NYT Plays Race Card on Rudy Giuliani, Also Headlines Criticism From...Martina Navratilova

February 20th, 2015 10:14 AM

The New York Times played the race card while criticizing former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for suggesting President Obama doesn't love America.

Not for the first time, the Times implied Rudy was a racist, under the snotty, hostile headline "Giuliani: Obama Had a White Mother, So I’m Not a Racist," reported online Thursday by Maggie Haberman and Nicholas Confessore.

Former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York on Thursday defended his assertion that President Obama did not love America, and said that his criticism of Mr. Obama’s upbringing should not be considered racist because the president was raised by “a white mother.”

Mr. Giuliani’s remarks -- made at a New York fund-raising event for Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin on Wednesday night and first reported by Politico -- set off an uproar.

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Mr. Giuliani said at the event. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up, through love of this country.”

Critics suggested that Mr. Giuliani’s description of Mr. Obama’s upbringing reflected a prejudiced view that Mr. Obama was different from other Americans.

In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Giuliani dismissed the criticism and said he was describing the worldview that had shaped Mr. Obama’s upbringing.

“Some people thought it was racist -- I thought that was a joke, since he was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people,” Mr. Giuliani said in the interview. “This isn’t racism. This is socialism or possibly anti-colonialism.”

Times reporter Damien Cave followed up Friday in a story about anti-Giuliani Twitter commentary from renowned political thinkers: "Giuliani Comments Draw Tweets From Martina Navratilova, Judd Apatow and Others." ("Others" including esteemed former talk show host Larry King, who was "saddened by the news." And if you've lost Larry King...)

In the rapid-response world of social media, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York caught fire this morning. By defending his assertion that President Obama does not love America -- and by arguing that his criticism of Mr. Obama’s upbringing should not be considered racist because the president was raised by “a white mother” -- he has attracted an array of commentary from prominent figures in the worlds of sports, media, movies and, of course, politics.

(Note: The original article was interspersed by predictable anti-Giuliani tweets)

Larry King was saddened by the news...Bobby Jindal, Louisiana’s Republican governor, more or less defended Mr. Giuliani, refusing to criticize the former mayor....Judd Apatow retweeted some harsh criticism....Megyn Kelly, the Fox News host, noted that she had given Mr. Giuliani a chance to back down in her interview with him on Thursday night...And Martina Navratilova, the former tennis star, called for Mr. Giuliani to stop talking, or “SU” -- shut up.

2004 Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean wanted to "take our country back" from the apparently unpatriotic George W. Bush, but for some unfathomable reason avoided snarky treatment from the Times.