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Is it an ironic point or is it kicking a man when he’s down?
In this case, “it” means pointing out that Kenneth Gladney, a black man who was attacked and called the infamous N-word by some union “community organizers” at a town hall meeting, is an unemployed man without health insurance.
Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly’s blog Political Animal would probably say the former, to judge from a post titled “Gladney, the Uninsured Activist,” which expressed skepticism about accounts at conservative sites and by Mr. Gladney himself about the fracas.
“Yesterday, about 200 conservative activists held a protest outside the [Service Employees International Union] office in St. Louis. Gladney was there - bandaged and in a wheelchair - as a featured guest. … Reader R.D. alerted me to this tidbit in the local news account of the protest: … … ‘Supporters cheered. [Gladney’s attorney, David] Brown finished by telling the crowd that Gladney is accepting donations toward his medical expenses. Gladney told reporters he was recently laid off and has no health insurance,’ ” Mr. Benen wrote, bold-facing that last sentence before going on to call it “a fascinating sign of the times.”
“Wait, the conservative opponent of health care reform, fighting (literally) to defeat a plan that would bring coverage to those who lose their jobs, lost his coverage because he got laid off?” he gloated.
Maybe it’s just a profitable comparison with Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, but Jon Stewart is becoming a favorite liberal talk-show host among some conservatives. Jacob Gershman reports at the New York magazine blog Daily Intel that “Since the beginning of the Obama administration, Stewart has interviewed more conservative pundits than liberal ones” and cites several’s kind words about their experience.
“While the (conservative) movement professes a disdain for the ‘liberal media elite,’ it has made an exception for the true-blue 46-year-old comedian. ‘He always gives you a chance to answer, which some people don’t do,’ says John Bolton, President Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations and a Fox News contributor, who went on the show last month. … ‘In general, a lot of the media, especially on the left, has lost interest in debate and analysis. It has been much more ad hominem. Stewart fundamentally wants to talk about the issues. That’s what I want to do,’ ” Mr. Gershman wrote, going on to note some of the reasons for the unlikely love.
“Conservatives like Stewart because he’s providing them a platform to reach an audience that usually tunes them out. And they often find that Stewart takes them more seriously than right-wing political hosts, who are often just using them to validate their broad positions, do. Stewart will poke fun, but he offers a good-faith debate on powder kegs - torture, abortion, nuclear weapons, health care - that explode on other networks.”
Cajun Boy at the Gawker, responding to the Daily Intel post, held out hope.
“So maybe there’s hope that Stewart can book Sarah Palin as a guest! After all, Bill Kristol promised he’d try to get her to go on the show during his last appearance! Wouldn’t that just be swell?!” he said at gawker.com.
Killing grandma I
We reported in this column a couple of weeks ago about Elizabeth McCaughey’s criticism of one of the House health care bills as including a provision on “page 425” that she said meant “Congress would make it mandatory absolutely that every five years people in Medicare have a required counseling session” that “will tell [them] how to end their life sooner.”
Others have picked up the cudgel on the issue, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who said the bill would establish “death panels.” The circulation of these charges produced considerable liberal push back, based on a report by FactCheck.org, titled “False Euthanasia Claims,” which accused Ms. McCaughey of distorting at least two key points.
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