Earlier this week, Slate.com columnist Aisha Harris wrote a somewhat tongue-in-cheek piece arguing that Santa Claus needed a makeover. Instead of always being depicted as a jolly, fat, white man, Santa Claus should be a penguin. Harris wrote about growing up as a Black child and seeing two versions of Santa — on TV and at school, Santa was white, but at home, the Santa who decorated her house (and delivered presents) at Christmastime was Black, just like her. Harris described how this omnipresent white figure made her feel as a child:
I remember feeling slightly ashamed that our black Santa wasn’t the “real thing.” Because when you’re a kid and you’re inundated with the imagery of a pale seasonal visitor—and you notice that even some black families decorate their houses with white Santas—you’re likely to accept the consensus view, despite your parents’ noble intentions.
Depicting Santa as an animal, Harris argued, “could spare millions of nonwhite kids the insecurity and shame that I remember from childhood.” She continued: Keep reading »
“There’s no denying that from the surface it appears to be some sort of cover-up. But when you look at the finer details, there are telltale signs of this girl actually lying. She is leaving her home at 1 a.m. in the morning and nobody forced her to drink. And what happens? She gets caught by her mom, she’s embarrassed and the easy way out here is, ‘Mom, someone took advantage of me.’ But what did she expect to happen at 1 a.m. in the morning after sneaking out? I’m not saying — assuming that these facts are accurate and this did happen — I’m not saying she deserved to be raped, but knowing the facts as we do here including what the prosecutor has set forth, this case is going nowhere and it’s going nowhere quick.”
This is Fox News (of course) guest Joseph DiBenedetto, an attorney, sharing his totally reasonable opinion that the Maryville rape victim Daisy Coleman — and presumably her friend Paige Pankhurst, too — are going on national news shows like CNN and Al-Jazeera claiming they were “raped” because they don’t want to get grounded for drinking and sneaking out one night. That’s the same thing that I used to do when I got caught sneaking out! Cry rape and do interviews with Erin Burnett! Lying outside on the front lawn overnight in the January freeze for added effect? Good one, Daisy. You sure pulled the wool over my eyes. Injuring herself around the genitalia was another pro move for authenticity.
SIGH. [Raw Story]
At this point, we shouldn’t be surprised when Fox News does something terrible. And indeed, my general response to their ridiculous antics and rightwing pandering is to just sigh and roll my eyes. But this? The network using Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like A Lady” as the background and outro music for a story on Bradley Manning’s transformation into Chelsea Manning? Well, that’s so blatantly juvenile, the kind of move a bratty middle-schooler would make in order to assuage his own uncomfortable feelings about his sexuality, that we had to call them out on it.
This isn’t the first time the “fair and balanced” network has flubbed up its coverage of trans issues. Earlier this year, they used a photo of Mrs. Doubtfire to illustrate a story on transgender health coverage. Stay classy, Fox News. Stay classy. [Mediaite]
Feministing blogger Zerlina Maxwell is a survivor of rape. Last week, Maxwell appeared with Sean Hannity on Fox News and what she said on the show generated some racist, misogynist comments and both rape threats and death threats. Her “controversial” comment? She said, “I think we should be telling men not to rape women and start the conversation there with prevention.”
That’s not OK to say, apparently: it poked the hornet’s nest of our society’s long held, deeply flawed ideas about rape as well as squeamish attitudes when it comes to discussing it.
Zerlina Maxwell, we at The Frisky stand with you. Men should be taught not to rape. Here are three misconceptions about rape that she schooled Sean Hannity and his viewers on in the exchange: Keep reading »
UPDATE: It turns out MSNBC and CNN also did not bleep out the victim’s name when showing clips of Trent Mays’ statement in court yesterday. I’ve changed the title of the post to reflect that and my ire at Fox News in the text below is now directed at them as well. Additionally, I have pulled the video from my previous post about CNN for the time being, as I believe at one point in the eight minute segment, you can hear Mays use her name. I’ll try to replace the video with a version where her name is bleeped out ASAP.
To quote my good friend Ice T, Fox News can eat a hot bowl of dicks. The conservative news network has rightfully come under fire today for airing the name of the accuser in the Steubenville rape case, which concluded yesterday with a guilty verdict for both of young men accused. During yesterday’s sentencing, both Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond were given the opportunity to apologize and plead for leniency. “I would truly like to apologize to [redacted], her family, my family and the community. No picture [of the rape] should have been sent around, let alone even taken.” Those who were watching the proceedings on the live feed could hear the name, but TV news networks are typically expected to bleep out a rape victim’s name, as it is considered journalistically unethical to reveal the identity of those who have come forward with sexual abuse and assault allegations, given the stigma associated with such crimes. This is particularly true when the accuser is a minor, as Jane Doe in the Steubenville case is. Print news outlets have followed the same protocol.
Yet in a segment today, Fox News [UPDATE: And CNN and MSNBC] showed Mays’ apology and did not bleep out the victim’s name. Jane Doe has already been the target of harassment in her community — revealing her identity on national news opens her and her family up to further harassment and threats. It is absolutely unconscionable that Fox News would expose Jane Doe’s identity, adding further injury to what has already been a deeply traumatic experience, one that the teen has faced with more bravery than I could imagine. Keep reading »
Fox News, what a bunch of bozos. Jessica Valenti, founding editor of Feministing, noticed something curious about the photo accompanying an article on FoxNews.com about “traditional gender roles.” Further research confirmed that the couple getting married in the photo (presumably who Fox News felt represented traditional gender roles in a marriage) was not that of a man and a woman, but two women. Lela McArthur and Stephanie Figarelle were married in Anchorage, Alaska, on February 14, 2012, and their photo — shot by the Associated Press — had previously been used in a Huffington Post story on romance around the world. Fox News removed the photo from their story as soon as they realized their “error.” [Jessica Valenti]