Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Strictly for my anchors

So tonight I was watching all of the networks try to cover issues of race. At one point ABC, I think, pointed out how much the electorate had changed since 1976 when 90 percent of the voters were white. Now it's down to like 74 percent.
And suddenly it struck me that Katie was talking to Jeff Greenfield, Brian to Chuck Todd and Charlie to George Stephanopoulos. You know? There was this very keyed-up discussion of race being conducted entirely by white people

I have never liked the "well, why aren't more(or any) of you black?" question ... at least not in certain contexts. I faced it recently in a public setting and it irritated me.

But we have an African-American president, and still the face of network television DOES seem to lag behind. On cable...well, there are experts like Juan Williams and Eugene Robinson, but since the departure of Bernard Shaw, it's not THAT much better. It's one of the ways, I think, in which TV is pretty conservative. In fact, they were all sitting around talking aout how the Republican party has failed to show an inclusive picture of itself, and I kept thinking: you guys are just as far behind as they are.

What do you think about that?
Have the mass media failed, in certain ways, "to look like America?"


Obama Mama said...

Lets just hope this CHANGE will begin to trickle down into mainstream so our children will actually, finally have an accurate picture of the real world around them, instead of the white bread, segregated picture the media likes to paint

Sarai said...

I agree. I don't think many of the cultures that make up America are represented. I do think that although African Americans aren't represented as much as whites, that Asians, Hispanics and Native Americans are even less.
I don't know why "we" try so hard to negate the fact that YES, America is so great because we are so diverse...I believe thats a good thing, but I also think many people can't get beyond that fact. What would America really be without immigrants-? We took this land wrongfully from the original people who were here, Native Americans, and they are, at least to my knowledge, never represented in any kind of media outlet.

joeydee said...

I don't know. Brian William's weekend replacement is Lester Holt, who is black. That being said, I didn't see him included anywhere in the election night coverage. Maybe he's only contracted for the weekend. I think it's one of those damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't scenarios. If you run with your usual cast of anchors and reporters, and you lack diversity on your staff, you get accused of white bread coverage, but if you bring in African-Americans on "special assignment" because a black man is running for president then you could probably get fingered for pandering or facetiousness. It's not like the networks have never tried to bring in minorities for key positions in their broadcasts (i.e. Connie Chung)but to some extent they are at the mercy of who their viewerships want to get their news from.