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Ear to the Ground

CNN Readers Raise Hell Over ‘Gender or Race’

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Posted on Jan 22, 2008
Obama and Clinton
cnn.com

CNN has posted a mea culpa of sorts on its Web site over a story, reported from a hair salon in South Carolina, that probed the alleged dilemma of African-American women voters. As one of many angry readers put it: “The article itself shows black women have brains and actually choose candidates based on issues and not just gender or race, but CNN doesn’t seem to give them that credit.”

To be sure, race and gender are major issues in this election—issues that have been explored ad nauseam since before the candidates even announced their intentions to run. Besides which, the same dilemma faces white men, as a CNN reader explains: “Since [John] Edwards no longer officially exists, as a white male I face the same choice—either I vote my race [Clinton] or my gender [Obama]. Or I could just pick the candidate based on who I think would be best.”


CNN:

Within minutes of posting a story on CNN’s homepage called “Gender or race: Black women voters face tough choices in South Carolina,” readers reacted quickly and angrily.

Many took umbrage at the story’s suggestion that black women voters face “a unique, and most unexpected dilemma” about voting their race or their gender.

CNN received dozens of e-mails shortly after posting the story, which focuses largely on conversations about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that a CNN reporter observed at a hair salon in South Carolina whose customers are predominantly African-American.

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By Pacrat, January 23, 2008 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Aren’t we all tired of the media choosing our candidates for us?

When was the last time we voters decided on our own candidates for elected office?

The media subtly and not so subtly tell us how to vote. They add their misinterpretations and nuances to the same discussions we hear and watch - and, you know what, they aren’t the same! They are almost always wrong, but that doesn’t stop them!

What authority do these so called news broadcasters have to do this for us? They sure aren’t any brighter than any of us! In fact, many of them seem very stupid.

Thank goodness for the people who don’t buy into the gender and race garbage that the announcers throw at us! We are concerned about policies and how any of these candidates will bring back our Constitution and restore our economy!

Does these media spokepersons think we are too stupid to make up our own minds? When did the Bush mentality take over the media?

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By Sue Cook, January 23, 2008 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

Vote your convictions, period!

Race and gender should never come in to play, but we all know that they will.

Some will vote for Hillary just because she is a woman and will be the 1st woman president regardless of her issues.

The same with Obama.

Be afraid people, be very afraid.

This is going to be a banner election year, and I’m afraid most will be trying to turn this into a popularity contest instead of a very important deciding of the leader of our country that deserves to be there.

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By jdogg333, January 23, 2008 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

I truly appreciate your advice and point of view on these matters cyrena. I guess I just vented ALL of my frustrations in one place. My apologies for the outburst.

My reference to race and gender as issues had nothing to do with voting or the primaries and I certainly don’t agree with this CNN tripe. I hope that wasn’t the impression my post gave. I just meant that race and gender in terms of their importance in regards to civil rights and public discourse are relevant and should be discussed intelligently and with care. There is still much work to be done.

As for my network news viewing habits, I have slowly but surely eliminated the entire lot starting with Faux News of course. I have finally come to the conclusion that you had long ago. This was the final straw for me with CNN. Better late than never I guess.

Thanks to all!!

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By mary, January 23, 2008 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

These guys have been spewing crap for so long is anyone actually listening anymore?  The MSM has been a major contributor to the destruction of this Democracy.  Do they even know what the issues are for all Americans?  Do they really believe most of us don’t see what their objective here is?  Put Sen Clinton on the ticket so that the Repubs have their “cause” and whether or not she were to get elected would be irrelevant to their goals, one of which is to keep their Corp handlers fat and happy!

All women, black, white, hispanic, know what’s wrong with this picture.  The Edwards/Obama ticket would best get us there, and the MSM and CNN would become increasingly irrelevant…...

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 23, 2008 at 4:10 am Link to this comment

Re: Enough is Enough - #By cyrena, January 22: “It is an INSULT ...to me as a black woman, or to a white male [like me] to suggest that race and/or gender are the things that we’re looking at, in the selection of a president. Because intelligent people…. probably don’t give a rat’s ass what gender or color the president is, as long as he/she/it can address the issues that concern us…”

Still everybody is groping with the same old issue of “either-or” instead of who will be the members of an inevitable team. One will be president, one might be vice-president…... so, in the end, you could get both, uhh.

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By cyrena, January 23, 2008 at 12:54 am Link to this comment

Actually, your comment is a complaint of the same thing that apparently prompted the angry letters to CNN, since it was THEY -the media- who wrote the thing to begin with, and who keep the bullshit about race and gender going.

THAT’S why these angry black women wrote to them, in response to their ‘suggestion’ that black women face a tough choice. It is THAT which is bullshit, and THAT came from CNN.

In short, CNN posted this article,

“CNN readers respond angrily to ‘race or gender’ story
    STORY HIGHLIGHTS
    Readers offended by idea that black women must choose between gender or race
    Many readers upset that the story did not delve into issues more
    E-mails flooded CNN.com shortly after the story went on the home page


(CNN)—Within minutes of posting a story on CNN’s homepage called “Gender or race: Black women voters face tough choices in South Carolina,” readers reacted quickly and angrily.
Many took umbrage at the story’s suggestion that black women voters face “a unique, and most unexpected dilemma” about voting their race or their gender.


http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/21/emails.race.gender/index.html

And they were responding to THIS article..

Gender or race: Black women voters face tough choices in S.C.
    STORY HIGHLIGHTS
    Black women expected to make up one-third of all democratic voters in S.C.
    Women are torn between voting their race, or voting their gender
    Analysts: Black women more engaged, politically powerful in 2008 race
    Many say they’re focused on issues such as healthcare, education, economy

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/21/blackwomen.voters/index.html

So, complaining to the Obama or Clinton campaigns is NOT gonna help, because THEY are not the ones making an issue over this. RATHER, it is the mainstream media, (in this case CNN) who have ‘decided’ that black women face a choice between gender and race, as if nothing else is important to them. So, THAT is why they are PISSED, and so am I. Black women, (and any other informed citizen who cares about the issues that affect our individual and collective existences as Americans) are sick of this shit. (as it would appear that you are).

It is an INSULT (to me as a black woman, or to a white male as described in the article) to suggest that race and/or gender are the things that we’re looking at, in the selection of a president. Because intelligent people, at this time in American history, probably don’t give a rat’s ass what gender or color the president is, as long as he/she/it can address the issues that concern us.

So, don’t put this on the candidates this time, not Hillary or Barak. This is on the media’s head, or whomever ‘sponsors’ what they write, and put out there for consumption. One might think they are committed to maintaining as much chaos as possible. So, if you wanna change something, join the crowd of those who have made their voices heard, in complaining to CNN about publishing such drivel in the first place.

And, after you’ve finished doing that, you can put your money where your mouth is, and stop SUPPORTING this corporate controlled media. That’s what I did, several years ago. That includes, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, and pretty much ALL of the network and cable news broadcasts.

Because…they DO ‘get the message’ when the public stops watching them. And they get the message even louder, when we stop paying for cable access.

So, just don’t watch ‘em.

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By jdogg333, January 22, 2008 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment

I think my head is about to explode! Why, why, why does this type of discussion take center stage in these debates. It is counter-productive. It is childish. It has NO substance. The media is solely concerned with ratings and inflammatory rhetoric and it has permeated the nature of debate in these primaries. Please, for the love of sanity, STOP! As if there were not enough divisions in this country and throughout the world based on simplistic dualism and dogmatic points if view. I’m so tired of this. There are serious problems in our country and in the world that need to be dealt with. The Clinton/Obama banter needs to stop NOW! It’s getting old.

OF COURSE race and gender are issues, and should be addressed intelligently, but so are the war in Iraq, the pending recession, climate change, poverty, corporate corruption, nuclear proliferation, Israel and Palestine, Africa, dependence of fossil fuels, lack of proper treatment and care for our veterans, our disappearing middle class, the list is endless!!!!!just pick one and discuss.

I am no expert on how to solve any of these issues or on politics in general but I have a good “bullshit” radar and it is ringing in my ears every time I check up on the Democratic primaries. If anyone has any suggestions on what I can do to help change this, please let me know. I’ve sent emails to both the Clinton and Obama campaigns via their website and got the good old auto-respond messages.

Thanks

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By kath cantarella, January 22, 2008 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

only comes into play if you can’t choose between their policies. I don’t know much about Obama’s policies, but Hillary’s seem well-thought out. However, their political positions seem almost exactly the same to me. Maybe that’s why it appears to be about race or gender.

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By waxman, January 22, 2008 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

FORGET THIS FIGHT..THIRD PARTY NEEDED…ROSS PEROT FOR PRESIDENT AND MARY CAREY FOR VICE-PRESIDENT…

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By Rowdy, January 22, 2008 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

CNN… sensationalism?  No… couldn’t be.  Not CNN.

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