Monday, September 22, 2008

The Matter-of-Fact Media

Jimi Hendrix--"Changes (live)" (mp3)
Jr. Walker and the All-Stars--"What Does It Take (To Win Your Love For Me)" (mp3)

Oh, our wonderful media and their vaunted sense of "fair play!" How much I do appreciate that. In an effort to be balanced in their reporting, how they will print the most preposterous lie on one side as well as the quite reasonable rebuttal on the other! How they will publish both a fact and a denial as if both were equal combatants! Not an accusation and a denial, mind you, a fact--an irrefutable, well-documented, easily-researched, public record statement of truth! You'd think that would stand more than a bold-faced, take-my-chances, deny-deny-deny pervarication.

But you know what? I don't even care about that anymore. Let those games continue. I'll just make a "favorite" on my home page and see who's slinging it at the moment.

Although, here's food for thought from that great modern ethicist Karl Rove: he says that you really can't trust the fact-checker sites, because they have their own biases. Karl, they're checking facts. Either what the candidate said is true or it isn't.

Oh, we are in deep battle for the soul of the English language, and most of us, if not unarmed, are unwilling to enter the fray. That's just politics, we say. So be it.

But here's what I won't tolerate. How dare the "matter-of-fact" media treat racism and bigotry as a voting trend that merits the same bland statistical analysis that a category like "Working moms over 50" would get. "

Says Joe or Jane Media Talking Head: "Our studies show that working moms over fifty support Barack Obama slightly, 5-4, over John McCain, but in another category, people who refuse to vote for a black candidate, any black candidate, John McCain holds a substantial edge. This trend could be a real problem for Obama come Election Day."

Thanks for that insight.

What I want to know is why isn't this trend being pointed out as a real problem for America right now. Those media types looking for positives and progress will point out that we're not as racist as we used to be. Why can't we go for 100% non-racist America as the only benchmark we will tolerate? Why can't we acknowledge that we all have prejudices, but that we can't let those get in the way of human interactions?

And let's face it, the media crew we're talking about here is the same bunch who, every time an Arab was killed in Fallujah or Sadr City, he was referenced as a "suspected insurgent" or a "suspected Al-Queda member" or a "suspected Taliban fighter." Ok, so you want to put a label on those people (except, of course, when we kill a woman or a child or a village, then we have to call them "civilians"), that's your business, American media. I can't stop that.

But why not spread the labels around? Let's just say what those of us who live in Chattanooga already know, that some people, even Democrats, especially Democrats, aren't going to vote for Obama because they're racist. That's right, they're racist. Those of you who are thinking, 'But black people are only voting for Obama because he's black,' I'm going to punch you in the nose.

What we're talking about are people who, when polled, acknowledge that they agree with at least one of three negative descriptors for black people and that means they will not vote for Obama. That's right, whenever they think of every black person who has ever existed or will exist, they think a negative adjective will apply to all of those people. Even Stevie Wonder.

That's racist. That's disgusting. That's unAmerican, 2008. That's worthy of utter contempt from any thinking, living, breathing person on this planet. That's what the media, which hasn't ever "grown a pair," won't come out and say. And that's a fact.

Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gypsys live performances are available on Live At The Fillmore; Jr. Walker's classic is available on any number of compilations. Both are available at Itunes.


Billy said...

To be fair, Barack Obama dismissed the "racism" concerns with a sentence similar to the "But black people are only voting..." comment on 60 Minutes last night, and I seriously doubt you would punch him in the nose... for fear of being accused of racism.

Just sayin'.

Bob said...

Agreed. He says, "Now are there gonna be some people who don't vote for me because I'm black? Of course. There are probably some African-Americans who are voting for me because I'm black. Or maybe others who are just inspired by the idea of breaking new ground. And so I think all that's a wash."

What irritates me is the attempt to make the two positions equal. The latter is an African-American celebrating the fact that an African-American actually has the presidential nomination of a major party for the first time ever and the underlying assumption that, as an African-American, having an African-American in the White House might be a good thing. The former position is hatred and bigotry. Are they the same?

karos said...

If racism is unAmerican, somebody should inform everybody. I wish it were true. Oh, how I wish it were.

As for this: Why can't we acknowledge that we all have prejudices, but that we can't let those get in the way of human interactions?

I think prejudging others will *always* kinda get int he way of human interactions. No amount of acknowledgment will smooth the road.