When I was attending St. Mary’s Hall in the 1970s, and the first editions of the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue arrived in the school library each year right after the NFL season had concluded, our matronly British-born head librarian would alternately either hide that week’s edition of the magazine, or cut out the photo spread.
Today, religious puritanism takes a different tack, as blogger Jammie Wearing Fool notes: “Latest Outrageously Outrageous Outrage: SI Swimsuit Issue Uses African Tribesman With White Model.” Click over to read JWF’s post, and then drop by Newsbusters, which spots centrist-objective no-bias-here ABC — just ask George Stephanopoulos — trolling the liberal Blogosphere for stories, and running with this one. Here’s my initial take:
It’s left-on-left kabuki. (Especially from ABC. If the network gave CBS and Dan Rather a pass for RatherGate, why would they mount a meaningful attack on another fellow old media stronghold, Time-Warner-CNN-HBO?)
This is the equivalent of the movie critic who seeks to gin up easy PR for himself by seeing racism in every Hollywood movie. If you really believed your own rhetoric, you’d be running daily apartheid-era style front page stories for an boycott of the studios*, rather than accepting DVD screeners, weekly interviews with actors and directors, and you’d talk your paper out of running ads from local theaters promoting the latest Hollywood wares.
See also: The Washington Post ranting in 2005 about “The Magic Negro Syndrome.” Presumably, the Post would rather blacks play street thugs and pimps, as they did throughout 1970s-era television crime dramas. Similarly, the SI flap illustrates the double-blind argument of modern-day “multiculturalism:” pose your models in National Geographic-style settings next to African and Chinese natives dressed in traditional garb, and the photo shoot is dubbed racist. Pose your models around whiter-than-white tourists in Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian shirts vacationing in Waikiki, and the photo shoot is dubbed racist.
Sports Illustrated, a division of Time-Warner-CNN-HBO, is a reactionary liberal publication, staffed by reactionary leftist journalists. If you’re a leftist seeing racism in it, you’re seeing racism in the left itself.
Of course – if you are, then welcome to the party: conservatives have been complaining about the rampant racialism at another division of Time-Warner-CNN-HBO since at least 2008. If you’d like to take the fight to them from the left, have fun storming the castle as well.
* Or a 9/11-era daily call for a boycott of a golf course.