CNN’s suspension of Roland Martin is a teachable moment

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!


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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