Brian Seltzer, a reporter for the New York Times, tweets:
While working on conservative press/race story (http://nyti.ms/90TtFE) I pulled Nielsen #’s for African American cable news viewership…
Fox, as we all know, has biggest audience in prime time. But among African Americans, it’s smallest– 29k vs. 134k for CNN, 145k for MSNBC.
Matt Lewis of Politics Daily rebuts:
This of course, played into the “Fox is racist” meme, and, not surprisingly, Stelter’s words were retweeted many times (and also inspired several media blogs to further discuss Fox News’ lack of diversity).
Interestingly, though, the media site where Stelter primarily blogs (New York Times’ Media Decoder) suffers from the lowest percentage of African-American readers (4.6%) when compared to comparable media sites like Mediaite (5.8%), Gawker (6.4%), Mediabistro (9.2%), etc., according to Nielsen Media Research.
That’s fair enough — people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones — but I think it’s the wrong rebuttal.
More to the point: everyone knows that African-Americans tend to be strongly Democratic. Also, everyone knows that Fox News is right-leaning (only slightly, but perceived as more so). So it’s no surprise that African-Americans, like other predominantly Democratic groups, would not tend to be fans of Fox News. This is just a threadbare attempt to advance the failing idea that opposition to the Democrats is racist.
This smear doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously, but for a moment, let’s pretend it’s offered in good faith. We can all agree that it is racist to refuse to do business with any particular racial group. Fortunately, that kind of overt racism is all but stamped out in America today. What is suggested here is quite different. Seltzer is implying that when members of an underprivileged racial group decide not to partake of a business’s product as much as other racial groups do, that makes the business racist!
This is nonsense. A businessman sells a good or service that he thinks someone will buy. He doesn’t (or shouldn’t, anyway) care who that person is, as long as their money is good. Hardly any product will appeal to all demographics precisely equally. Were we to limit ourselves to such products, we would severely impoverish our society, thereby creating a bland, homogeneous marketplace in the name of “diversity”.