Just Give It Up, Geraldine!

She's at it again, dismissing Obama's chances of winning, but can she at least get the facts straight?

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Getty Images

“It’s not racism that is driving them, it’s racial resentment,” she says.

I’d like to know the difference. Racism is racism no matter how Ferraro tries to parse it. Feeling resentment against a candidate who happens to belong to a particular race (and ignoring the fact that he is biracial) not because you disagree with his policy positions but because you suspect he has a secret racial agenda, is in fact racist. That Ferraro consistently and solely views Obama through the prism of race is racist. She has not publicly taken issue with any of his positions on health care, the war in Iraq, global warming or the economy, but came straight out of the box, from day one, attacking him as an overrated black male unworthy of the nomination. Racist is as racist does.

Ferraro had ample opportunity to cite examples of Obama’s race-baiting; she listed none. Let’s consider Clinton’s artful use of the phrase “hard-working white Americans” and her repeated statements about being the only person who can win over white voters. Let’s consider how many times Clinton and her proxies, Ferraro among them, bring up race to remind voters that Yoo hoo, don’t forget Obama is a black man.

It’s so transparent; it’s almost laughable.

Ferraro has a right to her opinions but her drumbeat of nonsense should not go unchallenged. If race were not a factor in this election, she would not be harping on it every chance she gets. At least voters in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and elsewhere who felt comfortable saying on television that they could not, and would not, vote for a black man, were being honest. Ferraro’s comments, on the other hand, speak volumes about the depth of her intellectual dishonesty.

What’s ironic is that Ferraro, who has accused reporters in general, and black reporters in particular, of reportorial dishonesty and bias in favor of Obama, supports calls for a study by Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein’s Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy to determine, among other things, “whether the media treated Clinton fairly or unfairly.” A study was recently done answering that very question.

The day before Ferraro’s piece appeared  in the Globe, the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Joan Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University, both respected nonpartisan research organizations, issued a new study of primary news coverage showing that: “Democrat Barack Obama has not enjoyed a better ride in the press than rival Hillary Clinton.”

According to the study, “From January 1, just before the Iowa caucuses, through March 9, following the Texas and Ohio contests, the height of the primary season, the dominant personal narratives in the media about Obama and Clinton were almost identical in tone, and were both twice as positive as negative.”

The study “examined the coverage of the candidates’ character, history, leadership and appeal—apart from the electoral results and the tactics of their campaigns.”

It also found that “The trajectory of the coverage, however, began to turn against Obama, and did so well before questions surfaced about his pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Shortly after Clinton criticized the media for being soft on Obama during a debate, the narrative about him began to turn more skeptical—and indeed became more negative than the coverage of Clinton herself. What’s more, an additional analysis of more general campaign topics suggests the Obama narrative became even more negative later in March, April and May.”