Well, according to multiple conservative media outlets, yes, it does matter. On Sunday, National Review ran a blog post originally titled, “Racist Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Is a Democrat.” The post breathlessly noted a handful of contributions he made in the early 1990s to Democratic politicians, including California politician Gray Davis and Sen. Bill Bradley, who had played in the NBA. (Sterling has owned his NBA team since the early 1980s.) The headline has since been changed to “Racist Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Has Only Contributed to Democrats,” with an update reading, “his official party affiliation is not known.” Still, the Donald-Sterling-Is-a-Democrat meme already took hold within right-wing media:
“Report: Clippers Owner Caught In Racist Rant Is A Democratic Donor” — Fox Nation.
“NBA Sterling is a Democrat…” — Matt Drudge.
“Race Hate Spewing Clippers Owner Is Democratic Donor” — the Daily Caller.
“Media Ignoring Dem Donations of LA Clippers’ Owner, Allegedly Caught on Tape in Race-Based Rant” — NewsBusters.
“LA Clippers Owner Donald Sterling is a Racist Democrat” — the Tea Party News Network.
Politico piggy-backed on this flood of Sterling-triggered liberal-shaming with a softer headline: “Donald Sterling made donations to Dems.”
Not that Sterling’s broader political views or party affiliation have much to do with the controversy over his insanely racist comments, but here’s a news flash for those conservatives eager to bring up the topic: He’s a Republican.
On Sunday, Michael Hiltzik, a Los Angeles Times columnist, tweeted that local voter records show Sterling to be a registered Republican “since 1998.” We followed up on that, and a search of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s website for Sterling’s name, date of birth, and address confirmed that he’s registered as a Republican:
There’s little reason to get excited about Sterling’s political affiliation. But if you choose to do so, you ought to get it right.