Democrat US Senate nominee David Baria shared an article last Thursday from the news blog Mississippi Today that focused on some of the economic and demographic challenges that the Delta is facing. In the post from his official campaign site, Baria described the Delta as “maybe our weakest link here in Mississippi.” And no one in the media establishment uttered a syllable about it.
I would contend that based on the over 14 years of running Y’all Politics that if Roger Wicker, Phil Bryant, or Tate Reeves had shared an article featuring a picture of three black men in front of a gas station playing dominoes and then characterized the Mississippi Delta as possibly the state’s “weakest link” that the media establishment would have lost its collective minds. Journalists and editors would have been fighting each other over who could express the most indignation the fastest, and the offending parties would have been castigated as racially clumsy or insensitive at the very least.
There was also dead silence from Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS02), whose district is almost entirely comprised of the area known as the Mississippi Delta. For additional context, Thompson has endorsed Baria. Again, it would be hard to believe that a Republican could characterize the Delta in such a way and not face the indignation of elected officials from the area.
While there is a point to be made about investing in historically underinvested and underserved areas, this was a pretty clumsy effort by Baria to score cheap political points. It’s also one that I believe clearly illustrates a double standard in the media.
As we get closer to Election Day, expect that there will be situations where the media will jump on similarly clumsy efforts to make a point – as long as it lines up with their politics.
This example is laid down as a marker.