WaPo Blasted Over Controversial Article
The Washington Post came under fire for publishing an article claiming that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ previous rulings “often resemble the thinking of White conservatives.”
The article, which was a news item and not an opinion piece, focused on House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) and his role in President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nomination process.
Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Marianna Sotomayor, the authors, highlighted the importance of Clyburn’s recommendation to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. They quoted Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Clyburn’s friend of more than 30 years, saying: “If you know that a person has been vetted by Jim Clyburn, you know that person won’t go to the court and end up being a Clarence Thomas.”
The authors wrote that Thompson “was referring to the Black justice whose rulings often resemble the thinking of White conservatives.”
The article became the subject of widespread criticism for its racially-charged sentiment, with some referring to it as “overt racism.”
“The level of overt racism you can get away with as long as it’s devoted to the cause of American liberalism is just breathtaking,” journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote on Twitter.
“This is as patronizing, demeaning and racialized an attack as you’ll see, right out in the open in the Washington Post. But the target is right.”
Another called it “insanely offensive.”
“This isn’t even an opinion piece. In a media environment with actual standards, the editors and writers responsible for this post would face real consequences.”
Jeff Jacoby, an op-ed columnist for The Boston Globe, tweeted: “This is journalism? [Cleve Wootson] and [Marianna Sotomayor] snidely identify Clarence Thomas — in a news story — as ‘the Black justice whose rulings often resemble the thinking of White conservatives.’ Why don’t they just call him an Uncle Tom?”
WaPo later updated the article and added a “clarification,” which reads: “A previous version of this story imprecisely referred to Justice Clarence Thomas’s opinions as often reflecting the thinking of White conservatives, rather than conservatives broadly. That reference has been removed.”