Anita Dunn names Mao Zedong her “favorite philosopher”

Anita Dunn is the White House Communications Director, who’s been quoted everywhere for her on-target assertions that Fox News is a Republican channel, not a news channel. When I heard her say it a few days ago I was stunned (in a good way) that she was making this the official White House position. Sure, we’ve all known it for years, but it’s never been said by the Democrats on the record, and this was long overdue.

And now, just seconds ago, I watched Glenn Beck take Anita Dunn’s scalp, playing again and again a video clip of her telling an assembly of high school students, “My two favorite philosophers are Mao Tse-Tung and Mother Teresa.” He kept playing it, holding up a picture of Mao and reciting the usual litany, including the claim that Mao had killed more people than Hitler (70 million is the number he used). It was devastating. Beck is evil, but you have to give him credit for cunning and for dramatic effect. This made for very good theater. And you have to wonder, could Dunn actually have said this? How could she not see the danger?

[Update: You can see the clip here. Apologies in advance for linking to a right-wing site.] Malkin’s Hot Air has it, too, along with the obligatory 70-million murdered meme.

I see Fox News as bad news (pun intended) and I see Glenn Beck as a bad man. But unless that clip was doctored and shown wildly out of context, Beck scored a coup today. I don’t think it was entirely fair, but when is politics fair? And you can’t really fault Beck, as much as I’d like to. If the Democrats had a similar clip of Rush, I think they’d trot it out, too.

Dunn clearly meant that she admired Mao’s determination to continue going after his goal – to overthrow the Nationalist government – despite being told it was an impossible dream. She was talking about persistence. And Beck, of course, twisted that to make it sound as if she were endorsing the cold-blooded murder of 70 million Chinese. However, there are many wonderful examples of people who persevered in the face of difficult odds. To single out Mao, of all the inspiring people throughout history to choose from, as her mentor in this regard is inexplicable, and she will pay a heavy price. Needless to say, it will give Beck and the wingnuttosphere more fuel for claiming it’s an administration of radical Marxists who are scheming to impose their own Cultural Revolution on America. It was painful to watch. She actually said Mao is one of the people she turns to most.

Yes, Mao was persistent, as most tyrants are. Unfortunately – and again, like most tyrants – he also left a stream of death and destruction in his wake that China is still reeling from. How could she not know this? My jaw dropped. Score one for Beck.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 204 Comments

They are both pretty bad.

November 1, 2009 @ 8:28 am | Comment

My first observation is that Beck showed a full 2 minutes of her speech so that the context could not be misconstrued. Kudos Glenn, you nailed it. Second, the Obama administration continues to produce these kind of statements, one after another. Yet, many people continue to be surprised by the radical disconnect from reality the Obamaites display.

November 13, 2009 @ 12:10 am | Comment

Wrong on all counts. Turns out Beck wickedly cut her off in mid-sentence; do your research. I only just learned this. I would have been much more sympathetic to Dunn had I known she did NOT say MT and MZD are the two people she turns to most. She said she turns to them most only when she wants to remember the impiortance of perseverance. Kind of like saying, “Mr X said “Hitler is the person I turn to most” and the actual quote, “Mr. X said, “Hitler is the person I turn to most as an example of evil efficiency.” Beck was the usual sack of shit, cutting the quote in mid-sentence. Enjoy him.

November 14, 2009 @ 10:40 am | Comment

“Yes, of all the people she could have picked, she chose Mao, so we must spin this into something it’s not to bore the tits off intelligent people and enrapture our voter base..”

She paraphrased Mao, so now she’s a Maoist???? Qu’est que c’cest la Phuque???

I quoted Mickey Mouse once; that make me a cartoon mouse?

November 24, 2009 @ 4:24 am | Comment

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