Friday, April 25, 2008

The Black President on Fox

I don't usually engage in predictions or prognostications about the process, because I'm too ignorant about the hidden factors and because predictions (in my tiniest of tiny ponds) don't impact the process. But I will say this: if past events in Obama's campaign--the Jeremiah Wright controversy, which was widely expected to do great damage, being the principle case in point--are any indication, then taking himself into the previously-boycotted lion's den of the Faux News network is probably going to be another example of his and his handlers' remarkable understanding of political jiu jitsu. The Wright "controversy", totally ginned-up by inside-the-Beltway pundits who really don't understand how much righteous anger there is in black and brown communities in this country, was supposed to tar him with the "extremist" brush. But instead, in the wake of those accusations, he stood up and gave a speech which is widely regarded as the best of his career, thus far, and a watershed moment in the essentially non-existent 21st century American discourse on racial divides.

I think the same thing might happen on Faux. If various of McCain's handlers have already announced that they'll leave the gig if Obama is the nominee--because those handlers know that the McCain camp's attacks on Obama will have to embody grotesque racism to be even remotely effective, because they know that McCain will still lose, and because they want to have a shred of marketable reputation left after that inevitable loss--then some one or two of the troglodytes who populate Faux's sound-stages and office suites must know that the network stands to lose much more by this appearance than does Obama. If the O'Reilly's and Hannity's treat Obama the way they typically treat opposition members appearing--yelling over them, cutting off their mic's, laughing at them--those less-subhuman Faux staff must realize that such treatment is going to play very badly against Obama's dignity, and minority status. If they yell at, laugh at, or cut-off Obama, they will alienate everyone (including a lot of the elderly folks who are the the network's core audience) who doesn't still favor lynching.

Plus, Obama is smarter, and quicker on his feet, than they are. And he knows that being portrayed by the Faux morons as "radical" is only going to help him with the other 78% of the electorate.

I think going on Faux, standing up under their shit-rain, and giving-back as good as (or better than) he gets, is a virtual win-win for Obama, and has the potential to be a huge loss for Faux and the Republicans the network supports. Imagine the mobilizing rage amongst moderates and progressives when the race-baiting excerpts from the Obama appearance get replayed in anti-McCain campaign ads.

I won't watch it. But I won't be surprised if Obama is the big winner from any such appearance.

[ETA: OK, now I feel smart. Bowers agrees.]

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