WashPost Columnist Colbert King: Bash Imus, Don't Change the Subject to Rap, Sharpton

Washington Post columnist Colbert King used his usual top-of-the-op-ed-page column on Saturday to bashing Don Imus and anyone who would shift the subject to vicious rap lyrics, "as if that absolves the 66-year-old broadcaster of marking the young collegians with a despicable label." He didn't want anyone changing the subject to Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson either:

To shift the argument, as some have done, from Imus to the legitimacy of the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson criticizing Imus, given their own past insensitive remarks, is a smoke screen. The National Association of Black Journalists led the outcry against Imus. We didn't need Sharpton or Jackson to tell us how we should feel about Imus's insults or how to recognize what is morally wrong.

So the natural question is: has Colbert King ever criticized a rapper? Or Al Sharpton? I went into the Nexis news-data retrieval system to find out. A search for the terms Colbert King and words beginning with "rap" brought six mentions of "rape" or "rapture," but not "rap." How about Colbert King and music? Six mentions, no actual King columns. Colbert King and Sharpton? Nothing. This made me suspect the worst outcome: King's weekly columns aren't in Nexis.Sure enough, search just for Colbert King and only 85 articles appear, including, oddly enough, piles of letters praising or opposing his columns. He won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, but the Washington Post doesn't somehow get his columns included in Nexis? Weird.

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