Now the media scolds are scurrying around looking for any and all examples of insensitivity amid the furor over Don Imus's completely odious and manifestly bigoted comments, which justifiably got him fired. Al Sharpton wants to begin a witch-hunt for what he deems to be insensitive comments, demanding a "broad discussion of what is permitted and not permitted" to be said in public. The media genuflect while, as always, they graciously overlook the Reverend's prominent role in, among many other disgraces, the hideous Tawana Brawley hoax, which he has always deftly managed to dodge any unaccountability for all these years.
Meanwhile, I am taken today by an item prominently displayed on the Romenesko news-media items site put out by the amusingly pretentious Poynter Institute (the headline on a top Romenesko item currently reads: "'Daniel Schorr Is My Role Model,' Says [David] Broder.")
Here's the top of the item in question:
"Former Chicago Tribune editor Howard Tyner says it never occurred to him that there was any kind of corporate glass ceiling for Jews, although 'I have to say there were times when I thought the Irish Catholic mafia was a little thick in there.'"
Jayzus and begorrah, and bless me twee Lucky Charms, whyzzit ok to deride an "Irish Catholic mafia?" And come to think of it, isn't using the word "mafia" to describe a wee group of people who share an ethnic background, but who belong to no criminal organization, a certifiably bigoted act?
Just asking, is all.
And another thing ...
Now, I'm not running another media blog here (God knows that's the last thing we need), but I am taken again today by an example of the scolding impulse in the news media that seems to have replaced the desire to first present the news.
Jon S. Corzine, the governor of New Jersey, was critically injured last night. The governor was a passenger in a state car that was sideswiped on the Garden State Parkway in an accident triggered by a driver of a pickup truck who abruptly pulled into traffic from the roadside and caused another vehicle to knock the governor's car into a spin. The pickup truck drove off.
Corzine was really severely injured -- fractured leg, 12 broken ribs, broken collar bone and more. He remains on a respirator. It's unknown when or if he will recover, at least fully.
And yet every online story I'm reading today on this event has the fact that Corzine apparently wasn't wearing a seat belt as a central element in the lead and in the headline. In most of the accounts, the seat-belt assertion is the news -- not the fact that this guy got royally clobbered and will be out of commission for months. At best.
Come on, scolds! Let the poor man at least stabilize before lecturing, right off the bat, that it's his own damn fault.
Can we maybe focus on whatever efforts the New Jersey state police are making to find the pickup driver before we speculate on when the governor might be given a ticket for not wearing his seat belt?
[Update April 14: the driver was found Friday night in Atlantic City and not charged in a hit-run after he told police he wasn't aware he'd caused the accident, the AP reports today, in a story that oddly continues to quote police saying the pickup was driving "erratically."]
Can we be decent enough on the first day to put the seat-belt knuckle-rapping in .. maybe the second paragraph? Sure, do a sidebar on how stupid it is not to wear a seat belt ... maybe tomorrow, after the poor guy regains consciousness and can be properly scolded with his eyes wide open.
Link of the day: Bill Maher -- Salon