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Friday, March 26, 2004
Boston Herald columnist Mike Barnicle today apologized on his
WTKK Radio (96.9 FM) program for using the word "Mandingo" on Tuesday
in referring to the marriage of former secretary of defense William
Cohen, who's white, and former Boston television news personality
Janet Langhart, who's black.
I didn't hear the original
reference on Tuesday. This morning, though, Barnicle said he was
referring to an old movie of that name about the marriage of a white
man and a black woman, that he's friends with Langhart and knows
Cohen slightly, and that he meant no offense.
The only film I could find at the
Movie Database called
Mandingo was this
one, made in 1975.
According to the description, "A slave owner in the 1840s trains one
of his slaves to be a bare-knuckle fighter, unaware that his wife is
demanding from his champion services of a different kind." Not quite
the same thing. And check out this user comment:
Like titillating porn,
Mandingo is the kind of film you rent and hope no one you
know is looking. Then you hurry home, lower the blinds, make sure
the kids are in bed, then turn on the VCR in anticipation. This
film is so politically incorrect it's worth it on that merit
alone! Black and white stereotypes are played up to the hilt and
everybody is running around "pleasuring" any thing that
Nice! Well, maybe Barnicle was
thinking of another movie called Mandingo. Is there
Anyway, Media Log's instant
analysis is that Barnicle was an idiot to toss off a racially charged
term like "Mandingo" (which he essentially acknowledged); that he's a
recidivist (he recently referred to an Iranian actress and an
African-born actor as "terrorists");
but that his apology at least puts him ahead of his 'TKK colleague
Jay Severin, who uses terms like "wetback" and "towelhead"
We'll be kicking this around later
today on Greater
Boston, on WGBH-TV
(Channel 2) at 7 p.m.
CLOSED QUARTERS. Jack Wilson
might prove that he's a terrific choice as the new president of
UMass, but the process, or lack thereof, reeked. Boston Globe
posted at 12:22 PM |
MEDIA LOG ARCHIVES
Dan Kennedy is senior writer and media critic for the Boston Phoenix.