Okay, I suppose I shouldn’t repeat the axiom that if liberals didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all, so I think I’ll start using this title, “Editorships and Double Standards,” which gimlet-eyed readers may recognize as an homage to Jeane Kirkpatrick’s famous essay, “Dictatorships and Double Standards.”
What prompts this reflection is the following obvious media double standard: we have been told repeatedly in recent weeks that we shouldn’t–or can’t, or something–“re-litigate” President Obama’s ties to the Rev. Wright, or anything else from his past. (Strange, too, that the formal legal term “litigate” has suddenly become a common usage for political vetting.) But when it comes to media coverage of George Allen, who won the Virginia primary yesterday to face off against Tim Kaine for the U.S. Senate in Virginia, it’s “all Macaca all the time.”
Pravda on the Potomac the Washington Post makes a point of highlighting Macaca once again in its news story this morning: “For Allen, the race represents a chance at redemption after his dramatic reelection loss to Webb in 2006. Allen appeared to have that contest well in hand — and was already mulling a run for president in 2008 — when he referred to an Indian American volunteer for the Webb campaign as “macaca,” an ethnic slur in some cultures.”
Ditto for the Wall Street Journal: “Mr. Allen, 60, was a one-term senator in 2006 when he narrowly lost re-election to Mr. Webb. A key moment of that campaign came when Mr. Allen at a rally addressed a Democratic staffer, a man of Indian descent, as ‘Macaca.” The word or variants of it means ‘monkey’ in several languages. The exchange was caught on videotape and widely reported.”
And I predict it will be “widely reported” in this election cycle, too. So watch for how many times Allen is asked how he will overcome his “Macaca” moment, and how many times Obama is asked about anything from his past.