Earlier today, I noted that neither last Thursday's Washington Post article about the phony New Black Panther Party scandal nor the Post Ombudsman who praised the article mentioned several key facts that greatly undermine the right-wing's attacks.
Here's something else neither the original Post article nor Ombudsman Andrew Alexander saw fit to mention: the growing perception that the NBPP story is nothing more than a divisive attempt by conservatives to play on racial fears about Barack Obama.
The New Republic's Jonathan Chait has written that the NBPP story is "the most widespread and mainstream right-wing effort to exploit racial fears against Obama." Dave Weigel has compared the right's NBPP claims to Nixon-era race-baiting. But it isn't just liberal and libertarian observers who see race-baiting in the NBPP attacks: Conservative blogger and CNN contributor Erick Erickson called for the GOP to "seize on this issue" and turn the NBPP into "2010's Willie Horton," referring to one of the most infamous examples of race-baiting in American political history.
But, somehow, the Post and its ombudsman completely missed that angle to the story.