In an L.A. Times column, Gregory Rodriguez addresses the issue, after a t.v. producer called him to ask if he thought Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s extramarital affair revealed anything about the nature of Latino political leadership.
“I told her I’d agree to be interviewed on air only if we could explore what Bill Clinton’s dalliances said about white people or Jesse Jackson’s fling with an aide told us about black activists. Dumbfounded, she asked if I could refer her to someone else,” wrote Rodriguez.
Good point. Can the personal indiscretions of one person be lumped into the alleged stereotypical behavior of an ethnic group? Why do some media outlets feel the need to stick on a label? How many times have we, as reporters, been put on the spot by a producer, who has a certain “vision” of what the angle in the story should be… even if it isn’t? Looks like that’s what just happened to Rodriguez, who got dumped as an interviewee when he questioned the line of questioning…
The media should be focusing more on telling the story – what were the inappropriate actions of a political figure and the consequences, or shed light on his/her professional performance rather than trying to link their ethnicity as a factor in whatever wrongdoing might be associated with the person.