Jump to content

President Obama Has Not Granted a Black Newspaper an Interview


Recommended Posts

The following is a comment made, in 2014 by George E. Curry then editor of the NNPA News Service, bemoaning the fact Obama had not granted a single interview with the Black press.  As far as I can tell, with Obama's presidency coming to an end he still has not spoken with the Black press. I ran a Huria Search and can find no evidence that he has.

Obama has given interviews to Ebony and Tom Joyner, but again not to a single owned Black owned newspaper.  If someone can prove that this is wrong please post a link to the article—thanks

George E. Curry editor of the NNPA News Service, complained last week that President Obama was disrespecting the black media, too.

“There is a disrespect for the black press that we have not seen in recent years. For example, we have requested — every year — an interview with the president. He can ignore 200 black newspapers and 19 million viewers but he can give one to every stupid white comedian there is on TV, the black ones and the white ones, and has time for all types of buffoonery but they will not respect the black press enough to give us an interview,” Curry said on TVOne’s NewsOneNow with Roland Martin.
—from Richard Prince’s Journal-isms

Some will argue that Obama does not need the Black press to reach Black folks.

To that I can only say; then we don't deserve Black newspapers.  Sure, white owned platforms can indeed reach Black voters, but that reach is not the same thing in terms of presentation, context, sensibility...

You see, the idea that Obama has not given an interview to a Black newspaper is news.  White owned platforms would have of course ignored this, because to them, it is of no consequence, and they quite happy continuing to control our narrative.  Judging by our collective behavior we quite happy allowing them to do so.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

LOL.  A regular wiseguy eh?  

I'll continue to assert that race is an artificial construct developed diminish our humanity.  Keep in mind @Pioneer1 there is not such thing as race there is indeed a Black culture. 

Needless to say, I recognize we live in America where the vast majority of people won't let go of the fiction of race, so I'm forced to deal with the negative consequences of nonsense as a so called "Black man."

So while our culture, or "race" for those stuck in the 19th century, is under constant assault, I'm inclined to defend myself. When the 1st Black President actively choose to ignore the Black press I'm offended.  

Check out the statement made by Obama in 2007 when he was courting the Black vote:

Naming three Chicago black newspapers —the Defender, the Crusader and the Citizen — Obama said that when he served in the Illinois legislature, those papers would cover issues he was working on that the mainstream press would not.

"My attitude is that if you were covering me when nobody wanted to cover me, then they should cover me when everybody wants to cover me. That attitude will continue when I'm in the White House," Obama said.

Now can someone explain to me why Obama has not given a Black newspaper an interview?  Obama gave a white guy, in his garage, an interview for Christ's Sake!?

You may read the full report of then Senator Obama's appearance at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in Las Vegas in 2007 on Richard Prince's Journal-isms™ at the Maynard Institute.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pioneer the operative word is culture. I used "Black" because it is what people are used to.  The same culture has been called Afro-American, African-America, Negro.  We also know the culture is not defined by skin color (assuming that is the criteria you use to define someone's race).

Roping this conversation back to the original subject: Perhaps Obama feels no allegiance to the Black press, and has no problem ignoring it, because he is not "Black" culturally.  Given who raised him, where he was raised and how he was raised, this would be perfectly natural.  But even that does not explain, at least to my satisfaction, why Obama would blow off his biggest supporters.

Maybe he lumps the Black press in with Tavis Smiley and Cornel West?  


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Marc, man I guess you are right.  But there is no denying that Obama courted the Black media initially; even appearing at the NNPA conference.  Did you read his quote above? 

It seems much of the media was focused on Obama's marginalization of Tavis Smiley, when in reality he was indeed marginalizing the Black establishment, choosing to curry favor with those who appealed to the masses the Al Sharptons and Tom Joyners, people who were never, ever gonna hold Obama accountable.

Several in the Black media, I'm talking about professional journalists, have already told me Obama has been the least transparent president they have dealt with!  Why these very same newspapers don't write articles about this an explain way is beyond me.  Perhaps they are too afraid to anger the few readers thay have left, or ever wors,e bear the brunt of Obama wrath.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interestingly it is not just the Black media Obama blowing off These are quotes from a Washington Post article.  

“Remarkably, Post news reporters haven’t been able to interview the president since late 2009. Think about that. The Post is, after all, perhaps the leading news outlet on national government and politics, with no in-depth, on-the-record access to the president of the United States for almost all of his two terms.” 

“After early promises to be the most transparent administration in history, this has been one of the most secretive. And in certain ways, one of the most elusive. It’s also been one of the most punitive toward whistleblowers and leakers who want to bring light to wrongdoing they have observed from inside powerful institutions.”

I know die-hard Obama supports ain't tryin' to hear any of this, but this stuff is important.  We can't be surprised when people are so easily radicalized against the United States, when our own country won't even tell us how many civilians are being killed in the bazillion drone strikes we execute.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obama, who just recently appeared on Jimmy Fallon's program, is too busy making the rounds as guest on the late night talk show circuit,  to grant interviews to the black press. I wonder if his hometown newspaper, The Chicago Defender, has even approached him for an interview, considering what a ghost of its former self this publication has become. Obama's obliviousness to his black constituency seems almost at the point of smugness.  As his term comes to an end, he is apparently very pleased with his performance and record as POTUS,  no doubt buoyed by his currently high approval ratings.  The wide-spread disillusionment found among this country's black leadership has had little impact. ( People change once elected, and I'm inclined to think that Hillary will put her past behind her and concentrate on creating a proud legacy for herself, if elected.)  

And speaking of black journalism, the last bastion of this profession, EBONY MAGAZINE, has been sold to a white investor group located in Texas... 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem with the so called Bullssit interviws that Obama does with comedians is that they will NEVER ask a tough questions; certainly nothing of importance to the African-American community.

It may be smugness, considering his preference for Ivy League educated cabinet member, but it could be part of a brilliant strategy to remain above reproach, for the Black masses have no interest in challenging Obama on any level.  Indeed, anyone who does is vilified.  

Instead of amping up Jimmy Fallon's ratings and having his ego stroked, Obama could have granted The Chicago Defender preferred access which would have bolstered the paper's profile and instead of struggling it could have grown as a direct result of Obama's support.  A small price to pay consider the support the paper supplied candidate Obama.

While I did not know about Ebony, the writing was on the wall for for sometime.  I'm glad they found a buyer sparing us the pain of witnessing a their slow death.  I have not hope that the publication will be of relevance to the Black community--indeed when was it last?

On a brighter note I did learn about a Black owned newspaper today out of St Louis, called, The St. Louis Evening Whirl and has been around, family owned for almost 80 years!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...