Home / jourmamalism / What legitimate journalism looks like

What legitimate journalism looks like


My mistake. This is “What does race-baiting and dehumanization of African-Americans for page hits and profit look like?”

BrownBlaze summarizes my feelings. Or the ones I’d print, anyway.

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  • Drexciya

    This is “What does race-baiting and dehumanization of African-Americans for page hits and profit look like?”

    It looks like the objective, necessary contribution to liberal democracy that black activists should be deferential to.

    • joe from Lowell

      ….said absolutely no one anywhere ever.

      It must be very sad not to be able to wrap one’s head about the difference between “be deferential towards” and “don’t physically assault.”

      No, seriously Drexciya, I think the way people have been telling you you’re not supposed to denounce bad journalism is wholly inappropriate.

      • Drexciya

        It’s more than “bad journalism”. It’s racist coding with a megaphone and the pretense of relative respect/neutrality. It’s one thing to say that the media is wrong, it’s another to understand that it casually and arbitrarily advances a white supremacist agenda and that said agenda, directed toward you, has violent repercussions that play out even when the media doesn’t intend them.

        We’re not living in a world with loads of black reporters, or black media outlets, or black media outlets with equivalent degrees of institutional prestige. We’re not living in a world where mainstream media can be said to reliably take seriously any ethical responsibility to its black subjects or is especially responsive to the impact of so freely expressing biases that make violent pathologizing democratically and rhetorically supportable. There’s little reason to proceed under the notion that we are and there’s even less of a reason to play dumb and nice about a commonly used weapon you have no defense against once it’s used. The threat and consequences presented by them are real and taking them seriously is legitimately encapsulated by far more than arguing against them.

        Needless to say, black people aren’t the only ones who should be concerned about that.

        • ChrisTS

          Jeez, is it even subtle enough to count as code?

          • tsam

            It does, because the real message is that Freddie Gray’s murder doesn’t rise to level of prosecution of these poor cops. He was just the kid of a HEROIN addict who couldn’t read good, so what’s all the fuss about?

            • ChrisTS

              Ugh. Just. Ugh. So nice for his mother, too.

        • Kathleen

          Well stated. I couldn’t agree more.

          • joe from Lowell

            The thing is, I couldn’t agree more, either with his second comment.

            But what is it supposed to have to do with that claim that he’s being told to be deferential towards the media?

        • joe from Lowell

          When do we get to the part where someone told you to be “deferential” towards media when they do that?

          How is repeating, in very verbose fashion, the argument of an OP that everyone already agrees with consistent with the idea that anyone is demanding your deference?

          Go ahead, slam the media. Rhetorically. Who ever said otherwise?

      • witlesschum

        Oh my stars and garters, I’d forgotten about the terrible physical assaults visited upon ESPN stringers. Did he ever recover from being jostled and maybe kinda threatened by college kids?

        • joe from Lowell

          Perhaps if I called it a “micro aggression,” pushing around a reporter would start to appear less than ideal to you?

          This argument is so utterly and completely dismissible. You’d be whining like a fan belt if someone at a Trump rally or a Bush event had put his hands on a reporter.

          • witlesschum

            Perhaps if you have a problem with understanding the definition of “micro aggression” remedial reading should be how you spend your time.

            I didn’t really make an argument, I just mocked people like you who were and are so exercised about a minor incident they made noises like a cold-starting tractor. It’s gonna continue every time you bring it up, because it continues to be ridiculous.

            If you’d like to find me complaining about something you think makes me a hypocrite, well, I’d still be right about this and pretty much all my political commenting is at LGM, under this name. Give it a whirl.

            • joe from Lowell

              Yeah, you really didn’t make an argument. I did, and you got nuthin.

              I hope you continue to show your ass like this every time I bring up the principle – there’ some remedial reading for you, maybe you ought to look that up – that it’s wrong to use violence agains the media. Even a little bit, even when it’s your buddies.

              If you want to keep telling on yourself like this, Be. My. Guest.

              • witlesschum

                Still laughing at you, Joe. “Use violence against the media” oh my, you are a card.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Yes, that furious-typing internet-fake-laughter thing.

                  It certainly never comes off as desperate or manufactured. Again, Be. My. Guest.

                • witlesschum

                  You’re right, “card” isn’t really my style, too affected.

                  The laughter was real though and I’m happy to say again that I thought it was ridiculous then and think it’s ridiculous now. If that’s a problem to be concerned about, I’m happy to be part of that problem.

            • joe from Lowell

              And of course it’s not a micro aggression, you aptly-named sad clown: micro aggressions usually don’t involve physically shoving people around.

              That was actually the point; thanks for the assist.

              • witlesschum

                If you continue to make points that poorly, I’ll continue to misunderstand them.

                But I won’t start caring either way. The opinion of someone who cries and carries on about the first amendment, omg, over that incident not just at the time, but weeks later just doesn’t matter.

                • joe from Lowell

                  Oh, witless. I think we both know you’re going to misunderstand points regardless.

                  I appreciate you taking the time to write another comment about how you don’t care and how it doesn’t matter. I can’t wait for your next forty.

                • joe from Lowell

                  The opinion of someone who cries and carries on about the first amendment, omg, over that incident not just at the time, but weeks later just doesn’t matter.

                  This conversation wouldn’t be happening were it not for Drexciya’s insistence on returning to it weeks after the fact.

                  And it’s not the behavior on the Missouri campus that is worth worrying about, so much as the behavior of the purported liberals and believers in rights who insisted, and continue to insist, on rushing to defend – no, not defend, laud – such behavior. If you don’t want to see any more conversations on the topic, address your complaint to the party who just can’t help but return to it.

    • Nick056

      It looks like the objective, necessary contribution to liberal democracy that black activists should be deferential to.

      Who said be deferential to the media? Nobody. I mean, Jesus, who says be deferential to CNN?

      If this is a reference to what happened at Mizzou, it’s simply incorrect to suggest that anyone advocated deference to the photojournalist’s reporting. They stood up for respecting his right to report, i.e., his right to be in a public space and photograph without being obstructed or removed. That has nothing to do with deference toward racist reporting.

      • joe from Lowell

        Who said be deferential to the media? Nobody. I mean, Jesus, who says be deferential to CNN?

        Who indeed?

        “Everything that is not forbidden is mandatory, and everything that is not mandatory is forbidden.”

        That’s the only path I can trace from that discussion to “deferential.”

  • MaxUtility

    I was not aware that Gray was only a symbol of the “black community’s” distrust of the police. Here I’ve been, walking around, being white and everything, and thinking that Gray was an example of why “people” don’t trust the police. Silly me, I keep forgetting that only black people care about what happens to black people.

    • Pseudonym

      I have to wonder, being also pale, should I be unceremoniously executed by the police whether CNN would similarly bring up my family’s education levels or history of drug addictions. I suspect mostly the former, in order to support the narrative of “how could it happen to him?

      • Pseudonym

        (The Breitbart crowd, on the other hand, would be sure to dig up the latter, along with my dangerous liberal sympathies.)

      • Kathleen

        Or the classic response from neighbors when someone murders his/her spouse in a middle/upper middle class “white” suburb: “Things like this aren’t supposed to happen here”.

    • Bruce B.

      The fact is that black people are at a kind of risk that we white people simply aren’t. They’re targeted. They take more damage. They get less justice. And the fact is that big chunks of our fellow white people truly don’t care what happens to black people, or actively cheer on their misery.

      Majorities of white men keep voting for the Republican in presidential elections. That’s a pretty reasonable synecdoche for “only black people care about what happens to black people”, at least when it comes to guys.

      • ChrisTS

        You know, I find that some percentage of my students go through a kind of weird ‘learning process.’

        First, they cannot believe their country is so corrupt/racist/evil.

        Then, they are shocked and upset.

        Then, they resent me in an inarticulate way for upsetting them.

        Finally, they go away and settle into denial.

        Which, I suppose, is to say that some percentage of them don’t learn, at all.

        • Bruce B.

          I’ve seen that as well (and, honestly, lived it myself a few times, though I think I’m mostly past it).

  • djw

    Fucking hell.

    • DrDick

      That is the nicest thing I can think to say about that piece.

  • Warren Terra

    Freddie Gray was allegedly beaten to death in a police van while restrained, but I don’t know what to think about that until I hear more about his maternal grandfather.

    • PhoenixRising

      My bad–I thought Freddie Gray was mortally injured by being thrown around in a van while unrestrained. Like Baltimore PD does to a lot of black people who looked at them sideways every year, and mostly they don’t die of it, so yes, more information about this young man’s sister’s cat’s grandmother will be needed before I can apply common sense.

  • Calming Influence

    …the son of an illiterate herion addict…”

    Hey, nice slur! But that has a familiar ring…

    “How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a
    Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a
    Forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence
    Impoverished, in squalor
    Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?”

    Fuck them. Own that illiterate heroin addict father. Fuck them sideways.

  • pianomover

    Freddie Gray despite having an illiterate heroin abusing father and confined to the mean streets of West Baltimore survived to the age of 25 only to be murdered by those sworn to serve and protect him.

    • ajay

      Yeah – if anything, including that parenthetical statement makes me feel more sorry for him rather than less. But I suppose to a lot of people “illiterate” is an insult.

      • Rob in CT

        Oh, absolutely it is. Reads as “worthless” to a lot of people.

  • witlesschum

    When I looked at it first I was like, ‘geez Shakezula, I get why you’re mad, but why are you posting about some asshole’s wikipedia edits?’ It think it’s the font.

    CNN, the most trusted name in news to be sometimes distinguishable from wiki trolls.

    • Jordan

      Yeah, I thought: this looks an immediately-reverted wikipedia edit.

      But nope, CNN.

  • Drexciya

    CNN has removed the highlighted portion, but their editor’s note amuses me all the same:

    A reference to Freddie Gray’s mother was removed from this story because it appeared out of context.

    So that’s what was wrong with it.

    • ChrisTS

      One could say that, technically, it was out of context, as it it had fuck-all to do with his murder.

      Of course, even as technically true, it’s still ass covering.

  • Origami Isopod

    The Planned Parenthood shooter, OTOH, gets to be called “a gentle loner.”

    • N__B

      I thought he was a transgendered leftist activist.

      • Lee Rudolph

        If the Times uses “gentleone” as a descriptor, xe’s probably some kind of activist.

        …Oh, wait.

        • Bill Murray

          they could try Sentimental Lady too

      • Apparently in the mind of the right wing, trans* people are automatically left wing.

        • Thirtyish

          And they obviously hate reproductive health services. It all makes so very much sense.

          Seeing these right-wingers tie themselves into knots trying to distance themselves from the violent implications of their worldview would be hilarious if they didn’t receive so much traction and enabling from the media. I have to give Huckabee a small table scrap of credit for at least not trying to deflect blame in a way that shouldn’t fool a five-year-old.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      not for long, at least. the nicest thing that can be said about the original was “irresponsible editing”. you would have a better idea than I what the worst thing would be

    • busker type

      He was only violent when other people were nearby… I don’t see the problem here!

    • Thirtyish

      Truly, nothing says “gentle” quite like premeditated murder.

      • ChrisTS

        Also: a history of domestic violence, shooting your neighbor’s dog, and spying on a female neighbor.

        • mikeSchilling

          Maybe the dog should have been shot, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing. I know a lot of dogs, and they were not happy about it. And this was a very obnoxious dog who was a trouble-maker who was looking to make trouble.

          • Lee Rudolph

            I understand that his mother was a bitch with a major MilkBone habit, too.

            Really, he should have been shot and then made into a throw-rug.

    • Warren Terra

      Gentile, not Gentle. A simple typo.

  • JL

    In the immortal words of those Black Lives Matter protesters in, I think it was New York City, “Fuck CNN.”

    Seriously, though, while it’s not like I had much respect for them a few years ago, their treatment of issues of the policing of black folks, and of Black Lives Matter, has been truly terrible. I was in a Greyhound station the other day with CNN talking about Laquan McDonald, and after less than 30 seconds of listening I decided I’d rather wait for the bus outdoors in the drizzly 40-degree weather for half an hour than continue to listen to them talk about Laquan McDonald.

    • Lee Rudolph

      I was in a Greyhound station the other day with CNN talking about Laquan McDonald, and after less than 30 seconds of listening I decided

      to smash the TV set with a brick?

      Honestly, if Stand Your Ground laws applied (only) to captive-audience TVs, I’d go get myself a gun (presumably rubber pellets work on LCDs, if you fire enough of them? I guess that’s an empirical question. Who’s in?).

      • Warren Terra

        Pricey, but less violent, there’s the TV-B-Gone universal TV turn-off remote.

        • PhoenixRising

          Get the ‘kit’ version; it’s cheaper than carrying a landscaping brick from Home Depot. Also no one has to know it was you.

          • Malaclypse

            This version can be used in both “North American/Asia” as well as “Europe/UK” areas (basically, the whole world)!

            Now that is how to troll J Otto.

      • JL

        presumably rubber pellets work on LCDs, if you fire enough of them?

        A rubber bullet is a rubber-coated metal ball*, so I suspect it only takes one to put a hole in the screen.

        *Does anyone else remember early in the Ferguson protests when some reporter tweeted out a photo of a soft foam earplug like you can buy by the box at CVS lying on the ground and said something like “So I guess this is one of those rubber bullets?” I don’t even know how many replies that reporter got. A lot.

    • UncleEbeneezer

      Yup. It’s not hard to understand why protestors/activists/minority communities wouldn’t trust the media.

      • JL

        Oh I have a dozen or more personal “Why protesters/activists wouldn’t trust the media” stories* (and also a few “CNN making horrible asses of themselves in Ferguson” stories** from the few days that I was there). I can’t speak even from a personal perspective about communities of color so I’ll leave that one to others. I felt like so much of the conversation I saw after that Mizzou thing was reporters talking about how important they are while activists traded horror stories about their press interactions.

        *Press freedom is important. There is, however, something terribly wrong when reporters choose to exercise their press freedom by chasing newly-released, visibly-injured protesters out a courthouse lobby and through a parking lot shouting “Is it true that you’re wearing adult diapers? Did anyone use them?” And I don’t feel that supporters who were helping people to cars and positioned themselves between the people they were walking with and the reporters were violating press freedom, any more than a clinic escort who walks between a clinic picketer and a patient is violating the picketer’s freedom of speech.

        **The worst was someone picking up on a police scanner that police were saying CNN had told them to watch out for troublemakers in green hats, at the same time as three green-hat-clad National Lawyers Guild legal observers, people who observe and document police behavior at protests, were arrested for no apparent reason.

    • LeeEsq

      More than a few USCIS offices like to play Fox News on the TV in the waiting room. Many immigration lawyers have complained about this.

      • PhoenixRising

        TV-B-Gone is better than complaining, because it changes something.

        I have never been in a captive waiting area (sample includes the then-INS in Albuquerque, the radiology department at SF General, hematology/oncology at the Cleveland Clinic and the Bangkok airport) in which anyone went looking for the power button to turn the blaring TV back on.

        But by all means, complain about *what* it is, not *that* it is, if you prefer to remain frustrated.

  • shpx.ohfu

    This is the same CNN that suspended Elise Labott because they have a strict policy that “If you publicly declare your preference for issues or candidates or one side or the other of the public policy issues CNN reports on, then your ability to be viewed as objective is compromised.”

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