Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Ruth's Morning Edition Report

Ruth: Listening to NPR's Morning Edition Monday made me think of The Third Estate Sunday Review. Specifically, it made me think of the roundtable from Sunday and the comments of Ty (The Third Estate Sunday Review) and Betty (Thomas Friedman is a Great Man).

Ty: Exactly. I almost came to blows with this idiot on campus last month. He said, "The problem with you people is that all you care about are basketball stars and rap artists." Well no, we don't all care about anything. But yeah, you can't grow up in this society and not notice who is getting the spotlight and who isn't. We've got writers, writers who sell books, that you'll never hear about in The New York Times. And just because all that guy knew about my race was basketball stars and rap artists doesn't mean that that's all we are.
Betty: And we're not all criminals!
Ty: Yeah, don't forget that. That's the other way the spotlight shines on our race. So not being a rap artist or a sports star or a criminal, I'm not really expecting that CJR Daily or anyone else is going to take the time to highlight me. The mainstream treats us like foreigners in our own country.

Now what do you suppose made me remember that Monday morning while I listened to Morning Edition?

Well there was this story:

Commentator John Feinstein discusses Tiger Woods' dramatic victory at the Masters in Augusta, Ga. It was Woods' fourth Masters win and first major victory in almost three seasons. He edged out Chris DiMarco in a playoff hole by sinking a 15-foot putt.

There was also this story:

He rose to fame as the producer behind one of the '90s most influential hip-hop groups. Now he's set his sights on Tinseltown. Robert F. Diggs, better known as The RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan, discusses his Hollywood plans and his new book, The Wu-Tang Manual.

Morning Edition is not noted for it's inclusion. But we got the "rap star" and we got the "sports star" just like Betty and Ty were saying.

The only thing we didn't get was the criminal. Unless you consider war criminals:

Colin Powell spent 35 years in the military, rising from ROTC in college to become a four-star general and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Gulf War. He has worked in the administrations of six presidents including serving as secretary of state from 2001 to 2005.

If Mr. Powell is attempting to repair his tattered image, he'll need to do a bit more than offer up a poorly conceived paen to Americana that sounds like a freshman's attempt to copy Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ("On the shores on Gitche Gumee . . .").

NPR hired, and has since lost, Tavis Smiley in an attempt to be more inclusive. Like the Bully Boy, Morning Edition hit the trifecta Monday: sports star, rap star and possible criminal. Sad but true, that's the most inclusive Morning Edition's been in some time. One wonders why Cokie Roberts and other commentators brought on to offer perspective all fit the same demographic and race?

Betty & Ty called it and I'd argue that they were right.