On Wednesday, March 30th, CNN’s morning news line up was as follows; the Pope gets feeding tube inserted, Terri Schiavo saga continues and Johnnie Cochran dies. Johnnie Cochran’s death was the third news item. While a large number of Catholics around the world one could argue that the story about the pope’s feeding tube was entitled to being first, I disagree for a simple fact. A man died.
A man named Johnnie Cochran who fought hard in the courtrooms of American for his people. The Terri Schiavo story was the next news item and it simply said that her parents were still trying to get the courts to reinsert her feeding tube. Although Schiavo had been in a vegetative state for 15 years she was still alive. Key word alive.
Johnnie Cochran had died the day before, yet CNN thought it was more important to tell us that the pope was eating through a feeding tube and that Terri Schiavo, a woman who had lived with a feeding tube for 15 years’ struggle still remained. But Cochran’s struggle had ended the day before, still the media decided to tell the story of the living over his.
Johnnie Cochran, a man who represented blacks who were taken advantage of by predominately white police forces, served as a voice for those silenced by their economic situation, yet he was the third news item the day after his death. I found this disrespectful and a perfect example of the importance of blacks getting into positions of power in the media. We cannot expect the white dominated media to make our stories a priority. It is up to us as a race to be the change that we want to see in the world.