"Most Powerful Pages on The Planet"
March 23, 2009
Volume 2 - No. 10
Darwin Campbell, Executive Publisher
A Weekly Publication
KDFW FOX 4 TV Under Fire
Station Snubs/Locks Out Dallas NAACP
NAACP Calls FOX 4 out on Minority Management Upgrades, Racial Sensitivity Training, Cultural Education and Ethnic Relations Programs
DALLAS- Using strong words and demanding changes, the Dallas NAACP officials made it clear that news agencies like KDFW FOX 4 must change and can no longer be allowed to disrespect Black and Hispanic communities.
Leaders from the local chapter of the nation's oldest civil rights organization want a top to bottom review and overhaul that not only opens doors of opportunity and reflects the diversity of the community, but also puts an end to a recent advertising campaign that has misrepresented and skewed the mission of the organization in Dallas.
“The Dallas NAACP Branch is not for sale,” said Dr. Juanita Wallace, who serves as the current president of the Dallas NAACP Branch. “It will not be bought by people who continue to discriminate. We will not be bought, but will continue to uphold the mission of the NAACP.”
According to Wallace, that mission in Dallas is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality and rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.
Wallace and a group of NAACP members, community activists and concerned citizens held a press conference denouncing the actions of the television station brass at City Hall Plaza downtown and vowed more action could be pending if FOX 4 continues stonewalling organization leaders.
Wallace and members of the organization are upset over the decision by KDFW FOX 4 station officials to lock NAACP members out of the television station and their continued stubborn refusal to talk or meet with Wallace and a national member of the NAACP.
''KDFW Fox 4 has disrespected the Dallas NAACP and the entire minority community,” she said. According to Wallace, she and a representative from the national NAACP office went to the station of Feb. 26 to meet with (KFDW General Manager) Kathy Saunders to discuss the New York Post cartoon degrading Barack Obama - the nation's first African-American president.
The stubborn rejection by FOX 4 officials has sparked concerns about racism and other issues at the station.
FOX4 is part of News Corporation. The New York Post is also part of News Corporation and is owned by international media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Instead of Saunders meeting with the group or setting up a time to discuss issues and concerns, the entourage was met by a security guard at the door who refused to allow her and the representative to even enter the building.
“We have attempted several times to meet in good faith to discuss the New York Post cartoon of a racist depiction of President Obama. Instead of welcoming the discussion, (KFDW General Manager) Kathy Saunders has gone as far as having us locked out of the Fox 4 building,” she said. “We were treated like common criminals... If FOX 4 wants to do the right thing and be good Dallas citizen, Saunders can encourage the termination of the editor and cartoonist at the New York Post and encourage diversity across the board including at FOX 4 in Dallas by hiring African-Americans and Hispanics in upper management.”
Currently, no Black or Hispanic holds an upper management position at the Dallas television station.
Wallace added that the current upper level management structure and blatant actions and negative behavior on the part of officials at the station demonstrates a disregard for and unwillingness to change minority promotion policies and management diversity at the company or select minorities to upper management.
“The publishing of the cartoon was just another reminder that some companies are still treating people of color as they did in the 1950's,” Wallace said. “It is a reminder to start serious in depth discussions about race, diversity and cultural awareness in editorial offices starting with FOX 4 in Dallas.”
Another NAACP concern deals with the alleged misrepresentation of advertising dealing with and using the NAACP's name in the promotion of a Dallas job fair.
“For the record and let it be known that the Dallas NAACP is not involved in any diversity job fair that is being co-sponsored by FOX 4,” she said. “We will not participate, nor will we receive any revenue as the website alleges.”
FOX 4 also has been running numerous advertising tying the Dallas NAACP to the job fair – something Wallace wants to end.
Some want to see African-Americans and Hispanics boycott the station and its supporters until changes are in place to ensure true fairness and equality. Others want a massive write-in campaign to Saunders to demonstrated the distaste for biased, unbalanced reporting and recent Jim Crow behaviors toward African-American during the lockout. Saunders e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This kind of behavior will not be accepted or tolerated in 2009,” said Dallas activist Claudia Fowler. “We will do all we can and whatever is necessary to make a statement that we will not be disrespected or ignored.”