Moral Low Ground

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Conservative Media Attack Native American Blessing at Tucson Shooting Memorial

January 14, 2011 by Brett Wilkins in Conservatives, Mass Media with 6 Comments

Conservative pundits began attacking Wednesday’s memorial service for the six victims of the tragic Tucson shooting rampage even before the service was finished.

Fox News as well as several prominent conservative bloggers such as Michelle Malkin and Mark Finkelstein attacked every aspect of the Tuscon, Arizona ceremony, from the tone and timing of the event to the Native American blessing that opened the service. Especially the Native American blessing.

Fox News’ Brit Hume, who once infamously flat-out declared on air that Tiger Woods, a Buddhist, would never recover from his infidelity scandal unless he embraced Christianity, attacked both the mood of the event and the Native American invocation:

“Certainly the mood in that auditorium suggested that the sense of mournfulness that you might have expected and sobriety you might have expected was not to be found tonight. And of course, I think, the whole thing is attributable in part to the remarkable opening blessing that was delivered by, what was his name, Carlos Gonzales, who by the time it was over with, he had blessed the reptiles of the sea, and he had prayed to the four doors of the building, and while I’m sure that all has an honorable tradition with his people, with it was most peculiar.”

Blogger Michelle Malkin, who also regularly appears on Fox News, was even nastier. She blogged her way through the ceremony, even while she lambasted the mourners for not exhibiting the proper decorum for a memorial service:

“Native American gives rambling speech while holding a feather. His remarks are frequently interrupted by whoops and cheers. He gives a shout-out to his son serving in Afghanistan. Brags about his ethnic Mexican background. Babbles about two-legged and four-legged creatures and the feminine energy that comes from Mother Earth. Mercy.”

Malkin’s flippant dismissal of Gonzalez’s son’s wartime service in a conflict for which she has been an enthusiastic cheerleader is reprehensible, as is her mockery of Native American spiritual beliefs. But for pure ugliness, it would be hard to top the reactionary blog PowerLine, which pissed all over Native American culture in a post titled “An Evening in Tucson– The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly”:

“As for the “ugly,” I’m afraid I must cite the opening “prayer” by Native American Carlos Gonzales. It was apparently was some sort of Yaqui Indian tribal thing, with lots of references to “the creator” but no mention of God. Several of the victims were, as I understand it, quite religious in that quaint Christian kind of way (none, to my knowledge, was a Yaqui). They (and their families) likely would have appreciated a prayer more closely aligned with their religious beliefs…

But it wasn’t just Gonzales’s prayer that was ‘ugly’ under the circumstances. Before he ever got to the prayer, Gonzales provided us with a mini-biography of himself and his family and made several references to Mexico, the country from which (he informed us) his family came to Arizona in the mid-19th century. I’m not sure why Gonzales felt that Mexico needed to intrude into this service, but I have an idea… In any event, the invocation could have used more God, less Mexico, and less Carlos Gonzalez.”

PowerLine’s disgusting post has been mercifully removed and its author has written an apology “to the Yaqui tribe, to all tribal leaders and Indian people, and, specifically, to Carlos Gonzales who delivered the prayer. I regret my poor choice of words, and I have removed the post.”

So much for President Obama’s admonishment to the media not to degenerate into “point scoring and pettiness.”

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  1. Jorge DeluccaJanuary 15, 2011 at 5:28 amReply

    Kudos to Jon Stewart for his courageous defense of Carlos Gonzalez and the memorial for the Tucson shooting. The horrible words of the reactionary right exemplifiy the need for valiant leaders to uphold our values. I, a Catholic, was most moved by the invocation of Carlos Gonzalez and, as a retired military officer, felt pride when he asked the Creator to bless his son who is serving in Afghanistan.

    • Moral Low GroundJanuary 15, 2011 at 9:57 amReplyAuthor

      We’ve come to a pretty sad state when the best “news” on TV isn’t actually a news show, but rather a satirical comedy program. As for Gonzalez’s detractors, wasn’t it utterly shocking the way some right-wing pundits flippantly dismissed his son’s service in a war for which they themselves have been such vociferous cheerleaders?

  2. yaoi huntress earthJanuary 15, 2011 at 7:17 amReply

    Is there a requirement that you have to be a prick to be a neo-con pundit?

    • Moral Low GroundJanuary 15, 2011 at 10:07 amReplyAuthor

      Trying to think of an example of one who isn’t, and drawing a big, fat blank.

  3. zippy the chimpJanuary 21, 2011 at 3:28 pmReply

    Sure, Malkin is a nasty shill for the right, but this Carlos Gonzalez guy deserves to be slammed for that rambling, self-promoting, info-mercial about Carlos Gonzalez.

    • Moral Low GroundJanuary 21, 2011 at 4:10 pmReplyAuthor

      Fair enough… at 8 minutes, Gonzalez’s invocation was about 7 minutes too long!

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