Here We Go Again: Megyn Kelly Revives Trumped Up New Black Panther Party “Controversy”
Reported by Ellen - September 24, 2010 -
Megyn Kelly led off America Live yesterday (9/23/10) with a Fox News Alert about the “bombshell development,” as she put it, in what she called the “New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case” which is not a case of voter intimidation at all but an allegation by some very partisan Republican operatives that the Obama Justice Department dropped a case against a few members of the New Black Panther Party because of racial preference toward African Americans.
Kelly was almost panting with excitement during her introduction. “A top Justice Department attorney, we believe this man is currently with the Department of Justice – that’s what we knew as of a day or two ago – is now set to defy DOJ orders and to testify against the DOJ’s will on how Justice made its decision on a controversial case of voter intimidation.”
As Kelly surely knows, there was no actual voter intimidation found, i.e. not a single voter has come forward publicly to say he or she was intimidated out of voting. A couple of thuggish African Americans from the New Black Panther Party, one wielding a billy club, hung around a polling place in a largely black Philadelphia district on Election Day in 2008 where a cadre of white Republicans had been stationed. The NBPP members were arrested, the Bush administration pressed civil, not criminal, charges which the Obama DOJ later dropped after getting an injunction against the guy with the billy club. The website Main Justice has an excellent and thorough run down of the case.
But a partisan Republican activist, J. Christian Adams, told Kelly last summer that he had been told the case was dropped because the Obama DOJ had made a decision not to pursue voter fraud cases against black defendants and Kelly seemed to think she had died and gone to race-baiting ratings heaven. She dubbed Adams a DOJ “whistleblower” and acted as though scary black men were about to descend en masse on polling places across the country thanks to Attorney General Eric Holder. Even though Kelly is part of what Fox News insists is its "objective news" line up.
Until Fox News Democrat Kirsten Powers challenged Kelly on her tactics. Kelly had a meltdown during the confrontation, played the victim in a later segment and then promptly dropped until now what she had previously touted as some kind of desperately important case.
Kelly continued breathlessly yesterday, “The (testifying) man’s name is Christopher Coates. After months of silence, Mr. Coates… will now apparently defy orders from his bosses and will testify before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. That testimony could potentially be damaging to DOJ officials who have testified before that same commission. under oath, that the Department of Justice does not have a policy of enforcing voting rights laws unequally (sic), depending on the race of the parties involved.”
Kelly brought on Fox News reporter Shannon Bream for some more breathless speculation about the significance of what Coates might say. Bream described Coates' upcoming testimony as "under oath... spill(ing) the beans about what happened with that Black Panther case and possibly much more.”
Neither Bream nor Kelly mentioned that Coates was considered a “true member of the team” of the highly politicized Bush Justice Department. Nor did Kelly or Bream point out that the DOJ's actual record proves that they prosecute African Americans for voting infractions.
That would have required Kelly and Bream to put aside the partisan race-baiting and do some real, objective reporting.