NPR set up a “race-sensitive” project called “Code Switch” -- poised to be politically correct on the "frontiers of race, culture, and ethnicity" -- and it’s so sensitive that project manager Gene Demby has managed to frustrate a pile of commenters who complain he bans them for the slightest pushback.
It’s drawn the attention of Joel Kaplan, an ombudsman at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). “We would have liked to include Code Switch's response to Mr. Vandenberg's complaint, but no one from the team has chosen to respond. For six weeks, my research assistant, Antoinette Siu and I sent emails and made phone calls to find out what was going on and to get Code Switch's side of this controversy. We have yet to receive a response.” Here’s one what commenter from Washington state named Chris Vandenberg complained about:
On Friday’s Morning Edition, NPR “Code Switch” blogger Gene Demby (exploring the "frontiers of race, culture, and ethnicity") was brought on to discuss the Zimmerman trial. For his blog at NPR.org, he had written that trials like this are “lousy proxies for fights over big, messy social issues” like racial profiling.
But in making this point, Demby highlighted his point unintentionally. He declared that the legal proceedings in the courtroom were focused on “really, really small technical points” like who attacked whom in the Zimmerman-Martin fight and who was acting in self-defense:
NPR’s new “Code Switch” blog on the “frontiers of race, culture, and ethnicity” is already demonstrating just how sensitive it gets on the liberal frontier.
Blogger Gene Demby assembled tweets demonstrating that many NPR listeners thought Michelle Obama’s lesbian heckler Ellen Sturtz was employing “white privilege” and the media coverage seemed racist. Demby began: