“We realize we don’t always get things right the first time, and our previous tweet/headline misrepresented the story. We deleted the previous tweet, which was causing harm, and have updated the story,” NPR tweeted in response to the controversy over their initial story framing.
Every once in a while, conservatives get to experience the delicious schadenfreude that occurs when “woke” worlds collide in Democratic/media circles where one minority group is pitted against another in political campaigns. These situations inevitably lead to heartbreak and feelings of discrimination for one side and fretting by a party that proclaims to be “inclusive and welcoming” to all supposedly “disadvantaged” groups except in all the instances where they’re not so welcoming.
Such a situation has reared its ugly head in the aftermath of the Boston mayoral race. Taiwanese-American Democrat Michelle Wu, a city councilwoman, came out victorious over her opponent and fellow Democrat city councilwoman Annissa Essaibi George, who is white. With her victory, Wu became the first person of color ever elected to the seat.
There were also three black Democrat contenders for the seat: two black women (acting Mayor Kim Janey – who inherited the seat from former Mayor turned Biden Labor Sec. Marty Walsh and city councilwoman Andrea Campbell) and one black man (John Barros, the city’s former econ development chief). But they were eliminated from the competition in a preliminary election that took place in mid-September.
In their reporting on Wu’s victory, NPR took a rather sullen approach to the historic nature of Wu’s win, lamenting the fact that that the black contenders in the mayoral race didn’t even come close. Correspondent Tovia Smith tweeted out the link to her story Tuesday morning, noting that “Wu enjoys broad support, but there’s also more than a tinge of disappointment that Janey & 2 other Black candidates fell short”:
Michelle Wu starts today as 1st woman &person of color elected Boston Mayor. (Acting Mayor Kim Janey inherited the interim job.) Wu enjoys broad support, but there's also more than a tinge of disappointment that Janey & 2 other Black candidates fell short https://t.co/7KWxQHhS51
— tovia smith (@toviasmithnpr) November 16, 2021
And in a now-deleted tweet (archived here), NPR wrote that “While many are hailing it as a turning point, others see it as more of a disappointment that the three Black candidates couldn’t even come close.” Their original headline on the story read, “Cheers and some letdown as 1st elected woman and person of color becomes Boston Mayor.” It has since been changed to read “Why Boston will need to wait longer for its 1st elected Black mayor.” The featured image was also changed from Wu to Janey:
NPR appears to be having a struggle session because the wrong type of female minority won the Boston mayoral election. pic.twitter.com/FPwKHbEB0a
— Drew Holden (@DrewHolden360) November 16, 2021
Other Twitter users took notice, and went off on both their approach and attempted reframing of the story, which fell flat:
— Helen Raleigh (@HRaleighspeaks) November 16, 2021
Kim Janey became Boston's first black, first female mayor, but she finished 4th in the preliminary among 5 mayoral candidates of color. (Janey even endorsed Michelle Wu.)
NPR had applauded the diversity of the contenders. What changed? Why downplay an Asian American woman's win? pic.twitter.com/FizBISLYxN
— Mia Cathell (@MiaCathell) November 16, 2021
To make matters worse, NPR posted a new tweet with the reframing and in a follow-up tweet apologized for the “harm” they allegedly caused:
We realize we don’t always get things right the first time, and our previous tweet/headline misrepresented the story.
We deleted the previous tweet, which was causing harm, and have updated the story
— NPR (@NPR) November 16, 2021
Except the problem wasn’t just the tweet. It was the entire article, which quoted a number of “woke” disappointed Bostonians who were upset none of the black candidates came close to winning.
This is what happens when a political party (and compliant media) puts the physical characteristics and supposed victimhood status of a person before the person’s qualifications. I’m not knocking Wu or any of the other candidates. I don’t know much of anything about them. But I do know judging a person by anything other than the content of their character and their qualifications are not what this country is supposed to be about.
Twitter user “A Newsman” summed the whole sordid situation up best, I think:
The idea the the first Asian American woman elected wasn’t diverse enough for NPR is the sign of deeply race focused culture that ranks people based on their level of victimhood. This racist thinking permeates “progressive” organizations until it’s destroyed any & all credibility https://t.co/c8UQQVvznC
— a newsman (@a_newsman) November 16, 2021
It’s a warped mindset that can also destroy a country, too, but only if its citizens allow it.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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