THE JOURNALISM OF RACE: Whoopi Goldberg's instant retort...


...blew past what Tayofa had said: We'll admit it—we're intrigued by what Michele Tafoya said.

She said it when she appeared on The View.  She appeared on the program last November 2, on Election Day no less. 

Tafoya was nearing the end of a long career as a reporter for NBC Sports. Her comment concerned her children's schools. As we noted yesterday, this is what she said:

TAFOYA (11/2/22): My kids in school—there is a big, big focus on the color of your skin.

INTERJECTION: How old are your children?

TAFOYA: My children are now 16 and 13

INTERJECTION: In what way?

TAFOYA: It's been going on since they were in lower school, all right? And it is that there are affinity groups on campus for each—

My son's first best friend was a little African-American boy. They were inseparable. Get to a certain age, they start having what's called an "affinity group," which means you go for lunch and pizza with people who look like you. Suddenly, my son wasn't hanging out with him any more.

His next best friend was a little Korean boy. Years, inseparable. He started going to his affinity groups. 

Why are we even teaching that the color of the skin matters? Because to me, what matters is your character and your values.

We didn't see these remarks in real time. But after Tafoya guested with Tucker Carlson last week, her remarks occasioned a fair amount of comment. It's much as Chekhov put it:

"The appearance on the front of a new arrival—a lady with a lap-dog—became the topic of general conversation."

After appearing with Carlson last week, Tafoya's remarks about her children's schools became the topic of general conversation. As the conversation swirled, we watched the tape from her earlier appearance on The View. Once again, we're prepared to confess:

We're interested in her (fleeting) remarks about her children's schools.

For what it's worth, Tafoya is one of The Others. Back in 2015, she described herself, in this Sports Illustrated profile, as a “pro-choice conservative"—as "a conservative person" with "some definite libertarian strains."

For the record, you're allowed to be a conservative person with libertarian strains. And sure enough:

Having left her job with NBC Sports, Tafoya is now an official on the Minnesota gubernatorial campaign of Kenneth Qualls—and Qualls is a Republican.

In spite of these distinguishing characteristics, we retain our curiosity about Tafoya's fleeting remarks about her children's schools. 

On the one hand, we're interested in the kinds of experiences children have in their schools. Then too, there's the unfortunate politics which can emerge in the face of practices which might seem to be "left-leaning schooling gone wild."

What the heck is going on in the Tafoya kids' schools? According to Tafoya, the schools operate some sort of "affinity groups." Apparently, membership in these groups is determined on the basis of ethnicity and race.

Tafoya seems to think that these affinity groups are a bad idea. She seems to feel that the groups are driving different groups of kids farther apart. 

For the record, we have no idea if that impression is accurate. In Tafoya's view, the practice is teaching kids "that the color of [their] skin matters."

Could it be that something is wrong with this particular practice? As we noted yesterday, Tafoya's kids may be enrolled in the Edina, Minnesota Public Schools, a system which initiated a type of social justice program ("All for All") back in 2013.

Assuming that its motives are pure, how good is that school district's judgment? Everyone can make mistakes, and some mistakes can produce blowback at the polls, as the nation recently saw in the San Francisco school board recall vote.

Is Edina showing good judgment in the operation of its "All for All" program? We don't have the slightest idea, in part because Whoopi Goldberg broke in on Tafoya and offered this retort:

GOLDBERG (continuing directly): Yes, but you know—you live in the United States. You know that color of skin has been mattering to people for years.

To watch that segment, click here.

The conversation, such as it was, continued along from there. It was one of the most useless non-conversation "conservations" we've ever seen—and it wasn't even part of our "cable news!"

Tomorrow, we'll show you where the discussion, such as it was, actually went from there. Many monologues were delivered before Tafoya spoke again.

On Friday, we'll show you some of the punditry which resulted from Tafoya's appearance on Carlson's program last week, where she stated her same general view about those "affinity groups." For now, we'll only say this:

We still don't know where Tafoya's children go to school. We've seen no one ask her to speak in more detail about those affinity groups. 

As for what happened on The View, we'll offer this spoiler:

Tafoya was making a specific type of claim in the passage we've posted. The View's panel of pundits proceeded to take turns refuting an array of claims which she hadn't made.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our public discourse concerning "the news" is largely a long rolling joke. Even on the highest levels, our journalists seem to lack even the most elementary skills. 

On Olympus, the gods lounge and laugh. We're told that the so-called "journalism of race" is one of these deities' favorites.

Our nation's TV offerings were "a vast wasteland," Newton Minow once famously said. Can any sane person possibly say that his assessment no longer obtains?

Tomorrow:  Reply with the scripts what brung ya


  1. Tafoya-Schmafoya, dear Bob. You don't like liberal-hitlerian racism, we get it. We get it, dear Bob, no need to keep endlessly repeating it.

    And yet you still are a self-confessed liberal. Go figure.

    And now for something completely different: are you expecting The Big Liberal War within the next six months, dear Bob. Global Thermonuclear War?

    Is your "tribe" planning to start it?

    Here's what we hear from a former Hawaiian politician:

    “[Putin] will respond and it’s likely he will retaliate using cyberattacks on our financial systems and communication systems, on our basic infrastructure. Biden will then be forced to respond, Putin will then be forced to respond. So we end up with this endless tit-for-tat that leads us where, to this looming threat and likelihood of this thing going nuclear,” she said.

    On the prospect of a nuclear exchange, Gabbard reminded Carlson the power elite “will go hide in their bunkers. They’ll have their shelter, food, water and everything they need. You and I and the American people, we will be left out to deal with the consequences.”

    Any thoughts, dear Bob?

    1. Putin will always have the blackmail of Trump.

    2. Tucker is power elite with a bunker.

    3. “Is Commander Trump’s recent bold action the start of a global conflagration—the conflagration future experts refer to as "Mister Trump's War?"

      (As we've repeatedly acknowledged, that description has come to us from Future Anthropologists Huddled in Caves, a disconsolate group of future scholars who report to us through a set of nocturnal submissions the haters refer to as dreams.)”

      Mao, I suppose folks would wonder how the Future Anthropologists Huddled In Caves are recalibrating.

    4. Yeah, precisely: the anthropologists living in caves inside dear Bob's head are, obviously, suffering from TDS and dembot denialism.

      The only question: is dear Bob himself aware of this deficiency, this sad condition of the anthropologists living inside his head?

      Tsk. Who knows.

    5. My dear, dear Mao - I would have preferred that we and our western allies just agreed that Ukraine not be admitted to NATO; and if Russia still invaded (leading perhaps to many deaths) we not get involved, not all these sanctions, which will likely lead to retaliation, and god knows how it will end. The question to ask is, if that was what Biden did, what would the result be? What would the consequences be? That's what the analysis and discussion should center on.
      On another note, I'm wondering if whatever it is the "liberals" are doing constitutes "liberal-hitlerian racism", do you call 'hitlerian racism" all the whites running around murdering blacks after the civil war, the decades of legalized segregation, the filibustering against civil rights laws in the 50's, etc. etc? Since you are constantly (and irritatingly) characterizing "liberals' current obsession about identity, as "hitlerian", what do you call these circumstances of past U.S. history?

    6. "What would the consequences be?"

      Dear dembot, you probably meant it as a rhetorical question, but it's easy to answer.

      In 2008 at least three break-away regions were recognized, by some states:

      First: Kosovo.
      Second: Abkhazia.
      And the third: South Ossetia.

      There was no hysteria, especially with Kosovo, which was created and recognized by the US and its client states. Moreover: apparently it was the greatest thing after sliced bread.

      Anyhow. 13 years passed. Do you see invasions and "many deaths"? We don't.

      Would this satisfy you, dear dembot, as "analysis and discussion"?

      As for the US history, we are discussing the establishment media here. Its present state.

      You want to change the subject? Why? Anyway, if you do, why don't you take it up with dear Bob?

    7. Mao, you changed the subject to the Ukraine, so why can't I? And you're the one with this constant liberal' hitlerian" thing, which, with all due respect, is hardly reasonable (to be perhaps overly polite). As for Ukraine, if we took the course I said I preferred, maybe no adverse consequences. I wasn't happy how the west supported the break up of Yugoslavia. What adverse consequences if the US ignored the whole Ukraine thing - I'd leave it to others to really make the argument, but I suppose they'd say our 'enemies' would do the same thing elsewhere, China with Taiwan perhaps. A lot of people at the time opposed the US getting involved in WWII. You got a little defensive along with the 'dear dembot' device.

    8. We didn't change the subject. See the quote Cecelia posted @3:25 PM. We're inquiring about dear Bob concerns of a possibility of Big War for political reasons.

      As for 'hitlerian', hey, last week we've seen several people comparing Justin Trudeau, the leader of --literally -- Liberal Party, to Adolf Hitler. Elon Musk. And what's his face, Bill Maher? Taibbi compared him to Ceausescu...

      What's your problem? When liberals are hitlerian, that's what they are. You don't like it? Then leave the "tribe".

    9. Mao, anon 5:05 is right, no use arguing with you, you know they aren't "hitlerian" but being a bit whacko, you get pleasure out of it. I don't see that "that several people" compared Trudeau to der Fuhrer is any evidence that it is true. Bad as Trudeau may be according to people who don't like him, the comparison is ridiculous, as, unless you're deranged (a distinct possibility), you know.

    10. There's no "true" in this, dear dembot. Liberals being (or not being) hitlerian is a matter of opinion.

      And our point is that our opinion of liberals being indeed hitlerian is not uncommon or particularly unconventional these days. That's all.

    11. Mao, dear non-dembot, opinions can often be deranged, whether "widely held" or not. I suppose it depends to some extent on how you define "Hitlerian." For example, if you define "hitlerian" as "liberal" then, according to that definition, liberals would be "hitlerian." Hitler was virulently anti-semitic (and anti a lot of others, e.g., slavs) and was responsible for the most heinous crimes in recent history, responsible for tens of millions of deaths (a large proportion of them Russians). Anyone can have an opinion about anything, but for the opinion to be credible, there has to be reasonable argument to back it up. I haven't seen you provide any.

    12. We already had this conversation. We explained all this several times already.

      Okay, fine, here goes: we perceive essentializing of 'race'/'ethnicity' as hitlerian. And that's what liberals do. In fact, it's their main gig. It's big part of what they do. Also, we picked it up (the 'hitlerian' characterization of liberalism) from a Taibbi peace, a year or so ago.

      No one is forcing you to agree with any of this. Nor do we mind if you consider our views deranged. That's perfectly fine. Freedom of thought, dear. We respect the freedom of thought. Of your thought.

    13. Oh, that's all that Hitler did, "essentialized" race and identity. The death camp genocide thing apparently isn't necessarily part of the definition of "Hitlerian." Makes sense from a Goebblesian point of view. I've read the Taibbi piece, about the crazy 'white fragility" lady's book, and you are going miles out of context. Also, have I been mistaken by believing that it was 'liberals' who were responsible for all the civil rights acts passed in the 60's? Was it the southern senators who filibustered all those years the 'liberals?"

    14. We don't think that liberals were responsible for all the civil rights acts passed in the 60's. The civil rights movement was responsible.

      Oh, and by the way, if you insist on equating self-identified liberals decades ago and liberals today: did liberals nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two perfectly civilian cities? Did liberals send ethnic Japanese into concentration camps? Did they bomb North Korea into the stone age? Start the Vietnam war?

      Nah, this excurse into history is not going to get us anywhere.

      "The death camp genocide thing apparently isn't necessarily part of the definition of "Hitlerian.""

      It's not the definition. We simply choose to emphasize one specific common characteristic of two ideologies. One specific concept.

      Anyway. If it annoys you so much, fine, we'll try to avoid it in the future.

    15. ...actually, the civil rights acts is a more complicated story. Militants (a-la the Black Panthers) played a role, obviously.

      But also -- and that was a major factor -- the jim crow laws were extremely problematic in the context of the Cold War. A huge stain on the reputation, diminishing the US 'soft-power'...

  2. The one thing certain about the right wing is that they must ALWAYS have a grievance. Once the mask mandate is no longer in place, they will move on to something else without giving a thought to how wrong they were on the previous grievance.

  3. They have no platform except bigotry.
    They are always wrong about everything.
    They are extremely stupid.
    They lie all the time.
    They think Kyle Rittenhouse is cute.

    Maybe we can mandate that they are not allowed to exist.

    1. "Maybe we can mandate that they are not allowed to exist."

      Nice addition of something somewhat controversial.

    2. Someone could maybe make a good faith argument against the sixth sentence of 1:01's post.

    3. "They have no platform except bigotry.
      They are always wrong about everything.
      They are extremely stupid.
      They lie all the time.
      They think Kyle Rittenhouse is cute."

      Tell me you don't work for the corporate media, without saying the words "I don't work for the corporate media".

    4. Can do.

      It was sarcasm and I didn't expect agreement.

    5. I'm a died in the wool Democrats and Rittenhouse is cute. SO cute.

    6. Sarcasm.
      Because you didn't write:
      "They never make a good faith argument."

      I see what you did there.

  4. Speaking of The View, see

    The View LIES About Justice Thomas’s Wife Being 'Part of the Insurrection'

    1. Waterboard (or subpoena) her and find out.

    2. Mrs. Thomas is very involved in all kinds of far right groups. She is a true believer, the election was stolen etc., a bit unseemly I think given the position of her husband, who never recuses himself from cases where his wife, and organizations she is part of, have taken radical far right positions. I would note that I don't know what "being part of the insurrection" means - and the View is pretty much all vapidity.

    3. AC/MA - the article clearly explains what they mean by "being part of the insurrection".

      RBG was a leader of the the ACLU, but didn't recuse herself from cases where the ACLU was involved. I've never heard of a SCOTUS justice recusing him/herself due to the spouse's political beliefs. Have you?

    4. RBG had no connection with the ACLU at the time she sat on the Supreme Court.

      The ACLU is an organization that hires attorneys. The matter and principals of the individual cases would be the source of conflict, not an organization like the ACLU. For example, they have no monopoly on free speech simply because they fund attorneys who might bring such cases to court.

      The same is not true of Thomas's wife Ginni.

    5. The issue is not "spouse's political beliefs", David, you mendacious treasonous bastard.

      Behind closed doors, Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife is working with many groups directly involved in controversial cases before the Court.

  5. There is no such thing as a pro choice conservative.
    That is an oxymoron, with the emphasis on moron.

    1. I'm one. Many libertarian types fit that description. If one supports smaller, less powerful government, then it's consistent to support keeping the government out of abortion decisions.

    2. A libertarian is a Republican these days because they did not repudiate Trump when they had the chance.

    3. David,
      Since you’re a libertarian, can you tell us when the libertarians in the executive suites are going to stop crying out for Daddy Government to save their businesses?

    4. Yes, David is very libertarian. That is why he votes religiously for those turning our country into a Christofascist Theocracy.

      He prefers "smaller less powerful government". That is why he enthusiastically supports a book burning party passing laws all over the country suppressing votes and telling people how to think.

  6. When I was in 6th grade, the school required all of the girls to attend a special session in the auditorium, while all of the boys remained in class. What for? To discuss puberty and menstruation, including the practical aspects of pads. Should the boys have attended too? I believe the sexes were separated to avoid embarrassing the girls and to prevent the boys from making comments or teasing the girls. I think this example of an affinity group was a good idea and I believe it continues to be standard practice in many schools.

    How might this be comparable to affinity grouping to discuss other sensitive subjects, including race? For one thing, allowing young kids to talk freely without fear of hurt feelings or reprisals seems like a good idea. It permits white kids to clear the air and allows teachers to address misconceptions, myths, and hateful propaganda without having to call it that. Just as addressing myths about menstruation was necessary for the girls decades ago. Similarly, allowing the black kids or Asian kids to form an affinity group would allow them to talk about misconceptions they might have about white people, and talk about incidents of racism in a non-accusatory way, so that adults can counsel them about it. It also allows the school to get a handle on how much bullying might be going on in their school and figure out ways to address it.

    Making this simple practice into a political football so that the right wing can score culture war points strikes me as something that will injure all of the kids involved in such affinity group activities. Just as the right made covid masks toxic, spreading the idea that simple measures to address racism among young teens is somehow itself racist or is a "progressive" woke program or some kind of brainwashing, will do damage by eliminate the opportunity for proactive attempts to teach and prevent bullying, racism and white supremacist recruiting -- all of which both sides should want to eliminate in schools.

    Somerby attitude and approach to this topic is unhelpful, especially since he says that he has concerns about children. I frankly don't see him exhibiting any such concerns today. He says he taught the age-group in which that mandatory affinity grouping of girls to talk about their anatomy was routinely done. Being male, perhaps he didn't understand fully why it was happening. That makes it seem pretty likely to me that he has no clue why black and white kids might prefer to talk about race separately. And that is surprising in a teacher who says he cares about kids. Somerby needs to be less eager to pillory Whoopi and think a bit more about why he is so quick to believe Tafoya instead of educators in the Edina school district.

    1. Anonymouse 3:11pm, Why would you argue that a gender affinity group of people with xx chromosomes is a natural consideration considering that sec is not a matter of DNA?

      Wouldn’t you reckon that limiting the group to those kids who have ovaries and a uterus sends a message of exclusivity that is prefaced on an outdated concept of gender binarism?

    2. Even if a child did not have ovaries, she might need to be aware of what girls generally experience, in order to fit in with her peers. Singling her out to exclude seems cruel to me.

      Boys get lectures in their gym classes about the importance of wearing a cup. Would you suggest excluding those boys with no interest in athletics? How about the ones with their own divergent anatomy?

      Your belief that kids should be rigidly assigned based on physiology alone to categories they may not identify with, or stigmatized as not fitting any category, strikes me as lacking empathy.

      It wouldn't hurt boys to hear an assembly about menstruation, except that they are insufficiently mature to listen without acting out. David Futrelle on We Hunted the Mammoth blog, regularly highlights the ignorance incels and MRA's and MGTOW's have about female anatomy. Republicans too, when they say things like "the body has a way of shutting these things down," suggesting that a rape or incest baby won't be carried to term.

      You don't necessarily have XX chromosomes to menstruate, by the way. There are other variations besides being male XY.

    3. Anonymouse 5:01pm, not to mention the fact that we don’t live in a world where menstruation or childbirth are mentioned in whispers.

    4. All the more reason why we should not create a world where race and ethnicity must be mentioned in whispers.

    5. Anonymouse 6:50am, better those aspects of humanity be incidental than cognomen in their own stead.

    6. cognomen definition:

      an extra personal name given to an ancient Roman citizen, functioning rather like a nickname and typically passed down from father to son.
      a name or nickname.

      What on earth is Cecelia talking about now?

  7. "The View's panel of pundits proceeded to take turns refuting an array of claims which she hadn't made."

    Caveat -- if Tafoya didn't say things exactly the same way as someone on the view, Somerby will regard Tafoya as not having said it, even if her meaning was substantially the same as that of the other View participant.

    Somerby only equates things when they are EXACTLY the same wording, not when they have the same meaning. And Somerby doesn't do implication. Tafoya's expression must have been explicit and word-for-word and the View members cannot have paraphrased in order to Somerby to consider that they are dealing with what Tafoya said. And that is legalistic game playing.

    So be careful when Somerby makes statements like this one. A reasonable person who is not Somerby might well consider that the discussion was all on the same topic.

  8. Whoopi Goldberg asked: "You know that color of skin has been mattering to people for years.", which I take to mean that African Americans have been forced to pay attention to race - most likely for their entire lives. I'm not sure why this would necessarily take the conversation in an unproductive direction. Or in a phony direction. Ms. Goldberg's comment/question seems uncontroversial to me, and could lead to a productive discussion. When Ms. Tafoya asks: "Why are we even teaching that the color of the skin matters? Because to me, what matters is your character and your values.", she does not seem to be including African American children who often are not given the opportunity to be judged by their character, rather than their skin color. Is it possible Ms. Golberg's comment was clumsy rather than somehow tribal or malicious? Am I missing the point?

  9. This happens in big schools with aptitude tests. Aptitude tests have a weird history. They were used to keep women from programming jobs. The SATs were used to keep out Jews. And then there's the poll tests.

    This might also be school size. My friends who have been to large high schools says the segregation in the cliques is worse.

    But blame the left, video games, blame Saddam Hussein. Do anything but examine the system.

    1. how did SAT tests keep out Jews? They did good on them, didn't they?

  10. It is apparently unimportant to Somerby that Tafoya, having left her job in sports reporting at NBC, is now engaged in conservative politics. He does mention her new positions but doesn't link her current concerns about her kids back to the ongoing campaigns on the right to interfere with schools and make a political issue out of routine school activities.

    Somerby never considers Tafoya's motives. He also seems oblivious to her vagueness. He himself notes that he doesn't know where her kids go to school, insisting that they must attend the Edina public schools (on no basis whatsoever). He also notes that she doesn't seem to know what happened to her kids at school or why they changed friendships or who their current friends are. And he leaps from a change in friendships to affinity groups, as a suspicious progressive activity, again on no evidence. Whatever Tafoya's bandwagon is, Somerby is right there!

    And this, after exhorting liberals to seek evidence, support truth, be skeptical of partisanship and examine biases. He has demonstrated today that he is incapable of doing any of those things.

    1. Anonymouse3:23pm, have you wondered why the hosts on The View never sought the answers that you’re demanding from Bob? All questions he asked from his first blog on the topic.

      Instead the hosts went to riffing on their takes on what their guest opined rather than getting the clarity you’re demanding from someone who wasn’t there.

    2. Cecelia, Somerby himself provided the background on Tafoya. He then ignores her ulterior motives. I don't care what Whoopi said or any of the others. They aren't educators, as Somerby claims to have been.

      Tafoya is a Republican party activist pursuing the topic for partisan political advantage. Somerby knows who she is and yet chose to further her agenda in his column today.

      I don't know or care who says what on The View. It isn't a news show but an entertainment show, attempting to simulate how a group of girlfriends might talk over lunch. It isn't anything like my life, so I get nothing from watching it. THEY aren
      the issue. Somerby is.

    3. Somerby explicitly stated her politics and wonders why the hosts of the The View didn’t ask their guest to clarify her statements while she was sitting across from them..

      Answer- too much fun lecturing and virtue signaling, which is part and parcel of “The Journalism Of Race”.

    4. Tafoya is said to occasionally bathe her flaccid, aging corpus in goat's blood. In that respect, she's just like Maddow. Both sides.

    5. Already backpedaling when you’re on record regarding Maddow and lamb’s blood.

    6. “ much fun lecturing and virtue signaling, which is part and parcel of “The Journalism Of Race”. ”

      Wow. It’s all so clear now.

      Only problem: the hosts of the View aren’t journalists and the View isn’t journalism.

      Other than that minor point, great job!

    7. Antifa is anti-Republican Party. It’s right in their name.

    8. mh, you’re right that the View certainly is not journalism or even much sense.

      Somerby has referenced that’s he’s getting started on what we still don’t know about the basics of Tafoya‘s claim. She’s appeared elsewhere and there are news stories in newspapers about her move, which are reported by journos. Not much info.

      It’s Somerby’s focus and let him get to it rather than demanding that he adopt the anonymouse’s take on what he should be emphasizing. All without anyone having verified the woman’s claim.

    9. It was on TMZ. Maddow at a late night lesbian ceremonial ritual drinking goblet after goblet of lamb's blood. She then took a mallet to an 80 lb squid that was writhing on the floor. I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it with my own eyes.

    10. Once they get you to believe in supply-side economics, getting you to believe Maddow is a cannibal is child’s play.

    11. Cecelia, Tafoya's "claim" is that her kids have changed their friendships from early childhood to their teen years. What child doesn't do that?

      The problem is that Tafoya attributes this to affinity groups, without giving any details about them. It is right to be suspicious of this, since affinity groups are a current right wing target in the culture war against our public schools.

      This is much like the woman who objected to her high school senior son reading Beloved. She attributed bad effects to the book without evidence. She was a right wing activist, not solely a parent. She raised a current issue being pursued by well-funded groups attacking public schools.

      This is a right wing campaign, not an individual mom who happens to be discussing her child on TV.

    12. Why are you anonymouseplain’n to me when I’ve said that Somerby thinks the media needs to do their job and verify what Tafoya has claimed about her kids’ school?

    13. I know some people that met them and they said that Maddow and her partner were very charming couple and that her partner made a wonderful stew.

  11. permohonan sambung belajar di luar negara lepasan SPM :
    1. Sebelum anda ingin sambung belajar di uitm medic , rujuk artikel ini.
    2. a-level di malaysia : Satu Pilihan Yang Tepat? Ketahui 4 Kelebihannya
    3.pengajian islam in indonesia