JOURNAMALISM  1:37 pm July 2, 2009

Can Black Female Reporters Deliver The Hard-Hitting East Wing Reportage Americans Crave?

by Sara K. Smith

Our generation's WatergateThroughout the history of American journalism, reporters have upheld one vital standard: asking the tough questions and holding to account the most powerful person in the nation, which is to say, the First Lady. But is our national legacy of unbiased investigative East Wing reporting suddenly in peril because some black gals are writing about Michelle Obama?

Consider:

Whether racial and gender identification produces a gauzier, more favorable portrayal of Obama is perhaps too early to judge. After all, no one raises questions when an Irish American male reporter covers a pol named Murphy. [...] Obama is a black woman from the South Side of Chicago. It would be impossible for anyone to cover her without giving prominence to that fact. But are the beat reporters inadvertently invested in her success?

This important question is posed by Howard Kurtz, who has girded himself against any accusations of bias on his own part by reporting on the media — a field barren of white people, males, or Jews.

But to the point! Instead of asking “Will all the black ladies writing about the black lady be biased?”, why don’t we ask, “Why can’t the black ladies get real reporting assignments?”

Black Reporters on the Beat of Michelle Obama [Washington Post]
Black women reporters cover Michelle Obama. So? [True/Slant]

 

Hola wonkerados.

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{ 42 comments }

InsidiousTuna July 2, 2009 at 1:42 pm

“The FLOTUS is a” DING

“What’d he say?”

“He said the FLOTUS is near!”

NoWireHangers July 2, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Clearly, Howard’s an idiot reporting on idiotic topics and his idiot bias is apparent.

Noonan July 2, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I’m sure Michel Martin will weigh in on this tomorrow. I’ve already told her too much. But what a sultry voice…

SayItWithWookies July 2, 2009 at 1:48 pm

I can see his point. For instance, if an idiot wrote an article about Howard Kurtz I would be worried that his objectivity was compromised.

InsidiousTuna July 2, 2009 at 1:48 pm

[re=353351]InsidiousTuna[/re]: That wasn’t even funny. I am going fucking stir-crazy in my cubicle and I need out.

Come here a minute July 2, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Time for a WaPo LINK BAN. This article is published on the same day Politico is caught committing journalism, about the Post.

magic titty July 2, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Hm. How’s about Howard asking the tough questions himself, such as, “Michelle, do you still have a subscription to Jet Magazine? Or did they stop publishing? Or, well, actually, did you ever have a subscription to Jet Magazine? I’d just assumed … Anyway, your blackness seems interesting. Why is this?”

DagNabbit July 2, 2009 at 1:52 pm

“Ho ass trick, struttin’ round dis oval office and shit. Her chickenhead ass thinkin’ her shit don’t stink. Congratlations ho! Murryin’ dis Nerd Nigga and his huge Will Smith Nerd Nigga ears and shit, got you rich quick.”

“To bring dis here study to a mother fuckin’ conclusion, yes you can turn a ho into a housewife.”

Naked Bunny with a Whip July 2, 2009 at 1:52 pm

With all the women showing up in the news today, you’d think the Equal Rights Amendment got ratified! Ah ha ha haha!

…My girlfriend has just reminded me that pantsless dudes shouldn’t make jokes about people who often growth long, claw-like fingernails. I apologize. Please excuse me while I get some Bactine.

S.Luggo July 2, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Next: Can white men play the blues?

At the end of Lias’a article there’s a link to a much more interesting piece:
“Should kids ‘decide’ their own gender?”
I say yes, so long as it’s not something in between, like Lindsey Graham.

Lionel Hutz Esq. July 2, 2009 at 1:57 pm

While it is a well known fact that black women are naturally submissive and will do what they are told by white men, I think everyones main concern should be that they probably get all lezy together when no one is looking. At least that is my fantasy, and I’m sticking to it.

Advocatus_Diaboli July 2, 2009 at 2:00 pm

If Howie Kurtz is asking, then it must be important! Oh, and when will Dana Milbank denounce those planted reporters in the East Wing?

MargeSimpsonsBlackFriend July 2, 2009 at 2:01 pm

“No one noted all the white chicks covering Laura Bush.” — The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan, to Howard Kurtz, who points out that five reporters who cover Michelle Obama happen to be African American women.

[re=353362]Come here a minute[/re]: Agreed. Everyone but Givhan, she’s black and female after all!

Min July 2, 2009 at 2:04 pm

This is how it starts. First, you give women the right to vote. Next, they get all uppity and want to write articles about the wives of politicians.

No good can come of this.

InsidiousTuna July 2, 2009 at 2:04 pm

[re=353366]DagNabbit[/re]: Fantastic.

Zadig July 2, 2009 at 2:04 pm

When I first started reading this article, I didn’t check the links, and just sort of assumed (based on bitching about Michelle Noobama and her free ride from the librul, black-lady-run media) that it was from Redstate. I even thought to myself, “this is pretty dumb, and poorly written, even for Erick Erickson.” Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it was the Washington Goddamned Post.

I mean, how bad is it that even a progressive would rather read Redstate than your “srs jurnalizms” shitrag?

4tehlulz July 2, 2009 at 2:04 pm

[re=353373]Lionel Hutz Esq.[/re]: I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

tunamelt July 2, 2009 at 2:05 pm

[re=353359]InsidiousTuna[/re]: Dirty.

Manos: Hands of Fate July 2, 2009 at 2:34 pm

The story would have been interesting if you replaced Michelle Obama, with, let’s say, Israel. And black with, oh forget it.

Bearbloke July 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm

As much as I support the continued personal and public successes of FLOTUS, I think she really needs someone(else?) to pick her outfits for her. I generally don’t notice what ‘fashions’ folks are wearing (I’m teh ghey, but not that ghey), but almost every pic of FLOTUS I see results in me thinking, ‘what the hell is she wearing, and why?’

Isn’t there anybody out there who can/will dress this attractive, accomplished, personable middle-aged woman in an appropriately-glamorous manner? Won’t someone think of the children, namely her little girls who will otherwise have to grow up with their mum’s questionable fashion choices?

Zadig July 2, 2009 at 2:47 pm

[re=353428]Manos: Hands of Fate[/re]: Well, then it would have been posted on FreeRepublic.

DagNabbit July 2, 2009 at 2:50 pm

[re=353436]Bearbloke[/re]: I think the Obama Girls need more of those jelly soled sandals and more of those hard plastic multi-colored hair ball things.

Maybe even throw in a double dutch rope?

Extemporanus July 2, 2009 at 2:56 pm

It would indeed be nice if our DC press corps were truly colorblind. And by “truly colorblind,” I mean deprived of sight via the gouging out of their eyes with a red hot dildo.

McDuff July 2, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Note to Howard the K: Maybe the black female reporters merely operate from the premise that Michelle is a fairly normal human being, wife, and mother and not the evil, hate-America, muslin witch that the wingers think she is. So, articles exploring her struggle to balance raising her family with the demands of a first-lady’s social schedule rather than articles exploring her efforts to undermine western civilation as we know it ARE TO BE EXPECTED and are not part of some racial conspiracy.

CthuNHu July 2, 2009 at 3:02 pm

[re=353380]MargeSimpsonsBlackFriend[/re]: “white chicks covering Laura Bush”

Ugh. Bad image.

What about a whole lot of white chicks covering Sarah Palin? Could we get a story on that? With an accompanying pictorial?

whenPUMAsattack July 2, 2009 at 3:09 pm

FLOTUS?

lawchic July 2, 2009 at 3:14 pm

I mean Howard Kurtz does have a point. If Black women weren’t so in the tank for Michelle Obama because of their lady parts, but most importantly their pesky race, maybe they could have been doing some real reporting about pressing issues going on in the world…like the fact Michelle Obama forced his employers to pimp out access to lobbyist in order to stay afloat! I’m just saying…

mrsixinch July 2, 2009 at 3:28 pm

[re=353486]whenPUMAsattack[/re]: She will definitely FLOTUS my boatus. Whatever that means.

lmj July 2, 2009 at 4:00 pm

This is a very important story that really nails the liberal corruption of our press, unlike the WaPo cash access jounalism. It will be interesting to compare the amount and nature of the analysis that this dood devotes to each story.

But I am waiting for the next in-depth analyses:
Dweeby white middle aged garden reporters: do they distort gardening coverage?
Nerds over represented on Chess beat: Chess columns biased?
Food columns dominated by people who can cook: unfair bias against Cheetos?

Question I wanna know, with all the white men who can cover human interest stories in this country, why the outrageous discrimination? And why is not every one denouncing, renouncing, rejecting, reviling it? That is a scandal too. I expect this weirdo to devote a column to that, and will devour it with resentful discriminated against middle age white man resentment!

lmj July 2, 2009 at 4:16 pm

On second thought, this is a huge scandal. Compare to the hard hitting Brian Williams inside the WH piece. Where he kicked that socialist terror dog mutt? And inspected the WH organic garden for noxious decomposed poop that would poison the world’s leaders?

problemwithcaring July 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Slate needs to jump on this…NOW!

problemwithcaring July 2, 2009 at 4:47 pm

[re=353436]Bearbloke[/re]: I hate fucking stylist and that everybody in the world has to wear pocketless slacks and cropped blazers and look like Stacy London dressed them on a special “Help! My Butt Looks Big!” episode of Oprah. (I love Stacy London, BTW.) Obama dresses like a middle-aged, working-class, employed policy mom in Washington DC and still manages to looks good. She dresses like a person, not an ad and I enjoy that. She ain’t Jacki O, but she ain’t Palin. Also.

Yikes. It’s the Thursday before a long weekend and as I sit at my cubicle in my empty office, I am left to wonder – Where is an illegally-obtained injection of cardiac-arrest-inducing prescription drugs when you need one?

Jukesgrrl July 2, 2009 at 4:53 pm

For his next feat, perhaps Howie could focus on Greta Van Susteren’s repeated meetings with Gov. Palin. Surely that’s a white female conspiracy a-brewin’.

Bearbloke July 2, 2009 at 4:57 pm

[re=353579]problemwithcaring[/re]: Check the night-stand on your mate’s side of the bed – it was supposed to be a surprise, but….

Bearbloke July 2, 2009 at 5:01 pm

[re=353594]Jukesgrrl[/re]: Nonsense! Sarah & Greta are just practicing for their new website…

Jukesgrrl July 2, 2009 at 5:01 pm

[re=353542]lmj[/re]: You’re on to something. How about all those former pilots who report on airline crashes? Or people with passports who insist on overseas assignments? Or reporters with ears who cover the music scene? It’s a scandal — call Katharine Weymouth! What do you mean she’s busy?

assistant/atlas July 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Instead of asking “Will all the black ladies writing about the black lady be biased?”, why don’t we ask, “Why can’t the black ladies get real reporting assignments?”

Because of a lack of racial transcendence, duh. Wait, was that one of those rhetorical question thingies?

proudgrampa July 2, 2009 at 5:52 pm

And this is important…why??

Uncle Glenny July 2, 2009 at 7:03 pm

15 years ago it was common in MSM to not let openly gay journalists report on gay rights/issues/events because they were biased.

thejesusandmarycheney July 3, 2009 at 7:26 am

[re=353692]Uncle Glenny[/re]: isn’t this why ol’ Anderson is still in the glass closet? He said something to the affect “Oh I can’t be gay because then people will be all, ‘there goes that gay covering gay things all gaily’.” I dismissed it as the paranoid evasive excuse of a silver-haired queen, but after this article that bravely points out the bias of reporters who dare to come out as “black” and “female” I guess he has a point!

norbizness July 3, 2009 at 10:10 am

Howard Kurtz: Geek, dweeb, or spazz?

Bearbloke July 3, 2009 at 2:40 pm

[re=353761]thejesusandmarycheney[/re]:
Those ‘black’ ‘females’ are all around us, demanding special privileges and pushing their ‘black’ ‘female’ agenda down our throats!!!1!!!11!

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