On Page A6, WashPost Notes 'Narrow Win in Arkansas Indicates Unrest in Party,' Suggests Racism to Blame

May 23rd, 2012 5:30 PM

Once again last night, President Obama faced an embarrassing showing in Democratic Party primaries, winning only 58.3 percent of the votes of Arkansas Democrats and 57.9 percent of Kentucky ones. Once again, in covering the story, the Washington Post buried the news placing the development on page A6. The last time the president faced such an embarrassingly low showing, the Post put its coverage of federal inmate Keith Judd's stunning 40 percent showing in West Virginia's Democratic primary on page A4.

This time around, Post editors gave readers a misleading subheadline that invoked an all-too-predictable liberal bogeyman: "His struggles in Appalachia, parts of South could be attributed to racism, some say." Yet in the article itself, two Southern Democrats told the Post that while a small minority of white Democrats may be motivated by antipathy to Obama's racial heritage, the vast bulk of the anti-Obama vote is predicated on their distaste for his liberal policies.

"Race is definitely a factor for some Texans, but not the majority....The most significant factor is the perception/reality that the Obama administration has leaned toward the ultra-left viewpoint on almost all issues," former Rep. Charlie Stenholm (D-Texas) told the Post.

"In states like West Virginia and Oklahoma, it's just that voters are down on national Democrats generally, and I don't believe it is due to race," Post staffers Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake quoted former Rep. Martin Frost (D-Texas).

For related coverage of how the media are spinning Obama's poor performance in Arkansas and Kentucky, see Scott Whitlock's item, "Networks Censor News of Massive Democratic Protest Vote Against Obama" as well as Matt Hadro's item here and Mark Finkelstein's item here.

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