Adele Fergusen’s 15 minutes

The cache function on my web browser has failed me, and now when I try to view


page, all I get is a 404 error. Worse, Google seems to have failed to cache

it as well. So comes the blogosphere to the rescue! For the full text of Adele

Fergusen’s op-ed in The Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal, check out Disturbing

the Comfortable. Here’s a snippet:

One of these days before I die, I hope to see a shift in the attitudes of

so many of my black brothers and sisters in this great country we share, from

perpetual victimhood, to pride in their achievements on the road from slave

to American citizen.

Remember Ronald Reagan’s story about the kid who had to shovel a huge

pile of manure? He went about it with such joy he was asked why and said,

“With all that manure, there’s got to be a pony in there somewhere.”

The pony hidden in slavery is the fact that it was the ticket to America for

black people. I have long urged blacks to consider their presence

here as the work of God, who wanted to bring them to this raw, new country

and used slavery to achieve it. A harsh life, to be sure, but many

immigrants suffered hardships and indignations as indentured servants. Their

descendants rose above it. You don’t hear them bemoaning their forebears’

life the way some blacks can’t rise above the fact theirs were slaves.

Besides freedom, a job and a roof over their heads, they all sought respect.

But even after all these years, too many have yet to realize that to get respect,

you have to give it.

It’s worth noting that before this came out, no one outside Washington State

knew or cared about The Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal. But because it has

a website, it wasn’t long before Adele Fergusen’s claptrap was winging its way,

via the likes of Wonkette,

to the world at large. New Media has changed everything!

Yet at the same time, Fergusen has gotten in trouble because her opinions

found their way into a printed newspaper, and printed newpapers still have a

certain gravitas that blogs and talk radio, say, don’t. If an unknown Washington

State blogger or talk-radio caller had said the same thing, few people would

have noticed or cared. Old Media still matters!

It’s also interesting to read this

letter from Lary Coppola, the editor and publisher of The Kitsap Peninsula

Business Journal:

Right-wing politics have proven to be a product that strengthens the bottom

line. If liberalism did, that’s would be the corporate media product. It isn’t

about the issues in the corporate boardroom, it’s about selling the product

that delivers the greatest return on investment for the stockholders. In the

case of the media, it’s conservatism.

The corporate owners of the American media are doing nothing more than catering

to their customers and delivering the product they want to buy. It’s just

that simple.

Could Coppola really be so cynical as to have published Fergusen’s hateful

op-ed because he thought he was simply "delivering the product" that

his readers wanted to buy? My guess is not, and that rather this is more of

a cock-up than a conspiracy. Fergusen filed her op-ed, and at no point in the

editing process did anybody stop to think whether simple decorum should trump

her freedom to say what she likes in her column.

Finally, it’s worth noting that it’s far to cheap and easy to equate Fergusen’s

column with Coppola’s "right-wing politics". I’m sure that Fergusen

is, indeed, a right-winger. But for every Republican who feels like this, there’s

a Democrat who agrees with her. Part of the reason that Republicans do better

than Democrats in US elections is that Republicans have fewer compunctions about

pandering to the likes of Fergusen than Democrats do. Once upon a time, Democrats

were the party of the racist heartland; now, it’s Republicans. But the racist

heartland itself has changed less than the coastal elites might think.

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