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Whatever Happened?

I was amused by your Jan. 28 Paper Trail (“Whatever Happened To…”). In that column, you stated that Marcus Garvey Charter School President Mary Anigbo’s assault on Washington Times reporter Susan Ferrechio three years ago constituted “one of the biggest stories of the year.”

Alas, that was not your attitude three years ago. At the time of the assault on Ferrechio, you smeared the Washington Times for even reporting it, accusing the paper of “flamethrower tactics.” And you lauded the Washington Post for its initial decision not to cover the story and, later, for minimizing its coverage.

Four questions come to mind in response to your column:

First, three years ago you said that the Anigbo-Ferrechio affair was not important and should not receive coverage. This week you say that it was a major story. Are you willing to admit that you were wrong and that you and the Post erred in not covering the situation more fully and in a more timely fashion?

Second, three years ago, you said the story should be not covered, or covered only briefly—in the interest of maintaining what you or Mark Plotkin or Tom Sherwood called “racial harmony” in this city. In retrospect, won’t you admit now that you really wanted other papers as well as your own to censor themselves? And don’t you now agree that in taking this position you violated your creed as a journalist to report the news honestly?

Third, you applauded the notion of damping down racial tensions. Don’t you think that you were advocating a double standard that turned a blind eye to black thuggery and corruption? Is it not a possible corollary that you would have acted very differently if a black reporter had been assaulted by a white school principal? Might even you, current praiser of reporter Ferrechio, have been leading the lynch mob against that white principal?

Fourth, do you still maintain a double standard when it comes to covering black people—in the interests of “racial harmony,” of course?

This kind of political correctness has only the appearance of open-mindedness. It’s really anti-black and anti-white all at once. We need more honest reporting on race in our city—there is so little.

Capitol Hill