Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The City Too Busy To Hate...

or not. Check out how discussion about this bare-bones article about Mayhem in the AM being hosted by the four local TV sports anchors (a neat idea, if you ask me) quickly devolves into thinly-veiled taunts back and forth about the Two Live Stews. Want to know how the same metro area elected both Cynthia McKinney and Bob Barr in the 90s? Here's your illustration.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

While a few of these critics cross the line, their point is valid: The Stews are dreadful. They are syndicated and get accolades from national media because they are two brothers who are brothers (really wanted to avoid that joke, but it was too easy).

White guys of similar ability would not have a national program, and would have trouble keeping their jobs. Nick and Chris were head and shoulders above anything else I've every heard on any sports station in any market, and they didn't get syndicated.

The Stews style appeals to a mainly black audience, and 790 is trapped by their appeal. If the Stews really are losing to Buck and Kincaide, it's worse than I thought. 790 can't dump them, but they are apparently hemoraging Atlanta listeners so badly they cannot beat a one trick hack and his mildly retarded cohost.

I don't think the Stews are racist at all. However, they do patronize white listeners and callers in a way that would not be tolerated in reverse. They also have a bit of the Stuart Scott don't-hate-the-playa mentality that makes it difficult to take them seriously, and prevents them from conducting many serious interviews.

ESPN seems to prefer loud, in your face black personalities. While I suspect we differ greatly in our political views, I suspect we can agree that there is certainly something demeaning in that archetype. ESPN apparently wants their high profile black sportstastic entertainers to be in your face-booyah-keepin' it real because that's how black people (in their view) talk. I'm surprised they haven't hired Poochie yet. I think he was a black Lab.

I'd guess the ESPN decision makers do not actually converse with many black people in their everyday lives. Their views of black America are shaped by popular culture, and they in turn propagate the same views of black America with their hiring/programming decisions.

Which brings me back to the Dimino/Cellini show. As I typed, I realized I don't necessarily think black hosts would have been nationally syndicated with the same show. Had two black hosts conducted the same in-depth, at times cerebral, and generally lowkey show as Cellini and Dimino, they might have been bypassed (at least by ESPN) simply because they wouldn't be "black" enough. It would be a real life radio version of Bamboozled.

Another example of this same patronizing bigotry from a SG Chronicle article I read earlier today:

"Chris Gardner is at the top of his game. Hell, he's at the top of anybody's game.

Money. Power. Looks. Houses. Cars. A beautiful woman. A closet stuffed with hundreds of custom-made suits. A Rolodex stuffed with thousands of name-brands, from Michael Jordan to Nelson Mandela, from society glitterati to Wall Street chieftains. And to top it off, he's no blue blood. He's black.{my emphasis}"

I literally laughed out loud when I read that. Later, discussing how "the stock business was a white man's profession", one can almost sense the writer tut-tutting and patting Gardner on the head when he refuses to ascribe to that belief.

Given her field and employer, the writer probably considers herself to be quite "progressive". However, she is amazingly insensitive in her first two paragraphs. She may as well have used an exclamation mark. A black man succeeding in business! Who'd've thunk it?

I've wandered far afield from the original topic, to the point that I'm mentally paraphrasing the old Steve Martin SNL skit: 'Say, who's the blogger here?'

I do have a blog/page where I may repost and expand later.