in the Media

MCOM 105
FALL  2009

 We study how online and traditional media, advertising, PR, TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, and movies,
portray issues and affect public knowledge, understanding, opinions and attitudes on race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation,
religion and disabilities in our society and world.


Timeline of events
in the
Gates vs. Police

Boston Globe
Story Chronology


of the so called...

"White House
Beer Summit"


President Obama
invites Prof. Gates &
Sgt. Crowley to chat
about the incident.

Videos on

Bloomberg News

NBC News
Media critique by
President Obama


Sgt. Crowley's comments
after the meeting.


"Beer Summit"
News Stories:

ABC: Frothy Diplomacy


Prof. Henry Gates


Jim Crowley
Cambridge Police Sergeant

Justin Barrett
Boston officer
suspended for Gates slur


Lucia Whalen
911 Caller of Gates Incident
Says she would act again

MSNBC: Witness
says during her 911 call
Not sure of any crime



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NYC government:
Official calls Gates
racist on Facebook
then resigns


Attorney General

Eric Holder
Says he was once a
victim of
racial profiling


FOX News

Glenn Beck:
"Obama is a racist"
















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   A Special Case Study: Fall, 2009

Race, The Police
& The Media
How did media coverage frame the issue and fuel a national outcry?


Why doesn't the media enable candid and deeper discussions on race in America?
Why are we so afraid to try?

MCOM: 105 Case Study: Our Outlook, Mission & Purpose

July, 2009   Incident Sparks National Outcry


Cambridge, Massachusetts Police Sgt. Jim Crowley handcuffs and arrests
an internationally respected Harvard professor in his home.

Henry Louis Gates in his own home in a possible racial profiling incident.

Police Officer: "I will never apologze"       FOX News: Butt out of my arrest

CBS News: Cambridge Police Panel to Review Gates Case

Cambridge Police: Arrest Report

Video: WBZ-TV 38 Boston
Extended local TV interview with Sgt. Jim Crowley

Related News:

Study: Non-racists can unknowingly reflect racial stereotypes

Boston Police Officer
Justin Barrett

 Boston police officer faces
termination for repeatedly calling
Harvard Professor Gates

"Jungle monkey" in e-mail
protest of Gates/PD controversy

CNN VIDEO: Larry King
Officer Justin Barrett interview


July 23, 2009


   President surprised his remarks sparks controversy

                        Bill Cosby reacts & other related videos

(Event chronology published
by the Boston Globe)

The arrest                        Cambridge Police: Arrest Report

Harvard professor Gates arrested at his Cambridge home

The controversy began when Henry Louis Gates Jr., one of the nation's pre-eminent African-American scholars, was arrested at his home by Cambridge police investigating a possible break-in. (Boston Globe, 7/20/09)

Transcript: 911 Call

President Obama's involvement

Obama scolds Cambridge police

President Obama, weighing in on the arrest, said police “acted stupidly,’’ a charge that would invite criticism and put him on the defensive. (Boston Globe , 7/23/09)

The police response

James Crowley

Police chief defends officer

Coming to the defense of arresting officer Sergeant James Crowley (left), Cambridge's police commissioner said that Gates's house had been broken into previously. (Boston Globe, 7/23/09)

The resolution?

Barack Obama

A beer at the White House

Seeking to defuse the situation, President Obama invited both Crowley and Gates to the White House for a beer, an offer both accepted. (Globe, 7/28/09)


Related Content

Cambridge mayor: Gates' arrest shouldn't have happened

The mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, said she is going to meet with the city's police chief to make sure the scenario that caused the arrest of a prominent black Harvard University professor does not happen again.

Obama: Police who arrested professor 'acted stupidly'

President Obama said that police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, "acted stupidly" in arresting a prominent black Harvard professor last week after a confrontation at the man's home.

Commentary: Professor arrested for 'housing while black'

Last Thursday, President Obama, in his fiery speech before the NAACP Convention, admitted that "an African-American child is roughly five times as likely as a white child to see the inside of a prison."

The 'unfathomable' arrest of a black scholar

Boris Kodjoe owns a mansion in Atlanta. But when he goes to answer his door, the black actor knows what it's like to be an outcast.

Charge against Harvard professor dropped

A prosecutor is dropping a charge against prominent Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. after Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the city's police department recommended that the matter not be pursued.

Online News - Follow-up Reporting

7/22 VIDEO: President Obama supports
his professor friend; calls police action stupid.

Charges dropped by Cambridge Police

MSNBC Video: Chris Mathews & media pros on incident impact

CNN - Debuts follow-up series: Blacks in America 2

The Root

The Beast

The Boston Globe










Learn more about MCOM 105


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Latest Research Assignment Links Below - Scroll Down


Expect Timely Class Assignments:

MCOM 105 will focus on historic developments in the news this
semester and students must engage in the detail study of these events
and media coverage as they pertain to diverse cultures and life experiences.

Keep up with current events at all times.
Expect to be questioned about timely news and developments.

Check this page constantly for alerts to updated information and links.
Do additional research on your own. Don't wait to be told.
Look for unique perspectives and research support information.

Diversity Terms
Taken from " Gender, Race, and Class in Media - 1st Edition

At the outset of the semester,
all MCOM 105 students must learn these terms
and use them appropriately in all class discussions and written assignments.

Course Schedule (Subject to last minute changes):


May, 2008  - Final Class Topic
Gay & Lesbian Issues in the Media


Religion in Media: Research Information


Washington Post: Pope Benedict XVI Arrives in USA

NY Times: Pope Ashamed of Pedophile Priests

NPR: Pope's Itinerary Angers Some Critics

Pope's Softer Approach Surprises Many Theologians

Dayton News: Gay Catholics Plan "Respectful" Presence"

Aggrieved Catholics Aim To Share Pope's Spotlight

Pope's Visit Provokes Array of Protests

Pope Benedict's Islam Controversy

Is the Media Anti-Christian or Not?

Other: Religion & Spirituality Links

New Poll - Catholics embrace Faith, not Mass

Class Guest Speaker 
Father Jon Pedigo
Catholic Priest & Civil Rights Activist

Prominent Muslim Commentator Becomes Catholic
Denounces Islamic fanaticism

List of Major Religions

Rucker Reader: Basic Information About Religions

A Profound Link: Religion in the Media Age

Religions Use Media Technology

Media Matters: Skewed Views of Religion

Democratic Battle for Catholics Intensifies

Coming up next in MCOM 105:


A Woman's Right To Choose Abortion - A world viewpoint

Roe vs. Wade, 1973 Supreme Court Decision

Famous Abortion Rights Case in America

National Right To Life

U.S. Abortions at Lowest Level in 30 Years


Earlier this semester - film screenings:


In-Class students will screen the
1993 documentary film:

A Stir Fry Production

"It is an intimate portrayal of what most folks of color go through on a daily basis.
It is confrontational, intimate and contains extremely honest dialogue. This film provides
great stimulus for audience discussion. For many Euro-Americans, this film is their
Racism 101 course. For many folks of color this film is a perfect opening for them to talk
about their personal experiences and the effect that racism has had
on their families and communities."

CNN report- Film takes an unblinking look at racism

We watched part one of the 90 minute film Monday.
(Sorry...but no, the film is not available for individiual
check out use.)

MCOM 105 students MUST continue to
take notes throughout
the film screening. Write fast! Quotes happen fast!

After we finish screening the film in class,
 students will be given a written
analysis assignment.

Questions will be given in class.



This semester, MCOM 105 will periodically look at
online diversity offerings, some
 serious...some funny.

After getting the basic message of these videos,
think about the social, moral and psychological
implications of these video messages.

What's the subtext? How is this video online
influencing people (young and old) and society as a whole?

Look for these kinds of video examples to discuss in this class:

Your a Muslim???

Shut Up Hooker