“Good Morning America” told its viewers why so many Americans enjoy Oliver Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond.”
Correspondent Chris Connelly appeared alongside George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday to explain:
“Fans hear an authentic, from-the-heart hit that speaks on behalf of an overlooked America” [but] critics hear racially-tinged dog whistles.”
Racially-tinged dog whistles, huh?
Which part of the song do critics consider racist? We can’t say for certain. Unfortunately, ABC never provided its viewers with that answer. Rather, they just smeared the artist as a bitter white man.As a matter of fact, no reasonable person could confuse Anthony’s lyrics with racially tinged dog whistles. The song is not about race. No lines in the song suggest Anthony was referring to any one racial group.
We explained the meaning of the song earlier this week. Anthony sings about power, about the imbalance of society.
He praises those who fund the system. He punches up and down at those who cheat the system, which includes both wealthy tax-evading executives and fat slobs on welfare.
If anything, the title “Rich Men North of Richmond” suggests Anthony is referring to white swamp creatures — who, ironically, may just include “GMA” host Stephanopoulos, who served under Bill Clinton.
The song might hit a little too close to home for Stephanopoulos.
As our friends at NewsBusters report, “George Stephanopoulos (a poster child for the rich men north of Richmond) had a problem with the song’s message condemning the people he worked for when he was in Washington D.C. Throughout the show, he teases for the segment kicked dirt on the song and suggested there was a serious problem with it.”
Of course, he does.
“Rich Men North of Richmond” is not racist, as per ABC. Not does it punch down at the middle class, as per Hollywood actor Rainn Wilson.
Oliver Anthony speaks to the working class and sends a message that pompous, privileged TV anchors won’t understand. Thus, it’s success.