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NPR versus 'minstrel' Cain

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By L. Brent Bozell Iii
Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011

National Public Radio proved a long time ago that it disdains black conservatives. NPR doesn't even like black liberals who appear on Fox News: They canned Juan Williams. The sexual harassment charges against Herman Cain aren't ruining him as quickly as the media hoped, so on Nov. 11, NPR viciously attacked Cain for being an enemy of blacks and a "minstrel" to white conservatives.

Reporter Karen Grigsby Bates began with Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy. "Black people know that if Herman Cain had his way, their lives would be diminished," he said. "And they intuit that Herman Cain's policies are against their interests."

Who is this man to judge like that• NPR made no attempt to identify Professor Kennedy as having served on the editorial board of the hard-left Nation magazine. They didn't even call him "liberal."

Kennedy somehow gets to speak on behalf of all black Americans everywhere that if Cain "had his way," he would want blacks to be diminished. This is really rich drivel coming from the Left. They are the ones who placed blacks in dangerous public housing, high-rises in high-crime neighborhoods in the "War on Poverty." They are responsible for subjecting black children to atrocious public schools with no chance of escaping to a private school that cared about them.

NPR then turned to Jack E. White, a former screed-writer for Time magazine. NPR's Bates said White was outraged that Cain, like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, would call unproven sexual harassment charges a "high-tech lynching."

"Basically, Herman Cain tells them what they want to hear about blacks and, in turn, they embrace him and say, 'See, that proves we aren't racist,"' said White. Then he stuck in the knife: "He's even willing to be a minstrel for them, referring to himself sometimes as 'cornbread' ... ."

In White's mind, we are forever stuck in 1963, and every white conservative is somehow a Southern Democrat racist Bull Connor.

The third black Cain critic was a professor named Vincent Hutchings, who said Cain was "crazy," but "crazy like a fox."

There were no black conservative professors allowed -- not Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams. NPR doesn't want blacks to consider it conceivable that a black could choose to be a conservative and still be considered respectable.

The only conservative view allowed was a clip of Ann Coulter. (NPR somehow couldn't acquire an original interview.) Coulter said on Fox that black conservatives have to swim against a very strong tide of black opinion, so "our blacks are so much better than their blacks."

To which "objective" Bates replied: "Observations like that may be why their blacks are so few in number." Bates clearly believes (as her report demonstrates) that black conservatives are metaphorically owned by masters and simply cannot fathom why blacks would want to be released from the liberal plantation.

It's quite clear from all the media coverage that the liberal media don't want Herman Cain even standing on the debate stage. It ruins their preferred caricature of the Republicans as an all-white country club that sees blacks as the people who hand them towels in the restroom.

If they can't push Cain off the stage, then they'll try to smear him into a cartoon minstrel. As so often happens in liberal media circles, accuracy takes a back seat to victory.

Ask yourself: Would this vitriol against Cain exist if he were white?

L. Brent Bozell III is president of the Media Research Center.

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