In 2008, John McCain’s campaign ran a surprisingly effective ad called “Celeb.” On MSNBC, it was adjudged racist.
The ad began with a clip of a Berlin crowd ecstatically cheering Obama (historically, the mark of a great leader), followed by photos of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, as the narrator called Obama “the biggest celebrity in the world.” Then, the music turned ominous, and the narrator listed Obama’s high-tax policies and opposition to offshore drilling, before saying that this was “the real Obama.”
It must have taken hours to come up with something racist about that, but Jonathan Alter and Keith Olbermann whipped out their “Captain America Super-Racist Decoder Rings”:
Alter, Newsweek columnist at the time: “The larger issue, I think, is clear — which is they’re trying to portray him as being uppity. Now, is that racist? I’m not sure.”
Olbermann: “Well, if we’re playing Password, and you say ‘uppity,’ the word that comes into my mind, that’s racist, yes.”
Wait — who said “uppity,” again? Did any Republican call Obama uppity? No. Did the ad call Obama uppity? No. Alter said “uppity”: It’s about Obama’s uppityness. That much we know. Is that racist? That’s for the public to decide. I remain neutral.
The ad had nothing to do with Obama being uppity. It was nearly the opposite, comparing him to lightweight celebrities.
In 2010, even Scott Brown’s pickup truck came in for a charge of racism on MSNBC. Olbermann said that what Scott Brown voters truly opposed was having “an African-American president.”
When this insane point was met with mild resistance from Howard Fineman, Keith produced the smoking gun: “What were the Scott Brown ads, though? Every one of the Scott Brown ads had him in a pickup truck.”
I wonder if it was an “uppity” pickup truck …
As soon as the racism hunters at MSNBC come up with a final and complete list of racist code words, they should release it to the public. But it needs to be aired on a network with lots of viewers, so they better send it to Fox News.
In a world bristling with imaginary “dog-whistle” racists, white liberal racists prefer bullhorns.
Ann Coulter is an author and political commentator.