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February 06, 2006

Julian Bond Issues Denial...Sort of

Julian Bond is now trying to deny that he made Yet Another Inappropriate Nazi Reference (tm).

Stung by national criticism of a speech in which he reportedly equated the Republican Party and Nazis, Julian Bond, the chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, denies the comments attributed to him by members of the audience and has lashed out at WND as a "right-wing blog."

Fayetteville State University in North Carolina has issued a careful statement on the speech by Bond and issued a press release including the NAACP leader's denial of the remarks.

"I didn't say these things I'm alleged to have said," the university quotes Bond as saying. "There is no one in the audience who can say I said them. The reporter from the Fayetteville newspaper did not report I said them. I have denied I said them and refuse to engage in a back and forth about what I did say. This is an irresponsible attack by a right-wing blog – a partisan blog – and these kinds of attacks should be expected and dismissed for what they are."

(By "right-wing blog" he means WorldNetDaily, an actual news organization.) The university is standing by him...sort of.
University officials say they reviewed a tape of Bond's speech. But an official statement issued by Jeffrey Womble, director of public relations for the university, was carefully worded to avoid addressing whether Bond actually uttered the words attributed to him in the WND story.

"We received numerous calls and emails from concerned individuals about Mr. Bond's presentation, so we felt compelled to review the tape in an effort to address their concerns," said Womble. "After a close review, we have concluded that the comments attributed to Mr. Bond about the Republican Party, Dr. Rice, and Mr. Colin Powell were not made."

Specifically, he said, nowhere during Bond's speech was reference made to the Nazi Party.

However, the key quotes reported by WND never mentioned the Nazi Party. Instead, Bond was quoted as saying: "The Republican Party would have the American flag and the swastika flying side by side."

Technically, no, Mr. Bond didn't use the "N" word in a sentence. But I highly doubt that he was trying to associate Republicans with "a symbol of good luck and auspiciousness".

However, there were actually people listening to what he said. They disagree with Julian's account.

That quote and other comments reportedly made by Bond at the speech were relayed by members of the audience who were appalled at the specific charges as well as the overall divisive tone of the address.

Leon Delaine, who describes himself as "African-American," is one of those audience members who contacted WND. He said he and his family walked out on the Bond speech because of the offensive comments.

So it sounds like Mr. Bond has been caught and is trying to weasel his way out. Today, if you search for "'julian bond' swastika", unlike the paltry coverage yesterday, you get a bit more; 24 hits. Of course, WND still owns the story, and all the commentary you find is from the right. The Left still considers the devaluation of crimes against humanity no big deal if it's one of their guys doing it. And apparently they're also not willing to look into the disconnect in his denials of it.

UPDATE: James Taranto has more details on the denial (he called the university to get the specifics what and wasn't said--doesn't sound good for Julian). He notes:

n any case, all of this reinforces the point we made on Friday, which is that the so-called mainstream media were at best negligent in their coverage of the speech. Bond said quite a few partisan and inflammatory things that no one disputes, yet the local media characterized him as having a "positive attitude" and being engaged in a "fight for equal rights." Were it not for WND, we would not know that Bond had anything harsher to say than, "We have a president who talks like a populist and governs for the privileged."

Most telling of all, Bond is expressly citing the local media's silence as if it were exculpatory. In fact, it is incriminating--not of Bond, but of those journalists who respond to his divisive rhetoric with an indulgent wink. If the press won't report what a prominent and respected black leader says to a mostly black audience, how can the public develop informed views on issues of race?

Posted by Doug at February 6, 2006 12:59 PM

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"WND, an actual news organization"

Welll.... technically, I suppose, but it is a news organization like DemocracyNow is a news organization. They both offer news, but it is news with an agenda. Which I'm not saying is a bad thing, just pointing out the difference.

Posted by: Dan Trabue at February 7, 2006 09:45 AM