Bil Browning

Great American Melting Pot

Filed By Bil Browning | January 18, 2011 7:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Quote of the Day
Tags: Arizona, Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Shields, PBS, shooting

"Last week we saw a white Catholic male Republican judge murdered on his way to greet a Democratic Jewish woman member of Congress, who was his friend. Her life was saved initially by a 20-year-old Mexican-American gay college student, and eventually by a Korean American combat surgeon, and this all was eulogized by our African American President."

-- PBS reporter Mark Shields perfectly articulating the theory of the Great American Melting Pot.


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omg, I so love this quote!

One hates to burst a lovely bubble, but, alas, this spreading-like-the-proverbial-wildfire quote was misheard or intentionally doctored by someone with the best of intentions—OR is a different one by Mark Shields on another PBS program than the “PBS News Hour” on January 14th or “Inside Washington,” January 16th, of which it appears to be a synthesis.

The point is that on NEITHER occasion did he include “gay” in his illustration of America’s Melting Pot pouring out community, courage, and competence around a senseless crime:

PBS NEWS HOUR:

“MARK SHIELDS: There was one observation that was made this week I just have to pass on to you by a friend of mine, Allen Ginsberg, who is an historian up in Maine. And he said, this week, we saw a white, Catholic, Republican federal judge murdered on his way to greet a Democratic woman, member of Congress, who was his friend and was Jewish. Her life was saved initially by a 20-year-old Mexican-American college student, who saved her, and eventually by a Korean-American combat surgeon.
JIM LEHRER: Dr. Rhee.
MARK SHIELDS: Dr. Rhee, that's right.
And then it was all eulogized and explained by our African-American president. And, in a tragic event, that's a remarkable statement about the country.”

VIDEO [see approximately 5:30 point]:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/video/module.html?mod=0&pkg=14012011&seg=7

TRANSCRIPT:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/jan-june11/shieldsbrooks_01-14.html

“INSIDE WASHINGTON”

“MR. SHIELDS: President Obama, remembering nine-year old Christina Taylor Green, who was born on 9/11. As we close the program, I’m struck and reminded by our friend Allen Ginsberg, the snapshot of American 2011, ‘a white Catholic Republican federal judge was killed on his way to greet his friend, a Democratic woman member of Congress who is Jewish. Her life was initially saved by her intern, a 20-year-old Mexican-American college student, and eventually by a Korean-American combat surgeon’.”

VIDEO [at approximately 23:16]

http://bob.wjla.com/abc7videopop.hrb?a=f&n=n&s=0&file=mms://video.wjla.com/wjla/insidewash011611.wmv

TRANSCRIPT:

http://www.livedash.com/transcript/inside_washington/9/KQED/Sunday_January_16_2011/549081/


To be fair, the “News Hour’s” resident “liberal” commentator—who shocked me on a December edition of “Inside Washington” parroting Marine Commasshat Amos’s fear that the sky would fall if gays were allowed to serve openly—did include the fact about Hernandez in his syndicated column:

“One brighter note from the Arizona tragedy was pointed out to me by my friend Alan Ginsburg. He noted that on Saturday a Catholic white federal judge, John Roll, a Republican, was killed while on his way from Mass to greet his friend, Gabby Giffords, a 40-year-old Democrat who is Jewish and who, as of this writing, is fighting her way back. Her life was undoubtedly saved by Daniel Hernandez, 20, who is Mexican-American and a member of the Tucson Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender issues — and who, upon hearing the first shots, ran toward the gunfire and Giffords, not away. The chief of trauma at Arizona University Medical Center, whose professionalism helped put Giffords in surgery just 38 minutes after she was hit, was Korean-American Dr. Peter Rhee, who faced worse as a combat surgeon in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then our nation was comforted by an African-American chief executive.”

http://www.creators.com/opinion/mark-shields.html?columnsName=msh

You know the most beautiful part? Until he laid it all out in that quote, I didn't even think about that - and I'd wager that most other people didn't, either.

That kind of thing renews my hope in this country.

Mark Shields was actually quoting Allen Ginsberg who, unfortunately, didn't identify the college student as gay.

“There was one observation that was made this week I just have to pass on to you by a friend of mine, Allen Ginsberg, who is an historian up in Maine. And he said, this week, we saw a white, Catholic, Republican federal judge murdered on his way to greet a Democratic woman, member of Congress, who was his friend and was Jewish. Her life was saved initially by a 20-year-old Mexican-American college student, who saved her, and eventually by a Korean-American combat surgeon. … And then it was all eulogized and explained by our African-American president. And, in a tragic event, that’s a remarkable statement about the country.”

The transcript of Mr. Shields quoting Mr. Ginsberg can be found here:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/jan-june11/shieldsbrooks_01-14.html

The quotation went Web-viral without proper source-citing.