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July 15, 2005


You may be tired of harping on this already, but don't you usually complain when the media presents every issue in terms of political maneuvering instead of addressing the issues?

"In a coordinated effort to reach black voters, President Bush heralded higher test scores among minorities on Thursday while his party's chairman, in an even more explicit overture, apologized for past Republican efforts to exploit racial friction."

All the context they give is about how Republicans will benefit politically from saying certain things. None of it is facts about what they said. Like you said, why can't they devote some column inches to talking about how long the Republicans used the Southern strategy? Or exactly how much minorities' test scores have improved?

There was a separate story about the test scores that I believe ran on the front page. But yes, the political media loves to write stories like that about tactics rather than substance.

Did you not think it important enough to mention that the entire Willie Horton scenario was first introduced into the political climate of that election season by Sen. Gore in the Democratic primary ?

This is a misleading claim. As Bob Somerby wrote on the Daily Howler:

"Gore only mentioned the program once, and he never mentioned any prisoner’s name; never mentioned any prisoner’s race; never ran any TV ads on the topic; and never used any visuals. More specifically, he never named Willie Horton, or mentioned his specific crime (Horton committed a brutal rape while on leave). In the Bush-Dukakis general election, the Bush campaign—and an independent, pro-Bush group—made extensive use of the Horton incident. In particular, the independent group used visuals of Horton which seemed to emphasize his race (he was black). In later years, as he neared his death, Bush campaign director Lee Atwater apologized for his own conduct in pushing the racial aspects of the Horton matter."

So some articles focus on the tactics because the substance is in a different section. Thanks for the link, this was important for me to learn how to have justified and not knee-jerk cynicism.

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