Not To Be Trusted: Dangerous Levels of Inaccuracy in TV Crime Reporting - NYC

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  • DROPPED: Fox Ends COPS 25-Year Run In Primetime

    For 25 years media corporations like FOX, the producers of COPS and corporate advertisers have built a profit model around the fiction of so-called “reality” television. Although marketed as unbiased, COPS actually offers a highly filtered version of crime and the criminal justice system — a “reality” where the police are always competent, crime-solving heroes and where the bad boys always get caught. Research shows that these images linger in the subconscious of viewers, creating “unconscious attitudes” and “implicit biases” about both race and class, influencing public support for more punitive approaches to non-violent crimes. More than 35,000 ColorOfChange members took action, placed ads in key Hollywood trade publications and reached out to advertisers demanding an end to this dangerous show's run in primetime. FOX heard us. After multiple conversations with senior executives, they informed us that the show would be dropped.   After decades of exploitation, the dangerous series is now moving to a much smaller niche cable network.

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  • CANCELED: All My Babies' Mamas

    In January, Oxygen (owned by NBCUniversal) started producing "All My Babies' Mamas" – a 'reality show' about a rapper with 11 children by ten different women. Clips were full of classic stereotypes reinforcing the perception of Black men and women as unfit parents, hyper-sexual, and incapable of making good decisions. TV execs continue to profit from stereotypes under the cover of 'reality'. But this narrow view of Black people is not 'real' at all. And because producers repeatedly promote these dehumanizing stereotypes as reality, Black families face unequal treatment in the real world - by teachers, doctors, loan officers, judges and police who think Black people don't have good values and deserve less. Over 47,000 ColorOfChange members took action, and our leadership talked directly with Oxygen. It worked: Oxygen canceled the show. CNN, The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today and others covered our victory.

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  • Ending Glenn Beck's Race-Baiting On Fox News

    Night after night on Fox News, Glenn Beck used race-baiting to stoke racial fear and anxiety about Black political power and civil rights. Beck played on nasty stereotypes about Black peoples' "dependence on government", creating the false impression that President Obama and his allies wanted to take power and wealth away from White people and give it to undeserving Black people. After Beck called President Obama a "racist", more than 285,000 people signed our petition asking Beck's advertisers to stop funding his show, and ColorOfChange staffers began direct conversations with corporations to deliver the message. It worked: nearly 300 advertisers eventually abandoned Beck, and his show was cancelled in 2011. The campaign generated hundreds of stories in news outlets like the Associated Press, New York Times, Reuters and MSNBC. Its success was a powerful testament to the ability of everyday people to take collective action and hold our media accountable.

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  • Debunking Pseudoscience In Psychology Today

    In 2011, Psychology Today published an article claiming it to be scientific fact that Black women are less beautiful than women of other races. The article was deeply flawed, largely opinion masquerading as science. There is a long history of "academic" attempts to justify racism and discrimination using pseudoscience, and the article's author had a track record of this. After more than 70,000 ColorOfChange members demanded accountability, Psychology Today issued a public apology, fired the article's author, and announced they were taking steps to prevent such articles from being published in the future. The campaign was covered by Forbes, BET.com, and the Philadelphia Tribune.

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  • No More Airtime For Pat Buchanan's White Supremacy

    For years, Pat Buchanan passed off white supremacist ideology as legitimate mainstream political commentary. And MSNBC paid him and gave him a platform on national TV to do it. Late in 2011, Buchanan went on a white supremacist radio show to promote his book, which argued that increasing racial diversity is a threat to this country and will mean the "End of White America." More than 86,000 ColorOfChange members demanded that MSNBC fire Buchanan, and flooded the network with phone calls to amplify the message. The campaign was covered by the Associated Press, Huffington Post, and the Root, and after a few weeks, MSNBC announced that it would indefinitely suspend Pat Buchanan. He hasn't appeared on MSNBC since.

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  • Challenging Violent Rhetoric At Harris Publications

    Last year, XXL magazine published a video of Too $hort, a 45 year old rapper, encouraging teenage boys to “turn girls out” by pushing “her up against the wall.” The rapper graphically urged his audience to put their hands inside the underwear of middle school-aged girls in order to achieve what he called “mind manipulation.” Rhetoric like this has real effects on girls and boys in our communities. A recent study reveals that a staggering three out of five Black girls experience sexual assault by the time they turn 18. More than 71,000 ColorOfChange members called on Harris Publications, the owner of XXL magazine, to fire XXL's editor-in-chief. XXL issued a relatively weak apology, and removed the video from their website. The campaign was covered widely by News One and various online outlets, helping to remind entertainment media of their responsibility to exercise judgement, and demonstrating that people can and will hold them accountable.

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  • Blocking The Breitbart Smear Campaign

    Andrew Breitbart had a long history of pushing false stories to achieve his political ends. He was exposed as a fraud after promoting selectively-edited video in an attempt to paint the USDA's Shirley Sherrod as a racist, smear the NAACP, and accuse the Obama administration of reverse racism. When ABC News inexplicably invited Breitbart to participate in their Election Day programming, ColorOfChange and CREDO Action members signed more than 125,000 petitions and made more than 2,000 calls to leadership at ABC (and its parent company, Disney) calling on the network to rescind its invitation. It worked: within a few days ABC News rescinded its invitation for Andrew Breitbart to be part of its election night coverage. The campaign was covered widely by outlets including CNN, the Washington Post, and BET.

     

     

     

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