The New York Times' quest for social justice knows no out-of-bounds, judging by the front-page placement Wednesday of "Study of N.B.A. Sees Racial Bias in Calling Fouls" by sportswriter Alan Schwarz. Years after failing to secure Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor the right to golf at Augusta National Golf Club, the Times has now turned to the plight of multimillionaire NBA players who get bad foul calls.
"An academic study of the National Basketball Association, whose playoffs continue tonight, suggests that a racial bias found in other parts of American society has existed on the basketball court as well.
"A coming paper by a University of Pennsylvania professor and a Cornell University graduate student says that, during the 13 seasons from 1991 through 2004, white referees called fouls at a greater rate against black players than against white players.
In the wake of NBC's and MSNBC's embarrassment over the firing of Don Imus for his racial insensitivity to black women on the Rutgers basketball team, NBC News promoted Lyne Pitts, a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), to be vice president of NBC News. Mrs. Pitts, the wife of CBS correspondent Byron Pitts, has ascended rapidly since she arrived to produce the Weekend Today programs in February 2006.
It's not hard to imagine this has a lot to do with assuaging the roiling internal rage over Imus that boiled over in that meeting NBC News President Steve Capus had with Al Roker and the gang before Imus was canned. Don't miss this sentence in her job description: "She also serves as the division's point person on diversity issues."
Blogger, law professor and case expert KC Johnson has noted the Times has never corrected falsehoods in the timeline in Wilson's August 25 story. Wilson's Saturday piece hews closer to the truth, but without acknowledging his original errors.
Imagine a conservative congressperson doing something this unhinged and not getting raked over the coals in the press (Wall Street Journal link requires subscription):
Tuesday was Africa Malaria Day, and Michigan Representative John Conyers marked the event by inviting something called the Pesticide Action Network to Capitol Hill to denounce DDT as an unsafe malaria intervention. What was he thinking?
Malaria, which is spread through mosquito bites, kills about a million people annually, mostly children and pregnant women in Africa. We're not sure where the House Judiciary Chairman got his medical expertise, but he won't reduce that death toll by promoting disinformation about DDT and malaria prevention. And at taxpayers' expense, no less.
PAN and a shrinking band of other activist know-nothings insist that employing DDT against malaria is "especially dangerous for developing infants and children," but there is no scientific basis to the claim. Zip.
What a rare bit of good news to report. Finally a member of the media has apologized to the falsely smeared Duke men's lacrosse team. Ruth Sheehan, staff writer at the Raleigh News Observer, offers this apology in Monday's edition:
Members of the men's Duke lacrosse team: I am sorry.
Surely by now
you know I am sorry. I am writing these words now, and in this form, as
a bookend to 13 months of Duke lacrosse coverage, my role in which
started with a March 27 column that began:
"Members of the men's Duke lacrosse team: You know. We know you know."
was when Durham police and District Attorney Mike Nifong were
describing a "wall of silence" among the men who attended the
now-vaunted lacrosse party at 610 Buchanan Blvd. Nifong, now described
by the state attorney general as a "rogue prosecutor," was widely
respected as solid, even understated.
When three white Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of raping a black stripper were finally declared innocent by the attorney general of North Carolina earlier this month, New York Times critics focused on the paper's lousy coverage of the case, including Times Watch (citing research by law writer Stuart Taylor Jr.) and most prominently Fox News anchor Brit Hume on his April 12 "Special Report."
Even as the case fell apart and other liberal media outlets backed away, the Times issued a notorious 5,000-word portrait of the case on August 25, 2006, in which reporter Duff Wilson concluded that there was enough evidence against the players for local prosecutor Michael Nifong the case to trial.
As usual, company man Calame lets the Times off easier than it deserves, but his mild, overly faithful criticism does tease out a few nuggets of insight.
If in the wake of the Imus incident the Rutgers women's basketball players had spurned an invitation to meet with President Bush, do you think ABC might have told us about it? Natch. But when those same players blew off a chance to meet Hillary Clinton, ABC managed to put a positive spin on matters.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton finally dropped by Rutgers to meet with the school's women's basketball coach -- but the players themselves skipped the half-hour meeting, citing their studies and Imus fatigue.
"Many of the players were in study hall from eight to noon and some had finals," explained a Rutgers source who said the players were "tired" of all the attention. "These young women need to do their classes, and wrap their spring semester."
It's enough to give a guy flashbacks to co-eds shooting him down for a Saturday-night date because they had to study.
Your tax dollars at work, paying public radio hosts to ask if "black folks" are into iPods.
NPR's taxpayer-funded "News & Notes" program for April 17 tried to introduce a story on demographic advertising by awkwardly asking in a caption on their website, "Do national technology trends play the same way in the Black community?"
Or as host Farai Chideya asked, "Do black folks really use stuff like iPods as much?"
Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are not
the only black people in America, and more than that they do not have
the ability to force themselves onto your news shows. There's a pattern
1) Bigot eruption somewhere 2) Lots of people condemn it 3) Al Sharpton goes on every teevee program 4) The media people turn around and use Sharpton's past as a distraction/excuse for the current bigot eruption
Al Sharpton is an imperfect spokesperson for an issue, and you keep
putting him on the teevee to be the spokesperson for that issue, then
the obvious conclusion is that this is a deliberate strategy.
Yes, Atrios, that is exactly the plan. Your post struck fear into the hearts of journalists everywhere for revealing their dark secret. It simply couldn't be that journalists are lazy and that Imus himself stupidly solicited Sharpton.
that disgraced radio talk-show host Don Imus has been booted, can we
finally get down to some “real talk” about the multiple issues embedded
in this racial theater? There is a lot to sort through here, but after
a week of debate centered around “nappy-headed hos,” half-assed
apologies, cries of censorship, and a curmudgeonly shock jock’s lame
attempt at being funny, many pundits have moved beyond the core issue
and now are talking about the perceived double standard they feel
exists between what Imus said and what often comes from the mouths of
Yet Imus and hip-hop really don’t have much in common. Imus was host
of a radio show that focused on the real news of the day, while hip-hop
is a fictionalized form of cultural expression. Imus is real, featuring
real guests and humor based on real topics. However loudly hip-hop
might claim to be real, it is not real; it is a form of representation.
This is why so few rappers use the names on their birth
certificates when performing.
Here’s a shocking story that seems guaranteed to not be covered by the mainstream media: Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) told NY1 News that Don Imus shouldn’t have been fired by CBS Radio as a result of his recent statements about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.
I kid you not.
Although the interview is not scheduled to be broadcast until Tuesday evening, a partial transcript was posted at the NY1 News website (emphasis added throughout):
In the aftermath of the Duke lacrosse rape hoax, New York Times columnist Peter Applebome spoke out against the "socially conscious left" that was ready to convict the innocent Duke lacrosse players without evidence. Was fellow Times columnist Selena Roberts listening?
"The rape case that cost three Duke University lacrosse players a year of their lives and much more of their youth finally ended on Wednesday, when North Carolina Attorney General Roy A. Cooper said what many people have long known: all three were totally innocent of the charges against them.
Newsweek’s cover story on Don Imus this week carried a confessional tone, offering penance from Newsweek bigwigs for enabling the I-Man due to their hunger to be a part of the "in crowd." Weston Kosova’s story lectured about how the Imus incident compares to Hurricane Katrina and the O.J. Simpson verdict in showing "media power is still concentrated largely in white hands and, as a result, racism is sometimes tolerated and enabled in ways that many white Americans are unable, or unwilling, to acknowledge."
Newsweek is also contrite this week its coverage of the wildly mishandled Duke lacrosse rape allegations, but they offered no broad Big Picture moral about how that shows a media too willing to believe in racism in every legal case. In fact, the story has a strange subheadline, with the notion of "innocence" in quotes, as in you shouldn't quite believe it, and it prides itself that all the injustice done to the three accused white boys wasn't just a nightmare: "It was also maturing."
On the April 16 edition of "The View," Rosie O’Donnell responded to Tom DeLay’s call for her firing by asserting we’re "entering dangerous territory" against free speech. Apparently, free speech does not extend to Mr. DeLay’s right to call for her firing. Rosie also tried to clarify her anti-Asian remarks noting she made a joke, and Don Imus did not.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: I don’t feel concerned, but I will tell you this. I think we're in dangerous territory when people like Tom DeLay a man of high moral standards, [laughter] when people like Tom DeLay want me to be fired for my political opinions. That's a dangerous state of affairs here in democracy. If you have a dissenting opinion, you know, that you are somehow a threat to the country or the world, if you want to bring up a subject or question something in our government or that our government is doing you're somehow not patriotic and therefore should be off the air. That’s when we’re–
In an online chat at washingtonpost.com today, media reporter Howard Kurtz condemned the media's rush to judgment in 2006 in the Duke lacross rape allegations.
"If you go back and lok at the coverage of 13 months ago, knowing what we know now, teh tone of much of it was irresponsible," wrote Kurtz in response to a question from Floris, Va. Later in response to a question from Portland, Ore., Kurtz cited the 1996 Olympic park bombing and the early media buzz over suspect Richard Jewell, "who turned out to be innocent." Kurtz worried that the media's rush to judgment in sensational crime stories "is a lesson the profession never seems to learn."
Kurtz's remarks about media coverage differ wildly from the cavalier tone taken by ABC's Terry Moran in a blog post from April 12.
Writing on his "Pushback" blog then, Moran insisted that the Duke lacrosse players received "special treatment in the justice system -- both negative and positive." He failed to offer a similar indictment of the media frenzy surrounding the case and even suggested that the Duke players would get over their ordeal with little trouble (portions in bold are my emphasis):
In the midst of the Don Imus/Rutgers women’s basketball team controversy, one would think that calling a woman a prostitute, or any similar epithet on the air, would be so inexcusable that it would meet with extraordinary media outrage.
After all, if you did a Google news search of the name Don Imus, it would generate almost 15,000 stories about the controversial radio host. The phrase "Nappy-headed hos" garnered almost 10,000 results.
Yet, when the New Black Panther Party leader Malik Shabazz called Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin a “political prostitute” on Thursday’s “O’Reilly Factor,” the media largely ignored the event. In fact, a Google news search of his name identified that only one major media outlet reported this outrageous comment, albeit at the USA Today Online Politics blog.
Regardless of the double standard, here is the disgraceful segment of this interview which coincidentally occurred within hours of Imus being fired by CBS Radio for his comments (video available here, h/t Hot Air):
This is waaaaay too funny, folks, and requires all combustibles, potables, and sharp objects to be properly stowed before proceeding.
In response to the recent brouhaha concerning Don Imus and the Rutgers women’s basketball team, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has called on “conservatives to use the available media (radio talk shows, blogs, letters to the editor) to protest and demand that Rosie O’Donnell be kicked off The View.”
They didn’t call him “The Hammer” for nothing, folks.
In a piece posted at his blog Wednesday – obviously before CBS radio decided to fire Imus – and deliciously titled “If the Left takes Imus, We’ll take Rosie,” DeLay described this deplorable event in a way that only he could whilst issuing a reciprocal call to arms:
In the midst of this disgraceful Don Imus affair, one thing has been sickeningly apparent: few members of the media have the guts to stand up to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and call them out for their obvious hypocrisy.
Such can certainly not be said of Jason Whitlock, an African-American sportswriter for the Kansas City Star who not only wrote a remarkable, must-read column on this subject Wednesday, but also went on MSNBC’s “Tucker” Thursday to say things about this issue and race relations in this country that few in the media would ever dare.
In reality, this is so fabulous that you must see the entire video (h/t to NB reader nicksmith112 and Hot Air), but here are some of the amazing highlights:
Has the Imus-inspired national conversation on race and sex jumped the shark? I'm starting to suspect so after hearing Pat Schroeder this morning. Her most notable contribution to the collective dialogue was to suggest that there's something inherently masculine about verbal meanness.
The former Democratic congresswoman from Colorado was a member of a panel moderated by NBC's Lester Holt on this morning's "Today."
"View" token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck appeared on the April 12 edition of "Hannity and Colmes" to announce her co-host appearance on "Fox and Friends" and to add her opinion on the Imus controversy. Hasselbeck echoed her comments on "The View" that Imus deserved at the very least a long suspension. However, she sang a very different tune when asked about her "View" colleague Rosie O’Donnell and her outrageous comments.
Co-host Sean Hannity asked Hasselbeck about Rosie’s anti-Asian remarks and inquired if Rosie should be held to the same standard. "The View" co-host responded that "that would be for Rosie to decide" and noted Rosie’s intentions "were not malicious."The transcript is below.
The AP is still spinning the anti-Imus wheel with spinoff articles. AP's Sean O'Driscoll wrote a scolding article (this could be old, but this one was posted Tuesday) that whites like Karl Rove should not attempt to rap, as he did at the Radio & TV correspondents dinner, concluding with Jimmy Kimmel saying it is "never, ever funny." Then there's this one from Deepti Hajela: "'Nappy' Has Long, Hurtful History." We are told that whites should never attempt the loaded "in-group" terms:
"When Imus says 'these nappy-headed hos,' his first flaw is he's using an in-group term that's loaded," said Lanita Jacobs-Huey, associate professor of anthropology and American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California."When I hear it from someone who doesn't understand the depth of pain, they just don't have the right to say it," Jacobs-Huey said.
The April 13 edition of "The Early Show" reported on CBS firing Don Imus from the radio for bigoted remarks. To react to the news, anchor Harry Smith interviewed the Reverend Al Sharpton. After hard hitting interviews with Alberto Gonzales and Tony Snow, the CBS anchor seemed disinterested in throwing hard balls to the left wing activist. Smith asked standard questions like what "made it necessary for him not to be on the air," "did he seem like a person who was sorry for what he did," and even asked if Smith’s boss, Les Moonves "gets it."
Although he asked a very mildly worded question about what Sharpton would do about similar language in hip hop music, Smith did not bother to mention his past anti-Semitic comments and the Tawana Brawley case that even the ladies of "The View" discussed. Harry Smith, who covered the Duke lacrosse case dismissal the previous day, did not even see it fit to ask if Sharpton had any regrets from his rush to judgement in Durham. The entire transcript is below.
In the wake of the Imus affair, MSNBC is airing an all-day discussion on the theme "What's OK to say?" Poet Maya Angelou appeared at 11:05 AM EDT, and in the course of her interview with MSNBC's Peter Alexander, had this exchange:
ALEXANDER: Dr. Angelou, you're an author and an artist. I guess the question is, is there a need for more censorship of our media and of our arts, are you comfortable with that? And if that happens, when does it end? What is OK to say?
ANGELOU: Exactly. I agree with that. I think the society decides upon the censorship. Each person censors himself or herself. Do you think, if any of these hip-hoppers, if they said about Mrs. Bush what they say about black women, do you think they would be given a microphone? Do you really think so? So we have to censor ourselves. And then, the society makes that decision.
Touchy, touchy! Diane Sawyer is in the business of dishing out tough questions and challenging people's answers. But when a guest on today's "Good Morning America" politely corrected her on a First Amendment matter, the GMA host was quick to accuse him of "attacking" her.
Los Angeles-based radio talk show host Larry Elder was Diane's guest, in to discuss the Imus matter. Sawyer introduced him as a "conservative radio host" though on his own site Elder describes himself as a "libertarian" and "a blend of fiscal conservative and social liberal." Of course we all know how many times the MSM has described Al Sharpton as a "liberal" in the course of his innumerable appearances over the last week or so: that would be precisely zero, at last count.
Elder opined that Imus' punishment did not fit the crime. Imus' comment was offensive, sexist and racist, said Elder, "but he apologized, apologized again, did the obligatory beatdown tour à la Michael Richards by appearing on the Al Sharpton show, and as far as I'm concerned, that should have been enough. In the grand department store of life, Don Imus operates in the toy section and I think that those remarks should have been taken with some perspective, but they weren't."
Keith Olbermann opened his Wednesday MSNBC show by displaying video of Rush Limbaugh on screen as he smeared conservative talk radio as “racist,” asking, “Why have none from the racist right been protested, boycotted or fired?” He then delighted Thursday night when guest Sam Seder, of the far-left Air America Radio, predicted “the next time Limbaugh slips up, which I think is inevitable, I think you're going to see this sort of same type of reaction.” A pleased Olbermann exclaimed: “It's the best thing I've heard in a couple of days. From your lips to God's ears!” Olbermann had asked Seder: “How does Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage get away with worse than what Don Imus said?”
With “SELECTIVE OUTRAGE: Imus Was Not Alone” on screen, Olbermann teased Wednesday's Countdown by wondering: “Where's the other outrage? Rush Limbaugh calls Barack Obama 'Halfrican-American.' Michael Savage says the Voting Rights Act means 'a chad in every crack house.' Neal Boortz says Cynthia McKinney looks like a 'ghetto-slut.' Why have none from the racist right been protested, boycotted or fired?” He soon cued up race-hustler Jesse Jackson: “Why are there not efforts to remove them from the air?”
One positive result of the Don Imus imbroglio is a renewed focus on degrading, obscene, sexist, violence-endorsing rap music. Brent Bozell's entertainment columns offer a road map for anyone seeking a refresher course on nasty rap-music controversies over the last four years. Don't miss how media people (like, oops, NBC's Matt Lauer) make excuses for rappers:
In raising her two daughters, [Washington Post writer Lonnae O'Neal] Parker had one very definitive image in mind capturing what’s wrong with today’s dominant trend in hip hop. At the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, rappers Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent added pomp to the song "P.I.M.P." by featuring black women on leashes being walked onstage. This past August, she added, MTV-2 aired an episode of the cartoon "Where My Dogs At," which had Snoop Dogg again leading two black bikini-clad women around on leashes. She explained: "They squatted on their hands and knees, scratched themselves and defecated. The president of the network, a black woman, defended this as satire."
On Thursday’s “Good Morning America,” reporter Kate Snow hosted a segment on whether the Duke lacrosse players will be able to get their reputations back. In so doing, she discussed Reverend Al Sharpton’s role in falsely accusing New York prosecutor Steven Pagones of raping then 15-year-old Tawana Brawley in 1987.
Though this segment was not specifically related to the unfolding Don Imus story, GMA has thus far been the only network morning show to interview Pagones and, by implication, seriously question Sharpton’s role as moral arbiter in the Imus case. (In fairness, “Today” has mentioned the Tawana Brawley case in general as has MSNBC.) After discussing the Duke case, Snow segued into other high profile, false accusations:
Kate Snow: "Steven Pagones knows exactly how that is. 20 years ago, he was very publicly accused of raping 15-year-old Tawana Brawley."
Al Sharpton [file footage of Sharpton]: "Six white men, one named Steve Pagones. I repeat it again! The assistant district attorney of Dutchess County, were among those that attacked her."
On April 12, for the third straight day "The View" co-hosts discussed the Imus controversy. Most noteworthy, though, they also discussed the lack of moral authority from Imus’ most visible critic, Reverend Al Sharpton. Guest co-host Rose McGowan read verbatim Sharpton’s most inflammatory, anti-semitic remarks including the Tawana Brawley hoax and labelling Jews "diamond merchants." Co-host Joy Behar editorialized on the key remarks. Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck called Sharpton’s comments "hatred" and McGowan called them "complete bigotry." Rosie O’Donnell was unusually quiet. The entire transcript is below.
BEHAR: Because this Imus thing is not, you should pardon the pun, black and white issue. It’s not. It's a gray issue.
Thursday's New York Times was the only major newspaper to lead with the big news out of North Carolina -- the state's attorney general is dropping all charges against the three former Duke University lacrosse players falsely accused of the sexual assault of a stripper at an off-campus house.
The story by Duff Wilson and David Barstow, "Duke Prosecutor Throws Out Case Against Players," noted:
"North Carolina’s attorney general declared three former Duke University lacrosse players accused of sexually assaulting a stripper innocent of all charges on Wednesday, ending a prosecution that provoked bitter debate over race, class and the tactics of the Durham County district attorney."
I write these words in the wake of the news that MSNBC has dropped Don Imus from its lineup. I fully expect that by the time you read these words, CBS Radio will have fired him as well.
The raging media controversy over the stupid racial insult Imus threw at the Rutgers women’s basketball team – “nappy-headed hos” – has led the usual cast of professional victims, like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the NAACP, to deplore the racist underbelly of the broader American culture.
But where were these people when the subject was gangsta rap? With these arrogant and profane multi-millionaires routinely insulting and deriding people, especially black women, with language one hundred-fold more offensive than anything that ever came out of the I-Man’s mouth?