View Full Version : Snow 'hugs the tar baby' at first press briefing

05-17-2006, 04:47 PM
At his very first briefing as new White House press secretary, Fox News personality Tony Snow has raised eyebrows by using the phrase "hug the tar baby" to describe the prospect of commenting on the NSA wiretap and phone traffic database programs. The phrase is considered by many to be racist in origin.

"I don't want to hug the tar baby of trying to comment on the program," Snow remarked, interrupted by laughter. "The existence of the alleged program--the existence of which I can neither confirm or deny."
"We could trace that back to American lore," he explained of the description.

The story of the tar baby first came into popular American culture through Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus stories. In the popular version, the character of Brer Rabbit encounters a baby made of tar on the street. When the black, sticky dummy doesn't respond to him, he strikes it repeatedly, becoming stuck to it. In his preface, to the book, Harris wrote:

"I trust I have been successful in presenting what must be, at least to a large portion of American readers, a new and by no means unattractive phase of negro character--a phase which may be considered a curiously sympathetic supplement to Mrs. Stowe's wonderful defense of slavery as it existed in the South."

Most of Snow's first briefing went well by press accounts. One reporter, before asking for clarification on the tar baby remark, described it as "nice and zippy."

05-17-2006, 05:39 PM
Don't care. People say dumb shit. As long as they don't make a habit of it, its a minor issue.

My First Timbs
05-17-2006, 05:52 PM
that was no minor slip.. its a prime example of subconscious (ingrained) racism

05-17-2006, 05:58 PM
Just think about it these people suppose to represent America.