Written by Diana West
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 story line 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.”
Stunningly, these same Caucasian newsies are blind to their own skins. How else, for instance, could “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams in July have asked Mitt Romney “to confirm or deny” whether he was looking for a running mate who is “an incredibly boring white guy”?
“You told me you were not available,” quipped Romney.
But Williams and the rest of his mainly white media brethren (also sistren) seem to regard their core liberalism as their camouflage. It is the shield and spear they carry in the left’s push to demonize people of one color (white) and a particular sex (male) in order to delegitimize a glorious political philosophy – small-government, low-tax, anti-statist conservatism. This philosophy is what draws together Republicans and their delegates, not their “whiteness.”
What the left and its media acolytes are trying to do is poison the wider appeal of the Republican message by depicting it as race-based and retrograde. This is a dirty operation. It is also the height of hypocrisy, given that it is being led by a bunch of truly “angry white men” against what is purported to be another.
GOP membership is 53 percent male and 47 percent female. (The Democrats are 45 percent male and 55 percent female.) But take the perfectly liberal New York Times. While it perseverates on the GOP becoming “a smaller, older, whiter and more male party” from the confines of its mainly white and male newsroom, it publishes 80 percent male-written op-eds, according to a recent byline survey cited in the Columbia Journalism Review. Meanwhile, the newspaper’s own “party” of readers, according to the Pew Research Center in 2010, is 59 percent men and 41 percent women. Call in the “gender gap” police!
Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert – a major “news” source for young adults – sarcastically razzes Mitt Romney for his “bold” choice of a running mate who is “white, Christian and male.” But with an audience that is largely white, likely majority-Christian and, says Pew, 65 percent male, how does Colbert rate as “bolder”?
The answer is that “The Colbert Report,” like the rest of what passes for news media, is much, much further to the left. They are so far to the left they can’t imagine anyone can see their acid hypocrisy and ideological warfare play out in living color.
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Diana West is the author of The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization. Her arttcle archive and blog are here.