Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Media: RIP Black Agenda Report?

BLACK AGENDA REPORT is a staple of many on the left.  But that is changing.  

Glen Ford, Bruce Dixon  and Margaret Kimberley left THE BLACK COMMENTATOR to form BLACK AGENDA REPORT with Leutisha Stills, Nellie Bailey and Anthony Monteiro.  Somehow, those last three names tend to get left out.  We know CRAPAPEDIA is sexist so we weren't surprised that they had no entry on Margaret Kimberley.  But we were surprised that there was no entry on BLACK AGENDA REPORT or Bruce Dixon.  Glen only got an entry when he passed away last summer.  He was 71.  Bruce passed away two summers prior at the age of 68.  Now, in yet another summer tragedy, BLACK AGENDA REPORT appears to have passed away as well.

When created, it proclaimed it was "News, commentary and analysis from the Black left" and the radio program BLACK AGENDA RADIO no longer has a co-host but still proclaims it's a show "from a Black, left perspective."

We'd say we weren't sure why BLACK AGENDA RADIO continues to exist but the reality is that lefty public affairs radio program fight a real battle to get on the air on traditional radio stations and are loathe to ever give up the toehold they achieve.

BLACK AGENDA RADIO used to feature Glen and Nellie but now Margaret Kimberley hosts it alone. She does that as radio becomes less and less important.  She does it as BAR has allowed its internet video presence to completely die away.  Search "BLACK AGENDA REPORT" on YOUTUBE, for example, and you'll find yourself with Danny Haiphong and his LEFT LENS which Margaret sometimes joins him for.

Danny's not Black.  And his guests aren't either.  His last 20 shows have featured no African-Americans at all.  You have had Li JingJing and Ian Goodrum, Scott Ritter, Scott Ritter, Li JingJing and Ian Goodrum, Camila Escalante, Richard Wolff, Scott Ritter, Richard Wolff, Carlos Martinez, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Li JingJing and Ian Goodrum.  It would appear that the easiest way to get on LEFT LENS would be to be White and a convicted sex offender like pedophile Scott Ritter who is required to register as a sex offender but somehow isn't required to note that whenever he pops up online.

You have to go back 21 shows to get to Jacquie Luqman showing up with co-host Margaret to have Black faces on the program.

Danny's been allowed to take a lot of control since Glen died.  Too much in fact.  

Scott Ritter?  Really.  That's a guest to have?  Because one of the people most opposed to Scott Ritter being brought on as a trusted source is the late Bruce A. Dixon.  One of us (C.I.) knew Bruce fairly well through Bobby Rush (whom C.I. has known for years) and we spent Sunday morning working on C.I.'s semi-infamous journals which, prior to the Iraq War, were bound journals with letters stapled in and photographs.  But, as the Iraq War required speaking out regularly, the journal  became boxes of individual papered journal entries, letters, e-mails and photographs.  We were looking for a particular exchange and there it was, at the end of 2005, Bruce expressing his disbelief over the tour Sy Hersh was doing with Scott Ritter when Scott's arrest was fully known.  Bruce didn't buy the cover story Ritter was peddling about it being nothing, the arrest just being an attempt to discredit him.  And Bruce couldn't believe Sy was using his own reputation to save Ritter from being known as a pedophile.  Bruce wrote at length of how distasteful he found this and why.  (On the latter, if Margaret was at all close to Bruce, she knows exactly why Bruce found Ritter offensive.)

So, congratulations, Danny Haiphong, you didn't just stab BAR in the back, you stabbed one of its founders in the back.  

But founders are dead or disappeared these days at BAR  Per the official story, only Margaret Kimberley remains in this world -- take that Nellie Bailey, take that Leutisha Stills and Anthony Monteiro.  While they are disappeared, BAR does now manage to publish Richard Medhurst -- who, like Danny Haiphong -- is not Black.

What was once supposed to be an outlet providing "News, commentary and analysis from the Black left" has now morphed into something far different.

Is it too late to fix things?

NETFLIX has been on a very dangerous trend lately -- stand up revue specials that just don't cut it -- like the one Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin hosted and the one before that which Billy Eichner hosted.  We weren't expecting much from Amy Schumer and company after that. 

But, what do you know, put an actual successful stand up comic in charge of a stand up revue and she can deliver.  Amy Schumer sure did.  And she didn't go for applause, she went for actual laughs via actual jokes.  AMY SCHUMER PRESENTS: PARENTAL ADVISORY was hilarious -- that was Amy, that was her guests Ron Funches, Jaye McBride, Christina P.m  Rachel Feinstein, Chris Distefano and Lil Rel Howery.  It was a hilarious special and, after the last two stand up revues, who would have thought that was possible.  It was a bigger surprise than finding a worthwhile documentary on AMAZON (which we did, TRACKING EDITH).  

So who knows, maybe BLACK AGENDA REPORT can pull itself out of its death spiral?  One step that would help immediately would be putting BLACK AGENDA RADIO on YOUTUBE.  They don't have to provide video.  It wouldn't hurt -- but even just the weekly audio with a blank screen would be an improvement.  It also needs to recommit to its purpose.   Otherwise, it really is time to start making funeral arrangements.




For more on this topic, please see Betty's "Danny Haiphong has destroyed BLACK AGENDA REPORT" and "It's called BLACK AGENDA REPORT for a reason" and Marcia's "They have destroyed Black Agenda Report."

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