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July 11, 2008

Mini-Controversy: Should Fox Have Censored Jesse Jackson's "Cut His Nuts Out" Comment?

That's what they did, or rather, they simply did not air that clip, only airing the "talking down to black people" remarks. I saw O'Reilly was pretty defensive about it; people were writing in to call him a sell-out and etc.

Newsbusters argues that information was not terribly important to the story and little was lost by not airing it.

I disagree, but weakly. It should have run; it was part of the story, part of what people were talking about (Wolf Blitzer, for example, alluded to those remarks several times while interviewing Jackson about them), and certainly demonstrates an emotional texture to the remarks that the dry "talking down to black people" statements did not.

On the other hand, FoxNews has a reputation for sensationalism and tawdriness, a reputation due to 1) the constant criticism they get from the rest of the tut-tutting liberal media, which prefers to only sensationalize stories which hurt Republicans and 2) the fact that they are, in fact, sensationalistic and often tawdry, so perhaps they were trying to avoid that charge in this case by soft-pedaling the comments.

But it seems a strange case in which to make that stand -- the comment seemed perfectly newsworthy to me.

Correction: I'm told FoxNews did air the comment, though they bleeped out "nuts" (but ran a subtitle including the word).

Sorry... when I saw the clips aired, I didn't see that. I assumed, wrongly, that that was all that was aired.

So I guess I don't really see the controversy at all.


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posted by Ace at 01:06 PM

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