Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Editor and Publisher

A white-supremacist Web site angered by a Leonard Pitts Jr. column alluding to the murder of a white couple posted The Miami Herald writer's home address and phone number -- leading to threats against the 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner.

When Herald Managing Editor/News Dave Wilson asked to delete the address and phone number, site editor Bill White replied: "We have no intention of removing Mr. Pitts' personal information. Frankly, if some loony took the info and killed him, I wouldn't shed a tear. That also goes for your whole newsroom."
This should be illegal, as this is a standard harassment tactic of white supremacists and extremist groups.

Update: Commenter Rob, I'm assuming Robert Redding Jr. notes that the Redding News Review broke this story before Editor and Publisher did. But more interestingly, he identifies Bill White's past contributions to the Washington Times, having had four letters published on a page edited by his "pretty good friend" Robert Stacy McCain. Redding News also quotes White as stating that Times managing editor Francis Coombs "is a big fan" of White's website (although Coombs's secretary denied that Coombs knows White) and also reports that White claims to know Francis's wife Marian Kester Coombs.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has previously identified Marian Kester Coombs as a racist.

The exposé also disclosed the racist views of Marian Kester Coombs, wife of the managing editor of The Washington Times, Fran[cis] Coombs. Coombs has seen his wife's columns published in his paper several times, and her articles have also appeared in white supremacist publications. Most of her especially inflammatory writings have appeared in white supremacist venues such as The Occidental Quarterly, which ran her glowing review of a book on "racially conscious" whites by Robert S. Griffin, a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance. In it, Marian Coombs opined that white men should "run, not walk" to wed "racially conscious" white women and avoid being out-bred by non-whites.

But the Times has also published its share of her extremism.

In one opinion piece in the Times, Coombs described the whole of human history as "the struggle of ... races." Non-white immigration, she wrote in another column, is "importing poverty and revolution" that will end in "the eventual loss of sovereign American territory." In England, Muslims "are turning life in this once pleasant land into a misery for its native inhabitants."
But the SPLC also identified the extremism of McCain

Also working for Fran[cis] Coombs is Robert Stacy McCain, a Times assistant national editor and a member of the white supremacist hate group League of the South. McCain is in charge of the paper's "Culture Briefs" feature, into which he has often inserted excerpts of material written by hate groups. At Coombs' direction, McCain has been allowed to cover "Southern heritage" issues for the Times, while citing as experts fellow members of the League. In addition, McCain is the only national reporter to cover four conferences put on by American Renaissance. Until 2004, McCain had never mentioned its controversial nature.
Here is a SPLC report on the aforementioned theocratic/supremacist League of the South and another article from the SPLC notes that the Times has published 35 news and opinion pieces of the apparently virulently racist/supremacist/nativist Marian Kester Coombs without disclosing her relation to the paper's managing editor. It also further explains McCain's use/promotion of racist and supremacist material in the pages of the paper that he manages

But McCain still works at The Washington Times, where his articles run under headlines like "Backlash Building in White America." Under the direction of Fran[cis] Coombs and National Editor Ken Hanner, in fact, McCain puts together the paper's page-two "Culture Briefs" section.

In that section, McCain has used excerpts from racist venues including American Renaissance magazine and the VDARE Web site. (For her part, Coombs has written articles for VDARE and once wrote to American Renaissance with this: "Whites do not like crowded societies, and Americans would not have to live in crowds if our government kept out Third-World invaders.")

In fact, McCain may be the only mainstream newspaper reporter to have covered four American Renaissance conferences. Twice, he offered no description of the group, which is devoted to race science. Once, he said it was "critical of liberal positions on race and immigration." Only in 2004 did he note that some viewed it as racist.

McCain, who declined all comment, has also been identified by the League of the South hate group, for whom he occasionally writes, as a member.

Despite his well-known sympathies, McCain has written in the Times about the "pro-South" groups he favors. Last June 27, for instance, he penned an extremely long front-page article headlined "Southern Pride Rallies 'Round the Flag." He was talking about the Confederate battle flag.
Oh, but there's more. In yet another SPLC article documenting the Washington Times habit of defending neo-confederate organizations, we here that

McCain's beliefs often creep into his stories in ways that readers might not notice. In 1998, McCain wrote the Times' obituary for George Wallace, the Alabama governor who became the South's most famous segregationist.

Hailing Wallace as "a man who transformed American politics" and paved the way for conservative electoral triumphs, McCain quoted three scholars on Wallace. All the scholars were identified as history professors — but not as leaders in the same hate group McCain belongs to, the League of the South.

"[A]s a working journalist with 10 years' experience," McCain once wrote on the League's DixieNet Web site, "I am well aware of how reporters can subtly frame their stories to suggest which side in any controversy is in the right." McCain's stories for the Times often display this expertise, relying on sources from hate groups without acknowledging the controversial nature of their views — and immediately shooting down any opposing viewpoints, like those of the NAACP leader in McCain's story on Dixie-loving as a "hate crime."

If McCain's not-so-subtle framing of the news has raised eyebrows around the Times' newsroom, it doesn't appear to have affected the kinds of stories he's assigned to write. In 2000, when African-American writer Lerone Bennett Jr. published a controversial book accusing Abraham Lincoln of being a racist (see related story Lincoln Reconstructed), McCain wrote an approving feature about the book even though — perhaps unbeknownst to his editors — he had already expressed vehement opinions on the subject.

In an Internet discussion group, McCain had written that Lincoln was a "war criminal" who should have been tried for "treason." On DixieNet, McCain — using his own name — had even concocted a mock "Wanted" poster for Lincoln, whom he described as the "1st RULER and TYRANT of the AMERICAN EMPIRE" and a perpetrator of "Murder, False Imprisonment, and numerous HEINOUS crimes against the SOUTHern states and AMERICANS in general!"
So to sum: The Washington Times is another one of the media transmitters that Dave Neiwert has written so much about at Orcinus. Here we see how one of the leading and most influential papers of the conservative movement injects covert extremism into our political discourse.

1 comment:

Rob said...

First, E&P did not break this story Redding News Review did:

EXCLUSIVE: Pitts being harassed by white racist group

Second, Bill White is a consistent contributor to the Washington Times: