The Post dispatched reporters to the remote hunting grounds of a Perry-linked ranch -- "associated" with Perry through "his father, partners or his signature on a lease" -- because it once had a rock on it somewhere that had the word "Niggerhead" painted on it. The term is an embarrassing vestige of past racism not just in Texas but on geographical landmarks across the country.
The Washington Post interviewed dozens of people about the remnant, which Perry says his family painted over and turned over years ago. The New York Times piled on Perry with its own crack investigation of hazy memories of bygone days. They unearthed one Perry hunting pal who never saw the sinful stone, but "could not be sure it was the same parcel that was the subject of the Post article." Another friend, Fred McClure, who is black, also could not recall ever seeing the rock and emphatically added that the paper's stone-cold insinuation that Perry is a bigot "is not only untrue but also extremely unfair."
But the actual testimony of black Texans counts for nothing at the newspaper that infamously "Macaca'ed" former Virginia GOP Gov. George Allen after he clumsily traded barbs with a young liberal operative of Indian descent during his failed Senate bid. Recycling the tried-and-true "GOP equals racist" narrative, the Post composters published a second Stone-gate piece on Tuesday claiming that unidentified "minority legislators" had a problem with Perry's "complicated record on matters of race."
Perry appointed the first black Texas Supreme Court justice, hired several top minority aides and "enjoys warm associations with many black leaders," according to the Post. So what's "complicated"? Unidentified minorities don't like his "embrace of the tea party movement" (which currently favors black GOP candidate Herman Cain, but never mind that). They, whoever "they" are, also seem to be upset that he featured race-hustler Jesse Jackson (you know, the demagogue who called New York City "Hymietown") in an old campaign ad.
You don't have to be a Perry supporter (and I am most certainly not) to spot the Post's boulder-sized double standards. These rubble-rakers vetted the origins and whereabouts of a painted-over inanimate object with far more investigative zeal than they did with any of the actual living, fire-breathing race-baiters Barack Obama consorted with before and during his first presidential run.