Wednesday, May 09, 2012

When the Right Is Right

My new piece for the Daily Banter is up and it deals with Bill O'Reilly's latest bit of faux-indignant theater.

But my take on it doesn't necessarily go where you'd think it might.

Here's the opening shot:

"Every once in a while I apparently like to see to it that my progressive street cred takes a huge hit and, well, I guess it’s that time again. The line to angrily show me the error of my ways forms to the left — just, please, not the face, eh?

In case you haven’t been watching Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox recently — and I can’t in good conscience suggest that you do — his latest indignant crusade involves the search for answers in the beating of a pair of Virginia newspaper reporters by an angry mob a few weeks back. The two reporters were white; the people who attacked them, throwing rocks at their car and eventually sending both of them to the hospital, were reportedly all black."

Read the Rest Here


TheReaperD said...

This is one of the big reasons I keep coming back to this site. This can basically be summed up as saying that you think that Bill O'Riley is a one sided, zero ethics, rabble-rousing 'news' hack that loves to bring race into every issue... and in this one case, is rightly doing so. I would find it hard to see O'Riley, for example, giving credit to John Stewart or Republicans giving credit to Obama. The willingness to give credit to those you despise and have zero respect for says a lot about your character.

CNNfan said...

I've been watching The Factor,
the #1 cable news program 12 years running,
and I learned that Bill O'Reilly
only has three Emmy Awards, which is
just one more than our very own host Chez Pazienza.

Anonymous said...

I will preface this by saying I live and work in Norfolk, VA and have spent 27 of my 31 years living in the Hampton Roads area. I drive through that intersection and sit at that light almost every day.

The incident happened in front of Norfolk State University, a predominately African American school, located one block from the entrance ramp to the interstate and a light rail stop. At 5 pm on a weekday it is bumper to bumper traffic. White dudes driving Mercedes type traffic. I do not know what happened that day, but I am honestly shocked...floored even that it did. We have some racial issues, but it’s no “powder keg.”

That particular neighborhood could be described as rough, compared to other Norfolk cities. I wouldn't want to walk alone at night, but I have personally never had a problem. Those reporters would not have driven through if they feared they were going to be attacked. There are plenty of other ways to get on the interstate that close to downtown Norfolk.

The Pilot held on to the story, yes they did. They would not have if this was some kind of pattern. It shows temperance and responsibility on their part. I would not have wanted to be a black person living here or in any other city where they would report a fluke incident like that. Not to mention the Pilot has a long and rich history in support of anti-racism: see the 1929 Pulitzer Prize winning anti-lynching editorial written by Louis Jaffe.

The Pilot’s reporting area is all of southeastern Virginia and parts of NC. We are equivalent in population to the northern VA/DC metro area. We had a fighter jet crash in Virginia Beach a week earlier, local elections taking place in Norfolk and school board budgets that are tens of millions in the hole. Lots of people get beat up here every day just like every other city, so why incite fear and possible retribution for a non-story?


Claude Weaver said...

IIRC, didn't the victims pretty much ask for it not to be reported?

Not to say your point isn't valid (it certainly is), but I just wouldn't castigate the news outlet so much when the reporters that worked for said outlet didn't want it in their paper like that.

But more on topic, I do agree with you. Shuffling away stories like this does nobody any favors. I cannot tell you the number of people commenting on the Martin case with "well, (horrible crime with supposed racial component happened) and nobody is reporting on it!" Even in the case of these claims being true, it smacked of opportunistic redirection. These folks didn't want justice for all, they just wanted to devalue one case by using another, and try to end up forgetting about both.

All horrendous crimes should be reported on. And as you said, it should be dispassionate and objective, as much as possible. Cherrypicking for ratings does more damage than anything, and it reinforces the utterly stupid idea that we cannot care about more than one "cause" at a time.

I hope all that made sense. It just came pouring out.

Chez said...

Good points and a welcome perspective, Anon.

My argument isn't necessarily that this particular story is worthy of being shouted from the rooftops, only that O'Reilly and Goldberg are right when they say that there's a certain amount of hypocrisy at play in the coverage of potentially race-related crimes. If indeed, as I said, the races had been reversed in this case, it would've been a massive deal and would've been carried by just about every news outlet in the country. We wouldn't even be having this conversation.

However, because it went down the way it did, we have the luxury of parsing whether it is in fact a racially motivated attack and the victims have, as Claude points out, the ability to say that they don't want to make a big deal out of it and have the whole thing just kind of go away.

Again, the double-standard is absolutely there.

Anonymous said...

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.