Crikey. The NYTimes devotes a huge article to counting political pundits by race and ethnicity to show how “diverse” campaign coverage is getting. Count the racial beans and call it “progress:”
Black commentators under 40 at CNN, like the journalist and radio host Roland S. Martin; Amy Holmes, a conservative strategist and a former senior speechwriter for Bill Frist, Republican of Tennessee, the former Senate majority leader; and Jamal Simmons, a Democratic strategist, Obama supporter and veteran press spokesman with international experience, have been “breakout stars” this election, Professor Newkirk said.
“They bring such a fresh perspective that we are unaccustomed to hearing in the mainstream media,” she said. “Hopefully, the value of having different perspectives will be appreciated beyond this historic campaign.”
The 2008 lineup at CNN also includes Alex Castellanos, a Cuban-born Republican strategist, and Leslie Sanchez, a Mexican-American Republican strategist who has also appeared on Fox News.
Donna Brazile, who is black and a well-known Democratic strategist, is also a regular CNN contributor who was part of the team in 2004.
Their counterparts at MSNBC include Michelle Bernard, a lawyer by training, who is black and conservative; Rachel Maddow, who is white and has a show on the liberal Air America Radio; Eugene H. Robinson, a black columnist for The Washington Post; and Joe Watkins, a Republican strategist who is also black. Last week Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman from Tennessee, made his MSNBC debut as a political analyst. Mr. Ford, a black Democrat, had been an analyst at Fox News.
The story is illustrated with a big photo of a CNN panel that includes Paul Begala, Jamal Simmons, Roland Martin, and Bill Bennett. The pic is captioned “A DIFFERENT LOOK TO THE TALKING HEADS:”
They see two black guys and call it “diversity.”
What do you see? I see three liberals and one conservative.
Three to one.
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