From Black Voices/Mason Jamal — I know, I know. You’re wearing thin on the Carlina White saga.

You should be.

But indulge me as I jump in to this from an entirely different perspective. In fact, Carlina and all the mama drama that has become her story is simply the springboard for my latest double-reverse dive in to the waters of media criticism. Yesterday morning, I caught an interview with Carlina’s biological mother, Joy White (pictured above), on NBC’s “Today” show. Prior to this, I was deliberately hazy on the details of this real-life soap opera. All I knew was a baby had been kidnapped at a Harlem hospital and, fast forward 23 years, she has been reunited with her biological parents.

It seemed to be a bittersweet happy ending to a story that really wasn’t any of my business, and I was trying to keep it that way, but with CNNon commercial break, I begrudgingly suffered through the interview, as I waited for the latest on Egypt.

In doing so, I learned more of the specifics and my heart went out to the various parties that have been on this emotional seesaw. Despite the tug on my heartstrings, I found myself growing more and more annoyed as I watched: This display was yet another confirmation that television news, particularly network morning shows, have turned human pain and despair into big ratings. Consider it tragic entertainment, if you will.

Thank God for NPR and the geriatric news giants on “60 Minutes.” Without institutions and shows like these, we would all be stranded in a desert of exploitive news, featuring the gut-wrenching misfortune of people, who are often poor and desperate.

It feels like an endless procession of victims and survivors that are are trotted out before us to captivate our attention, but more importantly, help sell the products that their advertisers are hawking. Money talks, responsible journalism walks (off the deep end) far too often.

Look no further than what the media did to Ted Williamsthe Ohio homeless man with the golden voice. It was the classic bait and switch: They built him up and tore him down in a matter of days.

(Continue Reading @ Black Voices…)

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  • African Mami

    Other than disemminating information, both factual and contorted isn’t that part of the media’s job? To use to its satisfaction and abuse for gains.

  • opinionatedgal

    I thought it was odd that the family went to the media so early after finding out, most psychiatrists probably would have advised privacy and time to allow the young woman and family to transition and a therapist should have been involved as well, not TV cameras.

  • random but, do you know who this post made me think of? nicki minaj. i remember watching this interview where they asked her about where did all of her multiple personas come from, and she explained that she basically created them as a way to escape from her drug addicted and abusive father and live inside her head.

    so she created nicki, who was the tough protector, and there was barbie and now roman and a bunch of others, but none of them was really onika… then she went on to explain how when shes rapping on a song as that persona, shes not herslef, shes not onika, she IS that other person. and the interview just nodded and moved on to the next question, but it was so sad… those are issues stemming from a real place and the media is just capitalizing it and moving onto the next question in an interview