Media unfair to Tim Scott

The reaction to the naming of Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to the U.S. Senate compared to Barack Obama entering the Senate and subsequent appointment of Roland Burris to the body four years ago is an interesting and revealing study in contrasts — and hypocrisy.
When the Democrats have a black man in the Senate, they make him president in about 10 minutes, the left calls him “savior,” bestows the Nobel Peace Prize on him, names him Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” and shrilly tags those who disagree with him as “racists” and other ugly invectives.


The reaction to the naming of Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to the U.S. Senate compared to Barack Obama entering the Senate and subsequent appointment of Roland Burris to the body four years ago is an interesting and revealing study in contrasts — and hypocrisy.
When the Democrats have a black man in the Senate, they make him president in about 10 minutes, the left calls him “savior,” bestows the Nobel Peace Prize on him, names him Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” and shrilly tags those who disagree with him as “racists” and other ugly invectives.

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When Republicans put a black man in the Senate, the media ignore it, or the left proceeds to question his “credibility” as an African-American. An op-ed published in The New York Times refers to Scott as a “cynical token” of the GOP, despite the fact that his fiscally conservative record mirrors those of his predecessor and the governor who appointed him, as well as his South Carolina constituency. It further pontificates that Scott will not represent African-Americans while in the Senate, even though South Carolina has a large black population and Scott said he represents all of his constituents.

Yet the far-left Daily Kos, while engaging in gratuitous slamming of Scott, also assessed: “While Scott hasn’t been the iconoclast DeMint has (few could be), he’s already put together a reliably conservative profile and should fit right in with the rest of the GOP caucus in the upper chamber.” If Tim Scott is so reliably conservative and fits right in, then how can he be a ”cynical token,” as the Times op-ed claims? The two would seem to be mutually exclusive, but are an indication the left will throw everything up against the wall to see what sticks.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) tapped Scott to fill the vacancy in the U.S. Senate as Jim DeMint exits to lead the Heritage Foundation. A female governor of Indian descent appointed an African-American male who will be the sole African-American in the Democrat-led Senate. Given the media’s obsession with race and gender, one would assume this would be big news, deserving of laudable coverage. But one would be wrong.

Their problem, simply, is that these power-players are Republicans. It flies in the face of the narrative about the GOP as racist and sexist, including NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who “reported” that Susan Rice taking herself out of the running to be secretary of State after her role in the Benghazi cover-up became apparent was a case of Republicans “forcing out a woman of color.” The nightly newscasts of ABC and CBS skipped the Tim Scott story altogether. According to the media watchdog group Newsbusters of the Media Research Center, those networks devoted ample coverage to African-American Roland Burris’s appointment to the seat vacated by Obama, with ABC clocking in at 623 words and CBS at 470. And Andrea Mitchell on Tim Scott? Crickets.

It’s hardly a stretch to envision the media hoopla had the first African-American in history from South Carolina to join the Senate, and the first from the South since Reconstruction, and who was appointed by a female minority governor, been a Democrat. No doubt, Andrea Mitchell would be first on the phone scoring an interview. But since a high-ranking Republican woman of color appointing a Republican man of color to a high-ranking position interferes with the left’s caricature of the GOP as racist and sexist, I am not holding my breath.

Clearly the GOP needs to do a much better job with women and minorities. And there may be a handful of entrenched consultants and operatives at the national level who need to change, or be excised like malignancies. Outside of Washington, women and minority candidates organically do well, with several GOP minority and female governors: Govs. Haley, Jan Brewer (Ariz.), Bobby Jindal (La.), Susana Martinez (N.M.), Mary Fallin (Okla.) — matching the Democrats in the bean-counting exercise.

With an openly hostile, feral national media, good news, and all too often, important truths about the GOP remain hidden. The short shrift given to the historic appointment of Tim Scott to the Senate is unconscionable.

Jacobus, president of Capitol Strategies PR, has managed congressional campaigns, worked on Capitol Hill and is an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. She appears on CNN, MSNBC and FOX News as a GOP strategist.