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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Friday, April 11, 2003
1:39 PM

Good news, bad news aka Sally Jenkins, Leonard Shapiro. Jenkins has a powerful column about Martha Burk squandering whatever moral capital she may have had:
For months now, Burk has done her best to make Hootie Johnson, the honey-voiced president of Augusta National, out to be a sexist hick or worse. What's more, some of the media has shamelessly perpetuated the image, most notably the New York Times, which has relentlessly excoriated him while until recently giving Johnson's notable career as a civil rights activist and women's advocate short shrift.

Paging Len Shapiro...
The truth about Johnson, a banker from South Carolina, is that he's a longtime progressive who has fought long and hard to integrate South Carolina's schools, banks, businesses and politics, and launched the careers of scores of women and minorities. He has also fought to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse. He is nobody's chauvinist, or bigot, or good old boy. And yet when a Ku Klux Klan crank applied for a permit to protest at Augusta, Burk actually said, and got away with it, "Augusta National should not be shocked by the KKK's endorsement. They have behaved in a manner that attracts this type of support."

This smearing of southern white men has eroded any inclination to listen to Burk around here, and it's a kind of discourse that would be considered universally despicable if it was turned on women or minorities....

I was haranguing about this all last winter, and since Jenkins has a few more readers, I'm glad to see it in print.

Then there's Shapiro, whose hard-news story is about Burk (once again) going after businesses with Augusta members. You know how I hate long excerpts, but I'll make an exception this time. Here's the entire rebuttal against Burk:
Jim McCarthy, an Augusta public relations consultant, today cited several opinion polls that show support for the club's membership policy and called Burk's comments "misguided and frivolous.

"From the start, this campaign has been about threats, insults and invective," McCarthy said...

Sue Fleming, an AT&T spokeswoman, said [AT&T exec Ray] Robinson's membership dues are not paid by the company and that "this is a private matter."

Whew! Reporting both sides of the story is hard work. Hope the other 17 grafs promoting Burk's views are enough!

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