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Commentary: Bloviating your way to the top

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, July 23, 2010
This is such a great country. Only in America could somebody like Mark Williams consistently make reckless and offensive comments, and not only get away with it, but enhance his marketability.
Williams, a former Sacramento radio shock jock and Tea Party leader, gained national fame this week when he suggested that African-Americans would rather be enslaved than work to improve their lot.
Really? That suggestion was so over the top that even the national Tea Party Federation was forced to disavow Williams.
But he is unrepentant. Sales of his book are going up, and friends are rushing to his defense. This is his moment in the limelight.
And it's not the first time. While yakking on a Sacramento radio station in 2005, he suggested that motorists swerve at bicyclists. That comment helped end his local radio career, but it gave him new standing as a bloviator.
Each time, Williams and his apologists pick themselves up, and they move on, and they move up. It just goes to show - if you have a big mouth, work hard and pull yourself up by your boot straps, you can do anything in this country.
Stuart Leavenworth is editorial page editor of The Sacramento Bee.
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