Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Is It Still All About the White Men?" (with audio and video)

NPR, with audio (10:36):

Pundits talked a lot about gender and racial progress during the campaign, of course, but the elite opinion media continues to employ, groom and promote a commentators corps that is disproportionately white and male."

That's Nation correspondent Ari Melber blogging about what he calls "White Male Pundit Power." Melber came into the studio this morning to talk about the lack of women and minority commentators on the Sunday morning talk shows and in the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times and Washington Post.

Ari: The political commentariat lags behind the political community, lags behind the United States.

Mike Pesca: Why do you think that is?

Ari: Number one, people book the same old faces, especially on television; you have this idea that David Broder and David Gergen are the deans of political commentary. And with all due respect to their experience, they are at a very advanced stage in their career, they have been doing this for 40 years, if you go back to them, then that's a very closed circuit. And if you are leaning on people who succeeded 40 years ago, then yeah, you are going to have an overwhelmingly white male set of folks because you are going back to a different time in history. It's a sort of casual grandfather clause.

Number two, and this is something people don't like to talk about, there is ideological discrimination. And that is why, I point out in this Urban League study, there were only two black women besides Condi Rice who were ever on the Sunday shows over an 18-month period. It's not only because they are African-Americans and they are women but also because the majority of those commentators are liberal and liberals get far less opportunities on the Sunday shows.
Howie P.S.: Ari's article, "Obama v. Fox v. Murdoch" (with video) today focused on the Fox smear machine.



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