Tennessee Republican Terri Lynn Weaver appeared on Facebook posing with a man dressed, in blackface, as Aunt Jemima. Under the photo, Weaver wrote, “Aunt Jemima, you is so sweet.”

The reporting on Nashville’s Channel 4 is a great example of how the practice of reporting “both sides” in order to perform “journalistic objectivity” fails viewers. The story quotes people criticizing the photograph and people, including Weaver, objecting to that criticism. The story, however, does absolutely nothing to help us understand blackface, its history, or why it might be problematic today. It simply says: “Some people are offended; others are not.” We get no information that might help us form an educated opinion. It is a perfect waste of time masquerading as “reporting”:

Via mike3550 at Scatterplot.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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