Adam Serwer

Adam Serwer is a writing fellow at The American Prospect and a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He also blogs at Jack and Jill Politics and has written for The Village Voice, The Washington Post, The Root, and the Daily News.

Recent Articles

EXAGGERATING BLACK-LATINO TENSIONS.

Rikyrah at Jack and Jill Politics points to a Gallup poll titled "Whites May Exaggerate Black-Hispanic Tensions" which may explain why the conventional wisdom about black-Latino tensions affecting Obama was so completely wrong. The generally positive review of black-Hispanic relations in Gallup polling among members of the two leading U.S. minority groups contrasts with considerable media speculation about the impact of Hispanic animosity toward blacks in this year's primary elections.[...] While black-Hispanic animosity may exist and could even have been a factor in some state caucuses or primaries, the Gallup data indicates it is not overwhelmingly obvious to members of either group. Whites are much more likely to believe the two are in conflict. But why was pundit class was so quick to wrongly assume the state of black-brown relations was poor? The poll suggests this misconception widely held among white folks, not just TV talking heads. Of course, that may be because people were...

BLACK RADIO HOSTS ARE NOT LIKE LIMBAUGH.

As much as I enjoy seeing one of the more enduring black media institutions getting coverage in the New York Times , the comparison to Rush Limbaugh is an inappropriate one, and you'd think that the phenomenon itself would be worth a story without it. Radio hosts like Michael Baisden and Tom Joyner, whatever their affinity for Obama, aren't hardcore Democratic partisans. While they may talk about politics, often what dominates their programming is lifestyle, relationship and parenting issues. Black radio also lacks the Limbaugh's history of smears, distortions, and racially inflammatory material. When Baisden made inaccurate comments regarding the fundraising the online civil rights group Color of Change did on behalf of the Jena Six, he apologized . When was the last time you heard Limbaugh do that? It's also a little misleading to say that Steve Harvey , Michael Baisden and Tom Joyner combined have a bigger audience than Rush Limbaugh, as if he were the only arm of the Republican...

MEDIA IGNORES MCCAIN'S REAL CHANGE ON IRAQ, OBSESSES OVER OBAMA'S FAKE ONE.

Editors' Note: We're pleased to introduce new Prospect writing fellow Adam Serwer . He's a recent graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He also blogs at Jack and Jill Politics under the pseudonym dnA and has written for The Village Voice and the Daily News . On Friday, John McCain told Wolf Blitzer that 16 months would be "a pretty good timetable," despite his previous declarations that such a plan would result in "defeat in the first major war since 9/11." You'd think that his sudden endorsement of what is essentially Barack Obama 's position would be a significant enough policy shift that newspapers would, you know, report on it. But you'd be wrong. On Friday, The Washington Post led their article noting the change with McCain attacking Obama, relegating McCain's statement to paragraph seven (McCain's "audacity of hopelessness" takedown was in paragraph two). Weeks ago, the Post was one of the many papers that led with the non-news that Obama would...

Scoring <i>The New Yorker</i> Cover Debate

Sunday night the new issue of The New Yorker hit newsstands. By Monday morning, everyone had an opinion. Here's a rundown of the cover's defenders and attackers.

On Sunday night, hours before The New Yorker 's latest issue had been delivered to newsstands, the internet exploded with conversation over the cover. It features a caricature of the Obamas as they exist in the minds of many of their right-wing critics: Barack is wearing a turban and sandals as he fist bumps with Michelle, who is decked out in fatigues with a "black power afro" that is about as radical looking as a jheri curl. They stand in the oval office, with a portrait of Osama bin Laden hanging on the wall and an American flag smoldering in the fireplace. New Yorker editor David Remnick insisted the piece was satire in the vein of Stephen Colbert, saying that he ran the cover to "hold up a mirror to the prejudice and dark imaginings about Barack Obama's -- both Obamas' -- past, and their politics." Barry Blitt , the artist who drew the image (and also the famous Larry Craig-inspired cover parody of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a bathroom), said that he thought "...

GAY MARRIAGE AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.

Andrew Sullivan asks "where's the fierce urgency of now?" with regards to Barack Obama and gay marriage, the movement towards which he describes as "The Civil Rights Movement of our time". I think it's useful to remember that the Civil Rights Movement was not lead by elected officials, but actually by community leaders who engaged in very serious and prolonged arm-twisting of elected officials and pressure government institutions in their quest for equality under the law. I think criticism of Obama is warranted on this front, but I also think it's silly to expect politicians to play roles they've not historically been known to play. Obama is no MLK, and he's not even really a leader in the traditional civil rights mold. Those kinds of leaders need to not be able to care what voters think. -- A. Serwer

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