Media bias on display at WashPost in Coretta Scott King funeral reporting

Tim Graham at Newsbusters reports:

The Washington Post downplayed the Wellstone-funeral elements of yesterday’s funeral for Coretta Scott King. The front-page article by Darryl Fears had a bland celebratory headline, and as the article jumped off the front page, Fears claimed "The six-hour service, held in a lavish black church in the wealthy, majority-black Atlanta suburb of DeKalb County, seemed to strive mightily to project a theme of inclusion and the setting aside of political differences."

Riiiiiight. His evidence? "Politically charged" speakers like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton did not speak. But he soon noted Joseph Lowery’s crack about weapons of mass destruction. "Still, political tensions occasionally burst through the veneer of reconciliation." But a few paragraphs later, Fears included Sharpton among the "civil rights legends" in attendance:

A Who’s Who of civil rights legends also spoke: Lowery; Dorothy Height, chairman of the National Council of Negro Women; former U.N. ambassador Andrew Young; and poet Maya Angelou. Even more attended: former Democratic presidential candidates Jackson and Sharpton; NAACP President Bruce S. Gordon; and Gordon’s predecessor, Kweisi Mfume.

This is also a weird paragraph because Bruce Gordon is hardly a legend, since he’s only headed the NAACP since last June (not to mention Mfume). These men are leaders, but not "legends" any more than anyone else who’s led an interest group in the last decade.

Relatively new White House reporter Michael Fletcher approaches the Bush angle of the memorial, with a headline ("Bush Reaches Out" ) noting that the NAACP’s Gordon praised Bush for attending. Fletcher made a point of how Bush "all but ignored" liberal black leaders.

Read the whole thing. 

I know – this is terribly surprising, isn’t it?   The article ignores so much history between President Bush and ‘black leaders’ it’s really hard to know where to start – but Graham does a good job of cutting through the whitewashing (no pun intended) of the Post piece to give us the full story.

Read more commentary via Captain Ed, Decision ’08

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