Part of Gates Gate Not Getting Much Media Attention

July 26th, 2009 11:04 AM

A recent New York Post story brought up a point about the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. that few in the Old Media have paid much attention to. Apparently, Gates has since the arrest announced he is in the early stages of involvement in a PBS TV series on civil rights in America. It is odd that this single fact has not been a focus of much discussion.

After all, if Gates is about to start a TV show about civil rights, what better way to punch up that participation than to "suddenly" get mixed up in a national civil rights "abuse" case? What better way to highlight America's civil rights problem than to become a nationally known victim of so-called racism?

Why is no one asking how long Gates has been in the planning stages of this TV show? Was he planning it since before the arrest? It all leads one to wonder if Gates saw an opportunity to gin up interest in his TV appearance by becoming a victim? Instead of experiencing any actual racial tension, did Gates invent his own ready-made, sensational incident to turn his scholarly civil rights discussion into the quintessential TV reality show extravaganza? Was all this just a TV stunt in Gates' mind? Was it mere opportunism?

This all seems like a legitimate line of questioning to me. I wonder why the Old Media has not pursued the question?

The New York Post quotes Gates as having said, "My unfortunate experience will only have a larger meaning if we can all use this to diminish racial profiling . . . I look forward to studying the history of racial profiling in a new documentary for PBS."

Further, if this had been an incident involving a conservative participating in a TV show, wouldn't the media go ga-ga over the possibility that his victimhood was merely a staged stunt for TV? What if, for instance, a conservative involved in a documentary about gun rights was to be arrested over his possession of a gun? Would the media claim that the arrest made such a conservative a victim, or would the media find itself claiming that the conservative was just cynically trying to gin up interest in his TV appearance?

In fact, a conservative TV personality is almost daily accused of faking it for TV. Glenn Beck is ridiculed as a sensationalist and one about to suffer a "nervous breakdown" every time he gets worked up on TV. The left constantly questions his motives wondering if he is just making a show of it, doubting that he really cares as deeply about the issues as he appears to.

Yet, there isn't a single voice questioning Gates' TV connected motives here. I wonder why that is?