Hack Watch: A.B. Stoddard part 2

by Ari Rutenberg

Just after noon today I saw a segment on MSNBC in which The Hill’s A.B. Stoddard was interviewed about Reverend Wright.  She was appalling.  As has been previously reported on The Daily Banter, she is a  hack

.  Her palpably false indignation about the nature of Wright’s comments over the last few days was the archetypal example for all of the punditocracy to follow.   The fact that she, a wealthy white woman who lives in a rarefied world, responds to Wright this way shows that she is either simply pretending not to know about this type of powerful. grandiose oratory and deeply and justifiably angry sermons in the black community (like so many in Washington are) or she genuinely does not know about it and is frightened of this. 

It is difficult to believe that an educated woman like A.B. Stoddard does not know about this type of thing.  What is much easier to believe is that she is pretending in order to justify sweeping this very serious issue under the table.  This neglect of the race issue by the predominantly white establishment has existed since the early 80’s when people stopped paying attention to how racist our government was (and is) in order to justify stopping the discussion on race due to their increasing level of discomfort with the increasingly visible anger from the black community.  A.B. Stoddard’s comments today only serve to further that neglect.

However, like so many in the media A.B. Stoddard is only a symptom

of the true problem.  In this case that is the level of discomfort in

the white community in general.  I have seen it among my own friends

and family.  People who are generally on the left of every issue, even

many who supported civil rights 40 years ago, seem to have a lot of

fear regarding this Black Liberation Theology and other traditions in

the black church.  It is truly shocking to me that they seem to have

lost so much of the empathy once expressed towards the suffering of the

minority in this nation.  As a wealthy, white, Jewish man, I have no

problem understanding why there is anger and suspicion in regards to

the government, especially this one. 

The relationship between black and white America is not the same as

other minorities.  It is a much deeper and more difficult issue than

simple racism or xenophobia, and it will not disappear within a few

generation on its own as many other race problems in America have.  The

arguments normally thrown out by those who cannot deal with black anger

are that other countries also had slaves and that it has been too long

and people need to solve their own problems.  The first is irrelevant

(we must deal with our issues, not other countries’) and the second is

not useful or accurate. 400 years of slavery and oppression have left

their mark and cannot be blithely dismissed by those with no experience

being black in America.

It is dismaying to see that so few give consideration to what we

need as a nation, and so much to what they need to satisfy their souls

that what they are doing is the only thing, and not some vapid, corrupt

shadow of the true role of media in the democratic process.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.