Why Is Everyone so Pissed at Salon?

Jul 20, 2013
8:30 am

We think this is one case of writing a column way too quickly in order to get clicks and traffic. Here’s the scoop: early yesterday afternoon President Obama addressed the Trayvon Martin case. Most national outlets were posting their stories about the speech around 2pm EST. At 4:30 PM EST, Salon published a piece by Rich Benjamin, titled “Obama’s safe, overrated and airy speech.”


At one point, Benjamin wrote this, when comparing Obama’s remarks to Attorney General Eric Holder’s NAACP speech earlier this week:

Some of us have an Inner Child. Others have an Inner Nigger. Is Holder the president’s conscience? Or his Inner Nigger?

Is Holder the president’s aggressive internal mind and voice — willing to speak truth to power, but unbothered with appearing like an angry black man?

Then all hell broke loose on Twitter. Twitchy has a good summary. Here are just a few of the more intense reactions:

The comments on the actual Salon piece have been just as strong, including these:

SALON editors, you have lost your MOTHERFUCKIN’ minds. If I want to read anyone calling me, the President, or anyone else the N-word, I will go visit STORMFRONT. Get a fucking clue and go hire some class from another worthwhile publication. You have just lost all credibility as journalists.

WTF! I got as far as “inner n____” and refuse to dignify this atrocity by reading any further.

Rich Benjamin, your positively disgusting (and incredibly wrong-headed) article on Obama’s speech today was bad enough, but your open question about Eric Holder’s relationship to Obama was beyond the pale. I don’t know how Salon continues to employ you, but I can tell you this, my family and I are now officially GONE from reading anything from this magazine…all thanks to your continued disgrace.

Tonight, you should take a minute, re-read your article and truly “think” about what you wrote and how it affects the tenor of today’s discussion and others who you have insulted beyond words. This isn’t about a political insult, it is quite simply a human disgrace!

Even Soledad O’Brien weighed in last night:

The author of the piece did respond, although we don’t know what he meant:

So far Salon has been quiet, but there is no question that many people are walking away from the publication. What do you think? Should Salon explain it published the piece with that language?

By the way, you can be critical of the President without stooping to slurs. Here is one example.