Thursday, April 17, 2008

Obama vs. Clinton Debate: Biased Journalism - Foul on the Play

Over the past 5 weeks, I had come to miss the energy of the campaign and the optimism that was contagious through the string of early caucuses and primaries. I tuned in to the Democratic Debate between Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton to see where the Democratic party stood regarding the field of candidates.

In retrospect it took me around 30 minutes to recognize what was happening with the line of questions and the unfortunate turn to sabotage reporting from moderators George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Gibson. That's 30 minutes before it became exceedingly clear this was an ambush rather than a debate on issues impacting the campaign. Not only were the recent issues regarding Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the "mangled" "bitter" statements stirred up but new accusations and subversive politics were at play.

Stephanopoulos and Gibson took the low road with the line of questions that segued into a viewer question that perpetuated the almost urban legend that Senator Obama doesn't recognize the flag. The moderators and producers of the debate could have taken a higher road than perpetuating myths and supporting the propoganda of ignorance.

During the course of exchanges between Stephanopoulos and Senator Clinton, all I could think about was the legendary "no look pass" in basketball. George would cue up the question and the imminently prepared Senator from New York was throwin' them down. Stephanopoulos was a strong leader within the Clinton administration and worked closely with Senator Clinton and it showed. Uniquely, I was an intern at the White House during the same time and remember seeing the Michael J. Foxesque Stephanopoulos going between the West Wing and the O.E.O.B. amazed at his access to such a global figure.

The brazen bias in the pointed questions and "gotcha" nature of the beginning of the debate reminded me that we still have a ways to go. I became concerned that these were the types of tactics and ploys that foster fear and contention to win short term gains.

I am disappointed to see the biased nature of the moderators Stephanopoulos and Gibson yesterday evening. Watching the epic campaign that has been unfolding seems historic and has engaged a generation of disenfranchised young voters. I would hope that the media recognizes their role to report with fair objectivity and supports to enrich the experience for viewers.

I've gone to great lengths to avoid the persecution of "racial bias" or victimization saying that Senator Obama was treated that way "because he's black". Race excluded, this is still an issue of subjective questioning for conflict's sake and a desire for something more noble from the media.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Yo! MTV Raps 20th Anniversary - Please Bring it Back

For the entire month of April, MTV is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Yo! MTV Raps. Yo! MTV Raps blazed the trail for showcasing hip-hop and urban culture through the mainstream video giant MTV. Yo!MTV Raps also provided one of the clearest and widest connections between urban and suburban America.

More impressive than the historical significance of this show was the authenticity and sincerity of the show. Over the years of broadcast, Yo!MTV Raps covered the growth of hip-hop from coast to coast. Covering the full spectrum while maintaining a connection with the up and coming street artists.

While the burgeoning BET had RAP City, the production and level of talent that came on Yo!MTV Raps eventually made it no contest. I remember rushing home or over to my friends house to see Yo!MTV Raps and pick up the latest in hip-hop, the haircuts, clothes, music and dances. I identified with the show and enjoyed every episode. At the time, it was one of the few ways you could catch the latest hip-hop videos.

Since Yo!MTV Raps was dropped from the line-up in 1995 there has been a void that hasn't ever been filled the same way for hip-hop and videos. If there's a petition to bring back Yo!MTV Raps please put my name at the top of the list.

Click here to view the recently taped Yo!MTV Raps Roundtable that brought together MTV VJ Sway facilitating a sit down with Yo! royalty Fab 5 Freddy, Dr. Dre & Ed Lover. Also commenting are Fabolous, Doug E. Fresh, Nelson George, Nekesa Moody, and Elliott Wilson. They chop up the power of the show and have a dialogue that is memorable.

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