The benefit of a communications degree from a liberal school in the very liberal Bay Area is being forced to look at national media with a critical eye. While many have heard the big 6 media term, some don’t quite understand the depth of how controlled our media really is. In fact, on the Reporters Without Borders 2014 World Press Freedom Index of the most free media countries, the United States is a disappointing #46, with countries like Germany, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands listed well above.
Apart from being censored, and controlled, the major media in the United States is very often insensitive and downright racist. A glance at some of the coverage from the tragic Trayvon Martin case is a prime example. On a smaller scale, small seemingly harmless pieces are often littered with ignorance.
A prime example, this horrendously racist piece (also linked below) recently ran by CNN featuring the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to New Zealand. The piece by Jeanne Moos essentially is a a commentary piece on how “weird” cultures are outside the Anglosphere, as stated by The Heavy. No Jeanne, that is the Māori culture’s traditional way of greeting highly-esteemed guests. The decorations on their bums actually have a deep significant meaning and the exotic male dancing, compared to Chipendale’s is a traditional ancestral dance that has no ties whatsoever to exotic dancing. Perhaps, if she had taken the time to research the culture, she would not have chosen to be so blatantly racist due to her ignorance. More than that, how was it possible that no one editor, producer or post-edit person at CNN stopped this?
She has since apologized, I guess, by stating, Duly noted. I do humour and satire, and I am truly sorry if the tone of my story offended anyone.
I hope that Jeanne Moos takes the time to research and understand a culture next time she chooses to run a satire piece for CNN. I sincerely hope that any producers and editors have foresight to stop something like this from airing as well. However, the sad reality is, this is not the last time an ignorant piece will appear in mainstream American news. It happens everyday and we as consumers of this media must continue to call out the big six and any other media in order to create a fair and balanced media environment.