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Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Tale of Two Soundbites

Which one sounds “divisive” to you?

by Mark Steyn

Here is a tale of two soundbites. First:

“Slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”

Second:

“The third lesson and tip actually comes from two of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Tse-Tung and Mother Teresa. Not often coupled with each other, but the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point, which is: You’re going to make choices. . . . But here’s the deal: These are your choices; they are no one else’s. In 1947, when Mao Tse-Tung was being challenged within his own party on his own plan to basically take China over, Chiang Kai-Shek and the nationalist Chinese held the cities, they had the army. . . . They had everything on their side. And people said ‘How can you win . . . ? How can you do this against all of the odds against you?’ And Mao Tse-Tung says, ‘You fight your war and I’ll fight mine . . . ’ You don’t have to accept the definition of how to do things. . . . You fight your war, you let them fight theirs. Everybody has their own path.”

The first quotation was attributed to Rush Limbaugh. He never said it. There is no tape of him saying it. There is no transcript of him saying it. After all, if he had done so at any point in the last 20 years, someone would surely have mentioned it at the time.

Yet CNN, MSNBC, ABC, other networks, and newspapers all around the country cheerfully repeated the pro-slavery quotation and attributed it, falsely, to Rush Limbaugh. And planting a flat-out lie in his mouth wound up getting Rush bounced from a consortium hoping to buy the St. Louis Rams. The NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, said the talkshow host was a “divisive” figure, and famously non-divisive figures like the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson expressed the hope that, with Mister Divisive out of the picture, the NFL could now “unify.”

The second quotation — hailing Mao — was uttered back in June to an audience of high-school students by Anita Dunn, the White House communications director. I know she uttered it because I watched the words issuing from her mouth on The Glenn Beck Show on Fox News. But don’t worry. Nobody else played it.

So if I understand correctly:

Rush Limbaugh is so “divisive” that to get him fired leftie agitators have to invent racist soundbites to put in his mouth.

But the White House communications director is so un-divisive that she can be invited along to recommend Chairman Mao as a role model for America’s young...  Read the whole article.

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Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.