About

This CNN report was broadcast in 2008 as a feature on the Asian American community’s stance to the upcoming Democratic Party Presidential primary elections. The report suggests that the Asian American community, while diverse, was a big supporter of Hillary Clinton. Many of the interviews are conducted with Asians whose English language proficiency is minimal; in another instance, a 4th generation Japanese American man suggests that Japanese Americans would be averse to supporting then-Senator Obama on account of his race.

Discussion

In what ways do news media help shape our view of ethnic communities like Asian Americans?
What choices were made by CNN in shaping this story –

Who did they interview? What topics did they focus on?

How can news media be held accountable for inaccurate portrayals, at the same time as we allow for free speech rights?

Critique

This report drew a great deal of criticism for its depiction of the Asian American community. An online petition was created that eventually forced CNN to take the clip down from its website. In many ways, the report can be seen as contributing to the “forever foreigner” stereotype of the Asian community. Many of the interviews are with recent Asian immigrants, as opposed to the millions of Asian-Americans with deeper roots in the country. It also has the tendency to generalize broadly across the “Asian American community”, with little reference to its great diversity in terms of ethnicity, economic status, and other characteristics.