typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

Australian media link Obama to Crack

with 2 comments

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

Obama might have to kick his CrackBerry habit

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?

Advertisements

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I just hate that paper right now!! This is fucking Telegraph shite. I am both grumpy and depressed by this idiocy masquerading (and apparently being accepted) as edgy tongue-in-cheek journalism. Can we PLEASE take over now?

    fuckpoliteness

    November 17, 2008 at 12:29 pm

  2. I smell a late 40s not quite babyboomer subbie at Fairfax who’s just discovered Facebook.

    Frankly, I think the Herald is now collectively too stupid to be that smartly snide. Rude yes, cruel certainly but not savvy nasty.

    Bernice

    November 24, 2008 at 9:47 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: