Last week, I wrote a post about something I saw on television. I was watching Roland Martin’s new show on CNN, which tackles a different topic every week until Election Day. That week, the topic was age, race and gender, and their collective effect in the political race. Conservative radio host Joe Pagliarulo answered a question regarding Barack Obama and whether his race would keep voters from supporting him. I quoted his response in that post, and subsequently said that I found it a bit racist.
Doing some blog maintenance today, I saw that I had a comment on that post…from Joe Pagliarulo, or someone claiming to be Pags (I still cannot bring myself to believe it’s really him, for reasons I explain shortly). It startled me at first—how often does one get a response from a TV/radio personality? As my post didn’t paint the best picture of Joe, though, I knew it wouldn’t be the type of response one would hope for. After reading the comment, I’m firmly of the belief that it’s some oddball person who listens to Joe’s radio show, who is indicative neither of Joe’s views nor of any large group of Joe’s listeners, who didn’t like what I wrote, who decided to write before he thought.
The following is the comment I was going to leave, that turned into a monster, that turned into a post:
I’m going to leave that comment up for two reasons: If it isn’t Pags, then some idiot is pretending to be him and, in an attempt to make me feel inferior/seem dumb, has made a fool of himself. On the very long shot that it is Pags, he should know that not everyone is going to agree with him, and that posting a comment on a blog which “nobody seems to care enough about to leave a comment” won’t stop me or anyone else in the blogosphere from writing their opinions.
I find it very hard to believe that this is the Joe Pagliarulo, for the following reasons:
1.) Pags is a busy man with what I’m sure is a hectic schedule full of things he is paid to do, and thus wouldn’t have time to read this “silly little blog”, for which he would not receive payment. Somewhat related, I also believe that he wouldn’t have staffers putting his name into Google to see if anyone is criticizing him. That’s a Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly move—regardless of our differences, which honestly aren’t that great in number, Joe’s well above their level.
2.) If Joe were to respond to a blog post or article about him with which he disagreed, the following would probably be true: he would give a statement on a blog with more traffic (a greater likelihood he would read the post, and greater likelihood his comment would be read) and his tone and word choice would be a bit better, as to draw a contrast between what could have been his high road response, and my supposed low road technique (calling him a village idiot, using “bad words,” etc.). I also seriously doubt that Joe would have signed off with “dork,” belittled my blog, or told me to get my head out of my ass (at least, not in writing…in public…for all the world to see).
3.) Joe would know how to spell Barack Obama’s first name, and that “and” is not the same as “an” in any English dialect.
Now, to the person who left this comment:
I know the question that was asked, I watched the show, I watched this section a few times back-to-back through the magic of DVR. I know as well as you do that, despite the progress the nation has made, there are some white voters on both sides of the political spectrum who would stay home before casting a vote for a black candidate, no matter which ticket that candidate was running on. In my opinion, this is an ignorant viewpoint, and I’m sure that most intelligent citizens feel the same way. Pags, I’m sure, feels that way, too.
I’m well aware of the context in which the question was asked, and in my opinion (that’s all blogs are, opinion) the statement came off as a bit racist. I’m not conducting a witch hunt, here—that’s just how it sounded to me. No, Barack Obama is not Jackie Robinson, he’s Barack Obama. In my view, his ideas are sound, his desire to lead America in a new direction is motivating. Those characteristics, combined with his life story and his ability to garner support from all areas of America, make him an exemplary figure. To say that he’s not the “exemplary candidate for white America” lumps all white voters together, which isn’t fair. It also seemed, to me, to suggest that Senator Obama simply wasn’t good enough to break the racial barrier in the White House. That’s all I was getting at.
I like Joe—really, I do. I’m a liberal, he’s a conservative, big deal. I was actually glad to hear on tonight’s broadcast of Roland’s show that, like me, Joe is or was a musician. Getting into college on a music scholarship is no easy feat, he had to be good. I’m sure that, if I ever met him, we’d have plenty to talk about besides a statement or a blog post.
That being said, I apologize to Joe for calling him a “village idiot” in the caption to the picture that accompanied the post (though I would advise him that the crowd over at Fox Noise isn’t the best group to be seen with in public). Let me also say that Joe Pagliarulo is not a racist. I may not have agreed with the way his statement was phrased, but Joe is not a racist, and I apologize for crafting my words in such a way as to make it seem as such.
And that’s how that went. Something of that length couldn’t have been a comment, so here it sits.
I have a hard time believing that, since April—when I started posting regularly here—this blog has gathered enough clout to cause a famous talk radio host to be upset if I take issue with something he says. So upset that he would post a pissy comment like the one left on that post. That wouldn’t even happen on LiveJournal, folks. Let’s let this one go, and move on. If anything, comments like this only encourage me, as I feed on ignorance and the brains of small animals.
Oh, and Joe, if you actually do end up reading this blog, how about you fly me out to Houston after the election, regardless of the outcome? We’ll have a drink and talk politics like civilized humans. And be sure to conatct me some other way–this asshole has ruined the “blog comment” method of communication for you, unfortunately.