The Black Panthers are back! Wait – correction. The Black Panther is back!
Jerry Jackson, a member of the New Black Panther Party, returned to the same Philadelphia polling station where he and a fellow member of the racist fringe group were accused of intimidating voters in 2008. Missing was his sidekick, Minister King Samir Shabazz, who carried a nightstick in 2008 and is under a federal injunction not to brandish weapons within 100 feet of a polling place in the City of Philadelphia until the end of this month.
Fox News, which helped blow up the minor incident in 2008 into a major concern for white conservatives (the rest of the non-Fox News watching population barely heard of it) was on the story again today, running a darkish video of the dark-skinned Jackson, dressed in dark clothing, outside the polling station.
“The organization claims they are monitoring the 2012 election, but some critics say that looks like intimidation, like in 2008,” a Fox News anchor said today, narrating a clip showing Jackson. The Fox News video was replayed by the liberal Media Matters watchdog group.
In January 2009, the George W. Bush administration Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit against Jackson, Shabazz and the New Black Panther Party just days before Obama’s inauguration. When the Obama administration dismissed most of the lawsuit as a waste of scare resources on an inconsequential case, Fox News went wild, running months of news stories and commentaries suggested “reverse discrimination.”
It didn’t concern the Fox News anchors that no actual voters in the majority-black precinct had complained of feeling intimidated by the two Panther yahoos.
Liberal bloggers heaped scorn on Fox News today.
Kevin Drum, writing for the website of liberal Mother Jones magazine, noted that Fox didn’t cover the reports of widespread confusion among Pennsylvania voters about whether they had to show ID at the polls — confusion spurred by a misleading state advertising campaign. Democrats say the voter ID ads were intended to suppress the votes of Democratic-leaning minority and elderly voters.
“It’s boring to talk about a bogus campaign to complicate the vote in the entire state. It’s exciting to show a scary-looking black dude on TV, and imply to the Fox News viewer that another scary trooper — maybe a UN worker! — is laying in wait at his polling place,” Drum wrote.
A call to the New Black Panther Party headquarters was not returned.