PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley and Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West embarked on a poverty tour in August, taking them through 18 cities and across 11 states to speak with Americans who have been hit hardest by the recession. Beginning Monday and concluding on Oct. 14, PBS will air The Poverty Tour, in which each night’s episode provides a glimpse into the hardships many Americans are forced to endure.
Both Smiley and West, who also host PRI’s Smiley and West show, have spoken out about concerns that President Barack Obama has failed to address the issues facing the nearly 50 million Americans now living in poverty, with African-Americans faring the worst. More than one in four Black Americans is now living below the poverty line.
- A note to Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West, respectfully (artikleblak.wordpress.com)
- Media Decoder Blog: ‘Tavis Smiley’ Show Takes Poverty Tour (mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Tavis Smiley And Cornel West on CNN’s Carol Costello discuss Obama, Poverty Tour (VIDEO) (kismetcoach.wordpress.com)
I just watched video with West and Smiley on poverty tour. They spoke with Amy Goodman and in one of the videos she showed a poor man holding a sign and on the reverse side it read “This is craptialism” what a sign what a truth.
Tavis and Cornell are real brothers and also best friends. They are also outsiders and it seems that were outside the pale from the getgo with Obama. I mean Tavis got bounced around on TV and radio in part because he had his doubts or his outs with Obama. He was vocal. West was also vocal in his criticism of Obama due to that question of accessibility. He did not make himself accessible to blacks but did make himself open for business in the white rich world of banksters and wall street fat cats.
JFK was a rich man’s son but he had a heart for the poor and this came out with the work that his brother RFK undertook when he ran for the presidency: Poverty and the war on poverty. True the poor will always be with us and so will genocide but does that mean we do nothing about it? It means that the wheel of karma grinds on but we must not let it grind us down. Bobby did not think so he believed that something could be done. Then Teddy came along and gave away the country. We did not have that in mind.
In my article The Age of Opinion I was asked about my cryptic statement of Obama as the first “black” president and why didn’t I elaborate on that statement. I kinda wish that I had when I had that stream of thought going for that article. I juxtaposed it with the authentic black versus the plantation politician that was widely used in Chicago along with other terms for blacks who sold out their own when they got a little taste of power.
That’s the definition of authentic black that person does not sell out his people for a little power. That’s why I am here and not somewhere else because I will not sell my opinion to fit a mold of what I am supposed to say or not say. I see what the federal government thinks of illegal and legal immigrants from Mexico for instance. Your tax dollars fed them three squares a day at school. It also feeds black and white kids. But it seems to go out of its way to insure that Mexican immigrants get that welfare that we are now paying for. All the forms are written in Spanish and English because we have not declared an official language in this country. That’s why we have so many different languages printed.
Is that crapitalism? In a way it is. The children of the poor get fed, we pay, and the rich strike back by taking away from the coffers of taxes, by making the boxes smaller and charging more money, by buying ads on TV and we pay the price at the pump and the grocery store. Can capitalism sustain itself in the face of a race of brown border runners who breed faster than you can say “free breakfast.” The other thing are the taxes not paid by big business and their ability to move lock, stock and barrel out of the country.
The poor will always be with us in crapitalism and they will also make the middle class poorer when capital goes to China.
- Combating the War on the Poor: Cornel West and Tavis Smiley on Cross-Country “Poverty Tour” (alternet.org)
- Steve Harvey Goes In On Cornel West and Tavis Smiley (subzinfo.wordpress.com)
- Awakening from the Obama Spell (ironymous.wordpress.com)
Fran Leibowitz has something to say about everything, including opinion. She told an audience that no one knows what news is nor do they care. Readers and listeners really want opinions so these days when you read a piece (or listen to a “news” program) you have to read three paragraphs down before you get to the news of what happened in Iraq.
If TV news were dinner, then we should expect a particular service order, unlike the heyday of celebrated, but dead journalists, when anchors would lead with fresh fish and close with dessert. These days that order is plainly reversed, the little cupcake with white frosting leads, followed thirty minutes later by baked chicken. Clearly outclassed, today’s face of journalism, whether espousing left, right or center values, must first master cherry-picking and the 140 word sound bite. Competition is tough as the news market shrinks in the age of microtechnology. Only the strongest primetime opinion survives.
MSNBC is managing to survive technology and the ratings game. Standing as the harbinger of all things left wing, partisan politics, Obama worship and most of all, full-as-a-tick blood opinions. It has found its voice, or rather voices, to fill precious opinion slots. In case you missed it, there is a new word sheriff in town and his name is Rev. Al Sharpton. Just as his name suggests, Sharpton is one sharp shooter who never misses when he shoots from the lip. I’m impressed and you should be too. MSNBC has taken a grassroots activist who has never seen the inside of a journalism class nor hurriedly traversed the Charles River bridge late for a physics study group at Harvard University, off the mean streets of New York City and put him on the primetime fast tract. What a pedigree! We are interested and so are right wing talkers who will save his every gaffe for future loops. He has been hired to replace Cenk Uygur in MSNBC’s 5:00PM slot. We think it’s official.
I, for one, have been calling for more diversity in anchors and guests on Sunday morning and prime time. I probably had some company who shared this view, however, black journalists are not too happy about the old bait-and-switch routine applied to the few available slots. I don’t blame them for seeing red in a black and white world watching nonjournalists gain ascendancy. That was one of my first thoughts: hmm, there are no black journalists here, then voilá we get Al Sharpton, who has been called a paid opinion hustler, among other things. He and others are pushing what has been the golden age of journalism right into silver tongued seconds.
But there is unofficial talk that Sharpton is no lone ranger. He has company, and that person is someone I’ve been watching for a long time. Michael Eric Dyson, author and well known wordsmith who trots out opinions faster than Silver, the Lone Ranger’s horse. An erudite college professor, Dyson has authored numerous books on subjects from Martin Luther King to hip hop princes (which makes him at least a writer). This man never trips over his tongue but some folks struggle to understand his lingo and the often strong dose of philosophy that accompanies his orderly opinions. I can’t wait to hear his take on the current state of politics often filtered with true hip-hop verve.
And what would this hour of power be without a woman? Melissa Harris-Perry, writer and professor at Tulane University, has been popping up like dandelions in a hot rainy spring. She’s everywhere these days after making frequent appearances on the Rachel Maddow Show. I don’t think anyone could have assembled more staunch supporters of President Obama. They comprise the new insiders, as long as Obama is president. Then there are the outsiders: Tavis Smiley and Cornell West. They are undertaking a bus poverty tour and asking Obama not to change the subject. The subject is jobs, jobs for the black community who is hurting at 16 percent unemployment nationally. Shouting matches have been breaking out all over national television between authentic blacks and plantation politicians. Both terms have been around for decades, but in the age of opinion they take on new meaning in light of this country’s first “black” president.
Finally one must ask what are the network talk shows selling really? I mean does opinion sell? No, I think what sells is the unpredictable nature of opinion. News is predictable, it has a beginning, middle and an end; sometimes boring, sometimes surprising. But opinions are, well, endless and pointless, but somehow better.
Speaking of news, I hope to get an earful of news in the coming weeks. And not just word about who is leading in the latest GOP polls, but about present leadership or lack thereof. We know that there is certainly enough news to go around. Take your pick: there are the congressional hearings over what I call “Gungate” or who authored the Operation Fast and Furious debacle, the stock market crashes and the new approach to illegal immigration that makes rulings done on a case-by-case basis, whatever that is. Yes, the news horizon shines like a full moon from the rocker on my large front porch. And I can see backdoor amnesty sitting next to gungate, both hiding behind the jobless in America. It’s no wonder the opinion brokers will have their mouths full.
Until 2012, that is.
first published at: http://blogcritics.org/politics/article/the-age-of-opinion/#ixzz1VnfJN62s
- The Age of Opinion (blogcritics.org)
- TV News’ Next Reverend Al (thedailybeast.com)
- The Al Sharpton Blowback: Stuck In a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of (jeffwinbush.com)
Here’s a video of Cornell talking Obama and free black men at MSNBC. Tavis Smiley and Cornell West have teamed up on radio talk show. Not sure how that’s going. Heloise reviewed West’s memoir “Living Out Loud”
Jonathan Capehart and his take on the controversy (I think it’s trumped up for ratings)
Professor Cornel West’s criticism of President Obama as a “black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs” is reverberating throughout the African American community and the media, and is particularly disturbing to The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart. After defending his comments last night on MSNBC, West did not sway Capehart from his belief that West is now leading a “Blacker than thou” crowd that is as embarrassing as the Birther movement. source: http://www.mediaite.com/online/wapos-jonathan-capehart-cornel-wests-criticism-of-obama-makes-him-no-better-than-a-birther/
- Cornel West Vs. President Obama (buzzfeed.com)
- Cornel West and The Blackness Patrol (curmilus.wordpress.com)
- WaPo’s Jonathan Capehart: Cornel West’s Criticism Of Obama Makes Him ‘No Better than A Birther’ (mediaite.com)
- Jonathan Capehart: Cornel West is no better than a birther (crooksandliars.com)
Tavis Smiley, host of the Tavis Smiley Show. Tonight at 8:30 p.m. Eastern, C-SPAN2 will air ‘We Count! The Black Agenda is the American Agenda’, the gathering of black leadership he recently hosted in Chicago. On Wednesday night, PBS will air Tavis Smiley’s special “MLK: A Call to Conscience”:http://www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/reports/episode-two.html.
Wednesday nite King, and tonight broadcast of Saturday’s fest at Chicago State U. (my alma mater) on CSPAN 2 this evening Monday.
King was hated the end of his life for his stand against Viet Nam. I write about him in Dinner With DaVinci because I believe that he was the great Tullius Cicero reborn. The parallels in their lives are stunning!