Tim Russert's Double Standard And An End To The Farrakhan Litmus Test

Russert on Imus Marjorie Valbrun at The Root, via NPR:

The larger question is why Farrakhan is the litmus test for black politicians' views on race and not the politicians' own record of comments, actions and legislative votes? Why is it that only after they repudiate Farrakhan are they then deemed not to be closet black militants? Farrakhan does not have the political influence over black people that some white Americans apparently believe. Nor does Rev. Al Sharpton, or Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., or any of the other prominent black people that the media treat as proxies for all black people.

Reporters did not run out in droves to ask white politicians to reject Don Imus after he made his remarks about the black female basketball players at Rutgers University. White politicians did not eagerly line up to do so. Nor did they repudiate fellow white politicians who did not. A few, and only a few, said they would no longer go on the Imus show. (Tim Russert, who appeared often on the Imus show, was not among those who said they would no longer be a guest.)

Most black people saw Imus as an irresponsible white man with a powerful microphone, not as the living embodiment of white America. We know the difference. Read more...

I'd suggest a shout out to Tim Russert to ask repeatedly if McCain will disavow his endorsement by John Hagee, as he did to Obama with Farrakhan's, but since McCain has been courting Hagee for a year, that might be too pointed a question to ask, eh Tim?

And as Jane Hamsher suggests to Russert:

..he needs to have Bill Donohue on Meet the Press.

Fair is fair, right?


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