Roland Martin Versus The Snob: Round II

CNN’s Roland Martin is STILL reading The Black Snob and Sunday ol’ Rolly Roll’s pimped walked up in here to hip me to this whole crazy “journalism” jive game that I was obviously immature about being a professional journalist for … ahem … ten years.

But, whatever. Those were in “print” journalism and small print newspaper years at that … which strangely makes you older, so really that was 20 years and I’ve been cursed out enough to know what a newsroom is like.

But Rolly Rolls offered his lesson anyway.

(Get ready to rumble after the jump!)

FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT! (AND MINE) I present a continuation on a theme: The Black Snob getting comments from Roland Martin where Roland tries to “school” me on something and I laugh because I think the shit is HILARIOUS, especially that he actually comments on the blog. Like, I want to friend Rolly Rolls on Facebook just to see what would happen? Would Facebook explode?

And it’s been fun walking Rolly go from angry, to pissy to now talking to me like I’m mentally disabled. (Wait? What?) But seriously, Rolly Rolls, I wuvs you. Neva CHANGE!

From the blog “Roland Martin: CNN Superstar (Save One Pithy Hater)” — mind you, the hater was NOT ME!

Give it to me straight, Rolly! No Bias! No Bull!


In the movie, “Hoodlum,” Laurence Fishburne’s character told Andy Garcia’s, “When you don’t know, you don’t know.”

With that said, it’s clear that you and others just don’t know what a journalist is.

First, all journalists are not the same. There are folks who work in radio, newspaper, television, for magazines, and online publications.

Let’s use newspapers as an example.

We have journalists for the metro section, national and international desks, lifestyle, business, sports, etc. And within those sections you have different jobs. The folks who are “reporters” actually report. Are they journalists? Absolutely. Then you have the folks who are columnists. Are they journalists? Absolutely.

When you turn to the editorial page, there are members of the paper’s editorial team. Typically there is an editorial page editor to lead it. Their job is to take a position on a variety of topics. Is it opinionated? Yes. Do you see editorial pages endorse candidates? Yes. Are they journalists? Yes.

Then there are op-ed columnists. Clarence Page is a perfect example. He is an op-ed columnist for the Chicago Tribune and is nationally syndicated. Is Clarence a columnist? Yes. That is his specific job. Does he still fall under the umbrella of being a journalist? Absolutely.

A bunch of you seem intent in not understanding the different roles that people play.

When you watch television, Candi Crowley, John King, Jessica Yellin and our other “correspondents” are traditional reporters. They paint the picture, tell the story, and leave it at that. If this were a newspaper, they would be called “reporters.”

Then there are the folks like me who analyze or comment on the issues of the day. Do we take sides on all issues? Nope. Do we offer our perspective on these issues? Yes. Do we have the liberty – just like a newspaper columnist – to take strong view on one or the other? Absolutely.

Now, during the election, I offered analysis on all candidates, especially during the primaries. When we got to the general, we continued to do that. ONE of the big reasons folks often came to me for the “Obama perspective” is that I had covered him longer than ANYONE else on the CNN set and had major contacts within the Obama campaign. So, if someone asked, “Roland, Obama is trying to end this rift over Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Why leave the church?” Because of those contacts, I can offer the perspective of someone who has reached high up in the campaign.

Now, I decided to formally endorse Obama ONLY after I hosted three CNN election specials. In that first show, we talked about race, age and gender. I wanted to make the point in the opening of the show that some people vote for a variety of folks, and it’s not ideology. So, I made it clear that I’ve voted for Republicans, Democrats, white men (George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, Kerry), white women (Ann Richards), Hispanics and Asians, and yes, African Americans. And I ended by saying, and in this election, I’m voting for Barack Obama, not because he’s black, because he’s the best person at this time for the United States.

It was then that I was tagged as the “Obama supporter.” Of course, Bill Bennett, Ed Rollins, Alex Castellanos, Leslie Sanchez and others were all tagged as “republican strategists” but they aren’t journalists. Yet we did have conservative/Republican writers, reporters and commentators (Steve Hayes) who made it clear who they were voting for. So are you saying it’s fine for other analysts/commentators to state their preference, but not me?

With that said, I hope all of you now understand that not everyone is required to be the fair and impartial journalist who relies on objectivity. The business has ALWAYS allowed for for folks to offer a point-of-view and opinion, and still be called a journalist. As long as an opinion is based on a set of facts, I’m fine with that. But when folks start lying, then that’s wrong.

April 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoland S. Martin


OH! SNAP! No he DIDN’T try to tell me about journalism! I graduated from Murrow School of Hard Knocks, son! (aka Southern Illinois University …. No, no. Not the one you’ve heard of.) Don’t hurt, em, Snob! Don’t hurt em!



You’ve returned! I was starting to think you didn’t like me anymore and that made me sad, but now I’m all kinds of happy. Yeah! Roland Martin reads The Black Snob!

Actually, I majored in journalism — (Editor of my newspaper! Scholarships! Making $15,000 a year!) and worked as both a reporter and columnist for 10 years before the great big bad newspaper holocaust so I actually know the difference between a commentator and someone who does basic beat reporting. My point was that once you give your opinion for a living as a pundit it’s harder to claim any impartiality with viewers because people can point to you and go “oh, but you had an opinion on this so you’re a hypocrite.”

You know as well as I that some journalists take a Jesus Christ level of purity when it comes to journalistic ethics, hence I couldn’t tell if you were ascribing to this hardcore morality pledge or not It isn’t journalistic cannon, as you point out. But many people believe it so, even those who don’t practice it. I couldn’t tell if you were a talker or a doer, hence all your responses to me seemed like contradictions and I was left going, “well, what is it my man!?”

But you know how the true journalism moralists are. No meals! No gifts more than $5! They won’t even do TV shows (Like Hardball or No Bias) where they give opinions. Some won’t don’t vote. But the average viewer can’t delineate this. They simply lump you all in a bucket and go, “Roland S. Martin is a hypocrite.” Especially since all reporter/writers, including me, DO have a degree of journalistic piety about them when it comes to reporting.

I know you’re moving from reporting to commentary to hosting and that you can do all three and be a journalist. But the average viewer is going to be perplexed by it and honestly, I only jumped on you oh-so-long-long because I felt it was pretty obvious that you was empathetic towards the Obama campaign. I didn’t know about the Bennett thing (not that it surprises me). And ACTUALLY, if you’d said that instead of being so prickly oh-so-long-ago, I would have been even more empathetic towards you because Bennett can be such a hack. A matter of fact, that makes a lot of sense. There are worse, but there have been plenty times he’s been wrong on you or Donna or gone beyond the pale on …. well, EVERYONE.

So you’re essentially saying because of Bennett and his ilke (and CNN’s use of you as their go to guy), a lot of people, including me, thought you’d already come out and hadn’t and I went off on some bad info. But you have to remember that back then you didn’t know me from Adam and this blog had three readers. And when my suspicions seemed to be later “proved” right when you came out for Obama it wasn’t like I got a note or a correction or a “Hey Snob, I told TJ you said hello and he was all, nice blog.”

Because I totally did that for you. I was snarky the whole time …. but I have a reputation to uphold. That and, I mean, I didn’t anything it either, (or to ever hear from you again) but you could have surprised a sister!

That said, I really hope they don’t put you in that closet with Soledad. (I love her dearly, but she is a WASTE on CNN). I hear it is dark in that closet and the only food is Top Ramen. Yeah, you’ll lose weight, but no one wants to do it that way.

Good luck with CNN. You already know the drill.

April 12, 2009 | Registered CommenterDanielle Belton



Also, this means Rolly Rolls reads your comments at The Black Snob. No one tell the folks at News Busters! I’ll never get rid of them!

15 thoughts on “Roland Martin Versus The Snob: Round II

  1. Matt Taibbi, pundit for Rolling Stone, even lamented that he was "once a journalist." Now "how I say things is more important than what I say." It’s journalism on one level…opinions, blowhardism, entertainment on another. Then there are the personality driven, true pundit almost entertainment shows on Fox, or Lou Dobbs, etc. All fed or set up by these "correspondents" (as news straight men then Hannity or any number of clowns hit us with the punch line). Then there’s Roland’s show. Supposedly the next stage of evolution up from Eric Servereid, Cronkite, brinkley, Smth, Reasoner…Max Robinson? Um…nah. It’s this same ole ame cheapie format cable news outlets shovels like Pablum because the average American seems to want only gameshows instead of news AND analysis…Remember what Shirky said. Or Stephen L Carter. Democracy loses when journalism’s destroyed, when books don’t matter. Shirky: "Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism." Stark statement but it’s allegorical. We don’t pundits. We need public intellectuals. We don’t need media "stars" as "product." That’s a by product of media conglomerates, in bed with the same pople who brought you the economic meltdown, not real journalism. Cronkite needs to get one last surge of young man’s energy before he dies so he can hold all of these people down–including Roland–as max Robinson and Edward R Murrow’s ghosts rise and bitch slap them the lot of them. Then we’ll see improvement. of course, Murrow should jusy plain murder, Amityville style, Hannity et al and everyone on talkradio…and maybe Steve Havery lol.

  2. No, he didn’t. He voted for Bush I and Bush II? Actually, I knew about his voting for W., but to formally testify to this fact and then admitting to his vote for Bush Sr. too, I’m left stunned. I read the sentence several times in case I wasn’t getting it. Although I know I’m not supposed to judge, turncoats really get my goat. This annoys me even more than being a conservative Republican.

  3. I hope this battle of words is just for fun. Otherwise, it just seems like a waste of time and words between two intelligent people.

  4. @ SymphoniFor me, and all my sarcasm, it was fun. Oodles. I just hope Roland has a sense of humor, which is kind of my point. I mean, he’s really too big to be bothering with "widdle ole me." He has a SHOW! LOL! I’m not one of those Web sites dedicated to destroying CNN anchors who’s last names aren’t Sanchez. I keep hoping he’ll lighten up and just ignore us.Of course, then I"d be sad because I wouldn’t have an excuse to call him "Rolly Rolls," but I’d get by somehow.

  5. @ conservativeblkwomanGurl,I wish I could share my exaggerated flame war with Rolly Rolls with the world. I wish he didn’t just write me, but all the other bloggers who write about him! What makes me so special?I have some theories. All of them involve TJ Holmes READING THIS BLOG and going, "Hey Roland! She called you Rolly Rolls in the respsone, huh huh. She GOT YOU, man. That shit was HILARIOUS. Me and Don were rollin! Get it? Rollin? Roland? Rolly Rolls. Oh, man. And she called me delicious … again. Cruel world! Stay out of that closet with Soledad. They only have Sierra Mist and shrimp flavored Ramn in there. Huh, huh! I’m TJ HOLMES!"Yeah. Yeah. That feels about right.

  6. The last time someone wrote a diatribe to me like this I got two things: he was insecure or pissed about something but it had nothing to do with me or who I am. And I responded as much in maybe 10 words tops. When people need to go off like this, via spoken work (conversation via cell, face to face or hell…sign language) or in a note anything that needs to be said can be done in 150 characters or less [ie facebook or twitter]. So maybe you should ‘friend’ him up. At least you could limit his comments and he could just get to the friggin’ point.For example "Dear Danielle, I don’t think you’re writing /reporting in the true sense of journalism and I am & that is all I have to say…change…"P.S. I ened up marrying that clown who went off on me via email. It turns out he just wanted me. Hmmmmmmmmm.

  7. SnobYou’ve just got to chill. Tootsie Roll just can’t handle the fact you like peanut butter w/ your chocolate. He just plain jealous of your boy Holmes.

  8. Roland is so arrogant he makes Kanye look humble. He irritated me when he was here at the Chicago Defender and he irritates me now more than ever. I avoid his commentary at all costs. Reading his comments was slightly entertaining only because you handled him. I’m glad you can find the humor in his condscending remarks, I think he does give you extra. I agree, he must like you and resent your peanut butter- cup- loving ways.

  9. I cannot believe how he talked down to you in the beginning of his letter! How condescending. Dang, you don’t have to be a journalist or a journalism major, just someone who is over say 18, has read a few newspapers and has an education to know what he told you. I’ve never seen his show (and don’t plan to because I have very little respect for CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc) but if this is his usual M.O., simplistic condescension, then I just don’t know what to say. I sometimes suspect the yacking heads on all of those mindless cable shows are smarter, more sophisticated and better informed than they appear to be on-air, but given time constraints, editorial decisions from management, etc they just can’t display that or they sold their soul for filthy lucure and say whatever they think will appeal to the groudlings, but things like this make me think, "Nope, I was right in the first place, these folks aren’t too bright and half the time they don’t know what they are talking about " He seems to fall into the latter category or he has Bobby Jindahl syndrome and needs to talk down to grown folk.

  10. Snob,The most valuable thing I’ve taken from your flamewar with Rolly Rolls is………..Don Lemon reads your blog!!!! Oh my goodness gracious!!! —Oops, my southern belle is showing (blushes, pulls slip back under gorgeous sage-green hoopskirt)— Flame on, my sister!!

  11. Don’t hurt, em, Snob! Don’t hurt em! — Danielle You don’t have to hurt him, Snob. Hold my ponytail; the Rolls and I are going to the mat.When you turn to the editorial page, there are members of the paper’s editorial team. — Martin And I thought the comics were there, or at least "Dear Abby." Thanks for clearing that up, Martin.And I ended by saying, and in this election, I’m voting for Barack Obama . . . . It was then that I was tagged as the "Obama supporter." — Martin If you were "tagged" for that, Martin, it’s because you labeled yourself.@Robert M – I love it! I love it!

  12. Is it me or does he speak funny? He has that weird – Jessie Jackson- my words are too fast for my mouth can move syndrome.Speech therapy please

  13. Is it me or does he speak funny? He has that weird – Jessie Jackson- my words are too fast for my mouth, syndrome.

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