Tuesday, April 17, 2007

From all-Imus to non-stop Massacre

The Imus Spectacle has me in its grip. How wonderful to watch so many women and people of color on the news, talking about the continuing prevalence of noxious attitudes.

It's still a white man's world on camera and behind the lens. MSNBC features the following flavors of white guys from late afternoon until 10 PM.: Carlson, Matthews, Olberman and Scarborough. Women appear as minor characters, with minorities making even rarer appearances. Carlson hasn't met a feminist he won't put down. Matthews condescends to women.

Olbermann is mostly very cool, but I had to wince at his response to one of the reverend icons. (Sharpton and Jackson carry baggage, yes, but they still know how to interject some excellent uncomfortable questions.) When asked point blank, where are the women and where are minority faces and voices on their network, Olbermann pointed out that he had Alison Stewart on to sub for him whenever he was on vacation. That's great, Keith -- but what we really want is to see Alison hosting her own show every night. She did a great job on Monday night holding down the desk in the middle of the V-Tech horror show. Boot out Tucker and put Alison on instead. Trade Matthews to CNN for Christiane Amanpour. And pay her big bucks to switch from CNN. MSNBC could take the lead in diversity and bring down the percentages in one fell swoop:
"Percentage of U.S. women born blonde: 16. Percentage of women who are blonde today: 33. Percentage of TV newscasters who are blonde: 64. Percentage of Miss Americas who are blonde: 65." (TV Trivia)
Meanwhile, the media goes on to the next big story. I could only take one night of watching it and now I've had enough. It's the irrationality of it. It's the kind of act that provokes religionists to remark that their deity works in mysterious ways. The mystery to me is how people can find comfort in a god who apparently isn't so all-powerful and all-loving as they'd like to believe.

A talking head tonight said that the US leads the world in numbers of massacres by deranged persons. If anything is to be learned from this unspeakable act of cruelty, perhaps it is by putting it within context of all the others and asking some hard questions about cultural climate like is there some kind of correlation between human population growth and the rise of whacked out gun-men?

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