In his new book, Race-Baiter, media critic Eric Deggans says modern media outlets trade in bigotry and bias to build audience and sell advertising.
Deggans dissects media coverage of events such as Hurricane Katrina, the Trayvon Martin case and the 2012 presidential election to build an argument that Americans lack the right vocabulary for having important conversations about race, and that the echo chambers of our fractured media landscape aren't helping. The fix, he says, is a more savvy audience that demands better conversations.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The war in Afghanistan has gone largely unmentioned by both presidential campaigns. When it does come up, conversations focus not so much on what happening now but withdrawal.
If timetables hold, the U.S. and NATO will hand over combat operations to Afghan forces by the end of 2014, but plans call for American troops to stay on for many years in support and counterterrorism roles.
Last week, after Donald Trump asked President Obama to produce more records to prove his citizenship, the president used an appearance on "The Tonight Show" to dismiss the issue with a one-liner. Host Jay Leno asked, what's this thing between you and Trump?
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO")
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya.