4.15.2008

More Prize Reporting From The AJC

Poor Brian Feagans must have drawn the short straw when he got assigned this remarkable piece. I wonder if they're planning to do a series: Georgian Recalls Riding the Escalator With Tiger Woods, Atlantan Recalls Waiting in the DMV line With Colin Powell. The two women featured (a mother/daughter team with dreams of meeting Matt Lauer and Oprah, no doubt) are middle-aged Catherine, who once was assigned to a dorm room with Michelle Obama at Princeton, and the elder Driving Miss Alice, who immediately demanded a room change for her child. Eventually, Catherine came out as a lesbian and learned what it feels to be marginalized, and Alice figured out that her prejudice may have lost her a ticket to the White House.

The writing itself is horrific; I wouldn't know where to begin. But what's worse is the entire premise, along with the literal length(s) it goes to to make its point(lessness). And by the end of the article, I certainly don't have the impression anyone has learned anything at all. They made the enormous leap from:

"I was horrified," recalled Brown, who had driven her daughter up from New Orleans. Brown stormed down to the campus housing office and demanded Donnelly be moved to another room.

The reason: One of her roommates was black.

"I told them we weren't used to living with black people — Catherine is from the South," Brown said. "They probably thought I was crazy."


to:

Society changed, and Donnelly has seen her mother nudged along with it. Says Brown: "It's become politically incorrect to talk about black people in a negative way. It's like smoking."

Brown quit smoking in 1996. She's still working on the other.

Brown says she wouldn't mind if her child or grandchild roomed with a black person today. But she's far from colorblind. "Where I draw the line is interracial marriage," Brown says. "That I can't quite deal with."

She holds firm to the belief that African-Americans don't take enough responsibility. "Bill Cosby says the same thing," she says. "Get off your rear end and work hard and improve yourself."


I haven't read anything this self-indulgent since that AJC obit I wrote about a few months ago. When it was all over, I couldn't figure out if Feagans was serious, or if he was deviously making fun of the women and giving his editors the invisible finger. If the former, wow. If the latter, what a puss.

13 comments:

Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

This story truly sets the bar for ridiculous writing. Any other news organization would have laughed this one into oblivion in about 10 seconds flat. Not only for the absurdly awful writing style, but for the simple reality that there is nothing newsworthy here to report on.

Love how not only could they have a royal hissy fit about black folk but could also find a K-mart before checking into Princeton. You can take a cracker out of the country, but...

biggy said...

fascinating story. Perhaps next time they could write a lengthy article about what hair product Obama uses.

ButtonHole said...

Loved the way Michelle Obama had "no comment" on the story. These people sound like ostriches; since they have their head in the sand, they think no one can see their big racist asses sticking up.

This IS a ridiculous story and contains blisteringly bad writing, though I can't say I regret reading it--just that I regret that so many people like this still exist.

To reword a line from The Scarlet Letter:

The Ivy League education had not done its office.

e! said...

This piece of journalism is absolutely horrific. How did this story come into being??? Did this moronic "mother/daughter team" call up the paper and think this would be their way back into Michelle Obama's life? This story and these people make me want to vomit. Only in the AJC!!!

Oh, what are the Three R's? And what are they referencing?

a/ok said...

Hmmm...looking for a silver lining here. Congrats to Brown for quitting smoking in 1996 and I wish her luck with the "other."

PS, I can't believe I'll never be able to regain the time I spent reading that article. Can I sue the AJC for that?

Collin said...

Talk about grasping at straws for a story. The women -- even the lesbian daughter -- still come off as looking like redneck racists. The headline should have been "Racist Will Vote For Obama."

ButtonHole said...

E! I believe the 3 R's refer to Readin' Ritin' and 'Rithmetic. I assume the 4th to which they refer is "Racism"?

Anne-Davnes said...

I don't think this does anybody any good. It's repetitive and inflammatory - made me wince through the whole thing.

Can't we just move onto something else?

Wait a sec!

We already HAVE.

Duh! But does the AJC know that?

Howard said...

Oh god. What can I say that hasn't already been said?

Welcome to 1962, AJC! Runnin' just a few years behind.

And that writer should be fired, fired, fired.

Howard said...

And a couple more: fired, fired, fired.

Jennifer said...

What's wrong with you people? I was SO pleased to see this article in the AJC! I've used it to line a catbox; it's always nice to come across a little something for Pussy to shit on.

Anonymous said...

I thought one useful element of the article was that it offered a glimpse of context for Michelle Obama. The media is obviously determined to paint her as an Angry, Vengeful Black Woman who is actually privileged and has no reason to be So Angry at the white system. We've already seen the media try to distort her thesis as some kind of Black Rebellion Against America, just as they did with Rev. Wright's sermons.

This article shows that she was a sweet, hard-working young girl who, in the course of her determination to succeed, was barraged by intense racism, both directly and subtly.

I have constant complaints about the AJC, too, but I hope everyone who complained about this article will remember the racism Michelle Obama LIVED with once the media kicks its Michelle Is An Angry Black Woman Who Hates White America campaign into full gear.

Tania Rochelle said...

That's the story that should have been written, Anon.

A glimpse of something worthy while sifting through a pile of horse shit doesn't suffice.

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