The Terrapin Times

Friday, October 28, 2005

Update: Diamondback 'Makes Up' for Unfair Steele Coverage

Two days after The Terrapin Times editor in chief Nathan Burchfiel sent a letter to The Diamondback questioning its unfair coverage of Republican Senate candidate Michael Steele, the student daily published a front-page article on Steele.

The letter (posted below in a previous announcement) addressed the disparity between the papers coverage of Democratic gubernatorial candidates -- who both received front-page stories with pictures -- and Steele, who was pushed to page 7 in a story that focused on students who protested his announcement.

The story printed Friday ("Steele admired as leader of black community") appears to be an attempt at making up for the mistake earlier in the week. But even the new article is focused on discrediting Steele, an African-American, in the black community.

The sub-headline reads: "Students say they want to know more before supporting U.S. Senate race." The story goes on to quote several African Americans who doubt that Steele will receive much support from blacks.

The story quotes three sources, none of whom express support for Steele. Ron Walters, a primary source for journalists who want to make a story about race, said that if blacks voted for Steele, they would be doing it "out of spite" for the Democrats.

The other two sources -- students in executive positions in the hardly nuetral chapter of the NAACP -- echoed Walters' speculation that blacks won't vote for Steele, without addressing any of his specific policies that hurt minorities.

We commend the Diamondback for trying to make up for their mistakes, but doing so by making the campaign about race is not going to help. Michael Steele is a good candidate for the Republican party ... not because he's black, but because he's a good leader with good policies for minorities and majorities alike. This sets him apart from his Democratic opponents, who apparently must resort to ignoring the issues and talking about race instead.


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