I wondered what it would be like to have watched only Fox News for the past four years and then to have to confront the reality of last night’s elections results.
Over at the Atlantic Wire, Elspeth Reeve shows us exactly what it would be like, using animated GIFs of Fox’s own election coverage:
“Are you comfortable with your call in Ohio with the doubts Karl Rove just raised?” “We’re actually quite comfortable with the call,” the nerds replied. Oh.
“Right now there’s too much Obama” votes, Nerd 1 says, for Romney to make up. “Yes there are a number of counties out there that will come in for Romney, but the largest thing outstanding right now is the Cleveland area….” Nerd 2 chimes in: “There just aren’t enough Republican votes left… Cleveland is so overwhelmingly Democrat… as the vote comes in we would expect the president’s margin to rise.”
But what about Karl Rove?! “Explain his theory and why you disagree with it.” Nerd 2 explains, “It’s not that I disagree with it.” But the handful of Republican precincts can’t overwhelm the Democratic votes still to come.
But but but! What about the exit polls? “Could this be an exit poll thing?” Kelly asks. The exit polls were so wrong in 2004…. “What we’re looking at is actual raw vote… What we’re seeing is sufficient vote in Ohio on the Democratic side to say that Ohio will go for Obama.” Megyn asks, And you’re certain? “99.95 percent.”
“They seem very confident,” Kelly says, not entirely confident in the nerds.
HT: Seth Jolly.
Hands down, this was the best moment of the night for me, the perfect end to the ridiculous walk Kelly had to take through the back hallways at Fox News because, as she noted at the start of her journey, they’d decided to move the decision room (the nerd station) out of the main studio this year. GLORIOUS.
When my Cosmo issue came in the mail with Nicki Minaj on the cover a few months back, I was surprised. Not because I don’t adore Nicki Minaj (I do), but because a black woman was on the cover of the magazine. Compared to my stack of other magazines, and thinking back on previous Cosmo issues, this felt odd.
The unfortunate truth is that most magazines (especially their covers) are overwhelmingly white. It’s not an opinion, it’s a fact, something that has become so pervasive in the magazine industry that some magazines resort to having an “all-black” issue of their magazine – the implication being that the norm is, of course, white.
Just how many black women and women of color have even been on the cover of Cosmo recently?
In 2011, only 3 of the 12 covers featured women of color — Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, and Kim Kardashian. The rest? White.
Where are the Latina women? East Asian women? South Asian women?
I decided to take a look at Cosmo’s covers for the past 10 years (2001-2011) to see whether anything had changed.
Here’s what I found.
Reports of Black women hating on Gabby Douglas’s hair have been greatly exaggerated. Articles claiming that Black women have fixated on Gabby’s hair have sparked the usual discussion about White beauty norms, hair politics, and internalized racism.
But is it really Black women who are obsessed with Gabby Douglas’ hair, or the media? The idea that sisters are paying “more attention [to Gabby’s hair] than her gold medal[s]” is exactly the image of dysfunctional, belligerent Black women that the media loves. In the understandable rush to defend Gabby from critics, we’ve overlooked that this narrative is being pushed by racist, sexist media that can’t be trusted to report accurately on Black women’s opinions on just about anything. There’s very little evidence that hair is a priority when it comes to Black women’s feelings about Gabby Douglas.
This story can be traced back to one blog post, quoting all of three disparaging comments, that Jezebel slapped a few more tweets on as proof of a trend. Everyone from NPR to the LA Times has since weighed in, all seemingly basing their analysis on the Jezebel piece and a small sample of tweets. Outlets have specifically searched for negative tweets about Gabby, probably overlooking many more celebratory comments.
We should question whether the coverage reflects an actual trend, or confirmation bias creating a news story out of a few isolated fools being mean on the internet. It’s possible that the real viral story here is the original piece and the media furor it’s spawned.
So why has American media so eagerly seized on hair anxieties as a major part of Gabby’s story? The rapid spread of this myth is an example of how new and social media increasingly drive content and conversation in traditional media. As sociology scholar Tressie McMillan Cottom notes, this has particularly disturbing implications for girls and women of color. Sites focused on generating buzz, high traffic, and viral content often rely on the “reckless abuse of Black folks ([especially] women) to drive web traffic.”
Traffic-obsessed blogs often truck in sensationalistic racism and sexism, or equally sensationalist reports of such, to get hits. As journalists increasingly treat often dubious “trending topics” and viral posts as sources, even news in themselves, marginalized groups like Black women become convenient and profitable fodder for “hot” stories.
Oh hey! We had this exact conversation yesterday, over kombucha and Kate Beaton comics.
Not just newspapers, obviously. It’s why I will continue to yearn for the next Ragtime while scorning 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight.