Syndicated radio host Tom Joyner Friday called on Roland Martin to “make it right” and offer “a sincere apology” to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Joyner urged his morning-show colleague not to be like “another family member who refused to turn around,” an obvious reference to Tavis Smiley, who left Joyner’s show amid criticism from listeners that he had become personally invested in criticizing then-Sen. Barack Obama.
Joyner addressed his open letter to Martin, a commentator on his program, as his Friday blog entry on Joyner’s BlackAmericaWeb.com.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for TV One, the African American-oriented cable network where Martin hosts “Washington Watch With Roland Martin,” a Sunday morning news analysis show, told Journal-isms that the network agreed that Martin’s tweets during Sunday’s Super Bowl, for which Martin has been suspended from his job as CNN commentator, were offensive.
But TV One differed from Joyner in maintaining that Martin’s apology to GLAAD — Martin issued his “final thoughts” on the matter on Monday night — was sufficient.
The TV One statement said, “Roland has made valuable contributions to TV One. However, regardless of his intent, Roland’s comments during the Super Bowl were offensive. That said, he has apologized, and we are pleased that he and GLAAD are planning to meet in the near future and hope they can engage in a constructive dialogue.”
The Joyner and TV One statements come after columnists, bloggers and users of social media weighed in on the Martin suspension. A pro-Martin, anti-GLAAD essay from Raynard Jackson, president of a Washington public relations/government affairs firm, received added exposure when the Washington Post’s theRootDC Web page picked it up on Thursday.
Jackson condemned “. . . the loud silence from within the Black community. I know first-hand that many of the so-called Black ‘leadership’ were quick to call Roland to get on his TV show or to get him to write a supportive newspaper column about one of their causes. But, now that he is in trouble not one voice is overheard supporting him. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Ben Jealous, Marc Morial, the Congressional Black Caucus — your silence is so loud!”
Martin, who has worked in print, radio and television, joined the Joyner show in September 2008 as a “senior news analyst.”
Joyner wrote Friday, “As head of the family, I’ve sat back as long as I could, hoping I wouldn’t have to say anything. But now the time has come.