Liberal Outlets Make Pathetic Excuses For Not Hiring Women And Minorities
The lack of racial and gender diversity in media is widespread, and is the subject of a lot of hand-wringing and lip service, but very little action. The mainstream media, with the qualified exception of MSNBC, maintains an abysmal record when it comes to diversity, while conservative media don’t even pretend to care.
When that lack of diversity is evident among liberal outlets, the problem is galling in a different way. The American Prospect‘s Gabriel Arana took a look at diversity among liberal publications like The Nation, Slate, and Mother Jones, and came away with a raft of excuses from their editors, all of which are pure horseshit.
Arana’s own over-complicated analysis eventually gets around to some productive points, but what’s truly revealing are the excuses he elicits from the editors of liberal outlets:
They’re just not that good? Anonymous editor: “(We) choose staff for what they can bring to the magazine, first and foremost.”
This is the kind of horseshit you usually hear from mainstream protectors of the white male status quo, the notion that diversity and merit are somehow incompatible, and maybe it’s even a little bit racist not to snub minorities if they’re not up to snuff. The problem is that they’re mixing up the diversity equation; they’re not failing because their hiring isn’t diverse, their hiring isn’t diverse because they are failing to properly consider merit. If you can’t find a good black, female, gay writer, that’s not because black, gay, or female writers are fucking up, it’s because you are.
It’s a white world, after all. Arana on Vox and FiveThirtyEight: “largely because they are drawing from the milky-white pool of ‘existing talent.'”
I realize Arana put “existing talent” in scare-quotes, but this is an unwitting summation of the entire problem: of course, minority talent “exists,” it’s just invisible to these people.
They don’t know how white they are. Franklin Foer, The New Republic: “When VIDA publishes those numbers, it rattles around your head. It’s a form of shaming I think is actually fairly effective.” “Having analytics and goals and knowing that it’ll just be embarrassing if you don’t do better next year is a pretty strong guarantee that things will be better.”
The largest staff that Arana reported on was Slate’s, at 75, with five minorities on staff. If you need a report from an advocacy group to tell you that your staff is 94% white…READ MORE