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Wall Street Journal Plays Up McCain's Slave-Owning Ancestors, Ignores Obama's

Wall Street Journal picture of Lillie McCain, a descendant of slaves owned by John McCain's ancestors

By Ray Stern

As a story on the front page of the Wall Street Journal points out today, the race for the White House isn't just between a white guy and a black guy, it's between a black guy and a white guy whose ancestors owned slaves.

But the writer, Douglas Blackmon, doesn't mention a word about Barack Obama's relatives on his mother's side, some of whom probably owned slaves themselves.

Who knows why the WSJ wanted a story about this eight-year-old news about McCain so late in the game -- the Journal's owner, Rupert Murdoch, also owns Fox News, so you'd think his publication would be the last one to use race in a last-minute slam on the Republican senator from Arizona. However, a little Googling reveals that WSJ was in a pissing match with McCain over the summer.

The timing of the story is probably a function of when Blackmon could get his interviews, rather than any political shenanigans -- but you never know. I sent an e-mail to Blackmon to find out if he asked Lillie McCain (pictured above) what she thinks about the research that shows Obama likely had slave-owning relatives -- I'll let you know if he gets back to me.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern