Jeff Sessions is a horrible racist. It's too much for a blog post to get into the distinction Southern vs. Northern (and the rest of the country) racism - they both exist, they're both horrible, they both involve the power of the state - except to say that while there's no point in holding the racism olympics to determine a winner, Southern institutionalized state enforced racism and its political culture are deeply rooted in a tradition of celebrating the enslavement of African-Americans. The ahistorical myths and moral degeneracy required to think the slavery was (or is) somehow OK suggests a deep level of inhumanity which is hard to even comprehend.
That Jeff Sessions was too racist to be a judge in the 80s (actual bipartisan vote!) but not too racist to be Attorney General in this decade tells us that anti-anti-racism backlash has been powerful. And "the media" isn't all powerful, but decisions big and small are made every day which collectively determine what is or isn't a "scandal." Jeff Sessions, the person, is a walking scandal, a demented disgusting pile of garbage regularly mislabeled a "human" in news stories.