Welcome to the month of October, where Election Day begins to make everyone go absolutely insane, especially those in the media. This will happen when one single narrative dominates the news for too long: Those involved get dizzy, latching on to anything out of the usual that will provide a worthwhile headline. For examples, just check in on all the premeditated debate talks and expectations and predictions and nonsense that have consumed the Internet the past few days.
Or check out what went down on Fox News last night.
It all started at around 3 p.m. today, when Matt Drudge, the man behind the conservative web blog the Drudge Report, send shock waves through the constantly shocked Twitter-sphere with this:
Curious tape dropping tonight. NOT from MOTHERJONES. Will cause controversy,ignite accusations of racism — in both directions!
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) October 2, 2012
The “NOT from MOTHERJONES” label was a reference to the “47 Percent” video that has brought the Romney campaign to its knees, so the announcement by Mr. Drudge laid equal emphasis on how important this video would be, in terms of the election. And at 9 last night on Fox News, the video — an unseen outtake from then-senator Obama’s speech in 2007 with Reverend Jeremiah Wright by his side at Hampton University in Virginia — from The Daily Caller was released on the unsuspecting American public.
(For whatever the reason, the video’s embedding code will not work. So you can watch it on the Daily Caller here.)
In the video, the soon-to-be president kinda/sorta implies that the
federal government cared more about 9/11 and Hurricane Andrew victims
than the homeless New Orleaners after Katrina because of race (see:
Kanye West, 2006, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” It might be too extreme of comparison, but, wow, Mike Myer’s face never gets old). He then continues to ask why federal money is focused on the suburbs rather
than inner-city neighborhoods with lower-income residents.
According to Fox News, the tape contained a “racially charged” tone; host Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, who helped leak the video at The Daily Caller, nearly vomited in anger over how “divisive” this “other side” of Obama was. Although the way they were so baffled by its content reminded anyone watching of something else not so long ago.
If you can think back that far, Obama’s statements in this video harken
back to the whole “black liberation” controversy of early 2008. Factor in
Bill Ayers, ACORN, and whatever else was going on when Sarah Palin was a
VP nominee. It’s a controversy that’s overused and underwhelming four years later.
But, if that’s the case again, Hannity and Carlson need to remember one simple historic lesson: The racial undertones of that controversy didn’t sway voters away from Obama. It’s hard to push a social issue down unemployed citizens’ throats — hence the electoral apathy toward Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage a few months ago. Hate to admit it, but Marx was right about one thing: Economy trumps everything.
With only 35 days or so until the election, political talking heads become meth addicts, obsessively searching for short-term fixes that will get them through the day. The “47 Percent” Romney video, using that analogy, was Heisenberg’s blue. But what the Republican candidate said in that leak was strikingly different because it zeroed in on the underlying economic message that will determine this election; it reflected upon Romney’s largest electoral flaw: the stereotypical super-rich-guy mold that he cannot seem to escape.
Mr. Hannity and Mr. Carlson, you might be unbelievably distraught by the racial remarks, but most of America’s minds are elsewhere. This video, in terms of where national interests lie at the present moment, just isn’t cuttin’ it. And, also, who takes Tucker Carlson seriously after this.
To give you guys, at least this’ll make the debate a little more interesting.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 3, 2012