adversity, africa, America, black, celebrity, crime, Donald Sterling, entertainment, foreign, hip-hop, internet, Jay-Z, kidnap, media, men, music, news, Nigeria, racism, skin color, Solange, stereotypes, TMZ, women, youth
The mainstream media has a funny definition as to what constitutes as “newsworthy”. It seems with all of its liberalism in news reporting, it shows that it can as racist as the conservative noise machine that is FOX News, albeit less obvious.
Several weeks ago, the internet learned of the kidnapping of more than 230 girls in Nigeria. Soon after, online news outlets, blogs and social media came out to address this crisis. It even gave birth to the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. Even First Lady Michelle Obama got in on the movement.
The mainstream media has not been reliable in covering this story. It seemed it had other priorities such as the Korean ferry disaster and the missing Malaysian plane. While both are indeed tragedies, why wasn’t the kidnapped Nigerian girls covered or, at least, covered in depth as the other two stories?
To make matters worse, the media literally jumped all over the story of Donald Sterling and his racist conversations with his mistress, and it became a top issue that reopened the conversations of racism at high levels of economic power. The media participated lighting flames in the firestorm lit by the dominant force in celebrity trash reporting TMZ.
Of course, most news outlets seem to follow TMZ as if it was the oracle of the private lives of Hollywood’s shining stars, ready to pounce at a chance to catch them make fools out of themselves. And it seems hellbent in searching any and all signs of black pathology perpetrated by black athletes and black actors more so than they do with famous whites. What did you expect from a company that took a poll asking what should black people be referred as? (Guess which one of the choices were.)
Case in point, recently, the most popular celebrity news going around is the infamous hotel elevator fight when video cameras recorded Beyonce’s little sis Solange attacking Jay-Z. Naturally, TMZ was the first ones to obtain the footage. And in literally no time, after it was reported by TMZ, it because a sensational topic on almost all news outlets. It’s still trending on Twitter creating memes for cheap laughs.
The mainstream news media took almost a month before they went in on the story of the missing Nigerian girls, especially after social media made it a topic. However, it took the same media no less than a week to latch on to TMZ’s coat tails to report the Jay-Z/Solange fight. What does that say about how our media views today’s issues?
It’s a safe bet to conclude that famous people fighting is considered ‘news’ by a media cheapened by lazy reporting, especially if it always cites TMZ as its only primary source. But it gets worse. We live in an age where black folks, rich and famous and poor and disenfranchised, throwing blows on someone is extremely attractive to watch. In many cases, that is considered ‘news’. Worse still is that it gets more attention than news of black folks doing good deeds, engaging in acts of kindness and heroism or are excelling in certain avenues other than music and sports. And when we go missing, who cares? Negroes were fighting – again! That’s news!
It’s natural that humans love to watch a good throw-down. Black people are not above watching or participating. But let’s be real. Race always plays a factor in how it’s viewed just as much as race plays a role in who deserves urgent attention in cases of missing persons.