American history and politics have a rich tradition of second acts; Mr. Allen is no less plausible a candidate than others who have risen from defeat. Virginians will be justified in hoping for a candidacy from Mr. Allen that offers substance and serious policy discussion.From on High:
Like anyone at the Washington Post gives a shit about "substance and serious policy discussion." Last time around? Stephen Spreuill on the Washington Post's "race to the bottom," October 24, 2006:I don't expect the gutter-dwellers at the Post to go on the attack in 2012 with the macaca ploy (although they did bring it up just this morning), but you can bet there'll be a whole lot more about "radical agendas" and tea party affiliations, maybe even a little bit of the old standby - RACIST! - than there will be any ""substance and serious policy discussion." These people hate George Allen and everything he stands for.
"Even by the usual standards, the Washington Post’s coverage of the Virginia Senate race between incumbent George Allen and former Secretary of the Navy Jim Webb has been remarkably one-sided. Since mid-August, the Post has published approximately 100 newspaper articles and editorials about allegations that Allen is racist.
"On August 15, the Post ran a story on page A01 titled, 'Allen Quip Provokes Outrage, Apology; Name Insults Webb Volunteer.'
"The incident certainly merited coverage, but nothing like what was to follow. The Post followed up Tuesday’s story (and accompanying editorial) with another front-page story on Wednesday. On Thursday, three stories in the Post were about the “macaca” incident, including one purporting to debunk Allen’s excuse that 'macaca' was a nickname referring to the volunteer’s mohawk-style haircut. Style-section reporter Libby Copeland reported that the hairstyle in question was not a mohawk at all, but rather 'a hybrid of the mullet and the ‘faux-hawk,’ a hipster look that peaks at the top of the head, reminiscent of the cartoon character Tintin.'
"As the campaign got dirtier, the Post exhausted every conceivable angle in order to keep the 'macaca' story in the paper. First, it sought out the professional grievance groups ('For One Group, ‘Macaca’ Recalls Slurs After 9/11'). Then, it compared Allen’s woes to those of other (Republican) politicians ('Comments Haunt Another Senator; Montana’s Burns Joked About Latinos'). Finally — two weeks after the incident — the Post profiled Macaca himself ('Fairfax Native Says Allen’s Words Stung').
What came next made all that preceded it look like high-minded debate. On September 24, the liberal web magazine Salon.com reported that, according to several of Allen’s college football teammates, he used the 'N-word' in college. The Post picked up the story two days later, and two days after that it covered allegations that Webb had also used the 'N-word' in college. Allen’s accusers were admitted Democratic partisans, and Webb’s accuser a Republican, but none of this stopped the Post or other mainstream media outlets from following them down into a gutter of unsubstantiated rumors.
After the 'N-word' debacle, the Post took an even weirder swipe at Allen. After weeks of portraying him as a racist redneck, it published a 1,302-word article about how his 'cowboy' image was nothing more than a 'shtick' ('Will Sen. Allen’s Cowboy Boots Fit Virginia Voters? Detractors Call Cowboy Image a Shtick'). As National Review’s Byron York noted at the time, 'Webb’s senior advisor is the only detractor quoted in Shear’s article, which features positive quotes from two present and former Allen staffers, plus one Allen fan.'
At first, the race between Allen and Webb looked like the kind of race policy wonks dream about.
Instead, it has degenerated into a disgraceful mud-slinging contest — a race to the bottom aided in no small part by the Washington Post.
Expect that hatred to be reflected in that which appears on the pages of that rag they call a newspaper. Again.