You knew it was coming. The moment you saw Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl commercial, you knew the reaction from the right was coming.
The ad featured “America, The Beautiful,” sung in various languages, including English, while images of Americans of every race, creed, color, religion and orientation played across the television screen. You probably heard the distant popping sounds of wing-nuts’ heads exploding before the ad was over.
Twitter was immediately ablaze with tweets from right-wing tweeters who were outraged to “America, the Beautiful” sung in any language other than English, seemed to think English is our official language (or that “American” is a language), and lacked a basic command of the English language themselves.
Hey coca cola we live in the USA where we speak American #boycottcoke
— d-stall (@dstallin) February 3, 2014
This is America. We speak american, Coke. #boycottcoke
— Matthew VanHoose (@matt_vanhoose) February 3, 2014
@Subimaginati -8 US Code section 1423 requirements as to understanding the English language, history, principles & form of govt of the US!
— Millie Weaver (@Millie__Weaver) February 3, 2014
You can’t sing an American song in another language! #boycottcoke
— spencinator (@taylorspencer3) February 3, 2014
And then there was the response from right-wing media.
- Allen West wrote that this “disturbing commercial” was another sign that we’re “on the road to perdition.”
- Fox News’ Todd Starnes tweeted that “Coca-Cola is the official soft drink of illegals crossing the border,” and that Coca-Cola was “saying America is beautiful because new immigrants don’t learn to speak English?”
- Fox’s Eric Bolling complained that Coca-Cola, “ticked off a lot of Americans” with its multi-lingual Super Bowl Commercial.
- Glenn Beck called the Coca-Cola spot an “in your face” attempt to “divide people.”
- One right-wing blogger saw a “stealth” appeal for immigration reform, by the company’s Muslim CEO.
Atlanta news anchor Brenda Woods’ response to the right-wing nonsense pretty much said it all.
The great irony is that “America, the Beautiful” was written by a radical, Christian socialist lesbian named Katharine Lee Bates.
To borrow a phrase from the great Langston Hughes, “We, too, sing America.” We sing it in the varied tones of our many cultures. We sing it with accents both regional and international, and in every language we know — even if it drives right-wingers crazy.
Here’s the best of the worse in wing-nuttery this week:
- Speaking of the Super Bowl, Denver Broncos executive vice president of football operations, John Elway, told Fox News host Chris Wallace that he’s a “big Republican,” Because, “I don’t believe in safety nets.” Elway told Wallace, “I believe that we’re given the opportunity to succeed or not succeed.”
- Donald Trump called President Obama “sloppy,” for not wearing a tie during his pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. No word on where Donald Trump and his fashion advice were in 2004, when President George W. Bush went sans tie for his pre-game interview, or how a man with that hair has any business calling anyone else “sloppy.”
- During an appearance on a Denver radio show, right-wing rocker Ted Nugent lamented the state of the Republican party, saying, “Someone extracted their scrotum with a rusty shiv.”
- Nugent also called president Obama an “avowed racist” for sympathizing with the parents of “gangster” Trayvonn Martin. Nugent made his remarks while representing the Outdoor Channel at a gun show. Last week, Nugent attended the State of the Union address as the invited guest of Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas).
- The National Republican Congressional Committee got caught creating misleading sites to trick Democrats into donating money to Republican candidates. The NRCC has defended the misleading sites, but Google slapped a phishing warning on that misleading GOP website.
- Fox News freaked out over the announcement that CVS would no longer sell tobacco products. Real Story host Gretchen Carlson wondered if CVS’ move was legal. Your World host Neal Cavuto and said CVS was “getting scaredy cat,” because “with the health care law and the changes and everything else,” selling cigarettes “didn’t look good.” The Five host Dana Perino wondered if the president’s support meant that, “corporations are allowed to have values” and “don’t have to provide contraceptive care to their employees.” “And,” Perino added, “the Supreme Court might just want to think about that.”
- Conservative columnist Diana West warned that president Obama must be impeached before he turns America into “a North Korean-style” dictatorship.
- John Black, the Republican politician who last week wanted President Obama “hanged for treason, this week wants all Democratic politicians tried for treason.
- Laura Ingraham railed against Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor for not using the term “illegal aliens” to describe undocumented immigrants. Ingraham asked,”Why do we have a Supreme Court justice whose allegiance obviously goes to her immigrant family background and not to the U.S. Constitution?” She seemed to doubt that Sotomayor — an American of Puerto Rican descent — is an American citizen.
- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told a group of students that the ruling that led to Japanese internment camps during World War II could happen again.
- Inspired by Justice Scalia, Glenn Beck warned his radio audience that those who don’t believe in climate change or abortion rights might wind up in internment camps.
- Michigan governor Rick Snyder’s new “snorkeling and smooth jazz” re-election ad, which aired during the Super Bowl, must be seen to be believed.
- Fox News doesn’t like the new Lego Movie. They say it pushes an “anti-business” message. Plus the villain looks a little bit like Mitt Romney.
- Anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera said that the U.S. should adopt its own Russian-style “gay propaganda” law, outlawing any positive portrayals of non-heterosexual relationships. LaBarbera was incensed over a lesbian family in the Disney Channel show “Good Luck Charlie.” Five-year-old actress Mia Talerico has received death threats over the shows gay characters.