NY POST GONE BANANAS?!

2009-02-18-cartoon

 If anyone needed more proof that we don’t live in a post-racial society, they should probably look at the picture above. It was printed in the NY Post, one of the three remaining newspapers in the city. While the New York Times has managed to survive on its reputation, liberal slant, and elderly readership, the Post has resorted to sensationalist crime stories, revealing photographs of celebrities, and absurd headlines (on Eliot Spitzer case, “Ho No!”).

In any case, the cartoon that ran in the post is a clear example that the election of Barack Obama did not end racism.

CNN covers the story:

The cartoon is exemplary of the current media attitude towards race. The NY Post has always been a questionable news source with a specific target market. The paper wouldn’t have printed the cartoon without knowing that at the very least, it’s core market would read it and in fact, laugh at it. Regardless of the fact that the cartoon is highly dubious, a huge risk for an editor, it was still printed because the readership is assumed to enjoy it. This is an example of what is commonly called within media studies as “social fragmentation.” As we develop more mediums of expression and communication, we develop more news outlets. However, people who are conservative, probably wont read this blog, even if they do stumble across Walt Kowalski or Michael Steele’s name. Furthermore, some liberals will read this and some wont. Even though there are new outlets, and different voices, people will still stick the beliefs and values they hold. That’s why the Post thought they could get away with this.

            The CNN coverage is an example of social fragmentation, but also of the illusion of the post-racial. One can’t help but notice that CNN might be trying to subtly point out how the Post is inferior. Firstly, they call the Post a “tabloid” which the Post wouldn’t admit. Secondly, notice the multiracial team that’s covering it? It’s a pretty good example of CNN’s coverage of race stories. You’ve got your attractive and racially ambiguous anchor who tells the story, followed by the token light-skinned black man with the in-depth analysis. Thirdly, the multiracial crew doesn’t seem to be that offended by it. So, knowing their market, CNN is centrist, the network can’t have this story told by white people, and furthermore, it can’t have the people of color to be that upset by it. But the truth is,  just because someone is black and is saying something on TV, something that someone else probably wrote for them, does not make them an authority on the issue.

 The correspondent says that there are two sides, and there certainly is. There’s the explicit reminder that racism is just a problem of the South anymore, and there’s the “post-racial” coverage, which tries to make us forget about it.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot something too. I hate Glenn Beck

Did he really just speak in pidgin?

 

 

 

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