AAJA MediaWatch seeks apology for ‘rice ball’ comment on “Talking Liberally with Stephanie Miller”

Dear Ms. Jacki Schechner, Mr. Chris Lavoie and Ms. Stephanie Miller

In these partisan times, there are lots of people who look to make headlines as well as make a point. There are all kinds of ways to do this.

But making an inappropriate comment should not be one of those ways.That’s why we were disappointed that one of your commentators resorted to that tactic recently.

In trying to counter an argument by Michele Malkin on the health care debate on the show “Talking Liberally with Stephanie Miller,” your host Jacki Schechner played a comment from Ms. Malkin. Ms. Miller followed up with a dismissive quip, saying “we tried to unpack that little rice ball of nonsense…”

It’s hard to believe that “rice ball” would have worked its way into the conversation if Ms. Malkin hadn’t been of Asian descent.  And whether the comment was meant to describe Ms. Malkin or her comment, it still isn’t worthy of Ms. Schechner or of Current TV.

We’d like to see Ms. Schechner apologize, and we’d like to see Current TV take steps to make sure the discourse on your network remains free of similar comments in the future. As a resource, AAJA offer this guide: http://www.aaja.org/aajahandbook.

MediaWatch, AAJA’s watchdog program for fair and accurate news coverage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, stands ready to assist news organizations that have questions or concerns about covering our communities.

Sincerely
Paul Cheung
President, Asian American Journalists Association
pcheung@aaja.org

Jam Sardar
Chair, AAJA MediaWatch