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Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Macaca Postmortem

The Richmond Times-Dispatch this morning offers up a postmortem on the Allen defeat here in Virginia. Unfortunately, the paper gets it completely wrong, failing to see - or avoiding - that large pachyderm in the room. First the analysis:

Spotlight singed the Allen campaign
Senator who skillfully ran earlier campaigns became the issue
By Peter Hardin, Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Washington - -- Sen. George Allen suggested that Democrat Jim Webb and his team enjoyed "the prevailing winds" that led the challenger to victory and, in turn, a Democrat-controlled Senate.

But Allen's own missteps and his campaign's responses contributed strongly to the breathtaking fall on Election Day of a rising Republican star. (

This, of course, goes to the now-infamous macaca affair. George Allen's "misstep."

Let me pose a question. If in Bill Clinton's day, the Washington Post had run 100 articles and editorials on Juanita Broaddrick's allegation that she had been raped years before by our president, and every newspaper in the country had chimed in with similar stories, exploring every innuendo, giving ink to every crackpot who ever had a related tale to tell, analyzing the troubling implications of the dastardly act ad nauseum, etc., would the citizenry have turned against him? Of course. But the Post refrained. Something about journalistic integrity.

But the Post found it acceptable to run 100 articles and editorials on the subject of macaca and its implications of racism and bigotry.

Anyone who thinks the active effort on the part of the Post and most every other newspaper connected to the commonwealth to promote the macaca story, to blow it completely out of proportion (it wasn't even a word prior to Allen's utterance), and, in doing so, to derail the Allen campaign, didn't in itself bring about Allen's defeat, is blind.

Sour grapes? Think what you will. But more importantly, let this be a lesson for those of you in the GOP who are contemplating running for high office in the future. Your Democratic challenger will not be your primary opponent. That reporter, with pencil in hand and a license and eagerness to destroy, will be your worst enemy. You would do well to prepare accordingly.