NPR Tries to Cast Rand Paul as KKK Sympathizer

-By Warner Todd Huston

On the day after his historic primary win, National Public Radio rabidly went after Rand Paul, newly minted GOP nominee for Kentucky Senator, trying to make him out to be a KKK sympathizer or perhaps a racist that would have agreed to keep Jim Crow alive and well in 1964. This rabid, left-wing attack is uncalled for and, further, is meant only to stir anti-Republican hatred and not to help voters discover anything relevant about nominee Rand Paul.

Nearly at the top of the interview the host of NPR’s All Things Considered tried to paint Mr. Paul as some sort of hater that would have opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Catch this loaded and irrelevant question by NPR:

You’ve said that business should have the right to refuse service to anyone and that the Americans for Disabilities Act, the ADA, was an over reach by the federal government, would you say the same by extension of the 1964 Civil Rights Act?

Paul gave a very good reply but the best thing he said was that he hadn’t read through the entire 1964 legislation because it had been passed 40 years ago and didn’t have any role in today’s campaign. And that is just it, isn’t it? The 1964 Civil Rights Act is ancient history as far as current politics goes. It is fully accepted and is not a law in dispute, nor does it have any part in current political discussion. The law is fact the legitimacy of which no one questions. Talking about the 1964 Civil Rights Act is not relevant alt all to today’s issues.

Of course, that wasn’t good enough for NPR as the hack that was interviewing Paul harped on and on trying to get Paul to say he wished that blacks in America were still forced to live under Jim Crow. In fact, the NPR interviewer wasted most of the interview trying to out Paul as a racist.

One wonders what NPR was next going to ask Rand Paul about if they hadn’t run out of time? Would NPR had tried to get Paul to say that he disagreed with entering WWII? Maybe NPR would have next grilled Paul on his thoughts of Abraham’s decision to sacrifice his son Isaac to God? Aren’t all of these heady issues as important to the Kentucky Senate campaign as revisiting a 40-year-old piece of legislation that no one is considering repealing, altering, or revisiting?

Of course, we know why NPR did this. NPR is desperately trying to destroy Rand Paul before the next phase of his campaign is fairly off the ground.

The fact is that rehashing 40-year-old legislation that is not up for review or even in question is a pointless discussion. After all, is Paul — or any other American politician, for that matter — running a campaign saying that the 1964 Civil Rights Act should be repealed? Have any said it was the wrong decision? The discussion is pointless… unless you can use it to destroy a Republican, right NPR?

Transcript of 1964 Civil Rights Discussion

NPR: You’ve said that business should have the right to refuse service to anyone and that the Americans for Disabilities Act, the ADA, was an over reach by the federal government, would you say the same by extension of the 1964 Civil Rights Act?

Rand Paul: What I’ve always said is that I’m opposed to institutional racism and I would have, had I been alive at the time, I think, had the courage to march with Martin Luther King to over turn institutional racism. I see no place in or society for institutional racism.

NPR: But are you saying had you been around at the time you would have hoped you would have marched with Martin Luther King but voted with Barry Goldwater against the 1964 Civil Rights Act?

Paul: Well actually I think it’s confusing on a lot of cases with what actually was in the civil rights case because see a lot of the things that were actually in the bill I’m in favor of. I’m in favor of everything with regards to ending institutional racism. So, I think there’s a lot to be desired in the civil rights. And to tell you the truth I haven’t really read all through it because it was passed 40 years ago and hadn’t really been a pressing issue in the campaign on what…

NPR: But…

Paul: …for the civil rights act.

NPR: But it’s been one of the major developments of American history in the course of your life, I mean, do you think the ’64 Civil Rights Act or the ADA for that matter, were just over reaches? And that business shouldn’t be bothered by people with basis in law to sue them for, for redress?

Paul: Right, I think a lot of things can be handled locally. For example I think that we should try to do everything that we can to allow for people with disabilities and handicaps, you know we do it in our office with wheel chair ramps and things like that. I think if you have a two story office and you hire someone who’s handicapped it might be reasonable to let them have an office on the first floor rather than the government saying you have to have a hundred thousand dollar elevator. And I think when you get to solutions like that the more local the better and the more common sense the decisions are rather than having a federal government make those decisions.


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  • Warner, I didn't see anything in the transcript you posted that mentions the KKK. Can you post the part where NPR mentions the KKK? I'd be interested in seeing how they tried to do that.

  • In reply to JimmyGreenfield:

    As far as I am concerned they tried to make him out to be a closet KKK member by trying to get him tos ay he'd be against Civil Rights.

  • In reply to publiusforum:


  • In reply to RyanJustice:

    This is why there's no integrity in the writing. It's made up. Just like the half-term governor saying she knows what the President of the United States is thinking. As if.

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    This isn't about characterizing Paul as a racist, it's about exposing the consequences of the fundamentalist libertarianism to which Paul and his followers subscribe.

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    PF - you're wacked.

  • In reply to zackyrocks:

    That's alright. You can't spell, so we are even!

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    Apparently neither can you, Pubic Foreskin

  • In reply to zackyrocks:

    So sad. Just like a liberal. Name calling, lack of introspection, mental issues, and profane all at the same time. I feel sorry for your ilk. Ta ta.

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    Thanks for the material, nice doing business with you. Ta ta!

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    Accusing NPR of intimating that Rand Paul is a KKK supporter is saying that NPR accuses Rand Paul of being in favor of lynching, church burning, church bombing and "keeping the nigras in their place". Those are things that the KKK stood for--and things the KKK did. I take it that you are not old enough to have worked for civil rights in the Old Confederacy in the 1960s. If you had, you would remember having to constantly look over your shoulder. The KKK was genuinely scary and you should not throw the KKK symbolism around if you don't have any idea of its significance. The same goes for the people who equate Obama with Hitler. Ask a Holocaust survivor about that.

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    Do you agree with the Civil Rights Act? Do you think that people should be able to only serve a certain race? Can private schools ban black people?

  • In reply to MKlotz32:

    An insultingly stupid question, that. When did you stop beating your wife, anyway?

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    And what would you call the unfounded claim of NPR's "name calling" you are crying about (which is yet to be shown by the way).... complimentary genius?

  • In reply to RyanJustice:

    I'm lovin this people!
    Check out my post...

  • In reply to JimmyGreenfield:

    I read the transcript twice and found no mention of Ku Klux Klan in the interchange between NPR and Rand Paul. So, I guess it was not mentioned during the interview. From my reading, nothing said in the interview was even a tangential reference to the KKK.

    Use of the KKK to make an inflammatory point is akin to the comparison of Obama with Hitler at tea party rallies. It should not be even suggested that someone has KKK sympathies, just as it should not be suggested that a President of the United States would engender the total evil of Hitler.

    My experience with libertarians is that they are usually better informed and more lucid than the average run of Democrats or Republicans. One may not agree with some or all of their beliefs, but they can usually defend their beliefs well with rational argument.

    I think that a major fault in the tea party (and Rand Paul) argument is that "problems" such as instuitutional racism or equsl treatment for the handicapped can be handled adequately at the "local level". Certainly institutional racism in th Old Confederacy would have survived intact to this day unless there had been federal intervention. "Local" approaches were absent or powerless. Belief in, and support of, institutional racism was supported at all level of society. I recall having dinner with the president of an Alabama professional society in Montgomery, Alabama in 1964. He said there was no need for intervention by the federal government or by New York Jew civil rights lawyers because everyone in Alabama was happy with things the way they were. "We give our nigras all the rights they know how to handle," he said. "The nigras wouldn't know what to do with any more."

    One could question how "local" approaches would protect the public adequately in the matter of pharmaceuitical development, clinical testing and marketing by multinational drug companies. Would Mr Smith, the local pharamacist, go to China to inspect the factories turning out the raw material for heparin and low-molecular weight heaparin?

    Having Rand Paul in the political stew can only add a necessary shot of spice--as long as the people cooking the stew can maintain some measure of civility to foster rationality.

  • In reply to jimbreeling:

    I think it's pretty obvious what NPR was trying to do. Against the 1964 Civil Rights Act means KKK. They were trying to get Paul to say he would have voted against it so that the media could then ramp up the race-baiting charge against him.

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    "Against the 1964 Civil Rights Act means KKK"?

    If your claim is taken at face value, a dangerous proposition to be sure, we must conclude that more than 1/4 of the Members of Congress (Senate and House) were Klansmen.

    Unless you didn't actually mean what you said.

  • In reply to CrazyLiberal:

    No, I was talking in context to today's media meme as employed by NPR. In fact, however, the only Klan member in Congress right now is one of YOUR guys, Bobby KKK Byrd. Are you ready to demand he be thrown out of Congress? Why haven;pt you stood against him for the last 60 years?

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    Perhaps you're attracted to the word because it looks like "me! me!"; but it's not a "meme" if you're the only person who calls it such.

  • In reply to CrazyLiberal:

    Interesting that a person calling himself "crazy liberal" wants to pretend he's the more grounded. Your screen name choice tells the truer tale, pal.

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    And yet no one is agreeing with you on his string of comments.....aren't personal fanatasy worlds wonderful!

  • In reply to RyanJustice:

    Yes, your fantasy world IS rather amusing. I come to ChicagoNow to get my blogging out to the enemy. ChicagoNow is a left-wing website. After all it serves a left-wing city! In the other places I post, this post is VERY agreeable to them. It is, in fact, rather closed minded, foolish, and uninformed of you to imagine that the whole world feels about this post how the extremists left-wingers from ChicagoNow blogs feel about it. As if no one else in the world could possibly have a different opinion. But that is just like an extremist, arrogant, left-winger to think that, isn't it? And from your replies to this blog, you fit that extremist, left-wing niche. So, tell me.... are you REALLY so foolish as to imagine that the whole world thinks like you do?

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    Wow ... I thought you'd last more than 5 comments before making fun of my alias.

    But I suppose some might think that's easier than just admitting you're wrong.

  • In reply to CrazyLiberal:

    I gave you five comments to prove what you're worth. You failed.

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    Just to be sure I understand ...

    When you resort to name-calling instead of addressing the issues raised by a commenter on your blog, then it's the commenter who has failed?

    RyanJustice was right.

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