What a difference 24 hours makes. The story was covered on NBC Nightly News last night, and made editorial pages nationwide today. Here’s some of the coverage.
All Things Considered
Melissa Block talks with NPR political analyst Ken Rudin about what Goode is complaining about, and finds his concern lacking. I had to cringe when they got to talking about how it is that he’s in office and Rudin pointed out that it’s a largely-white district. Translation: Fifth District voters are OK with this kind of thing.
The John and Ken Show
This show’s hosts spent some quality time ripping on Goode yesterday, and they certainly weren’t shy about it. The John and Ken Show is KFI’s drive-time show. KFI is the most listened-to radio station in the nation. (Via The Political Noise)
The Chicago Defender
The city’s African-American newspaper describes Goode as “an unrepentant religious bigot,” describing him as “a domestic enemy” and a “so-called Christian” who is “leading the parade [of bigotry].”
Los Angeles Times
Writer Joel Havemann points out that the RNC still will not comment, thus implicitly endorsing Rep. Goode’s statements, at least in the eyes of the public. Havemann makes the connection between this and Sen. George Allen’s gaffe at The Breaks — both men wrongly judged somebody to be an immigrant based on their heritage and then used that as a premise to insult them. And, sadly, both took place here in Virginia.
Mason Adams describes the security that surrounded Goode’s press conference in the Franklin County Courthouse. That security was put to work to turn away only one person: the chair of the Franklin County Democratic Committee. Adams interviews Rocky Mount business owner Mamdouh Mohamed Ibrahim, who moved there from Egypt six months ago. Says Ibrahim, “We’re all the same blood. I have a heart, you have a heart. What’s the difference?
They interview Rep. Keith Ellison, who displays a tolerance and a level of respect for Goode’s views that boggles the mind. Wolf Blitzer asks Ellison if Goode is a bigot, to which Ellison responded that he was not going to join in any name-calling. He would only say that Goode “has a lot to learn about Islam.” Those who choose to view Ellison as the representative of Islam and Goode the representative of Christianity in this dispute might want to consider which religion looks better in this exchange. The piece also points out that Sen. John Warner has issued a statement that implicitly repudiates Goode, stating that he believes that all congressional representatives have the right to “exercise the religion of their choice, including those of the Islamic faith utilizing the Quran.”
Reporter Seth McLaughlin asked Goode directly whether he opposes Muslims in Congress, and Goode, alarmingly, said only “That’s not in the letter.” McLaughlin, too, makes the connection to Allen’s career-ending racist remark.
And then there’s the editorials. My god, the editorials.
These people don’t mince words. They write that “it’s hard to know where to start with this intolerant rant,” and proceed to ask all of the right questions and make all of the points that need making. They close out by pointing out the two Buddhists that will be taking office with Rep. Goode next month — Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono and Georgia’s Hank Johnson — and asking why Goode “seems unconcerned about the Buddhist threat to American ‘values.'”
Barre Montpelier Times Argus
They recite the facts, figuring that they speak for themselves, praising Ellison for taking the high road and damning Goode — and those addressed by his letter — for taking the low road.
Short and to the point, they refer Goode to the Bill of Rights to clear up his confusion.
They have a message for those of us in the Fifth District: “We’re not in the habit of telling voters in other states what to do, but if Virginia voters don’t give the inaptly-named Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr. the bum’s rush in the next election they’ll have embarrassed themselves on a national scale.” They describe our congressman as an “ignoramus” and a “reactionary,” and describe his letter as a “bigoted rant.” They look forward to seeing Goode booted from office as soon as possible.
This is clearly the harshest of the bunch, presumably because they’re familiar with Rep. Goode. They object to his “colossally stupid bigotry,” and the “state of xenophobic delirium” in which he “went on a semi-public tirade.” The Post that worries that “Mr. Goode was evidently napping in class the day they taught the traditional American values of tolerance, diversity and religious freedom,” but point out that his “dimwitted outburst of nativism is nothing new.” The Post makes the excellent point that Rep. Goode’s comments are genuinely problematic for the United States, as he divides the world into Christian and Muslim and launches “a civilizational war against Islam.”
This next one isn’t an editorial, but worth calling up.
This well-known Jewish organization apparently performed the same hypothetical exercise that I did, so they wrote this letter to Rep. Goode to “express strong concerns” about his statement. The point to his “serious lack of understanding of the fundamental religious guarantees enshrined in the US Constitution” and highlight that Rep. Ellison is not, in fact, an immigrant.
I can only assume that this story has peaked at this point. Unless Goode fans the flames or some major protest or support movement appears, there’s really no more news that’s going to happen here. We’ll see more editorials, maybe some minor revelations, but this will probably slide out existence in the next few days.