With an election coming up this fall and North Carolina shaping up as a key battleground state, we're going to be in for a long stretch of overheated political debate -- some of which will probably involve accusations that the News & Observer is just a mouthpiece for liberal propaganda. It's not for me to say whether or not that's true. But it seems worth reminding one and all that a long, long time ago, the N&O was seen as a far different kind of mouthpiece.
For example, below is something a friend just pointed out and which I somehow missed until now: a 2008 album cover by the hip-hop band The Roots, paired with the 1898 cartoon it was based on. And this particular cartoon, an unbelievable bit of race-baiting called "The Vampire That Hovers Over North Carolina," was drawn by one Norman E. Jennette and published in the N&O on Sept. 27, 1898.
This September, as it happens, The Roots will be in Raleigh to play Hopscotch. Think they might have something to say about this?