The Literary President’s Library Grows

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

At summit, Obama gets friendly with Chavez
By Mark S. Smith

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) — President Barack Obama extended a hand of friendship to America’s hemispheric neighbors on Saturday at a summit where he offered a new beginning for U.S.-Cuba relations and accepted a book about the exploitation of Latin America from Venezuela’s fiery, anti-American leader.

As the first full day of meetings began on the two-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, Obama exchanged handshakes and pats on the back with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, who once likened President George W. Bush to the devil. In front of photographers, Chavez gave Obama a copy of “The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent,” a book by Eduardo Galeano, which chronicles U.S. and European economic and political interference in the region.

Later, when a reporter asked Obama what he thought of the book, the president replied: “I thought it was one of Chavez’ books. I was going to give him one of mine.”

Full article can be found here.

X-Post: Amiri Baraka responds to the New York Post cartoon

On the New York Post simulation of the murder of the president of the United States
by Amiri Baraka

Naturally we are outraged by Rupert Murdoch’s low rag The New York Post’s depicting Barack Obama as a monkey, whatever garbage they use to lie about this racist attack. But even more deadly is the fact that the Post in that cartoon is actually calling for the assassination of the president of the United States!

And this is punishable by prison.

Can you imagine anyone drawing a picture of Bush being slain, what the consequences would be? In Venezuela Chavez had to pass a law against the right wing calling for his assassination over television. What would be the penalty for some group calling for the assassination of past presidents of the United States by public media.

Complete response is at the San Francisco Bay View

The Post cartoon was bad but its attempt to apologize for it is even worse. The Post has lived off of material like this ever since Murdoch took over. And only now they’re trying to make up for it? And with an apology that acknowledges its history only to say that it doesn’t owe an apology for past insensitivities? Backtrack much?

I know a tabloid does not have a mandate to be sensitive or even responsible but it should at least be consistent; if the Post wants to make money off of racially inflammatory material, then they should own up to it and not go through the farce of issuing an apology.