John McLaughlin a curmudgeon rapidly approaching "old codger" status. During the eighties his The McLaughlin Group on PBS was popular and iconic enough to be spoofed by Saturday Night Live. With the proliferation of cable talk shows, in 2008 I'm not sure that anybody still watches the program.
But the world seems up-in-arms about McLaughlin calling Barack Obama an "Oreo." When referring to a person instead of a cookie, that's racist and derogatory. And if McLaughlin actually did call Obama and Oreo, the heat he's taking would be justified.
But he didn't.
What he actually said is this: "Question: Does it frost Jackson, Jesse Jackson, that someone like Obama, who fits the sterotype blacks once labeled as an Oreo, a black on the outside - a white on the inside, that an Oreo should be the beneficiary of the long civil rights struggle, which Jesse Jackson spent his lifetime fighting for?"
McLaughlin did not say, "Obama is an Oreo," or "I think that Obama is an Oreo." He essentially asked his panelists a question: does Jesse Jackson think of Obama in that crude, racist, derogatory way? And then he elicited discussion on the subject from his panelists.
For those of you who have never watched the The McLaughlin Group, that's the show. The host presents items for discussion in the form of questions to his panelists and raucous interplay, hopefully, ensues. Reading every item of discussion as a presentation of the host's own viewpoint shows an ignorance of the program's format?
Here's another problem with the attacks on McLaughlin . . . he's not being quoted in context. Take a look at CNN's politicalticker blog (to which Drudge linked). Instead of quoting McLaughlin in one block, they have split what he actually said into two pieces to make it look more like he's simply referring to Obama as an Oreo.
But, what do you expect from CNN? Honest reporting? Ha.