WaPo’s Journalistic Jihad Against VMI Continues…

Ian Shapira

by James A. Bacon

President-elect Biden may be calling for national unity after a contentious presidential election, but the Washington Post hasn’t gotten the message. Post reporter Ian Shapira continues his campaign against the Virginia Military Institute, which he has charged is guilty of “relentless racism,” by slanting coverage of the pending state investigation of the military school.

Pajama boy

In a story co-authered with Laura Vozzella, he wrote:

RICHMOND — Virginia Senate Minority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. used inflammatory language Monday as he denounced the resignation of Virginia Military Institute’s superintendent, warning lawmakers: “You cannot let the media lynch VMI.”

Apparently, in the eyes of our media overlords, it is now problematical for white people to use the term “lynching.” The statement, writes Shapira, was jarring to some lawmakers because a white student in 2018 threatened to “lynch” a Black freshman. (VMI suspended the offending student, but no need to mar a spicy narrative with messy details.)

Who was “jarred” by the statement? Evidently, Shapira was. He asked Del. Jennifer D. Carroll Foy, D-Prince William, a black VMI graduate, for a response to a loaded question. “I’m proud to be from VMI,” she responded, “and like my fellow alums, I want the best for the institution and all of its cadets. But now is not the time for inflammatory rhetoric.”

Foy hadn’t issue a formal statement. Shapira fished for the response he wanted, and Foy more or less gave it to him. Yet her statement was remarkable anodyne. She didn’t repeat Shapira’s charge that VMI is racist. And while she said now is not the time for inflammatory rhetoric — is there ever a time for inflammatory rhetoric? — she did not criticize Norment by name.

Shapira could benefit from some history lessons. In today’s article he employed a rhetorical tic that he has used repeatedly in the past. He described Stonewall Jackson, to whom a statue has been erected at VMI, as “a former VMI instructor and enslaver of six Black people.” No, Jackson was a slave owner, but he did not “enslave” anyone, the definition of which is to deprive a formerly free individual of their freedom.

As a point of historical fact, Norment’s use of the word “lynch” was entirely reasonable. The term originated as a description of summary justice — execution without trial — of white people by other white people during the Revolutionary War. Mob justice was not uncommon in the 19th century, and until the Jim Crow era, the victims were most commonly white. The term is properly applied to cases “where supposed offenders were executed through mob violence without a proper trial and outside legal jurisdiction,” to use the description supplied by Aaron O’Neill, who compiled the following chart published in Statista.


Here’s how Norment used the term (in Shapira’s words):

Norment, who is White, said he was recalling the “feeding frenzy” in 2019 into allegations of sexual assault against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D), an African American who compared the storm surrounding him to a lynching. Norment said the rush to judge Fairfax “was done without any investigation, any corroboration or any hearing whatsoever. And it just didn’t seem right to me.”

Then Norment said: “Taking comments you made in 2019, you cannot let the media lynch VMI.”

“Lynch” sounds like a reasonable metaphor for how the Washington Post has approached the VMI controversy.

The Roanoke Times wrote the first story about the dissatisfaction expressed by some African American cadets and alumni with the state of race relations at VMI. The Post followed with its own article, which, given the Post’s power in the Virginia media marketplace, created a furor that the Times article did not. Shapira, who is white, quoted a half dozen or more incidents at the Institute and portrayed them as illustrative of “relentless racism,” gave short shrift to actions VMI has undertaken to make the academy more welcoming to blacks, and quoted no black cadets or alumni — such as the three black members of the VMI Board of Trustees — who might have disagreed with his interpretation. Shapira, who is white, found what he wanted to find. As his consistent slanting of stories since the original expose has made abundantly clear, he is on a crusade.

In the process, Shapira, who is white, has taken upon himself the role of deciding who can use the term “lynching” and how. His “reporting” illustrates the extraordinary arrogance of the media elites, who are mostly white, who mimic the equally insufferable arrogance of academic elites, also mostly white, who presume to dictate the use of language on college campuses. His “reporting” also betrays his total lack of interest in even-handed coverage.

Thus, we have yet to read anywhere in the Washington Post of a fact mentioned by Michael Martz, one of the few old-school journalists left at the Richmond Times-Dispatch who still believes in telling all sides of a story. Wrote Martz:

The minority leader used language of Black Lives Matter protests to illustrate VMI’s history of supporting accomplished Black students, such as Michael Lokale, a Rhodes scholar whom alumni helped send to medical school, and Annika Tice, a Fulbright scholar who graduated in the spring. “Say her name!” Norment said.

Wait, what? White racist, Confederate-venerating alumni raised money to support black students pursue their studies beyond VMI? That doesn’t fit Shapira’s narrative, and you will never read about such a thing in the Washington Post — unless Shapira is shamed into reporting it.

There are currently no comments highlighted.

33 responses to “WaPo’s Journalistic Jihad Against VMI Continues…

  1. It will be very, very interesting to see who gets that $1 million for that “investigation.” Will it be a politically connected VA law firm, like the one that whitewashed Northam (absolutely the best word in that context)? Or some woke consultancy that will strap the school to the stake and light the fire…..

    Shapira does not regularly cover the General Assembly. A few months of regular exposure to the standard rhetoric might give him a fit. And it is way tamer than it used to be.

  2. The Washington Post supports religious bigotry in the form of Senator Kamala Harris. The only thing different between its editorial board and Joseph Goebbels is that the latter is dead.

    • Let me call you a whaaabulance. It’s good to see you’ve ended your fixation on Frey or whatever his name was and moved on to something else…

      • I guess religious bigotry is OK with you so long as its directed at Christians. You have not be able to address a single issue I’ve raised, either with respect to Harris’ attempt to impose a religious test on a nominee for a federal judgeship or Frey’s contribution to the death of Mr. Floyd. Are you sure you’re not a journalist?

        • Sure. Whatever gets you through the night… BTW, she’s a Baptist. Last I checked that’s Xian… sort of.

          • You can give it, but you can’t take it. Answer the issues I raised. A law school graduate, former state attorney general, U.S. Senator and vice president-elect proposed that membership in a religious organization should operate as a barrier to a federal office. Do you think this is acceptable? The Senate didn’t. The Post does. I guess you do too.

            Typical non-response from a “progressive.” Don’t answer and then complain about even being asked.

          • Sure. What if he were a Westie?

  3. Baconator with extra cheese

    My money is on Skeo from Charlottesville getting the Mil… they are super duper woke… except for their staff which is much whiter than VMI’s “problematic” Board.

  4. The Washington Post has a long history of lynching white folks of all sorts and kinds who dare disagree with the reporters or management of the Washington Post.

    Take, for example the Catholic high school boys from Covington Kentucky on a school sponsored field trip who dared wear MAGA hats in the Nations Capital. How they were smeared by the Washington Post.

    Or, for another generation, take the great historian David McCullough fried by the Post cultural critics for his multiple crimes of writing excellent histories about great American’s who happened to have been white and had to audacity to found and built this nation. Write about people like John Adams, the American pioneers, people at work creating their nation in 1776, or the Wright Brothers, or Harry Truman. Or how Washington Post reporters hated David McCullough and spewed vitriol at him for writing about things they hated like The American Spirit, the American founders, the great bridge builders and path finders of the American experience, and even writing about Americans doing great things in Paris, or doing most any great thing from sea to shinning sea in American history, if they were white. All those people, and all later people who have or will write great books about them, the Washington Post reporters seem regularly to despise and try to lynch, smear, shut up, ruin, and otherwise put them out of business.

    Of course, this hated also includes black people who have the audacity to think for themselves, and so love America too. So the Washington Post hates and tries to smear or cancel them out too, folks the Post hates like Clarence Thomas, so the Washington Post played a staring roll his “high tech lynching,” that was matched only by Post’s the high tech lynching of Brett Kavanaugh. The ongoing VMI lynching is only business as usual at the Washington Post.

    Now the bogus reporting and lynchings by the Washington post has reached the point of hysteria. Its lynchings by smear are conducted daily now. And its in myriads of ways like all the phony polling, the race baiting, the political campaigning and smears disguised as news, a propaganda hate campaign that has been unrelenting over the past four years.

  5. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    Foy will have to carefully thread the needle on this issue. A careless error could bump her out early in the next run for governor.

  6. Baconator with extra cheese

    I disagree. I think this works in Foy’s favor. She can state she has survived the most racist campus in Va… maybe the universe… and now can speak truth to power about unity and smashing white supremecy.
    She’ll get huge bonus points in the Woke Olympic Games of 2021!
    If she doesn’t get the job as Superintendent of VMI and command a lifetime salary of about $400k a year first!

  7. More raw meat for the affluent, White, entitled , male wolf pack. Funny there is no mention of The Pack Leader losing the popular and electoral votes. You guys crack me up!

    • “To the Veranda!”

      “He didn’t lose! There were, uh, irregularities…”

      • Oh, he did lose. And there are always irregularities.

        • Yes, always. Not many of which come under federal jurisdiction. Your chums seem willing to toss of States Rights like yesterday’s socks.

          • Humm I think the FBI disagrees with you on whose role it is protecting from violations:

            “Fair elections are the foundation of our democracy, and the FBI is committed to protecting the rights of all Americans to vote.

            The U.S. government only works when legal votes are counted and when campaigns follow the law. When the legitimacy of elections is corrupted, our democracy is threatened.

            While individual states run elections, the FBI plays an important role in protecting federal interests and preventing violations of your constitutional rights.

            An election crime is generally a federal crime if:

            *The ballot includes one or more federal candidates
            *An election or polling place official abuses their office
            *The conduct involves false voter registration
            *The crime intentionally targets minority protected classes
            *The activity violates federal campaign finance laws”


          • An election crime is generally a federal crime if:

            *The ballot includes one or more federal candidates

            Boy ain’t that the truth!

          • Wow so clever, so which irregularities are not federal jurisdiction? The instances you were implying.

    • Pyotr,

      “More raw meat for the affluent, White, entitled , male wolf pack.”

      Define irony, you just describe yourself, NN and Larry.

      PS: I don’t think this article was about Trump and or the election, weren’t you championing staying on point just a few day ago?

    • James Wyatt Whitehead V

      I thought you quit the Rebellion?

    • And you’re eating it up Peter

  8. Ga…

    Trump 49.3%. 2,457,067
    Perdue 49.7%. 2,457,850

    Shoulda run Perdue instead of Trump. You’d have gained nearly 800 votes.

Leave a Reply