Accuracy in Media

Tom Brokaw’s recent program, “A Question of Fairness,” purported to be a balanced look at an affirmative case moving through the Supreme Court. But the program missed the significance of current events. Brokaw completely ignored the case of disgraced black journalist Jayson Blair, who benefited from affirmative action at the New York Times.

A story that broke shortly before the airing of the Brokaw program was also critical to understanding the case before the Supreme Court. In the words of Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, the case “was fixed.” It got before the Supreme Court because a federal judge appointed by Jimmy Carter improperly intervened in the appeal. The judge, Boyce F. Martin Jr., named himself to the panel to review the case, and then he delayed consideration of it to make sure that two conservative judges wouldn’t be able to rule. These findings were the result of a review prompted by a Judicial Watch complaint about Martin.

Meantime, the Center for Individual Rights, which sued the University of Michigan over its policy of reverse discrimination, has revealed the results of a study conducted by the university itself which found that affirmative action has extremely negative consequences on campus. This study says the policy of achieving racial diversity through the use of racial preferences significantly increases racial tension, isolation, and conflict on campus. The study was publicized in a May 16 article by Chetly Zarko in the Wall Street Journal.

On his program, Brokaw brought up the issue indirectly several times. He showed the former president of the university who said one of the purposes of affirmative action was to get blacks and whites to socialize together. Brokaw noted that “critics” said there was a lot of polarization on college campuses, that whites are resentful of the discrimination in favor of minorities, and that blacks have segregated themselves in groups and housing separate from whites. One of the stars of the Brokaw program, a black student who graduated with a major in African studies and political science, said that wasn’t true at all. But the facts?outlined in that study?speak for themselves.

This questionable push for diversity has also been evident in media coverage of FCC rules on media ownership. Liberal critics say they want a “diversity” of voices in the media but what they really want is to use the power of the federal government to enforce their notion of diversity. They didn’t have one word of criticism for FCC chairman Michael Powell’s plan, as outlined by Dow Jones Newswire, to increase minority ownership and hiring in broadcasting. That kind of approach has been repeatedly challenged and rejected in the courts because it constitutes racial discrimination against whites.

Columnist Linda Chavez notes that in one famous case, the then-mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, Harvey Gantt, who is black, and his partners obtained a license for a TV station under a minority-preference bidding process. They turned around and sold it four months later to a group of whites for $3 million.




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