This Week’s Supervillain

By
Monday, October 19, 2009 at 9:44 am

It’s looking like it’ll be interim White House Communications Director Anita Dunn — who came under fire from Fox News host Glenn Beck last week for quoting Mao Zedong in a speech earlier this year — again taking some of the heat off of “safe schools czar” Kevin Jennings. Laura Ingraham opened her agenda-setting radio show this morning with a rant on Dunn, leading with this video of Dunn talking about how to get past the media filter, then directing listeners to check out this picture on the show’s Website (after the jump).

Picture 87

What happens next, I think, will depend on the mainstream media. After the one-two-three punch of Van Jones quitting the White House, ACORN being caught in James O’Keefe’s video sting, and Yosi Sergeant leaving the National Endowment of the Arts, we saw wave of media apologies from ombudsmen and reporters who worried that they’d paid too little attention to the right’s complaints. Since then, however, the Glenn Beck-led campaigns against the administration have taken a McCarthyite tone, attacking administration officials for being three degrees of separation from NAMBLA or for quoting Mao Zedong. The Dunn story is so ridiculous — quoting Mao is evidence of Communist sympathies? — that it’s making Beck look nuttier and less worth cribbing from.

The upshot for the White House is that its criticism of Fox News is painful but it’s working. During the campaign, Obama’s team boxed out Fox for its guilt-by-association stories, always packaged as news that the liberal media, being “in the tank” for Obama, was too cowardly to report. Robert Gibbs memorably asked whether Sean Hannity was an anti-Semite because he invited the notorious anti-Obama smear artist Andy Martin on his show. During the election this made sense, because local media coverage in swing states was obviously more important than a national cable channel that’s mostly influential in the beltway. Now, Fox’s coverage is so obscure and so disconnected from the White House’s political problems–it’s 9.8 percent unemployment, not Anita Dunn quoting Mao — that it seems worth ignoring again.

This post has been updated for clarity.

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11 Comments

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Robert S. Porter
Comment posted October 19, 2009 @ 2:53 pm

Weigel, you've really lost it since your Reason days. She did not merely “quot[e] Mao”, she explained how he was one of her favorite philosophers. Whether that means she should lose her job is irrelevant. She clearly has poor taste in philosophers. Perhaps she should choose one whose beliefs, and the methods that stemmed from them, didn't result in tens of millions of deaths.

I'm afraid you just don't get it. Beck is absolutely insane, he's racist and he's completely disingenuous on virtually every issue. But just because Beck's a moron doesn't mean he's wrong about Dunn here.


herrence
Comment posted October 19, 2009 @ 3:56 pm

“I was reminded of the words of Chairman Mao — it’s always darkest before it’s totally black.”
-Sen. John McCain, Feb. 29, 2008

Are Beck and his fellow travelers going to try and remove this Maoist acolyte next?


bryan_robinson
Comment posted October 19, 2009 @ 6:52 pm

You totally miss the point. It wasn't that she quoted Mao, it was her expressed admiration of Mao. Mao is one of her favorite philosophers. Mao is one of the people she turns to….

Many people quote all sorts of history's villains. Anita just happens to really, really like one of them. And she's not shy about it.


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ginia
Comment posted October 19, 2009 @ 9:14 pm

She said that Mao and Mother Teresa taught that you always have choices. That's all she said. It is absurd to go from that to claiming that she supports Mao's policies or his totalitarianism. But, hey, that's Beck and his acolytes.


Uyghur Lover
Comment posted October 20, 2009 @ 2:08 am

This hateful person Anita Dunn says that Mao Zedong is one of her favorite political philosophers? Is she aware of the millions of Chinese, ethnic minorities and Tibetans that died in Mao's reeducation camps or starved to death under his “Great Leap Forward?”

Is she aware of Mao's Cultural Revolution where hundreds of thousands of Chinese intellectuals who are the same ilk as people like Dunn were tortured and murdered? Is Asian genocide any less terrible to people like Dunn?

If she praised a mass murderer of millions like Hitler she would be out of the White House that same day. But if she praises a murderer of 60-70 million Chinese and ethnic minorities like Mao she gets to keep on drawing a White House paycheck?

Those millions of haunted souls (like my friends grandparents who were ethnic Uyghurs murdered by Mao's henchmen) mean nothing to a terrible woman like Dunn. Obama needs to do the right thing and accept her resignation now!

We can't have people like Dunn sweeping these atrocities under the rug (not once does she mention Mao's bloody legacy in her speech.) This is a teachable moment if there ever was one. Everyone needs to know of Mao's crimes and I'm glad Dunn's covering for them brings them back into the spotlight.


chrisjay
Comment posted October 23, 2009 @ 9:40 pm

What a load of crap. You & Limbaugh & Beck have got to be either extremely stupid or extremely perverse to impute such evil in the usage of such an old and reliable toastmasters public speaking technique. Are you really so thick as to not see the point of contrasting and pairing Mao & Mother Theresa in this fashion?
Good God: Home-schooled or public?


taxpayerforlife
Comment posted October 29, 2009 @ 3:35 pm

I always thought it was Mao Tse-Tung…?


monkey99
Comment posted November 19, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

Anytime Beck's name is mentioned, you just KNOW a whine is coming.

I sat through both O'Reilly's and Beck's shows, and what I came away with is that the Fox opinion network has nothing good to say about anything. The vitriol and twisted opinions of these people are depressing.

Is this what you baggers think passes for REAL news? It's no wonder the baggers are such sour people. You gotta get out in the sunshine from time to time, talk to REAL people, not the “Chicken Littles” so prevalent in the GOP these days. It's easy-just step outside the echo chamber for a while.

Yes, Dunn may have misspoke herself, so it's time to center the crosshairs? You people will dredge up anything, ANYTHING to whine about. So far, I haven't seen or heard of a single thing from the right, that will benefit this country.

By the way, no worries, when you step outside, you won't be dodging big pieces of sky.


monkey99
Comment posted November 19, 2009 @ 8:28 pm

Anytime Beck's name is mentioned, you just KNOW a whine is coming.

I sat through both O'Reilly's and Beck's shows, and what I came away with is that the Fox opinion network has nothing good to say about anything. The vitriol and twisted opinions of these people are depressing.

Is this what you baggers think passes for REAL news? It's no wonder the baggers are such sour people. You gotta get out in the sunshine from time to time, talk to REAL people, not the “Chicken Littles” so prevalent in the GOP these days. It's easy-just step outside the echo chamber for a while.

Yes, Dunn may have misspoke herself, so it's time to center the crosshairs? You people will dredge up anything, ANYTHING to whine about. So far, I haven't seen or heard of a single thing from the right, that will benefit this country.

By the way, no worries, when you step outside, you won't be dodging big pieces of sky.


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