Stick Up

Friday, September 12, 2008


How does a non story become the story? The answer has to do with outrageous accusations, cost free ads, back and forth squabbling and media outlets that are left to sort through the noise. WNYC's political director Andrea Bernstein weighs in on how to stay outside the fray.

Comments [7]

Not So Much from Philly

Farhad Manjoo? Really? His debut in this weeks Slate advocates even more lies.

Sep. 15 2008 09:13 PM
Amala lane from Manhattan

This is Your Nation on White Privilege

Sep 13, 2008 By Tim Wise

For those who still can't grasp the concept of white privilege, or who
are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it,
perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol
Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your
family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you
or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and
Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as
irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a "fuckin' redneck," like
Bristol Palin's boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes
with you, you'll "kick their fuckin' ass," and talk about how you like to
"shoot shit" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible,
all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.
White privilege is, in short, the problem.
Excerpt from:
Tim Wise is the author of White Like Me (Soft Skull, 2005, revised
2008), and of Speaking Treason Fluently, publishing this month, also by
Soft Skull. For review copies or interview requests, please reply to

Sep. 15 2008 11:13 AM
Mike from Puget Sound

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have just been taken over
by the government. Lehmann Bros, a very well known
and prestigious financial firm is on the verge of filing for

We are still in Iraq, beefing up Afghanistan, negotiating with Iran and North Korea, and supporting Israel against Hamas.

You in the media owe us better than recycled clap trap
from an Alan Keyes campaign as well as the current kerfluffle of pigs and lipstick as well as whatever the McCain campaign would like the next distraction to be.

Sexism is not a valid reason or excuse not to ask legitimate questions of policy of the woman who, if
McCain is elected would be next in line.

I expect the media to take that into consideration.

I expect the same whether it is Biden, Obama, Palin
or McCain who are the subjects of concern.

Thank you.

Sep. 14 2008 09:54 PM
Ruby Delgado from NY,NY

Now who's playing the victim - of having fallen in the trap?

As one who attempts to put analysis in proper perspective- Senator Obama's comment was not taken out of context but within a hypercontext: that of a chosen soundbite that overpopulated every form of media since its "inception" (a moment in which, as a british journalist noted, S.P. appeared less nervous and comfortable enough to make a joke) at the RNC.

Of all possible excerpts from S.P. speech, it was this soundbite which kept being repeated on and on (i.e. thetakeaway selected it to begin its show following the night of the speech).

If followed naturally then (after a joke -that was taken out of context- took a life of its own, and became emblematic of S.P.), that even Obama advocates (i.e. on Larry King Live) thought that his later comment was a low blow on his part against S.P. (however unintentional it might or might not have been).

Also, one cannot blame any "campaign" for NPR having taken it to the extreme of absurdity such as in "All things considered" and reporting someone actually trying to put lipstick on a pig.

In other words, had the media sought and remained at a higher/different/or at least measured level of discourse, the less its very own contribution to the noise, and less its likelihood of becoming that which it criticizes. A mighty difficult task, but as a frequent listener, I like to believe you capable of such.

Sep. 14 2008 08:56 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Being kept awake by both my mother's and my own competing health problems tonight, another series of thoughts occurred to me about lipstick, probably due Andrea's and my own shared WYBC connection.

Years before my eldest brother was ordered to parade his unit's tanks through New Haven (after a bombing of the "Yale Whale", their hockey arena), a fantastic piece of art graced Yale’s central Beinecke Plaza for quite some time. Now it is relegated to the courtyard of Morse Residential College.

It was always called "The Lipstick" and I must confess I do not recall the artists name but it looks quite like a giant tube of that substance mounted on tank tracks. (My elder brother sells much aluminum just to house such tubes today. It makes him money.)

I'm thinking it is time to send it to Alaska, to sit outside the Governor's office. It will take the pit-bulls and pigs out of the equation but still make a point.

Sep. 14 2008 04:48 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

As to JessD's final complaint, should she or he check back here, OTM merely limits the length of a single comment. As was shown in last week's debate over the t-shirt design debacle, many commenters simply break their essays into 1,500 character units and press on. And thanks, Jess, for directing me catch the Sunday rebroadcast of this week's Moyer's Journal.

Andrea, whom I know and admire (especially for her refusal to allow WNYC join the lipstick feeding frenzy), really lets her colleagues in the press off far too easily for this incident and for allowing the flowering of "the post-fact society."

Not only hasn't our press learned the lessons from the run up to the Iraq War, it has completely abdicated any responsability for holding the campaigns feet to the fire on the issues that may well spell the end of both civilization and human life on the planet.

Sep. 14 2008 01:10 AM
JessD from Washington, DC

Brook was absolutely fantastic on Moyer's Journal last night. Here are my other thoughts on the terrible coverage I posted on Moyer's blog. It's a bit of a memo - but I'm so frustrated!

The "personality coverage" of the DNC and RNC focused on what the campaigns 'should do.' I don't care what John King, David Brooks, or who ever thinks how the campaign "should" be managed or what McCain or Obama "need to do." It's opinion! Tell the American people what McCain, Palin, Obama, and Biden have accomplished, how they took calculated and unnecessary risks, and if they can run a coalition. The media coverage is so disappointing I am considering instead of convassing for one of the campaigns, I should offer my research skills for free to CNN, the NewsHour, MSNBC, some broadcaster! I’m serious.

My other comments are on Moyers' blog - who doesn't limit space.

Sep. 13 2008 04:16 PM

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