Search Results for: Mikal Muharrar

Mar 1 1999

‘Old Days’ Slow to Haunt Lott

Press missed tips on racist ties

Long-standing ties between Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens are finally, if hesitatingly, coming to light. But at a time when the politics of impeachment have produced a number of related scandals involving a variety of Congress members, mainstream media have been slow to recognize Lott’s involvement with the CCC as scandalous. In fact, the real scandal is how the mainstream media, until recently, have all but ignored Lott’s many connections with the racist right. When Lott became Senate Majority Leader in 1996, Village Voice reporter Claire Saliba did what one might […]

Dec 22 1998

Washington Post Columnist Questions Lott’s "Fitness" To be Majority Leader

Record Shows Lott's Involvement With Racist

UPDATE to December 15 News Advisory On December 19, Washington Post editorial board member Colbert I. King began a column by calling on the Senate to reconsider Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott’s “fitness” for the job. The reason, wrote King, was Lott’s involvement with the racist Conservative Citizens (CCC), which serves as a forum for white supremacist and segregationist views. On December 12, Senator Lott’s press secretary told several media outlets that Lott’s involvement with the white-supremacist CCC amounted to a single speech to the group when Lott was in the House of Representatives more that a decade ago. Lott’s […]

Nov 1 1998

Polls Apart

Manufacturing an Anti-Bilingual Latino Majority

Prior to the June 2, 1998 vote on bilingual education in California, mainstream news polls–local and national–predicted that not only would the anti-bilingual education Proposition 227 pass, but that it would do so with the overwhelming support of Latinos, blacks and other ethnic and racial groups. Time (5/18/98), citing pre-election polls, reported that “a majority of Latinos actually support the initiative.” U.S. News and World Report (5/25/98) made the same claim, adding that the only reason bilingual education was able to garner support in the Latino community was because “Latino activists” were placing their own “narrow vested interests” above those […]

Sep 1 1998

Media Blackface

'Racial Profiling' in News Reporting

Racial profiling–the discriminatory practice by police of treating blackness (or brownness) as an indication of possible criminality–has lately been the focus of frequent legal or legislative action, resulting in a significant amount of coverage in the mainstream news media (e.g. New York Times, 5/8/98, 5/10/98; Nightline, 5/31/98; Time, 6/15/98). The coverage of police racial profiling has been fairly accurate and balanced. Yet while the mainstream media continues to cover police racial profiling, they have generally failed to acknowledge their own practice of media racial profiling. And when it has, the result has been more cover-up than coverage. Issues in Blackface […]

May 1 1998

Media Preferences

The Myth of Popular Opposition in the Affirmative Action Debate

“Houston Slows the Tidal Wave.” So said a recent headline in the U.S. News and World Report (11/17/97). But the notion that there is a popular, tidal wave-like movement in the United States, moving inexorably to erase affirmative action for women and racial minorities from the landscape of American life and law, is a myth. And at the heart of this myth is an image of outraged citizens expressing their disapproval of affirmative action through opinion polls, the ballot box and their legislators. The real impetus for the attempt to roll-back affirmative action policy comes from a federal judiciary still […]

May 1 1998

‘Spinning the Press’

Even after the California and Houston ballot initiatives demonstrated how language makes a difference in characterizing affirmative action, and despite ample proof in polls of the prejudicial effect that calling affirmative action “preferences” has on the American public (especially whites), the mainstream media continues to equate “preference” with affirmative action and to use the two terms interchangeably. A survey of recent headlines even after the Houston vote exemplifies the persistence of the problem. From the New York Times (11/7/1997): “Panel Holds Up House Measure on Preferences.” Time magazine (11/10/97): “The Next Great Battle Over Affirmative Action: A Lawsuit against the […]

Jan 1 1998

Criminal Communities

'Racial dualism' puts white supremacy in the media crime frame

“It is a crisis of staggering proportions.” So says ABC News‘ Ted Koppel at the beginning of a Nightline segment (8/27/97) on the most recent of a series of reports on the alarmingly high—and rising—numbersof African-Americans under the control of the criminal justice system. (See The Sentencing Project’s “Young Black Americans and the Criminal Justice System”—1990, 1995—and “Intended and Unintended Consequences: State Racial Disparities in Imprisonment”—1997.) The segment opens with George Washington University professor Paul Butler stating that “one out of three young African-American men is under criminal justice supervision.” In voice-over, Koppel asks if the statistics “reflect reality,” while […]