The wave of anti-Asian racism has spread almost as quickly as the virus itself. And some American media organizations are contributing to it, intentionally or not.
— New York Post (@nypost) March 2, 2020
On Sunday, the New York Post tweeted a story reporting the first confirmed case of Coronavirus in Manhattan. But observant users quickly noticed something about the photo the Post chose to use of an Asian man wearing a face mask—it was taken in Flushing, Queens, not Manhattan.
You used a picture of an Asian man in Flushing….but the first case was a woman who traveled to Iran and is quarantined in Manhattan. Viruses are color blind. https://t.co/RJHuRyH2hz
— bora⁷ ?? (@modooborahae) March 2, 2020
Thousands called out the Post for its obvious stereotyping. But just two days later The Hill did essentially the same thing, tweeting out its story about New York’s second confirmed Coronavirus case with a picture of two Asian people on a train that looks nothing like the interior of a New York City subway car.
A photo of the city or doctors wearing face masks or New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (mentioned in the tweet) would’ve worked just fine. But The Hill and the Post chose these photos despite their irrelevance and stereotyping. Perhaps it was quicker, or they thought it was an easy visual association for their readers. But that doesn’t excuse the ignorance inherent to their posts. And they’re far from the only media organizations that have done so.
the media using images of asian people as the main picture in their articles about the coronavirus perpetuates a harmful stigma; pushing a racist narrative and is so fucking irresponsible!!!! pic.twitter.com/bd1qJjRtZv
— jess. ☆ (@LESBIANROBlN) March 3, 2020