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article imageOp-Ed: Major Media Ignores McLaughlin’s Oreo Comment

By Sadiq Green     Jul 15, 2008 in Politics
National TV pundits made a big deal over Jesse Jackson and his castration comments. Likewise for the New Yorker Magazine cover uproar. But little attention has been paid on TV to longtime syndicated talk show host John McLaughlin’s Sunday comments.
On the Sunday July 13, 2008 edition of the syndicated program The McLaughlin Group, host John McLaughlin said:
“Question: Does it frost Jackson, Jesse Jackson, that someone like Obama, who fits the stereotype blacks once labeled as an Oreo — a black on the outside, a white on the inside — that an Oreo should be the beneficiary of the long civil rights struggle which Jesse Jackson spent his lifetime fighting for?”
I was watching the program as I do most Sunday mornings and my jaw dropped right then. McLaughlin, a former Jesuit priest and Nixon administration official is unique for his brash style. McLaughlin spokeswoman Becca Baker, told Monday that ‘McLaughlin wasn’t using a racist expression to describe Barack Obama but was merely summing up what he believed to be the view of Rev. Jesse Jackson.’
McLaughlin and some of his other panelists are known to make some pretty outlandish and provocative statements. Panelist Peter Beinhart goes on to tell McLaughlin that ‘it’s an unfair depiction.’ However, McLaughlin continues after Beinhart dismisses the notion that Obama should give as much weight to issues of discrimination in incarceration. Playing Agent Provocateur McLaughlin continues:
BEINART: But…Barack Obama doesn’t talk about jobs and healthcare? He talks about it all the time. If he wanted to talk about the fact that there are too many people in prison, then you’re asking him to do something that will lose him the election. That is politically…no serious political strategist… He is a man trying to win the presidency, John.
MCLAUGHLIN: But then he’s exactly what Jeremiah Wright says he is. He will do whatever is necessary to win.
Soon after came Pat Buchanan:
MCLAUGHLIN: Does Jackson have a legitimate point?
BUCHANAN: No, he doesn’t. I’ll tell you why, John. Here’s why. What Barack Obama is saying is the message that needs to be heard. It’s the Bill Cosby message. It is “Look, this is our responsibility. These are our families. White society is not responsible for our kids dropping out of schools or using drugs or going on welfare. We are.” What Jesse Jackson says, is the white community’s responsible and they’ve got to solve our problems.
Michelle Bernard a recent frequent panelist the president of the Independent Women's Forum tries to get the conversation back on track stating:
"If Barack Obama is an Oreo, then every member of this generation of African-Americans is an Oreo, because we stand on the shoulders of the people who fought for our rights, and all of us say that you cannot blame 'the man' or white racism for everything that ails the black community."
I instantly thought that was going to be big news, and eagerly waited for the talk shows to pick up on it Monday morning. Morning Joe on MSNBC is my choice of morning program, but there was nothing about it. I flipped back and forth from CNN to Fox News and back to MSNBC, but I saw nothing.
Fellow Digital Journal member Mr. Garibaldi brought up the story on one of his Monday posts. The story found some legs on some web pages also. But the lack of attention these comments garnered on the 24hr cable news channels, or local channels for that matter shows that….That…I don’t know what it shows. On a day when the story was about the New Yorker Magazines satirical racial and stereotypical cover saturated the airwaves, there was no mention of fellow TV journalist’s seemingly racial and stereotypical comments.
Today I continued to watch intently, and as the time of the MLB’s All-Star Games first pitch, I had not seen any television coverage of the story. It calls into question, at least for me, what is the motivation of the cable news channels general managers on what stories are driving the news.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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