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Is Media Matters Uninformed About Pigford Coverage Or Just Lying?


Eric Boehlert from Media Matters somehow manages to combine factually inaccuracy with a double fact twist in his latest attack on black farmers. Boehlert’s piece is a riff from the article I wrote this morning about the lack of a conservative equivalent of Media Matters or MoveOn.

My piece wasn’t a complaint about the general lack of coverage on Pigford but Boehlert chooses to twist it that way – so let’s address that accusation. Boehlert says….

I’m hard-pressed to think of another instance in which a media entity like Breitbart’s has invested so much time and energy promoting a single story (his sites have posted more than 100 Pigford-related items in the last year), yet only to see the story receive virtually no pick-up. Anywhere.

No pickup… Not Hot Air. Not Red State. Not Atlas Shrugs. Not Moonbattery. Not a 4000 word piece in National Review. Not Stossel’s segment on Fox News. Not a Fox News segment. (Last one came before Breitbart was on the story.)

So that’s the factual issue. It has gotten pickup, due to our efforts. Has Pigford gotten as much as I’d like? No and I’ve written about that – although the coverage DID pick up after I asked if the right-wing blogosphere was afraid of Pigford. Boehlert tries to make hay from the fact that O’Reilly, Beck, Hannity or Van Sustern have not run with it yet but as we pointed out countless times this is not a soundbite story. It’s not ready made-for-TV. I believe the documentary will have some impact on this. I should also point out that the stories been covered a number of times on radio, and that’s a better format for it.

It’s also important for the Pigford coverage in context. This is a story that is over a decade old.

Anyone close to the story will tell you that it has received less coverage than it should have. I believe part of this lack of coverage is a systemic racism that has ignored this issue largely because of it’s a black issue. When I attended a press conference in Washington DC couple of months ago about Pigford and almost none of the press covering the event was white.

After 10 years of story, we came late to the game. So the press that we’ve gotten in the past five months I’ve been on the story is actually pretty significant in the overall scheme of things – and that’s before we’ve released any actual segments from the Pigford Blues documentary I’m working. (The first segment sneak peak is coming later this week.)

I’m proud that the coverage of the story — including at Andrew Breitbart’s sites — has emphasized over and over again tht there was discrimination the USDA and that the farmers who were discriminated against deserve justice.

Read the Media Matters article and you’ll find that this struggle by black farmers isn’t something that Eric Boehlert finds “compelling”.

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