By Shawn Williams
Anna Merlan of the Dallas Observer does a nice job laying out the Black Police Association’s grievances with the Dallas Morning News. Their grievance is more specifically with Tanya Eiserer, who used the words “cocksucker” and “asshole” when an interview she though she had with Chief David Brown didn’t happen. The BPA feels race is a factor in the incident. Are they right?
I’ve looked at the comments to the post and racial claims are generally misunderstood in an incident like this. The question is not whether or not the words ”cocksucker” or “asshole” are racist. The question is whether or not Eiserer would have used the same language at Chief Kunkle’s office if she felt wronged.
The question is how likely are Mike Rawlings and Pete Sessions to have a reporter use the words “cocksucker” or “asshole” at their offices in the presence of their staff.
How many quotes have you seen in the Dallas Morning News lately from Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, or Chief David Brown or District Attorney Craig Watkins? Not many. Hit and run articles that play loose with the facts are being couched under the heading of “investigations.” Good reporters are being penalized by others who aren’t checking their work.
It’s the chicken and egg here. Black officials don’t feel like they’re being treated fairly. Are they being treated unfairly because of their race? Or do they assume it’s racism because they’re being treated unfairly?
And be clear, Black officials are receiving unfair media treatment. But that treatment extends to Parkland, which is also being reported on unfairly. As Tim Rogers pointed out on Frontburner a few weeks back (Parkland’s Woes Not As Bad As Morning News Wants You To Believe), there’s a problem with how story’s are being couched.
A number of reporter are frustrated by the lack of access to African-American officials right now. I know because I’ve heard it from both reporters and elected officials. It makes it harder for writers to do their job. But when there seems to be more interest breaking a story at all cost, these things can happen.