Virginia Sen. George Allen, left, answers a question as Democratic challenger James Webb listens during a debate sponsored by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce in McLean, Va., Monday, Sept 18, 2006
The current uproar over Sen. George Allen (news, bio, voting record)’s (R-VA) alleged racist comments, including several stories accusing him of using the N-word and engaging in other anti-black statements years ago, has drawn mixed reaction from his home state newspapers as they cover his re-election campaign.
While some papers, such as the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, are stepping up coverage of the issue as the accusations spread, others, like The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, are purposely downplaying the story out of concern for other issues in the tight Senate race with Jim Webb, a Demcorat. All of those local journalists who spoke with E&P, however, deny missing the story in the past, claiming any indication that Allen may have made such comments were nothing more than rumors.
“There were rumors that never rose to a news story,” said Warren Fiske, a Virginian-Pilot political reporter and 20-year veteran of state coverage. “In the past, we dealt with what we knew and could prove. We wrote stories about the Confederate flag in his house, his opposition to the Martin Luther King holiday and black legislators’ concerns of his sensitivity. But I don’t recall a teammate ever coming out and putting a name behind it.”
Well, it appears the original Salon story and the resulting follow-ups have not been substantiated than to be more than rumors or a partisan Democrat set-up to “GET” George Allen.
One thing is certain: the only first-hand sources that have gone on the record have political axes to grind against Allen and their stories have fallen apart under close scrutiny. It’s a smear campaign, a character assassination in slow motion, and one that should shame James Webb and his campaign. They have yet to distance themselves from these attacks, and one has to conclude that they have no desire to do so.
It appears the local Viriginia press has miscounted the entire N-Word FLAP or lack thereof. This smells of a DIRTY TRICK and the SMELL emanates from the James Webb campaign.
Might this KERRFUFFIL backfire on the Webb candidacy?
Possible but more likely it will die a lingering death…..
Stay tuned ….
Powerline: The macaca offensive
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