Bad journalism is nothing new. I’ve detailed as much in a series of posts entitled Media Problems, including my initial issues with the reports coming out of the Boston Marathon bombing. We had the media deciding that the Saudi Arabian man who was caught in the explosion was a suspect. He wasn’t, but he’s got the word Arab in his ethnicity so whatever I guess. We had the New York Post putting two men on its cover with the headline: BAG MEN: Feds seek these two pictured at Boston Marathon. Wrong again Bob! But it was CNN that really took the cake with horrible reporting this time around.
CNN is usually known for its milquetoast style of reporting. They’ve got the whole bend over backwards to show both sides of an issue in a faulty effort to show how “balanced” they are thing down perfectly. Usually they’re so bland as to escape notice. Unfortunately, John King decided he wanted to change all of that, for the worse. We’ll pick this story up in the Grio.com:
“I want to be very careful about this, because people get very sensitive when you say these things,” he said. “I was told by one of these sources who is a law enforcement official that this is a dark-skinned male.”
As we all know, it is a truth universally acknowledged that whenever someone is going to say something really offensive, the preamble always goes something like “I want to be very careful about this” or “No offense, but…” With that in the open, let’s skip right past the fact that he was so stupidly wrong. How is the vaguest of descriptions going to help his news audience or even forward a discussion? With no picture, no description, and no other information of note “dark skinned male” just screams beware all swarthy Muslims and/or black dudes. Thanks John King. Next time just put out a bulletin: CALLING ALL BOSTON VIGILANTES. DO YOU SEE ANYONE THAT LOOKS DIFFERENT? WELL THEN, GO GET EM!”
We’ll pick this up in the Huffington Post.
He said that there had been a further description given, but he was refraining from sharing it with viewers.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that conversation. I’m sure the law enforcement official had some interesting descriptions that further elucidated the subject’s dark skin. What, pray tell, could those have been? Mr. King continued:
“There are some people who will take offense for even saying that,” he said. “I understand that.”
Why yes, some people will take offense for piss poor reporting on a national news network. Even more might take offense to someone saying be on the lookout for an individual somewhere in hue from President Obama to David “Big Papi” Ortiz. Racial profiling is always upsetting but there is a particular kind of idiocy at play when you’re trying really hard to throw dark skinned people under the bus when the actual suspects are of Chechen ancestry. Unless you’re Ann Coulter of course.
Here’s the thing. It’s all well and good to make fun of the media when they door a poor job of reporting, are lazy with the facts, or are just there to take notes on what powerful people say. However, there are some rather dire consequences when they get stuff like this wrong. Like the Palestinian woman, a doctor and a mother, who was attacked in Boston following the Marathon bombing or the SWAT teams that descended on the Saudi Arabian man’s apartment after the attack. You broadcast media people need to do a much better job. John King, stick to playing with electoral maps. This whole journalism thing has you way out of your depth.
Categories: Random Rant