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Race-Baiting

We have an example this week of the lowest, most dangerous form of race-baiting imaginable. Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A large (six foot four!), angry, black man sexually assaults and mutilates a young, white woman. Of course, it was easily shown to be false and the disturbed woman who made the whole thing up has confessed to the crime.

But the more interesting part of the story for me is not the crime itself but the reaction from the bloggers of the John Locke Foundation. Predictably, the most disturbing is from the self-proclaimed journalist and nasty piece of work Jon Ham. Go here to read it.

The screaming, blood-colored headline on Drudge right now says:

SHOCK: MCCAIN VOLUNTEER ATTACKED AND MUTILATED IN PITTSBURGH

‘B’ CARVED INTO 20-YEAR OLD WOMAN’S FACE… DEVELOPING…

We don’t have the details yet, but if it should turn out that the “B” was for “Barack” and that the McCain volunteer was indeed attacked because of her political views, will any story mention the phenomenon of “the Angry Left”?

First of all, what kind of “journalist” links to frickin’ Matt Drudge? Let me give some advice to Ham: if Drudge says a story is “Developing” you might want to find a second source for confirmation. Secondly, Ham seems particularly excited with Drudge’s use of a “screaming, blood-colored” headline. Say what? Am I missing something here? I haven’t seen a right wing blogger this excited since Rich “Starbursts” Lowry stood at attention when Sarah Palin winked at him. The disappointment of Ham and his commenters was almost palpable when Ham had to update the story with the actual truth.

Jon Sanders was less excited, but little better, in his handling of the hoax here. Notice that both Jon’s, once they reluctantly accepted that this was not going to be a game-changing Willie Horton moment, treat the story as a political prank…nothing more…and they mainly want to focus on the story as an example of left-wing media bias.

Here is what the Locke bloggers should have said if they felt the need to mention the story at all.

“This was more than a prank or hoax. This was race-baiting…pure and simple. There is no more vile and despicable chapter in our nation’s history than the lynchings that occurred when mobs were incited to riot. All Americans can agree that we should condemn this behavior, and that it has no place in our political conversation.”

As an aside, Josh Marshall says it’s “Time for Answers” for the McCain campaiign to come clean regarding the role of its staffers in hyping this story.

5 Comments

  1. Race-Baiting

    October 25, 2008 at 8:32 pm

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  2. Kate

    October 26, 2008 at 11:29 am

    The good news this around is that most Americans saw through this early on. I heard many times “Wow, IF this is real I feel sorry for her” But the accent was always on IF.

  3. ludovic

    October 27, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    to follow these kinds of racist dog whistle politics, visit stopdogwhistleracism.com.

  4. Jon Sanders

    October 30, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Mr. Turner, if you would have had the intellectual honesty to read the comments, you would have noticed that I was skeptical of the woman’s story from the get-go, and further that Ham noted my skepticism and others’ in updating that blog post. You would also have noticed that Ham’s original post took place prior to there being any mention of the race of the supposed mugger.

    As I wrote then, before the hoax was exposed: “The part about the politically motivated portion of the assault occurring off camera gives me a little pause. It would depend upon the extent of her injuries, but I have seen enough faked assaults by college students who take politics too seriously — including self-inflicted carvings, and this one was apparently not deep enough to require medical attention — to wonder.”

    In no way could a rational person consider that response to show “enthusiasm” that this woman’s story be true, let alone hope that it could be some “game-changing Willie Horton moment” (honestly: did you believe that inference even as you wrote it?) — that was skepticism and caution from the outset, which you openly ignore. Why?

    Unlike you, apparently, Ham did not ignore facts counter to the post he wrote but followed it to its end.

    And in my post after the revelation of the hoax, I pointed out the racial aspect of the hoax: “that woman who faked being mugged and then, when her supposed mugger (a black guy!) saw her McCain bumper sticker …”

    The parenthetical obviously (to our readers, at least) spoofs the racial hysteria the hoaxer attempted to stoke. There was no need to write a rote denunciation of the hoax; my audience comprises thinking adults. Exposure of the hoax itself, and linking it (as I did) with numerous other despicable, similarly politically motivated hoaxes over the years, sufficed. My readers knew those were wrong, too. Res ipsa loquitur.

    It should be enough merely to have philosophic differences as to the direction of society. You decry Ham for nastiness, but I say physician, heal thyself.

  5. sturner

    October 31, 2008 at 8:16 am

    Mr. Sanders,
    I’m not buying your spin.

    I repeat…there was no reason to report this story at all unless to denounce unequivocally the race-baiting aspect.

    Instead, you and Ham chose to work the political angle and your paranoia about the so-called liberal media.

    I’ll also stand by my characterization of Ham as a nasty piece of work. Maybe you want to defend his (racially motivated) smear of Michelle Obama as I outlined in a previous post?

    By the way…I’m not as impressed by your readers as you apparently are…especially the first commenter on Ham’s post:

    clayj Says:

    October 23rd, 2008 at 4:16 pm
    Just another black thug.

    And no, this is not “racism”. The assailant was black, and he’s obviously a thug. Ergo, another black thug.