Mark Halperin’s questions to Ted Cruz have created a social media firestorm alleging media racism and bias.
One prominent media pundit declared that the Mark Halperin line of questioning made him nauseous.
For some reason, the Bloomberg political reporter who also appears regularly on MSNBC thought it necessary during an interview to pose a series of questions to the Texas Senator and GOP presidential candidate that probed his Cuban heritage and identity.
On a show ironically called With All Due Respect, Halperin asked the lawmaker about whether he self-identified as Hispanic on college applications and what kind of Cuban food and Cuban music he enjoys.
The reporter then asked Cruz to welcome declared presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (an independent socialist who is entering the Democrat primary) to the 2016 campaign in Spanish. See video embedded below.
As a result of this encounter, #Halperinquestions is a hashtag currently trending on Twitter.
Syndicated columnist Rubin Navarrette offered this assessment of Mark Halperin’s series of racially focused inquiries.
“Watching Mark Halperin of Bloomberg Politics interview Cruz recently, I wasn’t just uncomfortable. I was actually nauseated. As a journalist, I felt embarrassed for Halperin. As a Hispanic, I felt like I was watching a college fraternity have fun with racial stereotypes, like when staging a ‘border party’ where people show up in serapes and fake mustaches… I’ve known Ted for more than a decade and I could tell he was uncomfortable. But he played along, listing various kinds of Cuban food and saying that his musical taste veers more toward country… I will also stick to English, Señor Halperin. You crossed the line. This was bad journalism, bad form, and bad manners…”
Navarrette added that Halperin was condescendingly treating Cruz “like a trained seal” and that liberals would have gone ballistic if someone like Bill O’Reilly on Fox News ever questioned a Hispanic Democrat’s ethnic bona fides. In a callback to the iconic TV sitcom I Love Lucy, Navarrette observed that “I kept waiting for Halperin to ask Cruz to play the conga drums like Desi Arnaz while dancing salsa and sipping cafe con leche — all to prove the Republican is really Cuban.”
Twitter has responded to “authenticity cop” Mark Halperin and his demeaning questioning of Ted Cruz. Here is a sample.
Not a big Ted Cruz fan, but this is a terrific example of media bias faced by some pols & not by others. http://t.co/7Vi8CKYeDg
— Linda H. Lamb (@lhlamb) May 10, 2015
Do you think Mark Halperin’s questions posed to Ted Cruz about his Hispanic background were offensive and/or racist? Does the Bloomberg reporter owe the senator an apology for what appears to be his engaging in identity politics or ethnic stereotyping?
[Image via YouTube]