But should they be?
Were Smith’s remarks really that offensive? Or is this just another politically driven “non-troversy.”
We were forwarded a link to these reputedly controversial “hot” microphone remarks earlier this week – along with a demand for Smith to be censured for what he said.
So … what did Smith say to warrant such a reaction?
Let’s check the tape, shall we?
The recording we obtained was taken two weeks ago as the S.C. House of Representatives debated how it should spend the second batch of federal coronavirus stimulus funding.
The Red for Ed mob – which has staged classroom walkouts over its various monetary demands over the years – wanted House members to include a pay raise for teachers as part of this appropriation. Democratic leaders agreed with them, and proposed amendments seeking to appropriate the money accordingly.
The problem? Such amendments were not germane to the debate because this particular batch of federal funding could only be spent on coronavirus-related items – meaning teacher pay raises were ineligible expenditures.
Accordingly, Smith moved to strike down the amendments.
As the chamber took a break from the contentious debate, Smith and two of his colleagues could be heard on a live microphone discussing the likely reaction of the Red for Ed movement to his motion.
“It’s no fun because every time I do that SC for Ed puts my fat ass on Twitter making motions and they all start feeding on it,” Smith said. “Sometimes leadership is not all it’s cracked up to be.”
Smith later added “they’re going to be all over my ass.”
“They’re going to all over all of us,” one of his colleagues responded.
Take a look …
(Click to view)
Wait … that’s it?
That’s all that was said?
Seriously … the only remotely offensive comment Smith made on the hot microphone was about himself (a reference to his own weight).
And he deserves to be censured for that?
The source who forwarded us this clip claimed it depicted multiple lawmakers “laughing, cussing, and smirking at educators.”
Really? Again, all we heard was one lawmaker (Smith) making fun of himself as he predicted the likely response of a radical organized labor movement that claims to speak for teachers.
No one was laughing at teachers … whom we believe are every bit as hamstrung by the Palmetto State’s failed education system as the students stuck in its classrooms.
As for his self-deprecating comments, Smith told us he had “heard much worse from the well” – a.k.a. the podium at the center of the chamber used by lawmakers to publicly address their colleagues. However he acknowledged “my mother didn’t like my language, though.”
Maybe so … but if this clip qualifies as offensive, we are not sure what wouldn’t. Of course, we are operating in the age of “micro-aggressions,” “safe spaces” and political correctness as a defining vanguard of the increasingly illogical “new orthodoxy,” so who knows …
From where we sit, though, this is a definitional “non-troversy …”
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our stories? We have an open microphone policy! Submit your own letter to the editor (or guest column) via-email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.