In a discussion of the media’s approach to the verdict in the George Zimmerman case, Fox News analyst Bernard Goldberg targeted a pair of mainstream media cornerstones. ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos and CBS News’s Bob Schieffer, charged Goldberg, practiced “good racial manners” in failing to properly challenge viewpoints on their respective Sunday shows.
On ABC News’s “This Week,” guest Tavis Smiley said this: “I think this is, for many Americans, George, is just another piece of evidence of the incontrovertible contempt that this nation often shows and displays for black men . . . Something is wrong when adults can racially profile children — Trayvon Martin was a child, racially profiled and gunned down.”
Stephanopoulos stopped Smiley, pointing out that the issue cited by Smiley wasn’t the issue in the courtroom.
Not aggressive enough for Goldberg, who would have posed another question to Smiley: “Now, you know, Stephanopoulos, who is practicing good racial manners, could have easily said, ‘You know, every weekend in Chicago, those people aren’t getting killed by the Ku Klux Klan. They’re getting killed by other black people.’ Black thugs are killing black people. So, if you want to talk about contempt that people have for black men, you know, the most contempt that people have for black men are other black men who have contempt.”
A similar Goldbergian attack descended on Schieffer, who spoke on Sunday’s “Face the Nation” with NAACP head Ben Jealous. When asked about the case’s impact on race relations, Jealous responded, in part: “Yes, I think ultimately it is already helping us move forward. It had been a long time since we had had an honest conversation about the way in which too many people in our country use color as grounds for suspicion.”
Schieffer moved on to other business, prompting Goldberg’s critique: “[Jealous is] absolutely right. But, Bob Schieffer, who is also practicing good racial manners, could have said, ‘Well, isn’t it possible, Mr. Jealous, that the reason that the suspicion based on color is because, I’m sorry to say this, black men commit a disproportionate amount of crime in this country.'”
Goldberg finished by citing the sort of statistic that has gotten some rotation of late on the “O’Reilly Factor”: “Ninety-two percent of all the black people in this country who get killed are killed by other black people. But we are being led to believe that it’s hunting season on black people.”
The Erik Wemple Blog hopes that the “O’Reilly Factor” maintains its focus on the plight of black-on-black crime long after the George Zimmerman case fades from public obsession.