WaPo Columnist Links 'Gag Reflex,' Interracial Marriage

Richard Cohen catching flak over latest opinion piece
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2013 1:19 PM CST
Updated Nov 12, 2013 1:29 PM CST
WaPo Columnist Links 'Gag Reflex,' Interracial Marriage
Bill de Blasio embraces his son Dante, left, daughter Chiara, second from left, and wife Chirlane McCray, right, at his election headquarters after polls closed Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, in New York.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen is raising a lot of eyebrows today with his latest column, which is about Iowa's conservative Republicans and includes, well, this:

  • "People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York—a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts—but not all—of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all."

"Cohen hilariously poses as a 'liberal' columnist at the Washington Post, despite being ... how can we put this gently ... a power-worshiping bigot," writes Hamilton Nolan at Gawker. At Salon, Alex Pareene takes issue with Cohen's use of the word conventional: "What kind of mind, and person, just automatically thinks of 'conventional' 'people' as reactionary, racist whites? Neutral, normal people, for Cohen, are always reactionary whites," and Cohen himself is "terrified of black people." Two other writers—Matthew Yglesias at Slate and Ezra Klein at Cohen's own paper—point out recent Gallup polls finding that the conventional view, actually, is very much in favor of interracial marriage. Nolan and Yglesias both seem to think Cohen should be fired, and Twitter definitely wants to see him get the boot. "Obviously eliminating Cohen-related expenditures would not, on its own, bring the [struggling] Post to solvency," Yglesias writes. "But every little bit helps." Indeed, Cohen has a history of sparking outrage with his columns. See:

(Read more Richard Cohen stories.)

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