Audio: Laura Ingraham and Charles Blow clash over tea party "minstrel show" column

Skip ahead to a quarter of the way through if you don’t want to bother with the intro. I touched on his column in the Bill Maher post over the weekend, but if you missed it, read it now. He never quite gets around to calling Zo Rachel a race traitor or Uncle Tom — or maybe he did and the Times’s editors thought that would be a tad much for such a tolerant, diverse newspaper — but the “minstrel show” crack is clear enough in its import. Here’s a radical theory: Maybe minorities were overrepresented at the podium in Dallas because tea party leaders wanted to send a high-profile signal that non-whites are welcome to join the movement. Blow assumes that this was some sort of “performance” for the benefit of whites in attendance, but my hunch is that the target audience was entirely different — i.e. black and Latino independents who may share some of the same concerns as TPers about taxes and spending but are wary of getting involved with what our moral superiors on the left are now calling “Tea Klanners.” The only way to challenge the media’s narrative is to put minority tea partiers in front of the cameras, which won’t stop New York Times smear merchants from calling them Stepin Fetchits or whatever but may reach a few people who are still open-minded about the dynamic.

If you’re looking for a tough but fair piece on last week’s rallies, I recommend this piece (also mentioned by Ingraham) from WaPo’s Robert McCartney. Yes, there are plenty of kooks in the tea party, he notes, but racists are a little harder to find.

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