by WorldTribune Staff, January 20, 2019
The mainstream media saw “blood in the water” after The New York Times published a report claiming Rep. Steve King defended white supremacy, two conservative columnists noted.
Liberal talking heads jumped on the King-as-racist bandwagon and some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said the Iowa Republican should resign. What’s more, he lost his committee assignments.
King’s words were a blunt call “for a return to constitutional governance, bold warnings about the pitfalls of open borders and stark predictions about the loss of Western culture,” columnist Cheryl K. Chumley wrote for The Washington Times.
“The New York Times may find all that offensive and divisive and racist. But there’s a whole host of Americans who agree with King. And guess what? They’re not members of a white supremacist group. They’re simply citizens, trying to hold on to a country they love – to the country that founders imagined. Oftentimes, in a word: They’re conservatives.”
American Spectator columnist Dan Flynn noted that “in reading the Times’s account, even without King’s rebuttal, the text they put into King’s mouth does not make much sense.”
Here’s what the Times says King said: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization – how did that language become offensive?”
Flynn noted: “Even (especially?) real white supremacists understand that their views offend. One gathers that serves as the attraction – shocking and offending people – of their hateful outlook.”
King contends that the Times deleted the first part of the sentence and incorrectly inserted a comma between “white supremacist” and “Western civilization” – instead of a period, dash, or some other grammatical barrier that would have made it clear that “Western civilization” served as the antecedent to “that.”
In other words, Flynn wrote, “King wondered how Western civilization suddenly became offensive, not how white supremacy suddenly became offensive, something wondered by exactly no one and said by even fewer.”
Following the uproar from the Times report, King said: ““In a 56 minute interview, we discussed the changing use of language in political discourse. We discussed the worn out label ‘racist’ and my observation that other slanderous labels have been increasingly assigned to conservatives by the Left, who injected into our current political dialog such terms as Nazi, fascist, ‘White Nationalist, White Supremacist, – Western Civilization, how did THAT language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?’…just to watch Western Civilization become a derogatory term in political discourse today. Clearly, I was only referencing Western Civilization classes. No one ever sat in a class listening to the merits of white nationalism and white supremacy.”
Flynn also pointed out that The New York Times “did not record its conversation with King. Why on earth would the newspaper of record not record for its newspaper? This is not professional and lends itself to the kind of he said-he said argument currently taking place. If you want the truth, record. If you want to play ventriloquist, take notes.
“King says he said one thing. The Times insists he said something else. But given the standard practice among good journalists – ones who want to get the story right as opposed to those who want to get the narrative right – to record interviews, and the ease with which one can do this on every smartphone on the market, The New York Times deserves the scorn of people in journalism, rather than their unquestioning acceptance, for quoting from a 56-minute conversation without recording that conversation.”
Chumley noted that King’s statement did not stop the Times from going after the congressman “with a followup piece supposedly listing his ‘long history of racist comments and insults about immigrants.’ ”
Some examples given by the Times: In 2002, while serving in the Iowa State Senate, King filed a bill requiring that schools teach that America “is the unchallenged greatest nation in the world and that it has derived its strength from … Christianity, free enterprise capitalism and Western civilization.”
King, also in 2002, pushed for a law making English the official language of his state – and three years later, as U.S. congressman, did the same for the whole country. In 2006, King characterized the deaths and killings of U.S. citizens by illegals as a “slow-moving Holocaust” and at a rally, cited statistics – disputed by some, supported by others – that 25 Americans die each day at the hands of illegals.
Chumley noted: (Just for interest, a grieving father who lost his son in a wreck with an illegal – who then tried to flee the scene – conducted independent research and reported, in 2016, that up to 7,500 Americans, or 20 per day, are killed each year by unlicensed drivers, more than half of which he claimed were illegals. That’s just deaths due to driving accidents.)”
The New York Times went on, blasting King for describing how he’d put an electrified wire on top of the border wall; for aligning himself with Dutch politician Geert Wilders and France’s Marie Le Pen; and for several statements about the need to preserve Western civilization culture.
King “may stick his foot in his mouth with his wording – but really, not so often as the media would have believed,” Chumley wrote. “It’s the media twisting that usually brings the thunder.
“Let’s not let the burial of King morph into a mass funeral for conservatism over words and ideologies the media cannot stand.”