Stewart’s Blog: Tallahassee Democrat Editorial is “Race-Baiting”

Stewart’s Blog: Tallahassee Democrat Editorial is “Race-Baiting”

The article published by the Tallahassee Democrat editorial board entitled “What’s going on in northeast Tallahassee”, is “race-baiting.”

Merriam Webster  defines “race-baiting” as “the unfair use of statements about race to try to influence the actions or attitudes of a particular group of people.”

Also, in his new book, “Race-Baiter”, media critic Eric Deggans – who recently in spoke in Tallahassee- says “modern media outlets trade in bigotry and bias to build audience and sell advertising.”

In “What’s going on in northeast Tallahassee”, the Tallahassee Democrat editorial board took the video of racist statements made by a high school student to build a case  against the northeast section of Tallahassee.

From the editorial:

“Between Confederate flags at Chiles and reports of anti-Semitism at nearby Deerlake Middle School over recent months, why does this northeast corner of town appear to be home to incidents of racist behavior?”

Is it unfair to single out the northeast by asking: “why does this northeast corner of town appear to be home to incidents of racist behavior?”

Let’s look at the facts.

First, officials at Leon County Schools, after an investigation, said the incident at Deerlake Middle School never happened.

Second, the Confederate flag incident referred to in the the article involved high school students at Chiles and was dealt with by the principal when it occurred.

So, is this enough evidence to make such a generalization and brand a large section of Tallahassee?

Not close.

The question of fairness must also consider the fact that the Tallahassee Democrat failed to publish a timely story or an editorial on the beating of a white security guard by three black individuals that was caught on video this year.

An article was published in the Miami Herald and Tallahassee Reports before the Tallahassee Democrat.

It is clear to me that the implication by the Tallahassee Democrat that northeast Tallahassee has a racism problem overstates the claim and is a lazy way to generate clicks and ultimately promotes division in our community.

But the actions by the Gannett owned paper is not surprising.

Deggans, on the media, states that we’re in an “environment where you succeed by targeting the biggest niche of viewers or the biggest niche of media consumers.”

Is the Tallahassee Democrat targeting the biggest niche in Tallahassee (Democrats and liberals) by using unfair racial statements as a business model?

Deggans also said the media is using the “same tactics once employed to mobilize political parties, they send fans coded messages and demonize opposing groups as their audience share soars and website traffic ticks up.”

Ironically, in an attempt to mobilize support for his gubernatorial campaign, Mayor Andrew Gillum – at a campaign event- said that there “isn’t a day that doesn’t go by in my city where I’m not driving behind a truck on my way to work that has a big old Confederate flag.”

The obviously exaggerated statement was quickly rebuffed by local PR executive Ron Sachs who labeled the comments as a cheap shot designed to generate statewide headlines.

And now the Tallahassee Democrat is mobilizing.

Journalism should not be about generating clicks on the emotion fueled by race-baiting. The Tallahassee Democrat is following a business model that divides our community.

18 Responses to "Stewart’s Blog: Tallahassee Democrat Editorial is “Race-Baiting”"

  1. “James Anderson
    May 11, 2018 at 7:40 am
    All liberals race bait because when the facts don’t support their position they have to throw out some red meat.”

    Emphasis on ALL…. no room for dialog, no room for listening to opinions of people with whom you disagree, no room for civility. No room for courtesy. No room for listening or hearing or conversing. ALL.

    Spoken like a true racist.

    1. Amen to that, Thomas! I’ve said the same here at least 5 times before, with weblinks on how well this “secession” tactic succeeded for several Atlanta suburbs back in 2005 – main example is Sandy Springs. Once a suburb, now a very sucessful city, completely dissolved of any responsibilities to the very corrupt, very liberal Atlanta city government. Interesting point however – one black GA congressman wanted all of the newly-formed cities to have their city charters revoked. Quote: They’re leaving and taking their money with them.” Exactly the point about why we’d leave in the first place, Tallahassee.
      More quotes:
      “As a result of the unsavory politics in urban Atlanta, northern suburban communities acted to distance themselves. Beginning in 2005, many communities began the process of incorporating into cities.
      Thus far, Milton, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Chattahoochee Hills and Johns Creek have done so.
      These cities, after breaking away politically from urban Atlanta, have become so successful that a libertarian think tank, the Reason Foundation, has featured Sandy Springs as a model of effective government. The Economist has also applauded the northern Atlanta cities for solving the problem of unfunded government pension liability and avoiding the bankruptcy that looms over some urban areas. The new cities may soon be able to create their own school districts, which would free them even further from the issues besetting Atlanta.”

      I rest my case.


  2. A friend just told me that whatever they did last week to give their website a new look comes up as a bunch of light gray rectangles on her older iPhone. Same issue for other Gannett sites. Whoops!
    Guess their genius webmasters (probably in India) aren’t familiar with the term “backwards compatibility.”
    She says the silver lining in their screw-up is that she no longer sees their racist garbage like this editorial, so she’s wondering if they’re intentionally trying to reduce their readership.

  3. Just imagine if they would say…”why does the southside seem to be home to this city’s drug and crime activities”?

  4. Gwen Graham votes for the greater good of her citizens not on party lines…thats why they made her seat disappear when they redid congressional districts…as a former Gilliam supporter I fully endorse Graham and trust her to do what is right for the people not the profits of a few

    1. Why does she have to hide her real name? Because she could not get elected. She would be an awful governor.

    2. Brian, before becoming a member of Congress, Gwen met with me and a mutual friend (a lifetime Democrat). The purpose was to get her to come on the show and discuss her platform, resume, etc. with someone who, while not agreeing with some of her political views, would be fair. She was pleasant. However, she never would agree to come on the program and I am small potatoes. She could not and cannot handle a Q&A without prepared questions. In Congress she was a moderate in the Dem party. As a candidate she has pivoted well left. She was in over her head in Washington and she would be in well over her head as Governor. She is the best the Dems can offer in this cycle. A very nice person, a very poor candidate.

  5. The Tallahassee Democrat’s behavior the last few weeks has been neglectful of important issues (closing/new park at county landfill), yet they report that they awarded themselves (editor) an award.

    The worst reporting was the state attorney using the Tallahassee Democrat and the TD obliging to the disgraceful perp walk in a 17 year old case. Had the Tallahassee Democrat reported that the long standing sheriff (state attorney’s father) was incompetent and corrupt the case had a chance of being solved years ago. We have a state attorney who is trying his case on PR ops and not the evidence and TD assisting him.

    Lindley thought the sheriff’s position was an “honorary” title; hence, another reason for the high crime rate today.

    When Scott Maddox is indicited will the TD run the pictures and bios of their numerous endorsements of Maddox and photo ops with Maddox and the previous editor?

    Although, I have seen some improvement at the TD there is still room for improvement.

    1. Hope, are you saying Hatfield is an improvement over Gabordi, just like Merkel is an improvement over Hitler?

  6. Can someone please supply the Democrat editors email? I’d like reiterate that “opinions” like this why I quite getting paper 25 years ago.

      1. Their janitorial service contract used to be handled by someone named McCoy. But he was cancelled over a decade ago.
        Imagine that in the newsroom now.

  7. Meanwhile Gillum wakes up this morning trying to extract the Tallahassee Democrats painfull shoe from the split where he sits because of their hit peice on Gillum using his Mayor’s parking pass to park free at airports all over FL while on Governor campaigne business.
    TDO smearing Gillum in their effort to support white candidate Gwen Graham…raicest actions by TDO?
    I love the political season of mud slinging!!

  8. All liberals race bait because when the facts don’t support their position they have to throw out some red meat.

  9. Of course they are. They have been doing this for years. I will never forget an Op-ed published after the 2016 election claiming all the rednecks in Woodville were racist Trump voters. They hate President Trump, Gov Scott, all descendants of Confederate veterans, and Florida history itself.

  10. Of course they are.
    I remember a photo they ran from a FAMU graduation, circa 1996. Three black people, and one white person, in caps and gowns celebrating their accomplishments. A nice, innocuous slice of life. But a black person called the executive editor (a black woman) and complained that they shouldn’t be running pictures of white people graduating from FAMU. And you know what happened next? Nope, the EE didn’t defend their visual content. She went and chastised the staff photographer for choosing that photo! (White people can’t be shown graduating from FAMU, don’tcha know?)
    A year or two later though, she was fired – now that was schadenfreude.
    Only caveat: I pity the poor skulls full of mush learning the craft of journalism at the university where she is now dean.

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