Polite Obituaries? Not So Much for Jesse Helms Last Year


Jesse Helms SC

Here are some small reminders of a contrast in Senator-obituary news. On July 4 of last year, when Sen. Jesse Helms died, NBC reporter Martin Savidge didn’t find a “lion of the Senate,” but an ultra-rightist and a bigot: “During his 30 years in the office, the North Carolina Senator was often controversial and always outspoken….An ultra-rightist, he was elected in the Republican landslide of 1972….In the ’90s, critics branded Helms a bigot for his racially-tinged ads which blasted affirmative action during a campaign against an African-American opponent.”

All the networks noticed the 1990 ad. Will all the networks remember Kennedy’s nasty “Robert Bork’s America” speech? Brent Bozell offered a small fraction of rudeness and rejoicing on the left-wing blogs:

Perhaps unsurprisingly, liberals on the Internet made these old-media critiques look sedate. They didn’t see any need to observe any kind of civility, letting their rage and ill will erupt like a spewing volcano. The blog Wonkette featured the headline “See You In Hell: Jesse Helms Finally Dead.” They cheered: “Jesse Helms was apparently still alive, and now he’s dead, hooray! He was a sour troll and a bigot, and it’s a testament to every rotten thing about this country that for a quarter century, he was one of the most powerful people in American politics.”

Read More: By Tim Graham, Newsbusters


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