Michelle Malkin's "freakish" mischaracterization


In her November 10 nationally syndicated column, conservative pundit Michelle Malkin argued that the mainstream media perceives minority Democrats as "inspirational role models" and minority Republicans as "misguided." To support this contention, Malkin distorted an October 12, 2003, "Editorial Observer" column (subscription only) in The New York Times by editorial board member Adam Cohen. Malkin claimed that, in his "derisive" editorial, Cohen referred to as "freakish" then-candidate for Louisiana governor Piyush 'Bobby' Jindal, an Indian-American Republican. But, in fact, far from referring to Jindal himself as freakish, Cohen described the former Rhodes Scholar's "almost freakishly impressive resume."

Jindal, who lost his 2003 bid for Louisiana's governorship, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Louisiana's 1st Congressional District on November 2.

From Malkin's November 10 column:

[A]s New York Times editorial writer Adam Cohen seemed to suggest in a derisive profile of Jindal, minority conservatives are regarded by the mainstream media elite as "freakish" -- no matter how impressive their resumes or resounding their electoral victories or moving their personal stories are.

From Cohen's October 12, 2003 New York Times "Editorial Observer" titled "A New Kind of Minority Is Challenging Louisiana's Racial Conventions:"

California's new governor [Arnold Schwarzenegger] has been grabbing all the headlines, but Mr. Jindal's odyssey has been nearly as remarkable. At the age of 32, he has an almost freakishly impressive resume: at 24, he was running Louisiana's hospital system. But perhaps more notable, in a state where an ex-Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, David Duke, made a real run for the governor's office, Mr. Jindal is the dark-skinned son of immigrants from India.

Malkin made a similar accusation against Cohen in an October 15, 2003, column, though in that instance she used a more complete quote in claiming that "Cohen sneered at Jindal's 'almost freakishly impressive resume.'"

Malkin is the author of the book In Defense of Internment: The Case for Racial Profiling in World War II and the War on Terror (Regnery, 2004).

2004 Elections
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