Still No Objectivity on Race Relations
by L. Brent Bozell III
November 20, 1997
As baby boomers who grew up on Bull Connor brutality and the
civil rights struggle, reporters learned early that objectivity was a concept
detrimental to the noble pursuit of justice: how could a reporter not take
sides as blacks risked everything seeking the right to vote? The debate has
shifted far beyond the original demand for color-blindness into the black
Left's onerous demands, through virulent race-baiting politics, for racial
entitlements - and still reporters hold just as reflexively to the cause of
the "civil rights movement." Consider a few recent examples.
1. "The Million Woman March." When black women
converged on Philadelphia in late October for a "Million Woman
March," the media swooned in celebration, even forwarded organizers'
bombastic claims of a 1.5 million-woman turnout. On "Good Morning
America," ABC's Bill Redeker declared: "People power, that
celebrated a common goal, unity and the desire to collectively make life in
their community better, safer." NBC's Susan Campos announced, "The
rally was aimed at building political, economic, and social unity among black
But unity most certainly wasn't the message from all the
speakers at the podium. In the November 17 New Republic, iconoclastic NPR
reporter Eric Westervelt quoted Ava Muhammed from the Nation of Islam, who
"told the crowd that black women must not sleep with white men, lest they
become 'traitors to the cause of liberation. 'We have thousands of long
toughed Uncle Toms lookin' for a boot to lick...and who'll sell our soul for a
job and to have lunch with white people!'" Congresswoman Maxine Waters, a
walking advertisement for national health care if it means someone would have
the power to force her to seek medical attention, "warned of white plots
to destroy blacks," particularly the CIA importing crack into Los
Angeles. Quite simply, if this were a white gathering, it would be easily
identified as racist, so why are these speeches ignored in favor of a
touchy-feely wave of good feeling? Because to do otherwise would be to
2. "Redneckville." Although Republicans made a
clean sweep of the November elections, ABC made it a point to run a story on
the one liberal victory of the day. Peter Jennings declared : "And in
Houston voters chose to keep in place an affirmative action program that
steers city contracts to companies owned by women and minorities. The Houston
decision seems to buck a trend developing in the country to reverse course on
affirmative action." That intro was fine, but the conclusion from
reporter Dean Reynolds was something else: "Mayor [Bob] Lanier said the
choice for Houston was clear: people here had to decide whether they wanted to
be viewed as a cosmopolitan, diverse, international city or, as he put it, 'Redneckville.'"
3. Ward Connerly. When Mike Wallace interviewed black
Proposition 209 activist Ward Connerly on "60 Minutes" November 9,
one might not feel the segment was atrociously one-sided - but only because
Connerly was so impressive answering Wallace's hectoring questions.
"Do you never feel like you're being used by white
conservatives to lead this thing, that you're the cat's paw?" was just
one of many insults hurled at this black man for daring to be conservative.
Wallace brought on Connerly's cousin to accuse him of wanting to be white and
"providing a safe harbor for the bigots of America." Her husband
warned other blacks of Connerly's "minstrel show." Wallace asked
Connerly: "One of your critics says: 'for someone to stand within the
ranks and say I'm not black, but use it to destroy his own people, that's the
kind we label a traitor that's how you're perceived by many people in the
black community. 'I'm not black,' says Ward Connerly." When Connerly
praised the kindness of white strangers, Wallace replied: "I get the
feeling that you're looking at things through rose-colored glasses. I can see
black folks across the country look at him now and saying 'what world does
this Connerly guy think we're living in?'"
A few minutes after Wallace was finished, Andy Rooney noted
that across the hall at CBS "This Morning" there are 46 producers,
of whom 30 are women, and 12 are black men or women. Rooney declared: "Am
I in favor of affirmative action? No, I'm not. As Ward Connerly said earlier
on the show, you cannot correct a wrong by arbitarily giving one group of
people an advantage over another because of race or sex."
That's objectivity, and needless to say, it looks like Andy
Rooney could be in trouble again.
Voice Your Opinion!
Write to Brent Bozell
Home | News Division
| Bozell Columns | CyberAlerts
Media Reality Check | Notable Quotables | Contact
the MRC | Subscribe