CNN Lifts Roland Martin’s Suspension

Journal-isms: The analyst's absence from the cable network will end. Plus: Widow defends scholar from right-wing attacks.

Roland Martin (Getty Images)
Roland Martin (Getty Images)

Monthlong Absence From Network About to End

CNN has lifted its monthlong suspension of contributing political analyst Roland Martin, a CNN spokeswoman confirmed Monday night.

Betsy Rothstein, editor of the media news website FishbowlDC, had posted late Monday afternoon that “CNN staff was alerted today on the 10 am conference call that Roland Martin’s suspension has been lifted.”

The report was picked up by the Huffington Post and other websites, attributing the report to Fishbowl, but messages to CNN and Martin went unanswered, and Martin continued to post Twitter messages on other subjects.

CNN suspended Martin on Feb. 8 over tweets he sent during the Super Bowl that the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said were anti-gay. After retailer H&M’s Super Bowl commercial featuring soccer player David Beckham, for example, Martin tweeted, “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl.” Martin denied that his tweets were about homosexuals.

GLAAD spokesman Rich Ferraro told Journal-isms on Monday that he could not comment on the Fishbowl report without confirmation. As for Martin, he added, “We’re still working out details on what the next steps are with him and CNN.”

The organization wants CNN to report more about violence against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people, known as LGBTs, and for Martin and CNN to increase the visibility of black LGBT people.

Although GLAAD at first urged that Martin be fired, it said later, “We look forward to a productive dialogue and to working together as well.”

The organization announced Feb. 14 that Martin met for 90 minutes that day with Herndon Graddick, senior director of programs and communications at GLAAD, in Los Angeles. “The introduction is the beginning of an open and honest dialogue. Both parties came away with a better understanding of one another and look forward to continuing this dialogue,” GLAAD said in a statement.