Gates-Gate: Morning Shows Exclude Non-African-American Guests

July 25th, 2009 1:53 PM

The networks might just as well have hung out a sign this morning: non-African-American experts on policing and racial profiling need not apply.  Good Morning America, the Early Show and Today had a total of six guests on the subject . . . and every one was African-American.

Among the highlights: a writer from Tina Brown's Daily Beast suggested that given our incarceration rate, the USA meets the definition of a "police state."

Good Morning America

ABC reporter Pierre Thomas narrated an entirely one-sided segment in which three African-Americans recounted stories of mistreatment at the hands of the police

Sports columnist Stephen A. Smith said the first thing that goes through the mind of blacks dealing with police is that they suspect racial profiling.  Cut to video of civil rights demonstrators being fire-hosed by police, followed by a graphic indicating black males are incarcerated at seven times the rate of white males.  No indication if this is disproportionate to the number of crimes committed.

Lt. Charles Wilson of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers  then appeared, and took an even-handed approach.

Early Show

Joseph McMillan, President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives suggested that Sgt. Crowley used bad police protocol for arresting Gates after learning he was the owner of the home.  

Kevin Robinson Asst. Chief of Police of Phoenix, AZ, offered a balanced perspective.


Mansfield Frazier of the Daily Beast suggested the United States is a "police state" because we have a high incarceration rate.  

The garrulous Michael Eric Dyson called Pres. Obama a "prince of a man" for reaching out to Sergeant Crowley, overlooking that the outreach only became necessary because PBO had poured fuel on the fire by accusing Cambridge police of acting "stupidly."  On an alliteration kick, Dyson referred no fewer than three times to the "lethal legacy" of police interaction with African-Americans.

Six guests, not a single non-African-American. Could the networks be guilty of some racial profiling of their own?