So you may have heard, Mattel has a Mexican Barbie. And according to mainstream media reports from last week, “Latino critics” all over the country were up in arms. The problem with the story, which ran in almost every major news outlet, including ABC, NBC, CNN, Salon, HuffPost, NPR and others, is that the throngs of offended Latinos were hard to find.
There were no picket lines, no Facebook groups, no Latino civil rights activists leading the charge against the Chihuahua-toting doll. Instead, the media wildfire was ignited by one snarky blogger named Laura Martinez who wrote a satirical post on her site Mi Blog Es Tu Blog poking fun at the media’s knee-jerk sensitivity on race issues. Martinez joked that stereotypically-dressed Mexican Barbie had a passport in order to be make sure that she was documented, an allusion to the current immigration debate.
But mainstream media didn’t get the joke.