It’s Tough Out There for a Racist

It’s getting tough to separate the journalists from the satirists these days.

Kathleen Geier at Washington Monthly highlights this insane article by Samanth Bryson of Scripps Howard News Service that treats the Ku Klux Klan like it is just any other good-hearted civic organization fixin’ to have a barbecue to support the rights of white people. You really have to go and read this thing in its entirety for its jaw-dropping stupidity, but here’s my favorite part:

As local leader of the Loyal White Knights, Edward the Exalted Cyclops organized a barbecue last month to make plans for Saturday’s demonstration to show that white people still have rights.

Edward curses sparingly, drinks rarely, and keeps his hair clipped short — his tribute to his old-fashioned Christian values. With a voice to match his hulking frame, Edward issues commands, not requests, and rarely bookends his sentences with “please” or “thank you.”

But read it fast, because I’m guessing this thing slipped through the cracks on a busy Easter weekend and will be gone by Monday morning, to be replaced by an apology and a resignation letter. And, by all means, read the comments, but make sure you warm up the Silkwood Shower first.

I agree with Mistermix at Balloon Juice:

Geier faults the writer and editor of this piece, but I do not. This piece is exactly what happens when you take the last 40 years of journalistic teaching and practice and apply it to a subject like the Klan. There are always both sides to the story, objective journalists must report them, feature stories are not regular journalism and should try to carefully reflect the “truth” of the subject being featured using their own words, and the only permissible judgments that can be made in a story come out of the mouths of quoted sources.

So if you’re writing an article on global warming, you quote one denier and one scientist and let the reader sort out the truth. And if you are writing a piece on the Ku Klux Klan, you quote Edward the Exalted Cyclops and let the reader run screaming into the endless night.

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