The Justice Department’s Voter Intimidation Cover-Up: The Blue Line Breaks

The Holder-Obama Justice Department’s efforts to impose racial bias on its enforcement of the voting rights laws are no longer in the shadows, protected by the “blue line” of liberal leaning news media. Finally, after a week of ignoring a story that should have been reported immediately, the media’s efforts to confine the accusations of former Justice Department Civil Rights attorney J. Christian Adams to conservative blogs and Fox began to crack. Today the New York Times and CNN reported the story, and will have a little easier time explaining away their tardiness as something other than naked political bias than the Washington Post, the major networks, and others.

But not much easier. There has been a widely available YouTube video for months that shows two stern, paramilitary-garbed Black Panthers standing in front of a polling place, one of them extremely tall and imposing, the other with a club. Anyone who can claim with a straight face that a similar display in a Southern city by two Klansman (the New Black Panthers, like the Klan, are classified as a hate group) wouldn’t have the Obama Justice Department in full attack mode is lying. The relevant statute prohibits attempts to intimidate, and the video is indisputable proof that an attempt was made. Despite this, most of the media chose to take a cynical wait-and-see attitude, hoping, apparently, that this potentially scandalous instance of a racially-tilted policy of law enforcement could be explained away as the partisan vendetta of a disgruntled Bush conservative.  The fact that the story wouldn’t go away despite their failure to report it hardly ennobles the capitulation  of the Times, which has a reputation to salvage,  and CNN, which has been crowing about moving to the center, where it belonged in the first place.

Well, one week isn’t too bad; other stories embarrassing to Obama or Democrats have been embargoed for longer periods—John Edwards comes to mind. Still, racially biased enforcement of the laws protecting a citizen’s right to vote should be a concern to all Americans, white or black, Democrat or Republican, Right or Left. The fact that much of our news media takes a week to accept that fact should concern all Americans as well.

8 thoughts on “The Justice Department’s Voter Intimidation Cover-Up: The Blue Line Breaks

  1. It does not surprise me that the media is playing stupid. When you consider that most of the media pushes the left-wing agenda. For many decades our media has not been held to account for misleading or false stories. If our media sources would report the news with as little bias as possible much of the confusion and tensions in this country would be eliminated.

  2. Pingback: Race, Politics and Cowardice: the Unethical Victimization of Shirley Sherrod « Ethics Alarms

  3. No, that’s not how I read the link, Bob.

    The Bush administration decided to prosecute the case civilly rather than criminally against the two uniformed Panthers and the organization. That’s a tactical choice—maybe a too lenient one (O’Reilly’s point) but not necessarily a forced one. The Obama Justice Department dropped even that case AFTER a judgement had been entered against all three defendants (including the New Black Panthers.) You prosecute a civil case too, Bob. The sense of the Fact Check brushes really close to deceit: Yes, the Bush DOJ “decided not to prosecute” ONE AVAILABLE case against the defendants but still decided to prosecute civilly. Saying they decided “not to prosecute” is misleading–they DID prosecute.

    The Bush DOJ decided to prosecute civilly rather than as a criminal offense; the Obama Administration decided not to prosecute at all.

    I agree that the decision of the Bush DOJ not to press criminal charges should be part of the narrative, because it goes to Perez’s testimony under oath that there was not sufficient evidence to get a criminal conviction. Adams says that’s perjury, and we would have to get Bush DOJ testimony to know. I think they could have gotten criminal convictions but either thought a civil case would be a slam dunk and a better use of resources or assumed that the Obama administration would bale on the criminal. Perez’s claim, in light of the video, that there was no evidence is pretty hard to swallow.

    Prosecutors often decide not to prosecute criminal offenses when they could still prevail.

    Prosecuting is like being pregnant: either you are or you aren’t. The Bush DOJ prosecuted a civil case about the incident. The Obama Administration didn’t prosecute at all.

    That article isn’t a Fact Check, t’s an attempt to blur what happened. There was an already successful civil prosecution of the voter intimidation parties and the Obama Administration stopped it. The FactCheck is a attempt to get excuse that by blaming Fox News (a popular strategy these days.)

    A prosecution, civil OR criminal, makes a statement that the conduct is wrong and unacceptable. The Bush DOJ didn’t make its strongest statement, but its statement was clear.

    What’s the statement made by not prosecuting a case of voter intimidation at all, even though it’s already been won? That’s the issue and the potential scandal, and Fox News didn’t make it up.

    • Addendum: I almost never use Fox as a primary source, though I may use it as a link. Of course, when the “fair and unbiased” media ignores and buries a story like it did this one, my options are limited.

  4. It’s still confusing. I understand O’Reilly blamed Holder specifically. Quoting PolitiFact:

    “O’Reilly expanded on this point very clearly in a July 19, 2010, column.

    “If it were just about the Panthers, the story would be meaningless,” O’Reilly wrote. “But because Attorney General Eric Holder is involved in the dismissal of the criminal charges, the situation takes on some importance.”

    i’m concerned with your statement that PolitiFact is deliberately misleading. I count on them to keep their biases out of their writing. I know they’ve graded lots of Admin. ststements as false, including some of Obama’s. Do you think they’re untrustworthy?

    • O’Reilly was wrong, plain and simple. The Panthers wouldn’t have defaulted a criminla prosecution: it was never brought. It’s an unusual law: most laws have either a civil remedy or a criminal one…the relevant law here has both. I can see how anyone can get confused.
      Perez, discussing why the Obama administration dropped the CIVIL charge under oath, cited the Bush administration’s decision not bring a CRIMINAL prosecution, and claimed that there was not sufficient evidence for a CRIMINAL prosecution, when likely there was, making it sound like there wasn’t enough evidence for a CIVIL prosecution, which there obviously was.

      I get confused just writing that!

      I wouldn’t say Politifact is untrustworthy. I think the whole Factcheck process become untrustworthy. It’s too easy to make “fact checking” a means of spin, and that’s what was done here, I think, intentionally or not.

      The only FactCheck I trust completely is the Annenberg Factcheck.org…and I now realize I haven’t checked to see what they’ve written about this, if anything.

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