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debuts 'Washington Watch' on TV One Sunday, Sept. 27
(September 24, 2009) A fixture on the cable news spectrum for years --
recently as a prominent member of CNN's election-analysis team -- Roland
Martin now enters the Sunday morning public-affairs-show scrum.
"Washington Watch" debuts on at 10 a.m. Sunday, September 27 on the
digital cable network TV One.
"We're calling it 'Washington Watch' for a couple of reasons," Martin
said over the summer during the Television Critics Association TV Tour
in Hollywood. "I believe that the other Sunday morning shows, frankly,
are arrogant. And that is, when you watch Sunday morning television
shows, in essence, they're saying, 'We are the smartest people in the
world telling all of you at home what is going on.' That's not how we're
going to approach this.
"Sure, we're going to have people from Congress on the show. We're going
to have policymakers. "We're going to have people who are state
legislators, people who are mayors, people who are operating from around
the country. See, I don't live in the Beltway. I can't stand the Beltway
mentality. We need to have people who are talking about the issues that
we care about who are not from Washington, D.C., saying, 'This is what
we care about in Greensboro, North Carolina; in Columbus, Ohio; in
Houston, in Oakland, and all around the country.'
"It is quite offensive that in 2009 when you say that we can look at the
first family, a black family in the White House, but we are virtually
nonexistent on Sunday morning. That is offensive, and it is as if
(Sunday morning bookers) can't find black talent."
Speaking of talent, "Washington Watch" will also tap
politically-involved entertainers who otherwise haven't found a platform
for their causes, Martin said.
"I am sick of the notion that somehow Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and
George Clooney and Bono are the only people who are in entertainment who
are involved in public policy, " he said. "When Gabrielle Union comes to
Washington, D.C. to testify about increased funding for rape crisis
centers -- because she was raped years ago -- she gets no love on any of
these shows. When Don Cheadle was there talking about Darfur, and when
you have other folks who are on Capitol Hill talking about education,
talking about crime, they are not covered.
"They are going to be covered on this show. We will provide a voice not
only for policymakers, not only for African Americans who were in
Congress on Capital Hill, but also African Americans who are in
entertainment who are doing some amazing things in America and across
the globe who are ignored every single day by all the other news shows
in this country."