CNN’s suspension of Roland Martin is a teachable moment

posted at 3:40 pm on February 9, 2012 by Howard Portnoy

Roland Martin, tweeted on Sunday, walked it back Monday, chastened on Tuesday, suspended on Wednesday…

That’s the short version of recent events in the life of the CNN commentator and author of Speak, Brother! A Black Man’s View of America.

The tale begins on Super Bowl Sunday, when Martin tweeted:

If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!

and

Who the hell was that New England Patriot they just showed in a head to toe pink suit? Oh, he needs a visit from #teamwhipdatass.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) took umbrage, immediately tweeting back:

@rolandsmartin Advocates of gay bashing have no place at @CNN #SuperBowl #LGBT.

The organization followed up with a statement demanding Martin’s dismissal.

On Monday night Martin pled his case, writing that he “sincerely regret[ted] any offense” his tweets had occasioned and assured anyone who would listen that the target of his ridicule was the game of soccer. But the story refused to go away. By Wednesday CNN felt forced to take punitive action. In a statement network officials wrote:

Roland Martin’s tweets were regrettable and offensive. Language that demeans is inconsistent with the values and culture of our organization, and is not tolerated. We have been giving careful consideration to this matter, and Roland will not be appearing on our air for the time being.

Roland Martin, suspended on Wednesday…

Which brings us current. Today is Thursday, and the liberal blogosphere is still in a dither over the suspension, which after all is of a member of a diverse group over comments allegedly defaming another diverse group. Is a puzzlement. Whether there was true “homophobic” intent is almost beside the point. The Hollywood blog The Wrap, in its coverage of the story, links to an earlier article about GLAAD laughing off an anti-gay rant by comedian Tracy Morgan, which hints at a double standard.

Daily Caller blogger Jim Treacher stands back from the fray to observe that

maybe some good will come of [Martin’s suspension]. Maybe now he’ll think twice before he complains about ‘dog whistles.’ Maybe now he sees firsthand how unfair it is when other people decide what your motives are for you.

(In a postscript, Treacher quotes Big Journalism’s John Nolte, who quips, “Martin inadvertently stepped into a trap he probably didn’t know existed, and as a result he is now receiving an invaluable lesson about today’s politically-correct hierarchy, where gay trumps black.”)

What I want to know is when Roland Martin plans to issue an apology to the International Soccer League.

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What I want to know is when Roland Martin plans to issue an apology to the International Soccer League.

lol :-)…oh, and he should, soccer rules!

jimver on February 9, 2012 at 7:04 PM

I grew up part of my life in naval housing and all the kids spewed every epithet known to man. Funny how no one was offended and we all got along. Today don’t even say anything or even use hand gestures as you will offend someone.

banzaibob on February 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Hoisted on their own petards. I like that.

But I thought everybody knew that gay trumps black.

Alana on February 9, 2012 at 7:06 PM

But I thought everybody knew that gay trumps black.

Alana on February 9, 2012 at 7:06 PM

obviously not Roland :-)…

jimver on February 9, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Someday the gays will be trumped by another group. On it goes.

Bishop on February 9, 2012 at 3:44 PM

lunar colony peeps :-)

jimver on February 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

I don’t see how the suspension is warranted at all, but its a good point that maybe he’ll learn not to play with political correctness fire.

netster007x on February 9, 2012 at 7:14 PM

What I want to know is when Roland Martin plans to issue an apology to the International Soccer League.Heh.

captn2fat on February 9, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt… oh, wait, never mind.

digitalhap on February 9, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Say anything vile and disgusting about christians and you get a pass-say something about the gay boys an dyou get in trouble-something wrong with this nation!

Bullhead on February 9, 2012 at 8:24 PM

At least the media quoted Roland Martin correctly. Considering how many times this DB (Martin) has purposefully mis-quoted Rush Limbaugh. I have no sympathy for this low life.

Conservative4Ever on February 9, 2012 at 9:18 PM

He should have been FIRED. Bigotry by Whites, or use of the “N” word – even if just quoting African-Americans – typically results in only ONE outcome: the FIRING and LIFE-RUINING of the person in question, with the encouragement and facilitation OF The Media. Firing is appropriate in Most, but not All, Cases.

Bigotry by Minorities should be recognized and Punitive measures should be exacted at the SAME LEVEL. That is treating people equally with LOVE instead of HATE, and allowing the Hate to swirl.

When THIS is recognized as one of the most RACIST and BIGOTED public statements EVER in History – which it is, THEN we will have made some Meager Progress:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pEH37JIgBU

williamg on February 9, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Gay doesn’t always trump black.

In Chicago’s Boystown blacks roam, looking for gays to beat up and the media and government there is silent on the matter.

dukecitygirl on February 9, 2012 at 10:19 PM

maybe some good will come of [Martin’s suspension]. Maybe now he’ll think twice before he complains about ‘dog whistles.’ Maybe now he sees firsthand how unfair it is when other people decide what your motives are for you.

Yeah, just like Juan Williams learned from his incident.

Sorry, if you are in the MSM, you are just too darned stupid to get the irony and learn from it.

AZfederalist on February 9, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Actually – this whole thing is just a monument to The Tragedy of Mainstream Media control of our souls.

williamg on February 9, 2012 at 10:48 PM

This is whats wrong with america. Peop,e aare whiny little bitches these days. One time I was at a bar and the topic of being in the war came up and someone asked if I had killed someone. When I said yes lots, they said they were sorry. I replied why they deserved it and everyone looked at me like I was some sort of child rapist or something. People need to grow up and stop being such little girls about things. It all started in the late 80s with the idea that its ok to be you and everyone got fat. Now we have people who think that just because they sat in a classroom for a while they deserve a six figure salary. These mentalities are the reason we have this economic debate right now. When we grow up and stop being little girls about hurt feelings then maybe we will move forward as a people.

/rant off.

speekr on February 9, 2012 at 11:27 PM

This is CNN

Shy Guy on February 9, 2012 at 11:46 PM

hypedsexually aroused

and i didn’t know hyped meant sexually aroused….

yep, too old for this culture stuff….

Dr. Demento on February 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

I thought Roland Martin was a blond bearded professional fisherman.

PleaseFlyOver on February 10, 2012 at 12:01 PM

http://www.fishingwithrolandmartin.com/

PleaseFlyOver on February 10, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Sock it to me, sock it to me. I really like Rowand & Martin – great a laugh-in. What? Oh, Roland Martin! NEVER MIND.

rjulio on February 10, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Comment pages: 1 2