Tag Archives: newsweek

New Poll Finds Tea Partiers a Smidge More Racist

Ok, maybe a lot more than a smidge.  Arian Campo-Flores of Newsweek reports in an article posted today, that people who approve of the  Tea Party movement tend to have more racist attitudes.  This lil tidbit is very telling: ” Only 35 percent of those who strongly approve of the Tea Party agreed that blacks are hard-working, compared to 55 percent of those who strongly disapprove of the Tea Party.”  Wow…only 55% of blacks are hard-working.  I’m sure that percentage is up from when…1965??  Oh yeah, we were only hard working pre-1865.  With emancipation our productivity went way down.  I wonder why…hmmm.

So a new poll by researchers at the University of Washington caught my eye. The findings are sure to fan the flames further. “People who approve of the Tea Party, more than those who don’t approve, have more racist attitudes,” says Christopher Parker, a University of Washington professor who directed the survey. “And not only that, but more homophobic and xenophobic attitudes.” For instance,  respondents were asked whether they agreed with various characterizations of different racial groups. Only 35 percent of those who strongly approve of the Tea Party agreed that blacks are hard-working, compared to 55 percent of those who strongly disapprove of the Tea Party. On whether blacks were intelligent, 45 percent of the Tea Party supporters agreed, compared to 59 percent of the Tea Party opponents. And on the issue of whether blacks were trustworthy, 41 percent of the Tea Party supporters agreed, compared to 57 percent of the Tea Party opponents.

The survey, which included about 1,000 respondents in six battleground states (like Michigan and Nevada) and California, found similar margins on questions regarding Latinos. And Tea Party supporters were far more likely than opponents to say that immigrants take jobs from people living here (59 percent agreed with that statement), that immigration from foreign countries should be decreased (53 percent agreed), and that undocumented immigrants in the U.S. should be deported immediately (45 percent agreed).

More fuel for the unproductive divisions that are the legacy of sexism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc in America.  I’ll have to see how Fox and Right Wing pundits spin these numbers.

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Is that a rich black man or a monkey?

WebProNews.com is reporting |Algorithmic accidents at Google News have been blamed for matching the wrong photos to stories, including a really unfortunate one caught by Newsweek.

Putting the right pictures with the right stories has proved a challenge to Google News. That challenge received dramatic illustration when Newsweek grabbed a screenshot of a story about the possible departure of Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons.

Google’s algorithmic choice of imagery? A pair of rhesus monkeys.

Ouch.

It also happened with departing Merrill Lynch CEO Stanley O’Neal. Both men, prominent African-American executives, seemingly tagged by Google News in an exceptionally unfortunate way.

“The selection and placement of stories on this page were determined automatically by a computer program,” reads the disclaimer at the bottom of Google News. Google’s reaction to the misbehaving algorithm, as noted by Newsweek, is almost as surprising as the image matching that took place:

Google acknowledges the situation, but declined to openly discuss details of the primate episode. Surprisingly, it was even unwilling to go on record and explicitly disavow any racist motivation. “While we don’t comment on individual stories on Google News,” spokesman Gabriel Stricker told NEWSWEEK, “crawling thousands of sites across the globe is a complicated task, and we’re confident that the quality of the crawled pages is extremely good for the vast majority of news sources on our site.” In an oblique nod to the problem, he cites the need for “more work to be done,” adding, “we’re always working on improvements to Google News to ensure that the experience for all of our users … continues to be great.”

Other stories about different topics likewise generated odd images to match. All of these images come from Reuters, but why those particular images caused such havoc for Google News isn’t known.

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