Times Downplays Rep. Carson's Smear, Suggests Rep. West May Leave CBC Because He's 'Taking Issue with Criticism'

Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) recently suggested Tea Party conservatives were the sort of people who would like to lynch blacks. In light of that comment, the CBC's lone Republican is mulling over resigning from the caucus, a move the Times described as him "Taking Issue With Criticism."

Rep. Allen West (Fla.), the only Republican member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), is considering leaving the CBC after a fellow member of the caucus practically compared Tea Party members to lynch mob members.

Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) recently told a gathering in Miami that Tea Party members "would love to see us as second-class citizens" and to see blacks "hanging on a tree."

Times staffer Jennifer Steinhauer reported the development yesterday on the New York Times's The Caucus blog. Today the Times ran a condensed version of that blog post on page A16 and headlined it "Taking Issue With Criticism," as though Rep. Andre Carson's comments were legitimate critiques of the Tea Party movement.

"An e-mail to the spokeswoman for Representative Emanuel Cleaver II of Missouri, who is the chairman of the caucus, was not immediately returned," Steinhauer noted in the August 31 Caucus post.

No mention was made in today's print edition about whether Cleaver had since returned the phone call to give the Times a comment about West's complaints about Carson and his threat to resign from the CBC.