The Rachel Dolezal Story: How Big News Steals Small News

Lost in the Rachel Dolezal story is the name of the original reporter that started the national craze about her race. Dolezal, the NAACP’s local chapter President, has long identified as black, when she in fact . . . white. The story surfaced when KXLY4’s Jeff Humphrey (an affiliate of CNN) asked her some tough questions, and she fled the interview. Humphrey was strategic in his inquiry, engaging in a long interview before exposing his true agenda, and carefully asking her race without appearing as a bully. “Ma’am, I was wondering if your dad really is an African-American man,” Humphrey asked.

Since that now well-known exchange, Humphrey been referred to as a “reporter,” with very few mentions of his actual name. In fact, The Today Show was celebrated for landing the first interview since that exchange, and all the credit thus went to an entity that did none of the work. It’s easy to get paid a $20 million dollar salary to suss out details of a story someone else uncovered, especially when that someone garnered the original facts. But if you’re going to capitalize on the work of others, give them credit and say their name.

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