A veritable heartbeat after being roundly criticized for posting homophobic Super Bowl tweets—and getting ditched by CNN—professional sound-biter Roland Martin addressed the scandal on-air yesterday and reminded listeners he’s in support of gay adoption, hate-crime laws and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
On Sunday during his Washington Watch segment on TV One, Martin recounted his recent morning meeting with GLAAD communications director Herndon Graddick:
“Over breakfast for over 90 minutes, Herndon shared his thoughts with regards to my tweets and why he deemed them offensive to the LGBT community, and I reiterated my apology that — that if anyone who construed my comment[s] as being anti-gay or homophobic, or advancing violence, that was not my intent, and for that I was truly sorry.
Oh c’mon! The man has a record of gay bashing and homophobia and all we get is the classic “I’m sorry you took it that way”?!?
“When anyone has a disagreement—whether public or private—there should be a call to sit down and sort it out, as opposed to both backing into corners, ratcheting up the noise to the point where no one hears one another. That benefits no one.
“Now, do we agree on all issues? No. But, ironically, I have historically supported many of the issues important to the GLAAD agenda, such as ending [the] ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy; gay adoption; and including gays in hate crimes laws. Those, folks, are facts. But it is only through dialogue do we get an opportunity to see each other’s perspective and learn what it is like to walk in that person’s shoes
And finally Martin absolves himself of responsibility by claiming he’s “a journalist, not an activist.”
Actually, Roland, you’re a talking head who weighs in on the issues of the day. You make your living on your opinions, not investigative reporting. And as a professional opiner, you should know the impact your words have.
While GLAAD is in dialogue with Martin, the anti-defamation group hasn’t let him off the hook completely. A statement from the group about Sunday’s broadcast read in part:
We live in a culture of 140 characters, sound bites and three-hour news cycles. Context, and even intent, is often lost. In spite of that, our media, and what is considered acceptable in it, is more important than ever. For better or worse, celebrities and prominent voices in our media set a standard for what is acceptable in the rest of our society. GLAAD firmly believes that language which could be construed by an audience as inciting violence against LGBT people, people perceived to be LGBT, or members of other groups that face discrimination or prejudice is unacceptable in our media. Anti-LGBT violence is not a political opinion.
But we have to disagree with GLAAD’s assertion that Martin “took another important step, acknowledging that his words had a negative impact, and making it clear that he understands how serious the issues of anti-LGBT bullying and violence are.”
What Martin acknowledged (to himself anyway) is that his meal ticket had dried up and he needed to offer a little lip service to get it back.
Images via CNN, GLAAD