Oliver Willis

Conservatives Try To Work The Refs, Even For Herman Cain

Herman Cain is neither going to be the Republican nominee for President or the next President of the United States. His is a bubble campaign of the Donald Trump variety, someone who can wave away conservative guilt for their racial past, but not a serious contender in any way.

That said, they’re still going to try and work the media refs in his favor. Case in point: Conservative blogger/writer (and Confederate apologist) Robert Stacy McCain reaching for the fainting couch because David Gregory asked Cain a few basic questions that he flubbed (in the post-Palin lexicon this is described as some sort of grilling).

Specifically McCain whines “When Democrats go on Meet the Press, it’s like Justin Bieber sitting down for a hard-hitting interview with Tiger Beat.”

So I decided to do what conservatives hope liberals never do, and they doubly hope the mainstream media doesnt: I checked.

I went back to May of 2008, and then-candidate Barack Obama’s appearance on Meet The Press with the late Tim Russert. What did I find? Did Russert annoint Obama the next President? Did he crown him? Did he ask him about puppies, or even kittens?

No, Russert did what Russert often did: He asked Obama a bunch of questions that sounded as if they were hot off the presses from the RNC. Specifically, Russert asked Obama about that most relevant of issues, Jeremiah Wright. A sampling:

* What has the controversy over Reverend Jeremiah Wright done to your campaign?

* You’re still a member of the church?

* Why do you think he re-emerged?

* What happened in those five weeks? Because you already knew, prior to the March speech, that he had suggested the U.S. government created the AIDS virus; you knew he went to Libya with Louis Farrakhan; you knew about his hate speech on September 11th, about the chickens coming home to roost and other things. What did you learn in those five weeks that you didn’t know in March?

* The critics have said he can attack the United States of America, he can do all sorts of things that divide the country, but only when he made it politically uncomfortable for you did you finally separate himself from him.

* Why didn’t you just say then, “You know, Reverend, we’re going on different paths because this country does not believe in white supremacy and black inferiority.”

* He said in a letter to The New York Times, he suggested that you apologized for not letting him do the invocation. Is that true?

* Is it fair for people to raise questions about your judgment for misjudging Reverend Wright?

* You’re done with him? If you’re elected president, you won’t seek his counsel?

* Could you have handled this better, differently, by severing your ties earlier? And what’s the most important thing you’ve learned from this?

These were the first questions Russert asked Obama on the supposedly softball Meet The Press: A litany of right-wing fed scarebait directly out of the school of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glen Beck. It doesn’t matter how far to the right the questions tilt, conservatives will be wailing about liberal media bias until the sun swallows the entire solar system.

Now, look, Herman Cain is a joke. He can’t answer basic 101 level questions, his economic plan is dumb — even for a conservative. But even for a Trivial Pursuit-bound candidate like Cain, conservatives are willing to pervert, twist, and distort history and act under the pretense that the big bad mean liberal media beat up on their poor widdle candidate.

It’s what they do, it’s how they operate. It’s dishonest, pathetic, moronic, and sadly it works.