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Conservatives Note Double Standard on Moran Statement ^ | 3/13/03 | Jeff Johnson

Posted on 03/13/2003 3:16:37 AM PST by kattracks

Capitol Hill ( - Conservatives Tuesday criticized the muted response from the Democratic leadership in Congress to allegedly anti-Semitic remarks made by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) compared to their outcry over racially insensitive remarks last year by then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.).

Former Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer, who now heads a group called American Values, has written House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), asking her to "publicly disavow the anti-Semitic slander of Rep. Jim Moran."

At a March 3 anti-war forum in Reston, Va., Moran seemed to blame America's Jewish community for the looming war with Iraq.

"If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this," he said. "The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should."

At first, Moran defended the remarks.

"The reason I referenced the Jewish community is because a woman asking a question identified herself as being Jewish," he explained in a March 7 statement, "and I regret doing that."

Although Moran apologized in that press release, he apparently felt the need to strengthen his apology in a second release on March 10.

"I should not have singled out the Jewish community and regret giving any impression that its members are somehow responsible for the course of action being pursued by the administration, or are somehow behind an impending war," Moran said. "I deeply regret any hurt that I may have caused and sincerely apologize to anyone I may have offended."

Democrats Condemn Moran's Statements

Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate did condemn Moran's comments.

"It's a sad day when comments like that are made," said Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.). "They debase the debate, and they have no purpose."

Daschle's response was similar to statements he made following racially insensitive remarks by former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) at a birthday party for then-Senator Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.).

"There are a lot of times when [Lott] and I go to the microphone and would like to say things we meant to say differently," Daschle said in December.

Lott remarked that the country "wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years" had voters in other states followed Mississippi's lead in the 1948 presidential elections and supported Thurmond, who ran on a segregationist platform.

Following criticism from Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate, Daschle offered a stronger condemnation of Lott.

"Regardless of how [Lott] intended his statement to be interpreted, it was wrong to say it, and I strongly disagree with it," Daschle said. "His words were offensive to those who believe in freedom and equality in America."

But after initially trying to apologize and move on, Lott was forced to resign his Senate leadership post over the controversy. His resignation was demanded by numerous liberal "civil rights" groups and Democrats in both houses of Congress.

Bauer Alleges Washington 'Double Standard'

Pelosi said Moran's comments "were not only inappropriate, they were offensive" and had "no place in the Democratic Party." But she also defended her Democratic colleague, saying that Moran had "properly apologized."

Pelosi's take on Lott's "completely inappropriate" remarks was noticeably different, however, than her subdued criticism of Moran.

"I don't know if any apology is adequate," Pelosi said of Lott.

That contradiction concerns Bauer, who has worked with Pelosi on human rights issues and other matters related to China.

"I think there clearly is a double standard," Bauer told Wednesday. "It's been clear in Washington for many years that conservatives get one mistake, and liberals have the slate wiped clean with each new day."

Moran's remarks could be considered more offensive than Lott's, Bauer believes, because of their context and timing.

"Moran's contemporary comments are much more ugly and bigoted than Lott's observations on a 50-year-old presidential race," he charged.

Bauer feels Democrats should hold Moran to the same standard they applied to Lott.

"I feel that this is pernicious enough that, at the very least, he should be stripped of any kind of committee chairmanships, any kind of leadership position," Bauer said. "Beyond that, it's a serious enough thing that I would hope he would step down."

Moran: 'Probably Not Meant to Be in the Congress'

Moran acknowledged Wednesday that his personality continues to get him in trouble.

"I'm rough around the edges, and I always will be," Moran told Fox News Channel's Brian Wilson.

Wilson reported that in 1995, Moran was involved in a "shoving match" on the House floor. In 2000, police were called after Moran shoved a young boy at an elementary school in Virginia. The congressman accused the boy of trying to steal his car.

"I'm probably not meant to be in the Congress," Moran told Wilson.

Despite that admission and more than one call to do so, Moran has said that he will not resign his seat. He has contacted a number of Jewish groups to offer meetings with them to reconcile the controversy. At least one of the groups has refused to meet with Moran.

Calls to Pelosi's leadership office Wednesday were not returned prior to the submission of this article for publication, nor had any response to the Bauer letter been published on her leadership website.

E-mail a news tip to Jeff Johnson.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: jamespmoranjr
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To: hchutch
Conservatives clean their own house, and hold people to standards.

This might very well be true. But are you OK with the notion that politically correct hypersensitivity is now one of those "standards"?

21 posted on 03/13/2003 7:25:06 AM PST by wizzler
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To: wizzler
My principles exclude double standards. I expect of a news purveyor that similar stories be treated similarly. If a person wants to whine about a fat lady stepping on his toe, that's his business. But I expect to hear at least the same noise when the fat guy he's sleeping with jumps up and down on his feet. If I don't, I will point out the double standard.

You will notice, with a bit of careful reading instead of hasty leaps to conclusions, that I didn't suggest how the double standard be corrected. However, it is entirely possible to ignore the fat lady stepping on your toes and yowl at a fat gay lover jumping on your feet without being accused of a double standard. So while I feel that the hubbub over Lott's remarks was artificial and contrived (although I'm happy he isn't Leader now), it is not a double standard for me to recognize the blatant, specific insult that Moran the moron directed at the Jews.

It isn't a double standard to bridle at the greater of two offenses, but it is a double standard to take mild objection to the greater offense and throw a tantrum over the lesser.

So quit worrying about my principles and refine your own. (Of course, maybe your principle is truly that Americans should jump to conclusions regarding other's principles and accept blatant double standards in our mainstream media.)
22 posted on 03/13/2003 7:29:57 AM PST by GilesB
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To: wizzler
I think a lot of folks were sick of Lott's consistent stupidity. It was a tin ear comment at best. The fact it was made on a nationally broadcast event made it doubly stupid. I, for one, felt that indicent showed Trent Lott did not have the JUDGEMENT to be Senate Majority Leader.

That was not PC, it was a matter of common sense. Trent Lott loaded a gun, chambered the round, removed the safety, and handed it to the Dems.
23 posted on 03/13/2003 7:31:08 AM PST by hchutch ("Last suckers crossed, Syndicate shot'em up" - Ice-T, "I'm Your Pusher")
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To: GilesB
No, I think I understand that you are concerned about the difference between people's reactions to the two events, as well as the media's portrayal of each of those events. On a practical level, I agree with you: These two incidents have received different treatments. There IS a double standard.

In a sense, though, there's a double standard at work here on the part of conservatives too: For years we fought against the stifling of speech by politically correct forces. Now, it seems, we're ready to buy into the politically-correct stance, for the temporary purpose of scoring partisan points.

My point is that instead of braying about double standards, a better tack would be to insist that NEITHER of these speakers deserves to get raked over the coals. Instead of saying, "Hey, why did only one of these guys get pulled down," we should be saying, "Neither one of these guys should get pulled down."
24 posted on 03/13/2003 7:41:16 AM PST by wizzler
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To: Barney Gumble
"Where's Tom Brokav interviewing Jews that feel slighted?"

You might find it surprising, as I did, that the NBC Nightly News on Wednesday evening actually carried this story. Brokaw himself read it, and it lasted about 25 seconds. Came 19 minutes into the broadcast.


25 posted on 03/13/2003 7:42:55 AM PST by Wright is right! (Have a profitable day!)
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To: hchutch
But hchutch, the only reason Lott's comments seemed "stupid," or lacked "common sense," is that they were made in an era of stifling political correctness. It's that political correctness we should attack, not Lott's comments themselves. We shouldn't give in to being shut down by the PC brigade. We should fight the concept of PC at its root.

Otherwise, it's a concession of principles.
26 posted on 03/13/2003 7:46:55 AM PST by wizzler
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To: kattracks
Nothing NEW here......always has been a BIAS.......if this had be TOM DELAY or any other Conservative......all hell would be breaking loose on the network news and the cable stations. Let's just MOVE ON......and start the LIBERATION of IRAQ!!
27 posted on 03/13/2003 7:48:51 AM PST by PISANO
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To: wizzler
YOU are doing the braying - jumping to a conclusion, and continuing to jump after I point it out.

I haven't asked for EITHER to be pulled down - that you infer it speaks to your attitude, not mine.

I will contend, however, that reasonable people can take offense at Moran's statement while being unruffled by Lott's.

I'm not going to toe your line, or belly up to your bar. So you may as well stop asking. A double standard in the media is more offensive to me than either hypersensitivity or moderately offensive remarks - and I will continue to point it out.

And I so point.
28 posted on 03/13/2003 7:50:17 AM PST by GilesB
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To: GilesB
Honestly, I think we're talking past each other here to some extent.

In fact, I think you're jumping to conclusions about my posts: I think that you think they're addressed in their entirety to you. They're not.

Sorry about the confusion.
29 posted on 03/13/2003 8:00:59 AM PST by wizzler
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To: wizzler
When the post is addressed to me and it says: 'Quit worrying about "double standards," and stick to principles. (Of course, maybe your principle truly is that Americans should by hypersensitive and politically correct.)' I fail to see how it is jumping to a conclusion to assume that the perjoritives in the quote are directed specifically and entirely to me. Applying the "reasonable man" standard to this debate shows that I have been responding to your jumps to conclusions.
30 posted on 03/13/2003 8:06:09 AM PST by GilesB
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