Of Thee I sing: A semiotic review by Scott Andrews [The Weekly Rader]
President Barack Obama’s new book for children, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, made headlines lately – it is more accurate to say that the Fox News headline made headlines. His book briefly discusses several famous figures from American history, presenting them as heroes. Among those featured is Sitting Bull, the famous leader of the Lakota. Fox News caught a good round of criticism for its “fair and balanced” headline about the book: “Obama Praises Indian Chief Who Killed U.S. General.”
When it was pointed out that Sitting Bull did not kill General Custer, Fox News revised the headline to say “Obama Praises Indian Chief Who Defeated U.S. General.” Never mind that Sitting Bull was too old to participate in the Battle of Little Big Horn.
There was much snickering from the Left at the contortions Fox News is capable of in finding ways to criticize Obama. What I haven’t heard yet is discussion of the image accompanying the passage about Sitting Bull.
Willie McGee and the Traveling Electric Chair [Third Coast Festival]
On the night of May 7th, 1951, a thousand people gathered in Laurel, Mississippi, to witness the execution of Willie McGee, a black man convicted of raping a white woman.
McGee’s case had wound through three trials, and garnered support from many including William Faulkner, Paul Robeson and Albert Einstein. But after the execution, his story was forgotten. Sixty years later, McGee’s granddaughter teamed up with Radio Diaries to search for the true story of Willie McGee and the Traveling Electric Chair.
Willie McGee and the Traveling Electric Chair won the Best Documentary: Silver Award in the 2010 Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. The story was produced in 2010 by Joe Richman and Samara Freemark of Radio Diaries with narration by Bridgette McGee and assistance from Anayansi Diaz-Cortes, Deborah George, Ben Shapiro and Harold Robinson for NPR’s All Things Considered and the BBC World Service. [listen to recording at link]