(Video Credit: The Associated Press)
NPR was blasted on Tuesday for reporting that the historic election of Boston’s first female, Asian mayor, Michelle Wu (D), was considered a “disappointment” to activists because she was chosen over black candidates for the high-level job.
“Michelle Wu, an Asian American, is the first woman and first person of color elected to lead the city. While many are hailing it as a turning point, others see it as more of a disappointment that the three Black candidates couldn’t even come close,” National Public Radio stated in a now-deleted tweet. It was taken down after massive online blowback, although the premise of their story didn’t change. The original title simply parrotted the first paragraph of the story.
Their revised tweet now reads: “Many were hopeful Boston would finally elect its first Black mayor, as most of the nation’s 30 largest cities have already done. Black activists and political strategists reflect on what they can learn from the 2021 campaign season.”
With requisite groveling in a widely panned apology, NPR added: “We realize we don’t always get things right the first time, and our previous tweet/headline misrepresented the story. We deleted the previous tweet, which was causing harm, and have updated the story.”
We realize we don't always get things right the first time, and our previous tweet/headline misrepresented the story.
We deleted the previous tweet, which was causing harm, and have updated the story
— NPR (@NPR) November 16, 2021
The NPR article was entitled, “Cheers and some letdown as 1st elected woman and person of color becomes Boston Mayor.” It has now been updated to read, “Why Boston will need to wait longer for its 1st elected Black mayor.”
Instead of openly celebrating Wu’s victory, NPR’s article sounds more like a eulogy. They quoted one devastated Democrat who claimed, “I cried my eyes out because I don’t know the next time we’ll see a Black mayor in our city.”
Another person told NPR that they were “let down” by Wu’s win, but they were “not surprised” that the black candidates were unable to win the political race.
“It’s just one of those things where it feels like what else is new?” she asserted.
A third interviewee claimed he felt “grief” that a black candidate “didn’t make the cut.”
NPR had held out hope until the last minute that a black candidate would win the race, touting polling data that showed the three black candidates got three-quarters of the vote in areas with the highest concentrations of people of color. However, they only won one-quarter of the votes in the whitest areas, according to the leftist media outlet.
The publicly funded non-profit media organization also made sure to quote Massachusetts State Rep. Marie St. Fleur, who called the election data “troubling” for a city “still straining under a longtime reputation as racist.”
The article from NPR was slammed by readers just about everywhere.
“There’s merit to the voices in this story of course, but this framing is absolute trash. Why must we pit POCs against each other in storytelling? Why can’t we celebrate a woman of color who has just reached a massive milestone in her career?” journalist Emma Carew Grovum tweeted.
There's merit to the voices in this story of course, but this framing is absolute trash.
Why must we pit POCs against each other in storytelling? Why can't we celebrate a woman of color who has just reached a massive milestone in her career? https://t.co/Rsi0JOFaMV
— Emma Carew Grovum (@emmacarew) November 16, 2021
“Interesting which firsts are hailed as indicative of social transformation and which are caveated and contextualized into oblivion,” MSNBC contributor Noah Rothman remarked.
Interesting which firsts are hailed as indicative of social transformation and which are caveated and contextualized into oblivion. https://t.co/aw9kALWffP
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) November 16, 2021
Others chimed in with biting commentary and were not inclined to let NPR off the hook over the tweet.
Curious how many times "Whats the racial angle on this?" is spoken in media news outlet pitch meetings or written in slack channels on a daily basis.
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) November 16, 2021
Ah, the intersectional circular firing squad… https://t.co/leDAYBEN4d
— PEG (@pegobry) November 16, 2021
“NPR harmed people with its previous tweet,” journalist Glenn Greenwald asserted.
NPR harmed people with its previous tweet. https://t.co/RNGLhR2La5
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 16, 2021
The Media Research Center’s Dan Gainor branded NPR as racist and called for its defunding.
— Dan Gainor (@dangainor) November 16, 2021
And the hits just kept on coming:
It was not the tweet, it was the very premise of the article itself! https://t.co/KlLDibGo4Q
— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) November 16, 2021
The tweet they say they didn’t get right and claimed they deleted because it supposedly misrepresented their article and was supposedly causing harm is basically just the opening graf of the article itself… https://t.co/WYVfFgqf8c pic.twitter.com/KdDnjIW3T2
— Jerry Christmas 🎄🎅🏽 (@JerryDunleavy) November 16, 2021
You still didn’t get it right. It’s still racist and you should be ashamed of yourself. You want to try for three?
— Jacob Airey (@realJacobAirey) November 16, 2021
This entire account is currently causing harm. Delete it. https://t.co/OcoUECJszN
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) November 16, 2021
but the tweet just quoted the story. tweet isn't the problem here, hoss. https://t.co/gdEMwXK952
— tsar becket adams (@BecketAdams) November 16, 2021
The tweet “which was causing harm” is the first paragraph of your piece pic.twitter.com/ysFN7dNUGE
— Zachary Faria (@ZacharyFaria) November 16, 2021
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