Media Dismiss Black Pastors Who Say Herring Lied

National and local news affiliates are using the same language to dismiss concerns of African American ministers who say Virginia's Attorney General Mark Herring misled them on the gay marriage issue.  

The ministers spoke at a press conference held yesterday by Virginia state Delegate Robert Marshall, who is seeking the impeachment of Herring.

According to the Associated Press

"A handful of African-American ministers joined Marshall on Tuesday at a Capitol news conference to denounce Herring’s decision to back two same-sex couples challenging state laws. "

The Washington Post reprinted the AP report's dismissive wording, as did WRVA and WAMU, among others.

The articles, online and radio reports state that, "The ministers said Herring had misled them about his views on gay marriage when he was a candidate for office," but they give no further details as to why the believe they had been deceived. No quotes, no names. Just "a handful." Move on, folks. Nothing to see here.


Herring's office got a quote, not surprisingly. A spokesman apparently called the press conference where the ministers spoke out, a "desperate ploy." 

A desperate ploy? For what? The African American ministers, taking a serious risk, themselves, for speaking out against the sitting attorney general are engaged in a "desperate ploy"?

Perhaps the reference was intended for Marshall. But the ministers bring an issue to light that should be considered on its own merits. Did Mark Herring mislead them on whether he would defend Virginia's marriage amendment? He refused to take a definitive position during the election contest, but experienced a sudden conversion after Inauguration Day.

The ministers are not involved in any ploy. Chances are, they are mad as heck that a candidate came into their places of worship, lied to them about an issue near to their hearts and minds, and are not willing to sit back and let it go this time.

But the media are. Of course, if it were a Republican attorney general who was accused of lying to at least five black ministers, we'd be hearing about it, you can be sure. And it wouldn't be "a handful." It would be "notable representatives of ministers in the African American community came to make their voices heard," or something along those lines. And you better believe we would find out how, when, why and where the deceit took place. 

These courageous ministers, whoever they are, have every right to be outraged. Not only at having been mislead by a man running for office, but by being dismissed by national and state media outlets with no consideration of the underlying facts whatsoever.