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TV One Adding Diversity to Sunday Politics Shows

 
September 1, 2009 12:32 AM

TV One Adding Diversity to Sunday Politics Shows

Date: Monday, August 31, 2009
By: Frederick Cosby, Special to BlackAmericaWeb.com







The late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., once observed that churches were the most segregated places in America on Sunday mornings. If he were still alive, he might have added Sunday morning news shows to his list.

Despite the presence of a black president, a black man as the third-ranking leader in the House of Representatives, four black House committee chairmen, and a plethora of Congressional Black Caucus members chairing House sub-committees, appearances by black lawmakers and pundits on the network Sunday news shows remains few and far between.

“I’m not pleased at all with the diversity issue as it relates to talk shows,” CBC Chairwoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) told The Hill newspaper. “We have, what, 17 subcommittee chairs and four full committee chairmen? These members are brilliant; they know their stuff. They’re powerful. And they should be part of the Sunday morning talk shows.”

TV One, a black-oriented cable channel, intends to add more black faces and black perspective to the Sunday morning mix when it debuts “Washington Watch with Roland Martin” on Sept. 27.

The program will have a format similar to NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CBS’s “Face the Nation,” where Martin – TV One’s political editor and an analyst on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” and CNN - conducts one-on-one interviews with newsmakers.

A rotating panel of journalists and experts, anchored by American Urban Radio Network’s April Ryan and Philadelphia Tribune columnist and Comcast Network host Robert Traynham, will discuss the top stories in Washington.

“People either love Roland Martin or hate Roland Martin, but people watch him because he brings a perspective in a way that’s appealing to African-Americans,” Ryan told BlackAmericaWeb.com. “The show will have a voice. We will advance the story. Washington insiders will be watching the show.”

Jonathan Rodgers, TV One’s president and chief executive officer, said the creation of “Washington Watch” stems from President Barack Obama winning the White House and from his own frustration with the current state of Sunday morning news shows. The last straw that triggered Rodgers to green-light the show was what he perceived as a lack of mainstream news coverage of a black caucus trip to communist Cuba earlier this year.

“They didn’t get any coverage and, if they did, people laughed and said it (the trip) didn’t matter,” Rodgers said. “The Congressional Black Caucus matters to us.”

That said, Rodgers warns that viewers shouldn’t expect the show to be a house organ or open microphone for black lawmakers and newsmakers to express their views unfiltered. Tough questions will be asked, positions will be challenged, he said, just like any other news program.

“I’m not going to rebuild the (Sunday show) model,” he said. “It will look something like (PBS “Washington Week” host) Gwen Ifill’s show or (“Face the Nation” host) Bob Schieffer’s show."

Much has been said about Sunday news show and the lack of blacks on them. A 2006 National Urban League report titled "Sunday Morning Apartheid" examined ABC’s "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," "Face the Nation," CNN’s "Late Edition,” “Fox News Sunday,” and “Meet the Press” between Jan. 1, 2004 and Dec. 31, 2005.

The study found that 61 percent of all the Sunday shows featured no black guests; 80 percent of the broadcasts contained no interviews with black guests and only eight percent of more than 2,800 guest appearances were by blacks.
Stunningly, one person – Fox News commentator Juan Williams – accounted for 40 percent of all appearances by black guests. And three guests – Williams and Bush administration cabinet members Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice – accounted for 65 percent of all appearances by black guests.

Stephanie Jones, the Urban Institute’s executive director, told The Hill that things are getting a little better, but not by much.

Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, monitors appearances by members of Congress. By June, the paper found the black lawmaker with the most Sunday TV appearances was Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), with two. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee and a key player in the health care reform debate, had one appearance.

Television network officials say they are striving to do better, but insist they aren’t doing as poorly as studies indicate. They say they’ve added more black voices – like Martin, Donna Brazile, Tavis Smiley, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Cynthia Tucker and The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson – to their shows.

Still, TV One’s Rodgers and Ryan believe the network Sunday shows - more often than not - fail to capture the black perspective on some issues or miss altogether news that is relevant to the black community.

“They’re still missing the mark of getting black news,” Ryan said. “You can grab as many black pundits as you want, but if you miss the mark, you miss the mark.”

Rodgers isn’t sure how many people will tune in for “Washington Watch.” TV One is available in 50 million homes across the country. To ensure that folks do watch, Rodgers is doubling-down on the show, airing it at 11 a.m. and again at 5 p.m. on Sundays.

“The people who watch football can watch it, and the people who come home from church can watch it,” he said. “The show does not have to be a major ratings success to survive. It exists for reasons beyond ratings.”
 
 
 BLACK by NATURE, PROUD by CHOICE.
 
 
 
September 1, 2009 12:35 AM

I do wish they'd find another 'political analyst'/journalist to make a *star* out of. Roll Eyes
 
 
 
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September 1, 2009 10:12 AM

THANK YOU 'TV ONE!!!'

THANK YOU 'TV ONE!!!'

THANK YOU 'TV ONE!!!'

THANK YOU 'TV ONE!!!'

THANK YOU 'TV ONE!!!'

THANK YOU 'TV ONE!!!'

THANK YOU 'TV ONE!!!'

THANK YOU 'TV ONE!!!'

PEACE

Jim Chester
 
 
 
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A1
 
September 1, 2009 1:23 PM

You know I wish they would start off with a straight news show. And it needs to be at least an hour every night. BET tried it but it was so poorly produced I was upset with them. Jackie Reid lost her status working with those busters. They need to bring Jackie back and put her on TVOne. And do little news snippets during commercial breaks in the evening time.
News and Views from a decidedly African-American perspective! Its about time!
 
 
 
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September 1, 2009 2:27 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Yemaya:
You know I wish they would start off with a straight news show. And it needs to be at least an hour every night. BET tried it but it was so poorly produced I was upset with them. Jackie Reid lost her status working with those busters. They need to bring Jackie back and put her on TVOne. And do little news snippets during commercial breaks in the evening time.
News and Views from a decidedly African-American perspective! Its about time!



I wish I had either DirectTV, or dishTV or digital cable...because those are the only accesses to get TV One. With regular extended basic cable, you only get BET in my city.
 
 
 
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September 1, 2009 2:57 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Yemaya:
You know I wish they would start off with a straight news show. And it needs to be at least an hour every night. BET tried it but it was so poorly produced I was upset with them. Jackie Reid lost her status working with those busters. They need to bring Jackie back and put her on TVOne. And do little news snippets during commercial breaks in the evening time.
News and Views from a decidedly African-American perspective! Its about time!


yeah But this is a step on the path towards relevance [IMO]. This ought to be interesting ... While I'm certain Martin will be able to interview members of the Black Caucaus and other democrats, will he have the suction/clout/whatever you want to call it to attract Cheney, Enzi, Grassley or other rightwing or Bluedog political figures, that would clearly be on enemy ground?
 
 
 
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September 1, 2009 6:29 PM

Roland Martin is way less than favorable as the host of anything, ever. He took the Chicago Defender and veritably may it a right-wing rag on the sly. He sucks ass, and not the fun kind.

They would do much better fo get someone who is not such a kiss-ass. But that would be too hard for them to pull off. Lately it seems like there is no black reporter worth their salt that is not some kind of corporate suckup. They have all those people over at The Root, but I feel totally disconnected from that set because I do not give a shit about hip hop, and I know better than to think it would bring about political or social change for the better (if it were, something would have happened by now and it has not).

Susanne Malveaux(?) would have been really nice with something like that, or they could have gotten some educated poet like Haki or someone, but Roland Martin is certainly an excercise in lowered expectation. But thankfully it is not Eric Dyson or Tavis Smiley.
 
 
 
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September 1, 2009 9:35 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:
quote:
Originally posted by Yemaya:
You know I wish they would start off with a straight news show. And it needs to be at least an hour every night. BET tried it but it was so poorly produced I was upset with them. Jackie Reid lost her status working with those busters. They need to bring Jackie back and put her on TVOne. And do little news snippets during commercial breaks in the evening time.
News and Views from a decidedly African-American perspective! Its about time!


yeah But this is a step on the path towards relevance [IMO]. This ought to be interesting ... While I'm certain Martin will be able to interview members of the Black Caucaus and other democrats, will he have the suction/clout/whatever you want to call it to attract Cheney, Enzi, Grassley or other rightwing or Bluedog political figures, that would clearly be on enemy ground?


Heck no!! Eek

However ... I think I'll be munch waiting to see what and how many Black Republicans (are there any in the House .. because I know there's none in the Senate 19) he's able to drag out of the political ranks ... and what they might have to say about what's goin' on.


And yeah @ Yemaya!! That's a great idea! I think I'll write them and suggest it! tfro
 
 
 
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September 1, 2009 11:09 PM

quote:
He took the Chicago Defender and veritably may it a right-wing rag on the sly.


Lately, Martin's been playing the Black Progressive Black guy role on CNN. So maybe, he'll be able to pull something off.
 
 
 
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September 1, 2009 11:52 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:

quote:
He took the Chicago Defender and veritably may it a right-wing rag on the sly.


Lately, Martin's been playing the Black Progressive Black guy role on CNN. So maybe, he'll be able to pull something off.



yeah He and his wife are both ministers and that tends to flavor his responses, but, I think he has matured some during the 08 campaign season when he was routinely fired up for some reason or other as "the black guy" on CNN.
 
 
 
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September 2, 2009 12:29 AM

Speaking of black journalists, whatever happened to Ed Lewis (I think that's his name) and Courtland Malloy?

Are they missing?
 
 
 
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September 2, 2009 3:23 PM

Roland Martin is way less than favorable as the host of anything, ever.---Wiz

The onus in on TV One.

I knew nothing of Roland Martin until I saw him on CNN.

What that program does...or doesn't do...rests with TVOne.

If the host of the show is doing his/her job, Conservatives, and Bushingling's in particular, will not want to be on the show.


PEACE

Jim Chester
 
 
 
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September 2, 2009 7:32 PM

For the lack of a better description, he is a biblical opportunistic capitalist true beleiver (aka hustla), one thing he is not is a journalist(and if he is, he is not a good one). Why can't they get Julianne Malveaux, a good progressive liberal. Can't we have some folk up front that ain't xtian hustlers? I mean, Sam Donaldson, Morley Safer, David Brinkley, Walter Cronkite, we ain't had to parse nonna them through some biblical lense. We did not care if they ever went to church. Isn't it time we let go of having to have our celebrities, I mean leaders come out of something other than the frigging church?

Where are our nonconformists? Where are our liberals? Our progressives? Our rebels? I am all for folk having a personal relationship with the God of their choosing. I am all for pastors leading their flocks or congregations or five knuckleheads standing on the corner, but I am not for having no damned Reese Cup of church and state for the black community.
 
 
 
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September 3, 2009 12:10 AM

Wiz prolly got a point...

http://blackagendareport.com/?...story-again#comments

Roland Martin, Rick Sanchez and CNN Blow Off The Real Story. Again.

By Bruce A. Dixon

Having black reporters in the newsroom ought to make a difference in how stories are covered. But often it doesn't. The August 26 arrest of a black Brunswick GA preacher allegedly counter-protesting at a right wing demonstration against universal health care briefly made national news, mostly because there was a few seconds video of the arrest. The lesson, CNN's Roland Martin sternly warned us, was to obey the cops. You wouldn't know it from CNN or Fox, but the arrested preacher was a man with a forty year record of fruitful advocacy, and not a “counter-protestor” at all. But news and journalism nowadays are two very different things.



At the age of 70, Rev. Zach Lyde has been in the storm a long while. A lifetime activist from a family of the same, a second generation Baptist preacher and member of the Gullah/Geechee Nation [1], Rev. Lyde is the living intersection of multiple streams of African American culture and struggle.

When Rev. Lyde stopped on the sidewalk outside the Brunswick GA post office August 26 to engage right wing teabaggers demonstrating against the advent of what they called “socialized medicine” in a spirited discussion, he was manhandled by police and arrested for protesting without a permit. Since there was video footage of the incident, the arrest made the news hole on CNN, where Rick Sanchez and Roland Martin used it to frame the kind of self-serving, lazy authoritarian spiel that fills the time on network and cable news shows nowadays.



To be fair, Rick Sanchez at least noted that Rev. Lyde was trying to engage the teabaggers in a discussion, maybe even an important one. But the CNN video showed only a brief exchange with cops that ended with Rev. Lyle face down on the sidewalk being cuffed. And Roland Martin was having none of it. In Martin's universe, passers by apparently don't talk to demonstrators, and if they do perhaps they should accept the consequences. The cops had done the right thing, CNN's Roland Martin continued, in allowing an exchange between white demonstrators and a passing black pedestrian to escalate into a situation in which police drew tasers on a 70 year old man, kicked and assaulted him and hauled him off to jail for protesting without a permit. Good citizens don't question the police. Good citizens obey the police.

A real journalist, rather riffing lazily on the “angry black guy gets what he deserves from local cops” theme might have asked who the arrested guy was, or what the heck he had to say. A real journalist might have picked up the phone and talked to somebody in Brunswick besides the police. In Roland Martin's case he could have two or three lowly interns or gofers make those calls for him.

At Black Agenda Report, we don't have interns or gofers, but we are real journalists. We did what a responsible black journalist ought to do. We picked up the phone and made some calls to find out who Rev. Lyde was, and what he says happened.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
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September 5, 2009 3:59 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Wiz:
For the lack of a better description, he is a biblical opportunistic capitalist true beleiver (aka hustla), one thing he is not is a journalist(and if he is, he is not a good one). Why can't they get Julianne Malveaux, a good progressive liberal. Can't we have some folk up front that ain't xtian hustlers? I mean, Sam Donaldson, Morley Safer, David Brinkley, Walter Cronkite, we ain't had to parse nonna them through some biblical lense. We did not care if they ever went to church. Isn't it time we let go of having to have our celebrities, I mean leaders come out of something other than the frigging church?

Where are our nonconformists? Where are our liberals? Our progressives? Our rebels? I am all for folk having a personal relationship with the God of their choosing. I am all for pastors leading their flocks or congregations or five knuckleheads standing on the corner, but I am not for having no damned Reese Cup of church and state for the black community.


lol I agree, that's why I suggested Jackie Reid a clear professional as the front woman for news programming. And get some of these professionals who work in production to produce these broadcasts. We have lots of these people who are liberals, progressives non conformists in our community, but no one wants to hear their voices. I'll tell you what though I noticed through the entire Obama campaign it seems that black ministers came up out of no where and were on TV. Especially during the Jeremiah Wright 'issue'. Roll Eyes Talk about church hustlin'!
 
 
 
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September 5, 2009 4:04 PM

quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
I do wish they'd find another 'political analyst'/journalist to make a *star* out of. Roll Eyes


Hey ER, no url....???
 
 
 
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September 7, 2009 1:56 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Yemaya:
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
I do wish they'd find another 'political analyst'/journalist to make a *star* out of. Roll Eyes


Hey ER, no url....???


Yep ... HERE YA GO! Smile I gave them your suggestion and told them they really needed to start a NEWS show there. But, I'm thinking maybe I should write them back and give them some specifics on how not to turn into another CNN. 19


Also, while you're at it .. check out the website ... it's got some pretty interesting stuff on there!
 
 
 
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November 15, 2009 5:39 PM

I caught the TVOne the show just by happenstance, channel surfing. I decided to check it out to see if there would be any topics of interest geared specifically from an African-American perspective. Nope, just typical punditry and white styled at that.
We need a news show. How the heck do they expect people to understand these debate shows when the issues discussed aren't even being presented from OUR perspective in news format?
bang SSSSSSSIIIIIIIGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!

This is where the grassroots online startups are KILLING right now.
 
 
 
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