If you’re a fairly large daily paper and you’re looking to make a complete fool out of yourself, you can find a how-to primer in the editorial pages of the New Haven Register. It goes something like this: Accuse a rival news organization, whose views on race you disagree with, of deriving its inspiration from the Ku Klux Klan. Then realize how dumb you sound, and write a retraction. Then lather, rinse, and repeat.
Erik Wemple of the Washington Post reported on this lapse in journalistic judgment, which began on Monday with an editorial titled “The KKK, Ted Nugent and ‘mainstream’ racism.” The money passage from the editorial follows:
[T]he same basic message that the KKK has promoted for 148 years is embraced by the likes of Ted Nugent, Fox News, Ann Coulter, a burgeoning array of fringe ‘conservative’ media and members of our own community commenting on stories on the New Haven Register’s website.
Nugent will be in New Haven Aug. 6 with prominent billing for a concert at respected local music institution Toad’s Place. He has brought the KKK’s traditional message to the mainstream — to the point of being embraced by the leaders of the Republican Party during the last presidential election campaign (against the re-election of a black president, it should be pointed out).
That message includes black people being an inferior race (note Nugent’s blanket statements that black people don’t work as hard as white people, are criminals, etc.), a fear of and opposition to immigration and expressions of disgust and hatred toward gay people.
The KKK has historically billed itself as a vigilante group, a concept that the gun-glorifying Nugent and supporters of George Zimmerman, ‘stand your ground’ laws and the profiling of young black men in hoodies embrace as well.
Breitbart’s John Nolte points out the Register’s double standard, having missed, for example, Alec Baldwin’s racist and anti-gay rants or HLN host Nancy Grace’s ridicule of George Zimmerman by mockingly suggesting after his acquittal that he could now return to his life of driving through Taco Bell every night, having a churro.
Nevertheless, the Register issued an “apology” today. But this is what they wrote:
It was a poor choice of words that created an unfortunate comparison between Fox News and the KKK. We’re sorry for that. We did not intend to make any such comparison. This comparison should have been more specific to Nugent’s and Coulter’s views and statements about people of color, immigrants and gay people, and to be clear, was relating that to the ideology of the KKK, not its abhorrent history of violence.
Ah, much better! Rather than defaming an entire network, the editors meant only to assassinate the character of a conservative commentator and a right-leaning rock star through a vicious comparison. Since the paper is so heavily invested in the history of the Ku Klux Klan, maybe they want to examine the party affiliation of its founders in the South.