A New York Moment of Well Deserved Ridicule – Part II

[ Breaking News, February 24, 11:24 p.m.: Several news organizations have reported that Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corporation that owns the New York Post, has issued “an apology.” This is a significant moment in a high stakes game of the Politics of Journalism. As well as Race Politics.

The organizers have obviously scored a hit but of what significance? I need time to process.

Selected: URLs: CNN. Rueters. NY Post. ]

It cannot be denied: Lots and lots and lots of New Yorkers love the Post

It cannot be denied: Lots and lots and lots of New Yorkers who love the Post don

I’m in awe of the comeuppance, as I wrote earlier, though I wish the take down had been rooted more in assertions incontrovertible and irrefutable. The Post is not bloodied, and it most certainly is unbowed [plus it has been hiring people of color for news editorial positions]. So, what’s the toll?

Because of the protest and threats of a boycott, will circulation drop? I doubt it. The call for a newspaper boycott may generate attention getting news but such boycotts in the pass have rarely been effective in other cities. There has always been talk but effective action was almost always ineffective regarding stated goals of the organizers.

Stocks drop? Doubt it. Advertisers pull out? Nope. The Post’s re-examining its animus for black communities?  Nope, otherwise it wouldn’t be the Post. But as I wrote earlier, the way it expresses its racist contempt has been modified though its history remains a big blip on the social radar of New York black communities. Is there a silver lining here?  Doubt it.

Will the organizers, drawing on the energy of their current protest, go after the bigotry in the rest of the New York mainstream news media? Nah. So, what will they do so that this New York Moment may continue to resonate? Is there a strategy about?

I don’t know.

The Reverend Al Sharpton, in an evening TV news snippet February 23, said that he was planning to contact the Federal Communications Commission about dual ownership, that is, big corporations like Murdoch’s News Corporation owning newspapers and broadcast news media in the same municipality. That was a hop topic several years ago, and Murdoch was in the bulls-eye for his dual ownerships in New York City and Boston. But even U.S. Senator Teddy Kennedy, who had been the target of several Post articles, so-called investigative pieces (regarding the Chappaquiddick incident), op eds,  and editorials, supported the law allowing News Corporation and other media giants the right to their dual ownerships. So, I’m not inspired about the prospects of this FCC angle.

Because of the election of the first black President, race is certainly on everyone’s mind, elevated to a consciousness and public awareness in a way unheard of before November 4. Yes, the Civil Rights Movement made race and American racism and America’s omissions much harder to hide. Lots and lots and lots of us are watching and waiting, and, I hope, planning.

I sense this labyrinth but can’t make coherent sense of it. So, I’ll just list some footnotes because I can’t described the big picture in the making.

End, Part II of III.

In Part III: Footnotes for a big picture yet to be described.

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