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October 14, 2009
Slate has an article pooh-poohing old systems of trying to classify personalities by physical type and then worriedly reporting on new studies showing that maybe there is a correlation between say a heavy brow ridge and aggressiveness after all.
Can you tell if a man is dangerous by the shape of his mug?
By Dave Johns
What the article leaves out is how fully the arts have always participated in "facial profiling." It was never just some pseudo-scientific fad.
I saw the last of this speech last night on C-SPAN, although what I heard was a whole lot of Spanish, a language I don't speak. So what he said may well have been far more radical than these demands.
In 2002 I did an article called Philadelphia Foolishness in which I discussed the kerfuffle that resulted when the Philadelphia Daily News printed a front page story full of the "photographs of 15 of the 41 people who [had] outstanding homicide warrants in the Philadelphia area." There were no white people among the 15, and there were no white suspects being sought for murder. Complaints about this were heard from a black PR man, a local black politician, and local Black Muslim Imam.
A Reporting Problem Looms: LA Times Story on Laid-Off Teachers is Plagued by Non Sequiturs and Omissions
If youâ€™re writing a news story about thousands of laid-off educatorsâ€”27,000 inÂ California aloneâ€”what do you then abruptly begin talking about in the same article? Why, the need for spending millions of tax dollars, in order to encourageÂ people to go into teaching, natch.
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