WaPo has selective outrage over GOP debate no-shows

On the heels of Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, and John McCain refusing to appear at the Values Voter debate on Monday the 17th, The Washington Post is outraged that they have thumbed Univison, and are planning to thumb PBS:

The leading contenders for the Republican nomination have indicated they will not attend the “All American Presidential Forum” organized by black talk show host Tavis Smiley, scheduled for Sept. 27 at Morgan State University in Baltimore and airing on PBS. Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former senator Fred D. Thompson (Tenn.) and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) all cited scheduling conflicts in forgoing the debate. The top Democratic contenders attended a similar event in June at Howard University.

The Washington Post even goes on to complain about their lack of participation in the Univision Hispanic debate:

Making matters worse, some Republicans believe, is that the decision to bypass the Morgan State forum comes after all top GOP candidates save McCain declined invitations this month to a debate on Univision, the most-watched Hispanic television network in the United States. The event was eventually postponed.

However, when it comes to the Values Voters debate, just a blurb of a mention:

Earlier this week, the top contenders skipped a “values voters” forum organized by conservative activists in Florida.

In other words, it’s pretty much fine to thumb Christian voters but “God” forbid you don’t attend an African-American or Hispanic issues debate! That makes you racist!

I personally think they should have all participated in the Values Voter debate and should all participate in the PBS Howard University debate. The Spanish language broadcast Univision debate I can do without. I’m sorry, if you want to participate in the United States election system, please learn English.

However, here’s the kicker for me from PBS host Tavis Smiley, organizer of the Howard University debate:

“When you reject every black invitation and every brown invitation you receive, is that a scheduling issue or is it a pattern?” he asked. “I don’t believe anybody should be elected president of the United States if they think along the way they can ignore people of color. That’s just not the America we live in.

So according to Tavis Smiley, every debate that isn’t minority-themed is a “white” debate? Don’t you love the suggestive racist component? In other words, when you reject race-based debates, you’re a bigot. However, when you reject a religious-based debate, that’s cool since those people are bigots too!

The bottom line is this, I think race-based debates are nonsense! Debate for Americans, period. Are Hispanic issues different from Black issues, different from White issues? No! Are minorities discouraged from watching debates on CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News? Of course not! So why all the pandering on a racial divide? Enough!

Before long Al Sharpton will be crying racism so he can collect his monthly paycheck.

I’ve emailed the author, Perry Bacon Jr., for comment on this seemingly obvious bias. Will post any response or lack thereof.


Response from the author, Perry Bacon Jr.:

I wrote a story about the values debate last week. And I we don”t emphasize smiley”s comments, which are at the very end of the story.

Priceless from a Washington Post journalist: “And I we don”t”

Anyways, the point is that in this story, nobody calls the top Republican candidates anti-Christian for ignoring the Values Voter debate. However, according to the impression from the article, they are definitely being anti-minority by not appearing at the PBS or Univision debates.