Touré Still Isn’t Happy About That “White Michael Vick” Photo, ESPN Still Stands By It
The strong reaction to Touré's ESPN the Magazine piece on Michael Vick cut a few different ways - one of which had little to do with the column itself. That, of course, was the reaction to the photo-illustration of a white Vick that accompanied the column - one Touré himself didn't like at all. Well, if you're wondering whether his stance on that photo has cooled at all since the column ran...it hasn't. Touré penned another column today, this one on CNN explaining his rationale for writing about Vick - while getting in what appeared to us to be his strongest criticisms yet of the choice of art.
Touré repeated some of the main themes of his ESPN column, such as that a thought experiment where one imagines a person as being of a different race is "too naïve and simplistic to be taken seriously." What interested us the most was first, that he went this far in criticizing the photo-illustration:
I've been writing for magazines and newspapers for almost 20 years and I can't recall ever being asked about or even knowing about the title and the art surrounding my stories. That is not considered the magazine writer's purview. So I had no knowledge of or say in the title of the story and the horrific, misguided picture of Vick in whiteface, which dismayed and disgusted me when I saw it.
...and also, that CNN also solicited the opinion of ESPN the Magazine editor Chad Millman, who offered a full defense of the photo's inclusion. Millman claimed the photo illustration "lent power to the concept" and "felt like the strongest way to answer the question so many have been asking." Additionally, CNN had both Touré and ESPN the Magazine senior editor Raina Kelley on the network to discuss the controversy - you can see that segment above.
Ultimately, we come to the same conclusion we've seen previously - both sides seem comfortable with their positions, the positions are quite different, and that's that. One thing we would have liked to see Touré address a bit more in his column was the position of some that his column answered a question nobody was asking to begin with. We didn't agree with that assertion ourselves, but we'd have liked to see a few more words devoted to proving that the question really was being asked, and was therefore worth addressing, if only to shoot down. Then again, if this story has proven anything, it's that no one's opinion on it is probably going to change at this point, anyway.
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