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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Return of the Tar Baby

“Governor Mitt Romney yesterday apologized for using the expression ‘tar baby’ -- a phrase some consider a racial epithet -- among comments he made at a political gathering in Iowa over the weekend.
‘The governor was describing a sticky situation,’ said Eric Fehrnstrom, the governor's spokesman. ‘He was unaware that some people find the term objectionable, and he's sorry if anyone was offended.’
In his first major political trip out of the state since a ceiling collapse in a Big Dig tunnel killed a Boston woman on July 10, Romney told 200 people at a Republican lunch Saturday about the political risks of his efforts to oversee the project.
‘The best thing for me to do politically is stay away from the Big Dig -- just get as far away from that tar baby as I possibly can,’ he said in answer to a question from the audience.”
-Boston Globe, July 31, 2006

“Governor Romney didn’t know that the statement could be seen as offensive. Apparently he does not read the New York Times or pay much attention to the White House, as if he did he would surely remember this little beauty from just a couple of months ago..”

“Tony Snow said he didn't want to ‘hug the tar baby,’ and then he did just that by using the expression in his first televised White House press briefing yesterday.
The tar-covered doll that Br'er Fox used to ensnare Br'er Rabbit in an 1881 Uncle Remus story is used as a metaphor for a sticky situation, but for some it also carries vague racist connotations — it has been used as a derogatory term for a black. In a society where a District of Columbia councilman can be accused of racism simply by using the word ‘niggardly,’ most politicians and TV commentators prefer to avoid tar baby references. When a reporter playfully asked him to explain the term, Mr. Snow mumbled that it could be traced to ‘American lore.’"
-New York Times, May 17, 2006

“This is all silly though. As we are all aware, racism doesn’t exist in the United States anymore. We did away with it. Worrying about saying something because it might offend African-Americans is ridiculous. Since there is no more racism, you don’t have to worry about what you say. Just ask Mel Gibson.”

“The actor yesterday apologized for the ‘despicable remarks’ he made to Los Angeles police officers during the incident, which reportedly included a tirade of anti-semitic and sexist abuse.
The entertainment website, TMZ, has published what it claims to be an extract of the police report on Gibson's arrest.
The report says: ‘Gibson blurted out a barrage of anti-semitic remarks about 'f*cking Jews'. Gibson yelled out: 'The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.' Gibson then asked the deputy, ‘Are you a Jew?’ It also claims the actor called a female officer ‘sugar t*ts’ - suggesting Mel learnt little from his role in What Women Want.”
-Guardian Unlimited (UK), August 1, 2006

“This might, just might, have led to a very recent decision by Disney..”

“The ABC television network has pulled a miniseries about the Holocaust it was developing with Mel Gibson's production company, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, quoting an unidentified representative for the network.”
-Reuters, August 1, 2006

“Ah yes.. They were letting a guy who thinks that the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world make a miniseries about the Holocaust. Brilliant. I hear that after that they are going to let Osama bin Laden do a series on 9-11.”


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