Monday, April 23, 2007

The mainstream media does a story involving hip-hop that doesn't blame everything ON hip-hop

The last time Anderson Cooper did a music story for "60 Minutes," he ended up crammed into a box with country super-duper-star Kenny Chesney. It became a "newsmakers making news" moment, as both men are rumored to be gay (notthatthere'sanythingwrongwiththat).

Last night, Cooper did a piece on the "stop snitching" movement among blacks. CBS sent out a promo for it last week that made a minor splash. The news site Drudge Report, never one to undersensationalize a situation, blasted word that, in the piece, Harlem rap god Cam'ron said he wouldn't call the cops even if a serial killer was living next door. Cam was shot in 2005 and has not cooperated with the police, and earlier this year he made a video that protrays 50 Cent as a cooperating witness.

From the promo, the story seemed like another case of rap music being blamed for society's ills. Instead, the it rightly covered the issue as a larger problem. It showed hip-hop's influence on the unwritten rule in black America not to cooperate with police, but it kept the focus ON black America as a whole.

It's about 12 minutes long and worth watching. "60 Minutes" remains one of the few places on TV to find journalism that is topical, insightful, well-rounded and not sensationalistic.

"Stop Snitching" story, Part 1

"Stop Snitching" story, Part 2

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