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Our friends at Powerline — along with Instapundit Glenn Reynolds and John Nolte over at Big Hollywood — wonder if maybe today’s flashy and splashy (and pointless) congressional appearance by Stephen Colbert was designed to steal the media oxygen from another set of hearings down the hall. From Big Hollywood:
I completely agree with Glenn Reynolds that having this idiot Colbert testify was nothing more than a Democrat stunt to take the media’s eye off the very real and important testimony also taking place today regarding the Justice Department’s racism scandals. So the more cringe-worthy and embarrassing Colbert’s appearance is, the better. Naturally, the MSM will be all too willing to play along. They fully understand how damaging the DOJ Black Panther case is to the Obama Administration and have no desire to come anywhere near covering it.
Former Department of Justice voting rights section chief Christopher Coates testified today about the decision to drop the investigation into allegations that members of the New Black Panther party physically intimidated voters on Election Day, 2008. He was pretty clear in his testimony. From the Daily Caller:
Coates discussed the NBPP [New Black Panther Party] case in great detail … saying that the reason for the case’s dismissal was hostility within the division against prosecuting cases that involved a white victim and minority defendant.
“[A] large number of the people who worked in the Voting Section and the CRD (Civil Rights Division), and many of the liberal private groups that work in the civil rights field believe, incorrectly but vehemently, that enforcement of the protections of the VRA (Voting Rights Act) should not be extended to white voters but should be limited to protecting racial, ethnic and language minorities,” Coates testified.
Under the George W. Bush administration, the Justice Department pursued the NBPP case. Last year, under the Obama administration, the department dropped the charges — the single caveat being that one of the NBPP members never carry a weapon near a polling place again.
I can see why the Democrats don’t want us to talk about this. I understand perfectly why they’d rather have us talk about Stephen Colbert and the circus down the hall. And it’s no surprise that the media — ever compliant — prefer the Colbert story, too.
But before we’re drowned out by Colbert 24/7, it’s worthwhile to ask: does anyone have even a shred of doubt that if this had been a Republican Department of Justice, if the races were reversed, that Christopher Coates would be the new “it boy” of the media liberals? In that case, the entire episode would be a six act play — testimony would extend over several days, it would dominate the nightly talk shows, they’d pre-empt the soaps, heads would roll, special prosecutors would suit up, there would be talk of jail time.
Instead, what do we get? A meaningless sideshow. A collective yawn from the media liberals. More toadying, lickspittle, compliant behavior from the reporting and chattering classes.