The Volokh Conspiracy

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WaPo Removes Claim That Justice Thomas's "Rulings Often Resemble the Thinking of White Conservatives."

"A previous version of this story imprecisely referred to Justice Clarence Thomas’s opinions as often reflecting the thinking of White conservatives, rather than conservatives broadly. That reference has been removed."

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Yesterday, two reporters of the Washington Post actually wrote that Justice Thomas is a "Black justice whose rulings often resemble the thinking of White conservatives." No this barb did not appear in the opinion section. It appeared in the news section.

Today, the Post noted a retraction. Or is it a "clarification"? After #MaskGate I have no idea how journalism works anymore.

CLARIFICATION
A previous version of this story imprecisely referred to Justice Clarence Thomas's opinions as often reflecting the thinking of White conservatives, rather than conservatives broadly. That reference has been removed.

Now, the passage reads:

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), a friend and ally of Clyburn's for over 30 years, said even Clyburn's critics respect his political instincts and his connection with a valuable but often disappointed subset of Democratic voters.

"Nobody that I'm aware of feels that opposing Clyburn's nomination would be the wise thing to do," he said. "If you know that a person has been vetted by Jim Clyburn, you know that person won't go to the court and end up being a Clarence Thomas," referring to the Black conservative justice.

I appreciate the "clarification," but this story is still problematic. Why is it relevant to this story that Thomas is Black? The reason why is that Thompson called Thomas an Oreo. The initial version of the story dutifully reported that statement as fact. Now, the Post merely alludes to the implication. This sort of casual racism against conservatives is embedded so deeply in progressive culture. WaPo reporters and editors simply treat these barbs as fact.

For posterity, the original is preserved here: