-events-based cartoon is shooting tits into Obama-as-monkey. Well done, all!

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

I'm speechless. This person must write fiction for a livng. What a, um, vivid imagination.

A mind is a terrible thing to lose.

That whole assassination smear was the worst, and there was no reasoning with people who wanted to believe it. I know, because several formerly rational posters at Eschaton were frothing at the mouth.

Nervine5's picture
Submitted by Nervine5 on

I must say that I was appalled at the reaction to this cartoon. Why does an image of a monkey have to be inextricably equated to a black person? THAT is racist.

Has no one heard of the of the saying "This/that is like a monkey on my back"?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Like when people demonstrate relish in harping on Obama's middle name (repeating it three times is kind of a giveaway). Or hanging a black man on a tree in effigy.

But you have to take a few leaps to have no doubts about this cartoon being racist:

1. That the current-events context of the marauding chimp couldn't possibly be the intended context
2. That Obama is the author of the stimulus bill, which he isn't
3. That the artist and paper are not merely stupid and racist, they're stupid and racist enough to want to be associated with making such an association

I do think it's a particularly lame cartoon, and I would have expected someone on the Post to have considered the racist interpretation, but I also think at a minimum some reasonable doubt is in order.

Submitted by jawbone on

any way connect the shooting of the attacking chimp with the Obama Stimulus Bill.

The only way to make that connection, as I see it, is the long and ugly use in this country, and others, of monkey cartoons and caricatures to represent black people.

The chimp was shot bcz it had violently attacked a person it knew and usually had no problems with; it then went after the police, trying to open the cruiser's doors. I don't know if it was trying to break the windows, but, the cop clearly felt threatened. Too bad there weren't any tranquilizer darts.

But, how does that in any way whatsoever get connected to the Obama Stimulus Bill? How does a horrific life-threatening attack by an animal resemble or bear comparison to the writing of the bill?

If the cartoonist saw the bill as an attack on the body politc, surely there would have been a better, more explanatory caption/dialogue line?

I would also posit that most people think of it as Obama's Stimulus bill, whether he wrote each part or not. Clearly, he had demanded it, said it should be ready for signature by Presidents' Day, had members of administration working on it, forced changes on the House version, worked with the Gane of Screw the People to modify the Senate version -- and then made trips out into the country to campaign for its passage.

So, again -- how does the bill compare with a maddened, unprovoked attack on a human woman by a chimpanzee? How can they be connected, logically or historically? Other than by the long-lived ugly and denigrating depictions of black people, especially black men, as monkeys?

I'm trying to see how this cartoon can be viewed as other than racist, but I can't.

Submitted by lambert on

Jawbone writes:

The only way to make that connection, as I see it, is the long and ugly use in this country, and others, of monkey cartoons and caricatures to represent black people

Honestly.

It's as if we were looking at a cartoon from Der Sturmer -- not that the NY Post is in that league -- and we were arguing, well:

The only way to make that connection, as I see it, is the long and ugly use in this country, and others, of monkey cartoons hooked noses and caricatures to represent black people Jews.

Yep, the "only way" indeed.

I'm all for evidence and reasoning, but what a lot of the comments on this post look like to me is an attempt to rationalize some very ugly facts away: Yes, Obama is black, and yes, there are racists who hate him for that, and (I suppose) all that hate may play out in some really bad ways, dog forbid. Cartoonists deal in the kind of visual cliche exemplified in this cartoon; it's their stock in trade. This one ought to be a no-brainer.

And now to VL's points. He writes:

1. That the current-events context of the marauding chimp couldn't possibly be the intended context

Haven't you ever heard of appropriating a "news hook" for a point unrelated to the original story? Happens all the time. I do it in the "Science for Republicans" posts I run every so often. It's an entirely standard technique.

2. That Obama is the author of the stimulus bill, which he isn't

He may not "write" the bill (the cartoon's word), but he's certainly the one claiming victory or defeat at the passage of the bill; in that sense, it's "Obama's bill" in the narrative. Somehow, I think that's a more salient point for the average reader of the Post than "How a Bill Becomes a Law" (especially if they're of the authoritarian mindset).

3. That the artist and paper are not merely stupid and racist, they're stupid and racist enough to want to be associated with making such an association

The right has a well known history of leveraging racism with plausibly deniable working and images ("... if anyone was offended....") That's the essence of Rovianism and the Southern Strategy, for pity's sake. Personally, I think it's entirely possible that if the Post thought the cartoon would throw red meat to its readers, then they would, in a heartbeat. What do they care about what a bunch of latte-sipping liberals think?

Oh, and if anybody said this, I missed it: let's look at the context. From the NYCLU:

During the last two years the NYPD reported the race of those shot by police, nearly 90 percent of the people shot at by officers were black or Latino. In 1998 the Department stopped reporting the race of civilian targets and started reporting the breed of dogs being shot.

And then there are incidents like Amadou_Diallo.

Now, let me try to spell it out. Since we're not writing a mathematical proof here, but examining a political cartoon from a Murdoch property, it's quite clear to the political lizard brain, if not to the tediously literal minded, that: 1. Black people == monkeys; 2. the police shot a black person, not just because the blacks == monkeys, but because the police shoot black people quite frequently; 3. this black person is whoever's responsible for the stimulus package, and 4. the monkey is Obama, since he's responsible for the stim package, and is the only black person on offer in the context.

This is not a stretch at all. It's the obvious, mainline interpretation. Complete with the ability to say "Oh, we didn't mean that," which is the scenario that played itself out.

I mean, that's what flashed through my mind when I saw it, since my brain has been so polluted by daily examination of right wing propadanda for five years, and it was so obvious there seemed no value add to posting on it. Not so, apparently.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

As displayed here and the non-apology apology. It really is a horrendous display of racism and insensitivity.

I'll just quote Melissa McEwan about racist intent as well.

Let me quickly stipulate and clarify that one can unintentionally express racism. That innocent intent, or ignorance of the history of how people of color have been marginalized, does not, however, in any way change the quality of what was being expressed. Something can still be expressed racism even if the speaker's intent was not to oppress people of color. And particularly if it does fit neatly into a historical pattern, it necessarily conjures that pattern of racism, intentionally or not.

So: Toss out the idea that intent determines racism. And the idea that any of us, or any of the things we say or do, can exist in a void.

What we're then left with is the idea that if something fits into a historical pattern of racism, unavoidably invokes such a pattern, and/or can be overtly quantified as marginalizing people of color, it is an expression of racism.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

But I seem to remember reading that even the term "monkey on my back" is a throwback to racist assumptions, since drugs were always seen as pressed on innocent whites by duplicitous brown people.

And the reason that the image of a monkey is intrinsically connected to black men, is because the racists worked really hard to make that connections over the course of a couple of centuries. You really shouldn't blame those who act against racism for that.

Nervine5's picture
Submitted by Nervine5 on

I simply can't believe that a lie this utterly stupid and twisted will live forever, but Hey, I just read a recent jab at Gore for claiming to invent the internet. Whatever. People choose to believe (its easier than critical thinking, I guess) and the perpetrators know this.

Submitted by jawbone on

use the Gore/Internet lie and other such clearly disprovable and disproved politcal fairy tales.

But, the power of repetition and narrative, as practiced by Repubs and the MCM is amazing.

Brain worms that fester and emerge as lies and duplicity, all intended to bamboozle the public and hold onto power.

Submitted by jawbone on

couldn't find it, then clicked open "Show More Comments," and both appeared. along with Shaw's comment that he has not deleted or edited any comments as his new comments module won't permit him doing so.

Interesting that only some were visible. Anyone know how that works?

Submitted by lambert on

I corrected the record over there, and now I'm going to correct it here (by deleting the material so it doesn't show up in Google).

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

This is exactly why I mention the primary so often. Until there is a large scale recognition of what happened, the risk of repeating the BS remains high. If we don't try to fix the process, it will remain broken. When the sham of a primary is being called "procedural complaints" how can you *not* expect the same thing to happen next time? When Favreau gets a promotion and many in the left laugh off as a college prank his photo, how can you expect the spurious Hillary attacks to stop?

As far as I'm concerned, the spirit of the primary lives on, complete with Obama apologisms, shoddy comparative justifications, and rampant CDS.

Submitted by jawbone on

has not gotten any therapy to get over it.

He's seen the light and, well, been blinded to reality by it.

Alas, bcz he offerend some very good insights into how the MCM selected and tilted the news, both visually and verbally. I find this analysis to be a loss, but not worth getting through the CDS crap to find.

I had not realized he was editing/censoring comments. Oh, my.