The media's use of the “liberal bias” term has become so overused it's lost all meaning. That is until something so egregious happens one is forced to realize that liberal bias is not a fantasy created by right-wing lunatics.
On Friday, the former chairman of the Democratic Party in South Carolina, a man named Dick Harpootlian, insulted South Carolina's sitting Republican governor, Nikki Haley, by making what appeared to be a reference to her ethnic origin; she is an American-born daughter of Sikh immigrants from Punjab, India.
Telling party members that Haley must be defeated in next year’s elections, Harpootlian implored the Democrats to “send Nikki Haley back to wherever the hell she came from.”
Harpootlian, later asked by reporters what he had meant, lamely replied, “Lexington County,” which is a South Carolina county Haley once lived in. But the obvious truth is that Harpootlian meant a place about 10,000 miles to the east.
“Anybody implying anything different is attempting to feign insult,” Harpootlian said.
But Haley’s camp wasn’t having it.
Rob Godfrey, a spokesman for the governor, called Harpootlian's comments a form of race-baiting and “play[ing] to the lowest common denominator. Unfortunately, this seems to be a trend coming out of the South Carolina Democratic Party.”
Now, given the toxic atmosphere in this country, with respect to immigration and fears of Islamic -- i.e., “foreign" -- terrorism, Harpootlian’s comments have not generated much outrage from a national media that usually feasts on such inflammatory comments. Or to be more specific, the national media feasts on these comments when they are made by the right.
A few media outlets did indeed criticize Harpootlian, even MSNBC, which virtually operates as a propaganda arm for the Democratic Party and the Obama White House.
“You don’t do that. Let me just say, fair enough, that if a Republican did this, we’d be covering it like crazy -- so we’re covering it because it was wrong and those statements were absolutely wrong. That’s a gaffe at best,” MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski said.
Peter Beinart agreed, writing for The Daily Beast that if Dick Harpootlian were a Republican, liberals “would be jumping over one another to call him a bigot.”
“Unless offenses like Harpootlian’s are slapped down hard, Democratic Party bigotry is likely to get worse,” he said.
Absolutely. Imagine if a powerful Republican politician said a Democratic governor from an ethnic minority should “go back to wherever the hell they came from.” Just imagine it. It would be the lead story on network news and in major newspapers for days. All the usual suspects, from Michael Moore to Bill Maher to CNN to Jesse Jackson to Alec Baldwin to Piers Morgan, etc., would be castigating Republicans for their “racism” and “refusal to diversify.” The New York Times (that paragon of fairness) would be foaming at the mouth calling for the head of the offender.
But when Democrats make such insulting remarks, one can almost hear the crickets chirping.
There is yet another complicating factor to this issue: Harpootlian is Armenian -- an ethnic group once considered “foreign” in the United States.
You know who the Armenians are? They come from a little country that now borders Turkey, and which is not too far from a Russian province called Chechnya -- yes, the place where those two Boston Marathon bombers originally came from.
Perhaps Harpootlian should go back to wherever the hell he came from instead.