For Release: August 27, 2010
Contact: Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476 or [email protected]
Project 21 Members Outraged By Rev. Fauntroy KKK Comments
Accuse Media of Biased Reporting About Conservative Grassroots
Washington, DC – In covering the Glenn Beck 'Restoring Honor' rally at the Lincoln Memorial, "the professional news media is doing what it does best: select and disseminate the news they agree with and tarnish those they don't," says Project 21's Bob Parks.
Project 21 members are critical of extensive media coverage given to Rev. Walter Fauntroy, who represented the District of Columbia as a non-voting Delegate to Congress from 1971-1991 and who is a past chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, for comparing Tea Party attendees to KKK members.
Some Project 21 members point to an event at the National Press Club three weeks ago featuring prominent black conservatives who defended the Tea Party movement. "That press conference lasted close to two hours, yet one sentence by Tea Party Express activist Selena Owens was all that made the airwaves. Six seconds out of 111 minutes," Parks said.
Counter that, says Park, against media coverage of a news conference held yesterday, also at the National Press Club. Rev. Fauntroy, a past chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, stated, "We are going to take on the barbarism of war, the decadence of racism, and the scourge of poverty, that the Ku Klux - I meant to say the Tea Party.... You all forgive me, but I - you have to use them interchangeably."
Parks says, "ABC treats this as breaking news."
Mychal Massie, Chairman of Project 21, adds: "I find it indefensible that the mainstream media gives the appearance of eagerly commenting the malevolent and divisive diatribes of Fauntroy and the like; but is glaringly absent in the reporting of conservative Americans of color."
Lisa Fritsch, a national TV and radio commentator, writer, political strategist and Project 21 member, says Rev. Fauntroy's comments are "evil and disgusting." She adds, "Shame on the media and Rev. Fauntroy for comparing the tea party with the KKK. For the first time I am deeply ashamed of their tactics, not as a black person, but, in the name of humanity. To resort to inciting hatred and discord amongst our American brethren is an evil heartbreaking act. I don't think even they understand the depths of the evil they are projecting..."
Massie is equally disgusted. "The words and complaints of Walter Fauntroy and company are the apoplectic knee-jerk hysteria of those seeking to foment discord where none exists. They are a disgraceful and morally opprobrious but obviously not out of character for either Fauntroy or his kind." Massie challenged Fauntroy by inviting him to an open debate about the Beck rally, the comparisons made to the KKK and the allegation that Beck's rally defames Dr. King. "Let's see if he has the courage to defend his allegations," Massie says.
Joe R. Hicks, the host of PJTV.com's "The Hicks File" and a Project 21 member who once headed the Los Angeles office of the SCLC that Dr. King founded, doesn't understand why some black leaders are so upset about the "Restoring Honor" rally. "Glenn Beck says his planned rally this Saturday on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, 47 years after Dr. King's 'I Have a Dream Speech,' will not be about politics, but is being organized to 'honor the troops and unite the American people under the principles of integrity and truth...' If this is the case, why are some black leaders like the National Urban League's Marc Morial and the Reverend Al Sharpton hopping mad over the event?"
Hicks continues, "And now the Reverend Walter Fauntroy, a former colleague of Dr. King, has crossed the line of sanity and equated Tea Party activists who may attend Beck's rally with Ku Klux Klan. The attempt by liberal black leaders to paint those they disagree with as 'racists' has become a shop-worn, transparent tactic. But even more outrageous, the nation's liberal mainstream media gleefully afforded Fauntroy, the buffoonish former elected official from Washington D.C., with a platform to make his cartoonish comments."
Parks believes some reporters "want racial violence. It'll be a great story; it'll help their chosen political party, and maybe even discredit some conservative talkers."
Ultimately, warns Parks, "the media elite are playing a very dangerous game just to further a political agenda... While they sit back in their make-up chairs, hoping for violent footage to codify their assertions of conservative racism, real people are at risk."
Project 21 is a leading voice of the African-American community and is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King and a speaker at Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor rally, is one of its many members.Project 21 does not promote candidates or legislation.