Australian media link Obama to Crack
The Sydney Morning Herald has reached a desperate new low today, and it is anybody’s guess why. This paper is on one hand trying to promote itself as cool and edgy, with colourful stroboscopic TV ads soundtracked by a theme plagiaristically close to Rage Against the Machine’s ‘I won’t do whatcha tell me!’ On the other hand, it also frequently runs conservative snootiness masquerading as irony and continues to question and even deny the very actual reality of devastating climate change.
So when they try to associate Barack Obama with crack cocaine is it because they think destructive drug references are edgy and cool (which they aren’t), or because their increasingly conservative editorial agenda finds something satisfying in making a racist slur against the new US President-elect?
What? Crack cocaine use is much more common amongst lower income brackets in America. Blacks in America are still more likely than white Americans to be economically disadvantaged. And American courts treat crack much more harshly than cocaine, which is generally used by people with a much higher disposable income.
Odds are that if you’re in America and your problem is crack, you’re black, and you’re going to get a harsher sentence than Wall Street when he gets caught with uncut Peruvian coming back from his Obama inauguration party. Statistically speaking.
The New York Times has been running this story for the past couple of days: Lose the Blackberry? Yes he can, maybe. It’s a very interesting article about how the US President is, in a way, locked in the watchtower. When Obama takes office on Jan. 20, he may well be denied his mobile phone and even email access because of laws relating to communications from the President of the United States.
Today (timely, as always) the Sydney Morning Herald is running exactly the same story, and the are attributing it to The New York Times. Except that they have changed the title to
and inexplicably altered the line
For years, like legions of other professionals, Mr. Obama has been all but addicted to his BlackBerry.
to instead read
For years, like legions of other on-the-move professionals, Mr Obama has been all but addicted to his BlackBerry – or CrackBerrys as they are sometimes called for exactly that reason..
As you can see, the sloppy Herald insert is evident by the appearance of two fullstops.
Now – and I’m just guessing here – writers in New York have seen a lot of the social problems and devastation of crack addiction across poorer areas of their city. They have seen that many black communities have been deeply affected by it in an almost cancerous manner. And they have seen a number of other American media outlets repeatedly tie black skin to crack addiction and drug abuse generally in a pervasive and decidedly racebaiting manner. So it would never even occur to them to use the term “Crackberry” in writing about anybody, let alone their President-elect.
The Sydney Morning Herald, on the other hand – just what the f#$% are they trying to say?