Friday, December 26, 2008

In Defense of Parody

In the no good deed goes unpunished and all Tennessee Republicans must be redneck racists department, RNC wannabe Chip Saltsman's gift idea of sending Paul Shanklin's best hits to his friends has gone terribly wrong, providing a Christmas present for the left:
The CD, called “We Hate the USA,” lampoons liberals with such songs as “John Edwards’ Poverty Tour,” “Wright place, wrong pastor,” “Love Client #9,” “Ivory and Ebony” and “The Star Spanglish banner.”

Several of the track titles, including “Barack the Magic Negro,” are written in bold font.
The latter made a wave on Limbaugh's show last year. Shanklin, a mid-south resident, was on the Mike Fleming radio show this afternoon defending the song, which is actually a jab at Al Sharpton more than anything else (back when Al wasn't quite down with Obama's hopenchangewagon yet). Yes, it does push the limits of political correctness, just as Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart do every week with a variety of issues.

In reality the song is probably no more offensive than a stock Ted Rall cartoon or Howard Dean press conference--neither of whom should be banned for speaking their minds.

The hidden story here isn't the song but that of Chip Saltsman--evidently one of his gift recipients either took offense or decided to use it against him. Neither the Hill nor CNN explored that area, preferring to leave a hot steaming race card laying bare-naked on the table.

But the story is also one of acceptable parody in a post-racial political world. Notice nobody is busting on the LA Times for publishing the original "Magic Negro" column. Is that because the writer is black?

MORE 12/27/08

RNC Chair Duncan has responded and we finally get a whiff of what might be going on here. Both are up for the chairman position. Duncan does not seem afraid to toss Saltsman under the race card bus and further divide the party to win reelection. But the greater question should be this--why should the party even remotely consider giving him his job back?

DIVERSE REACTION 12/27/08

Ken Blackwell and Saul Anuzis, both candidates for the RNC Chair, have weighed in on the controversy. Blackwell, former Ohio Secretary of State who happens to be black, defended Saltsman while Azunis, a white candidate from Michigan, did not. I think they are both right. Blackwell is right because the media is hypersensitive about race--they're the ones who picked out the Magic Negro song from a list of 41 on the tape to hype the story, while Azunis was correct in that Saltsman's "gift" was a little inappropriate for the occasion.

Still, framed next to Howard Dean's comments as the actual DNC Chair this is a non-story.

GRAY LADY SINGS 12/27/08

And she hits an off note. Not one mention in this Jason DeParle 'blog' article about the origination of the parody. Good grief, even CNN mentioned that.

PUFF WOULD NOT APPROVE 12/28/08

According to Peter Yarrow, the co-writer of Puff the Magic Dragon. Once again, another post not mentioning the origin of the parody.

But I wonder, is he against ALL political parody from here forward? Does coming together behind the One, something the left wholeheartedly refused to do with Forty Three (despite a war), trump freedom of expression and dissent now?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Seems desperate and shows insecurity.

Maria said...

Really? Try racist to the extreme and you got caught.

A.C. McCloud said...

How is the magic negro column, and ensuing parody, racist?

Denise Remax said...

These neo-cons need to stop being hateful and start backing up their rhetoric during the campaing, claiming to be patriotic and country first. The way they can't let go is disgusting.

Support your new President. Help him achieve greatness. We all win.

Cam Smith said...

Quite frankly I don't care if the song or Chip Saltsman is racist his political career should end for gross stupidity.

Our Republican leadership needs to understand the time for appealing to the 10% of America thats white, rich and a member of the "club" is over. Its time to grow up and discuss issues and solutions.

As a fiscal conservative I crossed the aisle and supported a Democratic ticket including Obama. I will continue to do so as long as I continue to be embarressed by the Republican leadership.

A.C. McCloud said...

Our Republican leadership needs to understand the time for appealing to the 10% of America thats white, rich and a member of the "club" is over. Its time to grow up and discuss issues and solutions.

Either one is conservative or not. The ideology is color blind in truest form.

Now suddenly because the GOP lost--with the most moderate/centrist Republican to come along in years, who ran with a woman (who went after corruption in her own ranks), there is panic in the ranks to go out and appeal to people of color and solve their problems. Well here's news--if their problems can't be solve with basic conservatism then why bother to change? You've morphed into a Democrat.

As a fiscal conservative I crossed the aisle and supported a Democratic ticket including Obama. I will continue to do so as long as I continue to be embarressed by the Republican leadership.

It's true there aren't many leaders in the GOP right now but then again, the team you voted for aren't much better. You are now proudly supporting dreck like Reid and Pelosi, who will spend like an entire boatload of drunken sailors. Surely you'll be vomiting overboard after a few years, being a 'fiscal conservative'.

M├Ątthew said...

wouldn't that be r r d?

Michael Roy Hollihan said...

Ah, gosh. Eight long years of "Chimpy McBushitler" and Cheney's "oil for murderous Halliburton" and never an ounce of remorse, contritition or apology. Not even a recognition of having gone too far. Oh! And Joe Lieberman in blackface. The person responsible for that is still involved in Democratic activism leadership.

But OH NOES! This comes up and suddenly Democrats have developed a sense of going too far.

Forgive me if I dismiss and ignore them.