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Defamation: Bill Maher and “Real Time” Panel Drop Race Card In Lieu of Argument

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Posted on September 20 2010 12:00 pm
Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota's North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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When you spend your days digesting leftist media, you develop a kind of horse-hockey alarm system which tips you off to misinformation. My horsey-sense tingled rather fiercely while watching the recent season premiere of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. Within the first ten minutes, in tandem with guest blowhard Michael Moore, Maher presented an image of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich which I immediately found suspect.

The portrait grew out of a mind-numbing disservice of the Ground Zero Mosque issue, during which Moore demonstrated his contempt for mainstream America. Speaking to the fact his support of Cordoba House places him in a minority, Moore attributes the majority view to a lack of good sense.

Moore: 70% supported the Iraq war at the beginning… The majority of Americans are kind of slow to get to the good place, and eventually they do, and then they elect an African-American president.

Maher: You mean a Luo tribesman.

Moore: I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you, Bill.

Maher: Well, Newt Gingrich calls him a Luo tribesman.

Moore: A tribesman, yes. Well, Newt —

Maher: Nothing racist there, just a tribesman.

Moore: Yeah. Oh, I see. Why don’t we have words for people like Gingrich and Palin? Because they’re essentially our mullahs, our Taliban. We don’t ever really refer to them as it. But we should start calling them Cleric Gingrich and Mullah Taliban Palin or whatever, see how that fits…

Setting aside the absurdity of Moore’s use of Islamic titles to demonize his opposition while in the middle of a rant espousing the innocence of Islam, I found it unlikely that the remark Maher attributed to Gingrich was in fact a racial epithet. If nothing else, it would be too sloppy a gaffe for a politician of Gingrich’s experience.

Sure enough, a cursory amount of research revealed the origin and context of the remark, and demonstrated a point about complexity of thought which NRB managing editor David Swindle spoke to in a recent post previewing Douglas Rushkoff’s soon-to-ship book Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age. In our sound byte / headline / blog post culture, we risk embracing oversimplified assumptions if unwilling to delve into deeper sources of nuanced information.

In the case of Maher, he echoes the leftist media’s indignant gasp at the use of the words “tribesman” or “Kenyan” without pausing to consider their context. The convenient assumption is that Gingrich is racist (and through extension Republicans, Tea Partiers, and conservatives in general).

What Maher does not explain, and what his audience will never know if they make no effort to, is that Gingrich was referencing a comprehensive article in the latest issue of Forbes Magazine written by Dinesh D’Souza. In it, D’Souza mines Obama’s personal history and publicly available writings to posit an explanation for the president’s behavior. D’Souza explains, in as much detail as a magazine article will allow, how the Kenyan father – Barrack Obama Sr. – adopted and propagated a brand of anticolonialism which his son came to identify with.

Colonialism today is a dead issue. No one cares about it except the man in the White House. He is the last anticolonial. Emerging market economies such as China, India, Chile and Indonesia have solved the problem of backwardness; they are exploiting their labor advantage and growing much faster than the U.S. If America is going to remain on top, we have to compete in an increasingly tough environment.

But instead of readying us for the challenge, our President is trapped in his father’s time machine. Incredibly, the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s. This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions, is now setting the nation’s agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son. The son makes it happen, but he candidly admits he is only living out his father’s dream. The invisible father provides the inspiration, and the son dutifully gets the job done. America today is governed by a ghost.

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