Media minority double standard
Here are a few mainstream media rules of thumb: Minority Democrats in public office are inspirational role models. Minority Republicans in public office are embarrassing sellouts.
Minority Democrat politicians are principled. Minority Republican politicians are misguided.
Minority Democrat politicians represent the hopes and dreams of all Americans. Minority Republican politicians are traitors to their "communities." These rules are unwritten, of course, but the minority politician double standard is glaringly obvious in the national media fawning over newly elected U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, Illinois Democrat.
Mr. Obama's personal story is certainly impressive. The bi-racial Mr. Obama is son of a Kenyan immigrant and a rarely mentioned white mother (who raised him after his father ditched the family and returned to Africa when Mr. Obama was 2).
Republican Van Tran, a Vietnamese-American, staunchly defends the Second Amendment, immigration enforcement, traditional marriage, tax cuts, the war in Iraq and the sanctity of life. He is also a self-described "Reagan kid" and an outspoken anticommunist who escaped his native land at age 10. He has been targeted for his views and carries a concealed weapon to protect himself. Mr. Tran was elected to the California State assembly and is the first Vietnamese-American to serve in the statehouse.
Republican Bobby Jindal, 33-year-old son of Indian immigrants, was elected to Congress with a whopping 78 percent of the vote in his Louisiana district. A pro-life Catholic, Rhodes Scholar, free-market health-policy guru, reform-minded college administrator and Bush adviser, Mr. Jindal bounced back from a close gubernatorial loss to become the first Indian-American in Congress since 1956. He raised so much money for his campaign that he showered $25,000 of it on the Republican National Committee, $12,500 on the Louisiana Republican Party, and an estimated $125,000 on 45 Republican candidates around the country.
Mr. Tran and Mr. Jindal are remarkable rising stars, but as New York Times editorial writer Adam Cohen seemed to suggest in a derisive Jindal profile, minority conservatives are regarded by the mainstream media elite as "freakish" — no matter how impressive their resumes or resounding their electoral victories or moving their personal stories.