(Although this was written in 1984, the issues, raised about newsrooms and newscasters, remain unresolved even today in 2007)
Meet The Press TV
Dear Mr. Munroe:
Re: Jesse Jackson
I do not send congratulations for today's program. Congratulations do not go to Marvin Kalb for his naive, fatuous, racist and potentially divisive question to Mr. Jackson about being a Black or an American first. In all my years of watching and doing television programs, I have never heard anyone ask a Jew, (or an Asian, a Native American, an Arab or any other ethnic person including a white person) "Are you a Jew first or an American first?"
Nor do congratulations go to you or Mr. Cohen, whose incendiary and extremely incompetent questions only revealed an overriding desperate need for anti racist re-education programming.
Not only did the whole panel's questions have just the opposite effect of what they were obviously trying to do, (with the exclusion of the Black reporter who was asking questions as though he were part of Jess's public relations department) but the program quite ironically only served to graphically illustrate the superiority with which Jackson expresses his ideas, in clear contrast to the other two relatively colorless presidential candidates. In addition, instead of Kalb doing his job as moderator accurately, it was Jesse who had to repeatedly return the program to the important issues. Moreover, Mr. Cohen should have known, if his professionalism hadn't been masked by his emotions, that there is no white or Black or reverse racism: there is only racism.
This sad display by topnotch newpeople doesn't surprise me. It seems that most of the white reporters (and that is still true of most networks in this multi-ethnic country, they're mostly white and, in spite of the over fifty-one per cent female population, still mostly male) do not know how to put intelligent, unbiased questions to people of color. Today's program was such a blatant and unfair battery of the guest by the panel members who didn't even realize that it was expressing its blind, unthinking fear of people of color, that I could not refrain from informing you that you people need help, and desperately so.
I am dismayed because your program is one of the best of the newsprograms and involves some of the most intelligent reviewers in the nation. This display just goes to show us that the racism which has been bred into all of us (unaware as most are) by an inherently racist society, is not dispelled by a high IQ, nor apparently, by advanced training and experience as journalists.
May I suggest, in order to quell some of the inevitable alienation of your viewers of goodwill, who feel as I do, that you quickly produce a program about today's program. This would be a social service that you might perform in expiation of today's program. Understand that I do not blame you all - we are all racists - but some of us are trying to do something about re-educating ourselves.
Quite frankly, I think Jesse should send you a thank-you note for inadvertently doing so much for his campaign; and all of this on prime time television on one of the best spots and programs in the U.S.A.
I am very sad, - is this what I, as the first Black Airline Hostess in the history of
cc: Robert Mulholland: President & CEO NBC
Rev. Jesse Jackson"
It's NOT "join me" It's "join WITH me!" (repeat because so manyfolk misuse the expression) TRIPLE AWK!
It's NOT "stricly" It's "strictly!" AWK!
It's NOT, pleaseGod, "bi-racial!" It's "mixed ethnicity or colors!" QUADRUPLE AWK!!!!