So apparently, a media analyst at the Politico has decided that Newt Gingrich is getting a bad rap for his remarks yesterday, and that “the interpretation has changed somewhat along the way.” You remember the remark that got a lot of attention: “And so I’m prepared, if the NAACP invites me, I’ll go to their convention and talk about why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.” Byers is apparently upset at the coverage, which included headlines such as “Newt: African Americans Should Get Off Food Stamps; Demand Paychecks” by TPM.
Let’s just pull this car over for a second, as I know we need to take a break because I already know what you are thinking. Yes, the Politico has the balls to pay a media analyst to opine on fairness, bias, and accuracy. Yes, this is the very same Politico that, were it not for Fox News, would be the worst source of bullshit, nonsense, and trivialization of politics in the country. Being lectured by some columnist at the Politico on media coverage is like being lectured on safe shipping by a pimply-faced ship’s mate from the Exxon Valdez. The balls on Allen and Van de Hei.
Back to the Politico’s beef, which as far as I can tell is two-fold, the first of which is that the embeds at the speech didn’t hear anything unusual or that he hadn’t said before. The response to this one is simple- “SO FUCKING WHAT?” Just because they didn’t hear anything offensive doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t look at what he said and recoil in shock and disbelief. And just because he may have said similar nasty bullshit doesn’t make his remarks yesterday ANY LESS OFFENSIVE- things don’t get less offensive the more you repeat them.
The second complaint is that reporters did not include the entire block of remarks in their headlines, so therefore the offensive statement was taken out of context. You would think a media analyst would have a vague idea why the entirety of the remarks were not featured in headlines, but hey, this is the Politico, so let’s just let that go. At any rate, here are the remarks in their entirety:
The fact is if I become your nominee we will make the key test very simple — food stamps versus paychecks. Obama is the best food stamp president in American history. More people are on food stamps today because of Obama’s policies than ever in history. I would like to be the best paycheck president in American history.
Now there’s no neighborhood I know of in America where if you went around and asked people, would you rather your children had food stamps or paychecks, you wouldn’t end up with a majority saying they’d rather have a paycheck.
And so I’m prepared, if the NAACP invites me, I’ll go to their convention and talk about why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps. And I’ll go to them and explain a brand new Social Security opportunity for young people, which would be particularly good for African-American males because they are the group that gets the smallest return on social security because they have the shortest life span.
Pray tell, how is that any less offensive? If anything, it is more offensive, because any time you give Newt time to talk, more bullshit pops out. Like, for example, the flat out lie that it is Obama’s policies which have created the current need for food stamps. Maybe lies don’t offend the Politico staff, as lies are the lifeblood of that institution. But they do bother people who have an eye on, you know, reality. At any rate, in its “full context,” the statement is just as offensive as it was stripped of “context.”
It’s going to be a long god damned year.