Ken Connor
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For a picture of how low the level of public discourse has sunk in America, look no further than the New York Times. In an editorial following Newt Gingrich's upset victory in the South Carolina Republican Primary, the Times' editorialists dealt from the bottom of the deck, playing the race card in an attempt to deflect attention from the growing public dissatisfaction with the policies of the Obama administration. According to these so-called "journalists," "[V]oters . . . let themselves be manipulated by the lowest form of campaigning, appealing to their anger and prejudices." In other words, Newt beat Mitt because South Carolina Republicans are a bunch of racist bigots.

The evidence for this charge? Gingrich asserted that Mr. Obama "was the greatest food-stamp president in American history" and that his cabinet "looked like Mickey Mouse and Goofy." Inasmuch as the majority of Americans receiving government entitlements, food stamps and otherwise, are white and the President's cabinet has a predominantly pale hue, these statements were a bald act of race-baiting. After all, South Carolina is the home of Fort Sumter and John C. Calhoun, and the Times has never been an organization to let facts get in the way of a good argument. More than 150 years after the Civil War, the Old Gray Lady is still waving the Bloody Shirt from the sheltered confines of her tony West Side Manhattan headquarters.

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Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.