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Alexandra Pelosi: Liberal Sneering?

Alexandra Pelosi: Liberal Sneering?

A new series of video reports by Alexandra Pelosi, which Bill Maher has been showing on HBO’s ‘Real Time,’ are proving highly controversial.

The first video, screened March 9, claimed to interview average Mississippi Republicans, a majority of who think President Obama is a Muslim and are creationists.

The interviewees, all white men, some toothless, complain about “Adam and Steve,” claim they hated the government while being on food stamps, and threaten that “the South will rise again.” There was also talk of hating black people and the President for being a “half-breed.”

But critics from both the left and the right have said, amongst other things, that her report plays to stereotypes.

A writer for the liberal The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates, said that Pelosi’s work “oozes condescension.”

The violins, the camera angles etc. all portray a snarky “laughing at you, not with you” style of humor.

After conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan praised the video, he was forced to post substantial blowback from readers.

A gay Mississippian wrote:

This video is PRECISELY the sort of condescending, self-congratulating, tautological garbage that fuels the stereotype of the mainstream media as a band of snotty elitists who sneer at everything that resides outside the Beltway, NYC, Hollywood or San Francisco.

Others said that Pelosi’s report reflected an attitude that was damaging the Liberal cause.

Sullivan defended the video, saying:

The idea that racism is no factor in the deep South’s disdain for Obama is a preposterous piece of spin.

March 16, Pelosi (daughter of Nancy) discussed the reactions with Maher. Pointedly, they said her report had offended conservatives but ignored ‘Liberal’ reaction. And they screened another video filmed in New York which she thought liberals would hate as it played to stereotypes of ‘welfare queens’ by interviewing ‘work shy’ black men in New York.

“I’m here tryin’ to get some Obama bucks, that’s what I’m doin’, trying to get some Obama money,” said one man.

Pelosi said that she was making a political point with this video:

“We have to address the fact that this is why Democrats are losing ground. And this is a problem in America. The entitlement culture has gotten so big that we are losing our own people,” she said.

Pelosi claimed that “by Monday morning, you’re going to have the left wing feeding frenzy attacking you for making the Democrats look bad.”

Not so fast. Here’s Coates again:

Alexandra Pelosi goes to a welfare office in New York and proves that she can be as dickish to poor black people as she can to poor white people. Pelosi’s commentary is worth listening to. She evidently is declining to understand the critique, preferring instead to undermine it by proving that her sneering knows no bounds. But cruelty is cruelty and the fact that one’s condescension is of the rainbow doesn’t make one any less condescending. Pelosi thinks she’s surprising by her willingness to unleash her quick wit against poor black people. But there is nothing noteworthy about offending “both sides,” a feat that can be managed simply relieving yourself on a crowded street.

Related stories:

Bill Maher On Bullying and Ostracism (VIDEO)

Nearly Half of Today’s Primary Voters Believe Obama Is Muslim

Bill Maher “Alarmed” By Muslims’ Existence

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Image: 'Real Time' screen grab

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42 comments

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2:36PM PDT on Mar 22, 2012

The answer is education. Pelosi is like many of her generation, that have litttle respect for anyone and only knows how to go from one extreme to the other to explain our faults. The fault lies with the people who are educated and so-called cultured that have the power to do something about our problems and do nothing. They rather smear groups like Pelosi has rather then use their power to educated and help the poor so their lives and the lives of everyone else would be better.

11:18PM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

It does not play to stereotypes. It is real. These people can vote, drive cars and procreate. These people are why we got massive Republican de-regulation of banks, insurance companies and corporations, and who created the predatory healthcare industry that puts monetary gain over human life—who rape the country, environment, women, gays and the American people en masse—and caused the economic Crash we are now going through. The Republican hate machine EXCELS at getting (horrifically stupid) people to vote against their own self interests. Ooo, and they're so pretty.

8:41PM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

Just go to the South..its quite real.

4:00PM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

She also created one showing less-than-ideal Democrats; her point was "own your party" FOR BOTH SIDES.

3:59PM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

I saw both clips, on Maher's show's the past two Friday's...i wasn't offended by either clip, and I understand the point she is making...

1:48PM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

Good for Alexandra Pelosi! Liberal sneering my foot. Pelosi's videos are meant to depict SLICES from current Americana, not the whole picture. And that is what they do in a straight forward manner that is neither sneering nor condescending.

You want sneering? Take another look at the attitude of trans-national corporations, the rich elite and their political whores against the world's poor and middle-class, against the environment and against anything that is even remotely decent about the human race. These people have taken sneering to a whole new level.

All of us are certainly entitled to express our differing opinions in an open forum such as this. But my greatest concern is about the evil out there that is currently winning in it's attempt to take that right, and every other right, away from us.

1:22PM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

I agree with James M.

Ms. Pelosi is a serious film-maker and made a serious little film here. She shows us the people who are going to vote in November...scary, isn't it?

1:06PM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

I wouldn't go so far as to call these people "exploited" they seemed quite happy to voice their opinions. There is too many voters who just don't know or take the time to educate themselves enough to make an informed decision. The Republicans and their policy caters to these kind of people, they instill fear and hatred into the minds of Americans because it works.

None of these people want handouts and they are proud, I doubt they would be against job opportunities though...

11:44AM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

I agree that Pelosi is a joke ...and should nto even be given air time. And I do feel sorry for these folks in the film ...they don't know any better and only repeat what others have said and they sure will STAY toothless if their buddy ass-wipe Republicans get into office! I am a Liberal - PROUD to be - but I do not think that one group such as these clueless folks should be exploited.

11:21AM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

Alexandra Pelosi is a shoddy filmmaker, providing absolutely no new information or insight into American politics. She just holds a camera. So does a tripod.

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