Media Scrutiny Of The 'Unsavory' Past | Beaufort County Now | One of the toughest decisions an editor has to make is to decide how long an unsavory act or behavior should follow a person or an institution around in the news columns. | Media,segregation,Strom Thurmond,Robert Byrd,Ku Klux Klan,Civil Rights Act,Porsche,Hitler,Germany

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Media Scrutiny Of The 'Unsavory' Past

    Publisher's note: The author of this post is John Hood, who is a publisher for the Carolina Journal, John Hood Publisher.

    RALEIGH     One of the toughest decisions an editor has to make is to decide how long an unsavory act or behavior should follow a person or an institution around in the news columns.

    Should that indecent exposure arrest a person got in college for relieving himself on the frat house lawn be mentioned when that person decides to run for statewide office at age 45? Should that drunk driving arrest in high school be mentioned when a person gets named school superintendent 30 years later?

    The key to fairness in these matters is to be consistent. The media can't (or shouldn't) dredge up such facts for those they don't like, or with whom they disagree politically, while leaving them hidden for people they do like, or with whom they agree ideologically.

    But, guess what? That's not how it happens.

    The media took every opportunity to point out the Dixiecrat and pro-segregation lineage of Sen. Strom Thurmond, a Republican, but hardly ever mentioned that his Democratic colleague, Sen. Robert Byrd, had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan and was a ringleader in filibustering the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    In today's media, the rule seems to be that unsavory pasts will be attached forever in news stories to conservatives, but not for those on the left. Usually this inconsistency works to push the narrative of the left that the right is filled with unsavory characters who are, in a favorite phrase of theirs, "to the right of Attila the Hun."

    In a recent issue of The News & Observer, a history professor at UNC wrote an op-ed piece decrying that the N.C. Museum of Art did not have displayed prominently at its "Porsche By Design" exhibit the fact that Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche had once collaborated with the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler.

    He wrote that he was "shocked and saddened by the arid formalism motivating the show" and the "rank insensitivity to people and groups who historically suffered" because of things "some engineers" at Porsche may have done in Germany from 1933 to 1945.

    And he suggested that a prominent display documenting Porsche's actions during Hitler's reign, and a few lectures on the same, were the least the museum should have done.

    The curators at the museum were dealing with the very same question I began this column with: At what point does an unsavory past become irrelevant to the present? Should Bayer Aspirin also be tagged to the Nazis on every mention, as well? Or Audi (Auto-Union in Nazi days)?

    Closer to home, should one feel the need to reference The News & Observer's shameful role during North Carolina's segregated and racist past?

    Fairness and consistency are difficult in such matters. I guess that's why they pay editors the big bucks.


Latest Op-Ed & Politics

Contrast this to the riots we're now seeing in Minneapolis
Rob Crilly of the Washington Examiner considers former Vice President Mike Pence’s plans for the next presidential election cycle.
This article is dedicated to our great Founding Fathers - men who had the courage, the foresight, and the wisdom to secure the freedom that I exercise and enjoy every single day. - Diane Rufino
Multiple sources have confirmed to Carolina Journal that 13th District Congressman Ted Budd will enter the U.S. Senate race in the coming weeks.
Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, a Republican, is thinking seriously about a run for U.S. Senate in 2022 and plans to announce his decision within days, multiple sources tell Carolina Journal.
We will offer this allotment of three with more to come; some old, most new, but all quite informative, and, moreover, necessary to understanding that in North Carolina, there is a wiser path to govern ourselves and our People.


Kevin Williamson of National Review Online rebuts critics of his earlier writing on protecting the democratic process.
On Monday, the Iranian regime vowed revenge against Israel after Israel was accused of causing Iran’s underground Natanz nuclear site to suffer an electricity outage that could set back Iran’s nuclear enrichment program.
Come with us as we gaze into the Looking Glass for answers that most ignore or simply can't see.
Aaron Sibarium of the Washington Free Beacon explains one way in which Britain’s departure from the European Union has paid dividends.
Former N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday, April 14, plans to announce on his radio show he will immediately enter the race for U.S. Senate in 2022, sources confirm to Carolina Journal.
Key staffers admit they were intent on getting Trump out of office
There are great many problems that we face in this country today that have a direct bearing on the survivability of the United States and the freedoms of its people.


Back to Top