In her Sunday column, Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell addressed how the Post reporters and editors respond to complaints about their work on the website and in E-mail. Most Posties she talked to tried to sound receptive to public criticism. But not Darryl Fears, who wants "intolerant" and "ignorant" comments scrubbed off the website:
Web site comments can be more than ugly and are often aimed at private citizens quoted in stories. National reporter Darryl Fears would stop them. "Comments attached to stories about race, ethnicity and related issues such as immigration often reek of racism, intolerance and ignorance. To ignore them, in my opinion, is to endorse them."
Neither Fears nor Howell provide actual examples of what an "ignorant" comment is. The article also leaves the reader confused as to whether Fears the Censor would scrub comments about private citizens, or prevent all comments on stories about race and ethnicity.
For the second time in less than a month, "Good Morning America" co-host Chris Cuomo asked a Democratic presidential candidate to speculate about the inherent racism of American voters. Talking with John Edwards on Wednesday's edition of the program, the ABC journalist wondered about Thursday's Iowa caucus. He inquired, "When you think people get into the room, do you think race or gender may play an unspoken role in the caucus voting?"
Clearly, this is a topic that weighs heavily on Cuomo. On December 20, he spoke to Senator Barack Obama and asked, "What do you think the bigger obstacle is for you in becoming president, the Clinton campaign machine or America's inherent racists, racism?" In fact, GMA has a long history of harping on how bigoted America is. Since November 13, 2006, "Good Morning America" has featured the question, in some form or another, a total of five times.
FNC's morning anchors highlighted a few of the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2007" on the Monday edition of "Fox and Friends." Included were a quote of MSNBC's Chris Matthews comparing Bill Clinton's speaking ability to that of "Jesus at the temple" when the former President spoke at Coretta King's funeral, and a quote of comedian Bill Maher commenting that if [Vice President Cheney] died, "more people would live." FNC co-anchor Alisyn Camerota joked that Matthews has a "man crush" on former President Clinton: "I think he has a man crush on Bill Clinton. He's using such rhapsodic language. I believe he has a crush on Bill."
At the end of the year, people always have, news outfits always have these "best of" lists and stuff like that. Over at the Media Research Center, what they did was they took a look at some of the outrageous things that people in the public eye said in the past year. And we're going to play this little game. Who do you think said this? We're going to do a quote, and then you try to figure out who said it.
The rise of Barack Obama with a message of racial reconciliation has led some to question whether race-baiting leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are yesterday’s news. But on the front page of Wednesday’s Washington Post came a rebuttal, a news story headlined "Not Relevant? Sharpton Scoffs at the Idea: Activist’s Busy Calendar and Ringing Phone Speak to His Role in Civil Rights." Reporter Keith Richburg toyed with the idea of an irrelevant Sharpton, but the lion’s share of his story worked on shoring up his clout.
All the Democratic presidential contenders are seeking his endorsement, reported Richburg. After his high-profile turns in getting Don Imus fired and the "Jena 6" celebrated, Sharpton declared "smiling contentedly over coffee" in the story, "I think this has been a banner year, to say the least...This year proved the real revival of civil rights activism."
Honest, I'm not looking for trouble. Just hanging out on Christmas afternoon, watching the Heat vs. the Cavs on ABC, when a State Farm Insurance commercial comes on. Funny stuff. A guy on a treadmill gets so distracted by a shapely young woman on a hamstring machine that he slips and falls off.
Then a trim man, identified by a screen graphic as Dr. Ian Smith, comes by to help him to his feet, and says:
Go on, laugh. But it's not easy getting back in shape. That's why we created the 50-Million Pound Challenge. It's a new way to help our community get healthier together. Get started at 50-Million Pounds dot com.
How quiet is it Chez Finkelstein on Christmas morning? Quiet enough that I actually resorted to my HBO on Demand re-run channel and decided to check out a two-minute Def Comedy short. I wasn't looking for trouble, let alone grist for the NB mill. But here's what turned up. A comedian named Patrice O'Neal. And these were the very first words out of his mouth:
Here is the kind of story that really proves how little the MSM bothers to research things, how they often simply print glorified press releases without doing any real "journalism," and how the defective end product gets picked up and regurgitated like it is suddenly a "fact." In this one we have the story of "the Lakota Sioux Indians" announcing that "they" have withdrawn from agreed upon treaties with the US government and that they are now a sovereign nation, no longer to be called citizens of the USA. Problem is "the Lakota Sioux Indians" that have made this announcement are just an unaffiliated group of Indian activists the leader of whom does not represent the official Lakota tribe leadership! Yet here is the news media reporting this story as if all "the Lakota Sioux Indians" have banded together and quit the union.
Does "Good Morning America" mean "good morning all you racists"? Co-host Chris Cuomo seemed to suggest that on December 20. (Hat tip: Howard Mortman) Upon interviewing presidential candidate Barack Obama Cuomo inquired about Obama’s biggest obstacles.
"What do you think the bigger obstacle is for you in becoming president, the Clinton campaign machine or America's inherent racists, racism?"
Obama, though conceding he does not think "race has played a significant role in this campaign," went on to add that many people may vote for or against him because of his race.
During a question and answer session with about 100 people in attendance (in a town of only 1,374 people), John Edwards handled quite well a very unusual question.
An elderly man told Edwards that “something has been sticking in my craw” and explained that “a certain fella committed two murders in California and the jury found him not guilty. And all they said was, ‘It’s payback time.’ How are you going to have that come out in this election to combat one of your competitors?”
Edwards seemed puzzled, as most people in the audience seemed to be.
“The black jury in Los Angeles, the reason they found O.J. not guilty was ‘payback,’” the older gent explained.
“Payback for what?” Edwards asked.
For mistreatment by white America, the man said.
“What do you want the president to do about that?” Edwards asked.
“How are you going to get that brought out in your campaign? Will the same thing happen? If he should become elected, you think Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Oprah Winfrey are going to let him forget about that and their obligation?” the man said, not identifying who he meant by “he” and “him.”
“I’m still not sure what it is that you’re asking,” Edwards said, a bit uneasily.
“Obama,” the man said, “has never said anything about payback for the problems the blacks have had getting their foothold in society.”
MSNBC's Tom Curry writes that it wasn't totally clear "but the man seemed to want Barack Obama to denounce the 'not guilty' verdict in Simpson’s 1995 trial." But the money quote, as they say, comes when Curry offers this:
CNN’s Carol Costello, in a segment on Thursday’s "The Situation Room," highlighted the reaction of some fans of Oprah Winfrey who expressed anger at the TV host’s endorsement of Democrat Barak Obama. At the beginning of the segment, Costello voiced her surprise to this development, and all but deified the daytime TV star. "Who knew that Oprah Winfrey, super celeb, might suffer the same fate as mere mortal celebrities -- backlash."
The segment, which aired 43 minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour of "The Situation Room," focused on the racial component to the issue. Costello opined that the Oprah viewers’ comments were "telling about how many Americans feel about African Americans, even those popular among all races." She later went on to say that some comments left on Oprah’s website were "especially interesting," because some said Oprah was "pitting white against black, because of how she stumped for Obama."
ABC host Diane Sawyer used an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey and actor Denzel Washington to gossip about liberal politics, to ask whether the talk show host would support Hillary Clinton as a backup to Senator Barack Obama and also to prompt Washington on the subject of which Democrat he's supporting.
In the interview, which aired during Wednesday's edition of "Good Morning America," Sawyer demanded to know, "Have you heard from the Clintons? Have you talked to the Clintons?" "What would you say to Hillary," she asked.After Winfrey simply reiterated her support for Obama, Sawyer pressed on and asked if the talk show host had decided "if Senator Clinton is nominated whether you'll show up for her or not?"
Joy Behar took up Media Matters talking points on her "View" forum and Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd, whom Barbara Walters calls "very conservative," backed Behar up. On discussing Barack Obama and whether his African American race helps or hurts him, Joy Behar brought up the far left Media Matters smear of Bill O’Reilly.
JOY BEHAR: Well, remember the Bill O’Reilly thing when they went up to Sylvia’s and he was so astounded-
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Yes he was astounded.
BEHAR: -that black people use forks or something when they eat?
GOLDBERG: Yeah, I mean, you know, what kind-
BEHAR: It’s Bill O’Reilly.
In reality, Bill O’Reilly was using his experience to note that African-American culture is not as profane and coarse as stereotyped by many white Americans. Barbara Walters very timidly defended O’Reilly before Sherri Shepherd and Whoopi Goldberg continued.
Returning to the airwaves this morning after a seven-month exile, Don Imus seemed intent on demonstrating two things. First, that he was unequivocally contrite concerning the comments he had made about the Rutgers University women's basketball players that resulted in his firing. Second, his contrition notwithstanding, he wasn't going to change his irreverent ways when it came to the country's political leaders.
To prove his iconoclastic bona fides, Imus concluded his monologue by observing "Dick Cheney is still a war criminal, and Hillary Clinton is still Satan."
Listen to audio here [with apologies for the mediocre sound quality.]
But before ending on that defiant note, he took several minutes to describe his meeting with the women of the Rutgers team, and the way the entire experience had changed him.
NewsBusters readers are likely familiar with Jason Whitlock, the outspoken sportswriter for the Kansas City Star whose views on race relations in America typically go quite contrary to most in the mainstream media.
On Wednesday, Whitlock wrote an article for Fox Sports.com concerning the recent shooting of Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor.
True to form, Whitlock spoke of truths few press representatives and even fewer black leaders dare to today (emphasis added, h/t Larwyn, reader is cautioned that some of the language is a tad raw at times):
A conservative comedian [yes, there are some], appears at a venue in a heavily-white suburb at a campaign event for a white candidate and tells his audience composed overwhelmingly of people of pallor they'd be embarrassed if they supported a black candidate and the white candidate won, saying "Oh no. I can't call him now. I had that black guy. What was I thinking?"
What are the odds the MSM would laugh it off?
But when Chris Rock does the equivalent on behalf of Barack Obama, the MSM raises nary an eyebrow. Rock appeared last night at an event for Barack Obama at Harlem's famed Apollo Theater and said:
"You'd be real embarrassed if he won and you wasn't down with it. You'd say, 'aw man, I can't call him now. I had that white lady. What was I thinking?'"
Do none of the Republican presidential candidates, including the former mayor of New York City, care about crime in the African-American community? According to "The View’s" Sherri Shepherd, they do not. Joy Behar says those encouraging a more stable family structure are "mental midgets" because they will not discuss racism.
On discussing the Republican YouTube debate, Joy Behar said she was "slightly annoyed" that Mitt Romney stated a large factor in black on black crime are unstable families, and that he did not address racism. Sherri Shepherd scoffed that "not one of these candidates ever thought about black on black crime."
Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg also exclaimed why no one ever asks about "white on white crime." Joy Behar did concede that Rudy Giuliani dramatically reduced black on black crime in New York City, but questioned "the way he did it." Sherri Shepherd responded "because one of my cousins called me from jail."
During an appearance on CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday, former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw pointed out that before the invasion of Iraq, even "people who were critical of the war" thought that Saddam Hussein "had weapons of mass destruction," as he responded to criticism that the media were not aggressive enough about challenging President Bush before the Iraq invasion. And while commenting on racial issues, giving his view that "we need to have a dialogue in this country" about race, Brokaw lamented the problems posed by "political correctness" which means "you're in danger of being a racist if you go against the merits of some issues and just try to look at it objectively." Brokaw added: "Within the black culture, there's a fear about speaking out, about what some people see as wrong, because they say, don't go there, you know, it will only hurt our people." (Transcript follows)
The website The Black Commentator defined the loony left by calling for the end of the Thanksgiving holiday, since it's apparently an event for white supremacists. This is more about the Internet than the mainstream media, but remember that liberal blacks the news producers treat as sensible pundits -- like Julian Bond of the hallowed NAACP and Julianne Malveaux, the woman who hoped on PBS that Clarence Thomas would die young -- are on this website's board. Here's just a snippet of their anti-Thanksgiving rant:
On Saturday, State Representative Carla Blanchard Dartez (D-La.) lost her re-election bid to Republican challenger Joe Harrison in a heated and controversial run-off. Yet the largest newspaper in Louisiana, The Times-Picayune (TP), chose to bury it as an afterthought in its coverage of the statewide election results. The Times-Picayune online edition, NOLA.com, placed this paragraph at the end of its story.
The only two incumbent lawmakers to lose in either chamber were Democrats. Chris Hazel dispatched Rep. Rick Farrar of Pineville in the 27th District primary. Challenger Joe Harrison topped Rep. Carla Blanchard Dartez of Morgan City to claim the 51st District seat in the runoff.
The TP made no mention of the 'Buckwheat' racial slur or the other controversies which surrounded this incumbent Democrat. Why is that?
In the free-for-all that followed Tavis Smiley’s hostile GOP presidential debate in August, Michael Fauntroy was featured by Smiley’s show and several other liberal media outlets as an instant pundit on the subject, author of the book plainly titled Republicans and the Black Vote. But Sunday night on the Huffington Post, Fauntroy slammed a not-so-new documentary on blacks and the GOP as pathetic propaganda:
In arguing that the Dems were racist and that the GOP has been miscast by the liberal media as the enemy of Black people, Emancipation, Revelation, and Revolution completely overlooks the role of ideology in policymaking. Conservatives have long opposed Black progress. Conservatives opposed Reconstruction and civil rights. Conservatives pushed the "Lily-White" movement that purged Blacks from leadership of state Republican parties throughout the South. Conservatives have pushed for the maintenance of a racial status quo that held down Blacks and then blamed them for the lots in life.
In what began as a Veterans Day tribute to African-American military veterans, a segment on Sunday’s CBS "Sunday Morning,"soon became a rant against the Bush Administration as reporter Bill Whitaker exclaimed:
The concerned Department of Defense has studied why black enlistment has plummeted and found that many of the so-called "influencers" in the black community, parents, teachers, clergy, feel in general, that Bush Administration policies have hurt African-Americans. And more than any other group, they oppose the war in Iraq.
Whitaker then examined the case of Macio Sheffield, an African-American high school student in Los Angeles who was a member of the Junior ROTC. After Sheffield explained his reason for being in ROTC: "I enjoy learning about respect and discipline. I like the Army. I love America," Whitaker followed with, "But first Macio will have to get past his parents, Macio senior and Terry Craten, who, like the majority of the blacks in the survey, oppose the Bush Administration and this war." Whitaker then talked to Sheffield’s parents:
Times columnist David Brooks blew a hole into the left-wing myth of Ronald Reagan appealing to Southern racists to kick off his 1980 presidential campaign. What makes Brooks's Friday column doubly valuable -- it's a bank-shot sinking of fellow Times columnist and Republican-hater Paul Krugman.
Brooks's "History and Calumny" defends then-candidate Ronald Reagan from leftists like Krugman who have long slurred his 1980 campaign kick-off in Philadelphia, Miss. as a racist appeal.
"Today, I'm going to write about a slur. It's a distortion that's been around for a while, but has spread like a weed over the past few months. It was concocted for partisan reasons: to flatter the prejudices of one side, to demonize the other and to simplify a complicated reality into a political nursery tale.
"View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg, an African American woman who grew up in the "Jim Crow" era of the 1950's and 1960's, claimed America is "not as free as it was when I was a kid." This is the same Whoopi who compared modern America to Nazi Germany.
The November 12 edition of "The View" featured noted conservative radio talk show host and best selling author of "Power to the People" Laura Ingraham. Ingraham put veteran journalist Barbara Walters on the defensive on the "do you want to win in Iraq" question. Most notably, though was Whoopi Goldberg’s assertion that America is "not as free" as it once was to Ingraham’s astonishment.
Guess I won't be calling Mika Brzezinski a "newsreader" again anytime soon. The "Morning Joe" panelist went to Iowa over the weekend and scored an in-depth interview with Michelle Obama that elicited a highly-controversial suggestion from the candidate's wife. According to Mrs. Obama, her husband isn't polling better among African-Americans because in the back of their minds, many blacks think "others" are better.
On Saturday, CNN ran an interview with Bill Cosby on "Larry King Live," which originally ran on Thursday October 18, in which the entertainer plugged his new book "Come on People: On the Path from Victims to Victors," about problems faced by America's black population. While Cosby talked about such conservative themes as personal responsibility, which in recent years he has been famous for discussing, the entertainer also demonstrated that he has not entirely made the trip over to the conservative side as he derided Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as "brother lite," repeatedly charging that Thomas "doesn't want to help anybody." Cosby also proclaimed that he "loves" far-left Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. (Transcript follows)
In an article that is otherwise fairly balanced, Delaware's biggest daily, the Wilmington News Journal, proclaims in a headline today that senior Senator Joe Biden has a "Tangled tongue, but a civil record," with the sub-header "Biden's bloopers don't jibe with his votes."
Sen. Joe Biden sees black supporters as his base and maintains a stellar voting record with the NAACP.
But he's also gotten in trouble for comments involving race or ethnicity.
Biden's supporters say the apparent gaffes are merely examples of his unscripted style, which they admire. Others say he should be more aware of how his words come across.
Most recently, Biden drew a comparison between the nation's capital and Iowa that suggested to some he was blaming Washington's large minority population for its low-performing schools.
CBS's Public Eye blogger Matthew Felling sees curious timing in a controversy CNN reported on an October 31 program, but which took place weeks earlier, involving a stand-up comic and a noose:
Last night on CNN’s “Out in the Open” hosted by Rick Sanchez, he had a lively discussion/debate with an African-American comic who had worn a noose like a necktie as “a fashion accessory.” The segment began:
The Nazi comparison is often cited too casually particularly on "The View" where Joy Behar compared former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to Hitler. The October 26 edition was no exception.
In an unusually deep and interesting conversation about forgiveness, Whoopi Goldberg, who took the redemption side, pulled the Nazi comparison to 21st century America. Apparently those who want an aggressive War on Terror and wish to crack down on illegal immigrants are no better than those who tried to wipe out an entire race. (Video available here.)
GOLDBERG: Well, I think because one of the things that happens when you get nationalism whipped up in a country is people start going "yeah it's them, it's not us, it’s them, it’s not us, let's go get them!" We saw it happen. We saw it happen here.
It's time for a TGIF edition of one of our favorite games: WIARHSI. For you beginners, that's "What If A Republican Had Said It?"
What if a Republican had said, in explaining why schools in Iowa are performing better than those in Washington:
There's less than one percent of the population of Iowa that is African American. There is probably less than four of five percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you're dealing with.