Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Double Standard Continues

Last night as Governor Bobby Jindal was walking to the microphone to deliver the Republican response to the president's speech, Chris Mathews of MSNBC was heard to sigh, "Oh, God." After the speech, Matthews said of the Republican party's choice in Jindal, whose parents emigrated from India, to deliver the speech, "they had to outsource their response tonight. They had to outsource it to someone who had nothing to do with congress."

Let us imagine the uproar if any talking head on Fox News had said, Oh god!, before a Democrat delivered a speech. Then imagine the even greater reaction there would have been had some Democrat made a similar racist comment. Yes, racist.

Matthews twice used the word "outsource" to discuss the Republicans use of Jindal as their spokesman. Was Matthews deliberately trying to alienate the public against Jindal by using the term that refers to the hiring of workers in India, primarily, to do the jobs formerly done by Americans? Isn't that how this would have been seen had the positions been reversed and it was a conservative commenting on a Democrat?

I won't get into Jindal's poor performance, the blogophere is saturated with discussions of his disturbing discomfort behind a teleprompter, his Mr. Rogers delivery and his repetition of the rah-rah "we can do anything" mantra. I will say that the end of his speech was better than the beginning and that it's hard to look good in front of the camera after Obama. Still, the Republican better come up with more to offer than government is bad.

But what I'd like to see today is an apology from Chris Matthews and an acknowledgement of the lack of respect he showed to the governor who, from all accounts, has done a good job for his state.

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