FARAI CHIDEYA, host:
Unity. It's not just a concept, but the name of small town in New Hampshire. And that's where Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama made their first public campaign appearance as buddies. Will this get past the bitterness and bickering we saw during the primaries?
For more, we have our Bloggers' Roundtable. Joining us today, Robert Redding who blogs at the ReddingNewsReview.com, K. Tempest Bradford who blogs at the AngryBlackWoman.com and Ed Brown who blogs for the DetroitNews.com. Hi Folks
Mr. ROBERT REDDING (Blogger, ReddingNewsReview.com): Hi.
Ms. K. TEMPEST BRADFORD (Blogger, AngryBlackWoman.com): Hey Farai.
Mr. ED BROWN (Blogger, DarkStarSpoutsOff.typepad.com): Hello.
CHIDEYA: So we're going to talk about Clinton and Obama in a few minutes, but let's kick things off with a follow-up to the hacking of SOHH. You just heard Felicia explain the denial of service attacks. Tempest what's your thought?
Ms. BRADFORD: Well, this is something that I actually have a little bit of experience with, and it doesn't surprise me that there are hackers out there who are not only, you know, targeting websites that they perceive that black people are listening to or frequenting, but doing so in a racialized way.
My blog right now is on WordCrest.com, and one of the reasons why I haven't moved off WordCrest to my own website perhaps with advertising, because WordCrest.com is very protected. They have a lot of servers. They have websites that are far bigger and more important than mine that they have to protect. They have greater server protection, but I still sometimes get, you know, hoards and hoards of comments from people who are just angry at me because I am black, because I'm a woman. And it just doesn't surprise me. Seeing what I've gone through and what I've gone through is small on the scale of attacks on the internet.
CHIDEYA: Robert, this was not just SOHH, as people call it - SOHH. It was also all AllHipHop, and there may be other sites that are getting targeted as well. And do you think that this is a specific case of racial backlash? You know, perceiving these sites to be popular, influential in some way, they were taken out specifically for racial reasons or, you know, and I know it's speculation, but do you think it's just people trying to make a name for themselves as some hackers do by, you know, shutting things down and feeling very self-satisfied about it?
Mr. REDDING: It might be a little bit of both. I think that this is definitely a cause for concern for black site operators such as myself, those on the conversation today, and those online. I think that it's very unfortunate that what's happened to our friends over at AllHipHop and other sites.
And I think that we should be very cautious, I know we're being very cautious over at ReddingNewsReview. We just got off the phone with our folks making sure our securities up to par, and we just changed our passwords. We do that from time to time and encourage people that are blogging to do that.
Our good friends need our support right now, we're watching this very closely. And I think that this is something that of course is targeted to the black community, unfortunately. It really jives with what I've seen on a day-to-day basis for some time on the internet, which large media and corporations' legacy media continues to ignore. There is a racial hatred out there, an undercurrent in America.
Sure, we see a lot of great progress with Barack Obama, and what we've seen so far with hope and change in those messages, and young people getting involved, and really connected, but we still see a lot of people out there really have a problem with progress.
CHIDEYA: Ed, have you ever had to deal with, you know, either SPAM, racist SPAM or sort of, you know, message board issues in any of the sites you've worked with?
Mr. BROWN: No I haven't. But quickly, I'm not at Detroit Press, I'm with DarkStarSpoutsOff. I pretty much use, you know - well I've used like, BlogSpot, and right now I'm using Typepad, so they pretty much handle it. And I did enable to capture to try to cut down on the SPAM, but those sites that are - those companies that are, you know, manning their own sites and, you know, their own servers and things like that, you know, they really have to take care to be aware, and to stay on the - you know, have the security updates and, you know, make sure they, you know, have an RSS feed or a daily look at, you know, the security hostings that go along to try and combat this. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and, you know, right now they're going after people that they don't like. But the real thing that worries me about this is that they're going after big companies, they're going after banks.
And some of these companies from what I've read are actually paying off these people without saying anything, you know, to the general public. And this is really big business, especially from what I understand the Russian mafia is behind a lot of this. And some of these other, you know, I guess groups or gangsters, really, (unintelligible) to gangsters in Europe. This is a real big problem.
CHIDEYA: I want to move on actually to another topic, a question of unity. Friday there was an Obama-Clinton unity rally in Unity, New Hampshire if that's not enough unity for you. Tempest, do you think this rally was credible? That is, did they seem like they were actually buddies?
Ms. BRADFORD: Well, they did seem like they were buddies. Whether or not they've actually buried whatever hatchet they had from the primaries I can't tell you. Basically, I just have a general distrust of the process that forces people to fight with each other and say horrible things about each other, and then once finally one of them comes out on top everyone says, oh, we loved him all along.
But it's what you do in politics. It's once the Democratic nominee has been chosen, the Republican nominee or whoever, the party is supposed to get behind them. So I think that it was good that, you know, we can finally say, OK. Whether or not Hillary Clinton actually truly feels that she's in unity with Obama or not, at least she's making the public appearance, and doing so she's doing what you're supposed to do in a political party, which is support the candidate.
CHIDEYA: Ed, do you think that this is going to get some of her supporters who were not so thrilled by Obama getting the nomination back on the Democratic bandwagon?
Mr. BROWN: No I don't. Because I thought it would initially, but now it looks like some of them are really so hurt and rabid about, you know, Hillary and what they thought was a lot of sexism directed their way that they're just not going to come around. And there was some sexism coming their way, but from what I could tell a lot of it came from other sources, and not the Obama camp.
I mean, if they want to be mad, they can be mad about, you know, what some people are calling false allegations of racism. But on sexism, I don't think they have a leg to stand on, and that's what many of them appear to be mad about.
CHIDEYA: Now Robert we didn't see Bill out there. There was unity, but, you know, I guess the tent wasn't big enough for Bill. Now, do you think that he was kept away deliberately, because he had been the spark for some beef between the two camps? Or do you think it was just that they needed their private bonding time? And do you think Bill's going to come back and rejoin the rallying?
Mr. REDDING: Well we just filed a report on the website at ReddingNewsReview about Bill and the meeting with Barack Obama that's been scheduled. So I think that that will happen shortly. I'm not sure whether that will be public or not. I will say that I don't think Bill Clinton needed to be there. I know much has been made about the fact that he wasn't there at Unity for Barack and Hillary. I think that he caused enough of a stir, and she's the one that was running for president. So it was appropriate the way it was played out.
CHIDEYA: And, what about you, Tempest? Do you think that Bill's going to get back in it?
Ms. BRADFORD: I think so. I think that he, just like Hillary wants to, you know, be part of this process whatever that is, because this is their life. I don't think he's going to give that up. But I would like to say just one quick point about the Hillary supporters who are not going to back Obama. I think that there is definitely some legitimate concerns that they have about the sexism that came out during the campaign. Whether or not it was from Obama's camp or whether or not it was just the media, and I definitely feel - I feel them. And I feel that it's not been properly addressed, the problems that came up in both campaigns, the racism and the sexism from both sides of the fence.
CHIDEYA: Well who do you think should bring it up? Or who do you think should fix it?
Ms. BRADFORD: I think that they both need to bring it up. I think that separately both of them need to sit down, because Obama gave that great speech about race. And I think that he needs to address the concerns that women have with the sexism. And Hillary needs to address concerns that black people had with racism that either it came from people in her camp or people who were fired, or whatever. Like, they both need to sit down and address those things, because otherwise nobody's going to move on. Everybody's still going to be angry about what came, you know, the many, many months before this.
CHIDEYA: All right, a little more lighthearted on politics. On our blog, nprnewsandviews, back in April, we gave some suggestions on who we thought should play in the Obama bio pick. We had people give us their thoughts. You know, it ranged from Regina King, you know, any number of people who could play Senator Clinton or Senator McCain. But particularly speaking of Obama, last week Will Smith told MTV that he would enjoy playing Barack Obama, because they both have big ears.
(Soundbite of laughter)
CHIDEYA: Who are you guys leaning for? I'll start with you, Robert. Who would you want to play Obama?
Mr. REDDING: Well, I think that Will Smith would be a good pick for Barack Obama. I can see the resemblance. We all look alike, anyway. So why not?
CHIDEYA: Oh boy. Tempest...
Mr. REDDING: I'm being sarcastic.
CHIDEYA: I know you are.
(Soundbite of laughter)
CHIDEYA: Tempest, what about McCain?
Ms. BRADFORD: Oh McCain. That one is hard. The only person I can really think of is Clint Eastwood. I just feel that he could just sort of bring that strange gravitas to the role, and it would be funny.
(Soundbite of laugher)
CHIDEYA: He's too young, but I was thinking Michael Chiklis from, what was that, "The Shield."
Ms. BRADFORD: Oh yes, he is too young, but he would probably be able to pull that off too.
CHIDEYA: They can put some wrinkles on him. Ed, what about Hillary Clinton?
Mr. BROWN: You know, that's a good one. I just drew a blank. The woman who played Murphy Brown. Oh.
CHIDEYA: Was that Candice Bergen?
Mr. BROWN: Yes, I think she should do it. She would be a good - she would do a good job, I think.
CHIDEYA: All right, we've got a vote, an in-staff vote for Glenn Close as well. How quickly do you think somebody's going to rush something like this out, Robert? You know, do you think we could see something in theaters in, like, summer of '09?
Mr. REDDING: Oh absolutely. With Barack Obama's clear youth appeal and his connection to Hollywood - he just had a big fundraiser there I think last week that was very successful. I think it's very likely that we'll see a film whether he doesn't win, If he doesn't win. If he does win we'll definitely see a film, and so I don't - I wouldn't be surprised if we saw it next summer.
CHIDEYA: OK guys. On that note, thanks a lot.
Mr. BROWN: Thank you. ..TEXT: Ms. BRADFORD: Thanks, Farai. ..TEXT: Mr. REDDING: Thank you.
CHIDEYA: We were speaking with Robert Redding who blogs at the ReddingNewsReview.com, Kate Tempest Bradford who blogs at the AngryBlackWoman.com and Ed Brown who blogs at DarkStarSpoutsOff.typepad.com
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CHIDEYA: That's our show for today. Thank you for sharing your time with us. To listen to the show or subscribe to our podcast, visit our website, nprnewsandnotes.org. To join the conversation or sign up for our newsletter, visit our blog at nprnewsandviews.org. News & Notes was created by NPR News and the African-American Public Radio Consortium.