In case you missed all this “Roland Martin related drama” last week, like I did, CNN anchor Campbell Brown returned to No Bias, No Bull last week. (Now no longer called “No Bias, No Bull.”)
The show is in a horrifying fourth place slot getting beat (again) by friggin’ Headline News. For those not watching, CNN contributor Roland Martin sat in for Brown while she was on maternity leave. Some wondered if the babysitting gig was a trial balloon for Martin finally getting his own show. But because CNN’s ratings are trè crappè right now, everything is up in the air.
As long time readers may know, I love Roland Martin even if he does not love me. I so enjoy it when he pops up on the blog to set me straight about something or other. It’s hilarious and wonderful. I don’t know if he finds it hilarious and wonderful. HE SHOULD. But I doubt it.
Someone who I know Roland doesn’t find “hilarious” or “wonderful” right now is The Root’s Jimi Izrael, who incurred the wrath of Roland over some anecdote where he claimed my fair Rolly Rolls was some sort of incense and beef jerky peddler back in the day. In the biggest backhanded compliment of a blog posting ever, Jimi quite amazingly praises Roland while repeatedly kicking him in the gonads.
More after the jump.
I first met CNN’s Roland Martin in the early 2000s at an NABJ convention. He was wearing a dashiki, walking around selling something he called a “black power pack:” a bag of incense, a hunk of jerky meat and one of his self-published books. That’s a true effing story. We were both on the same panel and what stuck out to me was not just this brother’s unapologetic, sharp-elbow style of self-promotion, but his behavior off-stage. Martin was so well-read and razor sharp on the issues of the day off-stage that despite how friggin annoying as he was, I found myself hoping that this Roland Martin—the one who didn’t feel the need to tell you how good or how smart or how sharp he was—would find some success. Because truth to tell, he didn’t need the bombast—his intellect and ability to process and analyze through his black male apologist, woefully lefty filter was evident.
Roland (and can you blame the brother?) was not amused.
It was pretty dumb to assert that I was walking around selling incense and beef jerky. One, I’ve never done such a thing – ever – so why in the hell would I start? If that’s your thing, cool, but it’s not mine. Not only that, I hate beef jerky! I’ve never even tried it. And the last time I even burned incense, it had to have been the early 90s, and I needed to get the smell of baby poop out of the room at my crib!
So I decided to write Jimi, hoping he would have the decency as a “journalist” to correct this obvious lie. His response? He claims others remember the same story, and he would let it stand. I demanded of him to ask who else could corroborate an obvious lie, and he said I made the pitch to another journalist during a 2002 convention in Milwaukee. This is so false it’s not even funny.
As if that weren’t enough, poor Roland has had to deal with Page Six accusations that he, along with the Silver Fox of CNN, Andy Coop-A-Doop, were personally responsible for wrecking the network’s ratings. C’mon now. That’s just cruel. Everyone knows that CNN’s sucky ratings were a team effort. Everybody had a hand in making that boat crash. I mean, TJ Holmes is extremely good looking, but the man can’t do it all!
Page Six also claims that Roland was bitching about how the network “doesn’t promote him enough or book him high-profile guests,” but he’s claiming that those statements are a “flat-out lie.”
“I never even uttered those words, never said any such thing to any network executive or any other staffer,” Martin told Richard Prince’s Journal-isms blog in an e-mail Sunday. “I would be embarrassed as an editor or writer of a paper to put out such a lie.” (EURweb)
But with that all out of the way, what will become of that show CNN was considering for Roland? And what is up with the fact that none of the major cable news networks has a person of color hosting an afternoon/evening show? MSNBC gave Ed Schultz, ED FRIGGIN’ SCHULTZ, a show. No offense to Ed, but … really? Who was clamouring for that one? Who was writing MSNBC begging for his glorious mug to take up an afternoon slot? I want names!
If you could see any person of color host an evening show, who would you want to see? Personally, I’d like to see either Alison Stewart, Lisa Ling or Soledad O’Brien take another stab at something. If they’re looking for someone more “spirited” (re: shouting and possibly insane) I’m sure there are plenty of folks who would like to give their best screaming meme crack at it. Al Sharpton’s all kinds of loud and insane. Dyson is out there with his wife not too far behind. Amy Holmes can be scary when she tries really hard.
Of course, there’s always Donna Brazile, but heaven’s to Betsy, someone might watch her and she might actually make some damn sense, so we can’t do that!
Who do you want to see?