Friday, April 15, 2011

Links of Interest

This week was filled with news stories that perplexed me, so I decided to share.

I normally don't jump on the Fox News bashing bandwagon. Not because I don't think Fox News deserves some bashing, but because it normally just doesn't register as being that important. This week, however, seemed particularly crazy:

1. Fox and Friends makes sure to inform people of the news that really matters. No, not the (then looming) chance of a government shutdown. Not even something as politically-charged as potential Republican presidential candidates. They hunted down the story the other news outlets were intentionally ignoring: Crayola's "pandering more to liberal parents" through multicultural markers. Nevermind that these markers came out 19 years ago. Pandering is always fair game. And yes, only liberals think that people come in more than one color.  Media Matters has a nice analysis of the clip.

2. Luckily, Fox isn't reserving this keen insight into the human condition for decades-old craft supplies. They are equally discerning with more modern incidents. The culprit? Moms who paint their little boy's toenails (and pink no less!) Dr. Keith Ablow analyzes a J. Crew ad in which a designer paints her son's toenails pink and carries it to its logical end: "crowding operating rooms with procedures to grotesquely amputate body parts." Even worse, "it will be a very big deal if it turns out that neither gender is very comfortable anymore nurturing children above all else." I'll just let that thought stand on its own.

3. Fox and Friends recognized their internal competition, but they would not be undone. The bar had been raised, but they were up to the task, and responded by incredulously mocking those who think Planned Parenthood's services of blood pressure checks, pap smears, and breast exams are necessary services. After all, you can get them all at Walgreens. That's right Friends, don't let factual accuracy stand in your way.

Despite best efforts, Fox does not have the corner on disturbingly culturally insensitive actions.

4.Maybe they should hire Kobe Bryant, who called a ref a "fucking faggot," and then insisted that his words "should not be taken literally." Enlighten me, Kobe. What would a literal definition of that be? I think it's the figurative one we're worried about.

With this many stories pointing to how far we have to come in understanding and valuing diversity in various forms, it would be refreshing to find an educator working with the youth to create a tomorrow free of this kind of bigotry.
5. But we should probably look somewhere other than Norfolk, VA, where a fourth-grade teacher decided the best way to teach her young class about slavery was to set up a mock auction and let the white kids buy the black ones.

Maybe I should stop reading the news.

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