All Articles Tagged "cnn"
If you were one of the few people who couldn’t get enough of watching Don Lemon deliver the news, along with his own interesting perspectives on things that affect black folks (like the n-word) on CNN’s weekend program, Newsroom, you’ll be happy to know he’s about to be on your TV every night.
According to Shadow and Act, Lemon’s show, which is untitled at the moment, will air at 11 p.m. (10 p.m. Central), and it will be a “a one-topic show tackling important issues of the day, either reported or vastly underreported, from Lemon’s unique perspective.”
You know what that means: more five-point surface strategies on how to fix the black community, stop-and-frisk, and advice to celebrities on how to get their lives together. Basically, elongated versions of what we hear from him when he speaks on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.
Ironically, this is the same news network that wouldn’t give Roland Martin a show after his years of service as a contributor on a variety of programs. As he said on Huffington Post Live:
“You have largely white male executives who are not necessarily enamored with the idea of having strong, confident minorities who say, ‘I can do this.’ We deliver, but we never get the big piece, the larger salary, to be able to get from here to there.
If it’s a ratings game, and we won, how is it I never got a show?”
Lemon is probably getting a show because of all the feathers he’s ruffled recently with his stances on issues pertaining to black folks. They probably see him as providing that “edge” that can pull in ratings based on controversy, and Lemon is definitely controversial. Congratulations, Don, your plan worked.
Do you think you would tune in to his new nightly program?
At this point, I think it would be safe to say Don Lemon is a glutton for punishment. As one of few African Americans reporting news on a major network, the CNN journalist has attempted to make his mark as some sort of expert on the black community. Unfortunately, for him and us, every time he opens his mouth he just can’t get it right.
Today, Black Twitter is having a field day at Lemon’s expense after he spoke in favor of stop-and-frisk on Black America Web’s radio program. Yes, you read that right. Proclaiming that, “If you question many people in New York City, even some black and Hispanic people, they will tell you that on the surface they don’t really have an issue with stop-question-and-frisk,” Lemon went on to pose this nonsensical question:
“Would you rather be politically correct or safe and alive? That’s the real issue facing the citizens of New York and pretty soon, ultimately YOU.”
And that’s when the veteran (term to be used loosely now) journalist got his behind handed to him with the hashtag #DonLemonOn. Bringing up nearly every racial issue that has plagued African Americans in the United States, Black Twitter decided to create their own commentary on how Don Lemon might address issues like slavery, segregation, and more. Read on and have a good laugh at his expense in the face of his ignorant commentary. Thoughts?
#DonLemonOn The Middle Passage: It was a free trip. They should be thankful.
— PragmaticObotsUnite (@PragObots) November 5, 2013
Since Soledad O’Brien was dismissed, CNN has been in the hot seat for its homogeneous, “invariably white” staff. Swooping in to dissipate criticism, Geraldine Moriba, the new Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for CNN Worldwide, will work to bring a splash of color to the news network.
Ever since Jeff Zucker was appointed president of CNN last year, the network has developed a poor track record on diversity. Along with O’Brien, Roland Martin and Donna Brazile were removed from their analyst positions on the network. “Do you think that the vision Zucker has for CNN may be a ‘White-out?’” an Ebony contributor once asked. Martin, describing CNN executives as “largely white males,” believed they refused to renew his contract despite his good ratings because they were threatened by “having strong, confident minorities” on board.
Just last week, rumors were circulating that Zucker was pulling the plug on CNN’s Diversity Council, but CNN announced the contrary: African-American journalist Geraldine Moriba will be spearheading a revamped Council to address multicultural issues facing the news network.
I had the pleasure of working with her prior to my time at CNN, and always found her to have a terrific sensibility and understanding of some of the complex issues we face when it comes to diversity and inclusion,” said Jeff Zucker, chief of CNN.
For the first time, the VP of Diversity and Inclusion will be required to report directly to the President on matters concerning diversification.
Moriba, also an Emmy-winning executive producer for CNN’s Program Development, has demonstrated her credentials for her new position through her work on CNN’s In America. The program featured 11 groundbreaking documentaries in two years which “focused on communities which had previously been underserved,” a press release stated. Moriba also created the “In America Blog” which surpassed 15 million readers within the first six months.
Aware of the scrutiny CNN has received for hiring few anchors of color, Moriba explained, “Some of the smartest journalists in the business work at CNN and I know that the prevailing sentiment in our newsrooms is that it is crucial for our content and workforce to reflect the audience we serve. These are goals accomplished by working as a team. This isn’t only about pursuing a noble purpose, it’s about continuing to share news from across our increasingly diverse and interconnected world, in even more effective ways.” The anchors in the image up top are some of the network’s more famous faces. But Jane Velez-Mitchell (host of Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell), Van Jones (one of the hosts of the revamped Crossfire), and Don Lemon (host of CNN Newsroom on the weekends) are some of the other anchors on the network.
The award-winning CNN Diversity Council was created back in 2003. Its basic initiative is to enforce CNN’s diversity mission of “growing its business by reflecting diverse audiences and perspectives in its programming and supporting an inclusive culture for its employees,” a press statement said.
“White People Will Hate My Half-Black Child” White, American Mother Gives Bi-Racial Baby Up For Adoption
We all know that racism exists in America. It’s a known fact; but that doesn’t mean it can’t catch us off guard sometimes. Just today, CNN wrote a story about the rise in interracial, international adoptions. Specifically, European parents are adopting African American babies because they are often the last to be adopted in the states. Interracial adoption is always a controversial issue as some think a child growing up with parents of a different race won’t be able to relate to their cultural identity.
But on the flip side, some see interracial adoption as a way for their children to escape the racism that is so prevalent in American society.
Susan (last name withheld) of Florida decided to give her biracial son up for adoption in 2006 because of the racial discrimination she believed he’d face growing up in the United States. When she went to look at the potential families a social worker gave her three binders containing information about prospective parents. After she looked through the first binder she didn’t need to see anymore. The first contained a couple from the Netherlands. Susan felt a connection. “If my mother had lived, she’d look just like (the prospective Dutch mother).” Susan’s mother died when she was two months old.
Susan also wanted her son to grow up far away from the life she knew. She was a 30-year-old prostitute addicted to crack beginning a prison sentence when she learned she was pregnant. She did not know whether the child’s father was a man who raped her “for hours” or a drug dealer whom she “had done something with” one time, she said. But both men were African American, and she believed the child would face discrimination growing up in the United States.White people are going to hate him because he’s half black … black people are going to hate on him because he’s half white
Susan, birth mother who chose a Dutch family
“There’s too much prejudice over here. The white people are going to hate him because he’s half black, and the majority of black people are going to hate on him because he’s half white,” said Susan, who is Caucasian. “And then he’ll have to do extra things to prove what kind of a Negro he is, and extra things to prove what kind of a honky he is and I don’t want that. I did not want that for my kid.”
Even her own daughter, then aged 11, said “she would never accept that n***** child.”
Now, there’s a good chance that Susan just didn’t want to raise a child by the man who raped her or the drug dealer she did something with. Looking into this boys eyes, no doubt, would have been a painful reminder of some of the trauma she’s experienced in her life. It’s completely understandable and actually admirable that she would choose to give him to a family who could love regardless. The fact that she thought enough to pick a woman who would have looked like her mother is also endearing.
What I find very interesting though are Susan’s concerns about race. Judging by Susan’s daughter’s comments, she might be giving this child up because of her own prejudice or full out racism. And if that’s the case, even though it may sound pretty terrible, she still made the right decision.
Furthermore, does it strike anyone else as interesting that she, a woman who has most likely experienced her own fair share of discrimination because of her past, believes it would be complete hell for a black child to grow up here. In other words, as one Bossip reader put it: “You know life is a mess if a white crack head prostitute thinks the worse thing to be is black in America.”
Mark O’ Mara, George Zimmerman’s attorney, who proved to the world of law that his skills and expertise can keep even a murderer out of prison, is now joining CNN as a legal analyst, the The Huffington Post reports.
While O’Mara appeared on CNN’s Morning Day program on Friday, the show’s host — Chris Cuomo — announced that the Orlando-based attorney was hired “to offer [his] insight on a number of high-profile legal matters,” HuffPo said.
O’Mara, who helped get Zimmerman acquitted of second-degree murder charges for gunning down Trayvon Martin, is quite familiar with CNN. He’s occasionally been invited by the network to engage in interviews during the controversial trial.
According to the Inquisitr, O’Mara explained his reasons behind signing a contract with CNN:
“I know first hand what it is like to be the focus of media scrutiny. It is no secret that I’ve been critical of the press, but complaining doesn’t solve anything, and it occurred to me that if I’m not part of the solution, I’m part of the problem. I’m hoping that serving as a legal analyst for CNN will allow me to contribute some thoughtful, moderated insight to what could otherwise be sensational or inflammatory issues.”
This also won’t be O’Mara’s first gig as a legal analyst. During Casey Anthony’s case, the Florida-based defense attorney reviewed legal documents and facts for Orlando’s CBS-affiliate in 2011.
Thank you Don Lemon, this is just the type of thing one wishes for on a semi-slow news day.
Somewhere in the midst of shaming black people and all the things we don’t do and need to do, Don Lemon made an attempt to be down again with a haircut cerca Kid N’ Play in the 1980s. I wish I could tell you what was going through Don’s mind when he made the trip to his local barber and asked for a cut more befitting of an 18-year-old than a 47-year-old CNN News Anchor (he looks good for his age doesn’t he?!) , but he appears to be proud of it. When Don tweeted the pic above of his new hair do, he wrote:
New haircut. Too long for TV news? I kinda like it. #HarlemBarbers
Oh, and if you think the front is amusing, check out the back.
OK, OK. It’s not that bad, although again, still not sure what brought this on. We can thank Don Lemon for what he brought on himself though. No less than 32 seconds after he posted these pics did #BlackTwitter have its way with him by means of the hashtag #donlemonlookslike. You know once we get started we can’t be stopped, which is why the hashtag eventually started trending with these shade moments which happen to be my personal faves.
— Imani ABL (@AngryBlackLady) September 4, 2013
#DonLemonLooksLike tried out to be in New Edition back in 80s but got CUT
— GQ (@ATLREPPA) September 4, 2013
#DonLemonLooksLike his barber heard his sagging pants remarks on CNN and wasn’t too thrilled….
— Jerell Gantt (@imitationbyj) September 4, 2013
— Alexis (@TheNotoriousLEX) September 4, 2013
Don took it all in stride when he saw he was trending, responding to the hooplah saying:
So now you’re a brotha? Oh
Don’s gon’ learn today! What do you think of his new cut?
The next installment of Soledad O’Brien’s Black In America documentary series will debut on CNN on August 30 at 10 pm ET/PT. Titled “Great Expectations,” it will explore education inequality, specifically as it affects African-American boys in a low-income area of Minneapolis. The pros and cons of charter schools will also be explored.
O’Brien has been very involved in education of late. She will be an instructor in the Sundance Channel’s documentary Dream School, which will give 15 troubled students another chance at a high school education. And O’Brien is a fellow at the Harvard School of Education. O’Brien is also a special correspondent to the new Al Jazeera America network and has signed on for HBO’s program Real Sports. The documentary has been produced through O’Brien’s new company Starfish Media Group.
Will you be tuning in?
As Jeff Zucker continues to settle in as president over at CNN, there lately seems a constant stream be changes — some good, others not so good, say media observers. The latest is the announcement that much-talked about revamp of Crossfire, hosted by Newt Gingrich, Stephanie Cutter, S.E. Cupp and Van Jones, will at last debut Monday, Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. ET. Additionally, AC 360° Later, a new prime time program, will air Monday through Thursday at 10 p.m. ET.
Crossfire, the debate program, will air daily for 30 minutes and feature two hosts and guests each night, discussing a range of topics from all sides of the political and cultural spectrum.
Meanwhile AC 360° Later is described as “a provocative and informed panel conversation, focusing on the day’s news and events. ” AC 360° host (and our imaginary silver-haired boyfriend) Anderson Cooper will also host the new program, which will feature CNN correspondents, analysts and commentators plus a special guest each night.
The Situation Room anchor Wolf Blitzer will add the 1 p.m. hour of Newsroom to his anchor responsibilities beginning Monday, Sept. 16.
Will you be watching any of it?
“That’s Advice My Mother Gave Me In Kindergarten”: Don Lemon Tries To Explain His Infamous “5 Point Strategy”
Don Lemon has had an interesting week to say the least. This past weekend he encouraged black folks to better themselves and the community by promoting five points that included finishing school (that’s right!), slowing down having children out of wedlock/being a committed parent (say it again), falling back on using the N-word (yeah, I guess), respecting your community by not vandalizing (that works too…I guess), and having young black men pull up their pants (meh…). While he made some valid points here and there, he received major criticism for some of his points, which some felt were too surface, and also for giving props to Bill O’Reilly of all people, who tried to say that black-on-black crime can be blamed on the disintegration of the black family. Ready to speak on the backlash, Lemon was open about the controversy a few times this week, including both Sunday on his own CNN show, and Monday on The View.
On Sunday he backed up his words, and talked about folks calling him an “Uncle Tom”:
“I’m taking that word back. I’m being called an ‘Uncle Tom’ so much, I’m taking that word back. I’m gonna get the ‘Uncle Tom’ award.
What is wrong with telling people to dress appropriately? These are things that I said [Saturday] that my mom taught me in kindergarten, that parents tell their kids in kindergarten. Dress nicely, speak well, speak appropriately.”
He went on to share these thoughts when he went on The View on Monday, but instead of having commentators who agreed with him, he had an interesting back and forth with Sherri Shepherd, who told him that where he really went wrong in his points was saying that Bill O’Reilly didn’t go far enough in his critiques of black folks. This back and forth (calm of course) all started when he tried to state his issues with young black men wearing baggy pants:
Lemon: “The pants are just a symbol of respect for me, respect for yourself and respecting others. What I was saying was not how you end racism, what I was saying was self-empowerment. How you help yourself because there are issues in the African American community that go beyond white people where you can fix things yourself.”
Shepherd: “But I think, Don, a lot of the controversial stuff kind of came because you said Bill O’Reilly’s criticism didn’t go far enough in the black community and I think a lot of people took umbrage with that. I don’t want to give Bill O’Reilly license to say anything because he’s never been a young black man growing up in the situation a lot of them grow up in. I think a lot of people were commenting on when you were saying ‘Yeah, Bill O’Reilly should have gone further in his criticism.”
Lemon: “But I can [go further] as a young black man.”
Shepherd: “You can, but I think it’s a blanket statement as well. I agree that there are things that need to be done, but I think you know, trying to apply blanket statements to every situation is not the best. I lived in Harlem and I remember a boy came over to our house and he was like ‘Can you just give me money to get to my grandmother’s because my mom hasn’t showed up in three days’ and his pants were sagging. So I think telling all the young black men, ‘pull up your pants’ is a Band-Aid because I don’t know if that is what’s going to do it.”
He definitely seemed to understand where Shepherd was coming from, but continued to stick by his five point strategy, including saying that he still does find the N-word and black folks’ use of it as extremely disrespectful since people died over that word.
While I do think Lemon had good intentions, there were points he made that came off a little naive. The way folks wear their pants, trash on their sidewalks, and the N-word as problems pale in comparison to many of the more major issues affecting the community. But I do agree that folks need to be out here doing better by their children and encouraging the youth to take education more seriously. But other than that, Lemon might need to go back to the drawing board.
Don Lemon’s Infamous “5 Points,” And The Persistent Myth Of The Gay, Baggy Pants-Loving Booty Snatcher
I’m a firm believer that anyone with a gripe about black people can easily get a platform to say as much on television. Don’t believe me, just watch – this video of Don Lemon’s epic impression of Stephen from Django the other day.
Claiming to be inspired by the murder of Trayvon Martin (because what better time to discuss all the s**t that bothers you about black people than the tragic death of a black kid, whose death had nothing to do with black pathology), Lemon decided to not just cosign remarks made by Bill O’Reilly a week ago, where he too decided to use Trayvon Martin’s death, and the subsequent George Zimmerman verdict, to assail black people. He also said of O’Reilly that, he “doesn’t go far enough” in his critique of black culture and, in a bizarre Bill Cosby moment of his own, decided to give his own Five Point Strategy for ensuring that black people are not stalked and killed by the likes of George Zimmerman and can restore the community.
The usual lot of oversimplifications made the list including: “black women stop having babies,” “pull your pants up,” “go to school,” and “stop using the N-word.” He also advised black people to “stop littering,” which was a point that you have to give him points for due to originality. Who knew that was tearing us apart? I mean, if only our ancestors owned some brooms and had in place a good recycling program, perhaps they could have prevented themselves from being chattel on the Amistad? #DonLemonLogic
Initially, I had planned to speak on every point, which Lemon raised in his five point “strategy” for black success. But after reviewing it, and in particular, seeing that it qualified for what you folks like to call TL;DR (“Too long; didn’t read), I decided to focus on what has always been a personal favorite thorn in the side of modern day black respectability, and that is the sagging pants.
First, let’s look at what Don Lemon said about the fashion trend:
“Pull up your pants. Some people, a lot of them black, gave me flak for saying that recently on the ‘Wendy Williams Show.’ If you’re sagging, it means I think your self-esteem is sagging and who you are as a person it’s sagging. Young people need to be taught respect and there are rules. Sagging pants, whether it’s Justin Bieber or no-name Derek around the way, walking around with your a** and your underwear showing is not okay. In fact, it comes from prison when they take away belts from the prisoners so that they can’t make a weapon. And then it evolved into which role a prisoner would have during male-on-male prison sex. The one with the really low pants is the submissive one. You get my point?”
Actually, I’m not quite sure if I do get your point at all. Matter of fact, I’m quite curious as to why Lemon, an out-and-proud gay black man, would be giving a platform to what is largely a homophobic urban legend? That’s right, the tales of the pants sagging, booty-snatching homosexual prison pirate your youth minister has been warning you all about since the first day of Sunday school is a baseless allegation, owing itself to lack of substantial evidence beyond the all too familiar, “Well, I heard…”
While it is (possibly, but not confirmed) true that the belt-less pants sagging had its roots in prison culture, the prison “style” has less to do with a prison homosexual mating call and more to do with unavailability of belts and shoe strings due to fears of rampant suicides. Likewise, the mass introduction of the prison jumpsuit might have eliminated the sagging problem. However, those in prison, who do sag now, do so for the same reason that the average kid on the street does so: out of comfort and because of a pop culture trend, which was ironically influenced by the plight of the belt-less prison inmate.
This saggy pants-prison homo meme has even been debunked by urban legend investigation site, Snopes.com, which attributes the spread of it, as well as other variations, on how easily it plays on folks’ already existing personal bias towards the fashion trend as well as folks’ own fear of homosexuals, or being perceived as homosexuals. And as most observers of popular culture would note, the loose and droopy fit of male trousers has always had a place in black male fashion. Before there was belt-less saggy pants, there were baggy-crotch harem pants, popularized by rapper and free-movement dancer MC Hammer. And way before that, there was the Zoot suit, which has its roots in the young black jazz culture of the 1940s. While sagging, loose, and droopy pants were always seen as counter-culture, men today profess comfort and trend as likely motivators for the style rather than some sort of moniker of their sexuality (unless you count the peacocking in your trendy best).
And despite the fact that at times, saggy pants have found themselves in the center of racial tension (i.e. the Zoot Suit Riots), no time in history did any black person ever report more or less racism because their waist and crotch line were more aligned with the white norm. Or as the Anti-Intellect wrote recently on Funky Dineva’s blog:
“Did Don Lemon forget that White racists hosed down, sicked dogs on, and lynched Black people in suits, ties, and dresses during the Civil Rights Movement? Many of the Blacks in the Civil Rights Movement had on their Sunday best when they were protesting, and they were still treated worse than animals. Oppressors have rarely taken it easy on the oppressed because the oppressed presented themselves in a “respectable” manner. Greenwood, Oklahoma also known as “Black Wall Street” was one of the most prosperous, successful, and respectful Black towns in the United States, and it was still burned to the ground, in 1921, by a mob of jealous White racists.”
It’s funny how the “most trusted name in news” can’t be trusted enough to get what it reports correct. And that’s what annoys me most about Lemon’s rant: the lack of journalistic integrity used by both him and CNN for airing such an unsubstantiated claim, as fact. Not only is there no proof of correlation between criminality, self-esteem, academic, or even professional achievement and the waistline on a pair of men’s pants, it is in fact quite dangerous to even promote such as the sagging-pants/prison gay sex-theory as something that normally happens.
Despite Lemon’s (and whoever else helped him write his script) belief of some sort of happy smorgasbord of gay sex in prison, the reality is that homophobia is still pretty much rifled in the prison culture. According to Amnesty International, homosexuals (or even those suspected of being gay) are routinely targeted and mistreated in prisons throughout the world. And according to another study, in the United States alone, there are 39 percent of gay and bisexual prisoners reportedly being targeted for sexual violence in both men’s and women’s prisons. Even though folks may want you to fear a gay boogeyman, a report by the Human Rights Watch says that the, “perpetrators of rape typically view themselves as heterosexual and, outside of the prison environment, prefer to engage in heterosexual activity. Although gay inmates are much more likely than other inmates to be victimized in prison, they are not likely to be perpetrators of sexual abuse.”
Therefore, if we were to actually follow what the data suggests, gay men would probably be less likely to use any sorts of identifiers including sagging pants to advertise their sexuality. But that’s the kind of stuff they don’t tell you on television, I guess.