The final installment of ABC’s ratings disaster When We Rise quietly ended Friday night with a victory and a warning. In the episode titled “Night IV,” the stabilization of the AIDS outbreak led to the charge for gay marriage. The success of California’s Proposition 8 – the state constitutional amendment that banned same sex marriage – lit a fire under the gay activists in San Francisco and led to the appeal going to the U.S. Supreme Court, ultimately changing marriage as we once knew it.
Wednesday evening appeared to be CBS’s turn to hype the sit-in protest, orchestrated by the NAACP, at Senator Jeff Sessions’ office in Mobile, Alabama, after ABC was the sole network reporting it that morning. “Six arrests were made last night when protesters from the NAACP staged a sit-in at Jeff Sessions' senate office in Alabama,” announced fill-in anchor Josh Elliott during the lead-in, “They've blasted his record on civil rights and voting rights enforcement.”
CNN's Wolf Blitzer boosted the NAACP's protest of Senator Jeff Sessions at his office in Mobile, Alabama. Blitzer set aside over five and a half minutes of air time on Tuesday's Situation Room to an interview of the liberal organization's president, and gave him a platform to attack the attorney general nominee. The NAACP leader even likened his sit-in to the famous 1965 civil rights march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. The following morning, ABC's GMA spotlighted the protest during a 28-second news brief.
With the election fast approaching, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has stepped up his call for his supporters to become poll watchers to watch for, and document, illegal activity. He even has set up a page on his website for people to sign up. But MSNBC’s Al Sharpton has had it with Trump’s call for poll-watchers, claiming they are there to intimidate minorities. “How concerned are you about voter intimidation tactics in this election,” he asked Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, as he warned about militias backing Trump.
The Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Monday all spotlighted Hillary Clinton's speech to the NAACP's annual convention in Cincinnati. ABC's Cecilia Vega played up how "Clinton's supporters waging a counter-convention of their own — a pro-Clinton super PAC...linking Trump to former KKK leader David Duke." CBS's Nancy Cordes contrasted Clinton's NAACP appearance with a detail about the racial makeup of the RNC: "Only about 20 of the 2,500 delegates are black, which is on par with the party's percentage at its convention back in 1964."
MSNBC anchor Brian Williams has been hosting the live reaction to the horrible shooting in Dallas. On Friday, the journalist brought on a guest to claim that Black Lives Matter protesters have never been “anti-police.” Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP and Williams also hinted that more gun control was needed in the wake of the killing.
The major broadcast networks were relatively calm, professional, and sober on Friday morning in their reporting of the deadly ambush of police officers in Dallas, Texas, but there were still a few moments in which the issue of gun control or criticism of police was prevalent with CBS This Morning offering a few examples.
Comedian Anthony Anderson mocked conservative actress Stacey Dash during his opening monologue at Friday's NAACP Image Awards: "What the hell is she doing? Doesn't she know that the Fox network is using her? She's just an Ann Coulter dipped in butterscotch. That's all she is!" Anderson added, "Baby, don't let them use you! Come back to the black people; and get back to work in some of those beautiful 'C' movies that you used to do."
Appearing on Tuesday's CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst Harry Houck railed against Democratic management of the inner cities of Chicago. After declaring that "I am sick and tired of seeing small children, black children being killed," he tore into the city's mayor and former Obama advisor Rahm Emanuel for blaming the police superintendent for the city's problems, recommending that the Democratic mayor be impeached.
Near the end of the segmentr, as he debated fellow guest, Chicago resident and NAACP activist Stephen Green, Houck seemed to hit host Brooke Baldwin's political correctness button as she admonished him for declaring that "you people" in Chicago should try voting in a Republican mayor into office.
In its first season, ABC’s Blackish waited until about the 6th episode before delving into any meaty topics of political/social controversy. In their second season, they’ve taken a slightly different approach. On Wednesday’s season premier, an episode titled “THE Word,” blackish jumped right in and dedicated the first episode to the n-word.
In a Tuesday article, Variety’s co-editor-in-chief Andrew Wallenstein slammed NBC for its series of exclusive interviews with ex-NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal: “...the most absurd aspect of NBC News’ Dolezal Day was how straight-faced its interviewers sat as their subject grew loonier the more she spoke.”
While all three broadcast networks hailed Bruce Jenner for choosing to switch genders and become Caitlyn Jenner just one week ago – devoting 48 minutes to the story in three days – on Friday, those same networks were aghast that Spokane, Washington NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal had chosen to identify herself as black despite being white.