Wednesday, September 27, 2023 Sep 27, 2023
94° F Dallas, TX


By Tom Dodge |

PC WATCH First it was the Dallas Times Herald. Now e.d. hirsch, best-selling author of Cultural Literacy and the Cultural Literacy Calendar, has gone and gotten himself on the wrong side of media critic ERIK TARPLEY, age 10.

Erik tries to learn a fact a day from the calendar, but when he came to the page stating that the most famous painting “in the world” was the “Mona Lisa,” he was moved to fire off a letter to Hirsch. Erik wants it changed to read “Western world” because a couple of billion people in the rest of the world “could probably care less about the painting,” he says.

Earlier, Erik got the editors at the Times Herald scrambling for their Politically Correct manuals when he discovered “a little bit of racism” in his favorite comic strip, ’The Middletons,” and wrote to alert editor ROY BODE.

“It was about this white girl,” Erik wrote, “who said to an African-American and a Mexican, ’I’m highly intelligent, I’m in the Gifted class.’ The African-American said, ’Wow, why can’t I be in that class?’ and the Mexican said, ’What kind of gifts do you get?’ The white girl said, ’That’s precisely the reason [why you’re not in the Gifted class].’”

Erik, who is African-American and a TAG student at Dallas’s K.B. Polk TAG Academy, says a letter soon arrived from Bode promising to “take steps to see that such an incident does not reoccur.”

After that came an apology and explanation from King Features comics editor JAY KENNEDY stating that “this cartoon wasn’t written clearly enough” and promising to forward Erik’s letter to the artists.

Erik says it is his job to “keep an eye out for these mistakes,” and believes there’s more than one way to look at “accuracy in media.”