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November 25th, 2012
12:45 PM ET

A New Kind of Watchdog Journalism

Jezebel editor Jessica Coen talks to Howard Kurtz about her website’s exposure of racist Tweets reacting to President Obama’s election victory


Filed under: Blog • Social Media
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Eileen Wyatt

    If something is important enough to you to say, then you should not hesitiate to put your name
    on it. I think a lot of stupid and/or nasty stuff would not be circulated if real names had to be
    attached. Why would you WANT to read something when the source was not known?
    Your show is called "Reliable Sources" Do you use stuff without knowing the source?
    Also, everyone, kids in particular, should learn that all this electronic stuff is forever.

    November 25, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  2. wyntre

    Hey, Howie, are you going to book a guest to talk about the despicable manic race-baiting against Romney before the election with comments such as "Yo, if Romney wins I'm gonna take that honky out" and other generally violent, hateful and grammatically challenged statements?

    What's that? That's not newsworthy but the Jezebel drivel is?

    Coen has the unmitigated gall to appoint herself judge, jury, executioner and parental guardian, notifying the schools of the teenagers' whose comments she found so offensive?

    They're not of legal age and yet she takes it upon herself to correct the kids, and the schools? Does she have credentials in childhood development, child psychology, or even in education? I didn't think so.

    And somehow you think it's ok that she "snitches" on teens because she's offended by what is still, like it or hate it, free speech?

    What is she, the comment police? Wonder if she took exception with adult comments and contacted their employers, their spouses, their friends, their families.

    What a stunningly biased, arrogant and irrelevant segment. It's one of the reasons I've stopped tuning into your show.

    November 25, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
    • NbarRN

      I agree with you, these do gooders appoint themselves to be the thought police.

      November 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  3. Hazel

    "If we are going to discuss the issue of racism, the playing field must be level. "
    Alas, the fact that the playing field isn't level is the point. People may have said Bush was not smart, but the basis was from actions and speech, like the bumbling President Ford jokes on SNL. When Obama is called a monkey and such, it is only race.

    November 25, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  4. Rich T

    It comes down to activism vs journalism. This story coming out of a CNN or the NYT would have been very interesting. I do hope it gets picked up and covered by the media.

    A review of the Jezebel website caused me to completely disregard them and their opinions.

    November 25, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  5. Concerned Parent

    I agree with Jessica Coen in that some, but not all, of the anti Obama posts are entirely inappropriate and offensive. However, I found that Jessica's approach to the subject of "offensive and even racist speech" is a little lopsided. If you went on Twitter during the campaigning, there were many offensive, reverse racist and horribly crass posts also against Romney, but Jessica fails to mention that. There were a lot of threats against Romney, in fact. A collection of them can be found here: http://twitchy.com/2012/10/13/more-obama-supporters-threaten-to-kill-romney-if-he-becomes-president/

    On the subject of racism itself, there exists a double standard of sorts. Take, for example, the idea of the term "white boy" which is pretty regularly spoken in many non-white circles. If the term "black boy" were just as spoken in white circles, it would immediately be horribly offensive. It's perfectly acceptable for some non-white people to call one another slurs and epithets, but for a white person to do the same, suddenly it's a horrible offense. I've noticed that a lot of non-white people get a free pass in general on issues of racism, but the focus and blame of the subject of racism falls squarely on the shoulders of white people. In other words, without trying to sound too racist, whenever we here about racism, it's always about a white person being offensive towards a non-white person. Racism exists in all races. White people aren't the only racists in the world, but even if it were the case, and it were assumable that when we say "racist" we are universally talking about the offender being white, then the use of the term racist would then be racist because it would only be referring to people of the white race. Hence, again the double standard. I submit that use of the R word, "racist", is just as demonstrably racist as use of the N word, the C word (cracker), the H word (honky), the G word (gringo), the P word (peckerwood), the other R word (redneck), among many, many others and toward every culture.

    If we are going to discuss the issue of racism, the playing field must be level. Take for example, a Caucasian person in any other country of predominately any other race, say, in the middle east or Latin America or Asia or Africa. Sure, you can always find someone who went there and didn't experience any sort of racism, but if you go behind the scenes and even sometimes blatantly out front, you can't tell me there doesn't exist there some amount racism. There would most certainly be. So, it is just as reasonable to assume, that in some less diverse areas of our country, and from people that are from those less diverse areas, there also exists a similar expectation of racism to a similar degree. People are people where ever you go. Into the slums of Harlem, racism exists. In the backwoods of Tennessee, racism exists. In Bangkok, racism exists. In Chihuahua Mexico, racism exists. In Abu Dhabi, racism exists. Bigotry exists in many forms and every culture pretty evenly. It's not just exclusively Republican or Democrat, or black, brown, yellow, red or white. My point here is to illustrate the one-sided reporting of racism, especially about Obama. It was a campaign. People often said derogatory things in both directions. That's the nature of mudslinging. We can live with that. What we should expect with respect to reporting on racism, is that both sides of the story will be told. When it isn't, it has just as damaging of an effect as the racism itself. (This comment has been posted on more than one article, so you might see it again)

    November 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Reply

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