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“That awkward pause brought to you by ‘Racism’”

Friday, Nov 4, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The Daily Show took a look at US Senate races last night, including our own


* Related…

* Kirk, Duckworth in final debate tonight: The debate will be held at 7 p.m. at the studios of WLS-Ch. 7 and is co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Illinois and Univision Chicago. It will air live on the station’s digital channel, 7.2, and be streamed. It will be broadcast later that night on ABC-Ch. 7 at 10:35 and will be replayed Sunday at 10 a.m. on WGBO-Ch. 66 and Univision America-AM 1200.

* Kirk: ‘Tammy and I Think It’s Time to Move On’ from Debate Gaffe


  1. - Saluki - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 10:32 am:

    So Mark Kirk is a racist? I sort of doubt it. Maybe that awkward pause was actually brought to you by “a mistake”…..people make them without being racists ya know….

  2. - illini97 - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 10:36 am:

    Sorry Saluki. Mark Kirk is a racist. You don’t explain away a racist remark as just a joke unless…you’re a racist.

    The comment was racist and his explanation cemented the notion that he feels that way.

  3. - VanillaMan - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 10:38 am:

    Not funny.
    This is another example of criminalizing another person for saying something wrong.

    Kirk apologized. He isn’t racist. He is someone incapable of being cool. He’s a nerd. A geek. Someone with the charm of a broken laptop.

    This Daily Show host is even worse than the guy he’s calling a racist, because he supposedly knows better.

  4. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 10:43 am:

    “Move on to the next question….”

    Seriously? You’re not the wee bit curious to ask, “Sen. Kirk, what exactly are you trying to say?”

  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 10:44 am:

    to bad noah isn’t funny… this could have been a really good bit

  6. - AlfondoGonz - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 10:48 am:

    Whether Kirk is a racist or not is something only he truly knows. Whether he says racist things and defends them (after apologizing), however, is no longer up for debate.

  7. - Angry Republican - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 10:49 am:

    Meh. If you want funny, watch Joe Biden real man of genius:

  8. - Albany Park Patriot - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 10:50 am:

    Kirk really made a name for himself this election.

  9. - @MisterJayEm - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 10:50 am:

    Is Mark Kirk a racist? Probably not.

    Did he crack a racist joke on live TV during a United States Senate debate? Sure did.

    It was the only latest in a series of woeful comments from Kirk; and whether they’re due to racism, terrible judgment, lack of self-discipline or whatever, they’re a legitimate reason to bring him home from DC.

    – MrJM

  10. - A guy - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 11:05 am:

    He’s not a racist. People who suggest that diminish a real problem. Prone to buffoonery when he speaks…absolutely. Racist: No.

    Suggesting so is utterly stupid and insulting. C’mon.

  11. - People over Parties - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 11:06 am:

    Kirk isn’t a racist. He says really dumb stuff, to put it mildly.

  12. - Robert the 1st - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 11:06 am:

    Jon Stewart left big shoes to fill. But that new host is terrible all on his own. Wow.

  13. - X-prof - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 11:07 am:

    Funny or not, racism allegation against Kirk fair or not, Noah hit three of the closest races (PA, NH, NV) that are likely to determine which party controls the senate and by what margin. So, he’s at least politically astute.

  14. - Springfieldish - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 11:08 am:

    So sorry, but a Untied States Senator isn’t entitled to a pass on this. It is actually okay to hold Kirk to a standard that’s just a tintsey bit high than Joe The Plumber. Perhaps if this was the first “mistake” or maybe the second, he might get a little leeway. But it’s not and y’all know it. Whether he’s driving faster through certain neighborhoods, or having a Drug-Dealer-in-Chief in the White House, poor Kirk has exposed himself for what he really is.

    If Kirk were the guy everyone wants him to be, he’d have been way up front with these stupid things, admitting to mistakes, owning up and promising redoubled efforts at recovery (conveniently ascribing them to his stroke rather than his nature). But face it, Kirk’s not the guy we thought he was and he probably never was. It’s not right or wrong or liberal or conservative, it’s just the way it is. Kirk’s been too moderate for the GOP die-hards like Rubio and Cruz, and yet too liberal for Mitch McConnell. And as a wolf-pack of one, poor Mark just hasn’t made an impact, only minor, election-season and ultimately empty gestures of support for a hearing for Garland and wavering rejection of Trump.

    So, no, Mark. Neither Tammy nor most of Illinois is yet ready to move on. You still got some ’splainin to do.

  15. - Gooner - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 11:11 am:

    He’s not racist?
    What other group of people brings up another person’s ethnic background to use as an insult?

    Yes, Kirk is racist. There is no doubt. There is defense. Let’s stop acting like he stumbled on the “Lincoln County” question. This isn’t a lack of knowledge of obscure history/geography matters. This was deliberate.

  16. - Matthew Vernu - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 11:15 am:

    Maybe not racist but stupid. The press and the voting booth is the only place we can try him for that. Consider this…what if he had said”Ms Duckworth was it really your great great grandfather who suggested to the King of Siam that he should send President Lincoln some war elephants?”

  17. - Honeybear - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 11:19 am:

    Racism is as racism does. No one with any self control should have said what he said. It points in my book to an unconscious racial biase. She got under his skin and he popped off. That being said I’m going to say that most white folks have racial and privilege biases. I know I do and I overtly take actions to address them. I accept his apology but I see no actions to address the behaviors, thoughts and beliefs that contributed to his horrific statement.

  18. - Lil Squeezy - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 11:23 am:

    Maybe Kirk is racist maybe he is not. I am inclined to believe he is not. But he made a racist statement, so political opponents claiming he is racist is not outrageous to me. What percentage of TV and mail attacks are based on truth? Claims of Mark Kirk being a racist seem fair game, in the year of who supports sex offenders more. Both parties have made sure that voters who are not tuned into politics will be casting down ballot votes based on absolute nonsense, Mark Kirk being a racist isn’t in the top 10 most ridiculous claims this year.

  19. - Liberty - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    This is why we have polarized politics…

  20. - Lil Squeezy - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 11:42 am:

    I really believe both parties are responsible for Trump. They have ensured that the voting public has little to no grasp of real issues. How many people voting on trade shop at Walmart? If I want American manufacturing jobs and low low prices I will always find a candidate to promise both.

  21. - X-prof - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 11:44 am:

    Make that four of the closest races (NC,PA, NH, NV) at 11:07.

  22. - Jocko - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 11:49 am:

    rac·ist (adjective)
    1. showing the belief that a particular race is superior to another.

    Kirk’s statement was to cast doubt on Duckworth’s claim of being a DAR based on her appearance and, by extension, perceived ethnicity. Calling it “snark” is not only a cop-out, but wrong.

  23. - Michael Westen - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 12:05 pm:

    I generally don’t watch that show. I see enough Democratic television commercials without watching his show.

  24. - d.p.gumby - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 12:20 pm:

    Kirk is too much of a doofus to be a racist…

  25. - Anon221 - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 12:34 pm:

    The very last paragraph of this NPR Codeswitch piece says quite a bit about the debate on this topic of Kirk and is he or isn’t he-
    “In the century since Pratt used the word racism, the term has become an abstraction. But always buried somewhere underneath it are actions with real consequences. Sometimes those outcomes are intended. Sometimes they’re not. But it’s the outcomes, not the intentions, that matter most in the end.

  26. - AlfodoGonz - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 12:42 pm:

    “Kirk is too much of a doofus to be a racist…”

    Trump rallies aren’t exactly Mensa meetings.

  27. - ExCMS - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 1:01 pm:

    @Alfodo: =Trump rallies aren’t exactly Mensa meetings.= No, they’re Menso meetings.

  28. - AlfondoGonz - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 1:13 pm:


    Very good!

  29. - Joe Bidenopolous - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 2:00 pm:

    Maybe Kirk is a racist, maybe he isn’t. But at a minimum, he catered to the crowd that thinks it would be bad to have a person of Thai descent In the Senate, i.e., he catered to the racists.

    That said, with a track record that includes driving faster through black neighborhoods, calling Lindsay Graham a ‘bro with no ho…as we’d say on the south side,’ calling the President the drug dealer in chief, and now attempting to smear his opponent because of her Thai heritage, I’m inclined to say he is racist.

  30. - Federalist - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 2:03 pm:

    Charges of racism are being thrown about all the time. It usually is an attempt to silence those with whom one disagrees on any issue that is even remotely, possibly involving race. Which is almost everything these days.

    This so called comedian is not very funny (really a bore) and may himself be a “racist.” See how easy it is to make that charge. Facts are unimportant.

  31. - Gooner - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 2:11 pm:

    Federalist once again reminds us that to certain people on the far right, there is no racism directed at minorities.

    I suspect that if a GOP candidate was taped wearing a pointy white hat and burning a cross, Federalist would say “no, that’s not racist!”

  32. - Madigan's Lapdog - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 2:16 pm:

    …but hey, Kirk is a moderate racist…

  33. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 2:29 pm:

    –Charges of racism are being thrown about all the time. It usually is an attempt to silence those with whom one disagrees on any issue that is even remotely, possibly involving race.–

    And here comes the victim…..

    The issue at the time Kirk made his remark didn’t remotely, possibly, involve race until Kirk injected it.

    Kirk wishes there was someone around to silence him before he starts with the crazy mouth: “bro with no ho,” “drug dealer in chief….”

  34. - A guy - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 2:34 pm:

    It’s absolutely no wonder why an intellectual discussion on race and racism can’t occur. People use their personal definition as a weapon.

    Insensitivity in a pressure filled spontaneous moment does not equal racism. It equals foolish and unprepared. To be a racist is to be hate filled over the benign appearance of another human being. He’s not that.

    I know few people, maybe even none, who have not made a remark of disparaging content about some race, ethnicity, gender, religion, etc. Using the standard here, all of us are __ists. Pick one.

  35. - Gooner - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 2:39 pm:


    A Guy, in what possible context would the fact that Cong. Duckworth’s mother is from China be relevant as an attack on her?

    Please state any context where it would be acceptable.

    Or just admit what the rest of us see.

    Your choice, but your answer reflects on you. As long as the far right justifies racism, the rest of us will consider the far right to be racist.

  36. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 2:40 pm:

    –I know few people, maybe even none, who have not made a remark of disparaging content about some race, ethnicity, gender, religion, etc. –

    Aren’t you the guy who claims to talk with Monsignor Boland all the time, and hang out working for Catholic Charities?

    Lot of that talk in that crowd? I doubt that very much.

  37. - A guy - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 2:58 pm:

    Sling…even there. It doesn’t make good people saying something silly racist. It makes them human. Please cite where I talk with Msgr. Mike “all the time”. 6 to 7 wonderful conversations every year. Mostly event driven.

    Gooner, it’s not acceptable. It doesn’t equal racist. Not even close.

  38. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 3:04 pm:

    –Sling…even there. –

    No, I don’t believe you.

    You’re “everyone does it” argument is ridiculous.

  39. - AlfondoGonz - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 3:28 pm:

    A guy

    “Insensitivity in a pressure filled spontaneous moment does not equal racism. It equals foolish and unprepared. To be a racist is to be hate filled over the benign appearance of another human being”

    Wrong. Racism, in it’s simplest definition, is thinking one ethnicity is inferior to another. To that, invoking Duckworth’s ethnicity in what was designed to be a degrading way is racist.

    That it was foolish is not being questioned. The issue, a guy, is that, in a spontaneous situation, that is how Kirk thinks. “Uh, oh…what do I say here…SHE DOESN’T LOOK LIKE TYPICAL AMERICANS!”

    Spontaneous, yes. Foolish, yes. Racist, yes.

    And yes, many people say racist things and I’ll even grant that many people who are not racist sometimes say racist things. That doesn’t make what Kirk said any less racist. It also doesn’t excuse him or anyone else who does it.

  40. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 3:37 pm:

    I hope this isn’t racist, so I apologize in advance to anyone so offended.

    Anyone but me catch the new WICS meteorologist referring more than once to “Lincoln County” during the storm coverage the other night? Oh well, this group seems unlikely to end up in fisticuffs in Hooters, so they are an improvement right there.

  41. - Anon221 - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 3:44 pm:

    AA- The multiverse strikes again!

  42. - A guy - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 4:26 pm:

    ===You’re “everyone does it” argument is ridiculous.===

    You’re arguing that either everyone is perfect but this small group of racists OR that you traffic in such a virtuous crowd that no one ever makes a pejorative about anyone. In either case, I don’t believe you.

    I’m arguing that our entire society is imperfect, especially as it relates to race. The topic is so fragile, we can’t even bring ourselves to have the conversation. That saddens me deeply. I have some precious equity in this one.

  43. - A guy - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 4:33 pm:

    Gonz, I’m not going to be the guy to defend the inadequacies of Mark Kirk. I do believe the genesis of his remark was about who’s got the bigger ____ when it comes to national service in the armed forces. His ability to control an acerbic tendency in his conversations is so limited as to almost not exist. It certainly could be viewed as a racist statement if you believe he was castigating a race of people. Like the dopey linguist he is, he was attempting to chide that his family was here longer than hers and served longer–as if that even matters-really!

    He phrased it foolishly, as he’s prone to do. It was dumb. It was insensitive. He’s stubborn, so it took a full day to apologize. I just don’t define that as a guy who’s a racist. I just don’t.

  44. - Gooner - Friday, Nov 4, 16 @ 4:38 pm:

    Come on, A Guy.

    You are not “discussing” racism.

    You are excusing it.

    There is a pretty big difference. Again, please point out a non-racist reason for pointing out that Cong. Duckworth’s mother lived in Thailand. You can’t. It cannot be justified. Sen. Kirk deliberately tried to play that card, knowing it would appeal to the far right.

    There is no excuse. You can’t explain it away.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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