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Is Sen. Reid a Racial Hypocrite?

There is no reason to believe that Senator Reid is a racist.   There is little doubt, however, that he’s a racial hypocrite and he certainly comes across as racially insensitive.

S.A. Miller reported in The Washington Times:

Conservative black leaders have accused Democrats of racism in acquiring the credit report of Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, a black Republican expected to announce a run for the U.S. Senate.

Miller quotes Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, Niger Innis, and Phyllis Berry Myers in his October 18th article.  They are upset because of the actions of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s (DSCC) former Research Director, Katie Barge and the deputy who was working under her. 

Miller also quotes DSCC spokesman Phil Singer:

“The DSCC regrets that this incident occurred and has apologized to Mr. Steele.”

The most powerful elected Democrat, Senator Reid, has not issued a statement regarding the possible crime committed against Lt. Gov. Steele.  Apparently Senator Reid does not care that these black leaders were appalled by the actions of Democrats that have fed the fires of racism.  It looks like Senator Reid doesn’t think there is a need to be swift in condemning the actions of Katie Barge, since the criminal investigation regarding the theft of the credit report has been going on for more than two months.

Perhaps if Senator Reid were more racially insensitive he could issue a press release similar to his September 29th press release

I am appalled by Mr. Bennett’s remarks and call on him to issue an immediate apology not only to African Americans but to the nation.  …now is the time to help one another, not feed the fires of racism…I hope that they [the Republican Party] will be swift in condemning Mr. Bennett’s comments as nothing short of callous and ignorant.

At 6:52 p.m. on the 29th, The Associated Press filed a story quoting Senator Reid. This was less than 35 hours after Bennett made the remark that appalled Senator Reid.  The AP story was broadcast by hundreds of television stations and printed in newspapers around the country.

So once again, Senator Reid was racially insensitive.  African Americans did not even know there was a need to be offended before Senator Reid issued his press release.  Senator Reid had to take Bennett’s remarks out of context and expose millions of African Americans to them in order to create the issue he could then condemn. 

Tom Tradup, Director of Network Programming for Salem Radio Network, told me that he was not aware of any listener complaint calls coming in immediately after Bennett’s show ended.  Heard in context, it is easy to understand that Bennett’s remarks were not intended to be offensive.

It’s a big undertaking to listen to every word that every conservative radio personality utters with the hopes of finding something that can be twisted and manufactured into a news story.  Fortunately for Senator Reid, Media Matters did most of the work.

An easy question to raise is whether Senator Reid has a strategic relationship with Media Matters and if they worked together to smear Bill Bennett so that they could create a news story intended to hurt Republicans with African American voters.  The Senator’s office refused to talk to me, so I have no proof. But logic is on my side.

Senator Reid’s press release quoted Bennett’s radio comments verbatim.  Media Matters had the transcript posted on its website and no news story had been published before Senator Reid’s press release was issued.

We know there is a tight relationship between elected Democrats and Media Matters.  A good example of this relationship is that before Katie Barge was allegedly steeling credit reports as the Research Director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; she was the Research Director for Media Matters.

It is a scandal if the most powerful Democrat in the country is teaming up with Media Matters and manufacturing sleazy news.  In the old days, politicians just threw mud at each other.  “Dirty” Harry Reid and Media Matters are thrilled to sling mud at almost anybody, including black Republicans running for office, radio talk show hosts, television personalities and even guests who go on the shows.  This is an important issue that deserves more than speculation; it requires answers to questions.

How did Senator Reid learn about what Bennett said on his show?  Did someone from Media Matters call Senator Reid and urge him to issue a press release?

Why did the Senator feel this matter was worthy of his attention?  Did he know this story was going to be picked up by the news media?  How?  Did he think his comments would help the story get news coverage?

In the four telephone messages I left for the Senator’s press office, I told them I was trying to figure out what prompted them to issue the Bennett press release.  My calls never got through and nobody ever got back to me.

Does anybody else out there have the leverage to make Harry Reid answer these important questions?

Written By

Todd Manzi is a frequent contributor to Human Events. He lives in Mosinee Wisconsin and writes most passionately about media bias, the Constitution, education, supply-side economics and out-of-control Congressional Spending. He can be contacted through his website (www.toddmanzi.com).

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