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Fox News' "Southern Strategy" Succeeding With DOJ/New Black Panther Party Race Baiting

Reported by Ellen - September 27, 2010 -

Congratulations to Fox News and the Republicans for their successful ACORN-like race baiting over the Department of Justice. Instead of questionable videos, Fox is now touting the equally flimsy accusations of conservative activists that the Department of Justice's decision to drop a case against a few members of the New Black Panther Party signifies a reverse racism at the DOJ that tolerates voter intimidation from African Americans. Even though the New Black Panthers in question were at a heavily black voting precinct and not a single voter - white or black - has turned up to complain about intimidation. Fox News has also suggested that the DOJ has emboldened scary black men to descend on polling places all over the country, threatening law-abiding, white (Republican) citizens. Thanks to all the relentless Fox News and other right-wing attention, the Washington Post, just as with ACORN, has now jumped in with mea culpas for not covering the story sooner. Instead of a real analysis of the validity of the accusations, WaPo showcased the right's accusations, also as they did with ACORN.

Though they'll probably whine that the "mainstream liberal media" displayed an unfair bias against them, Fox and their friends are likely inwardly rejoicing that they have won an important victory: framing the debate so that the "question" is whether the Obama DOJ is in bed with radical black democracy subverters. As the mainstream media hastens to show "fairness" to the right's aggression, it will almost certainly not report on the same elephant that was in the ACORN room: the co-ordinated set up by the right.

The Main Justice website, which covers news about the U.S. Department of Justice, has reported extensively about the New Black Panther case and the role of right-wing politicization. Their excellent overview of the case, written last December, is just one of their many articles on the subject. Now, in its latest, Mary Jacoby, Main Justice's editor and founder, has a great analysis of the partisan maneuvers of the Bush appointees in the DOJ. She writes, "Using this isolated incident in Philly involving two yahoos to paint the entire Obama administration as reverse racists resembles a modern-day version of the GOP’s well known 'Southern strategy' playbook, in which Republicans fanned racial fears in the South to win white votes."

Sadly, however, this latest southern strategy, which bears a lot of similarity to the ACORN strategy, has just won a big battle in the media war - and you can't blame it all on the Washington Post. Jacoby, who has an extensive journalism resumé notes,

The administration and its liberal defenders have done nothing to “make news” on this story, which means they are only reacting to a narrative the conservatives are driving... The Obama administration is yet again caught in a familiar racial trap. But unlike the Shirley Sherrod incident, this one didn’t sneak up on them. You would think they’d have devised (a) more effective response.

ACORN, Shirley Sherrod, DOJ - how much more co-ordinated race baiting will the Obama administration, our media and the American citizens continue to allow and accept from the right and its mouthpieces?

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