Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rather Explains His Watermelon Comment a column at The Huffington Post.

"...I was talking about Obama and health care and I used the analogy of selling watermelons by the side of the road. It's an expression that stretches to my boyhood roots in Southeast Texas, when country highways were lined with stands manned by sellers of all races. Now of course watermelons have become a stereotype for African Americans and so my analogy entered a charged environment. I'm sorry people took offense.
But anyone who knows me personally or knows my professional career would know that race was not on my mind...
...I can understand why someone who just happened upon my comments could take offense or want clarification. But what has caused this comment to "go viral" is the trumpeting of an online and cable echo chamber that claims the banner of news but trades in gossip, gotcha, and innuendo. Furthermore, even for those who brook no prejudice, when everything is condensed to 140 characters or a small YouTube clip, many people who got this "news" did so without any context, just a headline that popped up on their phone or inbox."
Sorry Dan, but this isn't the 60's, you've been on the national scene for 50 years now, and times have changed. I'm not calling you a racist, but was you said was perceived as such, as you well know. Your comment going viral was not the fault of an "online and cable echo chamber." Had you chosen your words more carefully, you wouldn't be explaining yourself.

Still, I can't help but wonder if the "selling watermelons" analogy would have been used had the President been, you know, white.


Wolfe Tone said...

Dan Rather's full of shit.

As you said, Carl, he's been around as a newsman for 50 years.

He knows better.

To make matters worse, he issued a "non-apology apology:"

"I'm sorry people took offense."

WTF? I'm sorry YOU were offended by MY crass and boorish behavior?


How about something like this instead:

"I said something that anyone with half a brain would construe as racist. My comments were insensitive and offensive, and I deeply apologize for being such an dick."

Fuck Dan Rather.

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