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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Of Family And Opportunities Not Wasted

I'll preface this post with the following:

Every time I see people within the Modern American Right speak about the need to find a "missing person" ( usually a white female as evidenced by multiple reports from Fox"News" over recent years ) there's a palatable undertone that is eventually coupled with a variety of "issues of the moment" - immigration, minority gangs, religion, media. The later two take center stage in this particular incident.

Malkin goes after NPR and Muslim comedian Maz Jabrini in an attempt to show that the public radio station and Muslims are "attacking her and her family":

If the obscure and has-been comedians who appear on National Public Radio want to mock conservatives and spread left-wing propaganda, they should do it on their own damned dime.

The government-sponsored radio conglomerate broadcasts a weekend show called “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” It leans heavily on laugh tracks to prop up the lame punchlines of the likes of liberal humorist Paula Poundstone and describes its purpose thusly: “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is NPR’s weekly hour-long quiz program. Each week on the radio you can test your knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world while figuring out what’s real news and what’s made up.”

The “best and brightest” include a Muslim comedian named Maz Jabrani, whom NPR has been promoting as “the face of Middle Eastern humor in America today.”

Judging from his latest bit performed on this weekend’s show, the face of Middle Eastern humor looks a lot like the face of your typical CAIR mouthpiece. Tea Party-bashers Ron Schiller and Vivian Schiller may be gone and the House may have defunded the public radio enterprise, but the conservatives=racist smear narrative is alive and well at NPR.

There are just a few problems with Malkin's claims ( and I'm not just talking about her insistence that it's a "canned laugh track" used in the program - like the one Fox"News" used on their own short lived and teeth gnashingly poor Half Hour News Hour ) about the program. The primary of which is twofold: that this was a direct assault on her family and her missing cousin and the allusion that NPR is primarily funded by taxpayer dollars.

And while Malkin is want to use issues of race, culture, religious background - and just about anything "non-right-wing" about a person to elevate her own ideological failings - what she is missing is that this particular skit on NPR is predicated on the notion that some people are going to fall for a particular story simply based on it's sensational nature. How ironic.

All one has to do is take a listen to the audio provided by NPR ( which Malkin even linked, mind you ) to realize that the story was false, as even the hosts revealed. Jabrini was using the continued notion of "birtherism" - something still rampant within the Modern American Right - in satirical fashion simply because so many people actually believe it.

Does the fact that a member of a person's family is going through a potentially tragic moment in their life mean that the person, like Malkin, in question is now officially immune to criticism? No. But to justify that based on how members of the Modern American Right act wouldn't exactly be fair either.

People like Michelle Malkin don't listen to NPR unless they are provided with a "tip" that there was allegedly something said that could be construed as "inflammatory" towards the Right in America that just might make for a good soundbite or talking point on their particular blog or on a Fox"News" program. That's the reality of how this story - and virtually all stories Malkin and her ilk are formulating regarding NPR - is gaining traction.

And while just about everyone within the Modern American Right will go to bat for Malkin anytime she misinforms, distorts, and fabricates herself, there's even a popular Right Wing blog that can't even get the clear and readily apparent facts straight on Malkin's missing family member.

But this is to be expected, when they are just as much "concerned" with distorting and misinforming about NPR as they are about finding this young woman.

Do I hope that this young woman is found? Of course. But I don't think we should sit idly by while Malkin uses this incident as a stick to beat her ideological opponents with. That, despite what she claims about NPR, is something that is truly disgusting.

EXIT QUESTION: Could NPR or their guests have known about Malkin's cousin prior to the recording of this program? I'm sure that they could have - provided that you work up your material predicated on the fact that you specifically look for information on your subject based solely on a potentially tragic incident involving a "non-immediate" family member.

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