CNN anchor Michaela Pereira attends the CNN Worldwide All-Star 2014 Winter TCA Party at Langham Hotel on January 10, 2014 in Pasadena, California
*Michaela Pereira, co-anchor of CNN’s “New Day,” was adopted when she was three months old, and writes about her experience and search for her biological parents in this month’s Essence magazine.
“I was especially curious about my father,” Pereira writes. “So much of who I am on the outside—my skin color, eye color and hair—is because of him. My identity is inextricably tied to a man I do not know.”
On the show this week, Pereira talked about the search, which she began in 1996. Although her birth mother has died and she has yet to find her birth father, in the course of her search she did find her birth sister, who she joked “she could be out of the Bolduan clan.”
That would be Pereira’s white co-anchor Kate Bolduan.
*Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has taken serious heat over his ongoing relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, and his resistance of pressure to leverage that relationship for the release of imprisoned American Kenneth Bae.
In an interview with CNN “New Day” host Chris Cuomo, which aired Tuesday morning, Rodman took things a step further, essentially accusing Bae of an unspecified crime, and bellowing his way through the rest of the Q&A, reports Mediate.com.
Former NBA star Charles Smith, who had been acting as the group’s spokesman to this point in the interview, tried his best to calm Rodman down, but when Cuomo asked about Bae, an incensed Rodman waved Smith off.
*The so-called “Knockout Game” has been gathering steam as a news narrative, with conservatives demanding that the media finally focus on crimes committed by black people, notes the blog Mediate.
On Monday morning’s edition of CNN’s “New Day,” expert guest Harry Houck, a former NYPD detective, went there, explaining to the “New Day” anchor team that while “not every black kid is doing this,” the only suggestion he could offer to avoid such attacks was “crossing the street, getting away from them” if you see “a group of black youths.” (Watch video below.)
Anchor Kate Bolduan asked Harry Houck for his take on the phenomenon. “Is this a growing trend?” she asked. “Is this an urban myth, or maybe better stated as growing trend or group of isolated incidents?”
Houck replied that the trend is real, adding that “Urban myths don’t exist. These attacks exist in everyone’s minds, especially in those victims.”
That’s when the familiar language of race-baiting began, according to Mediate. Asked if the media was contributing to the problem by hyping the attacks, Houck replied, “I think we have to let the public know what’s going on to protect ourselves. That’s our job. That’s the police department’s job to protect the public. No matter how politically incorrect it might be. It’s to know what is going on and how to protect themselves.”
This is where the hustler hides the red card, because when co-host Chris Cuomo asks Houck to explain his remark about “political correctness” (insulating himself and his show from criticism), Houck lays his suggestion off on other people. “I ask people who I run into every day, ‘What are you doing?’ They say if they see a group of black youths, they cross the street.”
Co-host Michaela Pereira pushed back, telling Houck that “black kids don’t need to be made to feel they’re a threat simply because they are hanging out with friends.”
Houck generously allowed that, “Not every black kid is doing this. It’s very few, but if you are the victim, if you are a potential victim and you are afraid walking down the street, you see a group of black youths, everybody I am talking to says they are crossing the street, getting away from them,” and added that “the good black kids will be saying ‘Why are you crossing the street when I walk by?’”
While Pereira pointed out that the “majority” of black kids aren’t doing this, and Cuomo added that “Black kids are getting clocked, too,” their guest expert never gets around to offering any alternative to crossing the street to protect yourselves. He even reiterated it later in the segment, in what could double as a spot-on media criticism. “This is creating terror on the streets, I know,” Houck said. “People are, as soon as they see black youths, like I say, everybody I have talked to, I know you don’t like that, Michaela, but you can understand why they think that way.”
Houck also referenced the classic “the good blacks” frame, which reinforced his earlier suggestion that black teenagers who don’t viciously knock people out are someho the exception.
As far as anyone can tell, of course, these crimes are exceedingly rare, and you are orders of magnitude more likely to be killed or injured crossing the street than walking past a group of black youths. This sort of fear-mongering is nothing, new, though; it’s not as if white people really needed another excuse to be scared of black kids. What is somewhat new is the attempt to normalize it. Pereira’s objections notwithstanding, little is done to challenge the logic of Houck’s commentary.
CNN, and the rest of the media, would do well to resist focusing on the racial aspect of these crimes, and instead serve the public with information they can use, such as the serious medical consequences that loss of consciousness can entail.
In a recent video to her fans, Keys explained the new music is basically a take on the new chapter of her life.
“I’ve come to this place that the album is about to be ready and I feel just so crazy excited,” the chanteuse said in a recent video she shot for her fans. “It’s like I’m a different person. I’m a new person. Everything is new.”
On the album, expect the fresh sounds of Scottish sweetheart, Emeli Sande, who praises Keys for her new work.
“It was just such a natural process for us to work and nothing felt forced,” she told The Boom Box. “I think the songs are testament to that, in that the songs really sound… I don’t know how to put it. You’ll just have to see. I mean it sounds great.”