News outlets seemed not to quite know what to do Monday with President Obama's use of the N-word during an interview in Pasadena, Calif., for a Marc Maron "WTF" podcast.
"Racism, we are not cured of it. And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say n****r in public," Obama told Maron, saying that was not the measure of whether racism did or did not exist.
In CNN's online report of the interview, it used the audio clip, word and all with no bleeps, but the text on the screen of that quote, while the audio was playing, used asterisks instead.
Fox News, by contrast, in its online story on the interview used the word in quotes in the text, but Bill Hemmer in quoting the President used "N-word" instead.
The Huffington Post's (AP) video of the podcast bleeped the audio, but uses the word in full in the text of its story.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest was asked about some social media pushback and elsewhere on his use of the term. He said the President does not regret using it and his reason for using it was clear. "The President made clear it is not possible to judge the nation's progress on race relations based solely on an evaluation of its manners."
Among the critics was a conservative African American commentator on Fox, Deneen Borelli, who branded the President the “Rapper in Chief” who had dragged in “gutter speak” and lowered the stature of the office.
Race relations has been forced violently back onto the front (and home) pages of news outlets around the country after the racist-fueled killings of nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. June 17.
The President, who was in California to talk with a conference of mayors, attend fundraisers and conduct other business, will deliver the eulogy at the funeral of victim Rev. Clementa Pinckney on Friday.
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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