The case of the 13 year-old, (now certified brain-dead), has been hashed about in media circles but there's a significant subplot to this story; not just the subject matter and its host of medical ethics, human sensitivity, the family and its thirst of any kind of hope for their daughter.
This involves race.
Jahi's fate and the family's fight has been given a wide array of media coverage, including this segment on CNN with Piers Morgan. And here too with Dana Bash, as it should.
That's not the issue we're debating here. Jahi McMath is black. She doesn't have Caucasian skin, nor Goldilocks' looks. She wasn't raised in the suburbs and her parents and relatives; no matter how much agony they must be going through, don't come off particularly well on television. And that's just the point.
Think about it for a moment: if Jahi were white her story would be plastered all over the TV/Radio/Internet domain. It would have had a "60 Minutes" segment by now; it would have received heavy-duty play by Geraldo and Megyn Kelly. And it most certainly would be water-cooler topic material not just in the Bay Area but nationally too, but it really hasn't resonated.
Part of that has to do the coverage, or lack thereof. This is not a new phenomena. And by the way, this is certainly not meant in any manner whatsoever to diminish the awfulness of white kids that go missing out of the blue; are kidnapped and never to be seen. I can't imagine the anguish and personal hell all missing kids parents must deal with on a daily basis.
This is a media matter. And while the subject of Jahi McMath has nothing to do with missing or kidnapped kids, its lack of greater media attention than it has already received speaks volumes about how the media selectively chooses its topical discourse and time generated.
Of course some of you will call us out for injecting race into this very sad case and label us insensitive. Absolutely, although the irony is that is precisely why we brought this forward because as much coverage as this story has received it just seems that there hasn't been enough.
Call it media institutional racism. It's not an intentional route or some wild conspiracy on what looks good on TV; what generates an "IT" topic nor in anyway is plotted out in the back offices it just sort of happens and that's a sad statement on our media powers-that-be.
*Follow me on Twitter