Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mayoral candidate accused of racism, but her party affiliation may be bigger news

Mainstream media bias is alive and well.

Mayoral candidate accused of racism, but her party affiliation may be bigger news

Diane Strumolo Burke.
Diane Strumolo Burke.

Mainstream media bias is alive and well.

While it’s not surprising that a far left publication like Mother Jones would go there, it didn’t take long for the mainstream media to make front page news revealing that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was a Republican.

The horrors! Those evil, racist Republicans.


More coverage
McCord raises racism in gov primary attack ad

In almost every article I’ve ever read that involves a racist or sexist Republican, the fact that they are, in fact, a Republican is often made the most prominent aspect of the column – as if there is something terrible wrong and humiliating to have the dreaded GOP affiliation linked to you.

Bear in mind, Donald Sterling has not, is not, and probably will never run for public office.

But he’s been given the dreaded Scarlet Letter.

Fast forward to this breaking story from New Jersey’s Star-Ledger about a councilwoman from the city of Belleville, N.J  who is now seeking to be its mayor.

From the story, reporter James Queally tells us:

BELLEVILLE — A Michigan forensics lab has confirmed with "85 percent" certainty that the voice heard on a phone message using a racial slur is that of Belleville councilwoman and mayoral candidate Marie Strumolo Burke.

In the recording, which was posted to YouTube and has been the subject of local discussion for weeks, a woman’s voice that is allegedly Burke’s can be heard yelling in the background of a voicemail left on Councilman Kevin Kennedy’s answering machine.

"This is terrible. This is terrible. This is gonna be a (expletive) (N-word) town," the woman says near the end of the 90-second message.

You can hear the audio here and make up your own mind.

If you're thinking it’s eerily familiar to the Sterling audio tapes, you’re not alone. It is.

Yet, neither the originator of this story – the Star-Ledger – nor other supposedly non-partisan sources, such as News 12 New Jersey, cared to mention that Burke is a registered Democrat.

To me, and probably to you, hate transcends political partisanship. And while it’s been a little more common on the elephant’s side of recent days, it’s just as easy to find on the donkey side.

I have to thank U-Turn reader Felix Yelin for bringing this story to my attention on Facebook, and help make an effort to counter media bias out there.

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John Featherman is a contributor at Philly.com and writes about politics and consumer-related issues. Reach John at john@featherman.com.

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