Friday, July 28, 2006

CBS Evening News

Yes, there has been some time between posts. I am something of a perfectionst, and this is not a good thing. So I am trying to work on it, which means that I am going to write about stuff that I yell about to the tv and get excited about when talking to my friends.

So yesterday, I was watching the CBS evening news with Bob Schieffer. I watch this newscast pretty much every night. Why? I want to stay up to date on what is going on in the world. I loved it when Dan Rather was on. I don't love anymore, but I fear change.

So it's near the end of the newscast and Schieffer starts his intro on a story about how gas prices are affecting how people live their daily lives (really?) What struck me about the intro was that he said something like, " Higher prices are especially affecting the poor..." I was like, "That's kind of rude, to just call people poor." But maybe that's just me.

My thoughts quickly moved to, "Well, are they going to show a black person in this story? I hope they don't show a black person in this story." I don't know if this is something that other black people do, but I do it regularly.

Needless to say, the featured person was a home health care worker who was black, and the client that they showed her taking care of was also black. Then they talked about how she was a member of the "working poor" a concept I am very familiar with.

Now in this broadcast they also showed Condoleeza Rice playing the piano in Malaysia, and she is also black.

But it bothered me because another time I can remember that they did a story about "regular americans" was when they were talking about some new banking regulation that would make it harder to "float" checks, because now they could be cashed electronically. "People" of course were worried about this. And who do they show and interview--two freaking black people again. And this time there was no Condi story to conrast it with.

This irritates me because I am sure there are plenty of white people who are members of the working poor affected by gas prices, and also white people who float checks because they don't have any money. Were they not able to find some of these people to interview? There are already do so few representations of people of color and I feel like the ones that do happen are disporportionately less than positive.

Yes, it's not bad to be a member of the working poor, and if you want to almost bounce checks, go ahead. But I just don't understand why CBS couldn't find some white people for these stories, since they seem to have little problem featuring whites for stories that show them as multifaceted human beings--mothers, fathers, scholars, autistic basketball heroes, etc.

Thanks for reading. As always, I welcome your comments.

1 comment:

  1. I guess there's no comfort from the fact that he said "regular Americans"... I wish I could say the news didn't target certain ethnic groups for their stories. It would be a comfort to me to imagine that it is more to do with proximity to their news crews than profiling. Maybe all the working white poor live where I do, and only rich white people live in Washington where they're taping the news. But from experience I know that the media uses the people to substantiate their stories that the audience will relate to. Its despicable, and has been going on so long, its almost subliminal.