Like the Battle of Little Big Horn, the slaughter of high-minded liberal sports writers over the Redskins name controversy, began with a massive under-estimation.
At Little Big Horn, Custer ignored the reports of his scouts, who said there was a huge Indian encampment in the valley, perhaps as large as 11,000 men, women and children.
He attacked anyway. In broad daylight. And his partial regiment of the mighty 7th Cavalry wound up slaughtered to the last man by some 3,000-plus fierce warriors.
If only Custer had respected his own scouts who might have said: “You might want to think about this.” If only the righteous liberal sports media had stopped to think: “You know, we may be totally wrong about how most Native Americans really feel about a sports nickname….”
The recent Washington Post poll of 504 Native Americans was a devastating as Sitting Bull’s wipeout of Custer. Every conceivable way you could slice that poll, it all came up the same. They just don’t care. Many, actually LIKE the name.
This marks the effective end to a campaign that was ill-conceived, lacking in popular support, and doomed to fail. Even though the “controversy” has existed in fits and spurts for more than 20 years, this recent push happened for only one reason: in 2012, the Redskins became relevant again suddenly, with a black QB.
It was too juicy, too perfect, too ripe for the Social Justice Warriors in the sports media to resist. And thus the war drums began thundering.
I had an argument with afternoon co-host Andy Pollin the other day about the timing of the “surge” of anti-Redskins name stories. I maintained it was essentially dormant until RG3 came to town. Andy disagreed. Andy was wrong.
This is where listener “Joe” picks up the ball and runs with it…
Following up my prior email, below is an email I sent to Czaban years ago demonstrating how the Post writers bashed the Redskins name in the few months after that Feb 2013 Smithsonian anti-name conference. I think it makes a persuasive case that the anti-name full court press did occur right after that conference, and this was just the Washington Post and doesn’t include King, Costas, Zirin, Florio and the other pc media types who were also name bashing.
Okay, here is the deal. Anti-name columns in Post for 2013 listed below. All of these columns were in the first quarter of 2013 and were centered around the anti-Redskins name bashing conference that was held at the National Museum of American Indians on Feb 7 (and paid for by the taxpayers).
Courtland Milloy (2 columns, both in metro section) First was “”What’s in a Name: The Redskins Bad Karma” on 1/ 8/ 2013. That was a real doozy if you didn’t see it. It referred to RG3 as a “noble savage” and attributed his injury to bad karma caused by the Redskins name. It also contained this referring to Redskins fans who disagree with a name change, “… I suspect that the most diehard football fans have only two ways of dealing with these kinds of disagreements: racist Internet comments — and fistfights in the stands” It also blatantly solicited people for the bash the Redskins name conference that Harjo held (on taxpayer money) at the National Museum of the American Indian on February 7. This column was so over the top that even many of the anti-name junta disowned it. Milloy also did a second column, “Gridiron Glory will never be ours again with a team named the Redskins” on 2/7/2013, which was the very day of the Redskins name bashing conference.
Mike Wise (2 columns, one in Sunday Outlook op ed section, one in sports section) First was “Only RG3 can make the Redskins Change Their Name; Here’s why he won’t” on 1/12/13. That was the one that got a prominent position on the Sunday Outlook op ed page. He also published a column in the sports section on 3/10/13 titled “Redskins Name goes before Federal Trademark Board, but for this writer, there is no debate.” Of course, Wise is the ringleader of the anti-name media junta and has published many anti-name columns in the past. He is closely aligned with Harjo, the activist/lobbyist who is the face of the anti-name junta. Wise appeared on a panel at Harjo’s taxpayer funded name bashing conference at the National Museum of American Indian on Feb 7.
Robert McCartney (3 columns, all in the metro section). This guy claims to be a long time Redskins fan who wants the name changed. (For the record, that is an oxymoron, he may be a football fan, but you can’t be a Redskins fan and want to change the name IMHO). He did a column on February 6, the day before Harjo’s conference, “Drop the Redskins name? Time to take a stand”. He did another on February 16, “Despite Redskins claims, Concern of the name isn’t political correctness run wild”. He did a third anti-name column on March 16, “How many Indians must feel disparaged to strip Redskins trademark protection.”
Then there is the Post’s New York correspondent Sally Jenkins (because we can’t find enough quality writers in and around DC). (1 column, sports section) She wrote a particularly condescending column on February 16, “On Washington Redskins name, it is Time the grown-ups talk sense into Daniel Snyder”. That one contained the mind boggling argument that the US military get involved in pressuring the Redskins to change the name.
We also had the ombudsman, Patrick Pexton, do an anti-name column (1 column, Sunday Outlook section) on February 8. His column was called “Listening to Native Americans” and was particularly disingenuous in suggesting that huge numbers of American Indians are opposed to the name without even mentioning the 2004 independent poll by U of PA which showed Nat Americans SUPPORT the name by 91%.
Then we had Fred Bowen, who writes the weekly KidsPost column. He came up with “Let’s Rethink Redskins’ Hurtful Name” column on February 13. Of all the things the Post has done, using the kids page to spread the pc gospel is probably the sleaziest.
Now mind you, all of these columns were AGAINST the name. There hasn’t been a single column in favor of the name since Marc Fisher left the metro section years ago. And I am not even including posts on the paper’s website. Of course, Steinberg has been in overdrive posting anti-name stuff on DC Sports Bog. He claims that he is neutral and is just passing things along. That may be, but of the stuff he has posted, 95% is anti-name. There were also a couple of columns on the website that were not published in the newspaper: Neil Irwin’s “The Redskins name is really valuable and really offensive, here’s how to fix it” on January 14, 2013 and Michael Shank’s “Anacostia totem pole belies Washington’s devotion to Redskins” on February 22, 2013. I may have missed some of those. It also does not include the weekly chats the Posties do, such as the one on January 14, 2013 when Boswell claims to have been offended by the Redskins name all these years (eye roll). It also doesn’t include the so-called news reports of things like the anti-name conference and the anti-name comments by some of the local pols, which are, of course, slanted against the name.
The only remotely fair thing I’ve seen was Maske’s column on February 24 in the sports section “Redskins name change would have to pass muster with NFL, sponsors” which seemed neutral on the name and merely explained to these pc nitwits the value in the name and the business-related issues involved with changing it.
All of the articles and columns I mention are available on the Post’s website.
Again, I’ve never seen anything like this in the Post in terms of concentration on a single issue, all on the same side in such a short period. Not even in the Watergate years. Steinberg claims it wasn’t something orchestrated by the Post itself (although it clearly WAS orchestrated around the anti-name conference). I am not sure Steinberg knows everything going on at the paper, but if it wasn’t orchestrated by the Post, there was a helluva lot of acting in concert by the various writers going on here .
Excellent and thorough. And remember: this was ONE newspaper!
Already, the losers in this battle have refused to admit defeat. They will run up the mountainside with their rifles to hide out and dream of a day when their side can “regroup” and launch a new offensive.
They’ll be about as effective as the Japanese soldiers who holed up in the hills of Iowa Jima for years after the end of WWII.
Hail to the Redskins! Redskins forever!
Finally, as a related aside. I didn’t like the movie “The Revenant.” It stretched the boundaries of survivability too far, and was for the most part, a long, cold slog through 2 1/2 hours.
That said, it had the following Indian attack scene, which will chill the skin right off your bones. It is the frontier equivalent of the beach landing in “Saving Private Ryan.”
Watch at your own risk.