By John Kanelis / firstname.lastname@example.org
I recently called Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson a right-wing “blowhard,” which drew rebukes from my friends who believe he is right and others of us are mistaken about the state of affairs.
It all got me to ponder something. Do I aim my “blowhard” epithet only at right wingers and if so, am I being fair to them? I want to lay down a predicate, which is that we all are fueled by our own bias. So, when I toss out an epithet such as “blowhard,” or “gasbag” I usually am talking about righties with whom I disagree.
As I scan the political commentary landscape, I find far fewer such left-leaning targets. However, the field isn’t devoid of left wing blowhards.
In the interest of fairness, I want to offer you this example: The Rev. Al Sharpton.
I am no fan of Sharpton. He runs the National Action Network. He has become a “civil rights leader” of some repute and renown. Sharpton shows up at protest marches to extol the virtues of Black Lives Matter. He delivers eulogies to victims of police brutality. He speaks on behalf of what I consider to be noble causes.
However, every time I see the Rev. Sharpton, I cannot erase one incident from my memory: Tawana Brawley. Do you remember her?
In the late 1980s Brawley accused white New York City police officers of brutalizing her, of raping her, of dehumanizing her. She is an African-American. At that time, up stepped Al Sharpton to raise holy hell on her behalf. He and others accused the cops of behaving in a disgraceful, despicable manner.
It turns out that Tawana Brawley made it all up. The cops sued Brawley and others, including Sharpton, for slander and defamation. They won their case!
Has the reverend ever apologized for taking part in that monumental charade? Nope. Not a word. Instead, he parlayed his 15 minutes of fame into a role he has embraced as a “civil rights leader.”
This has not a thing to do with the causes for which he speaks. I happen to endorse most of Sharpton’s platform. If only, though, he hadn’t emerged from such a scandalous event — in which he was on the wrong side of a contentious dispute — to bask in the celebrity status he enjoys today.
So, there you have it. I have just declared that lefties have blowhards, too.