Ultimate Racial Obama Gaffe Comes From Unlikeliest of Places

Barack Obama Jesse Jackson
Photo: Getty Images, AP

Remember when Lou Dobbs complained about black leaders talking about race and he used the term "cotton-picking"? And when Congressman Geoff Davis referred to Barack Obama as "that boy"? And when Fox News awkwardly referred to Michelle as Barack's "baby mama"? Each time there was a media freak-out — even though the comments were relatively innocuous, or not intended in a racially charged manner. The reason? Because commentators are living in terror for the day that someone actually says the N-word on live television.

Now, it turns out, someone already has — and it was one of the last people you'd expect. Obama ally and civil-rights leader Jesse Jackson, in another segment of the Fox News tape where he said he wanted to cut the candidate's "nuts out,"* he also used the N-word. According to TVNewser yesterday (and later confirmed by Fox), Jackson said of Obama: "He's talking down to black people … telling n—s how to behave."

Now, this isn't as catastrophic as it would be had someone of another race used the charged word — but it is the moment watchdogs have been waiting for since Obama announced his candidacy. Now it's out there, in headlines connected with Obama and on all the morning talk shows. We're guessing it won't happen again, but even the most politically correct commentators are probably a little more nervous this week.

What Else Jesse Jackson Said on That Tape [TVNewser/Mediabistro]

*Why does no one ever talk about how weird this phrasing is? What, exactly, is he intending to cut them out of? Are Barack Obama's testicles secretly beating away in his chest, or something?