Barnicle Can't Bring Himself To Mention Byrd's Klan Past

June 28th, 2010 8:03 AM

When Republican Sen. Strom Thurmond died, the MSM was quick to stress his segregationist past. The New York Times ran the headline "Strom Thurmond, Foe of Integration, Dies at 100," leaving readers to imagine the South Carolinian had remained an advocate of segregation.  The very first line of USA Today's story described Thurmond as "the nation's most prominent segregationist."
Strange how the MSM can suddenly become reticent about mentioning someone's segregationist past when the late politician in question is a Democrat.  On Morning Joe today, Mark Halperin and Mike Barnicle used elliptical language worthy of a State Department dispatch to avoid mentioning that Byrd had been a member and leader of the Ku Klux Klan. H/t NB reader Ray R.

View video here.

MARK HALPERIN: A lot's happened in America and the world and he was an eyewitness to it, spanning a lot of generations not just as a witness but as a participant.  Early in his career a much different man than he ended his career and his life.

. . . .

MIKE BARNICLE: He was a very interesting man whose life covered so many events, 1958--elected to the Senate.  But I mean, just the transformation in Robert Byrd over the years, it was very interesting to watch.  I know, I'm sure you do Mark, I'm sure you do Joe, know people in public life, United States Senators, who had, you know, some objections to some of Sen. Byrd's views years ago and saw him grow into his role as he served

"You know, some objections to some of Sen. Byrd's views."  Right. Like this one.  But of course Mike is a man of such delicate sensibilities that he would never mention just what he had in mind—at least when the recently departed is a Dem.

Update: Tale of Two Times Headlines

In the opening paragraph of this blog item, the NY Times' headline on the death of Strom Thurmond was noted: "Strom Thurmond, Foe of Integration, Dies at 100".

The Grey Lady's headline today?   Robert Byrd, Respected Voice of the Senate, Dies at 92