After getting burned by racist rancher Cliven Bundy, Fox News, the Tea Party, and others thought they had their gotcha moment when they claimed Clippers owner Donald Sterling was a Democrat. The problem is that he’s a Republican.
The right was still licking their wounds when they got busted for elevating Cliven Bundy to hero status when the Donald Sterling tape became national news.
Immediately, Matt Drudge claimed that Sterling was a Democrat:
GOT GAME: NYT informed the unwashed how Bundy is a Republican. Leaves out NBA Sterling is a Democrat…
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) April 27, 2014
The Tea Party News Network ran the headline, “Donald Sterling Is A Racist Democrat.” Fox News’ website Fox Nation claimed that Sterling is a Democratic donor, and above their headline featured an image of the Obama and Democratic Party logos. Yep, the right finally had their own Bundy equalizer. Their very own racist Democrat. See, both sides really do do it.
The problem is that Donald Sterling has been a registered Republican since 1998.
LA Times columnist Michael Hilzik tweeted:
What makes anyone think Donald Sterling is a Democrat? LA County records show him registered Republican since 1998. #DonaldSterling
— Michael Hiltzik (@hiltzikm) April 28, 2014
Mother Jones followed up with a search of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s website that confirmed that Sterling is a Republican.
The fact that Sterling is a Republican does not mean that all Republicans are racists. In fact, his political affiliation doesn’t change Sterling’s vile comments in the least.
What is on display once again is the mechanism through which millions of Americans are intentionally misinformed every single day. Republicans and their media were looking to get the stench of Bundy’s racism off of themselves, so they latched on to inaccurate story that Donald Sterling is a Democrat.
Fox News and others can’t be bothered with fact checking. All they cared about was finding a racist to pin on Democrats so that they could even the score.
For conservative media, facts are irrelevant. It’s all about finding a way to justify their own racism, and adoption of race based political tactics. Most of the conservatives who claimed that Sterling is a Democrat still have not corrected their articles, and the truth is that many of them probably won’t.
The point is to confuse and muddy the waters. If Republicans convince people that Democrats are racists too, their own racism doesn’t look so bad.
Instead of solving the problem, Fox News and the rest of right wing media made it worse, because Donald Sterling’s political affiliation is now an issue, and the Clippers owner now shares a spot with fellow Republicans Ted Nugent, George Zimmerman, and Cliven Bundy in the Republican Racist Hall of Shame.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association