In Which I Examine Nuance

So I see this headline at The Swamp: Obama blasts black absentee fathers, and my first thought is: I bet not.

What he said is: “There are a lot of men out there who need to stop acting like boys; who need to realize that responsibility does not end at conception; who need to know that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one,” which, unless my reading comprehension skills betray me, doesn’t say anything about black fathers, but fathers generally who don’t step up to the plate.

And what he also said is: “Too many black men simply cannot afford to raise a family—and too many have made the sad choice not to,” which, unless my eyes lie to me, doesn’t “blast” black fathers, but point out that endemic poverty complicates fatherhood and feeds into bad decisions regarding family life.

So, unless I’m mistaken, Obama didn’t really “blast black absentee fathers” at all, but “blast absentee fathers” and make some completely uncontroversial comments about poverty and race.

Just saying.

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “In Which I Examine Nuance

  1. So your saying content and context count?

    Your so no fun. 😛

  2. DBK

    Well if you’re going to read more than the headline…

  3. Nuance? We is American! We not do nuance! Pfah.

    Of course, people who’re looking at a list of web news articles are going to see only the head, “Obama Blasts Black Absentee Fathers.” Unless they take the time to read the whole article, they’ll never know just how misleading this is. It’s hard to think it’s not deliberate when it happens so very often.

  4. Ah, nuance. It’s like it’s 1993 all over again.

  5. Title has been changed?

    It read “Obama blasts absentee fathers”. Has it been changed?

  6. Can we just lobby the AP to ban the use of words like “blast” from headlines altogether? Unless they’re talking about explosions. All too frequently it’s used, like this, to mis-characterize what politicians say, turning their words into something much more adversarial than they really are.

  7. Random Guy

    Just checked The Swamp. They have changed the title to Obama Blasts Absentee Fathers.

    Is it possible for me to dream in hope for this country?

  8. “Nuance? We is American!

    Moira, dearest — that is spelled “AmericUn”.

  9. Mama Shakes

    Gosh, could you learn to read carefully, for Pete’s sake. Didn’t I learn you better than that?

  10. Sam Hensel

    Thanks for clarifying this. He really made a good point. It’s unfortunate that Obama’s views are deliberatively taken out of context so much. He’s a fresh face, he’s untainted, and I’m committed to his campaign and his (my) cause. It’s sad the media has to ruin everybody. He’s not your average politician, and it angers me when media outlets paint him as one.

  11. Melissa McEwan

    Just checked The Swamp. They have changed the title to Obama Blasts Absentee Fathers.

    Good!

  12. Pingback: Crocodile Caucus » Sunday Tidbits

  13. Pingback: Daily Round-Up at Shakesville

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