Imagine my dismay, anger, and contempt as I was switching through the local stations to see the coverage and discussions leading up to the caisson drawn coffin of John Lewis crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge, only to see one of them was derelict in its duty to the Washington D.C. audience. Instead, for whatever reason, they thought it best to cover the Premier League Soccer! What the hell was WRC thinking – even Fox TV understood the significance of the moment!
Like most DC residents, we all have our favorite local news team. I grew up in a household that placed emphasis on the racial mix of the persons delivering the news. I recall my parents heralding Channel 9 when Max Robinson was the lead anchor. When Robinson moved on to ABC News out of New York they switched immediately to WRC to watch a young anchorman named Jim Vance start a career that would eventually make him a local news legend.
WRC drags out the legend of Jim Vance whenever it wants to appeal to the African American audience. I wonder what he would have thought about the lack of coverage of John Lewis in lieu of a soccer match. This is not to disparage all of the local soccer fans, but it is to bring attention to what amounts to disrespect for the DC audience. It’s easy for people to jump all over Fox TV and its affiliates as being a megaphone for President Trump. But what do we say when one of NBC’s affiliates isn’t allowed to honor an African American hero and provide coverage for its local audience? Will people cry out and ask to boycott NBC? Doubtful.
We need to be vigilant about who we protest and why. We can’t let anyone off the hook when it comes to being accountable for their actions. The tendency is to allow one party to be held under the brightest spotlight while others are allowed to dwell near the shadows. As I said, I don’t know what the hell WRC was thinking, but Fox TV, WUSA, and WJLA all got it right. Want the proof? All the photos below were taken within seconds of each other as I scanned the local channels for coverage. Be not deceived if you read that WRC cut away from soccer to bring you the part of the ceremony they thought was the most important.