Media outlets see themselves as brave souls reporting on racial discrimination inside greedy corporations. On June 12, The Washington Post made a front-page story out of a suit against BMW and Dollar General by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for “indirectly discriminating against African Americans by using criminal background checks to screen out workers.”
At FrontPage magazine, conservative freelancer Evan Gahr reports the Post is “quieter than deaf mutes about a lawsuit alleging race discrimination at their own paper.” This is just like NPR's on-air silence when it was sued by correspondent Sunni Khalid for racial and anti-Muslim discrimination in 1997. The blog Fishbowl DC covered the contrast, and then said that contrast is interesting, but tried to underline just how totally understandable the Post blackout on itself was:
One point he raises is an interesting one … if it’s a front page story when the EEOC sues BMW for race discrimination why isn’t this a story? On the other hand, it’s perfectly reasonable that a news organization would not want screw up an internal legal matter by writing about it.
Is it really "perfectly reasonable" for media outlets to just skip coverage of their own employee discrimination claims? Do media outlets get to get on a soapbox against other companies or governments, demanding transparency?
The lawsuit was filed by advertising employee David DeJesus, 59, who claims he was abruptly fired only to be replaced by a younger, white man. “At the crux of the suit is the treatment of DeJesus by his Caucasian boss, Noelle Wainwright, who he alleges treated him in a demeaning manner that she did not extend to white employees.”
But Fishbowler Betsy Rothstein has decided now to mock Gahr for being persistent in pestering the Post to investigate itself, even as everyone ignores his calls or hangs up. Gahr found “Steven Mufson, who covers the Washington Post company for the paper, said today that the paper has decided not to cover the story. Why? Who decided that? “You know what? I’m not having this conversation. Goodbye."
Gahr reported Post media blogger Erik Wemple and Post media reporter Paul Farhi said they'd look into it, but haven't (suggesting the Post lawyers had issued a directive). But Farhi has reported on the alleged racial discrimination against blacks...at "Saturday Night Live."