NewsBusters Wants You to Know That Karen Finney Is ‘Half-Black’

National Journal
Patrick Reis
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Patrick Reis
Aug. 23, 2013, 8:08 a.m.

News­Busters, the right-lean­ing me­dia watch­dog, iden­ti­fied MS­N­BC host Kar­en Fin­ney as “half-black” in its cri­ti­cism of her re­port­ing, draw­ing the host’s ire and tak­ing the pub­lic­a­tion in­to the per­il­ous ter­rit­ory of ra­cial polit­ics.

In a Thursday even­ing post ac­cus­ing Fin­ney of bi­as in her re­port­ing on Re­pub­lic­ans’ le­gis­lat­ive agenda in North Car­o­lina, News­Busters noted Fin­ney’s former po­s­i­tion as a Demo­crat­ic Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee press sec­ret­ary, say­ing that a seg­ment on her Sunday show be­trayed a lib­er­al bi­as against con­ser­vat­ive policies.

“Former DNC press sec­ret­ary Kar­en Fin­ney con­tin­ues to use her MS­N­BC show to brazenly fly her par­tis­an flag,” On Sunday’s Dis­rupt with Kar­en Fin­ney, the half-black host slammed North Car­o­lina as a state that show­cases the Re­pub­lic­an “agenda on ster­oids.”

Fin­ney tweeted at News­Busters Fri­day, ques­tion­ing why it had chosen to identi­fy her race in the post.

What does my be­ing half-black have to do with Brem­mer’s “ana­lys­is” @news­busters ? ht­tp://

— Kar­en Fin­ney (@fin­neyk) Au­gust 23, 2013

Paul Brem­mer, a Me­dia Re­search Cen­ter in­tern and au­thor of the post, de­clined to com­ment to Na­tion­al Journ­al on why he iden­ti­fied Fin­ney’s race, say­ing in­terns wer­en’t au­thor­ized to speak to the me­dia. He said he had been an in­tern at MRC since Janu­ary.

Brem­mer re­ferred ques­tions to Tim Gra­ham, MRC’s Dir­ect­or of Me­dia Ana­lys­is.

“I’m com­pletely puzzled as to how de­scrib­ing a host as “half-black” on a ra­cial sub­ject (voter ID) is in any way ex­cep­tion­al, not to men­tion in­ap­pro­pri­ate,” Gra­ham said via email Monday.

The cur­rent AP Style Guide on “race” says:

Iden­ti­fic­a­tion by race is per­tin­ent:

““In bio­graph­ic­al and an­nounce­ment stor­ies that in­volve sig­ni­fic­ant, ground­break­ing or his­tor­ic events, such as be­ing elec­ted U.S. pres­id­ent, be­ing named to the U.S. Su­preme Court or oth­er not­able oc­cur­rences. Barack Obama is the first black U.S. pres­id­ent. So­nia So­to­may­or is the first His­pan­ic justice of the U.S. Su­preme Court. Jeremy Lin is the first Amer­ic­an-born NBA play­er of Chinese or Taiwanese des­cent.

““For sus­pects sought by the po­lice or miss­ing per­son cases us­ing po­lice or oth­er cred­ible, de­tailed de­scrip­tions. Such de­scrip­tions ap­ply for all races. The ra­cial ref­er­ence should be re­moved when the in­di­vidu­al is ap­pre­hen­ded or found.

““When re­port­ing a demon­stra­tion or dis­turb­ance in­volving race or such is­sues as civil rights or slavery.

In oth­er situ­ations with ra­cial over­tones, use news judg­ment.

Do not use ra­cially derog­at­ory terms un­less they are part of a quo­ta­tion that is es­sen­tial to the story.

This post was up­dated at 3:49 Monday to in­clude News­Busters’ re­sponse.

What We're Following See More »
Morning Consult Poll: Clinton Decisively Won Debate
1 days ago

"According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, the first national post-debate survey, 43 percent of registered voters said the Democratic candidate won, compared with 26 percent who opted for the Republican Party’s standard bearer. Her 6-point lead over Trump among likely voters is unchanged from our previous survey: Clinton still leads Trump 42 percent to 36 percent in the race for the White House, with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson taking 9 percent of the vote."

Trump Draws Laughs, Boos at Al Smith Dinner
1 days ago

After a lighthearted beginning, Donald Trump's appearance at the Al Smith charity dinner in New York "took a tough turn as the crowd repeatedly booed the GOP nominee for his sharp-edged jokes about his rival Hillary Clinton."

McMullin Leads in New Utah Poll
1 days ago

Evan McMul­lin came out on top in a Emer­son Col­lege poll of Utah with 31% of the vote. Donald Trump came in second with 27%, while Hillary Clin­ton took third with 24%. Gary John­son re­ceived 5% of the vote in the sur­vey.

Quinnipiac Has Clinton Up by 7
1 days ago

A new Quin­nipi­ac Uni­versity poll finds Hillary Clin­ton lead­ing Donald Trump by seven percentage points, 47%-40%. Trump’s “lead among men and white voters all but” van­ished from the uni­versity’s early Oc­to­ber poll. A new PPRI/Brook­ings sur­vey shows a much bigger lead, with Clinton up 51%-36%. And an IBD/TIPP poll leans the other way, showing a vir­tu­al dead heat, with Trump tak­ing 41% of the vote to Clin­ton’s 40% in a four-way match­up.

Trump: I’ll Accept the Results “If I Win”
1 days ago

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.