Why The Silence.....Indeed


Posted on : 7/20/2010 01:09:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , , ,

As my many....erm several....uh...regular reader(s) will attest, I remain quite concerned about the current decision by the Justice Department to drop the federal charges against the New Black Panther Party.  During the election of 2008, NBPP members stood outside of a polling place and threatened voters with violence if they didn't vote a certain way.  One was holding a nightstick.

The Bush Administration filed charges.  The Obama Administration was on the verge of obtaining a default judgment when an apparent political decision was made to drop the charges against all but one of the defendants.  I believe the idea of race-neutral law enforcement is one worth defending.  Apparently, elements of the Obama Administration feel differently on the subject.

I mention all this because the Ombudsman for the Washington Post has published a piece about the delay in WaPo's decision to cover this issue.

For months, readers have contacted the ombudsman wondering why The Post hasn't been covering the case. The calls increased recently after competitors such as the New York Times and the Associated Press wrote stories. Fox News and right-wing bloggers have been pumping the story. Liberal bloggers have countered, accusing them of trying to manufacture a scandal.


That's prompted many readers to accuse The Post of a double standard. Royal S. Dellinger of Olney said that if the controversy had involved Bush administration Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, "Lord, there'd have been editorials and stories, and it would go on for months."

To be sure, ideology and party politics are at play. Liberal bloggers have accused Adams of being a right-wing activist (he insisted to me Friday that his sole motivation is applying civil rights laws in a race-neutral way). Conservatives appointed during the Bush administration control a majority of the civil rights commission's board. And Fox News has used interviews with Adams to push the story. Sarah Palin has weighed in via Twitter, urging followers to watch Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly's coverage because "her revelations leave Left steaming."

The Post should never base coverage decisions on ideology, nor should it feel obligated to order stories simply because of blogosphere chatter from the right or the left.

What Mr. Alexander his missed is that it appears that the influence of latent politics is the cause for the delay in covering this issue in the first place.

Were we talking about the Klan threatening voters with clubs, the WaPo would have been among the first to point out how far we have yet to go on the subject of race relations.  They would have called for immediate federal intervention and questioned the character of any administration official that did not move forward with the requisite alacrity.

We already know via the JournoList that members of the media colluded to soften the blow of the Jeremiah Wright story on Mr. Obama.

What Mr. Alexander continues to miss is the fact that were our media truly unbiased, we never would have seen the rise of Rush Limbaugh, FoxNews, or any other conservative media outlet.

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