Opinion: Herman Cain calls reporters who quoted him ‘stupid’ and Jon Stewart a racist
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Herman Cain may have found the perfect way to get media attention Wednesday: call the real journalists ‘stupid’ for believing the words that come out of his mouth, and deem the most popular faux journalist a racist for ... being a comedian.
Yesterday in a firehouse in Iowa City, Iowa, the deep-dish pizza eater began burning bridges with the press by using the curiously familiar technique (recently mastered by Newt ‘Any ad which quotes what I said Sunday is a falsehood’ Gingrich) of denouncing journalists for actually writing down what the GOP presidential hopeful said.
On June 6 in Pella, Iowa, Cain told an audience that if he were elected president he would warn Congress, ‘Don’t try to pass a 2,700-page bill.’
‘You and I didn’t have time to read it. We’re too busy trying to live — send our kids to school. That’s why I am only going to allow small bills — three pages. You’ll have time to read that one over the dinner table,’ Cain explained.
The press wrote down what Cain said, and some outlets, including The Ticket, even included video to show prospective voters that the candidate appeared earnest.
Wednesday, Cain claimed that he wasn’t being serious and that journalists who believed him were ‘idiotic’.
I will be a president, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, ‘of the people, by the people and for the people’. This is why you heard me say bills will be bills that you and I can understand. I said in one presentation about a month ago: “no bill is going to longer than three pages.” Remember that? Some of these idiotic reporters thought I was serious. The joke’s on them. The message was short bills. Understandable bills. No it’s not literally going to be three pages. The executive summary will be three pages.
Fair enough: Journalists who listen to, trust and disseminate the words of newbie politicians are idiots. Got it. Unless that’s another joke. Perhaps we’ll know when Cain calls us morons in two weeks for believing yesterday’s firehouse chat. Next on Cain’s list was comedian Jon Stewart. On Sunday, Chris Wallace of Fox News played a clip of Stewart parodying Cain and questioned Stewart’s comedic decision to imitate the African American the way most comedians do when they lampoon African Americans.
WALLACE: You’re planning a remake of ‘Amos ‘n’ Andy’? STEWART: Why don’t you show -- do you want to show me doing the voices for all the other people that we do? You want to see my New York voice? My Chinese guy voice?
Cain chose not to believe that the Comedy Central comedian was attempting to provide satire; instead the conservative chose to whip out the race card.
‘As far as [Stewart] mocking me, look, I’ve been called every name in the book because I’m a conservative, because I’m black,’ Cain told the small audience.
‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, words are not going to hurt me,’ Cain continued. ‘I was on [the Sean Hannity] radio show because I happen to be an American black conservative. I labeled myself. I’m an American Black Conservative, an A-B-C. They keep trying to put labels on me. I have been called ‘Uncle Tom,’ ‘sellout,’ ‘Oreo,’ ‘shameless.’ So the fact that he wants to mock me because I happen to be a black conservative, in the words of my grandfather, ‘I does not care. I does not care.’ ‘
So there you have it: Herman Cain appears to believe that Jon Stewart was making fun of him, not because on the campaign trail he told an audience that he wanted bills to be three pages long so Americans who are busy sending their kids to school can read the bills at the dinner table. But because Jon Stewart hates the ABC’s.
And now your moment of Zen:
-- Tony Pierce
Photo: Herman Cain announces his campaign to seek the Republican nomination for president at a rally May 21 in Atlanta. Credit: AP Photo/David Goldman