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Coloring the News: How Political Correctness Has Corrupted American Journalism Paperback – May 1, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A magnificent collection of awkward facts, troubling arguments, and unfashionable opinions that reveal a cloud of dubious orthodoxy behind the ostensibly just pursuit of diversity in the news and the newsrooms."

"Something has gone terribly wrong with the noble goal of diversifying American newsrooms. . . . McGowan is right to argue that journalists should be investigating the race industry, not working for it."

About the Author

William McGowan has won the National Press Club's 2002 Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism. He has written for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and other publications. Mr McGowan is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and lives in New York.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books; Revised ed. edition (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893554600
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893554603
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,690,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you want to know how a Jayson Blair could have happened, this is the book for you.
Although Coloring the News was published in 2001, author William McGowan shows how Blair, far from being the fluke he has been portrayed as by the mainstream media, was inevitable. McGowan chronicles how - following the lead of New York Times publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr. - major mainstream, daily newspapers, and TV news operations all over America, gave up on telling the truth as the goal of the news business. And he names names.
Sulzberger & Co. replaced truth with "diversity" (radicalized affirmative action aka multiculturalism aka political correctness), which involves not only hiring as reporters and editors black and Hispanic (also gay and feminist) applicants with inferior qualifications, but also imposing the multicultural/pc "script" on the reporting of events, which means that often there is no reporting at all, or only fraudulent reporting, in which certain parties are quoted and certain research cited, no matter how dishonest the former and no matter how discredited the latter is.
McGowan demonstrates how many media organizations, particularly the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, ABC News, CBS News and NPR, have botched story after story after story. He does his best work skewering the New York Times, which over the past ten years, has become a self-caricature of a great metropolitan daily. I know what a good job McGowan does on the Times, because I've covered many of the stories he discusses, and have caught the Times misrepresenting many stories he doesn't discuss.
The author argues that in seeking to be cheerleaders for certain groups, the media have hurt them, by suppressing unpleasant truths which must be faced, in order to help the groups.
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Format: Paperback
In all of my readings on bias in the media, none of been as well documented and argued as McGowan's Coloring the News. McGowan, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, believes that the media's quest for 'diversity' shapes their perspective on how to present the news and what stories to cover. Part of the argument here is that, because news organizations want to 'correct' their historically white-male centered coverage, they are willing to shape stories about minority groups however the groups see fit. This includes not running pictures of accused criminals because it may cause racial backlash (more recently, in a protest at UC Berkeley), and using a quota system to make sure that at least a certain amount of "people around town" pictures that a newspaper runs are African-American.

McGowan's title may be a bit misleading, and potentially a bit controversial, if only for the "coloring" part of the title. McGowan does not single out media coverage of African-Americans, showing that the media also shape their coverage to not offend gays, lesbians and, more recently, Arab-Americans. Instances of these include coverage of gay adoption and racial profiling.

This book is not an easy read. The paperback version is only 250-odd pages, but the text is small and there are few breaks in chapters. I was having difficulty reading it until I got towards the last 100 pages, when the stuff that McGowan documents just becomes so jaw-dropping that one can't believe it is actually true. This includes a Vermont newspaper story that got a writer fired without the normal process of disputing the charges taking place because of a small backlash from an agitator in the community.
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Format: Paperback
William McGowan's "Coloring the News" places the mainstream media under a microscope analyzing the claims that "diversity" in the newsroom will improve news coverage and inform the public to a greater degree. McGowan demonstrates that not only has news not improved, but reporters have deliberately avoided covering uncomfortable and inconvenient aspects of many stories for fear of "stereotyping" or "offending." The result is a consistently sanitized and skewed version of events. McGowan makes clear "diversity" of viewpoint is significantly more important in a newsroom that skin color or gender, yet newsrooms, in employing more minorities and systematically excluding white males, and solidified the liberal ideological grip on news coverage. Ironically, in the quest for "diversity" there has been much less presentation of different viewpoints, especially conservative or Christian views. The unintended effect of all this has been a mass fleeing from the networks to other sources of news such as radio and the internet which atleast give some validity to the conservative viewpoint.
Highly recommended.
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By A Customer on December 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
Remember when you were a kid, and the teacher taught you that newspaper articles are about facts -- who/what/where/when/why/how? We were taught that editorials are for expressing opinion and the feature articles are for reporting the basic facts? This booked showed me just how false is that basic concept of what "the news" is supposed to be.
Of particular interest to me was the topic of women in the military. I am female, but I think it's shameful that the opinions of veterans were suppressed because they were not on the politically correct side of the issue. Would we even be able to HAVE these debates, if not for them?
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