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FAIR Media Advisory: Southern Partisan: "Setting the Record Straight"

by Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting Sunday, Jan. 14, 2001 at 12:20 AM

"Your magazine also helps set the record straight. You've got a heritage of doing that, of defending Southern patriots like [Gen.] Robert E. Lee, [Gen.] Stonewall Jackson and Confederate President] Jefferson Davis...." --John Ashcroft. FAIR provides a sampling of other quotes to show just what Ashcroft was talking about.

FAIR Media Advisory: Southern Partisan FAIR-L
Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and news reports

   Southern Partisan: "Setting the Record Straight"
   Attorney general nominee praised white supremacist magazine

January 12, 2001

"Your magazine also helps set the record straight. You've got a heritage of doing that, of defending Southern patriots like [Gen.] Robert E. Lee, [Gen.] Stonewall Jackson and [Confederate President] Jefferson Davis.  Traditionalists must do more. I've got to do more. We've all got to stand up and speak in this respect, or else we'll be taught that these people were giving their lives, subscribing their sacred fortunes and their honor to some perverted agenda."

   --John Ashcroft, Southern Partisan magazine interview (Second Quarter/1998)

When Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft praised the neo-Confederate magazine Southern Partisan, he was endorsing a publication that defends slavery, white separatism, apartheid and David Duke; a publication that celebrates the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, while delivering a "mixed review" of Lincoln's assassin (Southern Partisan, Second Quarter/1990).

Though Southern Partisan is the leading magazine of the neo-Confederate movement, it  really is much more than a "gumbo of racist apologias," as the New Republic put it last year (1/31/00).  Southern Partisan's bigotry targets virtually anyone who isn't a straight white male neo-Confederate. Southern Partisan practices equal-opportunity bigotry. Here's a sample of opinion from the magazine John Ashcroft says "set[s] the record straight":

On Slavery

"Neither Jesus nor the apostles nor the early church condemned slavery, despite countless opportunities to do so, and there is no indication that slavery is contrary to Christian ethics or that any serious theologian before modern times ever thought it was."
   --Samuel Francis, Southern Partisan, Third Quarter/1995

"Slave owners . . . did not have a practice of breaking up slave families. If anything, they encouraged strong slave families to further the slaves' peace and happiness."
   --First Quarter/1996

On Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln is a "consummate conniver, manipulator and a liar."
   --Southern Partisan cited in Legal Times, 2/26/1996

The Spring 1984 issue refers to "the sinister Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln--an invitation to the slaves to rise against their masters."

On John Wilkes Booth: "His behavior was not only sane, but sensible. His background, loyalties, beliefs, and experiences had led him to that end."
   --Mark Brewer, Second Quarter/1990

For years Southern Partisan has celebrated the murder of Abraham Lincoln by selling T-shirts with Lincoln's image over the words "sic semper tyrannis" ("thus always to tyrants")-- John Wilkes Booth's cry just after shooting Lincoln. Timothy McVeigh was wearing this T-shirt when he was arrested for the Oklahoma City bombing.
   --New York Times, 6/3/1997

On the Klan

The Ku Klux Klan's first Grand Wizard, Civil War Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, cited as evidence that "the Confederacy was full of super heroes."
   --Fourth Quarter/1996

Praised former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke as "a candidate concerned about 'affirmative' discrimination, welfare profligacy, the taxation holocaust ... a Populist spokesperson for a recapturing of the American ideal."
   --Fourth Quarter/1990

On South African History

"God led [Afrikaners] into the Transvaal, it was with God that they made their prayerful covenant when they were besieged by bloodthirsty savages on all sides."

On Feminism

Feminism is a "revolt against god."
   --First Quarter/2000

"Feminists, ethnic minorities, sodomites and other 'victims' of majority culture are demanding special recognition and privileged status."
   --Second Quarter/1992

On Homosexuality

The University of Georgia "promotes perversion" by sponsoring programs for Gay men and Lesbians.  Same-sex marriage is a "vile act of blasphemy."
   --First Quarter/1997

"The acts of sodomy are probably the most repulsive desecrations in the sexual order.... The terrible swift sword of the dread AIDS disease is surely what in other ages would be acknowledged a sign of God's wrath. It is only the least subtle notice of divine displeasure with the swinishness of our age."
   --Reid Buckley, Winter/1986

On Everyone but "Us"

"Newly arrived in New York City, I puzzled, 'Where are the Americans?' for I met only Italians, Jews, Puerto Ricans."
   --Patrick Brophy, Second Quarter/1991

 "What Southerner feels at home in Miami these days, a city 56 percent Spanish-speaking that includes not only Cubans but numbers of cocaine-pushing trigger-happy Colombians?"
   --Allan Charles, Summer/1982

"Melting Pot: An instrument by which distinct forms of distinct material are melted into a common sludge."
   --"The Partisan Dictionary," Spring/Summer 1981

"The tides of immigration turned negative: were characterized by the losers of political history...the Italians and the Irish... the dull-spirited and pagan, such as the Scandinavians... and by peoples to whom the tenets of our republic were altogether alien, such as the hieratic Jews....

"Negroes, Asians and Orientals (is Japan the exception?); Hispanics, Latins and Eastern Europeans; have no temperament for democracy, never had, and probably never will...

"As the genetic racial pool in the United States from which the democratic government originally derived is dissipated in successive tides of immigration, our country is being overwhelmed."
   --Reid Buckley, Summer/1984

A Summer 1983 article denounced the "deliberate lies" of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, including "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

Until the late 1990s, Boyd Cathey was listed alongside Pat Buchanan as a senior advisor to Southern Partisan. As late as 1992, Cathey was an editorial advisor to The Journal of Historical Review, the leading journal of Holocaust denial.
   --Legal Times, 2/26/1996

On Secession

"The best hope, perhaps the only hope, for the South lies in an independent Southern nation, where we can at last be free to pursue the life we desire."
   --Third Quarter/1997


The public rely on media to expose cabinet nominees to tough scrutiny, but so far the mainstream media hasn't seriously taken up the question of whether Americans will be well-served by an attorney general who sees Southern Partisan's bigotry and revisionist history as patriotic "straight" talk.

Feel free to respond to FAIR ( fair@fair.org ). We can't reply to everything, but we will look at each message. We especially appreciate documented example of media bias or censorship. And please send copies of your email correspondence with media outlets, including any responses, to us at: fair@fair.org.

FAIR ON THE AIR: FAIR's founder Jeff Cohen is a regular panelist on the Fox News Channel's "Fox News Watch," which airs which airs Saturdays at 7 pm and Sundays at 11 am (Eastern Standard Time). Check your local listings.

FAIR produces CounterSpin, a weekly radio show heard on over 120 stations in the U.S. and Canada. To find the CounterSpin station nearest you, visit

Please support FAIR by subscribing to our bimonthly magazine, Extra! For more information, go to:
   http://www.fair.org/extra/subscribe.html. Or call 1-800-847-3993.

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