Our Watchful Media

In case you don’t read any other blogs, you may not have heard that Rep. Corinne Brown, an African-American Member of Congress, launched on a Bush Administration official, Richard Noriega with a racist rant.

It’s been covered by Instapundit, Calpundit, Michael Totten, and a bunch of bloggers in between; they’re universally embarrassed and angry at her – as am I.

But I thought I’d have some fun and see where the mainstream press is on this; at 8:15pm Pacific, here’s what we have:

New York Times: zip – ‘There were no matches for your search “Corrine Brown” / past 30 days’

Los Angeles Times: nada – ‘No matches found on search for: “Corrine Brown”‘

Chicago Tribune: gornisht – ‘No articles found on search for: “Corrine Brown”‘

Washington Post: fahgeddit – ‘No Results Found’

USA Today: nope, nothing here – ‘Your search – “Corinne Brown” – did not match any documents.’

These, along with the Wall Street Journal, pretty much define the print media’s view of the news.So we’ll add:

CNN.com: found one 1998 article naming her


news.google.com: two articles, neither mentioning this

FOX News has something (of course, it’s dinging a Democrat): ‘Rep. Brown Apologizes for ‘White Men’ Comment

(her apology is in principle a good thing, but qualified, of course:

Brown also wrote a letter to Noriega, in which she apologized again “if what I said was construed as a personal affront.”

“The State Department delegation that came to meet with us did not include any females or people of color. Given the racial makeup of the people of Haiti, who are 95 percent of African descent, I felt the delegation and the delegation’s position were callous and out of touch with the needs (cultural and otherwise) of the Haitian people,” she wrote.


Look, based on this incident and her handling of it, she’s a fool (not alone in Congress) and acted like an ass. I do think black racism is real, and amazingly counterproductive at this point in history. But lots of whites are cranky about race, and why should I expect black people to be any different. I’m not pissed about what she did – her constituents should be, but like Maxine Waters’ doubtless aren’t.

I am incredibly pissed (as usual) as the weak-ass response from the media, who place smiling pictures of third-rate celebrity Rosie O’Donnell and her missus in the news hole, and can’t be bothered to cover issues like this. If I’ve gotten nothing else from blogging than my distrust and disrespect for mainstream media, it’s been a damn good thing to have done.


* Trusting the Media: Joe chimes in with some tips from Orson Scott Card, incl. media sources he still trusts from the left and right.
* My follow-up article, Racism Redux.

16 thoughts on “Our Watchful Media”

  1. Wow….I caught this piece on FoxNews.com and assumed that it was covered elsewhere. Then I did the same thing you did, even including some other papers and came up with no mention of this event. Can you imagine the reaction if Trent Lott had offered this kind of nonsense to the Urban League? Okay, this is giving me a headache…..

  2. Let’s flesh out this “black racism” thing a bit more.

    Obviously, what she said was stupid and reprehensible. Perhaps she should resign.

    But I think you’re begging the question with regard to this “black racism” concept.

    What is it?

    How does it manifest itself?

    What do black racists want to do?

    I’ll give you a head start. In LA you’ve got a history of racial violence by African-Americans against Korean-Americans. In NYC, you’ve got historical tension between blacks and Jews.

    What was Brown saying about Hispanic-Americans, and how does it fit into a pattern of black racism?

  3. AL,

    Be of good cheer! The obtuseness of the mainstream media is the reason the future for blogging is so bright. The mainstream media has relegated itself to the function of the Roman circus.

    I’d bet the Stern thing is getting a much more thorough airing in the sphere than on the tube as well. So thank you and keep up the good work!

  4. Actually, the GOP was originally silent on Lott (as were the media), until a bunch of blogs (including, but certainly not most importantly mine) managed to keep raising the issue.

    They then followed with a tepid apology from Lott (just like Brown’s), and a bunch of halfhearted ‘well, he apologized’ from the GOP leadership until it became clear the issue wouldn’t go away.

    Sort of like Jim Moran, as well.


  5. To which I’ll add the fact that a lot of the media outrage in the Lott case came from right-wing bloggers, and right-wing publications like National Review.

    Once that happened, the GOP had no choice but to turn on Lott.

  6. So, everytime anyone criticizes bigoted statements of African American political leaders, they must also qualify that criticism by lashing Trent Lott or some other “Repug” whom the Left has deemed racist? These bigoted statements cannot stand on their own? They must always be placed in “context” of real racism? Are we allowed to substitute a racist Democrat (Robert Byrd)?

  7. Praktike is pointing us to the larger issue that this incident illustrates, and which will underlie a lot of responses to e.g. immigration proposals.

    Blacks have been surpassed by Hispanics as the major minority group in the US and this trend will only grow greater over time. Even if we ended all immigration today, African Americans are not and would not become again the majority minority, as it were.

    Immigration will only increase that discrepancy.

    Brown’s dismissal of Noriega as not being “of color” was no mistake nor does she regret saying it one bit, I suspect.

    The fact that Hispanics will increasingly be the the minority group whose status and concerns dominate politics poses a significant challenge to minority politics as usual. Huntingdon and others are concerned about a deliberate refusal to assimilate on the part of Hispanics, but it’s illuminating to note that the reasons for that – including and especially the strong persistence of intact dual-parent families – mean that public policies which address some of the dominant problems among the African American community will probably lose steam over the near and mid future.

    So in fact, Brown’s comments are about a lot more than her own racism. The story deserves wider play for this reason

  8. Interesting point raised by rkb, to which I want to add that Hispanic is not a racial designation.

    From the Census Definition:

    Hispanics or Latinos are those people who classified themselves in one of the specific Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino categories listed on the Census 2000 questionnaire -“Mexican, Mexican Am., Chicano,” “Puerto Rican”, or “Cuban” -as well as those who indicate that they are “other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino.” Persons who indicated that they are “other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino” include those whose origins are from Spain, the Spanish-speaking countries of Central or South America, the Dominican Republic or people identifying themselves generally as Spanish, Spanish-American, Hispanic, Hispano, Latino, and so on.

    Origin can be viewed as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person’s parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States.

    People who identify their origin as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino may be of any race. Thus, the percent Hispanic should not be added to percentages for racial categories. Tallies that show race categories for Hispanics and nonHispanics separately are available.

    You can be white and Hispanic, black and hispanic, etc., and the Census breaks things down that way.

  9. Probably everyone has made a racist remark at some point. Perhaps it was provoked. perhaps offered as ill-considered humour, perhaps misconstrued or perhaps with offered with a real intent to injure.

    Not that it has occurred in these comments but there is a tendency for our ideological opponents to latch onto these remarks so as to dicredit the speaker.

    Trent Lott is an example. From my perspective (recalling that I’m a ‘leftist’) the lynching of Lott was dispropotionate to his transgression. The context was bunch of lads getting together to honour someone who gave his whole life to public service and once held regretable views – since revoked.

    As opposed to launching directly into attack of defense mode it might be useful to look at: (1) the context of the remark; (2) whether any harm arose from the remark(s); and (3) whether the remark is part of a pattern of behaviour.

    But, y’know, politics is a contact sport.

  10. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen a story reported on the news and thought: “Huh? Where the hell have they been? I read about this on (fill in Blog here) two days ago!”

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