“This can’t be accidental.”
Newsweek published an article this week which took direct aim at Irish Americans. Who knew Irish-bashing was still alive and well in the 21st century?
The author of the piece is named Van Gosse and teaches history at Franklin & Marshall College. He’s not kidding, either. He obviously sees this as a serious problem:
Why Are All the Conservative Loudmouths Irish-American?
Just as they used to play an outsize role in the Democratic Party’s apparatus, and in organized labor, putative Irishmen are now the face of the hard Right.
Once the biggest names, faces, and voices on television were Huntley and Brinkley, Cronkite, Murrow, even John Chancellor and Dan Rather, all sober, serious Americans—and all Protestants too.
Now we have angry loudmouths with names like O’Reilly, Hannity, Buchanan, and, lurking back there with his Cheshire smile, the dissolute but scary Bannon.
Yet no one has noticed this obvious fact, and the sheer lack of attention may be the most important thing about it. Why has the ascent of a bunch of people who in an earlier period might have been called Micks drawn no notice at all?
I write from a distance. I have one Irish-American grandparent: John Edward Mahoney, a Boston Latin graduate who went to Harvard paid for by an anonymous Brahmin. He died very young in 1931. My father met him only once that year and never acknowledged himself as Irish at all; by then, his mother had changed his name to hers, the Yankee Gosse. Otherwise we’re overwhelmingly Anglo-Dutch Protestants, born and bred…
What happened to Irish America, that closed, intense world I know mainly from movies and books? How could I make sense of its drying up and blowing away, unmourned?
Here’s one version of its disappearance. At some point since 2000, I noticed that the right-wing chorus pontificating from screens in bars and shops was filled by men with names like Hannity, O’Reilly, and Buchanan. Nobody else seemed to care, so I let it go as one of those oddities that interested only me.
Then came Bannon’s ascension as Trump’s eminence grise , and it seemed impossible to ignore. This can’t be accidental.
Micks? Really? That’s a derisive term you don’t hear very often these days.
Ed Morrissey of Hot Air offered this take:
Let’s pause all of the Hibernian outrage to point out a fundamental fallacy in this comparison. Dan Rather was sober and serious? No, wait, that’s not the fallacy I mean. Gosse sets up a comparison between network news anchors and explicit opinion journalists and activists. It’s an apples to oranges comparison. If Gosse still wants to see broadcast news, he has a choice between non-Irishmen like Bret Baier, David Muir, Lester Holt, Wolf Blitzer, and new CBS anchor Jeff Glor. All of them seem like sober Protestants, but … you never know. Lester Holt might be a crypto-Irishman. Otherwise, we micks have really fallen down on the job.
This also caused a stir on Twitter. Via Twitchy:
How in the world does Newsweek think this is ok to publish? https://t.co/LgwIztHDwe
— Karol Markowicz (@karol) October 27, 2017
— Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) October 27, 2017
Beyond the insipid thesis, Newsweek has fallen apart if they have to scrape content from other weblogs.
— Sean Hackbarth (@seanhackbarth) October 27, 2017
This is pure unadulterated bigotry against one of the most historically oppressed groups in the world. Asinine. Shameful. Disgusting. pic.twitter.com/iYhbq3Qtta
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) October 27, 2017
Newsweek is on the “I can think of 5-10 examples of a thing in a country of 330 million people, it must be a trend I can write about” train. pic.twitter.com/kBuy1fZbCu
— Alan Cole (@AlanMCole) October 27, 2017
Jim Geraghty made the best point. Insert any other group and this essay never would have seen the light of day.
Featured image via YouTube.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.