June 04, 2007

It's a Slow News Day, so Why Not A Little Indignant Stupidity?

Many of us have heard the term "spearchucker" used as a racial slur against African-Americans, so when I saw via Memeorandum that Fox News anchor Brit Hume used the term, my immediate reaction was to cringe.

The context:

Hume: …he had a mixed record in the Senate and he's a man who always seems somewhat frustrated and bored by the Senate...I particularly remember an investigation that occurred after the Clinton/Dole campaign. We were new here at FOX news and we carried a lot of the hearings live. It was in the campaign finance alleged irregularities with monies supposedly seeping into the American political campaign of Bill Clinton from Chinese sources and so on—it was pretty juicy stuff it looked like a very big deal.

Fred Thompson was the chairman of the Investigating committee and it went absolutely nowhere. he was effectively buffaloed in that investigation by none other than John Glenn—who was a wonderful man, but not somebody normally you would think capable of being a real partisan..ahh…ahh.. spearchucker, who could, who could undo an investigation. So it didn't go very well and I think Fred Thompson has acknowledged since then that it wasn't his finest hour...

But how could Crooks and Liars get all indignant considering the comment was directed at this guy?


To put it mildly, it seems a stretch, but any chance to slur a conservative--especially one on the hated "Faux News" network--on even the flimsiest of grounds is a good one, isn't it?

John Amato, after making the weak case that Hume (an older white guy) was being a racist for calling Glenn (an even older white guy) a spearchucker, then goes on to provide the word Hume was must likely looking for all along, a spear-carrier. That Hume was fumbling for the right term was obvious in the transcript that Amato provided (my bold this time):

...he was effectively buffaloed in that investigation by none other than John Glenn—who was a wonderful man, but not somebody normally you would think capable of being a real partisan ..ahh..ahh.. spearchucker, who could, who could undo an investigation.

Hume fumbled, and produced an embaressing slip, but a purposeful slur? I don't think so.

What should be embarassing...but obviously won't be... is Amato's probable little "white lie" about why he wrote this entry to begin with.

I had to watch it a few times for it to sink in. I looked up "spearchucker," on, but they didn't recognize it so I wonder how he will explain this one away?

Really, John? You had to look up the term to know it was offensive?

If you didn't know it was offensive, then why did you key in on it in the first place, instead of letting it waft by as the one of the dozens of idiomatic expressions one hears in an average week that most normal people never bother to look up?

No, I suspect that Mr. Amato was well aware of what that slur meant all along, and that he was well aware of what it meant long before Brit Hume spoke it on Fox News.

What is far more likely is that Mr. Amato, as a representative of the politically correct progressive blogosphere, instead decided to play dumb and act as if he had to look it up. Why?

Hume made a mistake, and grabbed the wrong term.

John Amato, on the other hand, acted as if he didn't know what "spearchucker" meant, when clearly he knew it was a slur all along, or he wouldn't have keyed in on it.

Here's another word for John Amato to look up: "honest."

Posted by Confederate Yankee at June 4, 2007 06:01 PM

Really nice post, CY. But why did you expect better from Crooks and Liars?

Posted by: Dusty at June 4, 2007 06:36 PM

I think he meant bomb-thrower. Jeez, can we get back to the important stuff, like the cost of John Edwards' haircut?

Honest to God, if this is the way the campaign season is going to be, somebody should just shoot me now.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at June 4, 2007 07:15 PM

Or maybe "water-carrier"?

Posted by: Jim Treacher at June 4, 2007 07:44 PM

No biggie. It's like "macaca." He just invented it on the spot, and it just happens to be a racial slur. Honestly, these LIEberals are acting like a bunch of.....junglebunnies. Another invented word.

Posted by: jpe at June 4, 2007 08:38 PM

David, as the compassionate conservative that I am, all I can say is "Stand up so I can take a better shot."

Posted by: Dusty at June 4, 2007 11:23 PM

I wonder if Brit Hume ever read the novel M*A*S*H:

Posted by: CKMacLeod at June 4, 2007 11:29 PM

LIEberals like john amato talk a good game but how many colored do you see sipping wine at the bistro the LIEberals are HIPPOCRITS

LIEberals like immigration cause it don't AFFECT THEM ANYWAY and keeps wages and thus prices cheap

do you read SHAKESPEARE while your sipping that fine wine Lefty????

Posted by: Karl at June 4, 2007 11:50 PM


All I ask is that you move in close and make it clean. With my luck you'd just put me in a hospital room with the TV permanently stuck on Fox News.

I don't think I could take another Bill Frist Video Diagnosis.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at June 5, 2007 07:33 AM

Bashing C&L must be fun for you guys, but Mr Amato doesn't seem so indignant to me. He is simply pointing out the gaffe--even making clear in the headline that it was aimed at John Glenn--and using it as a way to bring up past transgressions.

This is way short of the high dudgeon you guys get into over misidentified troops and other MSM malapropisms.

It does not, however, address Amato's real implication--scarcely driven home--that in slipping up Hume reverted to a very loaded characterization that may reflect his real attitudes. Freudian slip, anyone?

It might have been interesting to read a discussion among conservatives about whether people reveal supressed attitudes in this way, and if so whether it is important politically. Any of us is likely to spit out an insulting word or phrase in the heat of discussion (Blank you, Sen. Leahy!)--so why get all backed up about it, on either side?

Instead, commenters here sieze an opportunity to once again start in on the name-calling and accusations ("LIEberals," "HIPPOCRITS"). And in such a civil venue!

A bit of self-reflection might be in order here. You think attacking the MSM for silly slipups and editorial mistakes is fair game, but criticizing conservative mouthpieces for chewing on their size tens is out of bounds. Liberals here are accused of incivility for the slightest transgression, but ad hominen attacks on liberals seems a staple of the site.

You can dish it out, but you can't take it.

Posted by: R. Stanton Scott at June 5, 2007 08:10 AM

Mr. Scott,

You have to learn to ignore the semi-literate rants.

The guy's either suffered a head wound, is developmentally disabled, or is an ESL student. Either way, it's best not to notice when he spews.

It's like pointing out when grandpa is incontinent. It's just not polite.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at June 5, 2007 09:28 AM

Wit well done. Kudos, David.

Posted by: Dusty at June 5, 2007 09:48 AM

I must live in the wrong part of the country, because I've never heard it used to describe anyone racially. I have heard it used in the "bomb-thrower" context, which seems to cover Sen. Glenn appropriately.

Posted by: Old_dawg at June 5, 2007 12:38 PM

Mr. Terrenoire,

Yeah, yeah, I know. What happens on the short bus should perhaps stay on the short bus.

But if we let Grandpa take his incontinence public, it embarrasses the family and makes a mess that someone has to clean up.

There comes a time to tell the nurse that people notice the stench.

Posted by: R. Stanton Scott at June 5, 2007 01:04 PM