by Jack Minor –
An Associated Press reporter has been accused of racism for accurately transcribing a speech the President made last weekend.
During a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus, the President challenged the members to get involved in his re-election campaign. During the speech, he changed his speaking style by dropping the “G” off phrases in his speech.
Mark Smith, the AP reporter who transcribed the speech, felt the President was deliberately making a point of dropping the G’s and felt it needed to be in the transcript to preserve the President’s meaning.
During the 2008 election, the President was praised by media outlets for his ability to switch speaking styles to relate to his audience.
Here is a portion of the AP transcript: “Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes,” Obama said, his voice rising as applause and cheers mounted. “Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”
John McWhorter, a contributing editor with The New Republic and a linguistics expert, said the “G” less version, which is the correct one, is Black English and makes the President sound genuine.
Karen Hunter, MSNBC contributor, said transcribing the speech accurately was “inherently racist” to transcribe it the way they did. She went on to say she was offended that McWhorter was defending the AP transcription.
Hunter went on to praise the President for his choice of words during the speech, however, she felt that reporting the President’s words exactly as he said them was wrong.
“One thing I love about this president is that he does the right things at the right time. He knew who his audience was and that’s what he said. That’s what he does.”
Hunter then went on to say it was “unacceptable” to let those outside the audience know how the words were prounounced. “For them to do that in a publication, you know what that is, it’s not acceptable at any level. I teach a journalism class, and I tell my students to fix people’s grammar because you don’t want them to sound ignorant.” Hunter continued, “When we have a black president, which we have never had before, we in the media should be super sensitive to that.”
The AP stylebook says dialect should be avoided unless it is clearly pertinent to the story. Tom Kent, AP deputy managing editor for standards and production, defended Smith’s transcription telling various media outlets, “In this case, our reporter, who was there in person, felt the spellings were appropriate to convey a particular touch that President Obama appeared to be intentionally making use of.”
As the President’s approval ratings continue to fall, it appears his supporters will begin to use the race card with more frequency.
Actress Janeane Garofalo recently said Conservatives and Tea Party members are supporting Cain in order to hide their racism.
“Herman Cain is probably well-liked by some of the Republicans because it hides the racist elements of the Republican Party. The Conservative movement and the Tea Party movement are one and the same.” Garofalo said, “Herman Cain provides this great opportunity so that you can say, ‘Look, this is not a racist, anti-immigrant, anti-female, anti-gay movement. Look, we have a black man.'”