September 30, 2005

One-sided hysteria -- again

This time it's regarding Bill Bennett's words on the radio. Of course, today's Wilmington News Journal has the headline "Bennett: Black abortions would lower crime."

Which certainly is a head-turner and causes one to say either "Huh?" or if you're already predisposed, "I KNEW it!" (that Bennett, like all Republicans, are racist). Of course, you can bet your bottom dollar that that's just what AP and the News Journal want people to believe -- hence, the headline. Because if you actually take the time to read the article, it says

He went on to call that "an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky." Responding later to criticism, Bennett said his comments had been mischaracterized and that his point was that the idea of supporting abortion to reduce crime was "morally reprehensible."

Amazing, ain't it? I won't argue Bennett's supposed facts because I don't know if they're accurate or not. But Bennett should know by now that that kind of anti-PC talk will ONLY get him in trouble. Check it -- get Republicans and/or conservatives in trouble. For instance, from the News Journal page where the Bennett article was located, I did an article search for Charles Rangel's anti-Bush comments where he compared the president to the notorious segregationist Bull Connor. After using keywords "Bush Bull Connor" and "Charles Rangel," the seven day and archive search turned up ZIPPO.

And some people still scoff when people bring the "liberal media"?

Just caught another laugher on this matter. "Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrats demanded an apology" regarding Bennett's comments. Wait a sec -- Harry Reid?? The same Harry Reid who ripped [black] Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas earlier this year as an "embarrassment" to the Court, and said his opinions were "poorly written" -- saying that they appear to be more along the lines of an "eighth grade dissertation"? And, then whose "evidence" was so remarkably laughable that even the all-Democrat Congressional Black Caucus said that Reid had "crossed the line" in his criticism of Thomas?

Yep. That Reid.

Selective. Moral. Indignation.

UPDATE: Tim Graham right on target:

I think the fascinating thing about the Bennett story (and it IS a news story, in the WashPost and AP and ABC) is how effortlessly a Media Matters scooplet like this goes from David Brock-land to Democratic press secretaries to the media "mainstream." Can you imagine an MRC or AIM transcript moving so effectively from Republican press release to Washington Post? No. That's why they're called the liberal media.

Then there's the whole issue of black leaders like Jesse Jackson Jr. taking offense. The media clearly does not respond when black leaders like Julian Bond say conservatives are a racist "crazed swarm of right-wing locusts." Or when Al Gore pandered to them by suggesting conservatives "use colorblind the way duck hunters use their duck blind. They hide behind it and hope the ducks won’t figure out what they’re up to." Those quotes didn't make the news pages of the Post.

Exactly. (MRC, by the way, is Brent Bozell's Media Research Center, and AIM is Accuracy in Media.)

UPDATE (10/2 at 11:30): Jeff Goldstein has more. He says:

Bennett clearly was aware of how his words might be used, but that awareness could not prevent misuse. For Bennett to have avoided the “major failing” politechnical identifies, he would have had to avoid the subject altogether. And to do so is to trade intellectualism for the kind of circumspection that has the practical effect of chilling free speech.
Posted by Felix at September 30, 2005 03:14 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Could Swift have ever published "A Modest Proposal" if these morons were around?

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at September 30, 2005 07:59 PM

Riduculous isn't it Felix........I think what gets these doltish liberal media types even more is the fact that there is some trueth to the matter, even though Bennet was making a different point completely showing the absurdity of such far out 'solutions'....But, since minorities commit/or are caught more crimes, this would lessen the rate.......Just the same as saying if you closed the major leagues to latin american players, the quality would go down of the game....Stupid, far out, loony propositions that demonstrate their own was one of his points.....But, the liberal minority smells an opportunity for blood and they pounce.....I guess they can't engage in discussion of issues due to a lack of ideas???????? And Bush fell for it trying to quell the uproar of idiots...And what ever happened to freedom of speech......I guess that is only for those you agree with who get a free ride and those you don't get shackled with 'how dare you speak such things'......and the bs of the left goes on and on.........

Posted by: cardinals fan at September 30, 2005 08:18 PM


Dead baby meat is so sweet.

Posted by: Mike M. at September 30, 2005 09:51 PM

Mike: There are times when your humor is either sick, or just totally inappropriate.

Posted by: Hube at October 1, 2005 08:29 AM


Have you read A Modest Proposal?

Posted by: Mike M. at October 1, 2005 09:22 AM

It helps a bit to have read Freakonomics, the book that the caller on Bennett's show was talking about. In it, there is a discussion correlating falling crime rates with abortions after 1973. That's abortions--not black abortions.

There is no spin that makes what Bennett said anything but racist. His next sentences you cite -- which have all been dutifully included in the "liberal media" reports, come nowhere close to justifying the comment. After all, how many blacks are poor, vs. middle and upper class? He said blacks. Not "poor blacks and whites", not "all poor people," not "people living in the ghetto with no prospects." He said "black." I'm not saying Bennett should be shunned from society. Maybe he didn't mean it "deep-down." Whatever. He probably doesn't even make the top 3 bigoted right-wing radio hosts. But the statement was unquestionably racist.

Second, I'll admit it when you present examples of Democratic racism -- and you have, like the Rangel example. But that Reid comment always makes me laugh, because it's absolute horse****.

If you, Felix, said that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an idiot and has no business being on the court -- absent any sexist comments whatsoever-- I would not think that you were sexist. If you say you don't like Andrew Sullivan, I'd assume that's because he's not conservative enough for you -- not because he's gay. And that's all Reid did. If I say a person who happens to be black is an idiot, I'm not a racist. But when someone naturally assumes I'm racist....doesn't that kind of put the scarlet "R" on them? It was obviously a fabrication, a simple pouncing by people so desperate to prove that Democrats are the real consistent racists, not just occasional offenders.

Posted by: dan at October 1, 2005 03:13 PM

On Bennett: I read Powerline's take, which links to Matthew Iglesias' defense of Bennett. I still don't fully agree, but I'm less sure, and the points are well-taken.

Posted by: dan at October 1, 2005 04:19 PM

Dan: Taranto has a link to Levitt's original article about abortions/crime, and it does address black abortions:

Fertility declines for black women are three times greater than for whites (12 percent compared to 4 percent). Given that homicide rates of black youths are roughly nine times higher than those of white youths, racial differences in the fertility effects of abortion are likely to translate into greater homicide reductions.

Is Levitt therefore a racist???

In addtion, Project 21 (yes, that one) notes similar sentiments.

Tarnto is also right on "honest" dicussions of race: Well, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we kept hearing from our liberal friends that what this country needs is an honest discussion of race. Of course, liberals who call for a discussion of race never actually want it to be honest. Rather, they want to engage in the old familiar ritual in which blacks air their grievances, white liberals trumpet their moral superiority, the rest of us shut up and listen, and dissenters are shamed and silenced.

Exactly right. I believe you (and others) do NOT want "honest" discussions on race. Seems to me Bennett was just pointing out what Levitt -- yes Freakonomics's Levitt -- said, and it appears factually accurate. So what? Yes, it's a very insensitive thing to say, and yes, it's a very politically incorrect thing to say. But it's honest. Liberals do not want true honest discussions about race. Trust me -- I see it education all the time.

Posted by: Hube at October 2, 2005 11:02 AM

And dan -- I do not think Reid is a racist, but his comments, if he was a Republican, certainly would have been called that, especially since the examples he provided to show Thomas to be what he claimed were either incorrect OR made him look like an absolute idiot (Reid, not Thomas, that is).

Posted by: Hube at October 2, 2005 11:04 AM

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