NYT Reporter Hurls False Racism Allegation at Tea Party Protesters on Capitol Hill

April 5th, 2010 2:06 PM

In the New York Times's latest "Political Points" podcast, posted April 1 at nytimes.com, reporters David Herszenhorn and Jeff Zeleny talked to host Sam Roberts about the health care law as a referendum on the Obama presidency. Though the Times didn't bother to identify the reporters by name on the audiocast, it was almost certainly Herszenhorn (confirmed by comparing his voice pattern with that of another voice later identified as Zeleny's, plus by watching a recent clip of Herszenhorn) who immediately injected discredited accusations of racism into the discussion, in response to Roberts's relatively innocuous conversation starter.

Herszenhorn is known at Times Watch as a strong cheerleader for Obama-care.

From the April 1 podcast:

Host Sam Roberts: "David and Jeff, we've been writing that health care became a touchstone, a proxy for larger disagreements and deep divisions in an increasingly fractured society. What is it the surrogate for, do we think?"

Herszenhorn: "Well there's so many things, Sam. One is clearly there's a racial component. Some members of Congress you know, had epithets hurled at them as protesters marched around the Capitol on the day of the big House vote."

Andrew Breitbart at Big Journalism.com has offered a $10,000 reward to anyone with evidence of racial epithets being hurled at members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who made the charge in the first place. So far no takers, despite the Hill being dense with Blackberries, camera phones, and video equipment of all kinds the day of the vote on Obama-care.