I Love Black People

News

Cornel West says MSNBC waters down black journalists

One of the most powerful voices in America today is Dr Cornel West.  West was ridiculed six years ago for being one of the few voices to publicly challenge the Obama Administration.  But now, he is being redeemed with economic indicators that show that blacks have struggled under the first black president worse than they did under Bush or Clinton.

West is on tour to promote his book, “Black Prophetic Fire.”  During a recent interview, he spoke with Huffpost Live about the project and the state of black journalism today.  West says that there was a time when blacks could only rely on the independent African American press to tell its important stories.  He says that today, these voices have been replaced by corporate machines that seek to squash dissent within the black community in favor of an artificial message.

West claims that, rather than seeking hard-hitting stories and doing critical analysis, many black journalists today are happy to have access to the White House and trading in that access for the truth.

“We have too many black journalists today who just want access,” he said. “[To] be at the White House or be at publicity and it’s understandable. It’s a human thing but it has to be called into question.”

West compared the black journalists at networks like MSNBC to Carl Rowan, a journalist who once heavily criticized Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.  He even coined the term “Carl Rowanism” to reflect the state of black media today and why it is largely ineffective at telling important stories in the black community.

West also warns that today’s journalists who simply go along with the status quo will end up like Rowan: Forgotten and uninteresting footnotes in black American history.

“MSNBC and company — this is the Carl Rowanization of black journalists,” he said. “He had his own TV show trashing Malcolm [X] and trivializing Martin [Luther King], Martin is unpatriotic and so forth. He was the most honored mainstream negro of his day. Now, who talks about him now? He wasn’t a truth-teller.”

West says that also like today, many black media figures are celebrated because they’ve been embraced by white mainstream networks. But like Rowan, many of them are co-opted by corporations that have little to no interest in giving an authentic representation of the African American community.

“We supported his upward mobility because he was still dealing with white supremacy and racism, but he was co-opted,” he said. “Carl Rowan was co-opted.”

 

CLICK TO READ MORE

 

Follow Us

PinIt
Loading Facebook Comments ...

51 thoughts on “Cornel West says MSNBC waters down black journalists

    • Dr. Herman Fountain

      I am still reeling from Dr. West’s totally insensitive criticism of Obama because he has not miraculously delivered Black people out of poverty. The one thing I am convinced of is that “Because President Obama is a Black man, those racist Caucasians surrounding him are working to neutralize anything discussed to improve the plight of Black people. President Obama does not have a hidden identity as a divine-empowered deliverer. He is a human being like Dr. West who has definitely shown the lack of political power brought to bare to uplift Black people. Look in the mirror. First you do something significant to lift Black people–then seek to require the same results from someone else. Silence!! Now West is picking on Black journalists.

      Reply
  1. Livingston Thomas Jr

    Dr. West once again was right on. He’s with out dispute is the conscience of Black America. I know of no one today that engages the issues confronts African American. Collective support for Dr. West from the African American community is essential in order to inspire a generation of new to empowerment.

    Dr. West has the message.

    Reply
    • David

      Again I ask what has Mr West contributed to the struggle besides more boos and rhetoric
      has he criticized the presidents critics the promised to make sure he was a failed president. The president has made mistakes in an up hill battle. And we can all agree he could have choosen better people to implement his policies.

      Reply
    • James Alexander

      What am I missing? What has West ever done for Black America except criticize everyone that’s tried to help? West has one agenda; his own. He’s (in my opinion) a con man and a fraud.

      Reply
        • Lang

          Tony why we blacks should wait until others do for us you don’t here whites Asians and Latinos saying they are waiting for their own kind to do something for us I refuse to rely on others to do for me get off your cotton picking tail and do it yourself. I believe in a hand up not an hand out from the government

          Reply
    • doverdavisjr

      God has the message not Dr. West. Be careful not to make idols of men. Blacks have suffered because Negroes like Dr. West and others have not come together to build a community that sustains itself. The president cannot save a race of people. The people must love and save themselves.

      Wake up! This article and others like it blaming the president are just lies…………….

      Reply
    • Wallace D. Johnson, Jr

      Once again Cornel West in his naivety has shown that a Phd a decerning man does not make. And, anyone who says Black people have done worse under this President than under Bush or Clinton all things being equal is stupid. Yes, if you are already on or below the lowest rung on the economic ladder and the worse recession since the great depression hits you are going to be worse off. That is not the President’s fault. Obama saved this economy from collapse, has promoted inprovements to education, pushed through healthcare for masses, and stood up for civilrights. What has each of us done in our own sphere of influence to make a difference. We must stop being the “crabs in a bucket” and keep pulling those who lead back down into the bucket. Those who did not become “White House” advisors and staffers should shut up and stop stirring up strife. We can’t unify behind anything or anyone because if we aren’t the spot;lighted we bitch.

      Reply
  2. Tsietsi

    Dr. West is our modern day HERO,most of his speeches articulate iBlack Empowerment,pity our African American brothers and sisters are not ready yet to be unplugged!

    Reply
  3. Shana July

    You know it’s Dr. Boyce’s mess when he says “one of the most powerful voices…” is NOT this guy…He’ll become powerful when we see him lead poor folks to the polls…

    Reply
  4. Anthony allen

    Who in their right mind would want a key to the white house. To have access to what ? Certainly not to report the truth. The facts are in . Black people have actually regressed under this so called black president. He has done nothing for us meaning BARACK Obama. Black people haven given him every excuse in the book. Reality is only we will uplift us. Not some politician who was approved by white people.

    Reply
    • Johnlee

      I agree. But he may not have done anything for black voter but the President has given black voters something. He’s given us contempt, disrespect and criticism. Basically president Obama a politician a public servant has given us his azz to kiss and the vast majority of black voters voted for him not once but TWICE. All the while black media crawled into bed with this half white politician defending him at every turn. Regardless of his reasons Cornel west is 100% right.

      Reply
      • mina

        What are you talking about. Maybe you were expecting a Black Jesus, A magician?, or perhaps a fairy with a magic stick? He was probably a little naive to think that this system, which is designed to KEEP IN POWER and secure power for white men was just going to listen to logic, reason and FACT, and SHARE POWER? What EXACTLY did you want him to do? EVERY MEANS, METHOD POSSIBLE has been used to denigrate and marginalize his Presidency. What we SHOULD REALIZE is that no ONE Black MAN, President or NOT, will be able to make the kind of changes needed in our community specifically and country, in general. You need to look at yourself and other Black people who collectively can pool their resources to correct some of the problems in our communities. How many young Black impoverished boys have you brought home to mentor. You want change is our communities, tell churches on every corner to pool their resources to build community centers to educate, motivate and teach economic empowerment. This government will NEVER give up control to the degree that is needed to correct the injustices of 600 + years of physical and mental enslavement. WE will have to do that. “STOP blaming Obama. Spend some constructive time organizing your own community to address OUR problems. STOP spending every dime you make in corporate America’s stores. UNPLUG from every media outlet that sells you junk for the mind, including Nikes, gangsta rap, the latest high etc., etc., BLACK MEN can stop the crime among young BLACK boys in our communities if you pool your resources and STAND ON YOUR HERITAGE. Black women can do the same for young sisters. Give up the pipe dream of the Black messiah – it doesn’t exist. White legislatures, federal, state, counties and cities, made that clear when Obama was elected and as you see, they’ve stuck to IT!!

        Reply
    • Lang

      Allen he was approve by all Americans including blacks stop thinking just because this man is black he is the president of black America he isn’t the savior of blacks or anyone else this man tried but the GOP obstruction stop him how can a president be affective when the congress isn’t they been trying their best to oust this man and we so call blacks sit back and watch how they treat our first family. And we got a nerve to say he has not done for us support this man by getting out there to help keep the GOP from grabbing the senate

      Reply
    • Terri

      Anthoney you are so uninformed. Please check for REAL facts. Information is KEY to education and knowledge. Stop listening to bitter West (Cornel & Allen), and Tavis, pick up a newspaper find out things for yourself, or turn from Flox, even stop listening to the ill informed. You have fallen into the bag RWNJ’s are counting on. Koch Bros, Rove, Chaney, an others of this mad thinking have entered your mind. Your comments sound just like the talking points right out of the RWNJ’s play book. Stop!

      Reply
  5. Joe L.

    People like Dr. West will always be challenged by those that bury their head in the sand and refuse to look at the truth , fantasy shroud their thinking some fighting for a dream world that does not exist, he is right we are living in worse time than any other President and it will not change as long as we do not hold people accountable for their action whether black or white, look at the moral ground that has been lost under this administration in the name of equality in a any thing go society that has no boundaries .

    Reply
    • mina

      Worse than “ANY OTHER PRESIDENT”, REALLY????? Are you kidding me. “ANY OTHER PRESIDENT has been a white male. You really want to compare the access, power, privilege and steadfast resistance President Obama faced to “ANY OTHER PRESIDENT”? What is wrong with you!!!

      By the way, while I will never denigrate someone like Dr. West, I would offer one suggestion. There are schools like Howard University, Tuskegee, Morehouse, Spellman, Fisk,, Toogaloo, etc.,etc., that would simply fall over themselves if he became a professor at one of these or other HBCUs – instead of Union Theological seminary; Yale, Harvard, and Univ of Paris. Wanna teach Black young minds how to become “Empowered”, control their own destiny, lessons learned at these lilly white institutions, Dr. West? I’ll give him one thing, it takes balls (however small) to criticize with a resume like that!

      Reply
  6. jonathan washington

    West is an idiot and the credit he gets is because he criticizes Obama. This notion that Blacks are struggling under Obama. I didn’t realize we were doing great before he go into office. That comment always bothers me as if the Black President should be taking care of the Black people. Maybe if Republicans were not cutting Government jobs, and other public sector jobs we would be doing better. Other thing that is amazing is that when we struggled with white presidents we were lazy, but now that we have a Black president it is his fault. West and his boy Smiley are all talk like many Black conservatives who offer no solutions but only want to criticize.

    Reply
    • shouldofpickyourowncotton

      Best response johnathan washington i’ve heard or read to the haters of president barack obama.You said a mouthful of truth.Lots of stupid people running around making a dollar unfairly criticizing our president and Cornel West is the number one clown then smiley then watkins.smh idiots

      Reply
  7. Phillip Battle

    Dr. West brings to the forefront the negroes who are as RESISTANT to TRUTH; as the negroes were towards MLK- when Martin challenged the system of INHUMANE TREATMENT and Civil Rights for A.A./Black Folk in America. There will always be those who chose the low road of thinking we hate on one and other. Truth is hard to bare,when one’s trying to hold on to SOMETHING that can RELIEVE their pain of Suffrage. For the most part-when one look at the inability of a people to own and control a HOSPITAL- (ex. NOTHING OF WORTH) who spends (CONSUMES) more money than many NATIONS national incomes; ultimately there’s an illness amongst that LOT of people that haven’t been addressed. The PSYCHE of A.A.’s/Black Folk has withered to no more than a MODE OF ACCEPTANCE. Rich or Poor, to MANY of us have accepted being apart of a Dream- INSTEAD OF living in Reality.

    Reply
    • Dr. Herman Fountain

      I grieve with you, Philip. What you described is “Internal” or “Psychological Oppression.” We need to work toward healing Black people from this harmful condition. I am researching a therapeutic approach to address this malady.

      Reply
    • Lang

      Phillip dr west brings hatred division among blacks this us what racist whites wants him to do this president tried to help us all with the jobs bill which was killed by the republicans Obamacare help a whole lot of blacks who didn’t have health insurance but we complain him and Eric holder got together to get a lot of brothers out of jail with no violent history drug dealing records a lot of blacks who were in jail on non violent offenses were release from jail after years being out there. Dr west talk about black men being in jail and he criticize the president for not doing to much now he and Eric holder did he don’t get a thanks from west but keep getting disrespected by this professor who I believe that our president is a lot smarter than dr west

      Reply
  8. John Reid

    It really gets boring when you hear frequently “Cornell West blasts President Obama” blah blah blah… Every president that takes office spends a majority of his time in office dealing with his predecessor’s policy fallout. Moreso in this presidents terms. While I don’t agree with much of what this president does or doesn’t do, it rally gets old listening to these media whores who portend to speak for Americans. Get involved with solving real issues at the grass root level and make a difference. You don’t speak for me blowhard.

    Reply
  9. Sasha

    Excuse me, what did some of you think President Obama was supposed to do? Hand you success on a silver platter? In my opinion, those complaining are the ones that were doing “bad” under the previous presidents but said nothing. Get off you butts and do something for yourselves and PLEASE STOP thinking that a politician is 100% responsible for your life, good or bad. FREE YOUR MINDS!!

    Reply
    • I Know What You're Thinking

      @Sasha: You are 100% correct! Some people want to be led by the hand. They are lost unless some politician comes along and promises them the world just like MOST do and they fall for it hook, line AND SINKER…… BUT THINGS GETS PROGRESSIVELY WORSE AND WORSE, YET PEOPLE ARE STILL ON THAT VOTING BS!.
      Then the next person comes along and does the same thing and yet, NOTHING EVER CHANGES! These politicians do nothing but what serves them which is lining their own pockets. Some of them may have good intentions in the beginning but due to the system of politics, they fall for the okeedoke when they see that they can GET that MONEY. FORGET ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO SERVE!
      Obama, is no worse than any other president. I am sure that he is doing the best he can, but there are opposers kicking him from every side at every opportunity. I am not responsible for putting these people in office, never voted and never will. People say: If you don’t vote then you have no reason to complain. Guess what? These people are supposed to serve everyone regardless of whether you vote for them or not. There is no such thing as serving “the voters” and not “non-voters”. If you think about it, we are all being screwed!

      Reply
  10. Debbie Stevens

    Dr. West is right for the most part. The black journalists of today and just seeking fame and fortune. But we also have to remember that we as the public have allowed this and have not demanded that they do better. We will never see another Ed Bradley, Max Robinson, etc………….They are paid by the big corporations, they have to feed their families–so therefore they have to “tow the line” or find another line of employment. Lastly, Dr. West should not have to lead folks to the voting polls–they need to stand up and walk to the polls themselves as they go anywhere else they want to as a person commented earlier.

    Reply
  11. ann jeffryes

    And, Whites are jumping with glee as we jump on the band wagon to bash this Black man in office. We voted for years for White politicians even calling Clinton aka slick Willie our first Black President. I did not see Professor West getting on his poverty bus then him or Smiley driving around rebuking mass incarceration and/or that wonderful welfare reform. They both West & Smiley are accomplished individuals and have contributed to our cause. However, it appears that bashing the POTUS has become photo-ops for him. The other problem I have is the whole Brother/Christianity thing that West does cause if there is anything to be called “Sheeple” about or catastrophic is the European version of the Creator which West endorses. Whites/Oligarchs want US to bash this Black President so they can say his legacy is nothing – they do not care about our issues??? That office is a puppet office and anybody that sits in that chair will fold. Nobody knows what this man and his family has endured being in that Presidential chair but he will be out soon, and we will see how the next person works out for us.

    Reply
  12. charles mcghee

    I learn more from 30 minutes of CSPAN than from 6 hours of Tom Joyner. Yes, black radio has always been about music but they also kept our communities well informed.

    Reply
  13. I Know What You're Thinking

    What is up with this article? I just saw the SAME EXACT article along with the same pic of Elvis on ANOTHER site. Nothing about the article has changed. You people didn’t even use common sense and make it your own. Many articles that you have placed on this site leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and so, it no longer interests me as there is nothing to your so-called stories. I’m out!

    Reply
  14. Carl Alexander

    To those of you who have critized Dr West, let me strongly correct you. Dr West is not in the welfare business nor is he a philanthropist as is others. Therefore his duty is not to pass out benevolence to the black community. Most of your critisms of him are based on “WHAT (meaning material substances) has he done for us) Please change your perspective from Substance to Conscience and you will interpret Dr West’s purpose clearer. It is the President’s job to lead in provisional policies that inculcates care. Our communities need more than things, we need evaluation and asessment and those who can brain storm those that cripples us as well as challenge and measure the foundation of our leadership models and methods. I seriously respect the President but with a lameduck congress, he is ineffective in istituting and addressing major issues in the black community. I vigorously fight those who seek to destroy him with their hate endeavors and racially prejudiced criticisms but at the same time, I disagree with some of his lack of definitive leadership, an example of this was early in his presidency with the Robert Gates situation and now the Fergusson events. Those people needed to see The President not the Attorney General.. Dr West is so desperately needed as he represents in an unprecedented manner and in this case much more than the President, the journeys of black people in our history, relevance and state of affairs. Somebody’s got to tell the story and our historians are diminishing rapidly. Black pople must not be lulled into simply receiving gifts but also take viable ctiticism that propels us into being more responsible for who we are and what we have. Go ahead and tell your story my brother, for the glamour of this black Presidency will soon fade and the saga will continue as the plight of black people remains. The Presidents colour must not overide the purpose of his tenure. I thank God for him and his example as a husband and father but wished he was stronger in his convictions and wished some of his judgments were more righteously baed. I do believe Dr West respects him as a brother the day may come when we all would hear why some things did not change.
    Thank you for your voice of conscience.
    CCA 10/10/2014

    Reply
  15. Susan Newton

    That is a good question, what has Cornell West done for Black people besides write books. Has you ever seen him at a rally or front line on any moment? Has he had the opportunity to go to Ferguson MI to and participate in their activities which is taking place 10/10/2014-1013/2014.? One thing that Mr. West does is that he has come to my organization to speak and he did not charge us NOTHING.

    So I do give his kudos that he does fundraising activities for organizations which is very critical.

    Reply
  16. Buckwheat

    This man lies in bed every night next to a white woman and thinks up all this BS!! Negro please!! Cornell doesn’t want a president he wants Obama to become Mossess and to bring Negroes out of racist Amerika to the promised land which is still to be identified!!!!!!

    Reply
  17. Ronald W

    Dr. West like other political neophytes are missing the point entirely and his personal animosity towards President Obama is quite evident. The fact is this president nor any president cannot do everything by himself. To not blame an obstructionist opposition party for the economic and social woes of African Americans, the middle class and the poor…issues that this president has sought to address is quite deceptive. Republican tax and budget cuts and their refusal to move on key domestic legislation proposed by the president has crippled many segments of the nation’s economy. No one is completely at fault and no one is faultless but to criticize the president individually for the current state of Black America is simplistic and, in many ways misleading.

    Reply
  18. al carter-bey

    It was stated very clearly by racist white politicians that they were not going to give president Obama not one item to work with/vote and talk down anything that he did from the beginning….come on West..U knew this as all of us did………..what was the president to do with a white majority everything….

    Reply
  19. Kid

    West lost all credibility when he went on Fox to sandbag the POTUS. When Republiklans want to show a Black attacking the POTUS that is liberal , they pull out Corny Pest.

    Reply
  20. phyllis c. murray

    In 1961 Carl Rowan recorded the story of Barbara Johns in an article in the Saturday Evening Post. The article titled ” An a Little Child Shall Lead Them” documented the student boycott of segregated RR Moton H.S. and its eventual closing. To vilify the memory of Carl Rowan is totally unfair. Furthermore, to vilify President Obama is indeed another travesty. As an educator for 52 years, I have attempted to bring truth into the classroom. I have encouraged my students to also read, study and explore. Read extensively. Study in depth. And explore…travel as much as possible and take notes. Continuing one’s education is imperative for educators. Surely an academic degree means that in a specific area one may some expertise. This does not mean that the PhD, MD, MS, BA is a license to speak on all subjects with credibility.. Visit:http://educationupdate.com/phyllismurray/2012/01/a-personal-reflection-remembering-barbara-johns.html#.VDh1Gxb_nrA

    Reply
  21. phyllis c. murray

    I began teaching in the District of Columbia in 1961. When Barack Obama was elected President of the United States of America, it was as if America was finally becoming the America it was envisioned to be: a land where merit and not color was the basis of choosing a leader. This meant that children of color could really dream of becoming a president in America.( In fact when I asked a third grader who is Barack Obama. He replied, Barack Obama is the first Black President. George Washington was the first white president.) This told the story as he looked at a picture of all the 44 presidents. We have had many studies on the merits of former presidents. We also chronicle the current events in history today. Many Americans are very impressed by all of the advances our President has made. I wrote my impression in the article that follows:http://educationupdate.com/phyllismurray/2013/11/what-is-a-president.html#.VDh2nRb_nrA There are several websites which list all of President Obama’s accomplishments. ..there are over 252 accomplishments! So as I tell my students, Read, study, and explore. The world is yours.

    Reply
    • Terri

      I really pray that Anthoney Allen reads your comments. THIS is education. READ Anthoney for yourself. Thank You Phyllis. My prayer is for others on this site that follow in the footsteps of the tearing down of this President.

      Reply
  22. G. Anthony

    Dr. West’s criticism is not constructive. He is condescending from his intellectual perch. I welcome his perspective but don’t necessarily agree. Dr. West is aware that neither he nor President Obama is God. President Obama, under the circumstances of constant attack, obstruction and addressing all the issues assumed from the previous administration, has served very well. Dr. West needs the humility he espouses.

    Reply
  23. Jessica

    Any person who trusts a politician is a fool.
    Any group that confers celebrity status upon any politician is doomed.
    Group idol worship lacks the ability to exercise critical analysis.
    Idol worshipers demand mindless acceptance of their idol.
    Politicians, by nature, are narcissistic manipulators.
    Any group that gives their cultural authority to a politician(s) has placed
    the promotion of one individual above the best interests of the group.
    Politicians almost always take advantage of their emotional childlike admirers.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *