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James Brady, the pope and ethnic stereotypes
James Brady, the pope and ethnic stereotypes

When James Brady died Monday, most Americans probably thought of him in connection with one of two things: the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan — in which Brady, the amiable president’s amiable press secretary, was seriously wounded — or Brady’s subsequent involvement in the gun-control movement. I thought of something else: a New York Times editorial that figured prominently in an article I did for the American Journalism Review 21 years ago about the news media’s fascination with Irish stereotypes. Even in the 1980s, such stereotyping was politically incorrect, yet journalists always seemed to make an exception for supposed “Irish”...

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