When I heard Barack Obama was going to throw out the first pitch at the All Star Game, I figured the right-wing blogosphere and radio world would find something wrong with it. Whether he threw a perfect strike over the plate or an eephus pitch into the first base stands, it would be judged as something evil because, well, why not?
Such an event marks one of the neocons’ few chances to attack a guy whose biggest crime is being treated like a rock star everywhere he goes. These are the same guys who rah-rah-ed for torture for eight years and helped send American troops to die in Iraq on a total lie. But a photogenic, popular president? That shall not stand!
Even by the low standards I hold them to, however, one ASG-related screed really stood out like an unhinged door. It was penned by Andy McCarthy (not the co-star of Weekend at Bernie’s) and featured at National Review‘s The Corner. The site is aptly named; it’s a lot like a corner near a bus station, overrun with raving lunatics.
You know The Crazy will be brought in abundance when this is the first line of the post:
Though it’s not a widely appreciated fact, we right-winger sports nuts
have long known that the sports press is among the media’s leftiest
Yeah, I’m sick of Joe Buck all those pro-socialized medicine diatribes he throws into the Fox Game of the Week. I don’t think Sunday Night Football is an appropriate venue for John Madden to praise Hugo Chavez. And I won’t watch College Gameday anymore, not after Lee Corso turned it into a soapbox for his Tax the Churches movement!
In what universe is sports media a bastion of effete left-wing intellectuals? Can you name one Sports Guy other than Keith Olbermann who is even rumored to be a lefty? Sports news rarely intersects with political news, and when it does, sports networks like ESPN tend to stay centrist so they don’t alienate anyone. Because sports are seen by most people as an “escape” from the real world. Regardless of political affiliation, folks don’t like it when nasty things like partisan squabbling find their way onto SportsCenter.
And what of sports radio, Mr. McCarthy? The only difference between Rush Limbaugh’s audience and Mike Francesa’s audience is the frequency they tune into. You should’ve heard some of the people calling into Francesa in the weeks leading up to the presidential election. Listening to them, you would’ve thought 90 percent of the electorate was gonna vote for McCain.
And this is in the Tri-State Area, solid blue state territory if there is one. I can’t even imagine what sports radio is like in, say, St. Louis, where a shot of Dubya in the ASG pregame ceremony resulted in rapturous applause.
McCarthy’s biggest gripe is that ESPN “covered up” Obama being booed at the All Star Game. God help me for defending ESPN, but it’s not ESPN’s job to discuss the political ramifications of Obama’s appearance at the All Star Game. That’s for political analysts. And I guess paranoid hacks like you can throw their two cents in as well. Just remember to put your tinfoil hat on first, so the secret Illuminati satellites can’t beam pro-gay-rights messages into your brain!
I also don’t recall ESPN making a big deal of Dick Cheney getting the living shit booed out of him when he threw out the first pitch for the Nationals a few years ago. So at least ESPN is bipartisan in its cover-ups.
McCarthy insists his “six-year-old throws a baseball better (far better, in fact) than Obama.” Then get that kid to declare for the MLB draft, because Obama’s pitch wasn’t that bad. His lefty delivery didn’t draw any comparisons to Johan Santana, of course, but McCarthy’s lengthy descriptions of its failings are just flat-out lies (or self delusion), as MLB’s video of the event will attest.
He hates the fact that Obama threw the ball to Albert Pujols instead of Yadier Molina, because he only did it to keep the crowd from booing! There could be no other reason, except maybe honoring an amazing player who’s having a potentially historic season. And he only embraced Cardinal great Stan Musial to thwart a jeering crowd! Or maybe it’s because Stan Musial is a living legend and one of the best hitters ever.
No, it can’t be! It was all a ruse to keep the crowd on his side! Just like his decision to wear a White Sox jacket, because..wait, St. Louis fans hate Chicago! And despite his nefarious gambits, the crowd booed (mildly) anyway. Can you follow this train of thought? No? Me either.
Look at this screengrab. I don’t even see a baseball! He didn’t throw anything! And all you sheep are falling for it! We’re through the looking glass here, people.
McCarthy’s attempt to pull secret codes from benign actions should come at no surprise. Neocons always get hung up on the nonsense of stagecraft, at the expense of examining things that truly matter. You know, stuff that leaders actually do.
For example, neocons think one of the greatest things Dubya ever did was throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium during the 2001 World Series. It represented a Display of Strength and Resolve after 9/11! It showed he would not be cowed by those nasty terrorists! It showed he would never stop! And he never stopped!
Except when it came to finding the man responsible for the World Trade Center attack. He stopped well short of accomplishing that mission. But hey, he threw a perfect strike to Derek Jeter! That’s almost like bringing Osama bin Laden to justice, right?
Ironic, then, that McCarthy denounces Obama’s appearance as “shrewdly orchestrated”, since McCarthy’s recently departed Dear Leader shrewdly orchestrated every appearance he ever made. At least Obama doesn’t shrewdly orchestrate his press conferences. Or the bullshit intelligence he feeds to the CIA. Or ways to keep Congress in the dark about secret CIA operations.