5 More of the Most Awful Media People of 2013
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
In the media hack list below, Alex Pareene has channeled each media figure's "unique" voice -- and let them "write" their own entries. You can find the previous five hacks in Pareene's list here.
#5 Hack: Washington Post's Richard Cohen
First of all, let me state my credentials: I am a funny guy. And I am not a racist. And I am a critic of Richard Cohen — in fact I have called him “the worst writer in the world” — in addition to being funny and not racist. As a funny, not-racist guy who is one of Richard Cohen’s biggest critics, I think it’s time to face facts. Richard Cohen is right about black people and young women.
I know my critics will have a field day with this. I can already practically see my inbox filling up with nasty missives from the unhinged left. I am sure that someone will call me a racist, since it’s impossible these days to write honestly and frankly about the inherent scariness of young black men without getting called a racist. That’s a real shame.
First of all, it hurts to be called a racist. It’s deeply hurtful, and unfair. I myself have felt the ugly sting of being accused of racism on more occasions than I can count. And I know that if I weren’t a reasonably well-off white man of a certain age with a prestigious job in journalism, I’d certainly never be victimized like this.
I think we have a real problem in our culture these days, when a man like Richard Cohen can’t make the simple, reasonable argument that Trayvon Martin in some way bears responsibility for his own murder because of his choice of outfit without the ensuing response turning into a modern-day digital lynch mob. We all — all of us — know that, while we wish it weren’t so, black people commit all of the crimes. To deny that is to deny reality. I’m afraid I can’t deny reality. It’s time to grow up, and admit that not letting black people go to stores is just a sadly necessary response to the real, and important, fears of white people.
Where is the politician brave enough to address the widespread fear of black violence? No major public figure ever talks about it, besides Richard Cohen. There is a political correctness omerta around the issue of black people committing crime and being frightening. I wish I had a solution to this problem. I thought Barack Obama would fix it, by making it permissible for Richard Cohen to admit to his racial anxieties without fear of any sort of backlash. But did the former Barry Obama make it OK for Richard Cohen to defend racial profiling? No. Is the solution to put into place a criminal justice system designed to detain and imprison as many people of color as possible? I don’t know. Does such a system already exist? I don’t know. If it does, is it racist? It’s a painfully, achingly, staggeringly complex issue, but I think it is not.
It may seem that whenever I ponder a very difficult and complex issue, I, like Richard Cohen, invariably come down on the side that allows me to persist in my existing prejudices. Nothing could be further from the truth. I, like so many Americans, have spent many years with comfortable delusions, only to be shaken of them later in life, when reality, in the form of fiction, intervenes. Take the example of the Salem Witch Trials. Like all of us, I labored for years under the impression that they were just a bit of a prank that got out of hand. It wasn’t until I saw the remarkable, beautiful film “ParaNorman” that I realized the terrible truth. Many of the tens of thousands of women publicly executed as witches throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, in Europe and the United States, weren’t witches at all. Indeed, most of them weren’t. Some of them were just little girls with the power to speak with friendly dead people. Many didn’t even have that power.