happy mlk day
Today's the official observance of Martin Luther King's birthday, and in honor of the occasion we take note of this absolutely surreal story: the Bush Administration plants a story in the Washington Post indicating the National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice took part in a rare public policy debate in support of Bush's stance on affirmative action, summed up in a speech that not only uses the inflammatory term "quotas" no fewer than four times, but does so inaccurately. (CalPundit helpfully sums up the real program.) Ms. Rice, who is black, was not questioned for the initial story, but issued a statement denying that her support was as strong as the original story implied, asserting that she does believe--as current Supreme Court precent holds--that race can be among the factors considered (a test the Michigan system appears to pass, in my view).
Officials who described her role to The Post noted that it was unusual for her to become such a major factor in an issue that did not involve foreign policy. Their comments had the effect of associating a respected African American adviser to Bush with a decision that has been criticized by many black leaders. Rice reportedly was angry about the article in part because she believed it had been written only because she is black.
How's that for a quota system?
By the way--I can't believe a professional journalist would run this story without even calling its purported subject for a comment! Back when I edited my freaking college newspaper, I'd have rejected a story on those grounds.