Back in the early to mid-1990s, whenever President Clinton faltered at the polls, the media had a handy, DNC-approved talking point: their scapegoat was angry white males standing in the face of “progress.” The legacy media’s collective response to the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing was perhaps the culmination of this meme in action. As then-anchorman Bryant Gumbel told bleary early morning viewers on NBC’s Today Show on April 25, 1995:
“The bombing in Oklahoma City has focused renewed attention on the rhetoric that’s been coming from the right and those who cater to angry white men. While no one’s suggesting right-wing radio jocks approve of violence, the extent to which their approach fosters violence is being questioned by many observers, including the President….Right-wing talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Bob Grant, Oliver North, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan, and others take to the air every day with basically the same format: detail a problem, blame the government or a group, and invite invective from like-minded people. Never do most of the radio hosts encourage outright violence, but the extent to which their attitudes may embolden and encourage some extremists has clearly become an issue.”
Flash-forward to 2011, where another division of NBC is invoking similar rhetoric today:
Tea Party members are primarily “freaked out white men” who pose the greatest political threat to Democrats in 2012, according to banking analyst Meredith Whitney.
Speaking in the broader context of a discussion on CNBC regarding the Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S. debt, Whitney said the dissenters represent the type of problems that have led to the current predicament in Washington.
“Call it Tea Party, whatever you will, the fringe element is I characterize (as) freaked-out white men who are unemployed and have been unemployed for three years and they’re scared to death,” she said. “Three to four million of them are about to roll off unemployment benefits in the next three to four months. This is only going to get worse.”
Democrats looking to hold the White House and regain full control of Congress will need to take note.
“For this reason you have to deal with the structural issues,” Whitney said. “If you are a Machiavellian Democrat you want do deal with this issue and defuse the Tea Party as fast as you possibly can because this poses the biggest threat to their re-election in 2012.”
Oh how CNBC’s Rick Santelli must be hated back at NBC’s corporate HQ, whose spin-off networks have devolved into the Official Media Home of the Racers, to borrow my colleague Tony Katz’s description of the race-obsessed professional left.
At the Tatler, Dr. Helen responds to Whitney’s
hate speech cliched rhetoric:
If Whitney read at all, she would know that not only was the Tea Party started with the help of female bloggers and activists but the face of the Tea Party is female:
Many of the tea party’s most influential grass-roots and national leaders are women, and a new poll released this week by Quinnipiac University suggests that women might make up a majority of the movement as well.
I wonder what Whitney’s agenda is for calling the Tea Party a bunch of “freaked out white men?” Even if men are involved, why the hate?
Is she just trying to show what a “trooper” she is because she is tired of being attacked by Democrats and this is her way of sucking up? If so, what a coward.
Helen’s post is titled, “Does Meredith Whitney Read?” I think we can safely say that she hasn’t read Andrew Breitbart’s new book, Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World, in which he wrote:
I knew that the Tea Party wasn’t just a political movement—it had become an existential and a cultural movement. It had moved beyond politics and into the realm of everyday life for Americans who weren’t separating their political viewpoints from their viewpoints on life anymore. Freedom wasn’t just freedom to vote—it was freedom to live, and that need for freedom crossed all cultural, racial, and political boundaries.
After doing so many Tea Parties, it became obvious that strong-willed and educated women were leading the charge. In very few cases did I see men running things. This narrative—virtually untold by the media—is nevertheless self-evident when one sees how Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann are tops in Tea Party popularity. It’s the “mama grizzly” factor. And the more award-winning, feminist-neutral, objective, supermedia woman Katie Couric sneers at them, the more powerful they become.
But does it really matter? The media have a job to between now and 2013, and that’s to get their man re-elected. An unintentionally hilarious headline at Germany’s Der Spiegel Website hints at the American MSM’s challenge: “How Obama Disappointed The World.”
Actually, he only disappointed those who didn’t understand him to be a media construct in the first place, sort of politics’ answer to the postmodern faux-news anchor stylings of Jon Stewart. The rest of us saw the train wreck to come rather early.
Which is why it will be raining Angry White Men in the MSM between now and November of 2012. Or well into 2013 if President Obama suddenly finds himself with much more tee time available at the golf course, courtesy of the Tea Party.
Update: “Rick Santelli Rips CNBC Guest For Calling Tea Partiers ‘Freaked Out White Men Who Are Unemployed.'”