Wednesday, October 07, 2009

File This Under: You have got to be kidding me

Smarmy. Marc Lamont Hill. I've seen this fast-talking, grinning jackass on Fox News many times. His big, big smile and big mouth always in motion never fail to annoy. Now it seems that Fox has hired this guy as a regular commentator. I don't know what that means--"regular" how and what will his role be?

Here's an article (30 Sep 2009) by Cliff Kincaid, "journalist and media critic," according to his web site--"Scandal: Fox News Hires Apologist for Cop Killer." Hill has been commenting on such topics as racial profiling, CIA torture photos, Mexican drug wars, and Iran. But he refused in a telephone interview to say how many thousands of dollars he is being paid and whether he informed FNC about his controversial views on the Shakur case before he was hired by the cable channel.

Kincaid is upset about Fox hiring a guy who has been and continues to be a public supporter of convicted cop-killer Assata Shakur, a fugitive killer wanted for the cold-blooded murder of a New Jersey state trooper in 1973. She has been protected all these years by Fidel Castro. The article points out that Hill is frequently seen on Bill O'Reilly's show, where O'Reilly consistently refers to Hill as a "stand-up guy" for coming on his show. Not everyone agrees. James Pera, a retired San Francisco Police Sergeant who saw first-hand the violence of the BLA and the Weather Underground, asked, “Why does O’Reilly pander to this tool of the left? I don’t know. What I do know is that I am tired of hearing this bombastic blowhard continually calling people such as Hill ‘a standup guy, for coming on the program.’ Hill is not a standup guy. In my opinion, he is a left-wing radical, race-bating, white-hating propagandist.”

David Horowitz seems even less happy about Hill being hired by Fox. Calling Hill Fox's whining "affirmative action baby" and their "black in residence," Horowitz points out that Hill frequently is called upon to comment on issues far beyond his expertise, like the crisis in Iran. From the Horowitz article: With an expertise in rap music, Hill has a professorship at Columbia University, illustrating my often made observation that our liberal arts colleges have fallen to their lowest intellectual level in 100 years. My objection to Hill’s appearance as a rap professor pontificating about geopolitical issues is it fed the soft racism of low expectations and that it was in fact an insult to all those black academics who would actually have had something intelligent to say about the Iran crisis

Marc Lamont Hill, PhD--here are his credentials: Trained as an anthropologist of education, Hill's academic work focuses on the intersections between youth culture, identity, and educational processes. He is the author of Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity. So it sounds as if Horowitz's characterization is correct--Hill is a professor of rap.* So the next time I hear him pontificating on racial profiling, CIA torture photos, Mexican drug wars, or Iran, I'll remember that the guy is an expert on hip-hop and give him all the credit and attention he deserves.

My own experience of watching Hill is that he frequently, in his fast-talking way, resorts to playing the race card, calling out "whitey" as a racist while at the same time flashing the big, big disengenuous smile. This guy is a nasty piece of work, IMO, and I'm sorry that Fox has seen fit to give him a contract.

*This would flip me into crazy if I were paying $40,000 a year to send my kid to Columbia. When are we going to start holding the universities accountable not only for the classes they teach but the people they hire to teach them?

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