No, Martin Luther King was not the Bill O'Reilly of his day
Twitters cons who keep telling me MLK would've been Fox contributor if Fox had existed back then? #justwow
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) August 26, 2013
No kidding. I guess it's progress of a sort but it's so delusional that I wonder how useful it is.
For some real historical context, this discussion on Up with Steve Kornacki this week-end is a must see. In the first segment, Rick Perlstein draws attention to St Ronnie of wingnuts' comments after King's assassination:
He said he had it coming. He said, "it's the sort of great tragedy when we begin compromising with law and order and people started choosing which laws they would break."
He's referring to civil disobedience. This was pretty much a consensus view on the right among the same people who celebrate Martin Luther King now. Frankly, Martin Luther King had to be forgotten before he could be remembered. Martin Luther King called himself a socialist. Jesse Helms wasn't pulling that out of nowhere. His associate, Daniel Levinson, probably had been a communist. And the main demand of the march for jobs and freedom was a phrase that was resounding at the time but we don't remember it now, "a Marshal Plan for the cities", which meant a massive federal investment in developing the depressed areas of america. Which I don't think we heard in Washington [this past week-end]
Pretty sure we wouldn't hear that on Fox News of 1965 or 2013 either. (But the sentiment about "choosing the laws we would break" in order to force change certainly sounds familiar... and not just on Fox News.)
Watch the whole thing, it explains just how radical King was and how threatened people were by him. Like I said, it's probably a form of progress that they want to be associated with him today, but the history has to be completely re-written to make it work.