As NewsBusters colleague Kyle Drennan noted today, the liberal media has mobilized their legions to defend embattled U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, complaining that the criticisms leveled by Republicans are motivated by racism, sexism or both.
But there most certainly is a double standard at play as Eliana Johnson of National Review noted in an excellent November 21 post in which she detailed how left-wing journalists and members of Congress attacked Condoleezza Rice as an incompetent Bush hack. Johnson wrote that:
[Condoleezza] Rice’s nomination, noted the Washington Post, garnered “the most negative votes cast against a nominee for that post in 180 years.” As the Senate debated her nomination, Senator Barbara Boxer charged that Rice “frightened the American people” into supporting the Iraq War; Senator Jim Jeffords accused her of being part of an effort to “distort information” in the service of “political objectives”; and Senator Pat Leahy, who voted in her favor, endorsed her by saying that her tenure as national-security adviser lacked “strong leadership, openness, and sound judgment."
Hey, that's racist. But so is this cartoon by Ted Rall, who has the then-Secretary of State saying she was Bush's 'house nigga."
Jeff Danziger, whose cartoons are syndicated in The New York Times, had a caricature of a big-lipped, barely literate Condoleezza Rice, nursing the aluminum tubes cited by the White House as evidence of Iraq’s pursuit of nuclear weapons."
Johnson is dead on in her assessment that there's a difference when someone calls you a "house nigga," and when someone calls you incompetent. One is blatantly racist, while the other isn’t. It's not that hard to comprehend.
However, why some in the medai have omitted this unfortunate event can be explained with John Harwood of The New York Times, who admitted on Morning Joe back in July of 2008 that he has never seen a racist cartoon of Condoleezza Rice.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Have you seen the political cartoons of Condoleeza Rice as a parrot with huge black lips? Have you seen the racist --
JOHN HARWOOD: There are cartoons of Barack Obama, too!
SCARBOROUGH: Oh really? With lips out to here? Exaggerated lips?
HARWOOD: No, with ears out to here. [Scarborough and Harwood can be seen illustrating their respective points in the screencap.]
SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, exactly. Ears are not seen, racists do not focus on ears when making fun of African-Americans.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: This is a point.
SCARBOROUGH: I will show you, the next time you're on here, racist cartoons --
HARWOOD: From the left?
SCARBOROUGH: -- of Condoleeza Rice. No, from mainstream people. Where nobody even brought it up. Nobody was even concerned. I'll guarantee you Condoleeza Rice noticed.
HARWOOD: Show me that. I'll be surprised to see that.
Regardless, Ambassador Rice misled the American people, and many everyday Americans -- much less senators constitutionally charged with advising and consenting to presidential nominations -- want straight answers. That's not racism. It's common sense.