On This Day in History: March 11, 2008

New York Times

Credit: Instagram user @ndubbs

BY:

Famous prostitute Heidi Fleiss called famous prostitute enthusiast Eliot Spitzer an “arrogant prick.”

Matthew McConaughey said that he planned to name his son after his favorite beer: Budweiser.

Bobby Knight started his work as a commentator at ESPN.

The New York Times ran an editorial slamming Hillary Clinton’s racial attacks on Barack Obama.

I have spent my life studying the pictures and symbols of racism and slavery, and when I saw the Clinton ad’s central image — innocent sleeping children and a mother in the middle of the night at risk of mortal danger — it brought to my mind scenes from the past. I couldn’t help but think of D. W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation,” the racist movie epic that helped revive the Ku Klux Klan, with its portrayal of black men lurking in the bushes around white society. The danger implicit in the phone ad — as I see it — is that the person answering the phone might be a black man, someone who could not be trusted to protect us from this threat.

The ad could easily have removed its racist sub-message by including images of a black child, mother or father — or by stating that the danger was external terrorism. Instead, the child on whom the camera first focuses is blond. Two other sleeping children, presumably in another bed, are not blond, but they are dimly lighted, leaving them ambiguous. Still it is obvious that they are not black — both, in fact, seem vaguely Latino.

Finally, Hillary Clinton appears, wearing a business suit at 3 a.m., answering the phone. The message: our loved ones are in grave danger and only Mrs. Clinton can save them. An Obama presidency would be dangerous — and not just because of his lack of experience. In my reading, the ad, in the insidious language of symbolism, says that Mr. Obama is himself the danger, the outsider within…

It is striking, too, that during the same weekend the ad was broadcast, Mrs. Clinton refused to state unambiguously that Mr. Obama is a Christian and has never been a Muslim.

Movie 43 actor Johnny Knoxville turned 37, Movie 43 actor Terrence Howard turned 39, Movie 43 Anton Yelchin turned 19, and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia turned 72.

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