Taranto: Probers of Julian Bond Speech Find No Bush "Tokens," Just GOP/Swastika Talk
James Taranto at Opinion Journal reports today that Fayetteville (N.C.) State University officials have reviewed a tape of Julian Bond's wild remarks there last week, as reported by World Net Daily, and determined it was not completely accurate: "Based on the review, it was determined that nowhere during Bond's speech was reference made to the Nazi Party, nor was the word 'token' used." Taranto elaborates on a conversation with FSU public relations director Jeffery Womble:
We phoned Mr. Womble this morning, and he told us that FSU disputes the WND account only on these two points. That means the following elements are undisputed:
-- "Calling President Bush a liar, Bond told the audience at the historically black institution that this White House's lies are more serious than the lies of his predecessor's because Clinton's lies didn't kill people."
-- "He referred to former Attorney General John Ashcroft as J. Edgar Ashcroft."
-- "He compared Bush's judicial nominees to the Taliban."
-- " 'The Republican Party would have the American flag and the swastika flying side by side,' he charged."
Womble confirmed the accuracy of that last quotation, but said FSU disagrees with WND's interpretation of the remark as "equating the Republican Party with the Nazi Party." Perhaps Bond meant to equate the GOP to Hindus?
On only one point there is a factual difference between WND's and FSU's accounts: Womble told us Bond not only did not call Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice "tokens" but did not say anything disparaging about them. Who's right? We don't know! We asked Womble for a copy of the tape, but he said it is "the property of Mr. Bond," who is not releasing it.
In any case, all of this reinforces the point we made on Friday, which is that the so-called mainstream media were at best negligent in their coverage of the speech. Bond said quite a few partisan and inflammatory things that no one disputes, yet the local media characterized him as having a "positive attitude" and being engaged in a "fight for equal rights." Were it not for WND, we would not know that Bond had anything harsher to say than, "We have a president who talks like a populist and governs for the privileged."
Taranto's Friday summary of the sad local press coverage is here. Will the national media report on Bond, let alone ask Bond for his "personal property"?
Lyford Beverage first noted AP's avoidance here.