The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, September 30, 2004

The racial angle of Rathergate...

The what?!

It's a commonplace of American life that, whatever the subject, someone, sometime will play the race card [1]. The fact that, so far as I'm aware, every last one of the principals in the Killian Memo Saga is, or passes as, Caucasian is no bar. If there's no racial angle, one will be invented.

So enter one Frank Harris III [2] in the Hartford Courant [3] to pose a little counterfactual, under hed If Dan Rather Were Black.

In this alternative reality,
black journalists would be blowing in the wind, as they were when Jayson Blair hit the fan more than a year ago

Shouldn't that be twisting in the wind? I suppose it is an alternative reality... And isn't it normally shit that... OK, withdrawn.

Of course, it would be possible to do some actual journalism on the differential impact of Jayson Blair's disgrace compared to that of, say, Jack Kelley's. One could research the staffing practices of leading newspapers (all of which, I assume, maintain some kind of affirmative action programme); compare the space and prominence given to the work of non-white journalists before and after the Blair meltdown.

But freewheeling op-ed bleating is much cheaper.

Harris proves the null hypothesis...

  1. Think Muppets: the smart, capable, good-natured green frog oppressed by the bloated, selfish, monomaniacal white pig. Aristophanes' Chorus singing Let My People Go...

  2. On earlier generations of the Harris dynasty, I have no information.

  3. That not so long ago was hawking its conscience around on account of having run advertisements placed by the owners of runaway slaves. One hundred and fifty years earlier. Fatuous self-flagellation and rending of garments therefore not unknown on the Courant.


Of course, Miss Piggy wasn't exactly white. More the colour of a John Kerry fake tan...

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