Topic: Media Research Center
ABC's show "Black-ish" is about a black father who questions whether his success has brought "too much assimilation," so he seeks to "establish a sense of cultural identity for his family that honors their past while embracing the future."
Who has the Media Research Center chosen to pass judgment on "Black-ish" for violations of right-wing orthodoxy? White people, of course, people who -- ideology aside -- are not the show's target audience.
The earliest mention of "Black-ish" at the MRC is a December 2014 piece by Tianna DiMartino (not black), who complained about the "racist jokes" in a Christmas-themed episode. In April, Scott Whitlock (not black) may have been amused by an episode with a "blink-and-you'll-miss-it Sarah Palin joke." In May, Kyle Drennen (not black) huffed that the show "treated Reublican African Americans as an abnormality that could not be tolerated."
This fall, "Black-ish" has gotten its own dedicated MRC show reviewer in the person of Dylan Gwinn, who in addition to not being black is actually more of a sports guy and, as we've documented, not the sharpest knife in the right-wing-media-bias drawer. All of which, apparently, makes him the ideal critic of a black-oriented show for the MRC instead of someone who is predisposed to hate-watch the thing.
We've already noted Gwinn's rant about the season opener's use of the N-word and his inability to distinguish between a fictional character using it in a Quentin Tarantino movie and Paula Deen using it in real life about real people.
In an Oct. 10 episode, Gwinn critiques references to the Tuskegee Experiment in a episode about a doctor visit. Gwinn was upset that the characters suggested that the blacks who took part in the experiment were deliberately injected with syphillis, complaining that this "is exactly the impression activists want you to have."
He then weirdly soft-pedals the experiments: he avers that it "was clearly not a 'Blue Star' moment in the history of American medicine" and that it was not "cool" that blacks with syphillis were untreated and misled about their actual condition, and he makes sure we know that the experiment's victims "had syphillis prior to the study taking place." As if that somehow makes the government's behavior less atrocious and the victims somewhat deserved what they got.
In an Oct. 15 post, Gwinn grumbled that "Blackish is not the type of show to let a little thing like the pesky network programming schedule get in the way of taking a belated shot at Columbus Day," then ranted about the show calling Columbus Day racist, insisting that the holiday's origin as a way to counter prejudice against Italian-Americans is some kind of counter to that narrative to "the left" portraying the day as a "symbol of racial genocide."
he concludes by ranting: "So, in their pursuit of taking the one holiday Italian-Americans are allowed away because it’s “racist,” the supposedly immigration-friendly and anti-racist left is continuing the traditions of 20th century anti-immigrant groups by singling out a group of people who were trying to defend themselves against racism. Progress? Not so much."
On Oct., 22, though, Gwinn shockingly had something nice to say about the show:
I must admit, when it dawned on me that ABC’s Blackish was about to tackle the issue of religion on Wednesday night’s episode, fresh off of dealing with guns, the Tuskegee experiment, and generalized racism, part of me cried on the inside.
However, I’m happy to report that my internal sadness was quite out of order. Blackish actually did a great job dealing with not only racial differences between whites and blacks, and the different kinds of churches they attend, but also just the drama and guilt that surrounds normal people and prevents them from getting to church on Sunday.
The following week, however, Gwinn was back to hate-watching, ranting again about Columbus Day and sneering that a couple dressing up as the Obamas for Halloween was "the scariest couple I have ever seen in my life."
It's almost as if Gwinn and the MRC are deliberately trying to be as culturally clueless as possible.