The MSM’s dereliction of duty in its coverage of Dem primary race angle

As has been written numerous times by many serious-minded political junkies/media watchers, over, including myself, the mainstream media’s hand-holding, pillow-offering coverage of Barack Obama’s candidacy is representative of a staggering dereliction of duty on the part of the people we are supposed to be able to trust to give us fair, unbiased news coverage. You’d think that it couldn’t possibly get any more biased than it already is, right?

If so, you thought wrong.

The narrative that started back in January when Obama lost New Hampshire to Hillary Clinton was that a substantial number of white, working class Democrats “had to be racist” in NH because what the polls were indicating prior to the NH primary contrasted significantly with the way the vote happened when all was said and done. Liberal bloggers and others in the punditocracy, as well as their pals in the mainstream media, began talking about the possibility that the “Bradley effect” took place in NH, meaning that some of the white folks who were polled in advance and said they’d vote for Obama in the primary ended up voting for Clinton when it actually came time to go behind the curtain and pull the lever.

Just a few days later, the Barack Obama campaign dishonestly played the race card against President Clinton and the Mrs. two weeks before the South Carolina Dem primary, where all candidates knew close to 50% of the registered Democrats were black. Obama himself allowed the chatter about the Clintons’ alleged “racism” to go on for three days (which is almost like a lifetime in politics and the media) before playing hero and suggesting that the back and forth about any alleged racist tendencies on the part of the Clintons was unfair, because, as he said, the Clinton’s had done a lot for the black community. Beyond that, Barack Obama was never really called out on it to any significant degree. In fact, the person who was “called out” on the issue by his fellow Democrats was Bill Clinton, who was told by prominent liberals to “back off” of “injecting race” into the debate.

After the O-man won South Carolina, and Bill Clinton made his remarks about Jesse Jackson also winning SC handily during his 1984 and 1988 presidential runs, liberal pundits, bloggers, black politicians, and Obama-supporting bloggers went ballistic, claiming he was trying to diminish Obama by implying that he was just another “black candidate” a la Jackson or Sharpton rather than a candidate who happened to be black, which was highly ironic, considering that the Democrat party has treated Jackson and Sharpton as mainstream, respectable public figures in their party who we should listen to when it comes to matters relating to race. All the outrage expressed over Clinton’s truism happened in spite of the fact that what he said was right on the mark: Jesse Jackson won the SC primary in 1984 and 1988 due to the high percentage of voters who were black. This is something that every politico worth his salt knows (crunching and analyzing numbers is what they do, for crying out loud); Bill Clinton just happened to say it in public, and got called to the carpet for it, and branded as a racist.

Fast forward to Ohio, where it was “established” that a majority of working class white Democrats would not vote for Barack Obama “because he was black.” This theme was echoed several weeks later when Hillary Clinton won the PA primary. All of a sudden, we were reading, watching, and listening to the “experts” speak about how Barack Obama had a serious “long term” problem with working class white Democrats, and the only plausible explanation, to them, was that those Democrats were racists. This, in spite of the fact that a string of states Obama won in February saw him actually winning the working class white male vote, and closing in on Clinton’s domination of the working class white female vote.

So what happened? While I have no doubt that some working class white Democrats would not vote for a black man under any circumstance, I believe that for most, in addition to policy differences there’s a bigger factor that was at play prior to Ohio and PA: Rev. Wright.

Now, the release of the tapes that both ABC and Fox News obtained of the Rev. Wright’s “fiery” sermons didn’t happen until after the Ohio primary, but the issue had been simmering since January, when liberal columnist Richard Cohen wrote about it in the Washington Post. The exclamation point was put on the issue after the tapes were shown over and over again, and Barack Obama’s response, which was his big Philadelphia speech on race, was apologetic in nature, not condemnatory, which didn’t play well with those “working class whites” in PA. In fact, the only time he saw fit to truly distance himself from the racist Rev. is when he dared to criticize Barack Obama by suggesting that Obama was saying what he was about him because he was a politician. The message? Dis your country by calling it a “white supremacist nation”: acceptable. Dissing Obama: unacceptable.

My belief is that the majority of those WCWDV (working class white Dem voters) didn’t vote against Obama because he was black, but instead because he was a guy who painted himself as a “healer” of racial divisions, yet sat in the pews of TUCC for 20 years silently while Rev. Wright went on and on doing things like praising the Jew-hating Louis F., ranting about our “white supremacist nation,” and about how “AIDS was invented by the government to target black people,” and other hateful nonsense. I don’t think this double-speak passed the smell test with most of those voters, and as a result, it influenced them to vote for his opponent.

What the Democrat party routinely ignores (probably deliberately so) is the that it’s not really black candidates in and of themselves that turn off working class whites (both Dem and GOP) – it’s any black candidate (or politician) who constantly treats white people like they were the ones shackling and whipping their ancestors decades ago, who believes that a “mini-me” racist version lurks inside every white person, and along the same lines, acts like white people are ready and eager to turn black people back into indentured servants. In fact, the only white people the likes of Rev. Jackson, Rev. Sharpton, Rep. Maxine Waters, and other racist black Dems tolerate are the ones they can control: many white, well-educated liberals who wallow daily in an ocean full of liberal white guilt over the way our country has treated black people, going all the way back to the shameful days of slavery.

In the case of Barack Obama, it’s not that he conducted a Sharpton or Jackson-style candidacy (meaning race was the focal point of everything); instead, the man who promises to bridge the racial divide sat in front of a hateful, racist reverend for 20 years and didn’t open his mouth in protest to say, “Wait a minute, this is outrageous.” My opinion is that had there been no Rev. Wright in the picture, Obama would have won more of the working class white vote in OH and PA.

Talk to working class white voters sometime, and I bet you that a majority of them will tell you similarly: they’re ok with a qualified candidate black or white, man or woman, but please, don’t give them someone who they fear will sit by silently while black race hustlers in this country get away with keeping it divided along racial lines, especially with stunts like this. It’s been happening for far too long, and the nation’s first black president (not counting Bill Clinton) whoever he or she will be, will have an obligation to cut through the nonsense and in order to get to the heart of the matter, so we can have real discussions about race in this country, not just those of a one-sided nature where conservatives are made to feel like they have no right to be a part of it. Many working class whites are tired of others trying to shame them into feeling guilt over a part of our country’s history they had no part of. That doesn’t make them “racists.”

I brought all this up because of a story I read today from the NY Daily News (h/t: ST reader Mwalimu Daudi), which went as follows:

While the case for Hillary Clinton to stay in the race is shakier than ever, one ugly reason for staying in could be found Tuesday amid the ruddy, sun-kissed Hoosiers who cheered her on to victory at the Indianapolis Speedway.

With Clinton posing alongside pioneering Indy speedster Sarah Fisher, there were almost no African-Americans to be seen. Many in the white, working-class crowd were simply not ready to back Barack Obama – for reasons that are disturbing.

“I’m kind of still up in the air between McCain and Hillary,” said Jason Jenkins, 32, who cited information from a hoax e-mail as a reason to spurn Obama.

“I’ll be honest with you. Barack scares the hell out of me,”he said. “He swore on the Koran.”

Obama did manage to pull in many white voters, but still encountered similar sentiments from a man who refused to shake his hand at a diner in Greenwood, Ind.

“I can’t stand him,” the man said. “He’s a Muslim. He’s not even pro-American as far as I’m concerned.”

This article is clearly trying to define all working class white voters by the statements of a few. While I won’t deny there is a certain segment of white voters (Dem or GOP) who won’t vote for Obama because of those reasons, I really do believe (and have tried to back it up with timeline links) that if Obama didn’t have a Rev. Wright problem then we wouldn’t be talking about his working class white voter dilemma today.

After reading that article I, like others, thought about how Barack Obama has convincingly won the black vote in all states by an average of about 90%, and yet here we are reading an article about why a small portion of whites won’t vote for Obama? Jim Geraghty comments:

African-Americans are voting overwhelmingly for a candidate who shares their skin color, but it’s being repeatedly suggested that white working-class voters are motivated by racism. Is this the “national conversation on race” that Obama had in mind in his Philly speech?

Take a look at the CNN exit poll for North Carolina (specifically page 4): You’ll see that 60% of white voters (who made up 42% of Dem primary voters) voted for Hillary Clinton, while 92% of black voters (who made up 32% of the Dem primary voters) voted for Barack Obama. That means 40% of white Dems in this state voted for Barack Obama. In contrast, only 8% of black Democrats voted for Clinton. You’ll find that this is a pattern in many other exit polls as well.

And yet it’s the working class white folks who have a racist problem??

Oh, but you see, these black Democrats are voting for Barack Obama, in part, because they feel he’s the candidate they can most relate to, for obvious reasons. Yet, when working class white Dems vote for Clinton over Obama, well, there’s another agenda at play …

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