Black Congressman Accuses Senate of Racism, Media Mostly Mum

If the Senate was currently controlled by Republicans, and a black Congressman, in response to Roland Burris not being seated as president-elect Barack Obama's replacement Tuesday, accused that body of racism, do you think media would have reported it?

Probably every hour on the hour, right?

Well, on Tuesday, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) said: "I believe sincerely that if Roland Burris had not been an African-American, then he would be appointed. They think that they are above the law, and although they might not be termed racist, their action is racist."

Oddly, despite tremendous media coverage of Burris's refused seating Tuesday, Rush's comments went largely unnoticed:

  • Not one word mentioned on any of the three broadcast network evening news programs Tuesday
  • Not one word on CNN Tuesday
  • Not one word in print versions of the New York Times Wednesday
  • Not one word from the Washington Post Wednesday.

For their part, Fox News and MSNBC did address Rush's statements.

Exit question: would the coverage of this issue have been different if Republicans controlled the Senate?

Answer: that's a rhetorical question.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.