Limited Coverage Creates Distorted Images

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Author: 
Jean Marie Brown
May 29, 2012

Coverage decisions by mainstream media can help explain the gulf that sometimes exists between whites and people of color,  Also, the lack of diverse representation on important issues can  skew perceptions about who is affected.  The mainstream’s reliance on celebrity, sports, crime and politics to reflect people of color creates a funhouse mirror. We see lots of distortion. 

Consider: 

On The Huffington Post, Morgan Freeman makes the cut in a listing of stars who became celebrities after age 50 . . . Lionel Ritchie is topping the charts again

. . .  Salma Hayek is included in a roundup of celebs who are the same age; she’s the same age as Gordon Ramsey.

. . . The motorcycle wreck that left boxer Paul Williams paralyzed is news on HuffPost and The Daily Beast.

 . . . A black minister who is supporting same-sex marriage and encouraging others to do so is news on HuffPost and The Grio.

. . . A new form of LSD might have triggered a grisly attack in Miami in which a naked man tore into another man’s face with his teeth. He was shot and killed by police. Huffpost likens the attack to cannibalism, while Slate evokes zombies . . . A man who was dangling from a crane, 150 feet above ground near Southern Methodist University, fell to his death after a 15-hour stand-off with police . . . A “National Review” article declares that the GOP is “the single most pro-civil rights party ever.”

. . . U.S. Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren’s claim to 1/32 Native American is considered on Slate. How many other Americans can make this claim?  

Another point of view . . . 

The ethnic sites have coverage of things such as a bad commencement joke,  television shows that people swear they hate but love to watch, and the box office numbers for “Men in Black 3.” But there’s also coverage about a new treatment for high blood pressure, consideration of how much black politicians’ actions are influenced by campaign contributions, black fraternities and sororities creating political action committees and the President’s record on immigration. Consider: 

The Grio follows the joke Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)  made about a hoodie during commencement for the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

. . . Toni Morrison is among those being honored at Tuesday’s Medal of Freedom ceremony.

. . . Was Newark Mayor Cory Booker under the influence of campaign contributions when he made his infamous comments about the Obama campaign and its criticism of Bain Capital?

. . . Will Smith and “Men in Black 3” bumped “Avengers” out of the top spot for the weekend box office take.

. . . Residents in Reidsville, N.C., were invited by the KKK to a cross burning.

. . . Mario Wire has a post on Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) declaring that Mitt Romney’s efforts to woo Latino voters has been half-hearted at best.

. . . Is the President’s record on immigration on par with that of embattled Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio?

. . . Republicans upset with the Obama administration for granting a visa to Fidel Castro’s daughter say they didn’t know she made three visits to the U.S. when George Bush was President.

. . . Black fraternities and sororities are joining the world of PACs.

. . . Brian Banks, the California man who spent five years in prison for a rape that never happened, wants the state to compensate him.

. . . What’s behind Cornel West’s contempt for the President? The Root links to a Black America Web column.

. . . The Root looks at 23 television shows we love to hate.  “Single Ladies” tops the list  . . . Ten places honor blacks in the military . . . And, doctors have found a new way to treat high blood pressure.

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