Since news broke over the weekend that former South Carolina Senator Erniest Hollings had passed, his controversial history on race has been substantially whitewashed in media reports which have gone so far as to praise him over the ending of segregation in his home state. This odd bestowing of credit comes even though he ran for governor as a segregationist, and school desegregation did not occur until after he left office in 1963.
When do controversial candidates risk hurting the party as a whole? Only when they’re Republicans. That’s the takeaway from The New York Times's Thursday coverage of primary races for the House and Senate. A Republican gave an all-too-accurate statement about the media would cover Republican Corey Stewart going forward: “Every candidate will be asked if they support Stewart." Meanwhle, a Democrat who admitted to domestic violence stood alone, and was even allowed to speak of "redemption" for himself.
On March 10, "authorities say," a 22 year-old man in South Carolina killed "his grandparents, an aunt and a cousin." It appears that only the Associated Press has given attention to this story. By contrast, recent "mass killings" involving fewer victims received widespread national coverage. Why is that? The answer appears to be that the South Carolina attacker didn't use a gun.
Meg Kinnard at the Associated Press betrayed quite a bit of unhappiness Wednesday evening and Thursday morning in her coverage of workers' decisive rejection of a union organizing effort at Boeing Corp.'s 787-10 production plant in North Charleston, South Carolina. In two very similar reports found at the wire service's Big Story site, Kinnard solely blamed "Southern reluctance toward unionization" for the rejection. Though that was clearly a factor, it is hardly the only reason for the overwhelming 74 percent to 26 percent rejection. Kinnard "somehow" forgot to report that this is the very same plant whose opening former President Barack Obama's National Labor Relations Board deliberately delayed in 2011.
532,000 people voted in the South Carolina Democratic Party presidential primary in 2008. In this year's primary, completed yesterday, only 370,000 did. In the meantime, the state's pool of eligible voters increased by about 8 percent.
Thus, turnout in this year's Democratic primary in the Palmetto State, down by just over 30 percent in absolute terms, was down by about 35 percent on a population-adjusted basis. Beyond grudging, routine and non-specific recognitions of the decline, that's barely news. Moreover, the fact that this result occurred in a state no Democratic Party candidate has won in 40 years and in a region Republicans have mostly swept during that time certainly can't be allowed to distract from Hillary Clinton's "sweeping victory."
From a flawed premise, it’s easy to reach a silly conclusion. TNR’s Jeet Heer proved that in a Thursday piece in which he argued that “racism [is now] integral to right-wing ideology” and that therefore Donald Trump is authentically conservative -- a “natural evolutionary product” of long-term trends in movement conservatism.
“If Republican voters were anywhere near as diverse as the Democrats’, a candidate like Trump would have been marginalized quickly,” contended Heer. “Conservative elites can denounce Trump all they want as a ‘cancer’ or an impostor. In truth, he is their true heir, the beneficiary of the policies the party has pursued for more than half a century.”
Unlike the apparently civil Democrats, the Republican primary in South Carolina is a historically “nasty” affair “going back to Richard Nixon.” That’s according to MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell on Thursday. Talking to Washington Post reporter Chris Cillizza, she lectured, “South Carolina Republican primary is so different from the Democratic primary.”
With New Hampshire in the dust and the 2016 presidential campaign moving southward to the Palmetto State, MSNBC's Chris Matthews tonight sought to paint conservative Republican Senator Ted Cruz as a latter-day Richard Nixon ginning up a bag full of "dirty tricks" for the February 20 South Carolina contest.
In their coverage on Monday night of the calls by South Carolina officials to remove the Confederate flag from the State Capitol’s grounds, the major broadcast networks failed to note the full context of the flag’s history in the Palmetto State and how it was a Democratic Governor who first hoisted it above the Capitol dome in 1962. Meanwhile, Fox News’s Special Report noted this fact during one of the show’s “All-Star Panel” segments with host Bret Baier reporting how a Republican was in office when the flag was taken down from the dome and moved to the Capitol’s grounds as a compromise in 1998.
The New York Times wasted no time politicizing the massacre by white supremacist Dylann Roof at a black church in Charleston, S.C. Already writers for the paper have soared beyond the tragic facts of the case to sharpen the issue into a political weapon, indicting Republican attempts to protect voting integrity through voter ID, even comparing opposition to an Obama-care proposal to slavery.
Seeking to make sense of what motivated Dylann Roof to shoot innocent worshipers at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., to death, MSNBC contributor Eugene Robinson and MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews agreed that there was some mystical role that the "atmosphere" of hate in the Palmetto State played. For his part, Matthews likened it to JFK's assassination in November 1963, insisting that although he was a leftist politically, Lee Harvey Oswald was affected by the climate of "right-wing" antipathy towards the president.
Appearing on the Wednesday edition of Hardball, House Assistant Minority Leader Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) essentially blamed the conservative-leaning American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) for the, apparently unjustified shooting of South Carolina man Walter Scott by North Charleston police officer Michael Slager. For his part, host Chris Matthews failed to object to out-of-far-left-field charge and, what's more, praised his guest as someone for whom he has "a lot of respect."