Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Food for Thought

"Before he got famous exposing low-income community advocacy group ACORN as an organization employing a few gullible do-gooders, conservative provocateur James O'Keefe had fun at Rutgers riling up the liberals. The 25-year-old "Borat of the right" first cut his teeth in the hidden camera game while enrolled as a philosophy student at the New Jersey university. Posing as an overly-sensitive Irishman disturbed by the presence of Lucky Charms in the cafeteria, O'Keefe met with an assistant director at Rutgers dining services. During the meeting, O'Keefe explains that the leprachaun on the cereal box is hurtful: "He's portrayed as a green-cladded (sic) gnome, and as you can see ... we're not all short. We have differences of height, and we think this is stereotypical of Irish-Americans."

A Rutgers spokesman says the cereal never left the menu, but O'Keefe tells the Star-Ledger he was amazed that his Lucky Charms grievance wasn't immediately laughed out of the room, and the stunt proved to be a turning point for his, um, career? Yes, it does seem that he now has a career. One of his mentors, right-wing activist Morton Blackwell, explains that O'Keefe always "wanted to go out and catch leftists breaking the law." So he went on to enlist a cohort to pose as a 13-year-old girl and visit Planned Parenthood in California, where she told a counselor she was pregnant and the father was 31. The counselor was required by law to report what would have been rape to the police, but the girl was only told how to get an abortion. Now that's gotcha "journalism"!

But the ACORN videos have been O'Keefe's big break. Which sinister liberal will the young gadfly destroy next? Stay tuned, for he promises/threatens: "I'm still in my bunker producing more videos."

"Food has served as a rich vein for racist advertising opportunities. During the 1800s, Irish Americans faced heavy social and labor discrimination. Commonly held stereotypes held that the Irish were greedy, selfish, superstitious, perverted and thieving. It’s unfortunate that a children’s cereal brand, the popular Lucky Charms, none-too-subtly plays into these outdated prejudices. This particular commercial is particularly cheery, but the Lucky Charms leprechaun character is in fact reinforcing racist stereotype."

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