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Running Interference: Mass. Gov. Refuses to Let Warren Answer Cherokee Heritage Question After Reporter Presses


Gov: "On behalf of the people of the Commonwealth, we don't care about that subject" Boston Globe: She now admits identifying as Native American after hiring --

Last week we featured "scattered showers of journalism," when a reporter from the local Fox affiliate in Boston pressed Elizabeth Warren on her claims of Cherokee Indian heritage (she stonewalled the journalist in response). Now that same reporter is back, but this time she ran into a different roadblock: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

(Related: Warren Says ‘I Was The First Nursing Mother to Take a Bar Exam in The State of New Jersey’)

Patrick was holding a joint news conference where he announced that he was going to support Warren in her senatorial campaign. That's when WFXT-TV's Sharman Sacchetti asked Warren, once again, about her heritage claims and the reaction from Massachusetts residents and ethnic groups. But before Warren could utter a complete response, Patrick stepped in.

"On behalf of the people of the Commonwealth, we don't care about that subject," Patrick said. That was after he lectured on how Sacchetti should be allowed to ask the question, but then basically went on to show how you don't have to answer it.

But not pleased, Sacchetti continued to press Warren, who then degenerated into talking points about families getting "hammered" and accused Sacchetti of not liking Warren's answer after Sacchetti accused her of refusing to respond.

Watch the exchange below:

Even after watching the video, some might wonder: Why keep pressing Warren on an issue that has already been well-covered? Enter the Boston Globe. The Globe hasn't given up on the controversy either, and the more it presses, the more details there are that emerge. For example, after pressing, the Globe now got Warren to admit that she did, in fact, tell her university employers she was Native American after she was hired:

Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren acknowledged for the first time late Wednesday night that she told Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania that she was Native American, but she continued to insist that race played no role in her recruitment.

“At some point after I was hired by them, I . . . provided that information to the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard,’’ she said in a statement issued by her campaign. “My Native American heritage is part of who I am, I’m proud of it and I have been open about it.’’

Warren’s statement is her first acknowledgment that she identified herself as Native American to the Ivy League schools. While she has said she identified herself as a minority in a legal directory, she has carefully avoided any suggestion during the last month that she took further actions to promote her purported heritage.

It's pouring journalism in some areas of Boston. We'll see what the extended forecast brings.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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