Politico suspended one of its top reporters, White House correspondent Joe Williams, on Friday for making racial remarks about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday.http://www.capitolcolumn.com/news/mitt-racial-romney/
Mr. Williams, made the comments during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Martin Bashir” show. The African-American reporter is a regular guest on MSNBC, and has been critical of Mr. Romney and all of the Republican presidential candidates throughout the 2012 election year, however Politico believed that his comments on Thursday crossed the line and were not representative of their brand.
During a discussion with several other reporters regarding President Barack Obama’s immigration policy shift, and Mr. Romney’s reaction, Mr. Williams commented that he believed that Mr. Romney was only comfortable around white people.
“Its very interesting that he does so many appearances on Fox and Friends, and its unscripted, its the only time that they let Mitt off the leash so to speak,” said Mr. Williams. “But it also points out a larger problem that he’s got to solve if he’s going to be successful this fall. Romney is very very comfortable so it seems, with people who are like him, that’s one of the reasons why he seems so stiff and awkward in some townhall settings, why he can’t relate to people other than that. But when he comes on Fox and Friends, they’re like him, they’re white folks who are very much relaxed in their own company.”
Shortly after midnight on Friday, Politico released an article stating that Mr. Williams would be suspended indefinitely.
The suspension is a sign that Politico wants to hold its staff to a higher level of standards, and not allow them to become involved in what can easily be a racially motivated election, considering that President Barack Obama is the first African-American president and has enjoyed a racially polarizing following with a loyal minority base against a majority white Republican base that supports Mr. Romney.
Mr. Romney and other Republican presidential candidates have seen significant amounts of racially motivated criticism throughout the 2012 election year, especially from political reporters and analysts on MSNBC, blacks and non-blacks alike. Back in January, Obery M. Hendricks Jr., a professor of biblical interpretation at the New York Theological Seminary, wrote an op-ed for The Huffington Post and also appeared on MSNBC, criticizing Mr. Romney’s Morman religion because of passages in the Book of Mormon that characterize blacks as a race “cursed by god.”
Good job, Politico!