Think Progress hugs the tar baby

posted at 4:56 pm on May 18, 2006 by Allahpundit

Sure, they know what Tony Snow meant. But what would you idiots do if they weren’t around to explain it to you? And what’s with the name “Snow,” anyway?

Jeff Goldstein has details, and muses:

TP’s argument seems to be that it doesn’t much matter what Snow meant by the term (given the context, it is certainly just as appropriate to allude to Robert Anton Wilson’s “Tar- Baby Principle”– which posits that one is attached to what one attacks”—as it is to allude to Joel Chandler Harris’ “Uncle Remus” tales, though it doesn’t much matter which you choose). Instead, because his words have been used “occasionally as a derogatory term for black people”—and because “some people suggest avoiding the use of the term in any context” (presumably, the same kind of people who are affecting outrage here)1—TP is arguing that the expression should be off-limits to people like Snow, using as a justification for this (incoherent) linguistic argument the possibility that someone somewhere (and it bears noting, this hypothetical “someone” is necessarily being posited as one who is less astute then the good folks at Think Progress, who had no problem whatsoever understanding Snow’s intent), might misinterpret Snow’s remarks. In short, they are using as a justification for demonizing his speech the possibility that someone, somewhere, might either 1) misinterpret Snow’s meaning, believing him to have intended to use the phrase as a racial slur; or 2) misinterpret Snow’s meaning, because they believe that, regardless of what he may or may not have intended, the words themselves carry with them the necessary social taint of racism.

Me, I’m just glad TP is out there policing for this stuff. Based on the sort of e-mails my “chink”/“gook”/“slope” boss tends to attract from progressives, we need all the help we can get.

Spruiell has been following this story too and shows that it’s not just the likes of Think Progress that’s been flinging this crap. Although, admittedly, “the likes of Think Progress” is a pretty big circle on the media Venn diagram these days. And getting bigger by the moment.

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


I heard Snow say this and I assumed immediately that liberals would be up in arms about it, but I’ve been surprised to have not heard much. I had never even heard of the term until last year when I learned about NOLA Mayor Nagin firing someone over use of the term:

RightWinged on May 18, 2006 at 5:04 PM

I’ll say it again:

Political correctness = intellectual fascism

I still have hope one day there will be outrage over Hillary’s Gahndi / gas station joke back in the day.

Until there is equal outrage towards people from both parties who say things that could be construed by some to be outrageous, I still believe all this “outrage” is just fascism intent on silencing one side of the conversation.

NTWR on May 18, 2006 at 5:17 PM

Yah, all Nagin says is he wants New Orleans to remain a “chocolate city”.

clyde on May 18, 2006 at 5:17 PM

I wish the “progressives” would admit that they are really regressives. “Progressives” has after all been a code word for communists for about a century now. Maybe at one point they though that was progress. Anybody except a complete idiot — or somebody with more faith in Marx than most Christians have in God — should now be able to see just how utterly regressive and destructive communism really is. It’s nothing more than another disguised form of ruthless evil selfish totalitarian dictatorship.


RobertHuntingdon on May 18, 2006 at 5:37 PM

Must admit to wincing upon hearing it live…only because I knew the usual suspects would immediately jump on it.

Thankfully they missed out Snow’s subliminal “please stop talking you sorry old hag” morse code eye-blinking directed at Helen Thomas.

The Ugly American on May 18, 2006 at 5:48 PM

The conservative blog owners and their commentators/supportes should immediately stop using the term “progressive”, when referring to the lefties, with no exceptions, no matter how moderate they claim to be.
I’m a legal immigrant, from a former communist country (it took me 7 arduous years, during which I followed all laws, to become a very proud citizen of this great country – I still cry every time the Colors are brought in) – this is very insulting and only helps to cement their self-appointed terminology – it is their form of elitism and it implies that you are all not ‘progressive’.

Entelechy on May 18, 2006 at 5:57 PM

Progressives: People who dash forward looking in the rearveiw mirror.

Wil on May 18, 2006 at 5:58 PM

Wow, in a single day four mainstream Democratic sources, not to mention TP, have made disgraceful implications of racism with absolutely no merit.

Matt Yglesias: (if not mainstream, he’s not usually considered a moonbat)

Harry Reid:

And, at the Spruiell link, the WaPo and NYT.

That is just disgusting.

Stanley, per usual, is the most idiotic, actually citing an example of how deranged our society is by this language problem (the “niggardly” incident) while she participates in another such example.

Alex K on May 18, 2006 at 6:28 PM

“commentators/supportes should immediately stop using the term “progressive”, when referring to the lefties, with no exceptions, no matter how moderate they claim to be.”

Might I suggest communist? as that is what they actually long for.

Rowane on May 18, 2006 at 6:31 PM

I assume that anyone “offended” by Snow’s use of the term will be the same people who were NOT offended by the racial slurs that some liberals have heaped upon Condi Rice and Clarence Thomas.

Then, there are the rappers….

Paul Atreides on May 18, 2006 at 6:40 PM

I believe Tony say this on purpose, just to get a rise from people like Think Communismn.
Is just my opinion, but Tony es muy inteligente, he can take care of himself.

batperez on May 18, 2006 at 7:42 PM

I meant “said this on purpose.”

batperez on May 18, 2006 at 7:42 PM

That certainly is a most un-generous interpretation of Mr. Snow’s statement — almost to the point of being niggardly…

Claire on May 18, 2006 at 10:46 PM

As soon as the left stops calling Michael Steele ‘Sambo’ then perhaps we can take them seriously. They always have their race radar on waiting for any opportunity to take a swipe at conservatives. Trent Lott, anyone? But this selective radar doesn’t pick up any verifiable racism on the left. Chris Dodd’s tribute to KKK Byrd, anyone?

pistolero on May 19, 2006 at 8:38 AM

Racism is an affliction of conservatives. Liberals may say things that sound racist (Robert Byrd/ Cynthia McKinney) but since their hearts are true, what they say is not racist…:-)

brtex on May 19, 2006 at 9:28 AM

Once again, the wussification of America. Why not call a spade a spade?

Greg McCann on May 19, 2006 at 1:17 PM