Saturday, March 10, 2007

Hillary's Southern Drawl in Context

Does anyone out there like being lied to? Maybe calling it a lie is a bit harsh, do you like it when the media plays you like a violin?

This past week we all saw the footage of Hillary's outrageously silly southern drawl that she adopted when speaking in front of a largely black, southern audience.

Fox news played it almost as much as they played Howard Dean's infamous "Yeaaaaaaagh!"

The conservative community was abuzz. I don't think a single conservative commentator missed the chance to poke fun at Hillary. I so badly wanted to blog about the story as soon as I'd heard the audio clip, but I was really busy this past week and didn't have time to get it up.

The narrative espoused by conservatives was that Hillary, the NEW YORK Senator, who is engaged in a battle with Obama over the southern black vote, had, in an effort to distance herself from the remarkably clean, bright, and articulate - not just any kind of articulate, we are talking storybook, man... - Barack Obama, adopted a southern drawl in what was apparently an effort to appeal to the Southern black voter.

The joke was, "I may not be black, like my opponent, but I can sound just like you, and that is why you should vote for me."

It was absurd. It was ridiculous, but when you listened to Hillary's audio clip, it all made perfect sense.

Too perfect, it turns out. When looking for the video for my Hillary Resource Center, I came across the following clip, which shows Hillary's comment in context.

When I watched this, I was pretty disappointed with Fox News, Sean Hannity, etc. The conservatives who were quick to slam Hillary over her southern accent, essentially cherry picked the audio in what was pretty clearly an out of context quote.

I see this as different than the alleged "botched joke" that Kerry claims was nothing more than a right wing smear, where we all "knew what he really meant."

Kerry expected that despite his history of saying atrocious things about American troops:

... that we would all just know that if you added a word or two here, took away a word or two there, viola, it was really a joke about President Bush... and we all KNEW IT!

No. This Hillary accent brouha is very different. I am disappointed in the conservative coverage of this. I don't like Hillary, not a bit. I don't want to see her anywhere near the White House, unless it is to congratulate Rudy when he takes office, but I want the coverage of these politicians to at least be accurate.

Fair and Balanced means playing a clip like that in context. Just like Coulter's joke about no longer being able to use the new "F" word was ill-conceived and detracts from all the intelligent things she has to say, playing clips out of context represents a sort of dishonesty that detracts from all of the other things conservative outlets have to say.

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