Could it be that a current member of the U.S. Senate has a history of being a member of the Ku Klux Klan? Could it be that he was not merely a member, but actually a leader in the KKK, given the title "Kleagle"? Could it be that he would use the "N-word", a hateful racial epithet, in front of a reporter, not once, but twice, in the same interview? And why wouldn't that reporter, eager to make news, report about this?
Because the senator, Robert Byrd, from West Virginia, has some powerful friends: He has been photographed, smiling, with his arm around people like Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, John Edwards, and other leaders in his political party.
To be sure, Senator Byrd claims that he ended his membership in the Klan. Maybe he did, but three years after he claims he stopped his membership, he was still writing letters to the leaders of the KKK, telling them that "The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia ... and in every state in the Union." Why would the newspapers and TV media not report to the general public about these facts? Because Senator Byrd is part of the Democratic party, and with friends like Gore, Kerry, Edwards, and the Clintons, no reporter will take him on.
In the senate, he opposed civil rights legislation to ensure equality in the armed forces, and he led a strong opposition and filibuster to the Civil Rights Act, which was aimed at ensuring voting rights for African-Americans, among other things.