But investigative genius Stephanie McCrummen could see a virtual Klan hood on Perry's head. "As recently as this summer, the slab-like rock -- lying flat, the name still faintly visible beneath a coat of white paint -- remained by the gated entrance to the camp."
Near the end, she underlined it again: "In the photos, it was to the left of the gate. It was laid down flat. The exposed face was brushed clean of dirt. White paint, dried drippings visible, covered a word across the surface. An N and two G's were faintly visible."
Three thousand words on this.
Apparently, investigative reporting at the Post means staring at old rocks under paint (with a microscope?) to discern almost invisible letters and suggesting this should ruin a presidential campaign. It resembles the Post feverishly fumbling through foreign-language dictionaries trying to find a racially defamatory definition for "macaca" to torpedo Sen. George Allen's re-election in 2006.
The fact that these Republicans are racist is never established. Two days after the rock "scoop," a Post front-page article by Amy Gardner found Perry's record on race was "complicated"... by the facts. Yes, Perry "appointed the first African-American to the state Supreme Court and later made him chief justice" and oh, yes, "One chief of staff and two of his general counsels have been African-American." But many "minority legislators (read: Democrats) say Perry has a long history -- dating to his first race for statewide office more than 20 years ago -- of engaging in what they see as racially tinged tactics and rhetoric to gain political advantage."
What kind of offensive tactics? Guess what's listed first: "Black lawmakers have been particularly troubled by Perry's recent embrace of the Tea Party movement."
By contrast, does anyone recall The Washington Post being the first investigative journalism outfit to reveal the racist, anti-American and anti-Semitic rants of Rev. Jeremiah Wright in 2007? Of course not. That fastest-turtle award would go to ABC's Brian Ross on March 13, 2008. By that late date, after all the investigators had finished their naps, 42 states and the District of Columbia had already voted for a nominee.