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CNNs Don Lemon

CNN's Don Lemon

The Great (Late!) Brown Hope

by Danielle Belton

People will listen to a black person sing (Beyonce), watch a black person dunk a ball (LeBron), a black person act (Will Smith) and a black person be president (the O-Man), but when it comes to your average, shouty, loud, political gabfest, TV Land is often as white as pure Colombian Cocaine. Not surprising considering things only recently got all “gendered” up with additions like MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, CNN’s Campbell Brown and FOX News’ Greta Van Sustern (the original!). Heaven’s to Besty, it would be too much to ask for post-racial America to give some minority a shot at screaming at people for an hour.

Not that a network or two hasn’t tried. CNN gave Roland Martin a shot during Brown’s pregnancy break, but that went unmercifully bad. Ratings continued to be low (and still are low with Brown back), and Martin was politely push back down to second fiddle pundit status. CNN also gave comedian D.L. Hughley a show.

I’m still trying to bleach that one from my mind.

The problem seems to be that the networks (or in this case – network, re: CNN) seem to be stuck either playing it safe or swinging for the fences an never any in-between. Everyone else, even the so-called “Liberal” network MSNBC seem anemic to the notion of minority show hosts. The closest they often come is using former MTV/NPR reporter Alison Stewart as a seat-filler for Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow when they go on vacation.

Since no one asked me, I’m just going to tell the networks who the top six minorities are who would make “good TV” and can shout just as loud as the competition. Get out your pens and pencils and get your lawyers to start mulling over their contracts … now. READ THE REST HERE

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Party On, but No Tweets

By ALLEN SALKIN

THE invitation, by e-mail, was clear.

“You are cordially invited to Protocols NYC, an off the record, no tweeting, no blogging, no photos, salon.”

What did they expect guests to do with themselves?

Protocols, held every two weeks since September in a small private penthouse in Murray Hill, is hosted by five Manhattan news media types who each invite two guests. The idea, according to a host, Michael Malice, an author and blogger, is to let invitees talk fearlessly in the present.

“We are fighting against this whole idea that everything people do has to be constantly chronicled,” Mr. Malice said. “People think that every thought they have, every experience – if it is not captured it is lost.”

In an era, when a stray gripe about your boss can land you on an industry blog, when waking up hung over can frantically send you to Facebook to untag your name from photos of the previous night’s frosting-wrestling contest, when shots of you in unflattering jeans become part of your permanent Google search results, there are signs that some are tired of living their lives on the Web. READ THE REST HERE