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White House’s Anita Dunn Claims Mao Praise Was An Innocent Joke

October 19, 2009


Standup comedian Anita Dunn, who doubles as President Obama‘s White House communications director, now claims she was only joking when praised Mao Zedong by calling him “one of the two people that I turn to most,” Glenn Beck revealed on his TV show today.

Hilarious! There have to be 70 million murdered Chinese rolling in the aisles! What a knee-slapper.

Beck revealed last week that Dunn idolizes Mao, the brutal Communist dictator of China responsible for the slaughter of tens of millions of innocent victims.

To recap, in a video from June, Dunn told high schoolers:

A lot of you have a great deal of ability. A lot of you work hard. Put them together and that answers the “why not” question. There is usually not a good reason. And then the third lesson and tip actually comes from two of my favorite political philosophers: Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa, not often coupled together, but the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point, which is, you’re going to make choices. You’re going to challenge. You’re going to say why not. You’re going to figure out how to do things that have never been done before. But here’s the deal — these are your choices. They are no one else’s. In 1947, when Mao Zedong was being challenged within his own party on his plan to basically take China over, Chiang Kai Shek and the nationalist Chinese held the cities that had the army. They had the airport. They had everything on their side, and people said, “How can you win? How can you do this? How can you do this, against all the odds against you?” And Mao Zedong said, “You know, you fight your war, and I’ll fight mine.” And think about that for a second. You don’t have to accept the definition of how to do things, and you don’t have to follow other people’s choices and paths, OK? It is about your choices and your path. You fight your own war. You lay out your own path. You figure out what’s right for you. You don’t let external definitions define how good you are internally. You fight your war. You let them fight theirs. Everybody has their own path. And Mother Teresa, who, upon receiving a letter from a fairly affluent young person who asked her whether she could come over and help with that orphanage in Calcutta, responded very simply, “Go find your own Calcutta.” OK? Go find your own Calcutta. Fight your own path. Go find the thing that is unique to you. The challenge that is actually yours, not somebody else’s challenge. One of the things that we see the Obamas, both of them, Michelle and Barack, came out of backgrounds as community organizers, working.

If Dunn’s message was about the importance of perseverance and refusing to give up, she could easily have quoted a non-controversial figure such as Winston Churchill, Dale Carnegie, Franklin D. Roosevelt, or Thomas Edison, but she chose Mao, a homicidal maniac.

Remember that: she chose Mao as an example of someone whose ideas she elevates and exults.

But now Dunn says, “The use of the phrase ‘favorite political philosophers’ was intended as irony, but clearly the effort fell flat.”

Having studied English, this doesn’t quite make sense to me.

The following explanation roughly captures what I learned about irony in college:

The essential feature of irony is the indirect presentation of a contradiction between an action or expression and the context in which it occurs. In the figure of speech, emphasis is placed on the opposition between the literal and intended meaning of a statement; one thing is said and its opposite implied, as in the comment, “Beautiful weather, isn’t it?” made when it is raining or nasty. Ironic literature exploits, in addition to the rhetorical figure, such devices as character development, situation, and plot to stress the paradoxical nature of reality or the contrast between an ideal and actual condition, set of circumstances, etc., frequently in such a way as to stress the absurdity present in the contradiction between substance and form.

I didn’t pick up any irony in her comments, did you? And if she was being ironic as to her “favorite political philosophers,” the irony would also extend to Mother Teresa. She didn’t say anything about distancing herself from Mother Teresa, so this retroactive pronouncement of irony by Dunn is quite selective, isn’t it?

A parent of a high school student present in the audience at the speech by Dunn (who has been asked by the White House to lead the Obama administration’s war against Fox News) also didn’t think the supposed joke was funny. “There was no irony, no sense of humor,” he said. “Mao would have preferred to silence the opposition by a bullet to the head.”

If Dunn is a practitioner of irony, she should have her license revoked.

(The Obama as Mao poster graphic above is by Matt Holzmann. Videos will be added later tonight when they become available.)

  1. Louie723 permalink
    October 19, 2009 8:46 pm

    If you look closely, Dunn betrayed her irony by continually flicking her tongue out like a dog eating peanut butter.

    • jac mills permalink
      October 20, 2009 9:35 am

      Yes, Louie723, she did flick her tongue — probably because she could not keep it in her cheek.

      It does not amaze that Dunn can lie without blinking an eye (or flicking a tongue?), just as her political colleagues in the WH can. They look us straight in the face and say they didn’t mean to say what they said, when they are caught and asked to explain. Pathologic liars do that all the time, and I am afraid that is what we are stuck with for the next three years. Then we will probably get a good mix of liars from the other party. And so it goes!

  2. October 19, 2009 8:59 pm

    This is just too unreal to be true. You sure this didn’t happen in some alternate parallel universe? I’m pretty sure I heard Dunn’s response in a Monty Python sketch, though I can’t quite place it in context. Dunn’s excuse is so ridiculous that she’s going to have to come up with another excuse to justify the first one.

    • jac mills permalink
      October 20, 2009 9:41 am

      Maybe she wasn’t in a parallel universe, T&F. She could have been in a Black Hole!!

  3. Kevroc permalink
    October 19, 2009 10:10 pm

    I can see her trying to mask this as a joke because there was one joke in the speech. The bit about “not often coupled together” draw a few laughs and we all know that the best lies have an ingredient of truth to them.

    I don’t buy her excuse because if you watch and listen to when she is explaining that Chiang Kai Shek had all of the resources, I detect an air of contempt… I do not sense sarcasm, which would be the sought after inflection if this was ironic humor.

    She seemed very steeled when nodding her head and saying, “You fight your war, you let them fight theirs”. She appeared as if she was truly delivering a pointed message and not a sarcastic joke.

    If this was a joke, was it followed up with some piece of sage advice? I mean, was she invited to speak to crack jokes or impart some wisdom upon the fresh graduates?

    My .02

  4. shane comeback permalink
    October 20, 2009 3:07 am

    There is nothing funny about any member of this administration.

  5. Sam Deakins permalink
    October 20, 2009 3:33 am

    Reptiles always are flicking their tongues out.

    • Dr. Butters permalink
      October 26, 2009 2:57 pm

      Judging by your picture, I guess you would know.

  6. Jack Hampton permalink
    October 20, 2009 5:48 am

    She cannot get by with that lame excuse anyone that watchs that clip that has a brain cell left knows she was not joking.

  7. Makha Feldman permalink
    October 20, 2009 6:12 am

    Why Mao? Why not Stalin? He killed even more people !!!!
    People who never lived under comunist’s regime have no idea how it works.
    I am from former Soviet Union where goverment controlled all media and information about our own country we could only get from foreign radio (like Svoboda or Voice of America) which comunists goverment tried to block as well. And yes, we had FREE health care. In 80th you have to bring your own beddings and medications to the hospital. If you didn’t know anybody in a pharmacy and couldn’t find needed medication they didn’t have it in a hospital as well and they cannot treat you (no matter if they have good or bad doctors there). Wake up, America !!! you don’t need this.

  8. Sam Deakins permalink
    October 20, 2009 6:32 am

    If she was gonna quote a Chinese guy why not Sun Tzu?

    • Jack Hampton permalink
      October 20, 2009 11:26 am

      She acts like people that used to take a form of speed call Tenuatedospin they would also chew the inside of there cheeks much like theSpeaker used to while sitting in her lofty seat.

  9. Awakened Patriot permalink
    October 20, 2009 6:46 am

    Of more interest is Dunn’s inaccurate remark about Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa was not “following her own heart” in her actions. Mother Teresa was following Christ’s path. Being a Marxist, Ms. Dunn would not recognize that.

  10. David permalink
    October 20, 2009 7:52 am

    She needs to lay off the coke….. That tongue movement is what happens when one indulges.

  11. Samuel permalink
    October 20, 2009 8:43 am

    This was the analysis that I could feel in my bones when I heard her say it, then claim it was a joke, but I couldn’t express the words you did here, thank you.


  12. Backpedaling permalink
    October 20, 2009 8:44 am

    The Obama Administration spend so much time backpedaling that I’m hoping we will be able to have a re-do on the 2008 election!

    Honestly, I think this woman actually believed that 1) Nobody outside of that high school would ever hear her speech; 2) that nobody who heard that speech had any idea of Mao was and 3) that Mother Teresa was a “political philosopher.” For heaven’s sake! She was a NUN!!!

    These people are truly idiots and thank God we have talk radio and Fox News to bring to the forefront the absolute idiocy of the people in this administration!

  13. alcycle permalink
    October 20, 2009 8:50 am

    Hey, She forgot to mention that O’Bama is trying to get the trains ‘running like Hitler did’ & control the Media ‘like Hamas does’…..mmmmm….mmmmmm….mmmmm

    • Dr. Butters permalink
      October 26, 2009 3:02 pm

      You have an interesting life.

  14. SanePerson permalink
    October 20, 2009 9:18 am

    It’s sad that she has to spell it out for you people. It was a JOKE!!! LOL, OK? (she must really be joking if she thinks people will fall for her lame explanation)

  15. Mark Koenig permalink
    October 20, 2009 10:43 am

    Excellent post, Matthew. You’re of course correct that there was no irony, no humor, no sarcasm at all in Dunn’s delivery. Thankfully we have a videotape of the speech so that we can SEE this with our own eyes. A transcript would leave open the possibility that she might have been making an (admittedly sick) joke. As it is, anyone with one eyeball and two functioning brain cells can see the truth. This woman is dishonest to the core of her being.

    As terrible as her behavior is, there is a much broader point that I fear is being missed even by many conservatives: for all intents and purposes, Dunn IS Obama, is Van Jones, is Ron Bloom, is Ezekiel Emanuel. Some of us may be afraid to say this publicly but I am not. These countless hard-left radicals did not simply appear in Obama’s inner circle by accident. They were put there because Obama SHARES THEIR RADICAL VISION. How much more do some of us have to see before we acknowledge this fact? I fear for my country more so than at any point in my life.

  16. October 20, 2009 10:50 am

    she said the Mao quote was a play off something Lee Atwater said and was supposed to be funny. How many of those high schoolers are familiar with Lee Atwater and one of his more obsure statements. She is lying.

  17. Sam Deakins permalink
    October 20, 2009 1:41 pm

    First those kid were saying Mao WHO? Now it’s Lee WHOwater?

  18. Michaelle Maloney permalink
    October 20, 2009 3:13 pm

    Dunn is the joker-the latest one on batman who had scars on each side of the mouth to force a smile-a total lunatic! A really sicko sense of humor!! She needs to make her self comfy at an insane asylum asap.

  19. Michaelle Maloney permalink
    October 20, 2009 3:15 pm

    If Dunn mentioned Christ, she would probably have convulsions because the demons would be flying out of her.

  20. Michaelle Maloney permalink
    October 20, 2009 3:18 pm

    The Dunn would have been more credible if she said she was drunk.

  21. Judy permalink
    October 20, 2009 4:17 pm

    Once again we are confronted by the Red House. Remember: That what you read was not really what you read, and what you heard is not really what you heard, and what you saw is not really what you saw. I have wondered what questions are on the Red House employment application (not that any of the “advisors” completed one). 1. Are you a socialist (5 points),a communist (10 points) or a Maoist (15 points). 2. Are you a pathological liar: No (go home)
    Yes (10 points) 3. Are you willing to anything and everything to advance Lord Obama’s agenda?: No (sorry, go home) Yes (10 points). 4. Can you say or repeat a lie without blinking or cracking a smirk?: No (sorry, go home) Yes (you are hired).Just a little humor to cover my contempt for this woman and her belief that she can lie to our face and get away with it.

  22. LanceThruster permalink
    October 20, 2009 4:20 pm

    Yeah, Repubs sure do hate thems some dictators.

    “If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.” GWB — Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2000

    • Kevroc permalink
      October 20, 2009 10:28 pm

      GWB’s quip can be found here… obviously a joke, he is actually laughing through it.

  23. Gwenn permalink
    October 21, 2009 4:11 pm

    I know someone who is a paranoid schizophrenic that thinks the white house is run by lizard people . Maybe they’re on to something here. LMBO

    • October 22, 2009 7:30 am

      The Lizard People conspiracy theory is the creation of British writer David Icke — perhaps my favorite Crackpot Conspiracist.

  24. October 22, 2009 4:43 pm

    an apparently minor but important sidenote: FDR was the commie to end all commies. He successfully steered the U.S. down the pits and all the while maintained he was a patriotic American.

    Though he promised, “I will not send our boys to war,” Franklin Roosevelt adopted an aggressively destructive foreign policy which ensured the emergence of communism as a global force by the end of the 1940s.
    While FDR propped up Stalin with the import-export bank, subsidizing any business willing to invest in the U.S.S.R., the conflict in China was fluctuating between nationalist and communist forces. Because the Hitler-Stalin pact (to partition Eastern Europe) was still in effect, Stalin had a stronger position than he otherwise would’ve had and the confidence to start eliminating Germans in the U.S.S.R., sparking the Nazi invasion of Poland. Allied embargoes on Italy and Japan forced both of the former U.S. allies into an agreement with Nazi Germany while Stalin killed millions in the Ukraine—hardly the humanitarian aid FDR claimed his policies would support. Having sustained the Chinese conflict which would’ve yielded to the nationalist forces, otherwise enjoying majority popular support and Japanese approval, the scale was disastrously tipped in favor of communist forces with the destruction of the Japanese and the reinforced Soviet industry.
    Embargoes on Italy and Japan necessitated an unwilling alliance with Germany, and while it was in the U.S. interest to keep Nazi Germany from sweeping west, it had resulted from France and England’s declaration of war on Germany after the accelerated Polish invasion. It was well publicized in his writings and ideologies that Hitler was aiming to expand east, and again Stalin and the Soviet Union received an exceedingly helpful hand from the FDR administration. The Lend-Lease program, which supplied all the war-making essentials to the allies in Europe, did not hold the Soviets accountable to pay off their debt, whereas Britain was paying until 2003. This combined with the hideous Bretton-Woods agreement, created by the self-named “fellow traveler” Henry Dexter White, which set national currency rates against one another and against gold. It held the American dollar as the reserve currency of the world and forced Britain off the gold standard as it overvalued the debt owed to the U.S. via the Lend-Lease. Britain could no longer afford to maintain its colonial structure with the weakened pound, while their ex-colonies created currencies with arbitrary values set by the World Monetary Fund. This left many nations with poor industry suddenly helpless in the post-war financial vacuum, and turned the now-impoverished nations to Bolshevism.
    The Bretton Woods agreement was signed into effect before the end of the war, while the Morgenthau Plan, which aimed to reduce Germany to an agricultural economy, dependent on industrial imports, was produced by the FDR Treasury. Although this eventually failed, ex-patriot Germans had donated money to the Vatican to supply food to starving a Germany; FDR denied the proposition, as Germany would be importing food and less agriculturally centered. Seeing how a weakened Germany would’ve been very advantageous for the Soviets and how intently FDR desired it, Churchill would later say, “We killed the wrong pig (referring to Stalin).” Churchill refused to sign and FDR finally kicked the bucket—a world saving oxymoron.

    It is difficult and uncommon to find some piece of media, some exposition, which is particularly damning for one person or group. Kanye West’s drunken belligerence has not curtailed his record sales any more than David Letterman’s well-publicized affairs have brought him bad publicity. There are some few outbursts of the entertainment industry, be they songs or movies, which can defines generations, encompass cultural movements, or capture a particular mentality with inimitable effectiveness. Warner Bros.’ Mission to Moscow, released in 1942, is one such film, and one’s whose release last Tuesday is as appropriate and unsurprising now as it was sixty-five years ago. This blatant, calibrated piece of Soviet and communist propaganda was requested directly by Franklin Roosevelt and is, as a critic put it at the time, a $2 million love letter to Josef Stalin.
    According to Cass Warner, film historian and granddaughter of Harry Warner, “President Roosevelt himself asked Harry and Jack Warner to assist in educating, entertaining and enlightening the American people.” Directed by Casablanca’s Michael Curtiz, the controversial film marked a turning point in Hollywood’s perception of the Soviet Union, at the time an ambiguous and distrusted ally, towards a curious and praise-worthy alternative to America. The script was loosely based on the memoirs of Joseph E. Davies, ambassador to Moscow in the late 1930s, and at one point features Davies’ character lauding Stalin; “Mr. Stalin, history will remember you as a great leader.” The film insists that Stalin recognized the Nazi threat long before the West and only allied with Hitler to buy himself and the West—his real friends, some time. He was then obligated to invade Finland, as this mission to Moscow reveals, to protect it from the Nazis (don’t tell the Finns, or for that matter mention it to the rest of Europe lest they become envious) while the film insists his subsequent purges were the conjuration of a vast Nazi conspiracy.
    The Office of War Information praised the movie and its rendition of Stalin, saying it portrayed that “the leaders of both countries desire peace and both possess a blunt honesty of address and purpose”. Upon its release, Mission to Moscow came under heavy criticism, and the Warner Bros. found themselves appearing before Congress in 1950 as examples of communist infiltration in Hollywood, but after asserting screenwriter Howard Koch as the sympathizer were reprieved. Such behavior by the FDR administration is hardly surprising, but the release of Mission to Moscow is an inadvertent reminder that the situation has not changed that much. Russia is still a belligerent power ready and willing to exercise military force, as now is China, and while both countries have launched multiple operations in the past 3 years, they are being greeted mild affection and flimsy politics. Though FDR was proven wrong and Stalin identified as one of the greatest mass murderers in history, the current administration is offering Russian operatives open tours of U.S. nuclear silos. FDR’s ghost can contentedly watch a re-implementation of his economic policies with the current administration while seeing the mission to Moscow turning into a submission to Moscow.


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