Tag Archives: CNN

Bigot of the Week Award: March 22, CNN and Poppy Harlow

22 Mar
Bigot of the Week

Bigot of the Week

Thank you to my friend Jennifer Carey for inspiring me to write this week’s Bigot story.  What a sad tale to tell — how tragic that we see patriarchy put above all else, as Poppy (a woman) bemoans the verdict of the rapists in Steubenville, OH and gives no mention of the rape victim and how the rest of her life has been impacted.

Yes, I have some empathy for the two men who raped the young girl, but I was mortified to see CNN and Poppy Harlow talking ad nauseam about “these poor young men,” and how impressive they were.  She goes on to sing their praises because they offered an apology.  Is it just me, or is this whole thing totally screwed up?  Sadly, I found CNN and Poppy to be quite loathsome.  What about the young woman who was raped? What about her life? Let us not forget that these young men — whom you fawn over — drugged the young woman, repeatedly raped her, and then dumped her body in a yard where they then proceeded to urinate on her. How dare you sing the praises of these two rapists while not giving any acknowledgement of the physical and mental anguish the victim will suffer for the rest of her life. Have you no shame?

Just like Penn State, we see hints of authority figures complicit in a cover-up to protect athletic programs while ignoring the victims. Just like too many examples, we see members of the community heaping scorn on the victim for coming forward. Is it any wonder that so many rapes and sexual assaults go unreported?

If you can stomach it, here is the video of Poppy Harlow on CNN. How sad that we see women in our culture so quick to care take of the male rapists while ignoring the victim — we are truly in the world of Todd Akin.

Women’s History Month 2013: Soledad O’Brien

6 Mar

soledad-OBrien-Today we honor and celebrate a woman whose recent push to restore journalistic integrity to cable news may have cost her her job. María de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien was born on Long Island in 1966. Her parents — an Afro-Cuban mother and Australian father — met in the Washington, DC area a decade earlier. They lived in Maryland, which did not allow mixed-race marriages, so they wed in DC and soon moved to New York. Soledad is one of six children (all of whom received degrees from Harvard).

She began her television career as an associate producer and news writer in Boston. She joined NBC in 1991 and worked a variety of on-camera and production jobs over the next decade. She settled into regular roles on MSNBC and as co-host of Weekend Today. She contributed reports to NBC Nightly News, honing her desire to move away from soft news.

Soledad joined CNN in 2003 as co-anchor of their morning news program. Smart, likeable, and possessing good journalistic instincts, she helped that show rise above standard morning fare, even as the rest of CNN began to devolve into FOX-light in a desperate ratings grab. Confused network executives moved her out of the morning show in 2007 and she spent the next few years contributing reports to other CNN programs and doing In America documentaries. When CNN scrambled to re-re-redesign their morning show in 2012, they brought Soledad back to host the two-hour news program Starting Point.

A stark contrast to most CNN programming and other morning “news” offerings, the show featured engaging conversations and showed her strengths as a real journalist. Numerous guests complained about their treatment (including the odious John Sununu), a sign that she was actually doing her job rather than letting them spew talking points. Sadly, that success — even combined with good ratings — seems to have been too much for CNN to take–JEERS to CNN. Ms. O’Brien was the only reason I watched CNN. The new network President, Jeff Zucker (who spent the previous decade destroying NBC) wants his soft news, so Soledad is out.

Her new documentary, Latino In America, will be out soon. After that, Soledad O’Brien will find her next role in broadcast journalism — not, as she put it, “cooking salmon and doing fashion shows.” Wherever she lands, her colleagues will be lucky to have her talent and mature confidence in doing journalism right.  I hope NPR is able to secure her journalistic prowess.

Bigot of the Week Award: August 31, Not Paul Ryan…the Other Racists

31 Aug

Bigot of the Week

Of course, it would have been so very easy to have given Paul Ryan the BWA again, but I will not do that. I will refrain from calling attention to the many blatant lies the bigoted hypocrite Ryan spewed from his venomous lips at the GOP Convention.  Please TSM audience, please do not pressure cook me here about reporting what a spleen Ryan is. No. I must insist. I will not talk about the circus of lies he ringmastered during his speech, claiming:

  • that President Obama “closed a GM plant” in Wisconsin that was shuttered during the Bush administration;
  • that the Affordable Care Act steals money from seniors, neatly avoiding the way the plan actually works while dodging the fact that his proposed budget truly does delete almost exactly the same amount of money;
  • that the President is responsible for the downgrading of the U.S. credit rating for the first time in history even though it was the actions of the Republican Controlled House, actions Ryan championed, that were explicitly named as the cause of the downgrade.

No, I shan’t dwell on these and the other lies he told — so many that even the timid mainstream media called them lies in headlines. I must turn elsewhere to two anonymous but certified individuals whose horrific actions got them ejected from the Convention. Individuals whose actions mirror the beliefs of the GOP but made them too blatant even for the four-day ragefest.

CNN confirmed that two Republican delegates were asked to leave the convention after throwing nuts at an African American camera woman while yelling: “This is how we feed animals.”  This despicable behavior is wrong on so many counts, I hardly know where to start on the systemic impact of their actions. I find it alarming that the two delegates found it perfectly acceptable to behave in such a manner at the convention.  While I don’t want to paint the entire GOP with one brush, this incident does nothing to improve the already severely damaged relationship they have with the African American population.  In fact, I would say this incident paints a consistent picture of a rich white boy club that grows more elite, more white, and wealthier with each passing year, a la Clint Eastwood as he delivered his muddled mumblings to an empty chair.

I am exceedingly sad how far we have yet to go towards eradicating racism, homophobia, and misogyny.  I am more and more convinced that the current incarnation of the GOP addresses only the needs of the top 1% of Americans, which means any marginalized population will continue to be further marginalized.

Hero of the Week Award: August 17, Soledad O’Brien

17 Aug

Hero of the Week

I must confess that I have never been a fan of CNN.  I  have always found the network to be biased to the right and in the past six years it has in many ways mimicked Fox (Faux) News.  What a wonderful surprise and delight to see Soledad O’Brien engaged in real journalism and completely prepared with FACTS as she counters the LIES regurgitated by the exceedingly charm free John Sununu.

Sununu predictably offered the Republican talking points about the Ryan budget plan’s impact on Medicare.  The only thing that made his blatant lies bearable was O’Brien quoting directly from Romney.  I’m consistently amazed at how many in the Republican party try to deflect from the truth with the , “look over there, something shiny,” as their voices grower louder in an attempt to bully and intimidate. Sununu is clearly the school yard bully; kudos to O’Brien for standing up to him and holding her ground as a journalist — something exceedingly rare to witness today.

Click here to watch the video of our hero Soledad O’Brien.  Warning: Brace your self while watching the Petulant, Pugnacious Pig, Sununu.

I will conclude with an address to Mr. Sununu: Dear Mr. Sununu, I’m sorry, but there is just no way you can make Romney and Ryan look like anything other than the bigoted, homophobic, misogynist, rich white boys that they are.  You see, most Americans can read and hear and we can read and hear the words coming from Romney’s mouth, even after he tries to take them back — time after time after time after time…

Hero of the Week Award: May 20

20 May

Hero of the Week

This may be one of the few times that there were several people nominated for the HWA.  First, I would like to give an honorable mention to CNN anchor Don Lemon.  There is great power in coming out of the closet and I think it takes even more courage to come out as gay when you are African-American.  Bravo!

This week I was elated to learn that I am not the only one that is absolutely sickened by the music industry’s double standard when it comes to homophobia and misogyny.  Sara Quin, of the singing duo Tegan and Sara, showed great integrity and social courage for calling out TSM’s Bigot of the Week, the reprehensible behavior of rapper Tyler The Creator and his band Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All.  Sara Quin is most deserving of TSM’s HWA.  Brava!  In an open letter to the music industry, Quin writes:

When will misogynistic and homophobic ranting and raving result in meaningful repercussions in the entertainment industry? When will they be treated with the same seriousness as racist and anti-Semitic offenses? While an artist who can barely get a sentence fragment out without using homophobic slurs is celebrated on the cover of every magazine, blog and newspaper, I’m disheartened that any self-respecting human being could stand in support with a message so vile.

I must confess that Quin’s words really resonated with me, as they should resonate with ALL marginalized populations.  Her words also put me in mind of the celebrity Kobe Bryant, whom Nike fully supports.  I, too, am saddened that any decent human being would support any person with a message of such hate and venom.  Click here to see the full article.

Welcome to Mississippi, well if you are white…

9 Apr

Welcome if You Are White

First, I want to thank my friend Tom McCollin for helping inspire this story. In a state where Haley Barbour is still much beloved, this screams: Stay out of Mississippi unless you are white, heterosexual and christian. I’m sure we all remember Barbour’s blatantly racist comments a year ago on CNN.  When Barbour was asked if Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell had been insensitive to omit any mention of slavery in his proposal to recognize Confederate HIstory Month, Barbour replied:

To me, it’s a sort of feeling that it’s a nit, that it is not significant, that it’s not a—it’s trying to make a big deal out of something doesn’t amount to diddly.

Oh, you charmer you!  Really? Really? How on earth did this man get elected as governor of Mississippi? Did they hold all the black folk hostage and prevent them from voting?  I am mortified to say that it is only getting worse. When Public Policy Polling (PPP) asked Mississippi voters whether they think interracial marriage should be legal or illegal- 46% of Mississippi Republicans said it should be illegal while just 40% who think it should be legal.  Click here to see the full story. Please tell me they are not going to bring back the miscegenation laws.  I shall end this post in RAGE with Nina Simone, for I could not have said it any better than she.

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