Early elections began today for New Orleans’ much-anticipated, long-overdue, and likely-to-be-challenged mayoral election. Pretty much every news source has the story, but Polimom was perturbed by the New York Times’ coverage.
As interesting as it was to read what voters were saying about how they were voting (according to the Times, the vote splits between Landrieu and Nagin), they lost me here (my emphasis):
This month’s election is widely viewed as a potential turning point for New Orleans, with the transformed demographics raising the possibility that a white mayor could be elected there for the first time in a generation.
None of today’s voters mentioned this, but several said they were sticking with the one major African-American candidate in the race, incumbent C. Ray Nagin, saying he had been unfairly blamed for post-Katrina foul-ups.
Others, though, said they would cast their ballot for Louisiana’s lieutenant governor, Mitch Landrieu, whose strategy is to assemble a biracial coalition.
What do you think Adam Nossiter is saying here? Did none of the voters mention the transformed demographics (from the prior paragraph), or did none of the voters mention Nagin’s race? And did voters say they would vote for Landrieu because of his biracial coalition strategy??? Why would Nossiter report what they didn’t say?
If an alien from Mars were to read the recent New Orleans election coverage, said alien would never know there are any other issues at stake: little tidbits like city services, or neighborhood rebuilding seem to rank far below what race everybody is.
The election in New Orleans – nay, the entire situation there – has become the ugliest of black vs white spin. Why does the MSM insist on presenting everything this way? Is it not even possible that the voters would consider the candidates on other issues?
Perhaps Polimom is being hopelessly naive again…. but it drives me nuts.
Update: As a bit of clarification: Obviously, the demographics of New Orleans, in combination with the city’s diaspora, has wreaked havoc on everyone’s ability to predict the election. My angst with the NY Times article is that they had to reach so far out of bounds to insert the racial component.
Time has a decent synopsis of what led to the current chaos, and Ray Nagin’s apparently changed base of support. I’m not convinced that people can’t see past a man’s skin tones, though, which leads to the depressing conclusion that they just won’t.