Imagine a World Where Racial Assaults by Political Leaders Are Considered News

Imagine that the executive director of Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network punched a woman in the head while uttering a racial epithet. Imagine further that two years after this hate crime took place, the executive director still had his job, and when Sharpton was asked about this, he speculated about why this story was “even newsworthy,” and insisted that “I don’t have any day-to-day control over the organization.”

Does anyone doubt that if such an incident happened, it would be a major national news story, and Sharpton would be facing a firestorm of criticism?

Yet precisely such an incident did happen–except that the leader of the national movement was former Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo, and the perpetrator of the assault was Marcus Epstein, the executive director of Tancredo’s anti-immigration PAC, Team America.

So why is it that a Google News search for “Marcus Epstein” turns up only a handful of stories–many of them in progressive online outlets like Talking Points Memo, Washington Independent and Daily Kos? The “liberal media” work in mysterious ways, I guess.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.