WashPost Notes GOP Absence from MLK Event, Uses Michael Steele to Denounce GOP, Not Organizers

On page 2 of Thursday’s Washington Post was an article noticing “Republicans absent from March on Washington.” But reporter Ed O’Keefe turned that fact around on the GOP, noting that invitations were declined from three Bushes, two House leaders, and John McCain.

O’Keefe comically quoted Rev. Leah Daughtry claiming they tried “very vigorously” to find a Republican – and didn’t mention her recent partisan credentials: “Leah D. Daughtry is the CEO of the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee and chief of staff to Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.” The most jaw-dropping part of the story came when O’Keefe trotted out former RNC chairman Michael Steele to denounce his fellow Republicans for bailing out:     

The absence of any top Republicans came two weeks after national GOP leaders used their annual summer meeting to begin a program to attract minority voters by highlighting the careers of younger “rising stars,” including minority state legislators from Oklahoma and New Hampshire. After a dismal showing among minorities in the 2012 election, many Republican leaders have said the party must do better amid rapidly changing demographics.

Michael Steele, the first black Republican lieutenant governor of Maryland and a former Republican National Committee chairman, said event organizers told him that they were having difficulty attracting Republican speakers. He faulted GOP leaders for not making time to attend.

“It’s part of a continuing narrative that the party finds itself in with these big deals for minority communities around the country and how they perceive our response to them,” he said.

Steele was not invited to speak because he isn’t a current party or elected official. “But if I were the current chairman and hadn’t been invited, that’d be a different story,” he said. “If I hadn’t been invited, I would have forced myself on them.”

Why didn’t Steele force himself on them? Or force Reince Priebus on them? Isn’t that a better story line for Republicans instead of him shooting at his fellow party members? This goofball performance in the Post displayed Steele as a very “MSNBC Republican.” 

What kind of lame excuse is it for Rev. Daughtry and the Democrats to say they needed to have an “elected” official speak? Michael Steele used to be an elected official, just like the Bushes once were. Sen. Tim Scott was elected to the House last November.

The very last paragraph offered: “Some Republicans noted that organizers did not invite Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.), the only black Republican senator, who was appointed to his seat this year.” Correction, Ed: He’s the only black senator of either party.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis