MSNBC: AP racist for dropping g’s in transcribing Obama’s speech
posted at 4:07 pm on September 25, 2011 by Howard Portnoy
Ignoring the sage advice of Michael Corleone to “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” (sorry, history buffs, it was not Sun Tzu who said this), MSNBC has distanced itself from one of its allies. The liberal cable network has accused the equally liberal Associated Press of racism for transcribing the president’s words verbatim in last night’s speech.
Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.[Emphasis added]
Instead of “cleaning up” Obama’s present participles by restoring the final g, AP’s Mark S. Smith used what linguists call eye dialect. In one of the most famous literary example of this phenomenon, John Steinbeck in Grapes of Wrath mimicked the Okie dialect by transcribing the name of character Rose of Sharon as “Rosasharn” when spoken by members of the Joad family.
So, did AP show its racist colors? The Blaze reports that two journalism professors—one liberal, the other conservative, both black—were invited on to the new Chris Hayes show to hash it out.
The upshot of the debate is irrelevant because, on its face, the allegation of racism is preposterous. The president went out of his way last night to sound more “black.” At one point in his speech, he said, “It gets folks discouraged. I know. I listen to some of y’all.”Mark Smith quoted this construction as well. Should he have sanitized y’all into “you?”
The first job of a journalist is to report a story as accurately as possible. Part of the job of reporting Obama’s speech last night was to highlight his obvious pandering, which is borne of desperation.
The only element missing from the story is whether any of the listeners were offended by the president’s “blaccent.”
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