CBS Photo Fail: Fortune Cookie

By Deputy Editor Thea Lim

You gotta laugh or you’ll cry: reader Dov sent us a link to an article about a flight attendant who used Taekwondo to subdue a passenger on a bad trip from too many medical marijuana cookies.  The passenger was Chinese-American, so CBS decided to run a photo of fortune cookies and marijuana leaves as illustration for this quirky news bit.  Because that’s the only kind of cookie that Chinese people eat, right? Ha! Ha!

As Dov writes:

The story concerns a Chinese-American airline passenger who freaked out on a flight after having a bad reaction for medical marijuana cookies and had to be restrained by a flight attendant with a black belt.

The first two photos are of the flight attendant (in her gi) and the Chinese-American passenger. The third photo shows fortune cookies and a marijuana leaf.

Nowhere in the article does it say that the medical marijuana cookies were fortune cookies. The choice to use fortune cookies seems to be solely due to the race of the passenger.

I don’t know about baked good with drugs in them. (Really. I swear)  But I do know that fortune cookies are a task and a half to make.  Dear CBS, haven’t you heard that along with a ravenous appetite for fortune cookies, Chinese people also love efficiency? No Chinese person worth their salt would spend hours making marijuana fortune cookies when they could just make Sara Lee brownies out of a box…(/sarcasm)

While we’re on the topic, I should mention that fortune cookies are not exactly a good illustration of Chineseness.  Fortune cookies, while based on a Japanese prototype, are actually 100% AmericanFrom Wikipedia:

Makoto Hagiwara of Golden Gate Park’s Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco is reported to have been the first person in America to have served the American version of the cookie when he did so at the tea garden in 1890s or early 1900s. The fortune cookies were made by a San Francisco bakery, Benkyodo.[2][3][4]

David Jung, founder of the Hong Kong Noodle Company in Los Angeles, has made a competing claim that he invented the cookie in 1918…

Seiichi Kito, the founder of Fugetsu-do of Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, also claims to have invented the cookie…


Photo courtesy of – of course – CBS. Happy Lunar New Year to you too, jerks!

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at team@racialicious.com.

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