Thursday, January 08, 2009

Periodic diversity rant

Awful lot of people sort of dragging us back to the '60s at once, isn't it?

More recent work by Greenwald and colleagues shows that most people --between 75 and 80 percent -- have implicit, non-overt prejudices against blacks.

So at CNN, the world is divided into "people" and "blacks"? (And by the way, no: This study doesn't "harken back" to the Milgram study.)

The 20-year-old woman told police that she was walking to her vehicle when two Hispanic men forced her into a dark-colored, two-door vehicle, possibly a Honda Accord or Civic

And that's it for physical description at the Obs. Height or weight? Facial hair, hair hair, other identifying features? Eye patches, bandoliers, missing teeth? Mexican men, Nicaraguan men, Men of La Mancha? Hey, who cares?

U.S. backs Egyptian-French cease-fire
But Israelis, Arabs haven't accepted
You sort of wonder if the Freep has just run out of people who had heard about the Fractious Near East before last week. (Given the demographics of the area, that's potentially pretty embarrassing.) Since the Egyptians (a subset of "the Arabs") are suggesting the cease-fire, it maybe ought to be sort of obvious that the level of analysis in the deck should be, maybe, limited to the even smaller subset of "the Arabs" on the other side of this conflict. Otherwise, it's sort of like -- oh, like saying "the Hispanics" gave a speech last week celebrating the 50th anniversary of the revolution.

The main hed misses the head noun kinda dramatically too. The event at issue here isn't an Egyptian-French cease-fire (that's so 1956). It's an Egyptian-French proposal for other people to cease fire. There really is a difference.

Yes, there's a lot to pay attention to, and there are fewer editors every week to pay attention to it. But there is still sort of a bottom line here: Readers don't know what you meant. All they know is what you said.

Labels: ,


Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

Let's see.

1. Even blacks hate blacks!
2. They all look alike.
3. Egypt has a treaty with Israel so they aren't "real" Arabs?
4. Egyptian-French ceasefire... nope. Can't do anything with that one.

You're right: it's embarrassing.

9:50 AM, January 09, 2009  
Blogger eMonkey said...

My first thought on No. 3 was that the Freep had some kind of policy against using names like "Palestine" or "Palestinian", as part of a pro-Israeli editorial stance, but then "Hamas" would be even more accurate than "Palestinians" in identifying the people who are fighting the Israelis, with the benefits of taking up less space, and not requiring anybody to recognise a disputed state.

9:22 PM, January 09, 2009  
Blogger fev said...

Good starting point -- but I'm more inclined to put it all down to a pervasive ignorance about the Near East in US journalism as a whole. Not necessarily that it's reflexively pro-Israel (though it is), but that most of the people handling the game coverage can't even fill out the scorecard correctly.

12:06 AM, January 10, 2009  
Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

As can be seen in the pervasive tendency to talk about "Arabs" in Iran...

Not to mention the whole "Saddam used WMD on his own people!" which betrays a profound lack of understanding of Iraq and its history.

10:34 AM, January 10, 2009  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home