*Promoting his upcoming TV One program “News One Now,” Roland Martin sat down with a handful of African American journalists on Wednesday following his TCA panel…and the conversation inevitably turned to the polarizing political climate surrounding the George Zimmerman verdict.
It appears as if someone in the conservative movement sent out a memo instructing its TV operatives to challenge African American outrage over Zimmerman’s acquittal by pointing out the lack of equal outrage over Chicago’s rampant black on black crime. Everyone from Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, to radio host Larry Elder to right wing rocker Ted Nugent has fallen in lockstep with the “Chicago” response, which has gone largely unchallenged.
“They say, ‘Well where have folks been on the violence in Chicago?’ Well where have you been?,” said Martin pointing the finger back at conservatives who hold this viewpoint. Just this week, Martin publicly challenged O’Reilly to debate this specific talking point on his program.
“You wanna have this conversation Bill, then pick up the phone and call me. I’m not scared of you,” said Martin.
“I saw [National Urban League president] Marc Morial on O’Reilly’s show, Martin continued. (Click here to watch). He was trying to be calm with it and Bill is running over him. But I’m sitting there saying Marc didn’t hit him with what he should’ve hit him with. Marc Morial should’ve said, ‘Bill, you’re the number one show in cable news; Fox is the number one cable network in the industry. Why haven’t you taken your show out of this studio and travelled to Chicago to demand the answers you want right now? Bill, when you say media, are you not media? Do you not host this show? Can you not go to [Fox News EVP of Programming] Bill Shine, [EVP of News] Michael Clemente and [Chairman] Roger Ailes and say, “I want to go to Chicago?” ’ And then what you say is, ‘Bill, I will help you.’”
Below, Martin breaks down what he believes is the real motive behind the Chicago talking point, but not before continuing to go in on Bill O’Reilly.