Pages from an unwritten diary: Dickering and hating
By JERRY TALLMER
It couldn’t have happened to a couple of nicer guys.
In this corner, Fredric Uberall Dicker, longtime Albany correspondent for the New York Post.
In that corner, Carl Pasquale Paladino, Republican candidate for governor of the State of New York.
Well, they aren’t in their corners. They’re nose to nose, cheek to jowl, in center ring, Fred the Dick yammering questions (“Where are the papers? Show me the papers!”) at Peaceful Paul, who is yowling: “I’m gonna take you out!” as he waves a forefinger under Dicker’s throat.
Have a cup of tea, gentlemen.
The issues…who cares about the issues? A photo or two, an allegation or two, something about Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo’s alleged past, something about pornographer-racist Paladino’s on-record, private past… .
What interests me is why Fred Dicker, Rupert Murdoch’s man in Albany since 1982, should be playing Javert to Paladino’s Jean Valjean, in this bulldog manner, or any manner at all.
Dicker used to come down from Albany from time to time to check in at the City Room in my days at the New York Post. I never knew him one-on-one but I saw and heard enough to know that he was an arrogant pain in the whatzit even then, as far as his peers on the paper were concerned. He has had 25 years or more to polish his apples since then.
So, again, my question is: Why would Rupert Murdoch, no liberal he, or his even less liberal Australian deputies at the paper, want to set Fred Dicker bow-wowing after Carl Paladino?
I put that question to a Republican I happen to know in Washington, D.C. He was silent for quite a while. Then he said: “Could be he [Murdoch] has a deal with Cuomo.”
That stopped me in my tracks. Finally, I came up with: “What could Andrew Cuomo possibly give Rupert Murdoch? The New York Times?” And there’s where the matter rests for the moment.
Meanwhile, gentlemen gladiators both, all I can say is (as Abe Lincoln once did): Go it husband, go it bear!
* * *
For many days now I have been trying to figure out how to write what I think is the central political (and general) truth of this low, dishonest decade in Bushist American history, and I still don’t know how.
The thing is, there are two words I cannot get my fingers to type. One is the raw word itself, the other is the nauseatingly overused goody-goody euphemism that looks like this XXXXX with letters where the X’s are. My half-axed solution: To write “BP” wherever I need to use that very ugliest of all racial epithets in our spoken or written language — BP for “black person,” usually black male person.
And here’s the rub:
At the root, the core of all the viciously negative, right-wing and/or looney-tunes, hate-filled politics in this country since, well, midway through the year 2008, is the Great White Fear and hatred of all BP’s and one very gifted “uppity BP” in particular — mentally whiter than white — whose office is an oval-shaped room in, of all venues, the White House. “We’ll show that smartass [BP].”
This hatred and/or contempt is not too secretly as true of the very smoothest of “respectable” Republicans as it is for the “We want our country back” nutcases — i.e., white people’s country — like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Joe Miller, Meg Whitman, ad nauseam, et al.
In their heart of hearts, if they could lynch him, they would. Strange fruit all over again.
And that, kiddies, is the realest of all the reasons you must once again come to the polls and vote.