2008 Race-Baiting and Its Ugly Fallout
posted by January 15 at 9:43 AMon
So, this is really minor, but when I woke up this morning I enjoyed some truly sloppy reporting care of NPR’s Juan Williams. (Here’s the segment in question.) Re: Clinton’s comment about LBJ and Martin Luther King, Jr:
JUAN WILLIAMS: It really did cross the line in terms of the feeling of black people that they’re able to make a difference in their own lives.
RENEE MONTAGNE: Well, you say that, but could one argue that the Obama side is taking needless offense, as in making this something bigger than it is?
WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah, and I think that they have been trying to fuel the fire, if you will, Renee. Representative Charles Rangel, who’s the longest serving black in Congress, the dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, says this has been “overanalyzed.” You know, he’s looking for the white person who insulted him or any black person… John Lewis, the civil rights icon, now Georgia Congressman, added that Obama “is no Martin Luther King or Bobby Kennedy,” people that Obama has been analogizing himself to.
Um, those are great examples of black leaders who didn’t take exception to Clinton’s remarks. But did you bother to check which candidate they’re supporting? Rangel endorsed Clinton way back in March and yesterday called Obama “absolutely stupid” for daring to suggest Clinton’s original remark was “ill-advised.” (Gasp!) John Lewis has also endorsed Clinton.
It’s not too hard to find unaffiliated but prominent black politicos who have questioned the tone of Clinton’s remarks. (Rep. Clyburn and Donna Brazile have both been very vocal on the subject.) But it’s pretty blatantly irresponsible not to identify Rangel and Lewis, in particular, as partisans in this race.
And I have yet to see a quotation in which Obama “analogizes himself” to MLK or Bobby Kennedy. Ugh. This stuff is getting so ridiculous.
Maybe Howard Kurtz will mediate for me?