Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Did Megyn Kelly Do Any Research Before Regurgitating GOP Talking Points Over New Black Panther Party And The Obama Department Of Justice?

Reported by Ellen - September 27, 2010 -

Megyn Kelly helped kick off the revival of Fox News’ ACORN-ification of the Obama Justice Department on Friday (9/24/10) as the conservative-packed Civil Rights Commission heard testimony from a Republican partisan alleging that the DOJ plays racial politics with voting rights cases. Conveniently for the GOP, the hearing was held shortly before the 2010 elections, right about the time Fox News' regular election-cycle fear mongering about voter fraud occurs, and just as conveniently, Kelly and Fox News have been broadcasting every development for the Republicans viewers. Although Kelly’s America Live show airs during what is supposed to be Fox News’ “objective news” line up, Kelly once again seemed to have done no independent research into the DOJ's actual record or even the larger picture of voting rights cases in the USA. Instead, she relied on Republican talking points to shape her hilariously biased “questions” during what she purported to present as a “fair and balanced” debate.

Kelly seems to have toned down the more inflammatory aspects of her race-baiting with this case – at least for the time being. But although she restrained herself from suggesting that scary black radicals were about to descend on white people and interfere with their right to vote at polls across the country, she nevertheless once again failed to point out key flaws in the Republican meme: that despite their relentless complaints about the DOJ’s handling of the New Black Panther Party “voter intimidation” case of 2008, no voters (white or black) have come forward to say they were intimidated by the New Black Panther Party behavior at a polling place in a majority black district in Philadelphia on Election Day, 2008; nor did she point out that one conservative member of the Civil Rights Commission was sharply critical of the GOP's attempts to make political hay out of this case, saying, “This particular overblown attack threatens to undermine the credibility of (Attorney General Eric Holder’s) conservative critics.”

Kelly implicitly endorsed the claims of Bush-appointee and DOJ employee Christopher Coates as she announced, in her introduction to a debate about his testimony, that he had made “some powerful and stunning allegations, offering evidence and a first-hand account that race and politics are driving decisions at the Department of Justice about which laws get enforced and which do not.” (my emphasis) She added that Coates had “basically giv(en) credence” to J. Christian Adams, “the first whistleblower to come forward with similar allegations.”

Ashley L. Taylor, Jr., an African American Republican appointed by George W. Bush to the Commission, got the first and the last word in the debate. He wasted no time alleging reverse racism at the DOJ, saying there’s a “philosophical struggle” in the Civil Rights division in which “some people… fundamentally believe the law does not apply equally and that the laws, particularly the voting rights laws, were not intended to protect certain people. In other words, they look first to the victim and the perpetrator to determine whether or not the law should be applied equally.”

Speaking of a policy based on race, when was the last time Megyn Kelly or anyone else at Fox highlighted a story about a person of color suffering from discrimination? Where was the outrage, for example, over the voter caging efforts recently uncovered in Wisconsin or voter suppression efforts in Houston, e.g.? In Fox Nation, the only victims of racial discrimination seem to be white people and the racists always seem to be black.

Guest Michael Yaki, a Democratic member of the Commission, said the record of the Obama DOJ proves “that the Obama administration has enforced the law in a race-neutral fashion.” He cited a case in Noxubee, MS = brought by the Bush administration and continued by the Obama administration - against a black Democratic official found to have violated white voters’ rights.

Kelly showed no knowledge of nor interest in that Noxubee case. Instead, she jumped in to champion Coates’ supposedly bi-partisan credentials. “Chris Coates worked for both Democratic and Republican administrations and used to head up the ACLU’s voting rights section… This guy, you know, he’s no dyed in the wool conservative.”

Had Kelly done any research, she would have known that Coates turned more conservative after leaving the ACLU and was deemed “a true member of the team” of the politicized Bush Justice Department. Even if she didn’t believe that, a truly “fair and balanced” anchor would have mentioned it to the “we report, you decide” network’s audience. However, Yaki made the point for her. Anyone want to bet Kelly “forgets” what he said?

Yaki also noted that the other DOJ Republican “whistleblower,” J. Christian Adams, had wrongly predicted the Obama DOJ would not continue pressing the Bush administration's case in Noxubee.

“How about that?” Kelly disingenuously "asked" her other guest. “Mr. Yaki’s allegation that they did, in one case (my emphasis)… intervene to protect white voters?”

Kelly should have known it was not an allegation that the DOJ had continued prosecuting the Noxubee case but a fact.

Taylor did not respond to the question, but changed the subject back to attacking the Obama DOJ over the New Black Panther Party (also just one case, and an extremely flimsy one at that) – and Kelly let him.

Kelly continued by “asking” Yaki, “I understand you dismiss (Coates’ and Adams’) testimony because you think they’re conservative ideologues, essentially. I’m paraphrasing.” Actually, that’s not at all what Yaki had said. He said the two men are ideologues AND the facts don’t bear out the allegations.

“What if they’re right?” Kelly “asked.” Despite her recent complaint that public funds had been wasted getting Stephen Colbert’s testimony, she now pressed Yaki to bring in more witnesses to probe Coates’ and Adams’ allegations further.

As before, Yaki told her “actions speak louder than words” and when he again cited Noxubee, Kelly dismissed that “that one case” - as if there were some pattern indicating otherwise.

Yaki told her, “It is the only one case that is out there. The fact is… people like Hans (von Spakovsky) and Chris (Coates) and other people want us to sue in all these other cases when, frankly, there is nothing at risk for voters but to waste judicial resources.”

It would be very easy for Kelly, an attorney, to explore the complete facts involved in both the New Black Panther Party case and the actual record of the DOJ or even Attorney General Eric Holder on race and/or voting issues. The website Main Justice has even done the legwork for her. The fact that she relies instead on debates that she peppers with conservative talking points speaks volumes.

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »