TWITTER FUMBLE: CNN suspended pundit Roland S. Martin indefinitely following the uproar over his offensive tweets during the Super Bowl. (Photo: RolandMartin.com)
So GLAAD (Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) has gotten someone suspended again. This time it’s political pundit Roland Martin, who was sacked by CNN “for the time being” from his contributor’s gig. I know Roland. I sent him a text of prayerful encouragement to “hang in there … take in the lessons learned … this too shall pass.”
However, despite being his friend, this is actually an easy commentary to write.
Roland deserved the penalty flag. Period. He admitted as much in his statement on his website. He’ll take from this setback that not everyone is anticipating his every tweet, nor is it in his best interest as a public figure to thumb type every impulse in his head — comedic, philosophical or otherwise — out to the Twitterverse.
CNN had little choice but to suspend Roland. Most legit news organizations have some type of morals clause that basically says an employee or associate of the organization must always be on their game, even when the cameras aren’t officially on. Roland knows this.
In a series of comments during the Super Bowl on Sunday, Roland, an award-winning journalist and devout Christian, tweeted the following that landed him on GLAAD’s hit list:
“If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!”
Not exactly something Jesus would say — and, frankly, not that funny. GLAAD, not surprisingly, wasn’t amused, which is why they called for CNN to kill Roland’s contract. Though Roland is not anti-LGBT and was simply being playful, the comment is still from another era — like when most TVs were black and white. I liken it to a joke about my wife being better off in the kitchen with the gals making punch and clam dip than in the living room with the fellas watching the game. The fact is, my wife was in the kitchen and other than when our sons played football, she could care less about watching muscle men in tights grabbing and pushing each other for an oddly shaped brown ball and then patting each other on the butts. Nonetheless, the joke’s unintended sexist connotation is obvious.
So, yup, Roland fumbled and should’ve been suspended. But fired? C’mon now, GLAAD. Is there a black man pattern here? A few years ago it was actor Isaiah Washington, last year it was NBA star Kobe Bryant and comedian/actor Tracy Morgan, now Roland. Black men certainly aren’t the only ones getting into this kind of hot water with the PC Police, but the pattern sure is curious.
GLAAD is definitely right to fight anti-LGBT rhetoric and violence. In fact, we Christians should be defending the rights of all of God’s creations, especially those made in His image — even if we disagree with how some of our brothers and sisters exercise those rights. (We’re not calling for bans against divorce are we?) Sadly, Christians are often the tail instead of the head regarding human rights, cherry-picking the sins we deem most contemptible. As Americans we should never be for restricting the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness of other Americans, because to do so puts our own liberties at risk.
Roland knows this and simply dropped the ball this time. (I suppose the New England Patriots weren’t the only ones.)
GLAAD, on the other hand, is running the risk of undermining its own mission by over-pursuing every misdirected play.
What’s also curious is where the black gay organizations, like the National Black Justice Coalition, stand on this? Will they call for TV One and the Tom Joyner Morning Show (Roland has contracts with both) to suspend Roland too? What does it say about GLAAD that they apparently only focused on the majority white-owned CNN and not the black media outlets? Are the black gays “punking out?” (Oops, can I say that?) Or are they simply wise and more reasonable?
Perhaps a bigger question is whether in this Internet age, where thoughts in a living room can spread globally in an instant, we are going to have to lighten up on PC. Most “tweets” are not fully constructed thoughts like a letter, op-ed, essay, or book. They barely qualify as sentences.
Stringing together a list of someone’s tweets over a period of time does not necessarily construct a reliable narrative of their views either. Haven’t people been doing this with the Bible for centuries, pulling passages together out of context to fit their agendas?
We’ll either have to lighten up on people, or we all better learn fast to tightly script everything we type. Or, maybe we need to realize that not all of our witty musings are profound or interesting enough to post publicly and should just remain in our heads.
Roland knows part of being good at dishing it out is being able to take it.
Roland can take it.
He may no longer be as funny on Twitter, but he’ll be a wiser man.
Now there’s word that GLAAD aims to enlist Roland Martin in its cause against anti-LGBT violence and is no longer calling for Martin’s firing.
GLAAD spokesman Rich Ferraro said after the suspension, “CNN today took a strong stand against anti-LGBT violence and language that demeans any community. Yesterday, Martin also spoke out against anti-LGBT violence. We look forward to hearing from CNN and Roland Martin to discuss how we can work together as allies and achieve our common goal of reducing such violence as well as the language that contributes to it.”
Ferraro added early Thursday, ” . . . Our goal is to ensure better coverage that works toward ending anti-LGBT violence.”
The FBI will release a revised edition of the “Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide” that gives their agents more flexibility when it comes to violating your constitutional rights. It is difficult to believe the agency’s recent action has managed to fly under the media radar, but a great deal of the nation has been overly concerned with Anthony Weiner and his inability to act like a morally reasonable adult. FBI agents will be allowed to use commercial and law enforcement databases to gather intelligence without having to file any records. They will also be given the authority to evaluate “potential informants” by sorting through trash or giving lie-detector tests. In a letter to the director of the FBI, Senator Jon Tester of Montana says “until law enforcement agents have reason to investigate any American, it is unacceptable for those agents to cast a wide, non-specific net when they are evaluating a target as a potential informant.” With Big Brother growing more and more powerful, we may soon be living (and not just reading about) George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Wikileaks is auctioning 8 tickets to have lunch with founder Julian Assange as a fundraiser. The bidding began last week and was already at $812 by Wednesday. The lunch will be held on July 2nd, at one of London’s finest restaurants. Along with Assange, guests will have the opportunity to dine with Slovenian Marxist philosopher Slavoj Zizek. Assange is currently on bail and has pled not-guitly for sexual misconduct against two women. Bidding closes today; will you win this once in a lifetime opportunity?
Derrick Kayongo, an Uganda native, was not content with simply fleeing the tyrannical rule of a dictator. Instead he has made it his business to lower child-mortality rates in poor countries. Kayongo and The Global Soap Project (GSP) recycle soap from hotels and create new pathogen-free soap to distribute to struggling villages and families. GSP does not chargerecipients and relies mostly on volunteer assistance. By providing recycledsoap to thousands, Kayongo and The Global Soap project has freed people from having to decide between eating or washing their hands of potential life threatening bacteria. With a more socially conscious generation entering into adulthood, we are bound to see more world citizens like Derrick Kayongo. Tweet
Kreayshawn, no that’s not a typo, was recently signed to Columbia Records, and has been supported by artist, Snoop Dogg. Based on her single, “Gucci, Gucci,” she is not bound to attract a conservative audience, but there is something worth discussing concerning this artist. Kreayshawn was born Natassia Zolot. She dropped out of high-school, made a career directing music videos, and then decided to be a rapper. Her single dismisses label brands like “Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Prada,” because she is above labels. Her claim to fame is supposed to be her originality, but aside from her being a white girl from San Francisco, I’m struggling to find the uniqueness. Once again, a gimic wins over the sheep. How will we effectively market real messages in this sea of confusion called the media? Watch Interview below (WARNING: Explicit language) Tweet
Leanne Archer is 15 years old and has a successful hair care business that had revenues of over $100,000 last year. Robert Nay is 14 years old and, with no coding experience, went to a library and learned how to create an iPhone app game. A month later, he created Bubble Ball, which has been downloaded more than 7 million times. Lizzie Marie is 11 and the star of the cable series “Healthy Cooking with Lizzie.” These are just a few of the successful young moguls. They all had one thing in common: their parents’ blessing! Encourage your kids now to do what they want to do “when they grow up.”
For the past five years, insurance premiums have remained stable, but due to rising costs of energy and building materials (gasoline is up 37%, copper is up 20%, and plywood is up 8%) insurance premiums are rising. Consequently, premiums at State Farm Insurance Co. increased its rates 7.3% on average last year. Experts anticipate more increases for homeowners as a backlash for the recent uprising of natural disasters around the world; some say the increase could be as much as 20%. How will your family brace for the increase?
IBM recently announced that it will offer a packaged software platform for cities with applications such as real-time video feeds and street sensors for police, and aims to eventually offer advancements for urban populations. The first three “solutions” will roll out over the next two years and will provide innovative technology for public safety, water management, and transportation monitoring. The future is upon us!
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Oprah has declared, “I have a dream of O.J. Simpson confessing to me…And I am going to make that happen people.” Winfrey hopes to bring this exclusive on her new interview show, Oprah’s Next Chapter, which is set to launch in January. Although she has referred to her new goal as not “that lofty,” I doubt Simpson would confess unless he was on his deathbed. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to seeing Winfrey start her “next chapter,” and I hope that inspires other 50-somethings to keep dreaming beyond mid-life.
9 MOVIES WINNE MANDELA CALLS BIOPIC PLAYED BY JENNIFER HUDSON AN INSULT
Jennifer Hudson will play Winnie Mandela in biopic ‘Winnie,’ due later this year. Although the film has been set up as a tribute to Mrs. Mandela, she does not support the film and expressed her disdain in an interview with CNN because she was not consulted. Mandela has never seen the script; she has never even met Hudson. They have positioned the film as a love story between Nelson and Winnie Mandela during the apartheid struggle. Mandela has exclaimed, “I don’t know what would be romantic in our bitter struggle.” Mandela argues that the filmmakers have done exactly what the enemy did, “they thought for (me)…they (know) what I thought, what I felt like….” Powerful words.
Watch the interview below. Do you think the film is an act of disrespect?
Tracy Morgan had no choice but to go into damage control after saying anti-gay statements in a recent standup in Nashville, TN. Morgan will go with GLAAD to protest the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which outlaws the discussion of homosexuality before the ninth grade in public schools. Morgan recanted his offensive statements saying, “I was bullied when I was a kid. I’m sorry for what I said. I didn’t mean it. I never want to use my comedy to hurt anyone. My family knew what it was like to feel different. My brother was disabled and I lost my father to AIDS in 1987.” Morgan also plans to do a PSA. It seems like every other week a new celebrity has to go into PR rehab after saying an offensive anti-gay statement. Is this an unnecessary parade, or does this issue need to be publicly addressed?
A month into his presidential campaign, Newt Gingrich must regroup because his entire senior campaign team has quit. While Senator John McCain did lose his campaign manager and campaign chief strategist, the majority of his staff downsizing was a result of financial woes. Gingrich, on the other hand, has lost his campaign manager, campaign spokesman, New Hampshire based consultant, strategist, South Carolina consultant, Iowa consultant, and additional Iowa staffers due to a difference in opinion about political direction. Gingrich was already under scrutiny because of his anti-GOP comments concerning Medicare, $500,000 Tiffanyís tab and luxury cruise to Greece. His staffís lack of confidence in his political potential is just another sign that Gingrich isnít in this race for the long haul.
Americans are known throughout the world for their insensitivity to foreign cultures, and often their disinterest with learning other languages. If you’d like a tool to help boost your foreign language skills and take a step towards slightly improving our foreign reputation, visit BBC.com. They offer extensive tools in all the major languages as well as tools on a vast array of dialects. Their tools include, 12-week email courses, programs, dictionaries, guides and more!
If you’ve been thinking of buying a Kindle and joining the E-Book craze, you may want to hold off for a bit. The Kindle is rumored to be under $100 by Christmas based on the success of the product thus far. Analyst Mark Mahaney predicts that eBooks will surpass print book sales in 2-3 years. Kindle sales are already up 200% from last year. I do not currently own a Kindle, but may look into a purchase if the price drops as expected.
4 MUSIC WHY RAPPERS SHOULD REFRAIN FROM POLITICAL STATEMENTS
Ever since Kanye’s “Bush hates Black people” outburst, rappers have had a bad rep for their political correctness. It looks like they’ve done it again, this time the culprit is Lupe Fiasco. Not only did he say that “the biggest terrorist in the United States is Obama,” but he followed that up with a more intelligent reason for not voting, “It’s meaningless.” (INSERT ‘BOO’ HERE) Why Mr. Fiasco do you feel that politics is a viable platform for you? I’d prefer the next time a pop artist picked up a book, that they chose not to make their “enlightenment” public. Who do you think will be the next culprit?
Today’s youth are living in an era where there is not only a dependence on technology, but also a dependence on social media. Love it orhate it, social media has changed the way we interact and it is here to stay. As a result, L.A. based teacher, Enrique Legaspi, has incorporated the use of Twitter in his 8th-grade history class. Instead of raising theirhands, students tweet their answers. Some may find this use of technology in the classroom disturbing, but with 8-18 years old consuming ‘10 3/4 hours worth of media content everyday’ it might benefit teachers to engage youth in creative ways. Will tweeting the teacher during class become a trend? I think this will become more of a problem than a solution to student participation, but maybe teachers should consider using Twitter for afterschool homework assistance.
On Friday, the Dow dipped below 12,000 for the first time in three months. Energy stocks took the biggest hit, after Saudi Arabia reported that it would increase oil output and reduce prices to $99 per barrel. This is the 6th straight week of decline, the longest streak since 2008, and analyst are worried this might be more than the temporary glitch in a stock come-back. Frank Davis, director of sales and trading with LEK Securities, stated that “nearly all (traders are) leaning toward the bear side.”
Facebook is changing the way you tag your friends. They will now be able to scan faces in your photos and suggest friends, based on facial recognition. The new feature has people up in arms about the violation of privacy. Facebook has allowed for users to opt out of the feature in their privacy settings. Google had planned to release an application that would allow someone to “Google” them from a picture and find out their information. They later decided not to release technology in that capacity, due to privacy issues, and has used it for less invasive technologies.
Keke Palmer will play an international pop star named Kadee Worth in Rags, an upcoming film on Nickelodeon. The movie is a modern-day fairy tale that centers on Charlie Prince, an orphan played by Max Schneider, who lives with his evil stepfather and dreams of being a singer. When Kadee finds Charlie, they work through their differences to gain a new perspective on their worlds and an appreciation for each other.
9 MOVIES WILL “MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS” BE A HIT OR GET AN ICY RECEPTION?
Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a family comedy starring Jim Carey and based on the children’s book Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater. The movie is about the workaholic Mr. Popper and his journey to truly understanding the important things in life. While, the film sounds awfully similar to Carey’s Liar, Liar, this production is unique because Carey shares the screen with real Emperor Penguins. Mr. Popper’s Penguins opens Father’s Day weekend and appears to have humor for the whole family, so this may be the flick for dads and their kids. While the plot is sure to be predictable, the knowledge that it features real penguins gives the film bonus points in my book!
You think Tracy Morgan would have taken a hint from the “Kobe Bryant homophonic slur incident” and subsequent NBA public service announcements and just avoided saying anything about the LGBT community. But he didn’t, and now Morgan is apologizing to “the gay & lesbian community for [his] choice of words at [his] recent stand-up act in Nashville.” In his apology, the comedian and 30 Rock actor, says he is not hateful and is “an equal opportunity jokester.” While everyone is entitled to their opinion, Morgan took it a step too far. It is reported that he said if his son were gay, he’d better come home and talk to him like a man or he’ll “pull out a knife and stab that little nigger to death.” The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is condemning Morgan for his remarks. The alliance has asked that 30 Rock investigate and Morgan remove the remarks from his routine. If Morgan doesn’t do something drastic, his career could be in jeopardy.