The Washington Post has a big, front-page, above-the-fold article today, headlined, “Budget would cut civil rights positions” and “Diminished federal role in fighting discrimination” and “Cuts part of broader effort to curtail federal programs on civil rights.” That’s quoting the hard copy; the online version is perhaps even worse: “Trump administration plans to minimize civil rights efforts in agencies.” The article itself declares as a matter of fact that the Trump administration wants “to rein in government programs that promote civil rights” and “dismantle compliance efforts” and that it is “reducing the role of the federal government in fighting discrimination and protecting minorities.”
Well, democracy may die in darkness, but don’t count on the Washington Post to shed any meaningful light on the truth. This isn’t reporting; this is just stenography, writing down whatever disgruntled bureaucrats and left-wing activists dictate.
The story starts with the budget’s proposal to combine two agencies that police private-sector compliance with federal anti-discrimination directives in employment. Not so outrageous (and indeed not a proposal that some conservatives are entirely happy with). The administration’s proposal regarding its “environmental justice program,” the Post’s second item, is likewise a matter of reorganization. The Post’s third item, regarding the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, involves only an extremely modest budget cut, $1.7 million out of $108.5 million according to another Post article. And that’s it, with respect to civil-rights budget matters.
What the administration is doing, but what the Post doesn’t get to until the jump-page, is to change the Obama administration’s policies with regard to some LGBT issues and the federal micromanagement of state and local police. Thinking that the Obama administration was wrongheaded in these areas…