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Thursday, April 16, 2015
MRC Promotes Misleading Claim About Redskins Name
Topic: Media Research Center

Last November, the Media Research Center's Dan Joseph interviewed M. Andre Billeaudeaux, author of a children's book purporting to explain how the Washington Redskins got their name. Billeaudeaux explained that the name was picked in 1933 (at the time, the team was located in Boston and called the Braves) in part to honor "Lone Star" Dietz, the Redskins coach at the time, and other Native Americans who played for the team. On April 8, Joseph posted an interview Billeaudeaux with the right-wing network One America News.

Just one problem: That's not quite true.

As the Washington Post detailed, team owner George Preston Marshall admitted another reason for changing the name. A 1933 Associated Press article quoted Marshall saying the motivation was not to honor Dietz but to differentiate itself from a baseball team also known as the Boston Braves.

In his interview, Joseph and Billeaudeaux gloss over the racism of Marshall -- under him, the Redskins were the last NFL team to integrate, and a foundation was created after his death thatincluded the provisio that no money should go toward “any purpose which supports or employs the principle of racial integration in any form.”

In neither interview is it mention that Billeaudeaux's book has been promoted at, a website operated by the Redskins in support of the team's name.

In both interviews, the unsubstantiated point is brought up that people who are complaining about the Redskins name being racist were not complaining about Andrew Jackson -- who famously persecuted Native Americans during his presidency -- being on the $20 bill. But a campaign begun earlier this year to replace Jackson with a woman drew howls of protest from the MRCwhen one of the proposed candidates was Margaret Sanger. NewsBusters blogger P.J. Gladnick whined that the campaign is being "headed by a former Hillary Clinton political operative."

So it appears the MRC is not eager to get rid of Jackson on the $20 bill either. But then, the MRC is fully on board in support of the Redskins name too.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:08 PM EDT

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