I talked to many Chinese people here in the Bay Area who are upset and unhappy at the media coverage in this country and I can't blame them for being angry.
I was watching NBC broadcaster Bob Costas interview President Bush on Sunday night and all the questions he asked were basically anti-China. Costas questioned if China's government will ever reform and he also mentioned other sensitive issues such as Tibet, human rights, and freedom of the press.
Bush was very diplomatic and did not say anything negative towards China. Bush had a great time in China and never took Costas' bait and said nothing that would raise the ire of the Chinese people.
Something that will always raise their ire is the media's continued obsession with the Tibetan protesters. The Western media always covers the protests by the Tibetans but refuses to cover Chinese issues such as the CNN protest which happened a few months ago.
When a CNN broadcaster made inflammatory remarks towards China, the Bay Area Chinese community took action and organized a protest at the CNN offices. The only media presence at the protest were Asian newspapers. I guess the Western media didn't think the protest was newsworthy enough to send any reporters to cover the protest.
The racism towards the Chinese have been going on for a long time. It seems "cool" to take shots at Asians since the media and others know there won't be any serious repercussions by doing so.
You can hear and see the racism online, in print, on television, and also on the radio.
For example, this evening, I heard KNBR's afternoon sports show host Tom Tolbert say the word "chinaman" on the air. That word is offensive to Asians just as the "N" word is offensive to blacks. Anyone calling an Asian man a Chink or Chinaman is racist.
KNBR is a hugely popular sports station in the Bay Area and Tolbert's show in the afternoon, in which he co-hosts with Ralph Barbieri, is the most popular show on the station with the highest ratings.
Tolbert, who was once a Warriors scrub in the 90's, then proceeded to tell us the story of the "41-year-old Chinaman" and why the man had to call the cops in the middle of the night at a park.
Tolbert made sure that all the listeners knew the man was Chinese.
The story was sickening and grotesque. I guess the management of KNBR encourages him to tell such disgusting and sophomoric stories, but they should not tolerate his racial slurs.
Another remark made by a sportscaster that has infuriated some Asians is NBC's Jim Lampley's description of the USA Basketball team's win over China on Sunday. Lampley called it a "destruction of China."
I talked to some Asian men today at a basketball court in San Francisco, and they told me that the slights are on purpose. Many of them feel that the media is racist and biased against Asians.
25-year-old Eric Yang of San Francisco said that racism is something all Asians face daily.
"We see and hear all the racism every day," Yang said. "This is why I never read the newspaper or go on CNN anymore."
"They love to discriminate against us and make us feel bad. It just makes me stronger and more proud of my culture and heritage."
"I don't know why white people are like that and have problems with us. What did we do to them? I don't understand it but I guess it makes them feel better about themselves to make fun of other races."
I can't really disagree with Yang. Besides writing for this blog, I read a lot of newspapers and watch a lot of TV. I can totally understand why many people of color do not trust the media.
In America, Asian actors are not allowed to be the good guys in TVshows or in movies. There is an unwritten rule in Hollywood that states that there can't be an Asian hero if the actor playing the bad guy is white. This is why Jet Li has to play the evil Asian bad guy in his new movie while Caucasian actor Brandon Fraser plays the hero.
When was the last time you saw an Asian actor play a romantic lead in an American movie or TV show? Probably never. But we continuously see Caucasian males with "exotic" Asian females in movies, TV shows, and in commercials.
On the other hand, you won't ever see an Asian male and white female couple in Hollywood. I guess the sexless Asian male myth is true. Or so the media wants us to believe.
In another controversial article, ESPN's Pat Forde wrote a story last week about how the Beijing Games are now lessened and stained because an American was stabbed to death.
Why are the Olympics stained and lessened? They are not! Readers of the article were very offended by Forde's article and posted comments telling him to get out of China and basically ripping him.
The death of Todd Bachman is a tragedy but Forde should be ashamed for trying to diss the host city of the Olympics because of an isolated incident.
All the above examples show why Asians do not trust the media. It also shows us that the media in America has a lot of work to do to regain the public's trust. These "professional" journalists and "senior" writers need to stop dissing minorities.
I've watched the Olympics daily and enjoyed seeing the great scenery and people of China. Their athletes are entertaining and talented. I am very impressed with their passion, intensity, and showmanship in these Games.
I can't say anything negative about them. I guess I am not made out to be a journalist and member of the media after all.