Is Bachmann making a special appeal to minorities?

So often news websites make a story appear to be bigger than it really is. This is typically done through headlines which inappropriately exaggerate one aspect of a story or take it out of context.

Matt Drudge is a major offender in this area. Consider this headline at his site today:

Bachmann: Obama ‘has failed’
blacks, Hispanics…

When I saw that, I thought, “Oh, no, is Michele Bachmann already pandering to minorities?” So I clicked on the link, which went to a brief article at CNS News, the Christian conservative news service. Here is the headline and the relevant part of the article:

Bachmann: Obama ‘Has Failed the African American Community’ and Hispanic Community
Monday, June 20, 2011
By Terence P. Jeffrey

(—Pointing to double-digit unemployment rates among African Americans and Hispanics, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.) said on Friday that President Barack Obama “has failed” both these communities.

“This president has failed the Hispanic community. He has failed the African-American community,” said Bachmann. “He has failed us all when it comes to jobs.”

As can be seen from the full context of the statement, Bachmann was not making any particular appeal to blacks and Hispanics. She was not, in the usual “pander bear” mode (a phrase coined by Democratic U.S. senator and presidential candidate Paul Tsongas in 1992), claiming that Obama is “not doing enough” for blacks and Hispanics, or promising “to do more” for blacks and Hispanics or do something for them that she wouldn’t do for others. Instead, she was mentioning black and Hispanic unemployment in the context of overall U.S. unemployment. She was implicitly stating that the need is to increase employment as a whole, and that if that happens, black and Hispanic employment will also naturally increase. I find nothing objectionable in such a statement. But the CNS headline, which Drudge copied, gave me a different impression.

Also, when we remember that blacks are overwhelmingly pro-Obama, that Hispanics voted about two to one in his factor in 2008, and that everyone assumes that the first nonwhite presidency is naturally “good” for those groups, it is entirely reasonable for a Republican candidate to point out that this is not necessarily the case.

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I should add that the Drudge headline was not as bad as many other, much more sensational Drudge headlines which make it appear that something has happened that hasn’t actually happened.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 20, 2011 07:12 PM | Send

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