Race and Reporting

Thursday, July 22, 2010

As reverberations of the Sherrod case continue, David Frum and Joel Dreyfuss discuss what it says about race relations and the media today. Frum is former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and editor of  Dreyfuss is managing editor of The Root.


Joel Dreyfuss and David Frum

Comments [38]


>>> Jack from Brooklyn

Why can't a broadcaster be fined, or have their license revoked for such abuse of the 'airwaves?' How does Rather get fired but Fox keeps on cooking up such craziness? Where's the FCC?<<


Fox doesn't care. They know that there audience is of a particular political stripe. CBS is allegedly a broadcaster that is suppose to be objective. Very few people will view Fox as objective. It's talk radio on TV. Mainstream media will always be held to a higher standard. It's like the difference between someone who claims he does not curse. When that person utters a curse word it becomes a big deal. As oppose to someone who has a trash mouth.

Also I think the FCC is limited in what it can do on cable.

Jul. 22 2010 10:39 AM
Eve from NJ

Mike from NYU -

If you're writing about Dan Rather, this was a total snow job. The case involved an IBM Executive typewriter, and Drudge and others who never typed on a typewriter, let alone an Executive. I did, and I know the letter in question was totally feasible. Executive used proportional spacing, i.e., each letter was comprised of units. Letters m and w were five units, if I recall, etc., letter i was one (?), and so on.

Also the margins used for the letter in question: If the same standard margins (line length) were used in the letter as in a Word document, for example, then chances are each line would have ended with the same word.

All that had to be done in the Rather case was question someone who had typed on such a typewriter during the time period the letter was typed, and there would have been proof! Unreal!

Jul. 22 2010 10:38 AM
Sandra from Astoria

The right-wing spread a lie, the Obama administration took action based on that lie, and then when the lie was exposed, instead of admitting to being liars, the right turned it around to say "aha, you look stupid because you believed my lie!"

People who operate in good faith will always have a hard time winning against cheats and liars.

Jul. 22 2010 10:38 AM
Laura from UWS

David Frum is not a good enough guest--what he said about ACORN is not exactly true. Please have guests who meet a higher standard of telling the truth rather than obfuscating, casting doubts, and slipping in their own misleading talking points.
Please do several stories on ACORN to make up for this. Please also go back and correct the wrong statements about the alleged voter intimidation and Dan Rather cases. Thanks.

Jul. 22 2010 10:34 AM
The Truth from The Truth

How exactly are Black people racists again? How can you be racist against people who first hated you and your entire race?
who struck the first blows of hatred against you and your race, so you hate them back and now your racist? give me a break. We need to let this issue die until the next time and move on to the prosecution of breitbart, who is riding low under the radar because of the distraction of race in the conversation.

Jul. 22 2010 10:33 AM
Katie Kennedy from Huntington, NY

When I first heard the line she said about, "What he didn't know was that while he was showing how superior he was...." I chuckled with the rest of the audience. It was a funny line, and her delivery was great. And, I'm white. It was a perfectly human reaction on her part.

Jul. 22 2010 10:32 AM
Jack from Brooklyn

Why can't a broadcaster be fined, or have their license revoked for such abuse of the 'airwaves?' How does Rather get fired but Fox keeps on cooking up such craziness? Where's the FCC?

Jul. 22 2010 10:31 AM
Eve from NJ

To this day, Dan Rather still has not been proved wrong!

One of the guests today smears all cable news stations with the same box as Fox. Brian gives Fox too much credit and doesn't come down hard on the "news" network. This is typical of Fox and the tip of the iceberg, and nothing is ever done about the lies and smears!

Jul. 22 2010 10:30 AM
BrettG from Queens/LIC-Ast.

To BL & Mike from NYU,

RE the proportional fonts in the GWB/TxANG documents, please check as many archives as there were many fonts moved from typewriters & impact printers (especially IBM) to software fonts.

i'm old enough to have typed on IBM Selectric (switchable font balls) as well as Selectric memory typewriters. Both had settings for proportional spacing of the font on each type ball.

When in doubt call IBM & the typewriter repair shops & collection groups.

Jul. 22 2010 10:29 AM
Ed from Brooklyn

Without a doubt race is a problem. And one that cannot be talked about with candor. However, why are we not talking about Ms. Sherrod's insight, class?

Because a real conversation about class it truly taboo in this country.

Jul. 22 2010 10:28 AM

>>>Comments [18]
Norman from NYC

Breitbart may have committed libel.

When you have antagonism towards an organization, and you publish something about them without regard to the truth, that's malice.

Someone from Acorn is suing O'Keefe. <<<

They are suing him because they recorded him without his knowledge. Apparently that is illegal in California.

Jul. 22 2010 10:28 AM
abdul from brooklyn

I love it when I can turn on the radio and hear an 'all inclusive' discussion on race and reporting from 3 white men.

Jul. 22 2010 10:28 AM
Deborah from Queens

The problem is we -- the public -- are not skeptical enough. Think of the ridiculous spam emails that keep getting circulated year after year even though they have been proved false.

As an English teacher, this inspires me. I am going to design a unit on being skeptical and how information can seem true but actually be false. Drops in a bucket, but maybe we can make a difference!

Jul. 22 2010 10:28 AM
The Truth from Becky

All of this distraction should not take away from the fact the not-so-breitbart had an agenda if anyone and he should be investigated to the fullest.

Jul. 22 2010 10:28 AM
Gflaitz from New York City

The burden of prudence was on the National Media and the government in this case. How do you blindly spread word about a video without checking the facts first, or fire someone over it without listening to the individual's side of the story? News broadcasters have been fired over less (2004, anyone?). The man who did the firing over the video should himself be fired.

Jul. 22 2010 10:28 AM
The Truth from Becky

I hope you are proud of yourself Brian, running the clip over and over looking for reaction from the crowd for what purpose?

What did you think ALL Black people love white people?

Jul. 22 2010 10:27 AM
Jack from Brooklyn

Regarding Frum's ACORN comment - does 'being in federal court' equate with being guilty of something? Fortunately not.

Jul. 22 2010 10:27 AM
j from Manhatan

Holder just accepted a decision by a special prosecutor to not press criminal charges in the 2006 firing of US attorneys for political purposes. Should he be accused of being biased in favor of Republicans?

The parallel between the phony New Black Panther party story and the ACORN, Van Jones, Gates and Sherrod stories is that in some people's eyes the Obama administration can never appear to agree with or defend a Black person or organization. And Breitbart, FOX and even Mr. Frum here are playing off of this point.

Jul. 22 2010 10:27 AM

Why would David Frum be viewed as a voice of reason? According to Charles Murray at AEI he just wasn't doing any work.

See this link and here is an excerpt

>>>But I will tell what is common knowledge around AEI: David got a handsome salary but, for the last few years, has been invisible as a member of the institute. Being a scholar at a think tank (or any institution) is not just a matter of acknowledging your affiliation in your books and op-eds. It’s also a matter of blogging at the institute’s blog, not just your own blog (David had a grand total of 3 posts on AEI’s blog in the year since it began), reviewing colleagues’ drafts, reacting to their ideas, contributing chapters to their books, organizing scholarly events, participating on the institute’s panels, attending the institute’s conferences, helping out with fundraising, serving on in-house committees, giving in-house seminars, and mentoring junior staff. Different scholars are engaged in these activities to different degrees.<<<

Also he was someone who had no problems trying to purge anti-war conservatives.

He wrote this column in 2003:

"Unpatriotic Conservatives"

He accused Bob Novak and Pat Buchanan, and other conservatives and libertarians of waging a "war against America,"

He sums it up with this statement:
>>>War is a great clarifier. It forces people to take sides. The paleoconservatives have chosen — and the rest of us must choose too. In a time of danger, they have turned their backs on their country. Now we turn our backs on them.<<<<

So I guess when you want to shun people it's ok because they don't tote the party line. But, when it happens to you it's wrong?

Jul. 22 2010 10:26 AM
Will from Brooklyn

Acorn is like Al Capone? Brian, please challenge David Frum to explain that.

Acorn used to help poor people.

Jul. 22 2010 10:26 AM
Norman from NYC

Breitbart may have committed libel.

When you have antagonism towards an organization, and you publish something about them without regard to the truth, that's malice.

Someone from Acorn is suing O'Keefe.

Jul. 22 2010 10:25 AM
Eric from Brooklyn

Notice that you... the media... and we are so focused on race that we are NOT discussing the economic 'have or have not' ISSUE Ms Sherrod said was the moral of her story.

Jul. 22 2010 10:21 AM

you are once again being completely disingenuous. How can you talk about controversial issues, and have as your guests a hardcore liberal, and a wishy-washy republican who ACTUALLY spends 85% of his time attacking conservatives? hows that for balance?

Jul. 22 2010 10:21 AM
Marc from Brooklyn

The guest is defending AG Eric Holder's record as some kind of fighter for civil rights. Allow me to wipe the puke from my mouth. When Holder was working in Bill Clinton's Justice Dept, he railroaded Denise Rich's boyfriend, either at the insistence of a president who was fooling around with her, or big donor Marc Rich, resentful that some new guy was living in his former Fifth Avenue diggs. Who was looking out for Dr Lauersen's civil rights? Certainly not Eric Holder: he's nothing but another in a long line of partisan hacks, and the media has just let him slide.

Jul. 22 2010 10:21 AM

Is this any different from claiming WMDs in Iraq and that Saddam was responsible for 9/11.

Jul. 22 2010 10:19 AM
Bowery Boy


Jul. 22 2010 10:19 AM

sherrod should sue the crap out of breitbart and probably has a good case.

Jul. 22 2010 10:18 AM
RLewis from Bowery

And the Black Panther case took place in a district this is almost entirely black. Who was this guy alleged to be intimidating????

Jul. 22 2010 10:18 AM
Sally Kohn from Brooklyn, NY

Secret Emails Between Breitbart + Beck Revealed:

Jul. 22 2010 10:17 AM
Mike from NYU

I heard mentioned that some aspect of the accusation was certainly forged based on the incorrect out-dated fonts that were used. If possible, could someone at the show please send me this reference. I would like to use it as an introduction to paleography and diplomatics in a class I will be teaching this fall.

Jul. 22 2010 10:17 AM
RLewis from the Bowery

You are do exactly what you are currently criticizing, if you are going to let this caller tell lies about the Voter Intimidation case. The man in question was charged and convicted. They just could not prove that the Black Panthers told him to go there.

If you are going to bring this issue in: DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST.

Jul. 22 2010 10:16 AM
SuzanneNYC from UWS

You're wrong to say the WH, NAACP and Breitbart all have egg on their faces. This is what Breitbart lives for -- and he's completely unrepentent. To me this is a clean sweep for the right -- the Obama Administration and NAACP look foolish and disorganized. A government worker gets smeared -- even it redeemed soon after. FOX gets a double dip -- first pushing the black racism meme and firing up their viewers with false equivalents; then turning it around, not missing a beat, and lambasting the Obama WH for rushing to judgment. And they're not through -- watch for the increasing drumbeat against Holder and the DOJ.

Jul. 22 2010 10:16 AM
Mireille Liong from Brooklyn NY

From the forum: As Obama was announcing his finance reform today something struck me: this is the second time, as he's about to announce a major achievement that something like this comes along and overshadows his efforts: last time it was Skipgate and Health Care Reform, now this. *Puts on conspiracy cap* I wonder if they sat on this story until just the right moment, hoping to get this result.

Jul. 22 2010 10:15 AM
Waldo from Manhattan

What will happen to Breitbart? He will continue to be a rigthtwingnut hero, only more so. There are posts all over the web defending him, calling Mrs. Sherrod a racist, claiming (still) that she wouldn't help the white farmer.

Cue the Twilight Zone music.

Jul. 22 2010 10:14 AM
Scnex from Bx

Duh, he's white she's black....

Jul. 22 2010 10:13 AM

andrew breitbart is scum pure and simple. kudos to david frum, the last of the thoughtful republicans.

Jul. 22 2010 10:12 AM
Bobby G from East Village

The Obama administration got snookered by a known right wing smear artist trying to exploit race. Maybe its time to replace the insiders, Vilsack and Salazar, and make a stronger cabinet.

Jul. 22 2010 10:09 AM

when fox sez jump, i sez, how high?

will obama take a fundamentally new approach to its relationship w the news cycle?

Jul. 22 2010 10:08 AM

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