When reporting on a major American historical event, it’s probably a good idea to get the facts straight. Unfortunately, three reporters from the Los Angeles Times made a glaring error, according to Breitbart.
In a lengthy Aug. 28 article, Kathleen Hennessey, Richard Simon and Alexei Koseff wrote “Civil rights movement continues with commemorative march.” The article covered the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington providing background on the original march, Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech and the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
About three-quarters of the way through the article, the Times made a reference to Democrats leading the passage of the historic legislation:
The absence of even a gesture of bipartisanship [today] was a reminder of the enduring political legacy of the civil rights battles. Since Democrats led the passage of civil rights legislation that marchers pushed for in 1963, Republicans have struggled to recover with black voters, leaving a stark racial divide in American politics.
Pulling facts out of the history books, Breitbart’s Wynton Hall pointed out that Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia – a former Ku Klux Klan member – tried to kill the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by filibustering the bill. Then-Republican Minority Leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois galvanized Senate Republicans, ending the Democrat-led filibuster to save the law. Hall writes:
On June 9, 1964, the night before the historic cloture vote, the 68-year-old Republican stayed up late into the night typing a speech on twelve sheets of Senate stationery. The next day, Senator Everett Dirksen delivered his oration on the floor of the U.S. Senate just minutes before the final vote. The final tally: 71 to 29, with 27 of the 33 Republicans voting to defeat the Democrat-led filibuster.
A short narrative from Wikipedia also describes the events surrounding the legislation:
When the bill came before the full Senate for debate on March 30, 1964, the “Southern Bloc” of 18 southern Democratic Senators and one Republican Senator led by Richard Russell (D-GA) launched a filibuster to prevent its passage. Said Russell: “We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our (Southern) states.”
It’s interesting to note that in an essay on the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary website, the entire depiction of the law’s passage leaves out all references to legislators’ party affiliation.
According to its website, the Los Angeles Times has not yet corrected its error.
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