This week there were several billion interactions and events in America, but two held center stage: the racial and media firestorm over Sherrod's firing and the continuing economic debate between, still, supply-siders (give more money to the rich to invest) and demand-siders (give more money to everyone else to spend). [Listen to excerpts of the July 24 show below.]
On Sherrod: Did race-baiters on the right spark this firestorm by hyping a doctored tape? The women sharply disagreed on the context and culpability. Defending both Breitbart and Fox, Mary discussed the aggravating NAACP-Tea Party history, concluded that MSNBC was as bad as Fox and explained that when liberal critics "see everything through the prism of race, you see racism." Arianna belittled Breitbart's "manufactured manipulation", lauded the redemptive story of Sherrod and the white farmer, and concluded that while both Fox and MSNBC had opinionated show hosts, only Fox "is based on fantasy."
Both then agreed how poorly the Obama administration had handled this (as did the Administration itself) and both chided Obama for his criticism of the media culture. [Host note: Obama, Vilsack and the NAACP have apologized for their overreaction and the firing -- not yet Breitbart or Fox; while on the third day of the story Bill O'Reilly said he was sorry for not vetting the tape better, he went on to note that Sherrod was still a lefty and also a racist because of her sentiments 24 years ago. And was Obama inaccurate -- or just impolitic -- for observing, again, that the media culture is an accelerant?]
On Taxes: "Resolved, Republican emphasis on deficits is hypocritical because at the same time they both propose an unfunded $600 Billion tax cut for the wealthy and don't discuss reductions in Pentagon spending." In response, Mary analyzed how keeping Bush's tax cuts on the top tier was good economics and urged that the estate tax should stay at zero, which this year will save billionaire George Steinbrenner's family $500 million. Arianna disagreed on both counts, adding that GOP congressional opposition to unemployment insurance extension was "cruel and [lacking] an empathy gene."
On Quick-Takes: the women agreed that Rep. Charlie Rangel should leave his seat because otherwise he'd be targeted this Fall as the example of the Democrats' "culture of corruption"; and they also concurred (for different reasons) why Obama should choose law professor Elizabeth Warren to head the new Consumer Finance Protection Agency. Last, they were 180 degrees apart on whether NYC should allow a Muslim Center, including a Mosque, near Ground Zero; Mary denounced as "ignorant" Mayor Bloomberg's support and rationale that we're not like "those burka-banning countries", while Arianna said that, in the spirit of Sherrod and redemption, we should welcome Muslim sponsorship of the Cultural Center there.
-Mark Green, Host of "Both Sides Now"
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