NBC’s “Meet the Press” is receiving flack after its Sunday morning news program discussed anti-Asian violence in the U.S. with an expert news panel that didn’t include a single Asian American voice.
The four-member panel, moderated by host Chuck Todd, included Princeton University’s Eddie Glaude Jr.; Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan; Nevada Independent Editor Jon Ralston; and NBC News correspondent Julia Ainsley.
The panel had gathered to discuss a rise in Asian American hate incidents in the U.S., a topic that has been underscored following last week’s fatal shooting of eight people at massage spas in Georgia. Six of the people killed were women of Asian descent.
In comparison, ABC’s news program “This Week” featured Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.); CNN’s “State of the Union” featured Rep. Young Kim (R-Calif.), and CBS’s “Face the Nation” featured Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.). Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday” also did not include an Asian American during its discussions on anti-Asian violence.
“The Asian American community has been talking about this for a year, basically, since the start of the pandemic,” Todd said of increasing incidents of racial violence and xenophobia. “And it really took the rest of, sort of collective political intelligentsia, to take notice, sadly, after the tragedy of this week.”
At one point Todd called on Ralston for his expertise, while noting that Ralston is on the West Coast where there are larger Asian American populations.
Tiffany C. Li, an Asian American technology attorney and legal scholar, was among those calling NBC News out on Twitter Sunday for the lack of diversity while urging the network to “do better.”
“I get that it’s hard to find sources on deadline, and often you end up with multiple outlets scrambling to book the same few voices. And sometimes you try your best, and you still end up with a [male-only panel] on gender,” she tweeted, after sharing a link to the Asian American Journalists Association and its AAJA Studio.
One of the AAJA Studio’s goals is to help connect media outlets with Asian American speakers in order to advance diversity in newsrooms and ensure fair and accurate news coverage of communities of color.
A representative from NBC News did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment Monday.