The condescension of The New York Times toward minority conservatives is so thick, you need a Cuisinart electric carving knife to slice it.
On Oct. 12, Times editorial writer Adam Cohen penned a hit piece masquerading as a profile of Bobby Jindal, the remarkable Republican gubernatorial candidate in Louisiana. Cohen began by noting that while Jindal's primary night victory celebration the previous weekend was attended by a diverse mix of whites and Indian-Americans, "there was scarcely a black reveler there."
How many "black revelers" were in attendance at Democratic rival Kathleen Blanco's election night gathering, Cohen did not see fit to print.
Cohen sneered at Jindal's "almost freakishly impressive resume." At 32, the GOP Rhodes Scholar has already turned around Louisiana's bankrupt Medicaid program as secretary of the state's Department of Health and Hospitals; raised graduation rates, retention and private donations as president of the University of Louisiana system; and served as a senior health policy adviser in the Bush administration.
If a young, minority Democrat candidate possessed such a striking record, Cohen almost assuredly would have described it as "extraordinary" or "prodigious." But since the resume belongs to a conservative who happens to be pro-life, pro-school choice, pro-gun rights and pro-free market, "freakish" is what came to Cohen's narrow mind.
None of Jindal's policy accomplishments matters more to Cohen, however, than this: He is "the dark-skinned son of immigrants from India."
Dark-skinned. It wallops you in the head like the high fastballs being pitched at Fenway Park. Dark-skinned. I have met Jindal a few times over the years; he was an Oxford classmate of my husband's. Jindal has a memorable smile, a trademark, fast-paced way of talking, and a boundless enthusiasm about politics and policy. Never did the hue of his skin ever register in my head. (And yet we conservatives are constantly slimed by the media as the bigots!)
I searched Nexis for any reference to Jindal's opponent's skin in the Times and the rest of the media. Grand total: zero. There were, however, three other references to Jindal as "dark-skinned." One appeared in a front-page, Oct. 3 Los Angeles Times article by Scott Gold. Two were from Associated Press reporter-turned-color analyst Adam Nossiter, who described Jindal on Sept. 28 as "moderately dark-skinned" and just plain "dark-skinned" on Sept. 3. Maybe it was the lighting?