Forgive the commentary on a very old and obscure article, but this piece from Daily Kos, which I only discovered today, is a great example of one of my favorite journalistic subgenres, which is National Review kremlinology.
As you may know, some time ago I wrote a long piece for the magazine about white poverty in Appalachia. It was much-discussed, which was gratifying. But the Left cannot take a piece of reporting to be a piece of reporting—it has to be something nefarious, engineered with malice aforethought. So this genius writing for Daily Kos, name of Chauncey DeVega, took it upon himself to uncover the secretly racist agenda that simply must exist in an article that is pretty much entirely about poor white folks: National Review, he argues, was in this piece trying to transfer racist stereotypes about poor non-white welfare recipients onto poor white welfare recipients. In a particularly crafty stroke of genius, they dispatched a black man to do the dirty work: me.
“It begins like a bad joke,” DeVega writes. “The story is real. What would happen if a prominent conservative and Right-wing publication sent a black man to research and subsequently write an expose about white rural poverty?”
“I lived Kevin D. Williamson’s article,” one reader responded. “I had no idea the author was black until you pointed it out, though.”
Neither did I.
In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m about as black as the sales staff of the Greenwich, Conn., Brooks Brothers store dancing the hokey-pokey at a Young Republicans country-club ice-cream social (all vanilla) in 1951. In the snow. That doesn’t stop DeVega from spinning his wonderfully daft conspiracy theory.
But I suppose that’s just how racist the Right really is: Even the black guys are white.