Jackson: Imus Media Megaphone Suggested ‘Corruption of Concentration’
Rainbow/PUSH Founder Points Out Lack of Minority Airtime
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/12/2007 12:18:00 PM
Rainbow/PUSH founder The Rev. Jesse Jackson said it was not so much what radio/TV jock Don Imus said about the Rutgers University women’s basketball players, although it was very offensive, but rather the size of the media megaphone he had to say it.
At a media conference in Washington, D.C., Friday sponsored by the group he founded, Jackson pointed out that Imus had 750 hours per year on MSNBC and more than 1,040 on CBS Radio, which was more time on radio and TV than all of the African-American, Hispanic and Asian talkers put together -- which, he added, was suggestive of the "corruption of concentration."
For more than one year, Jackson has been pushing media ownership as a civil-rights issue, saying that controlling the media means, to a large extent, controlling the national agenda. He added that he intends to “organize a critical mass of people" to be Federal Communications Commission watchdogs, dogging hearings whether in Washington or around the country. "I would rather have 50 people getting up at an FCC hearing than 5,000 at some other more prominent department," he said, because the media determine "what the whole world sees."
Jackson added that the story of the Jena (La.) Six -- in which six young black men were charged with beating a white student following racially charged incidents, including a noose hung from a tree -- was publicized by bloggers and black radio, not the mainstream media, which, he said, has not been vigilant in covering crimes of violence and hate.
Joined on the dais by Democratic FCC commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps, Jackson said the major media portray minorities in "deadly ways," including less intelligent, less hard-working and more violent.
He added that driven by the "suspicion that the political levers may change next year," there could be an attempt to effect "even more concentrated media ownership in the next few months. We must resist that with all of our democratic might."
FCC chairman Kevin Martin said at the same event that it is time to get moving on the media-ownership rewrite.
Copps said Friday that the FCC "has no business voting on any rule change on ownership until we do something about minority ownership. Not put out a notice of inquiry, but doing something effective.” Adelstein echoed that sentiment.
Martin has proposed leasing digital-TV digital spectrum to minorities and others to use to create programming services that would be accorded the same cable-carriage rights as TV stations. Adelstein said he was not opposed to that effort, but there were still questions about how it would be implemented. He added that it did not get to the fundamental issue of ownership and said, pointedly, "Media sharecropping is not a viable alternative to ownership."
Elsewhere at the media conference, Martin said his DTV-spectrum-lease proposal was not a solution in and of itself, but a step in the right direction, one of several he said he proposed to give diversity a greater voice.
"Some commissioners today are going to say that leasing is no substitute for ownership," he added. "And they are right, which is why we need to address the ownership issues that I have proposed, as well. However, this does not mean that leasing does not provide an important opportunity for new entrants and independent voices."
I have had respect and been willing to listen objectively to your positions on issues over the years. Your compulation of hours is not indicative of anything related to race relations except that you are going backwards and things will probably get worse. Analyzing the hours that Mr. Imus was on the air suggests only that those were his work hours. Please don't destroy this nation. We have come a long way.
Frank Pembleton - 10/19/2007 8:49:00 AM EDT
Roger - 10/15/2007 5:43:00 PM EDT
Jesse, when you thought the microphones were off we heard what was in your heart, calling Jews "Hymies." If Don were a racist would he broadcast it coast-to-coast? We can only wonder what you call us when you're really alone. You are the hater, not Imus, a man you has done more good for more people than you.
BB - 10/14/2007 11:25:00 PM EDT
"Corruption of concentration"? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Yes, I read the article, and you would think that Oprah and Tavis are the only minorities appearing on TV. Not so, ladies & gentlemen. I have hundreds of channels from my cable supplier (granted, half of them are duplicates)but just start using that remote and see how many minorities are represented. If blacks are about 12.1% of the population, and Jesse wants proportional representation, then according to this logic, there should be about twice as many Hispanics as blacks. Working in TV and radio, as in sports, is not a "right" nor an entitlement. Should we have 88% of NBA players white, and of that group half of them female? Get a grip, Jesse, the popularity of the NBA isn't that great now. How about Catholics, atheists, or Native Americans? I could go on, but you can see how ridiculous it gets. (You can, can't you?)
pattyann - 10/14/2007 6:46:00 AM EDT
Let's see Rev. Jesse Jackson?????? The airwaves are filled with only White/Caucasian broadcasters during the day. Maybe there is a reason. Like no one is interesting in the minority culture worth watching or listening to? Or the 12.5 percent of American's that are African American's wouldn't support any show produced.
The Television and Radio spectrum is a "Free Market". Driven by advertising. If a show is good it receives good ratings. If not it doesn't last very long. Think your spinning your wheels on this one Rev. Jackson.
And to say that "IMUS" used his power to say those three words to put down those young girls playing for Rutgers is a distortion. Were you listening at 6:14 AM on April 4, 2007. Apparently only hard core IMUS fans were and Media Matters. Not even MSNBC or CBS was or maybe they would have cut the words out. You know he is on a delay.
And when the FCC controls who owns what or gives out licenses to a percentage of minorities without checking out all aspects of that owners background, is the day the FCC will be disbanded.
This article is just a waste of words on a subject that is now closed.
Too Bad Al Sharpton's Radio program will not be carried by the going out of business conglomerate, along with it's ties to XM Satellite
Bruce VanBrunt - 10/13/2007 10:12:00 AM EDT
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