The goal of the Truth in Media project is simple. We strive to speak honestly about issues, giving a full picture of whatever story we are covering. It is an increasingly difficult thing to do in this age of media manipulation.
Has the media given a truthful representation of Cliven Bundy’s so called “racist” remarks run by the New York Times and promoted by Media Matters? The answer is simple. No. On just about any website or broadcast running the remarks, they have limited the excerpts to comments about “the Negro” and “picking cotton”. Here is they way Huffington Post released the comments:
As media are blasting Bundy for the remarks and politicians are running away from Bundy as quickly as they can, the full context of what CLiven Bundy said has not been reported on. Here is the full 3:19 of his statement. It is worth listening to the comments about Hispanics which were conveniently removed from the videos being played by mainstream media.
Why were the comments about “Spanish” people not included in media coverage? The answer is simple. What Cliven Bundy says there does not fit the narrative of a racist. In fact, some people would call him a “liberal” when he says that even if illegal immigrants have “violated our Constitution, they are here and they are people”, when he says Hispanics “have a stronger family structure than many of us white people” and when he says “don’t tell me they don’t work and they don’t pay taxes.” Those comments, would strike many “conservatives” as being “too sympathetic” toward Hispanic immigrants. More importantly, it forces Bundy out of the neatly organized media box of being a racist. Therefore, no need to discuss, no need to include.
To be clear, his article in no way advocates on behalf of Bundy or statements which at best were inarticulate. Cliven Bundy poorly chose his words when he referred to “learning how to pick cotton”, but what we feel is the job of responsible media is to play the full context of his words and allow listeners or viewers to make up their own minds.
One other issue which is important here. Even if Cliven Bundy is a raging racist (which he does not appear to be given the full context of his statement) that has nothing to do with whether or not federal agents can steal his cattle, destroy his property and continue to rob him of his livelihood. It has nothing to do with whether or not the feds are engaged in a war with ranchers that has led to dozens of ranches shutting down across the west.
Too often, media plays this game. “Do you like Cliven Bundy’s statement about ‘Negros’? If you don’t and you find those words to be distasteful or racist, then you can simply accept anything that happens to him as deserving.”
Natural and Constitutional rights do not belong to be people because the collective “likes” or “approves” of that person. Regardless of whatever is in Cliven Bundy’s head, it has no bearing on whether the BLM is engaged in a violation of his Constitutional and Natural rights.