Green Room

MSNBC: AP racist for dropping g’s in transcribing Obama’s speech

posted at 4:07 pm on September 25, 2011 by

Ignoring the sage advice of Michael Corleone to “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” (sorry, history buffs, it was not Sun Tzu who said this), MSNBC has distanced itself from one of its allies. The liberal cable network has accused the equally liberal Associated Press of racism for transcribing the president’s words verbatim in last night’s speech.

In its coverage yesterday of Obama’s speech at a Congressional Black Caucus awards dinner, the AP quoted the president thus:

Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.[Emphasis added]

Instead of “cleaning up” Obama’s present participles by restoring the final g, AP’s Mark S. Smith used what linguists call eye dialect. In one of the most famous literary example of this phenomenon, John Steinbeck in Grapes of Wrath mimicked the Okie dialect by transcribing the name of character Rose of Sharon as “Rosasharn” when spoken by members of the Joad family.

So, did AP show its racist colors? The Blaze reports that two journalism professors—one liberal, the other conservative, both black—were invited on to the new Chris Hayes show to hash it out.

The upshot of the debate is irrelevant because, on its face, the allegation of racism is preposterous. The president went out of his way last night to sound more “black.” At one point in his speech, he said, “It gets folks discouraged. I know. I listen to some of y’all.”Mark Smith quoted this construction as well. Should he have sanitized y’all into “you?”

The first job of a journalist is to report a story as accurately as possible. Part of the job of reporting Obama’s speech last night was to highlight his obvious pandering, which is borne of desperation.

The only element missing from the story is whether any of the listeners were offended by the president’s “blaccent.”

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Fo’ shizzle that junk be off the hizzle.

vcferlita on September 25, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Fo’ shizzle that junk be off the hizzle.

I see you’ve obtained the text of his next speech.

Howard Portnoy on September 25, 2011 at 4:52 PM

but it won’t be racist next time they transcribe a sarah palin speech.

bank on it.

homesickamerican on September 25, 2011 at 4:54 PM

how hard must it be to live like that everyday. Constantly, trying to accuse people of stuff like this.

tomas on September 25, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Well, as a Southerner, I would argue that the left couldn’t get enough of bashing W over his dropping of “g”s, nor that Palin chick. I don’t think you have to assume he was using a “blaccent,” it could also be equated to “Southern country preacher.” However, he definately was pandering with some of his speech patterns and phrasing. He tries to pull of MLK, and fails.

di butler on September 25, 2011 at 7:56 PM

I don’t understand why Zero does the Southern Baptist speech thingy. He’s not from the South, and I’m sure a lot of the CBC isn’t either. He’s speaking to fellow blacks who are in Congress. I wouldn’t call it pandering as much as condescending. Why do they continue to accept that from him?

Kissmygrits on September 25, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Why do they continue to accept that from him?

Kissmygrits on September 25, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Everybody now : Because he’s black!!!

thebrokenrattle on September 25, 2011 at 10:40 PM

The only way that 0bama would be able to give that speech is if the text on the TOTUS was also dropping the g’s.

pedestrian on September 26, 2011 at 12:48 AM

Just like Harry Reid said–Obama doesnt’ speak in the black dialect unless he wants to.

Pervygrin on September 26, 2011 at 4:36 PM

@Howard Portnoy Congrats on being quoted in Yahoo story.

canditaylor68 on September 26, 2011 at 8:13 PM

canditaylor68: Thanks for the link.

Howard Portnoy on September 26, 2011 at 10:05 PM

@ Howard Portnoy you are quite welcome. I wish this was promoted to headlines, maybe I missed it, but I had to read it at yahoo first.

canditaylor68 on September 26, 2011 at 10:49 PM