There has to be an original stain
Posted by aogTuesday, 06 April 2004 at 21:13 TrackBack Ping URL

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CHRIS DODD’S REMARKS ABOUT ROBERT BYRD, which many in the blogosphere have been comparing to Trent Lott’s remarks about Strom Thurmond, are starting to get some Big Media attention.

Background here and here. And here’s the Kennedy School study of the Trent Lott affair, for those who would like to make a detailed comparison.

All you need to know about how this is going to play out is that the Lott affair involved Big Media denouncing Strom Thurmound while this one would involve denouncing Robert Byrd. Which one was savaged in the press before the related imbroglio, and which wasn’t? It’s no different than Big Media savaging anyone who cuddled up with Pinochet while writing mash notes to Castro syncophants.

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Deane Wednesday, 07 April 2004 at 03:40

Er.… no.

What exactly is Dodd-gate, when you think about it?

I mean, Byrd is no hero, but he’s apologized time and time again for his Klan past, and it seems sincere. And the quote didn’t say the equivalent of what Lott said, no matter how breezy you try to gloss through it. It said that Bryd, the Senator Byrd of TODAY (the one that’s no longer a Klan member), would be a great Senator in any age. That’s probably wrong, but it is not the same thing as saying you wished a segregationist Presidential campaign had succeeded, which was what Lott implied. No one said “Byrd, the Klan member would be good in any age.” That would have been the equivalent expression.

Finally, let’s not re-write history here. The liberal media passed over Lott’s comment without… comment for days. It was the right wing media which pounced on Lott first and hardest, and without them, and the President’s unwillingness to defend Lott like he defended Santorum, he never would have been taken down. There remains a lot of speculation on why this was: consensus suspicion seems to be that Lott wasn’t a team Bush player, and as such was in the way.

Not that I think he much deserved the fracas. Barnes is right. Lott pretty clearly did not mean what people think was implied: he just didn’t think through what he was saying. There should have been a clarification, an apology if there was any understanding, and a move to more important issues.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 07 April 2004 at 07:37

Good points, although I’d note that Lott wasn’t brought down by the blogosphere. His real troubles started only after the story caught on in Big Media (and I agree that he might well have avoided the whole thing by apologizing properly early on).

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Tracked from Low Earth Orbit: There has to be an original stain on 07 April 2004 at 07:27

[source] CHRIS DODD’S REMARKS ABOUT ROBERT BYRD, which many in the blogosphere have been comparing to Trent Lott’s remarks about...

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