Friday 02nd December 2016,

Bad Ass Asians

Where Are the AAPI Pundits on Cable News Shows?

posted by Randall
Lanhee Chen

CNN had Lanhee Chen, former Mitt Romney policy director, on a panel talking about Donald Trump’s remarks questioning President Obama’s sincerity when talking about the fatal shootings of police officers in Baton Rouge.

By Ed Diokno

From the admittedly biased perspective of Views From the Edge, diversity — or the lack of it — racial justice and racial inequities are some of the underlying issues permeating almost every issue in today’s world.

 

At a time of a growing tension, when Americans usually rally around the President, GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump chose to use the time to divide the country by questioning President Obama’s sincerity when he expressed the nation’s sorrow at the shooting deaths of three police officers in Baton Rouge.

 

On the first day of the Republican National Convention , it was a pleasant surprise to see some Asian American faces on the CNN news panels.

Well, OK, it was early morning and not prime time, but let’s not quibble … small steps are better than no steps.

Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Zakaria is one of the few Asian Americans
appearing regularly on CNN.

Not surprisingly, Lanhee Chen, former policy director for Mitt Romney, and CNN senior political reporter Manu Raju, comported themselves well against the more experienced commentators. They were on separate panels at the convention in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena.
Their contributions to the nation’s conversation brings up the question: Why aren’t there more AAPI experts, educators, politicians, commentators on these news panels and interviews? Our opinions matter.
 

RELATED:A new journalism needed for a new America

A week ago, a coalition of prominent Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) civic and civil rights organizations united to deliver an open letter to CNN, MSNBC and Fox News — the three largest providers of cable news in the U.S. — asking that the networks address the persistent underrepresentation of the AAPI community in their programming.

“Networks need to ensure that Asian American and Pacific Islander voices and perspectives are heard and that issues of importance to our communities are discussed,” said Christopher Kang, national director of National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA). “If we are invisible in the media, racial slurs and inaccurate portrayals of AAPIs will persist, but when Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are better represented–in particular, in the news–it allows for a more diverse understanding across all communities. All Americans–including AAPIs–deserve more accurate representation in our media.”

RELATED:#JournalismSoWhite

 

The letter from NCAPA and Reappropriate, responds to recent incidents that involve news hosts and guests who made disparaging remarks about the AAPI community on air. The letter highlights research by Media Matters that shows that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up less than 3 percent of invited nightly news or Sunday morning political talk show guests, even though more than 6 percent of the American people are AAPI.

 

Manu Raju

Indian American Manu Raju, senior political reporter for Politico and CNN, (left) joined a CNN news panel on the first day of the GOP National Convention.

“The profound underrepresentation of Asian American and Pacific Islander people on prime time news exacerbates the injury caused when someone like Ann Coulter uses her time as a guest of Hardball with Chris Matthews to mislabel Asian Americans with the racially charged term ‘Mandarins’, as she did last month,” said Jenn Fang of Reappropriate, an online blog on Asian American issues.

RELATED: MSNBC questioned on diversity

“Networks may not be wholly responsible for their guest’s commentary, but it is troublesome that they routinely enable the broadcast of offensive comments while they simultaneously deny members of targeted communities the same opportunity to respond and engage with our national political discourse,” she said.

The letter, signed by 23 civil rights and community groups, asks for a meeting with network executives to discuss representation and “recent incidents that involve news hosts and guests who made disparaging remarks about the AAPI community on the air.”

The letter says AAPIs make up less than 3 percent of invited nightly news or Sunday morning political talk show guests, even though more than 6 percent of the American people are AAPI.

 

 

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One Comment

  1. Edwin Chen says:

    RE: Where are the AAPI pundits on cable news shows: The American people deserve to hear and understand our voices, feelings and ideas on our nation as well. AAPIs are the backbone of American health, science, business and technology. Our intellect and ideas can help improve our nation. Why not let our our AAPI experts and leaders get more opportunities to express their views in mainstream American mass media? There really is nothing to lose, but everything to gain from treating our AAPI community with dignity and respect. When given stability, our people educate themselves and advance into better economic stability than any other minority group in America. AAPIs can drastically improve, and aid our nation’s recovery if given a chance to be included in leadership, governance and public mass media platforms as well.

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