Black Entertainment Television Attacks Me

Friday, July 31, 2009
Posted in category Uncategorized

This article appeared on the Black Entertainment Television (BET) website on Wednesday night. The piece is so lame I don’t know how it passes as news. The topic is interesting and engaging, so I am not sure how the writer managed to make it so boring.

There’s one thing I want to point out, and that is the dishonest quote from the piece that both changes my punctuation (to something that is wrong) and capitalizes the word “White” when referring to me. The latter technique makes a very obvious point. The story also gets my name wrong. The quote paragraph appears as follows:

“Well, true, this billboard only appears in the city and not the ‘burbs,” writes White blogger Karen de Coster. “How dare we be honest and admit that White people generally don’t like malt liquor and, thus, they are not a target market for the product.”

So I sat down and penned this response that is up on Taki’s Magazine today.

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6 Responses to Black Entertainment Television Attacks Me

  1. Bob Roddis says:

    July 31st, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    I supposed I’m in trouble for drinking STEELE RESERVE while tubing in Texas, if only to bother my Texas friends. Drinking STEELE RESERVE while tubing in Texas is perfectly legal , by the way. For now.

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    http://tinyurl.com/kt2hb6

  2. James Lloyd says:

    July 31st, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Maybe Eric Holder wasn’t talking about White people

  3. Johnathan says:

    July 31st, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    “Advertising cannot sell you something you do not want. People commonly abstain from buying malt liquor, cigarettes, tampons, and fishing line, in spite of seeing ads for these products all their lives.”

    It is these colorful allusions which make your writing distinctive :-)

    Great article. I used to work in marketing, and you’re correct in saying that advertising is primarily aimed at creating brand awareness and preference, not actual sales. The next time someone goes to buy a product in some category for the first time, it is often the last advertisement they saw for a brand of that type product that they will purchase. Later, when they see further advertisements for the same brand, it will reinforce their preference. Relatively few advertisements actually create the desire to go buy something in the absence of some initial desire.

    On the other topic you discussed, I do think there are large segments of our population who cannot form any meaningful self-image or have any degree of self-esteem without trying to borrow from being a member of some group instead of relying on what they themselves accomplish individually. When the group identification is with a victim class, it only makes this process easier for them. Witness the tortuous logic you quoted about how the caricature of the SWPL website gets turned into yet another victimization of non-white people–its amazing the lengths to which these people will go.

  4. Bob Roddis says:

    August 1st, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Doesn’t this demonstrate an extreme level of racism against poor blacks by the Detroit City Council and BET? To paraphrase the following cartoon, aren’t they asking:

    ARE YOU SO STUPID THAT THE DETROIT CITY GOVERNMENT HAS TO PROTECT YOU FROM A BILLY DEE WILLIAMS BILLBOARD?
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    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bob_roddis/3519317063/

  5. Johnny Kramer says:

    August 1st, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Karen,

    The very idea of finding your original comments offensive is unbelievably stupid.

    You did a great job addressing this in your response, and Johnathan has already added to it well. But I’ll reiterate the absurdity of this Galbraithian idea that hapless consumers are victimized by advertising. I’m sure at some point during the history of malt liquor, companies have tried marketing it to other groups and found that most of them were uninterested. So what? As you say, all advertising is targeted (“racist,” “sexist,” “ageist,” etc.)

    And, regarding advertising “creating” desires, I like Dr. Rothbard’s rebuttal, that in some cases ads may call to someone’s conscious attention desires or concerns that they may have previously held in their subconscious, but that’s not the same thing as “creating” a desire or concern out of thin air that the person didn’t previously have. Otherwise, it would be possible to literally sell anything to anyone if it were just marketed the right way — but we can obviously see that isn’t true.

  6. Bruce says:

    August 2nd, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    The irony in BET attacking you is that the same network has done more to harm black American culture than any other force in this country. Your article was excellent, imo, and goes along way to educate people as to what advertising is actually about.

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