Allen was questioned for every allegedly racist bone in his body (including wearing a Confederate flag pin when he was a high school kid -- horrors!). He was even pounded in the Post news columns for stealing another kid's bike in high school and not returning it until the next day -- double horrors!
Then Allen gave an interview and complained about the treatment of "his people," the Scotch-Irish rednecks: "Towel-heads and rednecks became the easy villains in so many movies out there." Towel-heads? Clearly this was another Macaca moment, more evidence of Allen's racist proclivities.
But wait a moment. It wasn't Allen. The man who made those comments was his opponent, Jim Webb. So how did our objective, fair-minded Washington Post react? Reporter Libby Copeland quickly related that Webb called later to lament: "I used the words that are used to stereotype them. ... I'm really upset if this is going to end up being the guppy that eats the whale here." And that was that. The Post's treatment of Jim Webb was so favorable you wondered how the reporters could finish their articles on time after all the fainting spells of awe.
The most transparently ridiculous Webb-lackey story the Post published in the entire Virginia race came on Oct. 19, with the headline, "Webb Is Reluctant to Advertise Duty: Veteran Blasts Allen's Public Comments." In a display of utter shamelessness, reporters Michael Shear and Tim Craig reported, "Webb said it is improper to use military service in an overtly political way." Webb complained that Allen was touting some medals given to him by the mother of a fallen soldier: "I don't think it's right to use someone's service directly for a political reason."
This was ridiculous, and the height of hypocrisy, and the Post knew it. Webb's TV ads relentlessly mentioned his service in Vietnam and his son's service in Iraq.
Webb constantly touted his military service on the campaign trail. It was John Kerry on steroids -- and the Post dutifully covered it.
In the end, the Post so co-managed the Webb campaign that we ought to consider identifying Sen. Webb not as "D-Va.," but perhaps as "D-Washington Post."
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