Who Can Ignore and Downplay Democrat's Racist Statement? The Establishment Media Can

Kanjorski0610To refresh, as posted at NewsBusters and Eyeblast.tv, Pennsylvania Congressman Paul Kanjorski said the following on Wednesday while he was defending what Investors Business Daily has called "Financial Deform":
We’re giving relief to people that I deal with in my office every day now unfortunately. But because of the longevity of this recession, these are people — and they’re not minorities and they’re not defective and they’re not all the things you’d like to insinuate that these programs are about — these are average, good American people.

This isn't too tough to decipher, no matter how many House Democrats try to give him defensive cover -- If the people Kanjorski "deal(s) with in my office everyday" are "average, good American people" because "they're not minorities and they're not defective," then those who are minorities and "defective" in some way are not "average, good American people." Kanjorski uttered an objectively racist (embodying "the belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others") statement.

According to this report, Kanjorski is not apologizing. Therefore, one must conclude that the congressman is comfortable with his objectively racist statement.

So how is the press handling this?

The mostly Democrat-defending establishment press that generally sets the narrative for radio and TV news mostly understands the aforementioned elementary exercise in logic. This explains why Kanjorski's statement, while occasionally being framed with the usual "Republicans attack poor misunderstood Democrat" approach, is mostly getting ignored.

A search at the Associated Press's main web site on the Congressman's last name comes up with one seemingly relevant item, an article headlined "McMahon: Wrestling was soap opera." Yeah, you read that right. But the article is really a collection of four short items and two "Quick Hits." AP writer Philip Elliott (or perhaps his editors) thought that Connecticut U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon's description of her Word Wrestling Entertainment enterprise was more important than Kanjorski's racist remark, the coverage of which came second.

Naturally, Elliott's item used the "Republicans attack" technique:

Republicans criticized Rep. Paul Kanjorski for what they said were remarks suggesting minorities are not "average, good American people."

The 13-term Pennsylvania Democrat vigorously denied the charge, saying Republicans were taking his words out of context to score political points.

... A Kanjorski spokeswoman said the congressman was defending people who get government help from those who unfairly criticize them.

Sure he was. But in the process, he uttered an objectively racist remark. Alleged "context" is irrelevant.

Well, at least the AP has covered it in its own quirky way. The New York Times hasn't.

The Washington Post restricted coverage of Kanjorski's statement to its "44" blog, and has apparently kept the matter out of its print edition. Matt DeLong's post is funny, in a reality-denying, sickening sort of way (bolds are mine):

A Democratic congressman has found himself the target of conservative criticism after an inartful description of who will be helped by the financial reform bill currently working its way through Congress.

The conservative website Human Events reported that Rep. Paul Kanjorski's (D-Pa.) appeared to say during Wednesday's financial reform conference committee meeting that the financial overhaul will help "average, good American people" -- but not minorities or "the defective."

It's amazing how often the word "inartful" -- which isn't even a recognized word in the dictionary (here or here) -- has appeared since candidate Barack Obama and others frequently employed it in 2008 to defend him and others after verbal gaffes and worse utterances.

As to DeLong's use of "appeared" -- Matt, stop insulting our intelligence.

Finally, it's also quite predictable to see DeLong tag Human Events (accurately) as "conservative," while, as Tim Graham at NewsBusters noted earlier this week, magazines like Rolling Stone almost never get the "liberal" or "radical left" tag from the establishment press.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.