Media Madness: NBC News Tells CNN, “Hold My Beer”

If you think it is impossible to sink lower than CNN, well have a look at a piece up over at NBC News by Noah Berlatsky: Trump Voters Motivated by Racism May Be Violating the Constitution: Can They Be Stopped?

The article goes on to report on the “reasoning” of Terry Smith, a visiting professor of law at the University of Baltimore Law School (I never heard of him either), which Berlansky describes as follows:

Terry Smith, a visiting professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, offers a different response in his new book, “Whitelash: Unmasking White Grievance at the Ballot Box.” Rather than excuse racist voters or try to figure out how to live with their choices, he argues that racist voting is not just immoral, but illegal. The government, Smith says, has the ability, and the responsibility, to address it.

This sounds radical. [Editorial comment: Why, yes—yes it does sound radical.] But Smith argues that it’s in line with the Constitution and with years of court rulings. For example, Smith points out that racist appeals in union elections are illegal and that an election in which one side uses racist appeals can be invalidated by the National Labor Relations Board. Similarly, in the 2016 case Peña v. Rodriguez, the Supreme Court ruled that when a juror expresses overt bigotry, the jury’s verdict should be invalidated.

“When voters go to the booth, they’re not expressing a mere personal preference,” Smith told me. According to Smith, voters who pull the levers to harm black people are violating the Constitution. If the Constitution means that overt racist appeals undermine the legality of union elections, it stands to reason that they undermine the legality of other elections, as well.

This plumbs news depths of idiocy, confusion, and crackpot lefty ideology, which readers won’t have much trouble sorting out for themselves. (One might start with a question: if it is illegal for a white to vote against “black interests,” why isn’t the reciprocal equally true for Al Sharpton?) The implication is nonetheless clear: Voting for Republicans should be illegal and therefore prohibited.

Berlatsky and Smith avoid the clear implication of their ridiculous view with lots of evasions and process arguments that all have the same tendency: changes that will result in the election of more Democrats (not necessarily black Democrats, though). How conveeeenient.

Here’s some more of this hot mess which NBC thinks is a “hot take”:

The usual remedy for racial discrimination is censure or fines . . .  It’s more difficult to censure voters who have violated their constitutional duties. Nullifying elections would be essentially impossible. But Smith argues that there are other options.

“I think we can dismantle some of the features of the electoral system that encourage racialized decision-making,” he says. “For instance, you only get a partisan gerrymander by moving people in and out of districts on the basis of their race.” Ending this practice at the state and federal levels would be a big step toward reducing the power of racism at the ballot box, as would ending the use of Voter IDs intended to disenfranchise black voters.

Of course, moving people into districts on the basis of their race is the very premise of the Voting Rights Act, but in any case right after saying “don’t move people in and out of districts on account of their race,” Berlatsky and Smith call for . . . moving people in and out of districts on account of their race. Really, you can’t make this up:

Smith suggests expanding the Voting Rights Act to address the racist patterns of voting in Senate elections in the South. Because the majority of white voters in the South vote Republican, and because they outnumber black voters, there isn’t a single Democratic senator from the Deep South other than Doug Jones in Alabama, who may well lose his seat in 2020. Smith argues that we could remedy these disparate, racially motivated outcomes by creating Senate districts. Presumably, that would make it at least possible for black voters to elect a senator who would support their interests.

And NBC News thought this drivel worthy of pixels? And wonder why people think they are a joke?

Finally, here is Berlatsky’s bio from the end of the piece:

Noah Berlatsky is a freelance writer and cultural critic based in Chicago. He edits the website The Hooded Utilitarian and is the author of several books, including most recently “Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter Comics, 1941-1948.”

“The Hooded Utilitarian”? Seriously, does he not know that’s the perfect description of not just the sartorial preference but in fact the philosophy of the KKK?

Maybe Berlatsky is conducting a years-long hoax on everyone, in which case I’ll tip my hat to him for bringing down NBC News.