Politico's Byers: Media Quicker to Fault GOP on Race Issues

Monday, 28 Apr 2014 04:56 PM

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There very well may be a prejudice against Republicans by the media, says Dylan Byers, media columnist for Politico.

Commenting on the racially charged stories involving Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and how Republicans are being trashed for them, Byers on Monday told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV:

"Is it fair to say that the media maybe is quicker to jump to fault Republicans for this sort of world view? Maybe."

According to website TMZ, Sterling told his girlfriend he didn’t want her to bring black people to his games after she posted a photo of herself with Basketball Hall-of-Famer Magic Johnson on Instagram.

Bundy, who has been involved in a land dispute with the federal government and was defended by Republicans, last week wondered whether blacks were better off as slaves or living on government assistance.

Story continues below video.

Malzberg said there were numerous stories involving comments by Democrats that got little or no coverage.

One was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's comment that the race of Barack Obama – whom he described as a "light-skinned" African-American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one" – would help rather than hurt his eventual presidential bid.

Another was Vice President Joe Biden's comment that education in Washington, D.C., is worse than in Iowa because more minorities live in the nation's capital. Biden also once said Obama was the first "clean" African-American presidential candidate.

"It's very hard to look at Biden and Reid's remarks and enter the relatively low reaction that there was to those versus the reaction to Bundy's remarks and not see evidence there is some sort of double standard," Byers said.

"I think the real issue here is just that whether it's Bundy, whether it's Sterling, the remarks are terribly egregious . . . they don't need to be politicized, they're just wrong."

Byers said it is "ridiculous" to suggest that one person can speak for an entire party.

"Certainly Cliven Bundy does not speak for the Republican Party," Byers said.

"It's also true that there were certain right-leaning media organizations that certainly championed Bundy's cause.

"So, in a way they sort of inadvertently walked into this by choosing to make a folk hero out of a guy who they probably didn't know but turned out to have some archaic views on race in this country."

On the subject of Sunday morning news shows, Byers says they are in trouble.

"The truth is that the Sunday shows in general just don't command the sort of influence that they used to command," he said.

"The problem for them is how do they command the news cycle when we have so many different media outlets, and we have everything online, and when we have 24-hour cable news, when a lawmaker or presidential administration can make news simply by sending out a tweet. I mean, it's a big challenge for them."

See "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

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