"We need a national discussion about race"...or do we?

I'm beginning to feel that many of the interracial tensions between whites and blacks are not due to a lack of talking about it but rather, perhaps, by the public's face being rubbed in "racism" on a regular if not daily basis.

We have black leaders who almost always show up to say something about race whenever there's an incident with racial overtones. The two most familiar faces are Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton, both of whom move from incident to incident to inject their commentary.

It's not like a discussion about race can be avoided unless you live out in the mountains without access to media. Any media.

I'm not intending to dismiss or even minimize the very real problems blacks face in America, but does this having our noses rubbed in racism all the time really promote understanding, or does it keep the focus in the black community on their litany of complaints while having the white community thinking "Stop talking about me like I'm a racist. You don't even know me!"

I often wonder, speaking as a white guy, do most blacks understand that slavery was run by very very few white people? Do they understand that it only benefited those few, and actually took what could have been good paying work away from the white people of the day and created a poor white underclass? This may also explain where the attitudes of southern poor whites came from.

Anyway, would 20 years of blacks and whites just getting along on a day-by-day basis leave things better or worse than a constant demand for a national dialog that's probably not practical anyway? Why ask, that respite is even more unlikely to happen than the dialog!

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I don't think the media is at all a reflection of what really happens in real life, it's all just hype and lies, and propaganda

I think that describes FOX. I'sd have a hard time describing CNN that way.

They may not be guilty of propganda, but I'd say hype is a fairly good description of CNN

Not guilty of propaganda my ass. Or do people forget how CNN ,along with every other mainstream news network , pressed for us to go to war in Iraq on false pretenses. Do you also forget that the exact same thing was tried with Syria and their chemical rockets that was again after the fact proven a complete fabrication, just like Iraq's WMD's?

Now maybe it could be argued that in both cases the innocent news networks were deceived by the big bad government, but that does not explain why he news networks were so eager to toss away all resemblance of journalistic integrity and and pretense of objectivity to fall in perfect lock step  with the governments story .

CNN reported, they didn't editorialize. The Bush administration, we know in retrospect, was fooled by one liar who was believable because he normally had inside information. The entire war followed on the heels of his false "information." CNN simply reported what was in the news and like a lot of things in the news (such as that Michael Brown was shot in the back or had his hands up) it turned out to be false that Saddam Hussein had WMD's. That's a far cry from "pressing" us to go to war.

I remember no instances of them being unobjective, though any news organization will report the testimony of people who have axes to grind.

There is more than one way for our mainstream media to actively  spread propaganda than highly propagandized editorials, Another popular way is to only broadcast one side of the issue is if it the gospel truth , But I am sure the much vaunted CNN would never do that, so why don't you find me a single story from CNN, in the build up to the Iraq war ,where they were critical of the governments story or the reasons for war. Hell I would even accept  3 stories from any US  mainstream media publication or show that was critical of the war in the run up to the war .

Apart from Phil Donahue that is. He was critical of the war once on he's MSNBC show and then was fired because he dared be critical of the war. Which a leaked memo made abundantly clear.

"Soon after the show's cancellation, an internal MSNBC memo was leaked to the press stating that Donahue should be fired because he opposed the imminent U.S. invasion of Iraq and that he would be a "difficult public face for NBC in a time of war."

CNN does reporting. It doesn't editorialize. Also, as I rule, I don't let other TA'ers give me research projects or reading assignments. If they post a link, I may or may not take a look and I may or may not comment on it.

As for Donahue, to conclude from an internal memo criticizing Donahue (you didn't even say from/to whom!) that there is a causal nexus shows that you have a problem differentiating causality from conconjecture. Is there an "Okay, I'll fire him" memo? There might be an "No, I'm not going to do that" memo. You kind of left that possibility out.

And as I said their are other ways to actively promote propaganda than editorialized articles.

This also was not a research project as such as barely anything anti war was published by the US mainstream media in the lead up to the war. So i am not exactly sure how I can post you as link to something that does not exist.

CNN has never shied away from covering both sides of any issue. That was born out all day long today with their panels of experts speaking for and against on the various issues raised by the Ferguson grand jury and the decision today not to charge the officer who used a fatal choke hold on a black man while subduing him.

Out of curiosity, and to show you're not committing the fallacy of composition, you were a regular watcher of CNN at the time, right? Otherwise, you seem to be drawing a conclusion about CNN based on what you (think you) know about media in general at the time. Are you speaking based on actual experiential knowledge or hearsay?

Unseen- I actually used to watch an inordinate amount of  news back then due to suffering insomnia for most of my teens and  into my early twenties. I often watched hours of news every night trying to force my brain to give up and go to sleep.

But even then it is still possible that  I am wrong due to observation bias, or maybe due to only really watching CNN in the small hours of the morning I somehow managed to miss all the objective reporting on the anti-war side.

So some further research did bring up an interesting study by FAIR on US mainstream media during the early stages of the war. It is a 3 week study starting the day after the first bombs were dropped covering on camera interviews about the Iraq war. Now just in case you have no intention of reading this I will quote some excerpts from the study.

"At a time when dissent was quite visible in U.S. society, with large anti-war demonstrations across the country and 27 percent of the public telling pollsters they opposed the war (Bulletin's Frontrunner, 4/7/03), the networks largely ignored anti-war opinion in the U.S."

"Nearly two thirds of all sources, 64 percent, were pro-war, while 71 percent of U.S. guests favored the war. Anti-war voices were 10 percent of all sources, but just 6 percent of non-Iraqi sources and 3 percent of U.S. sources. Thus viewers were more than six times as likely to see a pro-war source as one who was anti-war; with U.S. guests alone, the ratio increases to 25 to 1."


While the percentage of Americans opposing the war was about 10 times higher in the real world as they were on the nightly news (27 percent versus 3 percent), their proportion of the guestlist may still overstate the degree to which they were able to present their views on U.S. television. Guests with anti-war viewpoints were almost universally allowed one-sentence soundbites taken from interviews conducted on the street. Not a single show in the study conducted a sit-down interview with a person identified as being against the war.

Anti-war sources were treated so fleetingly that they often weren’t even quoted by name. While 80 percent of all sources appearing on the nightly news shows are identified by name, 42 percent of anti-war voices went unnamed or were labeled with such vague terms as “protester” or “anti-war activist.” Only one leader of an anti-war group appeared as a source: Leslie Cagan of United for Peace and Justice, a New York-based organizer of anti-war marches, appeared on a March 27 CNN segment in a one-sentence soundbite from an on-the-street interview.!

"Of a total of 840 U.S. sources who are current or former government or military officials, only four were identified as holding anti-war opinions--Sen. Robert Byrd (D.-W.V.), Rep. Pete Stark (D.-Calif.) and two appearances by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D.-Ohio). Byrd was featured on PBS, with Stark and Kucinich appearing on Fox News."

"Only 6 percent of sources came from countries other than the U.S., Britain or Iraq. Given the strong opposition to the war measured in most countries that were not directly involved in the invasion, it's perhaps unsurprising that these sources had the most anti-war representation."

What do you mean by reporting what was "in the news"? That they were repeating what every other American major news network reported? Or that they parroted whatever Bush's press secretary told them?

This stands in stark contrast to the news agencies of countries which also participated in the war such as in the UK where the government was highly supportive of the invasion (while the general population not so) and major news agencies questioned everything including some being highly critical of the war, the evidence used to justify the war and the methods used during the war. UK news networks are still highly critical of the war and critique Tony Blair every time he tries to defend his "justified ignorance" or "it was still worth it" apologetics.

And of course Canadian news outlets were extremely sceptical of the war many of them reporting and not just editorialising through investigative journalism.

What do you mean by reporting what was "in the news"? That they were repeating what every other American major news network reported? Or that they parroted whatever Bush's press secretary told them?

Hmm, typically a White House press conference is followed up with comments and criticism by members of the opposing party or other people/groups with differing points of view.

You don't watch CNN, I take it.


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