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Baltimore: Media Behaving Badly, April 29, 2015

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  • "The biases the media has are much bigger than conservative or liberal. They're about getting ratings, about making money, about doing stories that are easy to cover." --Al Franken
  • Part 1: The media’s stunning Baltimore betrayal: Demonizing protesters & giving police brutality a pass
  • Part 2: Part 2: What we talk about when we talk about black protesters: A history of right-wing dogwhistles

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest



Part 1: The media’s stunning Baltimore betrayal: Demonizing protesters & giving police brutality a pass

Cable news has distinguished itself as an authoritarian instrument most invested in protecting the powerful.

Jack Mirkinson, Salon

Screen-Shot-2015-04-28-at-2.39.04-PM-620x412.pngTuesday, Apr 28, 2015 | Late on Monday evening, CNN’s Don Lemon, who had traveled to Baltimore to cover the ongoing unrest there, found himself speaking to the city’s mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and to Maryland governor Larry Hogan.

Lemon—who, despite his current near-parodic status, was relatively restrained here—quizzed the two politicians for nearly 11 minutes, until they all but ran away from him. The confrontational stance may have been welcome, but the questions themselves left much to be desired. The only thing Lemon wanted to know was why, in his words, protesters had been given “too much leeway,” and why police had not been allowed to use “more restraints” against them sooner.

Jack Mirkinson: Huffington Post Senior Media Editor

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Part 2: What we talk about when we talk about black protesters: A history of right-wing dogwhistles

Ronald Reagan perfected the use of coded racial language to court white voters. His strategy persists to this day.

Conor LynchSalon

reagan_baltimore.jpgRonald Reagan (Credit: AP/Bob Dougherty/Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2015 | “Liberals won’t get angry about the #BaltimoreRiots unless the rioters start carrying off loot in untaxed plastic bags.” So said Rep. Steve Stockman, R- Texas, in response to the violence in Baltimore last night.

What is perhaps most striking about this type of language, in ample display over the last several hours, is just how layered much of it is in language that subtly dehumanizes and pathologizes the black Baltimore residents who have come out to protest the death of Freddie Gray, who was killed in police custody earlier this month.

Conor Lynch: Freelance writer. I have written for Salon, The Hill, openDemocracy, The Richard Dawkins Foundation, and I regularly blog on Daily Kos about economics, politics, and science issues.

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