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January 27, 2006

Open Mouth Insert . . .

Posted at January 27, 2006 09:50 AM in Politics .

Kclubs"This one was not deserved. I was dealing with a hypothetical, talking about lowering crime rate by aborting babies, babies in the black community. And that this was a hypothetical, obviously, that was a matter that had been under discussion in articles and newspapers and in some discussions of books."  —William Bennett, commenting on the controversy his 'black babies' comment stirred up last fall. CNN, Jan. 26.

While on CNN's "The Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer, former education secretary and radio talk-show host William Bennett unapologetically defended his controversial comment about black babies last fall. 

In September, while commenting on a 1999 discussion between Stephen D. Levitt, coauthor of Freakonomics, and right-wing columnist Steve Sailer about abortion and crime rates in the United States, Bennett said "You could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." Although he followed the statement up by saying that it "would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do," the statement already had enraged many and prompted marches and protests. Levitt in response said, "None of our analysis is race-based because the crime data by race is generally not deemed reliable."

Blitzer asked Bennett about the controversy raised by his comment. Bennett replied it "was not deserved" and claimed that his hypothetical proposal "was a matter that had been under discussion in articles and newspapers and in some discussions of books," Media Matters for America reports.

Since September, Bennett has been blaming the media for blowing the comment out of proportion, saying he had intended to make "a bad argument in order to put it down" (See also: Bennett Blames Media for 'Black-Baby' Controversy).



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