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July 24, 2009

Not So Subliminal CBS News Take-Away: Gates a Criminal

Visuals showing CBS playing the race card regarding arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Visuals showing CBS playing the race card regarding arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Visuals showing CBS playing the race card regarding arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Yeah, it’s not like CBS is playing the race card using visuals like these to tell the Gates story, right?

In the course of a two minute background piece on the CBS Evening News, we see multiple views of the Harvard Professor from a mug shot. The first is a slow, full screen left-to-right pan. That is shortly followed by a diptych juxtaposing the “criminalized” Gates with officer Crowley (the officer seeming to look toward Gates, while Gates seems to reject the entreaty and look the other way). Then we see Gates again, this time inset in civilian clothes, but highlighted by his offensive remark (because black men always want to get it on with white women, right?) paired with a videographic of the police report which then pivots and expands like an accordion giving the impression it’s voluminous (like a rap sheet).

Gates, by the way, spent a total of four hours at the police station.

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