Last Friday, after word broke that passengers who had been trapped aboard the Carnival Triumph were contemplating lawsuits, Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher offered up his first of two posts in one day excoriating cable news outlets for going overboard in their coverage. In his morning installment, Christopher scoffed:
I’d love to be on that jury. Oh, you were on a cruise for 8 days instead of four, and you didn’t run out of food or water, and you had trouble charging your cellphone, and all you got was a full refund, $500 bucks, a night in a hotel, and another free cruise? Yeah, you get 3,000 tiny violins, and a case of Purell®. Even white people are like, ‘Those are some white people problems.’
For his afternoon edition, however, Christopher added in a generous dose of comic relief — albeit unintentionally — by citing support from the panel on MCNBC’s “The Cycle.” This time, the much-needed “sense of perspective” Christopher claims the news media had lost was provided by racial-grievance monger Touré.
The black commentator, who views the world through victim-colored glasses, told his fellow panelists:
I have never been on a cruise. I think I have this sort of deep blood memory aversion to getting on a big boat. I’m like, ‘No, I’m good.’ Maybe a little boat but not a big boat. They keep talking about nightmare cruise. I’m like, 'Hello, the Middle Passage: That was a nightmare cruise.’ I mean, what these people went through is basically, like, nothing, like what a billion people on the planet go through every single day. Oh, my God, bad food. Bad toilets. No A.C.
In short, “white people problems.”
Touré deserves credit for at least recognizing that the experience was generally unpleasant. Christopher, in pretending that there were no hardships at all shows himself to be callous and insensitive: never a good thing for a commentator who fancies himself to be on the “compassionate” side of the ideological spectrum.
But Touré loses credit for invoking his apples-and-oranges comparison of life aboard the stricken cruise ship to the Middle Passage. Surely, he understands, even if Christopher doesn’t, that pain and discomfort vary proportionally with the experience. People in the Northeast who did without heat, electricity, running water, and flushable toilets following Hurricane Sandy didn’t suffer as mightily as African slaves bound for the New World either. But what clear-thinking individual would deny that they went through a rough patch?
What is so sad about the Tourés and Christophers who participate in the public discourse is that their minds are so one-track that they return, regardless of aptness, to the same victimist pathologies.
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