A lame ethnic joke made by a Cuccinelli supporter at a campaign rally could be the Virginia attorney general's "macaca" moment. At least that's the concern-trolling pablum that former George H.W. Bush opposition research counsel Lloyd Green published on Wednesday at The Daily Beast.
Daily Beast editors, doubtless no fans of the conservative Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate, prominently teased the story on the front page with a graphic showing a goofy photo of Cuccinelli along with the caption, "Last Supper Flap. The New Macaca?" [see large screen capture below the page break]
Radio host Hugh Hewitt's interviews with reporters can be fascinating. On Tuesday, he pressed New York Times reporter Michael Shear about the question of what President Obama was doing on the night of September 11, 2012 as the Benghazi consulate came under a vicious terrorist attack. Shear showed an obvious distaste for digging into this, saying "relevance is in the eye of the beholder" and "I'm not personally trying to get to the bottom of that."
Speaking of digging into irrelevant issues, when Shear was at The Washington Post, he spent months in 2006 trying to dig a political ditch for Sen. George Allen for insulting a Democratic opposition researcher as "Macaca." So political bias might be a better guess as to his interests:
The editors of the Washington Post have, yet again, shown their extreme dislike for George Allen. Less than three weeks before Virginia's crucial Senate election, the liberal paper offered front page profiles of Republican Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine. On Friday, the Post's headline sympathetically declared: "A Man of Faith and Practical Politics: While Running for Senate in Virginia, Kaine Finds Time to Wrestle With His Conscience." (The paper endorsed Kaine on Monday.)
The headline for Thursday's profile announced, "A Humbler, More Cautious Allen." Not surprisingly, the Post dredged up Allen's 2006 "macaca" remark. Marc Fisher reminded that six years ago, Allen "found himself portrayed in news reports and voters’ minds as a colossally insensitive brute, a senator who publicly slurred an Indian American man who was working for his opponent at a campaign event, calling him 'macaca.'" The above description came from the third paragraph and made it onto page A1.
Patricia Zengerle's coverage of U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine at Reuters assumes that the Democratic former Virginia Governor committed the mother of all gaffes today. I'm not so sure. It may be that David Corn's secret video of Mitt Romney commenting on the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes and are dependent on the government is sending polling data in the opposite direction from what was intended and is starting to rattle Democrats.
New York Times reporter Michael Shear filed a "Political Memo" Thursday on the return of former Virginia Sen. George Allen, who lost in 2006 after the media and the Washington Post in particular harped on a daily basis after Allen referred to opponent's opposition research person as "macaca." Shear felt the need to kneecap Allen out of the starting gate by injecting all the old controversies and rumors of racism into the current news cycle for "A Comeback in Virginia, Shadowed by a Stumble."
Washington Post reporter Ben Pershing dropped a very bizarre sentence into his Virginia election roundup on the front page of Wednesday's Metro section. Sen. George Allen won the right to attempt and regain his seat against former Gov. Tim Kaine, and Kaine "quickly made clear how he would run against Allen in their head-to-head matchup." I simply could not believe the audacity of what followed.
“Voters already had the chance to experience George Allen’s vision during his last term in the Senate, which turned record surpluses into massive deficits, added trillions to our debt, and put opportunity for a select few ahead of opportunity for all our businesses and families,” Kaine said in a statement Tuesday night. “George Allen’s approach helped create our economic mess; Virginians can’t afford six more years.”