Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Ugly Americans

(Update: This morning, two of the four independent reports I gleaned this story from are retracting it and saying that the chants of "USA!" had everything to do with the Paulbots, which I referenced briefly, and nothing to do with the functionary from Puerto Rico on the stage. I do my damndest to be fair and stick to the facts, so I want to make that clear. I've accused the right of simply and shamelessly making stuff up lately, which it has, and I certainly don't want to do the same.)

I've purposely avoided bringing up the RNC over the past day or so because, well, why bother? We already know exactly what's going to come out of it: At best it's political Kabuki, at worst, since we're dealing with the modern Republican party, it's going to be a lot of firebreathing, red meat chewing and the indefensible demonization of vast swaths of the American electorate.

But on that last point, I guess it really is possible for an unscripted moment of Neanderthalic nativism to take even me by surprise. So grab your popcorn, sit back and behold what happened when Zoraida Fonalledas, a Puerto Rican party functionary, was introduced, approached the podium and began to speak with a heavy Spanish accent.

Granted, the mindless Paulbots have been causing a lot of trouble at the convention so far, but Reince Priebus's very obviously astringent reaction should lead anyone watching it to assume that what he or she thinks was happening was actually happening: a bunch of delegates were shouting down a Latino woman with chants of "USA! USA!"

This is where I mention that Puerto Rico is part of the USA.

I can't even believe I need to do that.


Benjamin said...

This makes me so angry and ashamed I don't even know what to do with myself. I'm literally shaking with rage right now. I wish I'd never seen it. But I'm glad I saw it, so I can know truly what kind of crazy is in my country. We must never, EVER cede an inch of authority to these douchepizzas.

bafreeman said...

What the fuck are you talking about, Chez? Those fucking Porto-REE-kin commies slipping over our borders are stealing Merican jobs!!!

bafreeman said...

Holy shit, I posted before without actually having watched the shout-down. Romney's goal was to get 37% of the Latino vote. That fucking display makes 20% overly ambitious. What the fuck is wrong with those people?

Heather said...

I hope to hell this woman leaves the party in a very public way over this, and tells every news outlet she can exactly why.

Then, of course, there is the incident tonight where an African-American camerawoman from CNN had food thrown at her by an attendee while the person shouted, "this is how we feed animals." I'm waiting for that one to spread everywhere but it hasn't yet.

ZIRGAR said...

Gee, if only she had spoken in a thick Bavarian accent--then the GOP would have wrapped its collective arms around her.

Spencer said...

You can clearly see many of them chanting "get them out" instead of USA.

Jus' sayin'

Kyle said...

Yeah, I was gonna say that if you read the lips of the guy at 0:28-0:32, it looks like he's chanting "kick them out, kick them out!"

Anonymous said...

Um, except that's not what they're doing at all... they're shouting 'seat them now' and 'point of order' because of the infighting regarding rules changes and unseating delegates. The people shouting 'usa' are trying to shout down those other people. This has NOTHING to do with Puerto Rico or racism.

watch the whole thing, but specifically the 1-2 minute mark.

Chez said...

And that would be why I added the update/retraction to the top of the post -- the one you apparently read very carefully.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to you for retracting, but no need to get nasty... I had this up on my screen for awhile this morning so apparently the update hadn't shown up yet. And the people who were discussing it on facebook (agreeing with your original premise) this morning didn't see it either, so it must not have been there at that time.

I wasn't rude to you, but you felt the need to be nasty to me for respectfully posting information that conflicts with your original premise. The vitriol and hateful rhetoric the comes out of the woodwork from people posting comments to these stories (everywhere, not just here) is sickening.

There is very little critical thinking going on today, which is a dangerous thing.

And as a 'veteran network news producer' you should have known better in the first place to check your facts - unless that's what passes as professional journalism nowadays.

I'm sure you won't approve the post, but that doesn't matter. You've seen it and that's all that counts. Maybe next time you'll think twice before contributing to the divisive atmosphere we find ourselves in today. There's plenty of stupid stuff BOTH sides ACTUALLY do without resorting to sloppy smear jobs.

Chez said...

First thing's first: I tend to take critical comments a lot less seriously and respond a lot more flippantly when they're "anonymous." Just for future reference. As for posting the story at all, again I'll say that several sources, including Fox News, were going with it. Since I don't have access to an actual working newsroom of my own anymore, I have no choice but to go with the sources I trust -- particularly when there are several of them -- and that's what I did. If I waited to confirm without a doubt every little item -- meaning that I actually saw it with my own eyes or was hearing it from my own personal news desk -- nothing would get published here. So, with respect, please knock off the sanctimony.

And speaking of respect -- the "both sides" are doing stupid stuff meme is tired and it's generally a false-equivalence. Yes, I'm cynical as hell and think most politics are dumb these days, but there's simply no denying -- unless you're trying to stay above the fray and cast yourself as some arbiter of phony objectivity -- that one side right now if engaging in infinitely more divisive and obscene political discourse than the other. That's just a fact. I do my best to be fair but I also call them like I see them (which IS fair, by the way). If you believe that by being acerbic about it I'm contributing to the lack of standing around holding hands singing Kumbaya, trust me -- I can deal with that. I'm not always a fan of getting pissed, but sometimes it's necessary.