We just can’t win

My boss got this phone message today from an anonymous caller who called The Herald “racist” and “backwoods” for our Obama coverage on Nov. 5 … and he was kind enough to share it with me.

http://media.podhoster.com/therant/racistcall.mp3″

Now look … we get a handful of mean calls and e-mails a week, and never have they bothered me (much) because it pretty much comes with the territory. And this call doesn’t “bother” me so much either, because the caller is obviously mean-spirited and, well, let’s be honest … delusional.
I’m sorry. She is.

Her complaint is that our Obama article on Nov. 5 was “small.” Well, lady … the article was “small” because our deadline was 10:30. He won the election at 11. Therefore, we didn’t have a big story to go with from the AP wire. We made a pretty good educated guess that he was the winner and went with a big photo and headline … paying homage to the history that was made.
She also was upset because of McCain’s photo in the article, and upon a second listen, I think she believes the story around McCain was about McCain (it was not).
Below is our centerpiece from Nov. 5 (the story was cut off in the image, but you can see the whole page if you scroll down further). And just for good measure, I added today’s centerpiece … a story we planned and wrote well before I ever heard this message.

110508sha01bl

110608sha01jo

So, anonymous mean woman … get the facts straight before you make such a bold allegation. You have no basis to accuse us of something that has absolutely no truth to it. Therefore, I’m playing your message for the community to hear.
I’m hoping for an apology. I doubt we will get it.

And if anybody thinks I’m wrong to post her message (her opinion), please let me know.

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15 thoughts on “We just can’t win

  1. It doesn’t feel so good to be called racist for unfounded reasons…

    Yes, this is ridiculous. There are crazies on both sides…

  2. If this woman had seen our some of our newsroom staff dancing, whooping it up and giving each other high-fives and hugs after Obama was declared the winner, I think she’d probably be out there selling subscriptions instead of telling people to cancel…

  3. Um….huh?

    The Obama picture is nearly 1/3 of the front page. And the article that surrounds the McCain pictures describes how Obama won the election with early victories.

    I’d write this one off as WTF?

  4. I think she needs to “READ” the paper and I do think an apology for jumping to an incorrect conclusion is definitely in order!

  5. Chalk this up as another, “I’m mad but not sure why”. Before you get offended, read the !&$# article. This was a historic event for all Americans.
    Obama won because many are looking past race and are looking at “the content of a man’s character”. How about not judging an article by the “looking at the pictures but by reading the content of the article?”
    Yes, there is still racism in places, but it was not in the mentioned article.

  6. The lady has lost her ***** mind. I am Black and I thought the coverage was right on point and exceeded my expectations. I may not agree with some of the minority coverage on some news, social and sports issues but this was a pleasant surprise… Thank you !

  7. Sometimes you can’t make a person happy ANY of the time! I was an Obama supporter from day one… never at ANY time was ANYTHING racist. That’s a fierce word to put on anybody and if one does feel that way,then they should certainly give their name. If they can call you a name that rough,they should at least give you the name they are called! Billy, write this one off! No need to even discuss it further. Don’t give her the attention she must be wanting.

  8. I have to disagree with one point. The one about this election proving that Americans are “looking past race”. 96% of blacks nationwide voted for the black candidate. 96%! Is that evidence of “looking past” race, or is it proof that we’re looking it more squarely in the face than ever? Seems to me that most folks still tend to vote for the candidate who looks the most like them. (Ironically, for hip young white voters, that guy’s still O’Bama rather than McCain.) I also am struck by the irony that despite most voters’ obvious lack of knowledge concerning O’Bama’s voting record in the Senate, they flock to him like children of Hamlin to the Pied Piper. At his acceptance speech, many in the crowd were literally swooning, lifting their hands, weeping… it resembled many worship services I’ve been to. And why the worship, the unconditional, unquestioning devotion? In policy, he’s no different than Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore… candidates who’ve gone down to defeat before him. But this one looks nice and sounds nice on tv, and also he’s black (so as we vote for him we can weep with joy about how enlightened and tolerant we are)… and that’s all it takes to become President of the United States? If this is how America determines who her leaders are, then God help us.

  9. Black voters tend to cast their ballots in overwhelming numbers for Democratic candidates. To suggest that they did so this time solely because of race indicates a serious misunderstanding of American politics on your part.

    And black candidates have been defeated for the presidency in the past (as recently as 2004!), so it’s pretty safe to say that race isn’t “how America determines who her leaders are.”

  10. Did Jacob miss the question? Or is he just having a little tirade and sharing it with us! It’s called Democracy. We vote for the best person for the job;based on our own political and personal views and cast a vote. The one with the most votes wins. Just so you’ll know; there have been people of all colors voted into government throughout our Great Land! People of all races and genders are far more fit for the job then Jacob wants us to think! Oh! By the way I am an American so is Obama…That’s what matters… Now let’s get back to Billy’s original question!

  11. I beg to differ, gordon and lora. Let’s be serious here: if NINETY-SIX PERCENT of all white voters ALL voted for the white candidate, would you be so quick to dismiss the obvious correlation? Certainly not. In fact, the media would be playing the race card left and right, hammering “racist” whites for virtually ignoring the candidate who didn’t look like them. Incidentally Lora, I neither said nor implied that people of other races were not “fit” for the job. I merely pointed out the fact (an uncomfortable fact evidently, for some) that an overwhelming majority of black voters voted for the black candidate. I did so in response to one poster’s assertion that this election somehow proves that America no longer considers race in the voting booth. In reality, it proves just the opposite.

  12. Jacob,

    If your assertion that black voters only considered race in the voting booth, Carolyn Mosely-Braun and Alan Keyes would have been much more wildly successful in their bids for the presidency. That is all. I will fight no more forever.

    Gordon

  13. Let’s just face it .. you don’t “get it” simply because YOU don’t won’ t too. Spin it how you want… For YEARS people of color have held many offices… they too were voted in by people of ALL colors… as Gordon pointed out people of color tend to register predominately Democrat. It appears you will keep voting based against color rather then the candidate. That’s all good… Like I said this is Democracy ,vote your conscience. I will vote mine…

  14. All of you missed the best part!! She says it was Jerry LEE Lewis who called us backwoods. Wouldn’t that be the pot calling the kettle black (or tarnished, in the very least)? I think she refers to Jerry Lewis and his issue with the money being raised by firefighters with buckets in the roads, which was stopped by the town. Now I will go back and read your more thoughtful comments about the issue.

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