The Biggest Loser of the 2016 Presidential Election Cycle

ColumnLogo-1ailment arial,sans-serif;”>By Raynard Jackson

Though no votes have yet to be cast, the biggest loser of the 2016 presidential election cycle is by far the

NABJNational Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

Those who follow my columns know that I have been extremely critical of my Republican Party and our presidential candidates for rarely, if ever, engaging with the Black press.

I have an equal amount of criticism for NABJ.  Make no mistake about it; they are a liberal organization, with very liberal leadership.  I have expressed my disappointment with their liberal slant both privately and publically directly to them, but somehow; the issue never seems to get addressed.

Rarely, if ever, do they have Black Republicans on their various panels and we are practically invisible during their national conventions.  Over the years, I have been asked to serve on their various panels; but that was because of my personal relationships with many of their members and because I raised wholly hell with them.

I have offered for years to arrange a private meeting with NABJ’s leadership and chairman of our party, Reince Priebus, but their leadership never showed any interest.  Priebus has asked me from time to time what happened with this meeting and I had to finally tell him that the group was not serious.

So, over the years I have taken Black journalists who were personal friends to meet with our various party leaders to engage in on-the-record conversations and they were well received by all involved.

These Republican leaders were surprised to find that these Black journalists were not all liberals or interested in doing a slam piece; these journalists actually wrote thoughtful, fair pieces.

These Black journalists were surprised to find that these party leaders were quite thoughtful in their comments about issues relevant to the Black community and were also quite informed.  The problem has always been that the media deals in soundbites, not substantive conversation.

I have written several columns extolling the virtues of Black media.  Why is someone like me, who is not even a journalist, advocating more for Black media than the very organization that was founded to do just such a thing?

I have offered to introduce them to the various presidential campaigns, but not a peep from NABJ.  But yet they constantly complain about how Republicans ignore them.  Hell, Republicans aren’t ignoring them, they don’t know they exist.

Yet their counterpart, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) has met with several Republican presidential candidates.

I just wished NABJ had guts enough to admit the obvious, that they and their leadership are in the tank for Hillary and the Democrats; even though they won’t spend any money with them, but NABJ will just be happy to have Hillary show up at their convention next summer in DC so they can brag about her attendance.

Republicans should not attend any Black conventions without getting guarantees that they will have Black Republicans on their various panels throughout their conventions.  If these groups don’t agree, then our party leadership should refuse to participate in their conferences.

But too many Republicans have no Blacks advising them on these issues and are afraid not to attend these conventions for fear of being called “racists.”

JEB Bush and Rand Paul have spoken at the Urban League’s annual conference only to have people like Hillary and others ridicule their presence; neither Bush nor Paul had anyone to defend them after they left because no one demanded that Black Republicans be represented as a condition of them speaking. Duhhhhh!

If NABJ doesn’t want to engage with Republicans because it’s the right thing to do, then do it for self-preservation.  Why would Republican organizations like the RNC, House or Senate campaign committees buy a table at NABJ’s events if they are already in the tank for the Democrats?

NABJ has so much potential, but they value being in bed with the Democrats more than being respected as a professional organization advocating for more engagement with Black media on every level.

How is in possible, in the 21st century, that a presidential campaign is underway and the Black media is nowhere to be found?  NABJ should be embarrassed, but I don’t think they are even aware or simply just don’t care.

How many internships has NABJ brokered for their student members with Republican members of Congress or the Republican National Committee (RNC) in their press offices?  We have 31 Republican governors across the U.S.  How many have ever been invited to host a reception for NABJ when they are having their regional or national meeting in that governor’s state?

What has NABJ done to pressure presidential campaigns to spend advertising dollars with the more than 200 Black newspapers across the country?  Why has NABJ not organized a meeting with the press secretaries of all the presidential campaigns of both parties to introduce the organization to these key staffers?

If NABJ can’t effectively advocate for more engagement with Black journalists and Black media during a presidential cycle; then they truly are the biggest losers.

JacksonRaynardRaynard Jackson & Associates, LLC is an internationally recognized political consulting, government affairs, and PR firm based in Washington, DC.  Jackson is an internationally recognized radio talk show host and TV commentator.  He has coined the phrase “straticist.”  As a straticist, he has merged strategic planning with public relations.  Visit his website at: www.raynardjackson.com.

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By Raynard Jackson

Columnist

 

Every time I think the media has sank below the point of no return on the scale of embarrassment; they prove to the world that there is truly no floor for how low they can go.

 

Of course I am talking about last week’s Republican presidential debate hosted by the Comedy News Network (CNN).  Their on air talent did not try to hide the fact that their stated goal, individually and as a supposed news outlet, was to get the candidates to attack each other personally.

 

Both the preliminary and main debates each spent the first 20 minutes or so talking exclusively about Donald Trump; not about the policy positions of Trump, but rather about some personal comment he made about one of the candidates.

 

For CNN, the debates were all about theatrics and “gotcha” moments; it was all about ratings and ultimately money by selling advertising during the debates.

 

During future presidential elections, all debates, both Republican and Democrat, should be hosted by C-SPAN where they are known to make their on air talent as invisible as possible.  Debates should be about the issues that are affecting the American people, not all the sideshows that the media are interested in promoting.

 

Most of the elite media, with its openly liberal bias, makes these debates about them and their networks, not about the American people.

I am also very amazed and amused by the elite media’s constant lecturing about diversity (see actor Matt Damon lecturing Black film producer Effie Brown about the lack of diversity in Hollywood) and yet they rarely display it when given the opportunity.

 

Why does the media and both the Republican and Democratic Party continue to ignore the more than 200 Black owned newspapers we have in the U.S.?  To my knowledge, there has never been a reporter from a Black newspaper asked to be part of a presidential debate by either party.

 

CNN and FOX News think so little of their own Black on air talent that they made a conscious decision to go with their default positon—all White!

 

I also put the blame on the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).  I don’t know why they have not made a public fuss about the lack of diversity in these presidential debates.  I am not a journalist, I am a columnist, but yet I spend more time advocating for their members than they do—go figure.

 

We have had two Republican debates, yet not one question about about how amnesty for illegals would further decimate the Black community; not one question about “specific” Republican solutions to the high Black unemployment rate under Obama; not one question about how Obama’s policies have devastated Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); not one question about “specific”

Republican solutions to the shrinking percentage of loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to Black businesses going from 8% under Bush to 1.8% under Obama.

 

Do you really think a white reporter is even aware of these indices affecting the Black community or even care about them?  This is why diversity is important; it makes you aware of things that normally would be of no consequence to you simply because you have no direct connection to the issue.

 

When the most vulnerable of a society is stronger, those at the top are even stronger.

 

Yet the media has feigned righteous indignation all because last week Donald Trump didn’t chastise a questioner at one of his town-hall meetings for castigating the Muslim community.  Really?

 

Weak people take strong positions on weak issues; but I digress.

 

In these two presidential debates so far, I can guarantee that no Blacks had any input into who the panelists would be or the questions that would be asked.

 

Am I the only one who continues to notice the optics of these debates?

 

None of the candidates have been seen arriving at the venue with any Blacks accompanying them; no Blacks have been seen in the spin rooms after the debates representing any of the candidates on TV, radio, or newspapers; I am not aware of any Blacks being involved in the debate preparations of any of the candidates.

 

For all the talk of the renewed focus on diversity within the Republican Party, there is absolutely no visible evidence of it anywhere.

If the Republican Party and these various news networks are not able to identify Blacks to participate in their efforts, please contact me and I will be more than happy to introduce you to very capable Blacks with relevant experience.

 

Have you ever wondered where Republicans find white staffers for their campaigns?  Have you ever wondered where the media finds all of their white on air talent?  Hmmm, just wondering.

 

I will continue to speak and write about these issues because if they are not dealt with immediately, we Republicans will continue to lose the White House; and on this issue, there is no debate.

 

Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC is an internationally recognized political consulting, government affairs, and PR firm based in Washington, DC.  Jackson is an internationally recognized radio talk show host and TV commentator.  He has coined the phrase “straticist.”  As a straticist, he has merged strategic planning with public relations.  Visit his website at: www.raynardjackson.com.

 

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William "Bill" Hicks
William "Bill" Hicks
5 years ago

This was quite an interesting article. I’ll be honest in my saying, I didn’t know there was a National Association of Black Journalists.That’s how little I know and how little they’ve made themselves known.