Ethics Hero: General Mills; Ethics Dunces: The News Media

Bravo to General Mills for its new Cheerios commercial:

It’s not grandstanding, it’s not in your face, but it’s brave: bi-racial families are so common today that the absence of them in TV commercials could only be the result of a conscious choice by Madison Avenue and Corporate America to avoid offending even those few who should be offended. And TV ads have great cultural force in molding norms, expectations and standards. Some company with a major product needed to take the plunge, and General Mills did it.

I wonder how long it will take them to have a same-sex couple in a Cheerios ad.

As to the angle most of the media is taking on the ad, which is the negative feedback General Mills has received from a relative few die-hard racial purists, it’s akin to creating hysteria over shark attacks. Focusing disproportionate attention on the crazies who post racist rants on cereal sites (Who reads cereal sites?) seems like a continuation of the Left’s (which includes the news media, of course) strategy of painting the U.S. as stubbornly racist, and to keep pushing this, rather than the Jumbo-worthy obvious reasons (“Elephant? What elephant?”), for President Obama’s governing problems.

“Vitriol Online for Cheerios Ad With Interracial Family”  shouts the New York Times.  This and dozens of headlines like it are misleading to the point of dishonesty. There’s vitriol about all sorts of nonsense online, written by fools, zealots, nuts and trolls, every day. What is this vitriol newsworthy? It’s only newsworthy if it tells us anything about the public and the nation, and it doesn’t. Last I checked, the favorable vs. unfavorable response to the ad on YouTube was running 11 to 1, with about a thousand Rip Van Winkles, Klansmen and nuts expressing disapproval. I don’t think the fact that less than 10% of the nation still finds inter-racial marriages objectionable is shocking. If 10% of the country is racist, I think that shows remarkable progress: I doubt that racism can get much lower than that anywhere without brain-washing and concentration camps. The media focus on the negative remarks, hardly scientific measures of anything, isn’t just saying the glass is half-empty, it’s suggesting that a glass that is almost full is virtually empty. No wonder the President is being hounded for all these scandals he knew nothing about! Cheerios makes a heartwarming commercial starring a bi-racial little girl, and those racist conservatives are up in arms about it!  

“Backlash greets Cheerios ad with interracial family” shouts the Washington Post. Ridiculous. How about, “Still some racists out there, but overwhelming praise for new Cheerios ad”?

Sources: New York Times, ABC, Washington Post

12 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: General Mills; Ethics Dunces: The News Media

  1. I truly believe there isn’t a more tolerant country on this planet, than ours.

    Media goes around the bend sometimes. The commercial is just a humorous quip.

    Ever notice local TV broadcasts do not mention the race of some purported criminal? It was as if the mere mention of someone’s race would be akin to being a racist. However no such concerns about the person’s sex.

  2. Do you think the reaction to the commercial would have been different if the mother had been black and the father white? Or what if the child had 2 mothers or 2 fathers? Just wondering.

    • Faye, I believe there would be a smaller reaction if the mother was black and the father was white. If the child had two mothers, the reaction would be significantly larger. However, if the child in the commercial had two fathers, the reaction would be HUGE. Westboro Baptist Church would have to picket funerals over the issue. Things would get ugly, but ugly in a good way. Change is hard for many to tolerate, but it is necessary to move forward and nothing can stop it.

  3. Remember, most of the news media is in the liberal camp and the liberal camp needs racism. If there isn’t much racism, how can all the racial preference programs be justified? Without widespread racism, minorities would be free to make choices about political candidates. You can’t justify a world where every university has scholarships specifically for minorities, but a national shaming and federal investigation is threatened for a university has a scholarship reserved for a white student without widespread racism. You can’t justify the existence of the Congressional Black Caucus without widespread racism. You can’t shield President Obama and Eric Holder from criticism if there isn’t widespread racism. Therefore, if there isn’t widespread racism, you need to make it appear to be so, or you have to make it so.

  4. “I wonder how long it will take them to have a same-sex couple in a Cheerios ad.”

    I could be mistaken, but I am almost sure I have seen a Progressive insurance ad on TV where a male couple poses as customers for lady Flo.

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