Perhaps radio should stay out of politics but that would be difficult to do for urban radio, at least it USED to be, since urban radio was once the voice of the community. This past week we posted a story on iHeartmedia (formerly Clear Channel)‘s anonymous backdoor “client” support of Mitt Romney, discouraging Black and Latino voters from voting with Voter Fraud billboards strategically placed in certain black and Latino neighborhoods. Gov. Mitt Romney, who started the company that now owns iHeartmedia (formerly Clear Channel), Bain Capital, offered no comment on the controversy. Those opposing the billboards question why they were not in other cities in more upscale white neighborhoods and Color of Change started a massive on line campaign to have the questionable Billboards removed. As many of you know Ohio is a very important mostly democratic state that plays a vital role in helping to determine outcomes for presidential elections.
While there is certainly not a problem with radio corporations encouraging listeners to vote for candidates there is a problem DISCOURAGING them not to vote AT ALL… a MAJOR problem since it is something our Black ancestors fought so incredibly hard for. In recent past elections there has been some outright cheating and intentionally misleading efforts to keep blacks from voting in important elections and the entire political arena has became tainted with vitriolic opponent attacks that are mostly personal designed to not only discourage a person from voting but to desecrate the candidate altogether. Radio should indeed not take part in that even if time is purchased. iHeartmedia (formerly Clear Channel) admitted their wrongdoing in not revealing who the client was for the billboards but would this have ever happened if organizations like Color of Change or many news outlets had not pointed the whole campaign out? Was
Mitt Romney iHeartmedia (formerly Clear Channel) trying to slip one past us?