Ah, to be a member of Big Media when the white Republicans gather to nominate their white ticket for the White House. It's like shooting white elephants in a white convention center, what with their unbearable whiteness of being -- so "non-diverse," as Big Media strenuously signal their audiences.
Gallup tells us Republicans are 87 percent white and Democrats are 63 percent white. But even when Republicans are not white -- which occurs despite Big Media efforts to fool viewers (conservative websites observed that NBC failed to post speeches by non-white Republicans at its website, while MSNBC cut to its pundits on such non-white occasions) -- they might as well be white. That's because "white" is the media's slam on the GOP, their hectoring, subtle-as-a-sledgehammer message: Republicans are too "white" to deserve any decent person's vote. Perhaps veteran ABC and PBS political editor turned Yahoo! News Washington bureau chief David Chalian blurted out the storyline best: "(The Romneys) are happy to have a party with black people drowning."
This, it turned out, was a race-bait too far. Chalian lost his job after his comment went viral. But who will take his place? Someone just like him. Probably someone who looks like him, too -- and those dread, white Republicans.
That's the dirty secret. Big Media are castigating the party of Lincoln and Reagan for displaying, as the Los Angeles Times put it, "a distinctly pale hue" while "the United States has become an increasingly more diverse country," but the newsrooms of America are just as pale if not actually more so. According to 2012 figures from the American Society of News Editors (ASNE), minorities make up 12.32 percent of newsroom employees. That leaves 87.68 percent of the writing and editing jobs in white hands. That means newsrooms are lily-whiter than the GOP!
Some news organizations take this to the limit. While Time magazine dings the GOP for being "a mostly white, aging party (doing) its best to avoid looking like it," the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) gave Time its 2012 Thumbs Down Award for, among other grievances, not having a single full-time black correspondent.
The media also hold a slim white edge over the GOP in the racial composition of television newsroom managers. According to a 2011 NABJ study, white people -- mainly white men -- hold 88 percent of these decision-making jobs, leaving 12 percent to minorities. As for news anchors and presidential debate moderators? To build on a title of a Salon.com piece about the GOP convention, welcome to the "Heart of Whiteness."
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