White House distances itself from Paterson's claims of racist media

The White House distanced itself Monday from suggestions made by New York Gov. David Paterson (D) that President Obama would be targeted for media scrutiny because of his race.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton told reporters in Martha's Vineyard, where the president is vacationing, that the president doesn't agree with Paterson's assertion that African-American politicians are victimized by "orchestrated" campaigns by the media.

"In terms of media coverage and the media, he thinks there are a lot of people who disagree with him in the media, a lot of people who agree with him in the media, and some who just play it straight," Burton told reporters. "Whether or not race plays into that...the president doesn't think that's the case."

"We're not in the post-racial period," Paterson told the New York Daily News last week. "The reality is the next victim on the list -- and you can see it coming -- is President Barack Obama, who did nothing more than trying to reform a health care system."

Paterson also suggested that Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) has been the victim of a racially biased media.

Burton said that the White House hadn't been following Paterson's uphill reelection bid in New York with much "granularity."