Making You Inferior With Your Explicit Consent

This, precisely:

An attendee at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Tuesday allegedly threw nuts at a black camerawoman working for CNN and said “This is how we feed animals” before being removed from the convention, a network official confirmed to TPM.

It’s not just about the racism, though I don’t think they’d have used the word “animal” to refer to a white crew. It’s about a media culture that for 30 years now has heard from the right wing in in this country that it should be ashamed of itself and has loudly and resoundingly agreed.

It’s what you get when you take somebody who says the New York Times building should be blown up, and put her on the cover of a magazine because she’s influential and controversial and maybe hey, she’s just kidding around!

It’s what you get when you hire people as your commentators and consultants who think urinating on corpses is hilarious, and call Supreme Court justices “goat-fucking child molester”s.

It’s what you get when you pay sex tourists with drug problems insane amounts of money to spend hours on the radio calling the president of the United States everything right up to the very edge of nigger, and then quote him as if he’s a person whose opinion matters.

It’s what you get when you invite people on the air who hate you. Who hate what you do. Who hate what you stand for. Who hate everything you are. Who say, out loud, that the world would be better off without you. Who think you’re a detriment to society. Who “joke” about killing you.

It’s what you get when you ignore the insults, laugh off the threats, listen thoughtfully to the invective. It’s what you get when you not only allow yourself to be treated with disrespect, but you agree with those who don’t respect you, and use the precious time and ink and space you have to give their already magnified opinions an even bigger view.

It’s what you get when day after day after day after day you just sit there and take it. You’ve been ignoring the bully for three decades now. Has he gone away yet? Has he stopped?

None of this is about individual reporters, really. It’s about their bosses, who on the basis of wanting to pal around with fancy senators and fellow rich assholes, tell their own employees they don’t matter. And the employees, so demoralized and beaten down by years and years and years of cutbacks and closure threats and endless speeches about how lucky they are to work for the love of their noble craft, either can’t respond, or if they do, their bosses are quick to slap them down for fear of accusations of political bias.

What’s the end result? This. Exactly this.And what’s CNN’s response this morning? Are they outraged? Defending their crew member? Sticking up for their own? Making it clear to the general public that this kind of treatment is beyond the pale?

CNN also acknowledged the incident, saying, “CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon. CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment.”

That’ll show ‘em.

I’m not excusing the Republican delegates and attendees who acted like childish, racist creeps. This is who they are, it’s who they’ve always been, but reporters and editors and executives and owners and CEOs don’t have to take it without calling it what it is.

For years Republicans have been telling the American press it doesn’t deserve respect. Maybe it’s finally time to stop listening.

A.

24 thoughts on “Making You Inferior With Your Explicit Consent

  1. gidget commando says:

    Some days, when I think I can’t possibly be any more contemptuous…
    I hope the camerawoman in question is all right.

  2. Mark E. Bye says:

    It will be great to see Will McAvoy’s reaction to this next season (because we won’t hear about it anywhere on CBS, ABC, NBC or CNN tonight).

  3. Athenae says:

    Mark, and then to read some more snarky bitching from assholes who think that show is SO UNREALISTIC GOD.
    A.

  4. aimai says:

    I couldn’t agree more, A. CNN should have pulled all its coverage and called the entire GOP convention what it is: a “Hostile and Unsafe Work environment” for women, foreigners, non whites and media personnel. The RNC should have had to grovel to that camerawoman personally and to CNN professionally.
    aimai

  5. zm says:

    “None of this is about individual reporters, really. It’s about their bosses, who on the basis of wanting to pal around with fancy senators and fellow rich assholes, tell their own employees they don’t matter. And the employees, so demoralized and beaten down by years and years and years of cutbacks and closure threats and endless speeches about how lucky they are to work for the love of their noble craft, either can’t respond, or if they do, their bosses are quick to slap them down for fear of accusations of political bias.”
    [...]
    “For years Republicans have been telling the American press it doesn’t deserve respect. Maybe it’s finally time to stop listening.”
    Agreed the behavior is contemptible. Full stop. However, your thesis doesn’t hold up entirely. Half of the examples you cite in the beginning of your post are not the Bosses, Inc. but individual reporters. Thus, it can be fairly assessed that the Media is split between those who are lapdogs for Corp, Inc. and those who’ve been intimidated into submission (a more apt delineation of your egregious examples list of what passes for journalism). There are entire bailiwicks of topics that “won’t see the light of day.” And we can’t talk about what we can’t talk about because we can’t talk about it.

  6. Lelio Risen says:

    CNN could not formulate a harsher response, because maybe it would have affected their access. And, truthfully, that is all these so-called news outlets care about anyway, access.
    It doesn’t help when global corporatists control the media outlets either. They know who butters their bread.

  7. Ian says:

    Brilliant, thank you. I’ve been saying for a while that the SCLM should grow a spine and start pushing back. One can dream…

  8. mothra says:

    CNN could not formulate a harsher response, because maybe it would have affected their access.
    Could you think of any worse optics for the Republicans if they ejected a press organization for making a strong comment about one of their African-American employees being assaulted and insulted? Hell, CNN could make THAT the story all day every day during the convention. CNN wouldn’t be the ones suffering.
    No, it’s all about CNN wanting to remain in the Kool Kidz Klub.

  9. mickey g says:

    Remember when the pen was mightier than the sword?

  10. Fran H. L. says:

    I think the CNN response is just what they needed to do to keep their advertising clients happy and thus the revenue to keep their corporate ownership on board. Each second of coverage is selected to attract the potential customer of the advertising client. And in this case most likely the client is a PAC or some politically motivated organization or some corporation marketing a product that doesn’t want to be aligned with any political idealogy. CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC News isn’t about reporting it’s about selling products or opinions. If you want to help then educate the American public to recognize the difference between reporting and selling because you and I don’t have the economic might to stop the corporate ownership of the news outlets.

  11. Green Eagle says:

    You say: “For years Republicans have been telling the American press it doesn’t deserve respect. Maybe it’s finally time to stop listening.”
    If they act this way, maybe it’s time for them to start listening- they don’t deserve any respect for turning themselves into another tool of a right wing that is nearly as out of control as that in Germany in the early 1920’s.

  12. md says:

    CNN = Clearly Neutered Nutsack

  13. Cartman says:

    CNN has been a sewer of right-wing thugs and extremists for over a dozen years.
    I stopped watching CNN somewhere between Howard Kurtz’s attempt to mainstream Republican Rush ‘women who disagree with me are “Feminazis”‘ Limbaugh to Kurtz’s attempt to mainstream the even more vicious right-wing extremist Michelle ‘child stalker’ Malkin.
    Which at least saved me from ever watching the malignant right-wing thug Erick Erikson spew his bile on CNN.
    At this point I only read about CNN from places like MediaMatters.org or CrooksandLiars.com

  14. pansypoo says:

    can we call the racists NOW??? i do not care if the person was exiled. i am sure he left w/ a check.

  15. Luther Brixton says:

    If the CNN camerawoman had “Stood Her Ground” and shot the motherfucker right between the eyes for “threatening her life” (something, we’ve been told by rightwingers is an appropriate response to confrontations), would Sean Hannity & FOX come to her defense?
    If not, answer me this: If it had been a black woman throwing peanuts at a white FOX cameraman at the DNC Convention, does anyone seriously think they WOULDN’T have wholeheartedly supported the peanut-thrower being shot to death>

  16. MapleStreet says:

    I wsn’t there, but I am slow to think think that the particular camera-person wasn’t picked out on the basis of physical appearance. Even if all news is “animals” a black newsperson may appear more an animal than others?
    That being said, Could’t agree more. Plus the right wing not only let the genie out of the lamp, but cut any fetters tying them to acceptable conduct, when they made scenes to disrupt discussions over universal healthcare.

  17. DustBunny44 says:

    For the pen to remain mightier than the sword, at times you have to wield the pen and take the sword.

  18. Blue Meme says:

    If we want to have any effect here, we need to propagate a simple meme: if CNN buries the story, it enables and validates the racism. If it doesn’t stand angrily and publicly behind its employee, it agrees with the racist.

  19. bo, Avenge Shaemus says:

    But, but, but I DO think of three members of SCOTUS as “goat-fucking child molester”s and a fourth as the goat in question.

  20. GoodOlWhatsisFace says:

    If CNN had been so namby-pamby with such an incident occurring at a Dem event, you know damn well that the entire RW noise machine would be howling to the rafters 24/7 about this LIE-BERAL MEDIA COVER UP.
    I agree they should’ve pulled their coverage right then & there. Could have oh-so-easily turned *this* into The Story of the Convention. But that would be bad for bizness of course – and would have elicited the very reaction I just described above.

  21. SkippysGirl75 says:

    Why don’t we know the names of the men who assaulted her (yes, it was assault)? Why don’t we know if they were delegates or elected officials? “Attendees” doesn’t say who exactly they are and what role they have. And I agree, WHY wasn’t this the first story on every net and on every front page?
    I have stopped watching CNN since it became Faux Noise’s puppy. Their response won’t make me come back.

  22. Beauzeaux says:

    Luther Brixton — No way a brunette, much less an actual black person, could have gotten a gun into the place.

  23. oxblossom says:

    Hey, I couldn’t agree more, and I’ve been saying similar things, more briefly for at least 12 years, but three decades is right too. Remember CNN seems to have started all this polarization-ONLY crap with their hard-to-watch show in the 80’s, Crossfire, with Novakula. And as I keep pointing out, they ARE based in Atlanta, a city once burned down by the Yanks.
    And as a general source of information, I find it incredibly hypocritical that the programming is so vastly different on CNN Headline vs. CNN International, etc. and etc. You know. I just don’t understand why it’s so difficult for a larger swath of people to see this. Wolf Blitzer is the worst! A complete Ass.

  24. cgeye says:

    Um, didn’t she have a camera?
    Couldn’t she have shot tape of those who were clearly angling to get on air, through their antics?
    Wouldn’t having that tape at least put the fear of God into the RNC to give CNN what it wanted, from access to interviews, to keep it suppressed?
    Hell, isn’t that what McAvoy did — trade the larger story for the one better for business?

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