Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Richard Cohen's Washington Post Column Made Me Gag

What Richard Cohen wrote:

"Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all."

So what's Cohen trying to write here?  That the Tea Party is not racist but a bi-racial couple triggers a gag-reflex in the deepest part of their "conventional" and unhappy souls?  Why would a perfectly normal couple cause a gag reflex in anyone, except racists?  He contradicted himself in two sentences, while exposing his ick factor at the same time.

And why the "used to be a lesbian?" dig?  Didn't he make his point about his miscengenation revulsion without having to pile on his homophobia as well?  

At a time in this country when we have a bi-racial president and a bi-racial first couple of the largest city in America, how could anyone, let alone a newspaper columnist in a top U.S. publication, write something as ignorantly reactionary as Cohen did?  What cave has he been living in that caused him to think bi-racial marriages were anything but conventional?

Cohen is stuck somewhere in the Ozzie and Harriet 1950s where that family of actors, a fantasy of Hollywood teevee executives, existed in the lives of very few "conventional" families of actual Americans.

I believe in freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the freedom to let a guy, who also writes opinion columns for a prominent newspaper, expose himself for the wanker that he is.


  1. Cohen is simply exercising his right to his own beliefs, the constitutionally protected right to free speech, and his right to be wrong.

    The rest of us spend our time doing things that change reality toward greater tolerance and understanding.

  2. Why the Washington Post would continue to give him space to write this drivel makes me gag.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I'm pleased that Shaw also exercised her 1st amendment rights.

    The Washington Post is a business, not a branch of government. It does not have to provide Cohen a forum to express his idiocy. The 1st amendment has no application as to the decision by the Post to continue to publish this drivel; I'm with Rocky, it makes me gag.

    The 1st amendment prohibits the government--federal, state, or local from infringing on freedom of the press or freedom of speech. The Post chooses to allow Cohen to publish on its pages; if it decided to not allow him to do so, it would not violate the 1st amendment.

    It has become a common misapplication and total misunderstanding of freedom of speech to interpret it to mean that anyone can say or publish anything in any forum. Never has been true, and has never been the meaning of the 1st amendment.

    In addition, people who publicly say or publish their beliefs have to remember that the rest of us have the same freedom to declare their ideas to be reprehensible or just plain stupid.

    The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government.

    The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Established case law has interpreted the 1st amendment to also apply to state government.

  5. That sums it up pretty nicely.

    Perhaps the Washington post, under its new owner, is trying to counter the scurrilous description of the paper as "Pravda on the Potomic" or perhaps the policy of one lie for every truth or the "two sides to every story" fallacy is just becoming the rule everywhere, but such things are good for circulation at a time when newspapers are fading away. No progress ever occurs without bitching and moaning from moaning bitches like Cohen. Growing pains and all that. . .

    And by the way, Mr. Belafonte is right. The Tea Party has at least two scoops of racist in every bowl and isn't the history of man's rise from barbarism all about 'mainstreaming' the avant-garde, about 'secularism' as the protector of freedom, about tolerance of immigrants and all that?

    We'll have to wait and see how Mr. Bezos' ownership of the Post affects editorial policy and we'll have to wait and see whether NYC's choice was a wise one or just a reaction to an overdose of rich white men.


We welcome civil discourse from all people but express no obligation to allow contributors and readers to be trolled. Any comment that sinks to the level of bigotry, defamation, personal insults, off-topic rants, and profanity will be deleted without notice.