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NYTimes editorialist: Assuming Conservative Animus Against Minorities?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:06 pm - July 13, 2007.
Filed under: Conservative Discrimination,Liberals,Media Bias

UPDATE: Please note that shortly after posting this, a reader, in this comment below alerted me that Mr. Cohen is not a reporter, but “a member of the NYT editorial board.” When I had a moment to do a google search, I confirmed that this was so. The piece which linked the Cohen piece identified him as a “reporter.” Prior to joining the Times editorial board, Mr. Cohen most recently served as a reporter for Time. I have changed the post from its original content to reflect this knowledge. The main point remains. Just as a reporter has an obligation to report the facts, an editorial writer has the responsibility to present accurately the issues on which he opines.

I apologize for my error in the original post and am grateful to the reader for noting my mistake.

A few days ago, Glenn Reynolds (AKA Instapundit) linked Ilya Somin’s post on the Volokh Conspiracy taking apart NY Times Reporter Adam Cohen’s attack on what that reporter labeled “conservative judicial activism.” While Somin found the reporter’s argument “riddled with flaws and misrepresentations,” what struck me was how Cohen misrepresented recent Supreme Court decisions. He said conservative justices were using “their judicial power on behalf of employers who mistreat their workers, tobacco companies, and whites who do not want to be made to go to school with blacks.

Mr. Cohen, the assistant editor of the New York Times editorial page, a man with a background in journalism, should know better than to so define those cases. If I had time, I would address all the cases he references, but for now, will just look at one — the decision striking down race-based school assignment policies in two states. In misrepresenting that case, Cohen reveals his bias against conservatives.

The case Cohen mentions did not involve the Court siding with whites being made “to go to school with blacks” (as the Times reporter puts it), but rather about school assignment decisions based on “racial guidelines” (in Kentucky) and on a point system to effect “overall racial balance” (in Seattle, Washington). The mother of the student from Kentucky wanted him transferred from a school 10 miles from his home to one “nine miles closer.”*

In Seattle, a white student qualified for a competitive biotechnology program at a public school, but lost his place “due to his race.” That city’s plan also hurt “students of color . . . who wanted to attend Franklin High, their neighborhood school, [but] were turned away because the district gave those seats to white students in an attempt to balance the school’s racial mix.

Hmm . . . doesn’t seem like a case of white students objecting to going to school with blacks. The issue was school districts’ racial guidelines, not racial integration.

The basic issue here is parents wanting their children to attend schools closer to home or to attend the public school program best suited to their needs. Or students wanting to attend the same school with friends from their neighborhood.

Instead of looking to those facts, Mr. Cohen sees the issue as whites not wanting to attend school with blacks, despite the fact that the white students in this cases would be attending schools that were racially mixed. It almost seems he’s commenting on a case in the 1950s where the facts were far different than those in the decision recently handed down.

Alas that Mr. Cohen, like so many others on the left, assumes that conservative objections to affirmative action programs or to the use of racial, gender or sexual orientation criteria are due to animus against the minority. Even when members of minority groups criticize such policies. For example, when I object to certain supposedly gay-friendly policies on libertarian grounds, people accuse me of self-hatred — or trying to please (again supposedly) gay-hating conservatives.

Cohen’s description of the race-based school assignment cases is just another example of the assumptions those in the MSM make about conservatives. Like all too many who comment to this blog, they would rather take issue with a conservative straw man drawn in their own imaginations than with the real arguments we make everyday.

– B. Daniel Blatt (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)

* I would rather have quoted a news article, but, in my google search, I found only a handful of articles which addressed the facts at issue in this decision. Most just reported the decision. Maybe that’s why Cohen made the assumption he did. But shouldn’t a reporter check on the facts of a court decision before writing about its result?

What’s NGLCC’s Beef With Wal-Mart?

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 10:04 am - July 13, 2007.
Filed under: Advocate Watch,Economy

I’m not ready to impugn the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce for their recent decision to scuttle relations with Wal-Mart, the hugely successful American company the Left can’t help but to hate. I’m not ready to suggest that perhaps the NGLCC is just another far-Left organization disguised as a gay advocacy group.

I’ll wait to see what I get in reply to the letter I just wrote to co-founder Justin Nelson:

Subject: Wal-Mart

Mr Nelson:

Recently your organization published a press release in which you announce your “membership with Wal-Mart that will not be renewed.”

Last August, you issued a press release praising Wal-Mart for, among other things, its “ongoing commitment to advancing diversity among all of its associate, supplier and customer bases”, and portend the inclusion of the corporation as you work together toward “providing a diverse workplace and creating mutually beneficial relationships with the LGBT and LGBT-friendly business community.”

In fact, you personally are quoted in the release as saying: “We are honored to have Wal-Mart’s support of the NGLCC. Our partnership will not only provide more opportunities for the NGLCC, but the business community as a whole.”

I know you take seriously the responsibility to our community that goes along with your position, and that you do not make these decisions casually. As a member of the gay community, I trust that your group is serious about those with whom it associates and wouldn’t engage with a corporation (especially one as large and transparent as Wal-Mart) without first ensuring its gay-friendly bona-fides. Your recent abrupt decision, therefore leaves many questions:

After less than a year, have you uncovered something about Wal-Mart that you didn’t know last August when you had such praise for the company?
Has Wal-Mart undertaken a drastic reversal of its diversity program?
What has Wal-Mart done differently in the past 10 months that has changed your mind about their commitment to the gay and lesbian community?

I, as well as the readers of the blog for which I write would be interested in knowing the answers to these questions, and look forward to your response.

All the best,
Nick, ColoradoPatriot

I’ll keep you informed as to what I hear back.

Gay Debate Update: Will Edwards Need A Cootie Shield?

The “Breck Girl” herself may need to protect himself during the upcoming “Gay Debate”.

(Note:  “Breck Girl” is a mocking term also used over at Pam’s House Blend, so it must be okay since that is a huge lefty/lib site and liberals are allowed more freedom of expression than conservatives these days.)

edwardscompact.jpg

After all, it was not that long ago that us gays made John Edwards very squeamish….

In his new memoir, “No Excuses: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner,” Shrum recalls asking Edwards at the outset of that campaign, “What is your position, Mr. Edwards, on gay rights?”

“I’m not comfortable around those people,” Edwards replied, according to Shrum. He writes that the candidate’s wife, Elizabeth, told him: “John, you know that’s wrong.”

Maybe Elizabeth can stand next to him and make sure none of “those people” get too close to him.  I’ll be sure to watch if Edwards quickly washes his hands after greeting Melissa Etheridge.

Oh and add Edwards’ comfortability around “those people” to the list of questions that Abortion King Joe Solomonese will NOT ask during the debate.  That’s in addition to questions about Islamists lopping off the heads of gays in their crusade to cleanse the world.  (Is someone keeping track of “topics we won’t speak about”?)

-Bruce (GayPatriot)