Dim Prospect

Taylor Marsh takes down this very strange sequence from Harold Meyerson at American Prospect over an anonymous caller using a 'Chris Rock' style voice to phone a pro-Obama message to a white friend of his:

"I cannot empirically verify that the call came from some group backing Hillary Clinton. But based on my knowledge of L.A. elections, I certainly believe it came from such a group, and the odds that it didn't are roughly the odds that O.J. was innocent."

It's that last line--the gratuitous O.J. Simpson remark--that is very weird: 'Oh, by the way, on a completely unrelated topic, the black jury in the O.J. Simpson trial were categorical idiots.'

Very strange. In the context of two dubious posts on Barack Obama, Meyerson throws in the O.J. Simpson case as a benchmark of virtual certainty. But the majority of blacks thought O.J. Simpson was innocent! Now Meyerson might not agree with the verdict. That's a valid opinion. But when he references O.J.'s guilt as an objective benchmark of certainty, he is saying people who thought O.J. was innocent--the large majority of blacks--are morons. Now if he had said that 15 long years ago, when the trial was a fresh memory, I'd say he was just angry because he honestly believed a murderer beat the rap. Even if he said it in a post about O.J.'s recent arrest, I'd say that recent news brought up some old, angry memories.

But when he gratuitously throws out an insult to the intelligence of the large majority of blacks who thought there was at least reasonable doubt 15 long years ago, in a post that has nothing to do with O.J. -- a post in which he throws around racially inflammatory accusations with admittedly no empirical evidence (unlike the 'mountain of evidence' offered in the Simpson trial), I say Meyerson is neurotic.

That's right, neurotic about race. Especially since he's now had a chance to rethink his original post in which he accused the Clinton campaign of the call--on the basis of zero evidence. This is what he comes up with after reflecting on his original outburst. His conflicts about race are irrepressible.

The kicker is that, in the absence of 'empirical evidence' of the source of the controversial call, Meyerson cittes his job as a political writer for the L.A. Times. It's funny that in the current media climate of wildfire bias/Chris Matthews Syndrome, Meyerson cites only his pundit credentials to certify his credibility. 'Pundit' and 'credible' don't go together anymore.

Does Meyerson's expertise in L.A. politics include any memory of L.A. police detective/'genocidal racist' Mark Furhman, since we're dredging up O.J? How does Fuhrman feel about the prospect of President Obama? Does Meyerson think Fuhrman is a 'Clinton supporter'--though Hillary comfortably jokes about her 'inter-racial marriage' to the 'First Black President'? Back when we had a black police commissioner in NYC, some officers broadcast racial slurs anonymously over their police scanners. My first instinct would be to suspect someone like Mark Fuhrman of that call. Meyerson has more in common with Furhman than Furhman has in common with any Clinton supporter I know.

Since Meyerson cites his experience as a pundit, I'll cite my lifelong experience dealing with the racist mindset: it is convoluted, contradictory, conflicted, i.e., neurotic. Supposedly in defense of a black candidate, Meyerson hears the ghosts of Amos 'n' Andy, attributes it in a Rorschach flash of rage to the inter-racial Clintons, dredges up old O.J. Simpson wounds, asserts the metaphysically indisputable credibility of Mark Furhman, and caps it off with a coded swipe at the intelligence of African Americans. That's basically how these thing work.

God, what an ugly episode on Meyerson's part.


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