Thursday, December 13, 2001
The New York Times reviews former CBS newsman Bernard Goldberg's book "Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News" in today's paper.
The review isn't really anything surprising, coming from the Times. I'll likely read Goldberg's book myself, even if I have to wait for the paperback edition, but some of the criticisms made by the reviewer just highlight media bias.
(Goldberg's argument) is also diminished by willfully unreasonable analogies: "Why should the children of Jesse Jackson or Colin Powell or Diana Ross get some kind of racial preference when they apply to college or go out for a job, but no `affirmative action' is given to the child of a white Anglo- Saxon Protestant coal miner from West Virginia?" An example that loaded is as unfair as the weighted news stories he denounces.
The example is unfair? Affirmative action is all about unfairness and it forces people to make silly choices. Every sensible person who reads that says: "Of course, choose the coal miner's kid." But with affirmative action, the colllege looks only at the color of the person's skin. That is wrong.
Admissions to the University of California system in the 1990s were weighted against whites and asians. The common question then was who should receive a preference in admiission to UC Berkeley, the son of Colin Powell or the daughter of an asian dishwasher?
I'm all for universities looking at hardships students have had to endure, their socioeconomic background and factors other than grades in deciding who is admitted to their institutions. But the time for admitting people based on the color of their skin is over. Racism is in the decline in America. Yes, the klan still exists, so do Nazis, but they are at the extreme fringe. Racism is gone from our public institutions. Racism is gone from the military.
In companies where racism is proven to exist, then amends must be made. But those fixes must be narrowly tailored to right the wrong, and not create other wrongs in the process.