The Sunday morning news shows had their turn to talk about the mass shooting that happened in Charleston last week. Gone would be the excuses of lack of information, and instead we would endure hot takes on gun control and racism. However, only one would stick out as ham-fisted and ignorant of the other issues at hand.
In an attempt to talk about gun control, Meet the Press aired part of a documentary interviewing jailed murderers about their regrets over using a gun. As emotional as such video might be, most people noted the warning beforehand.
Chuck Todd: The circumstances you are about to see are very different from the racist violence in Charleston. In this case, the inmates are African-American… we simply ask you to look at this [as a] color blind issue as about simply just gun violence.
This request wasn’t heeded in the panel.
Eugene Robinson: One small thing I would mention, because I haven’t seen the whole piece, it wasn’t a terribly diverse set of people who were talking […] We should point out that it’s not just an African-American problem.
Chuck Todd: No, no no, and it wasn’t intended to be that way.
Todd’s color blind request also wasn’t heeded on social media, where folks were less polite than Mr. Robinson. Next came the expected feedback to the feedback, as Todd typed up a response to the outrage.
[T]he last thing we wanted was to cloud the discussion of the topic. When we discussed putting it off, that conversation centered around race and perception — not the conversation we wanted the segment to invoke. We decided against delaying the segment because we wanted to show multiple sides of what gun violence does in this country.
“We figured it might get people upset, but screw it. Let’s run it anyways.”
As I say to all audiences, Meet the Press should make all viewers uncomfortable at some point or we are not doing our job.
Which is probably not the best closing when people are “uncomfortable” with the thing you said would cloud the actual issue at hand.
I realize that racism and gun violence won’t be solved in a day or via a TV segment. They can’t even be talked about rationally amongst elected officials, let alone on social media or in a comments section. But, if faced with the opportunity to get your message across more clearly at a slight delay, maybe give it a shot. It might be the first step needed to get to a place where important issues are discussed.
(Via Raw Story)