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Ed Driscoll

The Era of New Civility Is Over

February 16th, 2011 - 5:48 am

Not that it ever existed of course.

First up, here’s Ed Morrissey on AlterNet’s racist attack on Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather Pizza, after his speech at CPAC this past weekend:

While young conservatives chased out a white-supremacist recruiter from CPAC, it seemed that one site on the Left felt more comfortable with racist attacks.  AlterNet, a site that proudly proclaims its “strong content” and “huge readership and reach,” offered its analysis of Herman Cain’s speech at CPAC by calling the former CEO of Godfather Pizza a “monkey in the window”:

In the immortal words of Megatron in Transformers: The Movie, Herman Cain’s speech at CPAC really is bad comedy. As you know, I find black garbage pail kids black conservatives fascinating not because of what they believe, but rather because of how they entertain and perform for their White Conservative masters.

When race minstrelsy was America’s most popular form of mass entertainment, black actors would often have to pretend to be white men, who then in turn would put on the cork to play the role of the “black” coon, Sambo, or Jumping Jim Crow. Adding insult to injury, in a truly perverse and twisted example of the power of American white supremacy black vaudevillians would often pretend to be white in order to denigrate black people for the pleasures of the white gaze. …

In total, CPAC is a carnival and a roadshow for reactionary Conservatives. It is only fitting that in the great tradition of the freak show, the human zoo, the boardwalk, and the great midway world’s fairs of the 19th and 20th centuries, that there is a Borneo man, a Venus Hottentot or a tribe of cannibals from deepest darkest Africa or Papua New Guinea on display. For CPAC and the White Conservative imagination, Herman Cain and his black and brown kin are that featured attraction.

We always need a monkey in the window, for he/she reminds us of our humanity while simultaneously reinforcing a sense of our own superiority. Sadly, there are always folks who are willing to play that role because it pays so well.

Gotta love that “he/she” there — even in the midst of a racist attack on a prominent conservative, it’s important to reflexively use the appropriate gender-neutral pronouns, lest one commit a politically correct thoughtcrime.

Meanwhile, National Lampoon, with its glory days now decades in the rear-view mirror, enters the gutter and continues to descend, wishing AIDs upon Andrew Breitbart for being “a meanie.”

Wait, being “mean” is now a pejorative at the Lampoon? Michael O’Donoghue must be rolling over in his grave.

And while those are both euphemistic attacks, CBS journalist Lara Logan was physically assaulted in Egypt — and then further rhetorically trashed by Nir Rosen, a fellow at the NYU Center for Law and Security, in a vile stream of tweets screencapped by Jim Geraghty, who writes:

Nir Rosen deleted some of his worst comments about Logan on his Twitter feed, but… it’s the Internet. It’s never gone forever.

I’m sure Rosen will apologize at some point, and perhaps we’ll get some tut-tutting statement from NYU about the need for “civility” and “restraint” and “sensitivity.” Brows will be furrowed. Maybe they’ll hold a seminar about technology and emotional reactions to breaking news events.

But let’s just remember one thing going forward: Nir Rosen believed this was the right moment to let the world know that he “ran out of sympathy for her” and that we should “remember her role as a major war monger” and that we “have to find humor in the small things.”

Your move, NYU.

Perhaps they said something to him, as Rosen has since tweeted an apology. Though it should be placed into context with this item from blogger Armed Liberal, who writes, “When last seen on these pages, Nir Rosen was a journalist embedded with the Taliban who used his US documents to pass a band of Taliban through an Afghan government checkpoint.”

(And sadly, the right wasn’t immune to attacking Logan as well, as Debbie Schlussel responds to Logan’s attack by writing, “As I’ve noted before, it bothers me not a lick when mainstream media reporters who keep telling us Muslims and Islam are peaceful get a taste of just how ‘peaceful’ Muslims and Islam really are. In fact, it kinda warms my heart.” Classy.)

Related: “Fellow Reporters Heartlessly Mock Lara Logan After Assault.”

“Breaking: NYU Fellow Resigns After Controversial Sexual Assault Tweets” — “Rosen has tendered his resignation, and it has been accepted.

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