TV Anchor Did Not Say Black Man Looks Like a Gorilla [OPINION]
Alex Housden, a morning television show anchor in Oklahoma City, has apologized to her co-anchor Jason Hackett for telling him his selfie techniques resemble those of Fin, a baby gorilla, who has been taught to take cellphone selfies.
WOCO-TV had just broadcast a video of Fin when Housden told Hackett “kind of looks like you when you take a picture.” Alex Housden is a white woman. Her co-anchor Jason Hackett is a black man.
Enter the eternally offended.
Hackett laughed hardily at Housden's comment, apparently clearly understanding that the reference was to his selfie-taking abilities and not that he himself resembles a gorilla and replied "Yeah, it does, actually, yeah … very close to the camera.” The media and some outraged viewers didn't see it as funny and came down on Housden like a ton of bricks.
The following day, Housden issued a tearful apology to Hackett and the audience on live television.
“I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate and I hurt people,” she said. “I want you to know I understand how much I hurt you all out there and how much I hurt you. I would never do anything on purpose to hurt you.”
Housden went on the explain that Hackett is her "best friend" and that she would never intentionally do anything to hurt him. A grim-faced Hackett responded.
“What she said yesterday was wrong. It cut deep for me and a lot of you in the community. The lesson here is that words matter,” he said. “We are becoming a more diverse country and there is no excuse.”
Oh, cut the ever-loving crap!
Do a Google search on the story and every link you find will depict this as a racially insensitive attack by a white woman on a black man. That is garbage. That is not what she did nor is it what she intended. Yet the media peddles this swill because it sells advertising.
This kind of reporting is not reporting at all. It is "fake news" designed to generate a reaction. When angry crowds protest outside the station demanding Housden's removal, the media will cover it as "breaking news" when in fact it was media-generated controversy.
In other words, the media is using race to create news that it can cover. This is sick and evil.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.