“Retard” Incident Brings Out the Best in ABC News and, er, ah Roland Martin at CNN

Posted on February 12, 2010

We all know now what Rahm meant when he said “F…ing Retards” during a closed-door staff meeting; of what Rush Limbaugh meant in his use of the word “retards” (minus a firing of the word “f…ing as an adjective to describe the perpetrator),” and how Sarah Palin, mother of a special needs baby handled the two instances of their use of the term.

Rahm has gained the status of Oprah and Madonna – just his first name to describe him in polite society.  And according to all accounts, he made just about a one word apology for his use of a term that is disrespectful to millions of mothers and special needs children/adults world-wide “sorry” (OK it was accompanied by the contraction, “I’m”. )  It was left for the CNN attack dog, Roland Martin, to trash Sarah Palin for her seemingly unbalanced and political handling of the term by the two men. She wanted Rahm “deposed” (he’s the king of the White House -he can’t be fired, Sarah). She was more forgiving of Rush because of the context in which he used the term.

Martin tried to live up to his job description, “political analyst,” with a Texas-loving native son’s comparison of Sarah Palin with  the late and colorful past Governor of Texas, Ann Richards.  You remember Ann.  She’s the one who referred to our most recent Bush President, as “poor George, he can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth,” following one of his word bending statements in the midst of a presidential campaign.

You want a media darling politician with substance? Try the late Gov. Ann Richards, a woman who could cut you deep and beam ear-to-ear with her motherly smile. But unlike Palin, she had a host of strong ideas in her head that actually made sense and appealed to a cross-section of folks CNN

Tough and hard-hitting, Richard’s peppery style makes her the grapefruit in this apple-orange comparison.

Your thesis was that Palin is a hypocrite. In the space of a few paragraphs you managed to call her a mere celebrity politician and then, Roland, you went even farther afield in your political “analysis” by declaring Sarah to be among those who are truly un-brainworthy – devoid of ideas. Ouch. Do you mean “retarded” Roland?

Martin rounded out his rant by moving from “analysis” to an exposé:

What truly exposed her for me? It was the ridiculous way she reacted in opposing ways last week to two political heavyweights who used the word “retard.”

Please, make as much money as you can. Paraphrasing comedian Martin Lawrence, ride this train until the wheels fall off. But please, cut the crap. You’re a crass politician with no true conviction. Your actions have shown that. CNN

But few would stop to read ABC anchor Diane Sawyer’s analysis that focused on how people – average people – use the word and of how that use is changing as mothers of children with special needs raise the volume on how even casual use of the term has a more than negative connotation for them. It really is an emotional hot button.

Amazing. Main-stream media as educator. Wow. Where’s the TV “clicker.”  Let me add ABC to my “favorites” lineup.  Roland, we all know you make your living spending most of your day in attack mode. But when you go out after Sarah Palin in this one area, you are not taking on a politician. You are taking on a mother – one who may have overreacted in demanding Rahm’s firing – but one who did so because she was offended and deeply hurt.

And now for my analysis of words the above men in public life have used other than “retard.” I think Rahm should think twice before using the “f” word in meetings; Roland should stop using the word “crap” to describe the actions of a female politician in a column.  I can’t think of an instance in which the use of these two terms is ever justified outside the confines of your own home. What makes you two gentlemen so special?  It’s two foul-mouthed men against one small woman with actually big and beautiful ideas. Pick on someone your own size and “competence” – will ya?


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