Jun
01
2013

SoundBites June 2013

Extra! June 2013

By FAIR
chucktodd

Concealing a Spy Who Hid Torture; Misremembering Thatcher; PBS's Debate on Social Security

May
01
2013

Whose Police State?

National media focus on 2nd Amendment over 4th Amendment

StopFrisk

National media focus on 2nd Amendment over 4th Amendment.

May
01
2013

Comic Book Superheroes Face Their Greatest Challenge!

Stuggling to stay relevant in the 21st century

Sargent1

Despite the fact that you can’t turn on the TV without being reminded about the existence of superhero movies, the original medium for superhero stories —comic books—has been in significant decline over the past few years. They’ve tried to bring in new readers by diversifying their line-up: DC Comics rebooted everything with its “New 52!” while Marvel Comics created the parallel “Ultimate Universe” where the same characters face different, more “risky” situations in a completely separate, parallel universe.  This experimentation has led to some great, progressive storylines that have moved the medium forward, but it also highlights some big problems. […]

Mar
01
2013

Fox News' Civil Rights 'Expert'

Network's Michael Meyers defends racism

Fox News' Michael Meyers

During the Barack Obama presidency, questions of race and racism have become highly visible and hotly debated on corporate media. While the president himself has had little to say on these issues, Fox News has its own stable of guests and panelists ready to raise the topic—some of them wearing a “liberal” label, though Extra! readers (3/12) know to take such descriptions with a grain of salt. Among Fox’s race analysts, perhaps none is as effective and credentialed as Michael Meyers, the network’s resident black “liberal” civil rights commentator, a New York Post columnist and head of the New York […]

Feb
01
2013

Whitewashing in the Name of 'Inclusion'

Chicago public radio cancels Smiley & West

Tavis Smiley--Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In the view of the head of Chicago public radio, Smiley & West—a show with two African-American hosts focusing largely on the powerless—was an obstacle to inclusivity because its opposition to poverty and inequality alienates those with other views.

Jan
01
2013

The Unexplored Questions of Affirmative Action

Coverage of admissions case a catalog of broadsides

Source: Cnn.com

Against the electric backdrop of electoral polemics, the October 10 Supreme Court session on the constitutionality of race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas sent few sparks flying. Zeroed in on the election, the press dutifully reported the tit-for-tat and quips and quibbles around the case (Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin), but left untouched the deeper implications of potentially overturning affirmative action. Reviewing the coverage felt like staring at an iconic three-dimensional chess match from Star Trek—only with all lower levels of the board disappeared from sight. An overview of the main pieces: Abigail Fisher, a white student […]

Jan
01
2013

Talking About--but Not With--Latino Voters

Electoral power not matched by media presence

Maria Teresa Kumar, a rare out-of-house Latina appearance on TV.
Source: MSNBC's News Nation

The Latino vote has been widely credited in the mainstream news media with playing a major role in securing Barack Obama’s re-election. According to the polling organization Latino Decisions, the president won 75 percent of the Latino vote, compared with 23 percent for Romney, a 3-to-1 margin (Foreign Affairs, 11/15/12). But while the stereotypical sleeping giant woke up, that does not mean that the mainstream media, especially television news shows, wanted to talk with the Latino electorate. They just wanted to talk about them. Extra! looked at hundreds of transcripts of post-election coverage and found that the majority of both […]

Nov
01
2012

Videogame Bigotry and the Illusion of Freedom

How game designers turn prejudice into play

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim's 'Redguard' race--Photo Credit: Skyrim Wiki/Bethesda Softworks/Google Images

The definitive element of a videogame is the player’s agency within the game’s world. Instead of “viewers,” games have “players," and the player makes dozens of choices every minute that directly shape the experience: Will Mario sneak around the turtle monster, or will he jump on it until it dies? That sense of control over the protagonist can give the narrative of a videogame much greater impact than that of any conventional form of storytelling.But with that agency comes an illusion of freedom--which is dangerous. The player is not really “free,” since their actions are limited to the options created […]