Political correctness leads to unflattering juxtaposition

To my surprise, Asha Bosle was screeching out from NPR this morning. The segment turned out to be labeled "50 great voices". She is popular, yes, but wouldn't -- shouldn't -- make any list of magnificent voices. I had to go to the website to find out what their selection criteria were. And it's as addled as anything you'd expect out of a bunch of liberal artsy types:
what this project should do is look at artists who are great, but not as recognizable or as obvious a choice as Frank [Sinatra] ... The bedrock of 50 Great Voices is the emphasis on singers from abroad. We wanted to find out who are the Frank Sinatras and Aretha Franklins in other countries.
In effect, their segment aims to explicitly try to find undiscovered voices. And, yet, the undiscovered Indian voices they find are Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bosle, two of the most ubiquitous voices in Indian popular music.

I would have no problem if they had included Frank Sinatra and Asha Bosle in the same list. Then, the criterion would have been popularity. Or kept Mahalia Jackson and chosen M. S. Subbulakshmi or Rabindranath Tagore, in which case the criterion would have been rich cultural influence.

Instead, you have a selection that picks authentic, rich Western voices and popular, tinny non-Western ones, leading to a very glaring and unflattering juxtaposition. All with the best intentions, of course.

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