Today in Conservative Media: The Confederate Monument Debate is About Ideology, Not Slavery

Today in Conservative Media: The Confederate Monument Debate Is About Ideology, Not Slavery

Today in Conservative Media: The Confederate Monument Debate Is About Ideology, Not Slavery

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Aug. 16 2017 6:54 PM

Today in Conservative Media: The Confederate Monument Debate Is About Ideology, Not Slavery

Workers load statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson on a flatbed truck in the early hours of August 16, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland.

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A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

Conservatives continued to debate the Charlottesville protests and the ethics of defending Confederate monuments on Wednesday. In an emotional segment on Fox & Friends, both Republican analyst Gianno Caldwell and Democratic political analyst Wendy Osefo tearfully condemned President Trump’s Tuesday remarks, in which he stated that “fine people” were among those who demonstrated to defend Charlottesville’s monument to Robert E. Lee.

Caldwell: Last night I couldn’t sleep at all because President Trump, our president has literally betrayed the conscience of our country. The very moral fabric in which we’ve made progress when it comes to race relations in America--he’s failed us. And it’s very unfortunate that our president would say things like he did in that press conference yesterday. When he says, ‘Well, you know, there are good people on the side of the Nazis. They weren’t all Nazis. They weren’t all white supremacists.’ Mr. President—good people don’t pal around with Nazis and white supremacists.  This has become very troubling. And for anyone to come on any network and defend what President Trump did and said at that press conference yesterday—it’s completely lost and the potential to be morally bankrupt.

At the Daily Wire, Aaron Bandler wrote about a potential effort to remove the Confederate monument at Stone Mountain, Georgia.:

Clearly, there is a lot of evil, ugly racism associated with the Stone Mountain monument.

And yet, [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jay] Bookman argues that it should not be taken down.
"It is easier and simpler and more emotionally gratifying to say it should just be removed, but removal would itself be a form of whitewashing of our history every bit as deceptive as the carving itself," wrote Bookman. "While the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP is right to condemn the carving itself as 'a glorification of white supremacy,' that glorification happened."
In other words, the monument serves as an ugly reminder of the evil racism that took place in the state and in the country and as a teaching opportunity to ensure that the state and the country doesn't fall back into that evil time period.

On his show, Rush Limbaugh had an exchange with a caller who argued he had given insufficient attention to the morality of slavery in his coverage of  Confederate monument controversies:

Kathy: We have this heritage of people being treated very, very poorly and horribly and killed in some cases and lynched in some cases, and I just think that when we talk about these issues that verge on slavery, I hope that we will be a little more direct in being honest about what it was really all about. That was a long sentence.
Limbaugh: Well, do you know that the Native Americans were slaveholders? Did you know that Christopher Columbus, the ostensible discoverer of America —
Kathy: Yeah.
Limbaugh: — it was the order… The United States was not in any way unique in this. In fact, what makes the United States unique is that we are the first serious major country, population that ended it. We went to war to end it, and 500,000 citizens of this country died in that effort. Nobody here denies slavery. Nobody’s denying it at all. But there’s a missing sense of proportion about this — and I have to disagree with you on one thing, Kathy. This is ideological. Every bit of this is ideological. It is left versus right, centrist versus whatever. It is. And the fact that a lot of people don’t see that is, I think, what permits much of this to happen.

At National Review, Ian Tuttle took aim at President Trump’s reference to an “alt-left” that had stirred up trouble in Charlottesville. “By ‘alt-left,’ Trump and others seem to be referring primarily to Antifa, the black-clad ‘anti-fascists’ who rioted on Inauguration Day in D.C., at Berkeley shortly after (to forestall an appearance by alt-right icon Milo Yiannopoulos), and have made appearances elsewhere (most recently in Seattle),” he wrote. “But Antifa has never cast itself as a political alternative to the Democratic party as currently constituted, and it has no positive agenda (‘anti-fascism’). No one is running on the Antifa platform.”

In other news:

Multiple outlets reported the FBI’s reopening of a Freedom of Information Act request from Trump attorney Jay Sekulow about former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s meeting with Bill Clinton last year. From the Washington Free Beacon:

The letter reopening the FOIA dated Aug. 10 came after Sekulow pointed out in an appearance on Fox and on the ACLJ's website that it had recently received documents from the Department of Justice (DOJ) showing that FBI emails and other agency documents exist about the tarmac meeting.
Critics of Comey's handling of the agency's investigation into Hillary Clinton's email abuses point to the tarmac meeting as a turning point in the probe. After the late June meeting created a media firestorm questioning whether Lynch could remain impartial in the probe, Lynch announced that she would accept Comey's determination on whether or not to indict Clinton based on the FBI's email findings.

Sekulow described the turnaround on Fox & Friends:

Sekulow: The biggest issue is not so much what we’ve gotten so far—which is significant. It shows communication to the Department of Justice and the FBI, the Department of Justice and the White House were all involved with this Clinton-Lynch meeting ... but there was a three page email produced, which they redacted completely—that means three blank pages—that were the “talking points” and they refused to release those.