Episode 06: The Media’s Default Setting of White Supremacy

artwork pictured by @/yesitsalex___

In Episode 6 we explore how the media both consciously and subconsciously works to smear black victims, protect the police, and works overtime to ameliorate the sensibilities of white media consumers.

The white supremacist regime at work in the media can be broken down into three main narrative devices: 1) The use of language to downplay state violence and assert false parity 2) The uncritical dissemination of exaggerated or made up threats to police to turn the aggressor into the victim 3) The posthumous smearing of black victims to rationalize their killing after the fact.

In this episode we examine the mechanisms of these narrative devices, how they influence public perception and why they create the media environment that makes more Mike Browns all but certain.

The Guest

Dr. Jared Ball

Dr. Jared A Ball is a professor of Media, Communications, and Africana Studies at Morgan State University in Maryland. Dr. Ball is a prolific writer, speaker, and multimedia producer at imixwhatilike.org. His commentary can be read everywhere from the Washington Post to the Nation, the Grio to the Root, and beyond. A forthcoming from Third World Press entitled “Not Our President: New Directions from the Pushed Out, the Others, and the Clear Majority in Trump’s Stolen America” will featured his essay “Agent Orange: Donald Trump as Political Chemical Warfare.”

Show Notes

Here’s some stuff mentioned or referenced during the show, or related to the topic in general. You know, in case you wanted to dig deeper.

Copspeak: 7 Ways Journalists Use Police Jargon to Obscure the Truth

Adam Johnson | July 11, 2016 | FAIR

Media’s Baltimore ‘Teen Purge’ Narrative Falling Apart

Adam Johnson | April 29, 2015 | FAIR

Irreconcilable Anti-Blackness and Police Violence w Dr. Frank Wilderson

Dr. Jared Ball | October 1 2014 | IMIXWHATILIKE.org

The Myth of Black Buying Power

Dr. Jared Ball | July 28, 2017 | IMIXWHATILIKE.org

Federal Documents Debunk Baltimore ‘Gang Threat’ Narrative

Adam Johnson | June 25, 2015 | FAIR

“Officer-Involved” Obfuscation

John Patrick Leary | September 1 2016 | Jacobin

Making Black Lives Expensive

Michael McCanne | April 14 2015 | Jacobin

A Shooting Reminiscent of the LAPD’s Worst Days /

Joe Domanick | June 6 1990 | LA Times

Black Scare: The Racist Response to Emancipation and Reconstruction

Forrest G. Wood | 1968

Who’s Talking?

These are the hosts of Citations Needed

Adam H. Johnson is a media analyst for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. His writing has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, Alternet and elsewhere.

Nima Shirazi is an editor for Muftah, a digital foreign affairs magazine. His political analysishas appeared in Salon, Truthout, Mic, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting and Al Jazeera English, among other outlets.