Crawford: Media Has Injected Race More Than Clintons

Count Craig Crawford as a dissenting voice in the media storm blaming the Clintons for the injection of race into the Dem primaries. The Congressional Quarterly columnist and MSNBC political analyst offered his unconventional wisdom on a special Saturday edition of Morning Joe today.

CRAIG CRAWFORD: I never understood exactly what Bill Clinton said that was supposed to interject race, actually. I know he was arguing at arm's length with Obama about the war and some other issues. It wasn't clear to me -- I mean the most direct reference to race I saw in this campaign was interjected by the media after New Hampshire trying to say that for some reason Obama lost New Hampshire because of racism. I never followed that one either.

View video here.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: So is it the media's fault that Barack Obama is losing support among white voters?

CRAWFORD: I'm just saying that's the first time I heard this come up. All that talk [by the media] about the "Bradley effect" in New Hampshire was the first time I heard race directly debated in this campaign. Of course I don't even think there was a Bradley effect in the Bradley race. That was more about gun control, but that's another story. That's an old debate.

And a bit later . . .

CRAWFORD: So Bill Clinton says that Barack's claims about being anti-war are a fairy tale. I mean, we can debate that, but how is that interjecting race? Even when you talk about the surrogates who brought up Obama's teen-age drug use, or alluded to it in some way, how is that talking about race? It seems to me it's almost racist to say that's racism to refer to drug use because white people take drugs too. I really would like to know specifically what people think Bill Clinton said to interject race in this campaign.

We can debate Crawford's analysis, but credit him for bucking the avalanche of conventional wisdom. I'd say he raises good questions about the media's role in making race an issue in this campaign. Any takers out there in the MSM?

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.