Weren't able to attend the 2009 Marketing to African-Americans with
Excellence (MAAX) Summit? Order the workbook which contains hard
copies of the presentations made by some of the nation's top experts on
Black consumer marketing, including:
Burrell Communications Carol H. Williams Agency
Media Economics Group
Salon Sense Magazine Sanders\Wingo
Target Market News
The MasterMind Group
The Media Audit
The Nielsen Company
U.S. Census Bureau
2009 by Target Market News Inc. All rights reserved
228 S. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60604
League policy chief challenges networks on 'hateful' talk shows NNPA News Service
By Pharoh Martin (September 14, 2009) The gatekeepers of political opinion on cable
are doing nothing to curb the increasingly incinerate and oft times
blatantly false rhetoric coming from their political hosts and
commentators against political figures of color such as President Obama
and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Therefore, advocates are going for the jobs of conservative pundits like
CNN's Lou Dobbs and FOX's Glenn Beck, who have made some of the most
"In recent months, we've seen a ramping up of the most hateful
rhetoric," said Stephanie Jones, executive director of the National
Urban League Policy Institute. "And also, complete misinformation about
President Obama and a bunch of other issues."
In August, Jones wrote a letter to the heads of all three of the major
cable news networks and NBC for giving the one-sided platform for such
"We wrote to you in October 2008 to urge you to increase the racial
diversity of your political and policy coverage in order to meet your
obligation to present fair and accurate information to your viewers and
to prevent the increasingly frequent dissemination of dangerous myths on
your programs," Jones wrote in the letter addressed to network
presidents Roger Ailes of FOX News, Steve Capus of NBC News, Phil
Griffin of MSNBC, and Jonathan Klein of CNN.
"Unfortunately, in recent weeks, certain hosts and commentators on your
networks have ratcheted up their rhetoric and are actively advancing
outright lies, advocating offensive and extremist social agendas and
inflaming dangerous elements in our society," Jones wrote.
Jones specifically targeted conservative talking heads Lou Dobbs, Pat
Buchanan, Glenn Beck and Michele Malkin in her letter.
"While differing perspectives are welcome, these persons not only often
blatantly misrepresent facts, the views they express are so extreme and
reckless that they have no place on the public airwaves. The fact that
such hosts and commentators are given expansive and consistent exposure
on your programs, while minority hosts and guests are still
all-too-rare, makes this situation even more unacceptable.''
These shows very rarely have African-American hosts, Jones said. She
said when African-Americans are presented as guests they are almost
always paired up with another guest to talk about race or politics but
are almost never presented as experts.
"The past few months the National Urban League has been stressing harder
to the networks that some of their commentators are problematic and
should not be there," Jones said. "I think Pat Buchanan is a perfect
example with some of the things that he has been saying."
Buchanan's recent comments have suggested that the Supreme Court's first
Hispanic Justice Sotomayor was an "affirmative action" selection and
that White males have become victimized due to such policies that ensure
The National Urban League did not receive any responses to their letter.
None of the network presidents; nor their representatives responded to
NNPA's repeated requests for comment.
CNN president Joe Klein has defended Dobb's continual pursuit of the "birther"
conspiracy, which questions Obama's country of birth, as one of
''[Lou Dobbs] got more than 30 years as a television journalist, and I
trust him, as I trust all our reporters and anchors, to exercise their
judgment as various stories evolve,'' Klein said in an interview with
the Los Angeles Times.
While FOX News has not publicly prodded Glenn Beck for calling the
president a racist who has a "deep-seeded hatred for White people"
advertisers have been pulling their dollars from Beck's show. To date,
57 advertisers have pulled their support from Beck's show, according to
Colorofchange.org, a Web-based African-American advocacy organization
that is spearheading the Glenn Beck Show advertising boycott.
"Unfortunately, 57 advertisers dropping Glenn Beck’s show have not
convinced Fox News to take responsibility for his comments publicly and
it does not appear network executives have made any attempt behind the
scenes to reign in Beck’s erratic on-air behavior," said Jessica Levin,
spokesperson for Media Matters, a media watchdog organization.
"Similarly, efforts by organizations to reign in Lou Dobbs seem to have
fallen on deaf ears. CNN President Jonathan Klein has been Dobbs’ number
one defender, calling his relentless promotion of conspiracy theories
about President Obama’s birth certificate "legitimate."
Levin said that none of this changes the fact that cable news networks
must be held responsible for what is said on air.
Some observers have questioned whether the attacks on political figures
of color like Obama are more incendiary than their White counterparts?
''The president doesn't think it's the case,'' Obama spokesman Bill
Burton responded when asked at a press brief last week during the
President's vacation in Martha's Vineyard.
"There’s no doubt that attacks on President Obama and Supreme Court
Justice Sonia Sotomayor have racial undertones," Levin said. "In fact,
at times the attacks have been outright racially charged. I think
everyone can agree that the conservative media’s coverage of Obama has
been vicious, violent, and unlike coverage of previous presidents. No
one ever demanded to see George W. Bush’s birth certificate. Since the
start of 2008, conservative media figures have attempted to paint Obama
as ‘foreign’ and ‘not one of us’ and I think a lot of that is a blatant
attempt to play off of people’s fears about the first Black president."
She continued by saying, "The problem is that the viewpoints being
presented are not representative of the diverse country we live in.
During the controversy surrounding Don Imus’ racist and sexist remarks
in 2007, a Media Matters report found that a huge majority of the guests
on cable news shows were White males. Such disparities still exist
today. So when you have someone like Glenn Beck calling the president
‘racist’, there is often not a person of color there to explain why that
assertion is not only ridiculous, but dangerous."