Seattle Times: Racism In Print
Last week I wrote about the Seattle Times’ pathetic excuse of a feature article on City Council Candidate Bobby Forch- scroll down the site if you haven’t read it yet, it’s an important piece whether you like Forch for city council or not.
A few days after their initial article, came a second article (Tuesday of this week) about how crowded the race is for that particular seat- Position 8. The article offered details on each of the viable candidates. For those of you who don’t think racism exists in journalism, take a look at what I- and many others- noticed. It’s a classic, text book, teachable moment on rhetoric- both passive and affirmative. It’s also one of the clearest examples of why I don’t read the times (so stop sending me the links to these craptastic articles! 😉 )
First up is candidate Forch (remember? the Black guy).
Total words on Bobby Forch: 114. Here are some critical excerpts, which just happen to be the first 2 paragraphs:
Forch said he was compelled to run because he felt passionately about creating jobs.
Calling himself a small-business advocate, Forch said part of his current job is helping minority-owned businesses land city contracts.
Can you spot the passive rhetoric?
Let’s go to the very next candidate in the article, David Miller (who happens to be White. It’s not his fault and we don’t hold it against him, srsly)
Total words on Miller: 162
The first 2 paragraphs of the Miller coverage:
Miller comes to city politics with a background in biotech. But years ago, he said, he discovered he had a knack for deciphering the arcane language of land-use codes as he fought for various issues in his Maple Leaf neighborhood.
He advocates the urban-village-growth concept as an antidote to sprawl.
Can you spot the assertive rhetoric?
In words alone, Miller is presented as the better candidate above Forch. Miller “comes” with qualifications, and Forch just thinks of himself as things he may not really be. That’s the suggestion in the words chosen to characterize either candidate. If the author felt he didn’t have more words to put to Forch, he should have cut his word usage for Miller. That’s equity. Overall, Forch received the smallest word-count.
Miller “has a nack” for deciphering the impossible, and Forch says tht part of his current job is….