- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 25, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

COMMENTARY:

They told us if Barack Obama was elected, the nation would come together. Souls would be fixed. Spirits would be healed. Public discourse would be elevated. Welcome to civility and tolerance in the age of Obama.

Celebrity leech/trash blogger Perez Hilton took to the Internet and TV to humiliate a beauty-pageant contestant who gave what he considered an offensive answer about gay marriage. Mr. Hilton, inexplicably serving as a judge for the Miss USA contest, asked Miss California, Carrie Prejean, whether she supported the legalization of gay marriage. Miss Prejean respectfully answered: “I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.” Mr. Obama, by the way, defines marriage the same way Miss Prejean does.

No matter. Mr. Hilton immediately lambasted Miss Prejean as a “dumb …” in a viral YouTube video he taped after the pageant Sunday night. He apologized the next morning for the attack, then retracted his apology, then escalated his divisive rhetoric.

Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Hilton told an MSNBC female anchor that he was thinking of an even more vulgar epithet as he listened to Miss Prejean’s answer. The female anchor said nothing.

Basking in his new role as thought and speech enforcer, Mr. Hilton told CNN’s Larry King that beauty-pageant contestants must bow to the tolerance mob: “Yes. I do expect Miss USA to be politically correct.”

Apparently, the Miss USA organizers agree. Instead of apologizing for Mr. Hilton’s vile behavior, the pageant director of the Miss California contest, Keith Lewis, sent a note to Mr. Hilton throwing Miss Prejean under the bus: “I am personally saddened and hurt that Miss CA USA 2009 believes marriage rights belong only to a man and a woman. … Religious beliefs have no place in politics in the Miss CA family.”

But gutter profanity and misogyny do?

Some other examples:

• At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill last week, former Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo came to speak against legislative proposals to provide illegal-immigrant students in-state tuition discounts not available to law-abiding Americans and legal immigrants.

Protesters at the institution of higher learning responded by blocking Mr. Tancredo with massive banners and screaming, “No dialogue with hate.” Adults in the room stood by while students smashed a window a few feet from where Mr. Tancredo stood. Physically threatened, Mr. Tancredo was forced to leave without delivering his remarks.

According to campus reports, leftists had prepared for a week to mount a speech-squelching demonstration. The same thuggish tactics have been used at Columbia, Georgetown and Michigan State universities to shut down speakers who support strict immigration enforcement. The UNC administration apologized for the students’ tantrum but took no steps to examine its own culpability for fostering a climate of intellectual vandalism and intolerance.

• The nightly airwaves turned into a soft-porn cesspool last week as liberal journalists derided and slimed hundreds of thousands of “tea party” protesters across the country who oppose reckless taxing and spending by both major political parties. Award-winning CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, mimicking his bottom-of-the-barrel competitors at MSNBC, smugly indulged in sexual puns about “teabagging.” MSNBC devoted the entire week to sophomoric sexual slang and innuendo with references to “nuts,” former Republican Rep. Dick Armey and “full-throated” protesters.

And White House adviser David Axelrod calls the tea party folks “unhealthy”?

Speaking of unhealthy, angry white liberal actress Janeane Garofalo venomously played the race card: “It’s about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up and is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks.” The theme was echoed by Jeffrey Kimball, a professor emeritus of history at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, who castigated the “extreme right” for organizing against Mr. Obama because “he’s black and he’s liberal.”

Tell that to the thousands of activists in South Carolina who practically booed and heckled white Republican Rep. Gresham Barrett off the stage at a tea party in Greenville April 17 for supporting the trillion-dollar Troubled Asset Relief Program and embracing the pork-laden stimulus law after voting against it. “Go home!” they shouted. The only color that mattered to protesters: the red ink of government debts.

But in the age of Obama, there’s no room for such nuance and inconvenient truths. A decent young woman is a “dumb …” for holding the same view of marriage as the Obamessiah. A conservative campus speaker is bullied as a hatemonger by wild-eyed hatemongers. A grass-roots movement is debased as a bunch of racist vulgarians by a media mob of racists and vulgarians. Civility and tolerance have taken a left-hand turn down a one-way street. So much for changing course.

Michelle Malkin is author of “Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild.”

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