On Wednesday's Late Night with Seth Meyers, aired early Thursday, NBC host Meyers provided far-left British journalist Mehdi Hasan an unchallenged forum to excoriate former President George H.W. Bush for the deaths of Iraqis and Panamanians, as well as the Willie Horton campaign issue and Bush's reaction to the AIDS epidemic.
Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's Amanpour and Company on PBS to discuss former President George H.W. Bush's legacy, The New Yorker editor David Remnick condemned Bush's use of convicted murderer Willie Horton in the 1988 presidential campaign as "racist." Host Christiane Amanpour also suggested that Bush had run a "racist" campaign ad.
The death of former president George Herbert Walker Bush created a calm oasis of civil discourse, if only for a couple of minutes. It was appropriate to salute this man’s kindness and statesmanship, even when you disagreed with him passionately, as many conservatives did. And yet, it’s a bit odd that pundits suddenly remember the kinder, gentler noblesse oblige of Bush’s presidency. This from the same industry that mocked him when he was in office.
New York Times reporter Peter Baker tastelessly marked the beginning of the four-day commemoration of the life of former President George H.W. Bush by....whining about the “dog whistle” racist Willie Horton ads from Bush’s successful 1988 campaign against Democrat Michael Dukakis. For 30 years, media conventional wisdom has been appalled at the supposedly racist campaign ads from the Bush camp criticizing the irresponsibly lax prison program of Massachusetts, which featured the story of Willie Horton, a convicted murderer who raped and killed a woman in Maryland while on a weekend furlough.
Appearing as a guest on Sunday's Reliable Sources on CNN, former longtime ABC News reporter Sam Donaldson misleadingly tried to tie Ronald Reagan to the Massachusetts prison furlough program supported by Michael Dukakis which allowed convicted murderer Willie Horton to escape prison and attack others.
Since the passing of former President George H.W. Bush, most of the networks have revisited one of the longstanding liberal peeves against the former Republican President -- that he brought to the attention of voters the fact that 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis supported a prison furlough program that allowed a convicted murderer, Willie Horton, to violently attack a couple while he was free. And, in doing so, the networks have also repeated the recurring myth that Bush's campaign was responsible for "the Willie Horton ad" that used a mug shot of Horton, thus revealing his race, when, in reality, the version of the ad run by the Bush campaign did not use the image and made no hint that Horton was black.
New York Times Sheryl Gay Stolberg argued in a “news analysis” that “G.O.P. Folds Up the Big Tent and Unfurls Its Banner as the Party of Trump.” The online headline: “Two Years and Hundreds of Inflammatory Ads Later, the G.O.P. Is the Party of Trump.” Stolberg predictably found racist appeals from Republican presidential candidates going back to Ronald Reagan.
Monday’s New York Times featured a prominent story by reporter Jonathan Martin on how Republicans are closing the gap in the Virginia governor’s race thanks to “racially tinged” tactics inspired by Donald Trump. Martin’s story led the paper’s National section, and the editors gave it the full-page treatment with the help of two large photos. Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie has made headway by attacking his Democratic rival Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam for refusing to prohibit sanctuary cities in Virginia, revitalizing the murderous Central America-based street gang MS-13. Martin was not happy with the success of that attack, and neither was the editorial page.
George H. W. Bush apparently won’t vote for Donald Trump and reportedly “harbors a deep disgust” for him. Still, according to The Washington Monthly’s D. R. Tucker, the “race-baiting on steroids” of Bush’s 1988 presidential campaign paved the way for Trump’s current approach. Tucker was referring to two television ads: the so-called Willie Horton ad, from a pro-Bush PAC, and the Bush campaign’s “Revolving Doors,” which skewered the prison-furlough policy of Bush’s Democratic opponent, Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, and, in Tucker’s view, “engaged in sick racial stereotyping.”
New York Times liberals don’t come any more knee-jerk than Andrew Rosenthal, son of the paper’s long-serving former executive editor A.M. Rosenthal. Rosenthal served nine years as the paper’s Editorial Page editor, and his first opinion column, "Why Republicans Won't Renounce Trump," plays on a seemingly deathless themes: Racist Republicans and the Willie Horton ad from the 1988 campaign, which Rosenthal has mentioned at least 16 times over the years to smear the Bush Sr. campaign and Republicans in general as racist.
Three days after CNN slammed the dishonest ad from the pro-Obama Priorities USA super PAC that blames Mitt Romney for a woman's cancer death, Friday's CBS This Morning finally got around to covering it. But correspondent Nancy Cordes downplayed the liberal group's spot by also targeting a Romney ad that was "panned" by unnamed fact checkers, and claimed that "other Romney ads have taken Mr. Obama's words out of context."
Cordes also dredged up the famous and entirely accurate anti-Michael Dukakis Willie Horton ad from 1988 as an example of negative ads being "a hallmark of presidential campaigns for decades."
New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, better known as James Taranto’s punching bag at Opinion Journal, has a new blog at nytimes.com, “The Loyal Opposition.” On Tuesday Rosenthal posted the provocatively titled “Herman Cain and the ‘Liberal Media,’” where he broadcasts his alarm at how “quickly the right wing jumps on an issue almost in unison,” blames Republicans for injecting racial fears into modern-day politics with Willie Horton, and even claiming the phrase "community organizer" is racist when applied to Obama.