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The Daily Banter Mail Bag! Racism and the Boston Marathon Attackers, Filibuster reform and CNN's Indestructible John King!

In today's mailbag, Bob, Ben and Chez discuss the Boston marathon bombing suspects, filibuster reform, and the indestructible status of CNN's John King.
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Welcome to this week's edition of The Daily Banter Mailbag! Today, Bob, Ben and Chez discuss the Boston marathon bombing suspects, filibuster reform, and the indestructible status of CNN's John King.


The questions:

1) Wow. I guess we could've seen the religion of the Boston Marathon bombers coming, but their ethnicity really threw us all for a loop. Now that we know they're Muslim but NOT ARAB (in other words, they're white) how do you think the usual racist crazies on the right will respond? Think this will confuse them since they may not know who to hate?
-- Troy

Chez: It's funny because the first thing I thought of when I saw the images and heard about the background of the Tsarnaev brothers was how David Sirota and Tim Wise's heads must be spinning. Gosh, they're white, so I guess that's good, but, oh noes, they're still Muslim. Obviously this same thing applies to the dickhead conservative contingent as well. I honestly don't know how they'll respond in the long run. First of all, right off the bat, it's not like we can bomb Russia or an associated territory. I think Islam will once again come under fire but I think Arab's dodged a bullet -- figuratively and literally -- and that may if nothing else finally wake the right up to the fact that Muslim doesn't always equal Arabic.

Bob: The fact that at least Tamerlan was evidently a "radical Muslim," and that they're loosely connected with Russia, is enough for the hooples out there who regard Muslims as the enemy irrespective of skin color. Already, Graham and McCain are leading the way to have Dzhokar declared an enemy combatant, thus escalating the war on terrorism to all varieties of terrorist. This should give the jingoistic nutbags enough fuel for anti-Muslim bigotry and (hopefully not) random attacks on anyone with a Russian accent.

Ben: I don't want to sound like a bore here, but your question presupposes Tsarnaev's guilt Troy, and I think it's worth pointing out that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is still a suspect, which means he is not guilty of anything until proven otherwise in a court of law. Obviously it seems like a pretty clear cut case, but I think everything should be done to maintain due process and avoiding any assumptions to the best of our abilities. To your question -  it doesn't really matter what the nut jobs say as they'll find any story mildly relevant to their own xenophobia. Most of these idiots don't know know where Chechnya is, so as long as it sounds foreign and has Muslims in it, it might as well be an Arab country.

2) Alright so I don't know how to put this any more bluntly: nothing of any significance is going to pass the Senate until filibuster reform happens. Nothing. So why is virtually everyone, including Harry Reid, ignoring this? Screw the whimsical jalopy of the self-adoring Rand (Ayn) Paul, we needed the filibuster reformed or eliminated 3 months ago.
-- Robert

Bob: While I think the system needs some changes, I'm not as hell-bent on eliminating the filibuster, since the Democrats will eventually be a minority in the Senate and we might need to filibuster something heinous that comes down from a crackpot Republican president. That said, I think we need Republican Party reform. We should continue to shame them for filibustering everything, even laws they used to support, and abusing the rule. At some point, they need to start acting like grownups and learn how to compromise their positions for the sake of getting something done.

Ben: Not sure how to respond to this - filibusters aren't inherently bad, it just depends on when/how they are used. The Republicans are shamelessly abusing the filibuster, so right now it's something I'd like to see go. Then again, the Dems might need to filibuster some Godawful piece of legislation from a Republican President, so I'd probably support it again. It's a difficult one.

Chez: What happened in the Senate with sensible gun safety legislation was one of the most inexcusable things I've ever seen come out of our government. Agreed that filibuster reform needs to happen but I honestly don't know why it's not happening and when it might ever. Drawing a complete blank except to say that it makes sense, ergo our idiot government will avoid it like leprosy.

3) How long before John King resigns from CNN in disgrace?
-- Lisa

Chez: He's not going anywhere. John's generally a good reporter; I have no idea why he allowed himself to get fucked so badly. I think if he were to leave CNN, though, it would be a shame because while the buck should stop with him, it began with a management decision made well above him that NEVER should have been made. CNN's fuck-up was so monumental that it should be taught in first-year journalism for decades to come. In the race to be first and "exclusive" King went all-in on something that I guarantee he, deep-down, was hesitant on. I have to imagine the blame rests with the sensationalist culture Jeff Zucker is creating at CNN -- it's going to destroy that network from the inside out.

Bob: If there was any justice, he'd be severely scolded and discredited for that display on Wednesday. But he's a robot who's incapable of human emotion. Therefore he'll always be considered a very serious member of the Most Important and Excellent News Team Ever.

Ben: I feel a little bad for John King - he's obviously under pressure from management to get CNN 'exclusives' at all costs, so he did something stupid and reported on one that turned out to be bullshit. This kind of stuff really shows you how ridiculous the corporate news media is. They spend hours telling everyone how they are 'the best news network on television' and forget that they are supposed to do actual news reporting. If CNN concentrated on doing proper reporting rather than swapping faceless presenters around and chasing ratings, they wouldn't get embarrassed like they did last week. John King isn't the problem if you ask me, it's the decrepit industry he's in. And sadly, it isn't going anywhere.


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