When Tracy and I watched HBO's John Oliver do his piece on Donald Sterling on Sunday night, I wondered aloud how local news might cover the same story. I didn't have long to wait.
For those who have been living under a rock, Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team was revealed in recent days to have less than 21st Century views regarding his fellow Americans, views which prompted his own daughter to publicly say, "I am devastated and saddened by the cruel and insensitive comments expressed in these audio tapes."
How cruel and insensitive were they? Well, in a conversation which his girlfriend taped, he drops nuggets such as, "It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?"
To read more of his pearls of wisdom:
The basketball team owner and real estate magnate has also had a sad reputation for racism in some quarters for some time. In 2005, he settled a lawsuit which accused him of discriminating against black and Hispanic renters. There have also been other lawsuits from folks who have rented from him.
And just how did Channel 5/KFSM cover this story?
Well, they told the folks at home that players in the National Basketball Association had spoken out this weekend about "racist" comments that had been attributed to Sterling.
Well, pretty much, except for describing how the players of the team protested, and how they want an investigation into past charges of racism on his part.
But not one, single, solitary word of what he actually said. Not even a hint.
Come on, Channel 5 - couldn't somebody in your entire station master the Google Machine, so you could report just a little more?
Then again, looking over a few of the posts left on KFSM’s site, perhaps KFSM is just sensitive to the emotional needs of some in their audience, and doesn't want to offend them.
"Arnold Fudpucker" had this to say:
"As usual there is a lot more whining about this event than is merited. If you take the time to listen to the ENTIRE exchange between this old fool and his gold-digger girlfriend you realize the overt racism claim is just plain old B.S. The woman (can’t use the term lady in this case) is clearly baiting this old fool. You can assume her intention is to benefit financially from all this. ?
"As far a the racism thing is concerned, the guy is entitled to his own
opinion, remember? Whether you agree with him or not is your own opinion and it may not win the adoration of a lot of people so be prepared to be surprised. If the NBA comes down on this guy then the entire NBA should be shut down. Fans should quit going to the games and then we’ll see just how much the players whine then. You race baiters need to sit down and shut up."
You know, lots of American history would be a lot simpler, if folks learned that " . . . sit down and shut up" rule - even beginning with our Founding Fathers, perhaps?
"Kevin" had this to say:
"Stop whining…..If I got paid millions of dollars to play a GAME you can call me whatever you want or think whatever you want about me as long as you keep the checks rolling in. STOP WHINING"
Why do I suspect that Comrade Kevin is white, and hasn't really dealt with much prejudice in his life?
And "Tom Sambo," a man of few words - possibly because his vocabulary may not be especially large - had this to say:
I don't even know what that means, actually, but he felt strongly enough to post it for all the word to see. I don’t know, maybe it’s a sort of incoherent insult on his part, as when the mental giants on Facebook like to throw the word “libtard” around.
Curt but deadly.
When I was a young man in the 1970s we innocently convinced ourselves that racism would be a thing of the past by the 21st Century. How sad it is for me that some think that people should stop “whining” when folks in authority over them show their bigotry openly.
Quote of the Day
A country is considered the more civilized the more the wisdom and efficiency of its laws hinder a weak man from becoming too weak or a powerful one too powerful - Primo Levi (Survival in Auschwitz)