Bozell & Graham: Elizabeth Warren’s no ‘Woman of Color’

· October 17, 2018  
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Elizabeth Warren
Scott Eisen | Getty Images

So, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has announced she commissioned a DNA test to address her long-standing claims of having Cherokee ancestry. The Boston Globe reported that her DNA analysis “suggests she’s between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American.”

The fraction 1/1,024 works out to 0.09 percent. So since Sen. Warren is .09 percent American Indian, she may now be eligible to own .09 percent of a casino.

There are two ways to understand this story.

Let’s start with some sobering reality. Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. issued an angry afternoon statement saying: “A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America. … Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong.”

President Donald Trump had a field day calling her “Pocahontas (the bad version), sometimes referred to as Elizabeth Warren.” So, too, did millions of others. Her ploy — her “proof” of American Indian heritage — was met by guffaws because it proves just the opposite, and she’s too arrogant to see it.

By her own test, Warren’s ancestry is 95 percent white European. Yet for years when she was a college professor, she listed herself as a minority. As bizarre as it sounds, the Fordham Law Review carried the sentence “Harvard Law School hired its first woman of color, Elizabeth Warren, in 1995.” Warren even announced that she is Cherokee in five recipes for a cookbook called “Pow Wow Chow.”

She insisted in a 2012 debate, “I listed myself as Native American,” based only on her own family’s legends. She wasn’t on any tribal list. She denied ever using this legend to get a job, and Harvard thought it was “diversifying” the faculty by hiring her.

There’s a word for a person who does this for years, with complete knowledge she had nothing to back it up. It’s “liar.”

Then there’s the second way to understand this story. To the Trump-hating press preparing for the 2020 presidential campaign, this is all about Trump offensively using the nickname “Pocahontas” to mock Warren’s little Indian game. He had joked, “I will give you a million dollars … to your favorite charity if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian.” The DNA test proved she is basically as Indian as we are (and we’re not). But don’t tell the “news” people.

The evening newscasts presented what they considered to be Warren’s slam-dunk rebuttal of Trump and suggested he should feel embarrassed for mocking her. ABC anchor David Muir gushed: “President Trump, who calls her ‘Pocahontas,’ has suggested he would pay $1 million to a charity if she took a DNA test to prove her heritage. Tonight, she says it’s time to pay up.”

On PBS “Newshour,” anchor Judy Woodruff echoed: “Senator Elizabeth Warren released DNA tests today — results today … that support her claim of Native American ancestry. They indicate that the Massachusetts Democrat’s ancestor dates back six to 10 generations.”

“Tonight, calling his bluff,” announced NBC reporter Kristen Welker. “After relentless taunts by President Trump over Senator Elizabeth Warren’s claims of Native American ancestry … Warren is now answering, her campaign releasing a DNA analysis stating there is ‘strong evidence’ the senator had a Native American in her family going back six to 10 generations.”

None of these supportive network evening newscasts — on ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS — mentioned Warren listing herself as a minority for years when she was a college professor, and none of them could locate the outrage from the Cherokee Nation. None concluded she is a fraud. If this outbreak of cheerleading for Warren’s rampant dishonesty marks the beginning point of media coverage of the 2020 presidential campaign, it’s off to a dismal start.

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Author: L. Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.