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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A typical letter on the Bonnie Bernstein controversy

Here is a typical exchange, one involving a reasonable question, that I thought i owuld share (removing the name of the sender). I've received a lot of email, much of it anger from people trying to fight the Arab-Israeli conflict. And few reasoned emails like this one:

Hello Mr. Hanania. I just read your story about Bonnie Bernstein's offensive comments on the Mike and Mike show. I read that apology in a story aboutthe incident on AOL News. I am quite surprised that you found that apology acceptable. It seems Ms. Bernstein was only sorry that she mixed politics andsports but not really sorry about what she said. She had made another comment about the recent Don Imus controversy on that same show in which she said shedidn't care about the Imus story. I guess the people who do care about such things do not register in her little world. to me that's sad because itmeans when these issues arise in sports as they often do she will have very little insight to offer. Anyway, that is my take on the whole situation. For what it's worth. Sincerely ...

Hi … actually when I reviewed her comments and the context in which it was made, I concluded (after talking to several NAAJA members) that she did not intentionally slam Palestinians … she DID use a stereotype … we thought her apology was not as strong as it could have been but we felt as weak as it was, it still covered the real concern that her comment addressed.Bonnie is not a racist promoting a racist view of Palestinians … given her past (I have not seen anything suggesting she has used racial stereotypes in the past) and given the context of the discussion, and being that we are journalists, we felt the apology in and of itself was acceptable.Now, had it been that she was blasting Palestinians as a people for raising their kids to be suicide bombers, and arguing that point, we might have responded much differently. This was on the line, and we prefer to give people without a past the benefit of the doubt …Now, racists like Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter are a different breed. Bernstein isn't in that category in my opinion thank you for writing and best regards

Ray Hanania# # #

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