Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Daily Kos: "Raise Money like a Jew"

We saw the following on the front page of the Daily Kos:

Elegy For A Fallen Candidate
by Trapper John
Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 03:13:05 PM PDT

O Tommy boy/
the polls, the polls are falling/
from Council Bluffs, and down to Waterloo/
the summer's gone, and your numbers are dying/
because you failed/
to raise money like a Jew/

And don't come back, your time has come and gone, son/
You're just a hack, who can't hold in his pee/
But you were good for laughs, at least, dear cheesehead/
O Tommy Boy, O Tommy Boy/
we'll miss you . . . see? So? I'm sorry, what was that last word? My hearing aid isn't working . .

Upon following the indicated link, and searching for the word "Jew" at http://atrios.blogspot.com/2007_04_15_atrios_archive.html#117674748460610844, we found the explanation close to the bottom of the page.

WASHINGTON - Former Wisconsin governor and Republican presidential hopeful Tommy Thompson told Jewish activists Monday that making money is "part of the Jewish tradition," and something that he applauded.

Speaking to an audience at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington D.C., Thompson said that, "I'm in the private sector and for the first time in my life I'm earning money. You know that's sort of part of the Jewish tradition and I do not find anything wrong with that."

Thompson later apologized for the comments that had caused a stir in the audience, saying that he had meant it as a compliment, and had only wanted to highlight the "accomplishments" of the Jewish religion.

In other words, Trapper John's "Elegy for a Fallen Candidate" was apparently a criticism of Tommy Thompson's statement above. (We do not find it particularly offensive, noting that Thompson's intention was obviously to compare the Jewish tradition to the Protestant work ethic, both of which involve "earning money.")

The fact that we had to do such an intensive search for what Trapper John apparently meant to say does not, however, speak very well for his own judgment. At least Thompson's words can be understood from their direct context ("earning money"), and one does not have to go to another Web page and search it to understand what he was trying to say. We doubt that most readers would cut a blogger much slack if he used the N word, even if he provided a link that would show (after considerable effort by a reader who didn't know how to use his browser's search function) that he wasn't trying to deride Black people.

If the Daily Kos is upset with Bill O'Reilly accusing it of sponsoring hate speech, it should look in the mirror for the chief problem.