Man Without Qualities

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Remembering Maynard Jackson

The mainstream media is remembering Jaynard Jackson - but selectively. CNN, representatively, reports on the memorial service with the following:

President Bill Clinton [was] among those who spoke of Jackson's life. ... Clinton, in his characteristic folksy style, said Jackson had a "voice that could melt the meanness out of the hardest heart" and a "gift of gab that could talk an owl out of a tree."

"And he had certain convictions because he knew that politicians made choices that affect people's lives," he said. "He saw how much good affirmative action did for well-connected white folks and he thought it ought to be tried for other people as well."

"Sure enough," Clinton said, "it worked." ....

Jackson unsuccessfully sought the job of Democratic National Committee chairman in 2001, and served as the party's national development chairman.

Well "it" may have worked, as Clinton said, but the success of "it" didn't keep Bill and Hillary Clinton from using their influence to deny Mr. Jackson the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee in favor of the incompetent hack, but Clinton stalward, Terry McAuliffe.

Mr. Jackson accomplished a lot during his life, and he was a force for significant good. He deserved better than he got from his party and from the Clintons, and he deserved better from the media, who in the coverage of his passing should have reminded the public of how ill used Mr. Jackson had been by those people.

It matters.

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