web counter Media Lies: Is this the straw....

Sunday, December 26, 2004

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Is this the straw....

....that broke the camel's back? I follow the Times (if but from a distance) because, well, you have to. It is, after all, still "the paper of record" and its influence in America is still very strong. But if they keep coming up with stuff like this, I may have to completely ignore them.
Now, the Times notices something about the tour, and makes a reasonable point:

One thing that was noticeable on this tour was that the entertainers were white while the audience was very diverse. Earlier this year, the U.S.O. put together tours that included performers like Ludacris. But the U.S.O. said it regretted that scheduling conflicts had kept a number of people from being on the tour.

and gets a reasonable answer:

U.S.O. officials said they had approached a number of black entertainers, including Jamie Foxx, star of the film "Ray," but that the stars had scheduling obligations.

The roster for 2004 had a number of leading black artists in shows in the United States and overseas, including some of the biggest names in hip hop: Ludacris was a monster hit when he appeared at a welcome-home show for the Fourth Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Tex.

But they just can't let it lie. They have to ask one of the troops, and you can tell from the phrasing here what they asked him:

"I came just to see John Elway," said Senior Airman Cedric Jackson, 20, from Atlanta, after the show in Baghdad. A member of the 447th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron, Airman Jackson, who is black, said he was not offended by the absence of black entertainers onstage.

In other words, they didn't ask if he was bored, if he was interested in seeing white performers, they asked if it offended him. Why would do they always make that kind of assumption? If performers come all the way from the States to a combat zone to entertain you, but they aren't the correct racial mix, that might be offensive? Why isn't the question offensive?
I have a question for the Times.

Why should anyone bother to read your paper?