March 09, 2005

Whole Lotta Facts

"Mike", commenting on my earlier post on Eric Black's piece in the Strib, asks:

Black claims that Trent Lott's fall from grace came about when major media picked up the story "only after it had been promoted on liberal blogs". While I'm sure that they were all over the story (I was oblivious to blogs at that point), I have seen Hugh, LGF, and other "conservative" sites also claim to have had their collective hand in that affair. So can it be credited solely to the liberal blogs, as Black does in his article?

The implication, whether Black intends it or not, is that the righties brought down Rather, to the protestations of the lefties, and the roles were simply reversed during the Lott situation. But if, in fact, big time conservative sites were joining in the chorus to have Lott held accountable - well, that would have been nice for the reader to know, don't you think?

Let's check it out.

Black says of the Lott affair:

Remarks by Sen. Trent Lott that critics considered racist and that got him dumped as Senate majority leader in 2002 became a major media story only after it had been promoted on liberal blogs.
It seems like a reasonable simplification - but it swerves into oversimplification. Powerline wrote:
on December 9, 2002:
While I would have been happy to hear Lott explain what "problems" he was referring to, the reality is that, given the history of the Dixiecrat movement, no explanation could save Lott's comment from being incomprehensibly stupid. It is hard to avoid the image of Lott as a Dr. Strangelove who has to be restrained from blurting out what he really thinks. Lott has not been an especially effective Senate leader, and I wouldn't be sorry to see him go. This incident confirms that he doesn't have the good sense necessary to be Majority Leader. The biggest downside to replacing him, I think, is that it will give credence to the liberal theory that Republicans are closet racists. So far, Lott's blunder hasn't drawn as much fire as one might have expected. But this is sure to change, and I am afraid Lott and the Republican Party will bleed slowly until he is replaced.
Powerline also linked, via Instapundit, to C-Span's video of the damning speech, as well as Steven Hayes' article in the Spectator denouncing Lott.

For my minimal part (this blog was getting about 100 visitors a day at that time), I linked to many bigger /a>, national writers on the subject, as did many conservative bloggers.

It was hardly a purely left-wing party.

Posted by Mitch at March 9, 2005 04:31 PM | TrackBack

Thanks for the history, Mitch (as well as Thorley on the original post).

Posted by: mike at March 9, 2005 02:02 PM

Black is blowing smoke again. Here's an article from the lib-friendly NY Times that gives credit for the criticism that led to Lott's resignation to the right. Note that the names prominently mentioned -- Krauthammer, Sullivan, and Kristol --
are from the evil neocon wing of the repubs (This article was written late 2002 when Sullivan was solidly in the Bush/War camp).
Black would likely respond to the article by claiming that it's a well known fact that the NYTimes regularly publishes conservative political commentary in order to boost the Republicans.

Conservatives Led the Way in Criticizing Lott's Remarks

Early, widespread and harsh criticism by conservative commentators and publications has provided much of the tinder for the political fires surrounding Senator Trent Lott since his favorable comments about the segregationist presidential campaign of 1948.

Conservative columnists, including Andrew Sullivan, William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, and publications like National Review and The Wall Street Journal have castigated Mr. Lott for his remarks at Senator Strom Thurmond's 100th-birthday party, arguing that the conservative movement's credibility on racially tinged issues like affirmative action and school vouchers has been squandered.

Read the rest at

Posted by: Terry at March 9, 2005 10:41 PM

Trent Lott's biggest problem was that he was a poor leader and the more disciplined GOP took full advantage. That aside, I thought Black's article was very good, the kind I wish the STrib would print more often. His Sunday article on Social Security was more typical.

Posted by: R-Five at March 9, 2005 10:51 PM
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