Making excuses for a Democrat

By

The New York Times continues to astonish us with its relentless spin and condescension toward blacks and others it regards as victims. Today's example falls into the category "candidate for the world's smallest violin" created by James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal's online "Best of the Web" column.

Representative William Jefferson, Democrat of Louisiana, has reportedly been photographed accepting $100,000 of cash, $90,000 of which was discovered in his freezer. Does the Times thunder in outrage over this betrayal? Not a bit. It offers excuses, in this article by Christopher Drew and Robert Pear. Some excerpts:

Representative William J. Jefferson has always liked to talk about growing up in an impoverished farm community, picking cotton for $3 a day and hitting the books hard enough to win his ticket out — a scholarship to Harvard Law School. [....]

...a remarkable ascent from the deepest poverty and a quest for the comforts his family never had. [....]

Mr. Jefferson was raised, along with eight brothers and sisters, on a small farm in northeast Louisiana, where, he said earlier this year, "our whole life revolved around that cotton field." His father left school after second grade, and his mother attended only through eighth grade. [....]

After he graduated from Southern University in Baton Rouge in 1969, Mr. Jefferson has said, he won his mother's blessing to go to Harvard Law School — she had never heard of it — only by explaining that it had been John F. Kennedy's college

When the modest backgrounds of GOP leaders like Tom Delay or Dennis Hastert are mentioned at all, usually it is in a sneering fashion. Dick Cheney worked as a youth on electrical power lines, a demanding and hazzardous task. Does the Times ever mention this?

Presumably, Rep. Jefferson enjoyed a scholarship to Harvard Law School, since his family would have been unable to help him with tuition. If so, his turn toward avarice and greed would be all the more worthy of condemnation.

The notion that poor people are somehow exempt from the same ethical strictures as the rest of us is poisonous condescension, robbing the poor of their human dignity as moral actors. At its root, it regards poor people as permanently inferior.

Ed Lasky   5 29 06

The New York Times continues to astonish us with its relentless spin and condescension toward blacks and others it regards as victims. Today's example falls into the category "candidate for the world's smallest violin" created by James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal's online "Best of the Web" column.

Representative William Jefferson, Democrat of Louisiana, has reportedly been photographed accepting $100,000 of cash, $90,000 of which was discovered in his freezer. Does the Times thunder in outrage over this betrayal? Not a bit. It offers excuses, in this article by Christopher Drew and Robert Pear. Some excerpts:

Representative William J. Jefferson has always liked to talk about growing up in an impoverished farm community, picking cotton for $3 a day and hitting the books hard enough to win his ticket out — a scholarship to Harvard Law School. [....]

...a remarkable ascent from the deepest poverty and a quest for the comforts his family never had. [....]

Mr. Jefferson was raised, along with eight brothers and sisters, on a small farm in northeast Louisiana, where, he said earlier this year, "our whole life revolved around that cotton field." His father left school after second grade, and his mother attended only through eighth grade. [....]

After he graduated from Southern University in Baton Rouge in 1969, Mr. Jefferson has said, he won his mother's blessing to go to Harvard Law School — she had never heard of it — only by explaining that it had been John F. Kennedy's college

When the modest backgrounds of GOP leaders like Tom Delay or Dennis Hastert are mentioned at all, usually it is in a sneering fashion. Dick Cheney worked as a youth on electrical power lines, a demanding and hazzardous task. Does the Times ever mention this?

Presumably, Rep. Jefferson enjoyed a scholarship to Harvard Law School, since his family would have been unable to help him with tuition. If so, his turn toward avarice and greed would be all the more worthy of condemnation.

The notion that poor people are somehow exempt from the same ethical strictures as the rest of us is poisonous condescension, robbing the poor of their human dignity as moral actors. At its root, it regards poor people as permanently inferior.

Ed Lasky   5 29 06