American Morning

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September 15th, 2009
01:40 PM ET

We Listen – Your comments 9/15/2009

Editor's Note: The recent behavior of some public figures had the majority of American Morning's Tuesday audience lamenting the loss of manners, yet questioning the “double standards” that seemed to be imposed against different races. Many suggested that Kanye West and Serena Williams were treated more harshly for their inappropriate behavior than Rep. Joe Wilson or tennis player Roger Federer.

  • Dorothy: Where was your rage about civility when Cheney cussed out on the floor of the senate?
  • Sandra: How come you weren't talking about manners when those students stormed the stage for a Tancredo speech? How come you didn't blast the Dems when they BOOED Pres. Bush during a State of the Union speech? What is so different?
  • Carl: Nice to talk about Serena again and not talk about Federer's outburst during his finals. The blatant racism in the level of coverage is once again embarrassing for America. People have forgotten about McEnroe and ignore Feder...they simply say he is "competitive" and it is understood...
  • Freeman: Kanye West is a child who needs to grow up. His fans are angry at him and that will hit him in the pocket. Serena Williams had a bad day. Was she wrong, yes. She'll recover eventually. Why don't you have the same disdain for Wilson. Everyone seems to want to move on from this white man's tirade. Hold him up to the same standards you are putting these two people. The difference between them and him is Wilson did it in an important meeting to the President of U.S. in front of the world. All you've done is dismiss it and certainly emphasized the other two. Double standard.
  • Rose: I just watched your segment about Serena and her apology. According to John Roberts, Serena exhibited "bad behavior" and it's becoming an "epidemic". Then lo and behold who shows up talking to John, Elliot Spitzer. Does John criticize Elliot's bad behavior before he interviews him. Very hypocritical to criticize Serena, and have praise for Elliot who was breaking the laws that he was sending other people to jail for. It's not acceptable for a woman to lose her temper, but acceptable for a man to have sex with hookers, and humiliate his family in front of the nation. Am I missing something? Double standards?
    I've noticed that our society all disapproves of Kanye West’s behavior and so do I. I feel that there's a double standard. Kanye was wrong; what he did was distasteful, disrespectful – nothing good should be said about his outburst, but congressman Joe Wilson disrespected our president, yet the media show and emphasize the support he has. It was just as bad, don’t care how you put it!!!

Has “freedom of speech” become “freedom FROM civil conversation”? Is there a way to express disagreement (freedom of speech) without disrespectful behavior? What do you think about the “double standard” suggested by the viewers above?

Filed under: We Listen
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. perihelion

    Repetition of simplistic code words (ie "government run health care") with no real in depth fact finding is destructive and some people never inform themselves beyond that point. They don't like the government, they just repeat it over and over without really knowing and the media supports that simplistic approach.

    September 16, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  2. Woody

    Wow, you rightwingers are sad. It's never a "double standard" until you guys don't get your way, or you get busted doing something stupid. Glenn Beck can call Obama a racist, and you people dance in the streets. Jimmy Carter calls out Sons of the Confederacy member Joe Wilson, he you say he's playing the race card. I highly suspect that half of you don't even know the meaning of double standard. Here's an example: When Bush was in office, you people called anyone that spoke out against him traitors and "giving aid and comfort to the enemy". But when you speak out against Obama, it's "freedom of speech". That's a double standard, but being that you guys are the ones using this double standard, you won't see it.

    September 16, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  3. Anthony

    I think what many Americans fail to see is that, black people are accepted somewhat in the general population as they are a minority. However, through recent events we are seeing that there are different levels/classes of society and when african americans make it to the upper class they are expected to stay inline, no lashing is allowed. This has been evident in the most recent events, though I disagree most with Kanye's actions. Also if you read a few of these posts you'll see how black actions are zeroed in on. I suppose no other races do these things.

    September 16, 2009 at 8:56 am |
  4. gloria lewis

    Yes it does have something to do with racisum ,but above all one of the biggest problems in this country is a lack of respect ,morals and integrity .I just dont get it i am sick of seeing people act like this especially people in the public eye .I do not care if you agree or disagree with a person if you are going to be disrespectful do not speak at all .I am sorry should be taken of of the dictionary people use this word to lightly .i live by these laws before you do something think before you move make sure it is what you believe and stand on it .Just to mess up and then say sorry is not good enough its too easy .
    I have a son in school he is twenty and one twenty seven i still expect them to act like respectful people .Speak to everyone and always lend a helping hand .My son is not an a plus student i tell him all the time as long as every teacher loves him as a good student and can say he is respectful i have done my job .If he has a problem let me or his step dad know and we will go do what adults do .I am so angry when i see kids call people old enough to be their grandparents by their name .People walking into a room and not speaking .
    I grew up on the islands we were taught to speak to everyone ,never call an adult by their name ,and if a grown up told you to do something do it .I came her and you speak no one answers there is no respect no morals .This is one of the reasons lots of other countries are so against america because of their moral culture .They do not hate america they hate the way people are not all are like that but the majority are .It is so sad the media needs to help get this country back on the right moral and respectful ground .These kids needs guidance .

    September 16, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  5. parhelion

    If you look into Wilson's background and voting record you would see a person who you don't want to build this nation around and his bullying actions (right wing) are reminiscent of another era we don't want to repeat.

    CNN and the Media the are playing us like a fiddle. They just create controversy and stoke the fire and provide no light or true understanding.

    September 16, 2009 at 8:35 am |
  6. Scott Clifton

    This country lost its civility a long time ago. Parents being confused about how to punish their child in fear of child abuse claims and now kids and young adults are more and more disrespectful and act out . Parents adapt to this behavior over time and it just becomes a slowly spreading disease.

    We can't disrespect the flag, but we can our President? I don't get that, especially when the majority of our Nation voted him in. I know just because you have the position doesn't mean your perfect in all ways, but there are intelligent ways to handle these issues. If a Congressman believes the President is lying, why don't they prove the fact in a civil, respectful and intelligent way. I don't understand how it's okay to deface the President of our land. This should be illegal and punishable.

    First impressions are lasting. I am much less likely to believe Mr. Wilson in the future because of what he has done. If he'd rather grabbed the press after the speech and said, "We've shown the President how he is wrong about this, yet he fails to understand. Now, we're going to show the Nation how it is he's wrong." I'd be ALL EARS! But now after his outburst, I will switch the channel or turn a deaf ear toward him!

    Be civil and you'll maintain your credibilty with me.

    September 16, 2009 at 8:20 am |
  7. Hector

    Unemployment is high, the economy and the debt it will create is at its worst ever, and you are spending “so” much time covering the Joe Wilson non-issue. Does Joe Wilson’s actions address any of this? Then why are you spending valuable time on it?

    September 16, 2009 at 7:56 am |
  8. Tammy Ali

    I think that hs comment should be admonish so that we can put this behind us. "you lie" will soon take over " I can not tell a lie and this was said some 40 years ago. He needs to apologize to the democrats, the country and especially the children. "Oh I forgot we don't want are children to have great examples set. We wont even let them watch the President.. By the way my children were watching right along side of me when he had this outburst and they were shocked and had many questions that night..

    September 16, 2009 at 7:50 am |
  9. Katie

    I think it's time to move on Wilson apologized and the President accepted. They are drawing this thing out way too much. I don't think race was a factor at all either and the double standard is rediculous.

    September 16, 2009 at 7:49 am |
  10. Shawn

    Double standard...Kenya West or a school bus beating by two black students...where is Al Sharpton condemning these actions. Why isn't he calling for civil violations. If the individuals were reversed, you bet the NAACP would be all over it. This lack of response, fuels the double standard perception and keeps racism alive. This is just shameful!

    September 16, 2009 at 7:31 am |
  11. Melodymaker

    How is it, that these stories linger so very long, in the media? I agree, that Serena behaved badly, as well as,Kayne. Hopefully, today will be the last day, that we are inundated by these new stories. Please, move on!

    September 16, 2009 at 7:10 am |
  12. Dorothy G.

    Isn't it interesting that from the CNN perspective Kanye West can't apologize enough and Joe Wilson ( CONGRESSMAN) has done enough already and we should move on and not waste time. Little bit of a double standard maybe? I'm just asking.

    September 16, 2009 at 7:01 am |
  13. trspa

    Hey, Where is your coverage about ACORN? Besides the obvious recent controversy about their unbelievable behavior giving advice to a couple trying to prostitute themselves and young girls, there was a vote today by Congress to suspend/eliminate funding. You guys are shameless!!

    September 16, 2009 at 12:10 am |
  14. Joe

    I think CNN should give more coverage to the ACORN video's. The young kids have done a great job at investigative reporting and need the rest of the media to get the story out. This is a big story and these people at ACORN deserve to be fired and maybe worse. These ACORN employees should have been on the phone to cops instead of giving advice on how to get a loan.

    The 7 senators who supported ACORN need to explain how they justify the continued tax payer money going to ACORN.


    September 16, 2009 at 12:05 am |
  15. Keith

    I can understand how Serena Williams got upset because of the wrong call. Sometimes when we know we are right and a higher authority says were not, it can be very frustrating. Sometimes enough is enough, and we have to lash out. I believe she would have never lashed out if she had the option to challenge the charge. Today we have the technology to put sensors and cameras in any playing court or field. To be truly fare to any sport, foul calls should be able to be challenged by the player. The way it is now, If a judge or referee is bias against political stance or prejudice in any way, they have the power to sway or deter the outcome, and the true winner will be unjustly disqualified. In today's controversial times we live in, some people will take drastic measures to secretly control outcomes without any proof of the real agenda. That old saying, "it's not what you know but who you know" has never been more true than today.

    September 15, 2009 at 8:23 pm |
  16. jay m

    No one supported Serena's and Kayne's actions, even among most of their fans, but all right wing nuts support Wilson, and think he did the right thing by being disrespectful.

    September 15, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  17. jim vicalvi

    Another double standard is allowing obama to be on TV day after day. To rant and rave in front of cherrypicked crowds spreading his perverted agenda. Also, in one speech, in front of a huge American flag, you could hear all kinds of cheering. On the few moments when the media showed a picture of the audience, at least half of the people were still sitting down, not clapping while a few others were doing all of the cheering. But, the media had highlighted and enhanced the cheering to make it seem like EVERYONE was cheering for him. This is just one item of the liberal medias bias.

    September 15, 2009 at 1:56 pm |