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January 22, 2008

Identity Politics Anger CNN Readers

An unnamed CNN reporter (CNN doesn't do bylines apparently) did a superficial piece on black women in South Carolina. I read it and didn't think much of it at the time. The premise is that black women voters won't know what to do with themselves with both a black man and a woman on the ballot.

Analysts say black women this year never have been more engaged in a political campaign or held such power in determining the Democratic nominee.

Recent polls show black women are expected to make up more than a third of all Democratic voters in South Carolina's primary in five days.

For these women, a unique, and most unexpected dilemma, presents itself: Should they vote their race, or should they vote their gender?

I'm pleased to see that CNN readers reacted immediately. I'm amused to see CNN turn their objections into just another article on the election. And I'm absolutely delighted at the truly objective reporting that CNN decided to use: "CNN readers respond angrily to 'race or gender' story."

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.

[...]

A reader named Joan e-mailed: "Really CNN, is this how you view black women[?] Are you suggesting that white women are going to have it easier [?] How about issues? Should a black woman consider the candidates position on issues, or should we just stick to race and gender. Disgusting!"

Even a white guy got in on the act, mirroring Stephen Green's comment about John Edwards at the debate last night ("special guest"):

"Since 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," wrote Michael.

The Democrats are still in eat-your-own-baby mode and will be for the rest of the primary season. It's not surprising that legacy media are aiding and abetting.

Thanks to genghis.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:30 AM

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