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When Apologies Are Not Enough: How Minority Journalists Face a Double Standard

October 21, 2010

by Richard O. Emanuel Jr. (alias TooDamnEZ)

[Reclaim America from The Lunatic Fringe!, The Diary of a Lost Soul, The 1000yr Old Man]

In recent months, there have been a rash of dismissals and resignations of respected journalist seemingly because of comments they have made in the media or in private.

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Helen Thomas (Hearst), Rick Sanchez (CNN), Juan Williams (NPR and Fox News), and Octavia Nasr(CNN), were either fired or asked to resign, after seemingly controversial statements they had made either on or off work.

But these four Journalists have something else in common other than their love for journalism. They are all minorities who were successful in their craft.

Rick Sanchez, dismissed by CNN for expressing that “Jews run the media” and disparaging comments about comedian Jon Stewart, often expressed that he felt there was considerable bias when it cames to minority journalists.

Helen Thomas was asked to resign after more than 50 years in journalism, when she said in a “Man on The Street Style ” interview with Rabbi David Nesenoff, that the Jews needed to “Get the Hell out of Palestine” and “Go Home.”

Juan Williams was recently fired from NPR for a statement he made while “on air” at his other job at Fox News, during an “O’Reilly Factor” broadcast, suggesting that people dressed in “Islamic Garb (style)” clothing on an airplane, made him nervous.

Octavia Nasr was terminated from CNN for expressing sorrow about the death of a controversial founder of the terrorist group Hezbollah on Twitter, a popular social media site on the internet.

Whether you agree with what each journalist said or not, one must ultimately admit that in each individual circumstance, what was said cannot be construed as the most offensive remarks heard in the Media. So why such a knee-jerk reaction to controversial statements?

It seems that the “Mainstream Media” in an effort to be politically correct, has become hypersensitive to any dissenting views by their colleagues. But enforcement is hypocritical. On a daily basis, we are inundated with disparaging remarks from media personalities like Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, who seem to be able to do and say what they want with impunity, yet never suffer any adverse consequences, and merely apologize the next day to absolve their own guilt.

For example, Glenn Beck has been the subject of an advertiser boycott in the United States and the United Kingdom, because of his controversial ideas and speech. On a daily basis, he makes disparaging remarks and untrue statements about the President of the United States and other liberal personalities, even going so far as to say the president (who is bi-racial) hated white people. Although the advertising boycott has been somewhat successful in the U.S., it has been a total success in the U.K. where Glenn Beck’s show has run without advertisers for almost 8 months(at the time of this post). Has Glenn Beck been fired? Absolutely not, in fact, he’s thriving in the United States after just leading a march on Washington called, “Restoring Honor” which had over 100,000 participants.

Rush Limbaugh on the other hand, not only spews vile commentary everyday on radio, but suffers little consequence in his private life as well. Think for a moment how many times Mr. Limbaugh could have been fired for some of the things he has said or done. If you need a calculator to count the offenses, then you get my point.

Does “Star Power” have any influence on how we judge these individuals? Of Course. Rick Sanchez, Juan Williams, Octavia Nasr, and Helen Thomas, are widely read and respected journalists, but they are hardly the media juggernaut cash machines that Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are, and we have nobody to blame for this, but ourselves. As long as we tune in to these media malcontents like Beck and Limbaugh, we inadvertently approve of what they say or do, based solely upon our patronage. It is this inadvertent approval that leads other journalist who are not in the same position as a Rush Limbaugh or a Glenn Beck, to feel that they too can express themselves in a similar manner, and this ultimately leads to their quick and very often public demise.

This is hardly fair in any sense, but nothing ever is…   This double standard will continue, as long as we allow it to.  And sadly, for minority journalists….an apology will never be enough.

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