The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the NAACP have been asking for more faces of color at the news desks across the country, but for some reason when Al Sharpton was asked to consider a position at MSNBC’s news desk in the 6pm slot, he was met with strong words and, to make it simple, a little “hateration.”
One member of the NABJ took to his blog saying, “‘This would still be just another non-journalist media ‘celebrity’ receiving a TV show based upon their name recognition, not their years of experience, training, ability and talent.”‘ Well, when Jeff Winbush made that comment, it took off across the Internet, columns, and even Keith Olbermann’s new “Countdown” show. Now he feels he should clarify his statements.
According to Journal-isms, Sharpton was asked how he felt about the controversy that stirred up with Winbush’s comments and he told the Root.com, “We can’t get into a crabs-in-the-barrel mentality,” Sharpton said. “We cannot let them play us off one another. There is a history here. Kweisi Mfume had a talk show. Jesse Jackson Jr. had a talk show. If someone can advocate nationwide, we need to do that given the pain of our people. We need to do that on television, in newspapers and magazines. And all of us need to be united.”
The Root’s Leslie Holloway further clarified that the position being offered to Sharpton is not one of news, but “opinions and advocacy.” Winbush contends that he didn’t want to stir anything up with Sharpton and that he has “no ill will” toward the community crusader, he just wants journalists to get a fair shake too.
They both make sense, but most journalists and everyone else were given the wrong impression. The media reported Sharpton’s position as one of a 6pm news format and in that capacity, Winbush and fellow journalists had reason for concern. Read the rest of the story here.