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Brit Hume Smears Minority Journalists

Reported by Priscilla - July 31, 2008 -

Fox has been doing a lot of whining, lately, about supposed “unfair” criticism of McCain by the so called “liberal” press. On his radio show, Bill O’Reilly had a hissy fit about the Center for Media and Public Affairs recent study which concludes that the major news networks have been tougher on Obama than McCain. The irony here is that, in the past, O’Reilly has praised the work of Robert Lichter (called him a “truth teller”) when it showed that democrats received favored treatment. Last night’s (July 30th), “Grapevine” had the added attraction of smearing minorities and journalists (and by association, Barack Obama) in one feel swoop with its report on alleged unprofessionalism in the minority journalism community.

Hume did a segment on the recent convention of minority journalists, during which Obama received a standing ovation. According to the Honolulu Star Bulletin, they were told not to do this. The journalists also took photos of Obama during the break.While Hume was speaking, a photo of Obama was shown twice. On one photo, the chyron read “media darling” and on the other, “fair and balanced.” (Oh, the irony!) Hume claimed that the “incident has come in for some criticism” and then said that “National Association of Black Journalists Vice President Ernie Suggs told Newsweek Online, ‘It is offensive that because we have the same color or the same agenda, our journalistic ethics and responsibilities go out the window’."

Comment: While the information on the conference was from the Hawaii paper, the Suggs comment came from a smarmy hit piece about the conference, by April Yee, for a Newsweek blog (“Stumper”) run by Andrew Romano. The title of the article is “Can Minority Journalists Cover Obama Objectively?” Yee reported that fellow conference attendee, Dallas Morning News Reporter Holly Yan, felt that the behavior of the journalists was “grossly inappropriate.” Yee quoted Suggs after this comment: “But minority journalists face additional questions on whether they can objectively cover the man who could become the first minority president--questions that, some point out, were rarely asked of women covering Hillary Clinton, or Catholics covering Kennedy.” So it appears that rather than a reaction to the crowd at the convention, Suggs was attempting to address the question of how minority journalists cover Obama. I would have liked to have seen the rest of the interview (if such it was!?) which might have put this comment into context; but that wouldn’t have suited the purpose of the article. But when dealing with smears and propaganda, who cares about context!

One other note of interest. Brit Hume’s smear job has been posted on You Tube by and is quoted in its entirety on the blog of “America’s News Today, Journalism for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.” The title of the video and article is “Black Journalists On Obama, We Have No Ethics.” Fox throws that propaganda ball and the right wing haters just run with it. Way to go Brit – a real slam dunk!