In the June 28 page A2 article titled “Fiery Democratic debate: Race, age, health care and Trump” from AP reporters Juana Summers and Steve Peoples, the following passage was found. “I do not believe you are a racist,” Harris said, though she described Biden’s record of working with Republican segregationist senators on non-race issues as “hurtful.” The reporters’ reference to “Republican” shows at a minimum a lack of awareness and may also indicate a strong bias. The old segregationists that Biden had been referencing in the past week were Senators Eastland and Talmadge. Both of these senators were Democrats. Unfortunately I can’t think of a reason to include the party affiliation in the article to begin with, other than to paint a picture. The fields of pure news and advocacy have become so blurred that errors of this magnitude get by the AP and News-Post editors. Should I hold my breath for a prominent correction?

Jay Wolfe


(13) comments


Jay, you are showing your ignorance. It's true that the ones Biden was talking to were Democrats. But all of the ones like them changed to the Republican party after JFK. They couldn't stand liberal views - same problem you seem to have.


I think in an article about politics it is reasonable to indicate parties.


Yeah, but accuracy is another reasonable expectation of news articles. The folk Biden referred to were not Republicans.


True. What a world. "Twelve angry 'Democrats''' (psst they weren't) would agree with you.


I agree with the accuracy part, but the LTE was also asking why the party was even mentioned. That part is totally reasonable.


Fair point.


Not then, but they would be in today's politics.


But they would be today, Gladys.

That guy

Far too many people make the mistake of saying "you're racist". That turns the accusation into a personal attack, which puts people on the defensive, and pretty much guarantees they will not be receptive to anything else you have to say. Rather, people need to start saying "that idea is racist" or "that's a racist thing to say". The target of the accusation becomes the thought/idea instead of the person, and then the idea itself can be debated rather than the morality of the person expressing it. Of course it doesn't matter, people will still probably interpret it as a personal attack anyway, because nuance has no place in American political discussion anymore. But at least some of us can try to bring it back.


That guy [thumbup]


Good catch Jay. I agree it is a significant error, but what percentage of todays segregationists are Democrats? My guess the number is less than 1%. Most of them switched to the Republican Party during the Reagan years.


Biden's own words - "Even in the days when I got there, the Democratic Party still had seven or eight old-fashioned Democratic segregationists. " The Dixiecrats did indeed migrate to the Republican party. Could this have been an honest mistake ? Probably. Is it a statement of " huge magnituede" ? - doubtful that it will impact people's opinions.


I assume it was an honest mistake, but to me it is significant because of the context - it is one piece of the puzzle showing that things were indeed different back then. To some extent Biden may have felt he had to work with those guys because they were in the same party...and they were all elected to do a job.

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