The continuing left-wing furor over George Stephanopoulos's perfectly valid question about Barack Obama's associations with a known terrorist reminded me of something I wanted to blog earlier in the week before it erupted: an admission of a leftward bias on the part of the media from BET founder Bob Johnson.
Interviewed by the Charlotte Observer Tuesday, Johnson said that the "liberal media" want Obama to win, partly out of racial pandering but also because he is more liberal than Hillary Clinton (whom Johnson supports).
"They sort of dislike Hillary for her vote on the war. They don't want to see Bill and Hillary in power again," Johnson is quoted as saying. "So Obama comes in and runs a smart campaign. But that's not the Second Coming, in my opinion, of John F. Kennedy, FDR or the world's greatest leaders."
Many conservatives who feel passionately about reaching out to black voters are infuriated that the Republican front-runners have not consented to a PBS debate hosted by PBS and public-radio talk show host Tavis Smiley. Newt Gingrich assured ABC viewers the other morning that "Tavis Smiley is a very responsible, very clear-cut commentator and analyst. He's going to run a very fair debate." But have these critical voices ever really looked at Smiley’s actual record when it comes to Republicans?
Black Entertainment Television has been playing what is being called a Public Service Announcement created by a rapper named Bomani "D'mite" Armah. It is in cartoon form and made in the Rapper music video style. However, it contains some very offensive language even as the underlying message is one encouraging children to read by telling them to read a "mother****ing book, N***er." It's a mixed message, indeed. Do we need to encourage kids to read by cursing at them every other word in a song aired to them on a black centric television station? Is this the proper type of work that should be seen on BET?
The thing begins in a school auditorium with bored kids looking on. The cartoon rapper starts by playing Beethoven's Fifth on a piano (the whole song is set to the Fifth Symphony). "D'Mite" starts off by telling the kids, "See, I used to do songs with hooks and concepts and sh*t, right? Well, f*ck that, I'm trying to go platinum!" It then goes into the first verse which is made up entirely of "Read a book, read a book, read a mah fuc*in book," repeated over and over again.
It's over-the-top and offensive to be sure. But is it the "right message" despite that and to be congratulated? BET sure thinks it should.