Byron York plays defense:
I wrote that citing Obama's "sky-high ratings among African-Americans make some of his positions appear a bit more popular overall than they actually are." I thought the word "overall" conveyed the idea that there was a difference between the total job-approval number and the complexities of opinion of Obama on various issues. Maybe "across-the-board" would have been better than "overall," but I doubt that would have kept a left-wing activist like Matthew Yglesias, or Andrew Sullivan, who has himself been accused of racism and, quite recently, anti-Semitism, from branding me a racist. The numbers inside the Times poll are newsworthy, if the critics would take the time to read and analyze them.
Thanks for the kind words! But York gives no context for these numbers. Of course African Americans are going to be more favorable to Obama: they are overwhelmingly Democrats. Here's Ta-Nehisi:
The essential Dave Weigel displays more patience than I can muster and calmly notes what any decent political observer already knows--Obama's support among blacks isn't exactly aberrational, when compared to other Democrats. That point needed to be made, but it's so obvious that I'm at a lost to explain how York could miss it.
Which leaves me with this: I know that certain black public figures had made a game of name-calling out of racism. I also know that white people, like all people, want the benefit of the doubt--and, like all people, they deserve it. I try to give it as much as possible. In this instance, it has to be withheld.
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