Favorite

Time to cool off 

A small, unprofitable far-right journal subsidized by Rupert Murdoch, the Weekly Standard is nonetheless cited by other far-right opinionators like Fox News. It was on Fox that the editor of the Standard, William Kristol, unloosed an astonishing critique of Sen. Barack Obama, who has a fair-sized chance of becoming the first black American president. Kristol compared Obama to a pro-slavery senator of a century ago, saying that Obama was “sort of the opposite” of Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, and “would have been with Stephen Douglas in 1858” when Lincoln and Douglas debated the slavery question. Like all politicians, Obama has been the subject of much unfavorable comment, but he’s never heard that one before. Kristol will have him in the Ku Klux Klan before long.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is capable of similarly far-fetched comparisons. D-G editorialists look at unrest in the Little Rock school system and find a re-enactment of the 1957 crisis, but with the roles reversed. Those patrons who protest — safely — the policies of a predominantly black school board are compared to those who bravely opposed school segregation in the segregated ’50s. Yesterday’s Women’s Emergency Committee is today’s Mothers for Progress, the D-G says. It’s a position not even the D-G would have dared take when members of the Emergency Committee were still alive. We knew some of those gallant ladies, and if they’d seen themselves likened to the Mothers for Progress, they would have stood up to the D-G and its publisher the way they stood up to Orval Faubus and his mobs. (Speaking of far-fetched, we’d love to have heard what WEC members thought of a new book on the ’57 crisis that paints Faubus not as the opportunistic rabble-rouser he was, but as the inoffensive victim of scheming newspaper editors and school superintendents.)

The D-G extends its already over-extended analogy to cover school Superintendent Roy Brooks. To the newspaper, Brooks’ critics are a “lynching party.” The loose usage of “lynch” is offensive, and cheapens a strong word. John Carter was lynched. Nolan Richardson, whose alleged assailants forced millions of dollars on him, was not lynched. Roy Brooks will not be lynched. Whatever happens to his Little Rock gig, he will be healthy and well compensated and find new employment quickly if he wants it.

Oddly, the D-G shows some understanding of the school situation when it praises Gov. Mike Beebe for being prepared “to help calm bad feelings, not exacerbate them.” If the newspaper will follow Beebe’s example and stop inciting anger with its “lynching parties” and its insulting assessment of past heroines, equity and order in the schools may yet be preserved.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • It's official: Arkansas Senate resolution blames refs for Hog loss; calls for ref education

    Hog fans just can't quit blaming the refs for the NCAA men's basketball tournament loss to North Carolina. Now the Arkansas Senate has gotten in on the act, with this resolution introduced by Democratic Sen. Keith Ingram and getting bipartisan co-sponsorship from that brutish and short sandlot roundball player, Republican Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson.
    • Mar 23, 2017
  • A whiny Mike Huckabee endorses arts funding

    Mike Huckabee, whose daughter works for Donald Trump, has written an op-ed for the Washington Post endorsing continued funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, which Trump has proposed to eliminate.
    • Mar 23, 2017
  • Cave's clock is ticking again

    The Downtown Little Rock Partnership proudly announces that a Little Rock land mark, the Cave's clock at Capitol Avenue and Main Street is ticking again.
    • Mar 23, 2017
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Arkansas is the perfect place to try out this new health trend. Read all about the what, why, where and how here.

Event Calendar

« »

March

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Worse than N.C.'s bathroom bill

    SB 774 extends birth certificate requirement to bathrooms in all public facilities, and that's an original birth certificate, too.
  • Don't cry for Robert E. Lee

    Congratulations are in order for Governor Hutchinson. He decided this year to devote the weight of his office to end the state's embarrassing dual holiday for slavery defender Robert E. Lee and civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Attack the poor

    If there is a unifying motif to the labors of Congress and the Arkansas legislature this spring it is to make life harder and existence more intolerable for the poor.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Don't cry for Robert E. Lee

    • The South hasn't quit fighting. No, but Robert E Lee did and he could have…

    • on March 23, 2017
  • Re: City Board discovers LRSD

    • You reap what you sow, the seeds were planted when the Max Brantley's of LR,…

    • on March 20, 2017
  • Re: More on pits

    • Diane, as noted above, this is a *column* not a news piece. So yes, it's…

    • on March 20, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation