[via votersthink.org, via crooksandliars.com]

There’s a lot that could be said in response to this segments content, but that’s not actually why I posted it. What interests me is the presentation.

I have noticed more than a few times that news organizations seem to pick their most “immigrant-y” reporter to report on immigration news. The one with a noticeable accent, or a “foreign-sounding” last name. Now, I haven’t done a study on this (but it seems like someone certainly could), it’s just been an impression, and perhaps I’m totally off base, maybe I’ve just paid more attention when it is a not-white, possibly immigrant reporter, but it’s something I thought about again while watching this segment, and something I will certainly try to keep an eye out for.

Hopefully if I have time soon, I’ll spend a while surfing seeing if I can get a better impression if this is the case across the board. Because I’ve always found the tendency to, for example, put the black reporter on a “black” news story or the Asian reporter on the “Asian” news story more than a bit strange. (And it’s enough of a trend for it to be parodied often on the Daily Show with their “senior black correspondent” and the like.)

Ok, if that particular reporter ends up having a better rapport with people they are interviewing for some reason of ethnicity or personal experience, fine, but if you’re just going to show images of the Chinese New Year parade or something, what does it matter the race of the reporter out on the street?

And in this segment it makes me doubly suspicious. They’re reporting on a really invasive type of information gathering. This could be construed as very Big Brotherish. And by sending someone with obviously recent immigrant roots to ask softball questions and completely ignore outrageous statements in response to worries about racial profiling (official response “Don’t break the law”)  it’s like subtly defending it to the immigrant community. “Here is one of your brethren, and he doesn’t have a problem with it. He doesn’t question, doesn’t get uppity.”

On the other hand, maybe this journalist is personally interested in immigration issues, but perhaps he feels that his ethnicity hinders him in asking challenging questions, that he could be perceived by his bosses as biased, so he plays it safe, perhaps even overcompensating by leaving the most outrageous statements unchallenged.

Or maybe he’s just a guy, and maybe he just works for a network that doesn’t really care too much about asking the deep questions. Entirely possible.

I don’t know the answer. The segment just made me think about these issues a bit, and has certainly made me want to look into it further.

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