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"Here's how Gov. Sarah Palin's Clearwater visit unfolded"
"Palin goes on the attack in Clearwater"
"Palin Wows 'Em In Clearwater"
"Palin rally brings 20000 to Clearwater"

I'm starting to feel fearful.

"Palin goes on attack in visit to Clearwater"
"Clearwater crowd welcomes Sarah Palin to Florida"
"Palin folksy, feisty in Clearwater"

While I'm politically on the same page as most of my friends, I often think that they're alarmist.  We're up against the banality of evil, which operates most effectively when it can hide under a superficial veneer of esteem and respectability.  I've made it a point to disagree with those who've compared the Bush administration to the fascists of the 1930s; we shouldn't have, I argue, to attain the atrocity of those regimes for something to be unacceptably bad.  We needn't prove that Republicans are all degenerate monsters; we need to demonstrate policy flaws.  A policy flaw can be repudiated without name-calling.  That ought to be a liberal strength.

But there is a time to start feeling fear.

"Palin Supporters File Into Clearwater's Coachman Park"
"Palin In The Park"
"Palin in Florida at critical time for McCain"

The above are top-of-the-list headlines for a Google News search on the word "clearwater" today.  You may think that I post these to underline a fear that the McCain ticket will turn the tide and win in November.  But that is not my fear.  In fact, this is looking less and less like a close election, and each day I am more confident in the success of the Obama-Biden ticket.

My fear is what these articles and headlines do not report.

Just in case you don't follow that link:

Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew.

"Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience.

Presumably in reference to Ayers, though possibly to Obama.

One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."

And while I can't pull up an uncensored quote on this, I think we can probably guess what was shouted.

Here's the thing.  Why does the news cover this as if it were an ordinary political rally, with crowds and cheering?  With a little digging, the event sounds like the precursor to a lynching.  Shouldn't we be seeing at least some prominent headlines like:

"Palin supporters turn on media"
"Palin rally attendees threaten violence"
"Cameraman harrassed at Palin speech"

Why is this acceptable?

Why is this buried?

Why isn't this news?

And this is where I take one, two, no, one-and-a-half steps back, in consideration of some of my more alarmist friends.

They have earned that ground.

I can't think of a more reliable predictor to bigotry and catatrophe than this.  Oversight is telling; it tells us what is assumed.  What is unusual is worth reporting.  What is accepted is left unsaid.  What does it say, that the reportage of harrassment, of vigilante threats, of racism is taken off the table?

Originally posted to blueskiesfalling on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 12:55 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Don't forget the sheriff... (0+ / 0-)

      showed up.

      In uniform.

      Which is against the law, but that's beside the point.

      Palin is lawless.

      Yes, these were Klan rallies.

      Yes, they're inciting violence.

      Yes, they're un-American and disgusting.

      Brilliantly blessed are those who walk with courage through the depths of the own fear, for they will Love from the bottom of their heart.

      by Craig Hickman on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 01:08:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now I know why she wore white (6+ / 0-)

    The only missing was the pointed hat.

    "John Mc Cain was wrong and Barack Obama has been proven right." ~ Joe Biden DNC Convention 08 addressing major issues facing America

    by WeBetterWinThisTime on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 12:59:02 PM PDT

  •  no where near 20,000 people... (4+ / 0-)

    it was around 5-6000

  •  why can't the news... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ekthesy, blueskiesfalling

    use the "n" word.  Yes, it is disgusting, yes it is jarring...but, it is reporting what happened.

    When the press says -- "One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy"

    It makes it sound like it wasn't too bad.  It reminds me of when I was in 1st grade and my music teacher called home.  I said the "F" word in class.  My parents were aghast.  They couldn't believe that I would say such a horrible word.  After quite a bit of prodding, the teacher (also a family friend), said that I said, "Fart."  My punishment went from a red behind and a long grounding to a short discussion about talking out of turn.

    What the supporter said was important - no matter how vile it was.  The reporter isn't offending us by using the word, the supporter is offending us.

    One Palin Supporter shouted, "Hey nigger - Sit down, boy."  That would give us the true flavor of the dangerous mindset that Palin's speeches foster.

  •  I heard they distributed 18,000 tickets (0+ / 0-)

    but police estimates were 4,500.... The media should stop covering these racially tinged, violence enducing speeches, until there are assurances that the rhetoric will not target the individual press and camera crews and not encourage hatred against opponents.

    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - JFK

    by moose67 on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 01:08:28 PM PDT

  •  Palin is a Scientologist (0+ / 0-)

    That would explain it all.  Let's go with it.

    -5.38/-3.74 I've suffered for my country. Now it's your turn! --John McCain with apologies to Monty Python's "Protest Song"

    by Rich in PA on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 01:09:48 PM PDT

  •  What's really disturbing (0+ / 0-)

    is I just saw a journalist from the Washington Post on CNN saying how these things tend to happen at political rallies.  No call out to the fact that they havn't happened at Obama's rallies and no suggestion that the person at the podium has any responsibility for the anger and hate they whip up.  Yes, I can think of political rallies where this has happened before, 1930's Germany saw quite a lot of them.  

    Once again the mainstream media pays hommage to faux parity, the blind balance that kills the truth.

  •  Isn't Clearwater already deep red? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueskiesfalling

    Today she's in (Deep Red) Pensacola, she was in Nebraska(!) a couple of days ago, and Greenville, North Carolina later.

    This is just a baby step up from keeping her wrapped up. They're only putting her in safe areas.

    "How we gonna run reform when we're the damn incumbent?" - O Brother Where Art Thou

    by bleet on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 01:35:45 PM PDT

  •  What news station was the black soundman from? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueskiesfalling

    I'm guessing they're a network affiliate of some kind and would need to ring the alarm. What's more newsworthy than being part of the news?! Why does it seem like they're sitting on it? We could write letters of outrage to the editors in defense of this man... With the publicity the McCain campaign would need to denounce their racist supporters.

    •  I don't know; that's what's frustrating... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      breaker1nine

      ... I only found this aspect of the rally linked to from two sources:

      This blog and the post as linked to from Home Sweet Home.

      Although now it looks like it's getting a bit more coverage.  But so far, nobody has upped details on that.  I agree; we should write letters.  I'm going to forward this post to a few papers tonight.

      "No one gets to be born a butterfly, not even butterflies." - Santa

      by blueskiesfalling on Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 02:15:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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