Imagine for a moment the race card had been used during the Republican presidential nomination process, and the United Nations was sending an envoy to investigate racism in America. Do you think the media would report it?
Probably 24 hours a day, seven days a week until every person in the country had heard about it, right?
Well, the U.N. announced on Friday that it is sending its "Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance" to visit our country from May 19 until June 6.
Although Reuters reported this at 2:48 PM EDT Friday, and strongly suggested the investigation is due to racism in the Democrat presidential campaign, LexisNexis and Google searches identified no other American news outlet covering this story. Not one!
Here was the official U.N. announcement:
GENEVA-- The United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Mr. Doudou Diène, will undertake a country visit to the United States of America from 19 May to 6 June 2008 at the invitation of the U.S. Government.
The Special Rapporteur will visit the cities of Washington, New York, Chicago, Omaha, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico to gather first-hand information on issues related to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. He is scheduled to hold meetings with representatives of the Government, both at national and local levels, and with members of the legislative and judiciary branches. Discussions will also be held with non-governmental organizations, community members, representatives of political parties, academics and other organizations and individuals working in the field of racism and discrimination.
The Special Rapporteur will submit a final report on the visit for consideration at a forthcoming session of the Human Rights Council in 2009.
Here's how Reuters saw it (emphasis added):
A special U.N. human rights investigator will visit the United States this month to probe racism, an issue that has forced its way into the race to secure the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. [...]
Race has become a central issue in the U.S. election cycle because Sen. Barack Obama, the frontrunner in the battle for the Democratic nomination battle, stands to become the country's first African American president.
His campaign has increased turnout among black voters but has also turned off some white voters in a country with a history of slavery and racial segregation.
Seems newsworthy, wouldn't you agree? Yet, besides Reuters, from what I can tell, not one American press outlet reported this annoucement.
Would media have boycotted this if a black candidate had run for the Republican nomination, and race had been so prominent in the campaign?
Yes, that was a rhetorical question.
*****Update: Drudge linked to the Reuters article at 11:11 AM EDT on Friday. I don't know how it did that, as Reuters claims the piece was published 3 1/2 hours later, but there it is.