Not So Smiley

February 13, 2009 § Leave a comment

I heard from LC yesterday morning that information surfaced recently regarding a woman from LA, Lucie J. Kim, who filed a lawsuit against Miley Cyrus regarding the controversial picture of Cyrus and a group of friends making offensive gestures. She is suing for $4 billion in damages, which is apparently $4000 x each person in the LA County who is Asian. While this is all very interesting, something else struck me as I combed through news stories about this situation.

Fox News is known by many as a very conservatively biased news organization, which is amusing because the subheading on their website says “Fair & Balanced.” In their story about the Miley Cyrus lawsuit, this is how they described the offending photo:

In the controversial photo, Cyrus, 16, is shown sitting on her boyfriend Justin Gaston’s lap surrounded by a group of friends all making a stereotypical gesture by pulling their eyes into a slanted position.

I was immediately curious as to why they would include the detail about Cyrus sitting on Gaston’s lap. Having been at the Journalism School for over three semesters, I know that news stories should not include extraneous or unhelpful information. So why would the news story inject that little piece of information? None of the other news stories I read chose to mention that aspect of the picture. It’s almost as if Fox News wanted to subliminally portray her a specific way to its readers. Hmm…

Anyhow, the comments that other people are making about this lawsuit are a little aggravating. Yes, $4 billion is a lot, but the naysayers are missing the point of this, which is that Asian Americans are no longer willing to put up with racist behavior being deemed as acceptable. There is a well-thought-out blog entry about this debacle here.

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