ALBANY—David Paterson insists he didn't quite play the race card.
In an interview this morning on WWRL with Errol Louis, Paterson talked about the tone of news coverage toward him and Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick (on the leaders of the State Senate) as negative given the state's current fiscal woes, and told Louis "we're not in the post-racial period." (Louis, Patrick and Paterson are all African-American.)
Paterson went on to say "the next victim on the list and you see it coming is President Barack Obama," and then cited a column by Fred Dicker that other African-American lawmakers have suggested was racist.
In a statement issued this afternoon, Paterson said that "at no point did I claim that this media piling-on effect was due to race."
Here's the rest of it:
"During a radio interview this morning, I made some observations about the tone of some of the recent negative media coverage.
"At no point did I claim that this media piling-on effect was due to race – elected officials of all races get piled on by the media all the time; that is the nature of our business. What I did point out was that certain media outlets have engaged in coverage that exploits racial stereotypes.
"That's not only unfair – it's wrong – and it sends an objectionable message. I will not shy away from speaking honestly about prejudices, some subtle and some not, nor will I fail to point out that we have a long way to go to achieve a truly post-racial society."