Monday, August 01, 2005

The National Urban League's Rhetoric

A Washington Post article describes a just-published study by the National Urban League concluding that blacks are under-represented on Sunday morning talk shows. The study, titled Sunday Morning Apartheid: A Diversity Study of Sunday Morning Talk Shows, and available here, concludes that, between January 1, 2004 and June 30, 2005, fewer than 8% of the guests on Sunday morning talk shows have been black. Putting aside the question of whether this is a problem that needs to be fixed, the study's rhetoric seems to be poor strategy. The study begins:

In 1958, Martin Luther King wrote: It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o'clock on Sunday morning. Today, nearly 50 years after Dr. King's incisive observation about America's churches, we are facing another form of Sunday Morning Apartheid: the Sunday morning talk shows.

12% of the United States general population is black. According to the study, 8% of the guests on Sunday morning talk shows are black. Thus, there is a discrepancy between the proportion of blacks in the general population and the proportion that populate Sunday morning talk shows. To compare this discrepancy to apartheid - a hate-filled policy of political and economic discrimination - is to invite ridicule upon a study whose content may or may not ultimately deserve it.

Said ridicule on Oxblog.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that anyone who would ridicule the report based upon its title are only looking for an excuse to distract attention away from what it says - and would find another excuse to dismiss it if the title were different.

9:05 AM  

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