Who’s Babeu-zzling whom?

24 Jul 2010 10:22 pm
Posted by: Donna

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu claims he didn’t know what type of show he was calling in to when he was interviewed by “The Political Cesspool”, a weekly radio show that flies its white nationalist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, and homophobic freak flag proudly. (The hosts of The Political Cesspool claim Babeu was aware.)

From the outset I was inclined to give the guy a pass on the blunder. It’s hard to imagine any legitimate politician thinking to him or herself, “You know, I should get myself interviewed on that Nazi station. That’ll be good for my career.” But the first nagging question is one that should be evident to anyone who has ever called in to a radio show. What happens is that the screener or producer puts you on hold, usually for several minutes. While you’re on hold you are listening to the show in progress, waiting for the host to call you by name and tell you you’re on the air. It’s possible that an aide of Babeu was waiting on the phone during that time, not Babeu himself, but still. Someone had to be listening to what was being said in the segment before the Babeu interview.

Yesterday the AZ Democratic Party sent out a press release describing it.

In the first segment of the radio program, before Babeu came on, the hosts and their invited guests:

* Were permissive about people who use, “horror of horrors, the N-word” [2:22]
* Accused Nelson Mandela of masterminding a terrorist bombing. [15:40]
* Said white Southerners were “invaded” by Freedom Riders during the Civil Rights Movement. [16:12]
* Blamed Jewish people for many of the country’s problems. [4:33, 5:26]

As they waited for Babeu to call in, one co-host said his excitement about having Babeu as a guest was on par with his excitement at meeting the well-known KKK leader David Duke.

You have to listen to the broadcast, if you can stomach it, to appreciate how calm and matter-of-fact people can be while expressing shockingly ugly views about their fellow human beings. That’s important because the constant presentation of hateful bigotry as a Mel Gibson scream-fest or JT Ready marching at the border often leads people to think that bigots can’t be articulate or “reasonable” sounding. Au contraire. These dudes chatting it up on the Political Cesspool sound like they could be on NPR, except for the part where they’re nasty hateful bigots.

As I’ve said here before, an association with a particular person or group does not mean that you are joining them or endorse their views. Out-of-context guilt by association should have died a boozy death along with Joe McCarthy. But there’s plenty of context with which to go after Babeu here. At best, it shows that Babeu and his handlers are sloppy and way too eager for any cheap publicity they can get, which means he’s not focused on the job he was elected to do. At worst, it raises suspicions about what Babeu knew and when he knew it and the possibility of collusion with the hosts (who, don’t forget, are claiming Babeu was aware of their ideology). Media Matters has the full interview with Babeu, in two parts.

Notice that the Cesspool hosts are on their best behavior throughout the interview. They mention how President Obama sent Babeu a “gift” in the form of the ACLU coming to Arizona to sue him. Just the plain old ACLU, not the evil Zionist conspiracy ACLU of the earlier segment. No mentions of superiority of the white race either; just several references to the “invasion” of illegals and drug cartels and violence. Not as clinical and NPR-ish as the first segent, it was more run-of-the-mill conservative talk radio bombast. This would lend some credence to Babeu’s claim that he didn’t know the nature of the show. Then again, Babeu claimed in the interview that the U.S. is “sprinting toward socialism” and repeated blatant falsehoods about Arizona’s crime rate. He’s not exactly awash in credibility.

Then there’s that other interview Sheriff Babeu did with conspiracy crackpot Alex Jones. Where Army National Guard Major Babeu accuses the President of being on the borderline of treason. Another innocent mistake, I’m sure.

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2 Comments

  1. Comment by tony soprano on July 26, 2010 3:11 pm

    I happen to love TPC. They actually have arguments and facts on their side. While you Donna must resort to name calling and bumper sticker slogans.You are a bigot. Because the TPC guys advocate for the interest of white people. You just plain must be a hater.Yes nelson mandela was a terrorist. Dr. David was in the KKK 40 years ago let us not forget that. I think if you offer the be on their show they would welcome you. I would love to hear what you have say.

  2. Comment by K on July 27, 2010 12:40 am

    Babeu’s hurried statement of late on the 19th (the day the story broke) made specific factual claims about the extent of his relationship w/ the Cesspool people. The natural response, for more than one reason, is to give him the benefit of the doubt, but the Cesspool people have, w/ what sounds like unfeigned indignation, called him a liar. They offer a detailed counter-narrative, & have invited the press to inspect evidence, incl. phone records, that they say contradicts Babeu’s story.

    What if it turns out they’re telling the truth, & he did know what they stand for? It seems unlikely, but it was unlikely that an ambitious politician would go on the Alex Jones show & denounce the President of the United States as a diabolical borderline traitor with black, black friends, & he did do that.

    The Watergate rule: it’s the coverup that matters. If the the press ever takes the Cesspool people up on their offer & looks at what they have to say, & it turns out they’re not bluffing, then this guy’s political career (his 2nd one, after Massachusetts) is over, & a lot of people will have huevos on their faces.

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