Sunday, May 11, 2008

DAY 64: Waiting for Stephanopoulos and the Ban on Brown

It has been more than two months since I tried to contact "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos and ABC News spokesperson Andrea M. Jones about why so few -- if any --Hispanic journalists and experts ever show up on the show's political roundtable.

Still, there's no peep from ABC or George about the "why" for the apparent ban on brown. That void was made more obvious this morning when George and his fellow white panelists discussed Sen. Obama's difficulty with Hispanic voters in the Democratic primaries and how that boded for him in the fall. The NYT in a Sunday political analysis had stated Latino voters are high on the Obama and Sen. McCain lists of "must covet".

The conclusions reached by the panelists about who and what would attract Latino voters -- more than two-thirds of which are Mexican-American in key battleground states -- were shallow and off target. They along with George probably don't know the difference between Menudo and Mentholatum, except for Sam Donaldson who farms in New Mexico. But that's all "This Week" and George believe Hispanics are due.

(But I love Cokie Roberts. She is intelligence, steel, class and beauty. And she called me back a decade ago when I was writing a column concerning a comment she made on "This Week".)
Luckily, Latino newspapers across the nation continue to pick up my original column on the apparent ban on brown that was published last month by Hispanic Link News Service out of Washington, D.C. and distributed by Scripps-Howard News Wire. El Reportero in San Francisco and El Planeta in Boston are the latest publications to put "This Week" and George on the spot.

Hispanic Link founder Charlie Ericksen did a great edit on my column from his 60 years of journalism experience including a few decades inside the Beltway. He shares in the frustration of Hispanic journalists being ignored and the issues of Hispanic voters being disrespected and unreported.

I don't mean to pick so much on George. He really has had a bad 64 days. He and Charlie Gibson became the Abbott and Costello of American political journalism with their handling of the last Obama-Clinton debate.

Then George's performance on a town hall meeting he moderated for Sen. Clinton before the Indiana primary was something out of Monty Python. He didn't know whether to sit or stand when Clinton rose to make her points to the audience. Then she threw him and any kind of journalistic independence he possesses to the wolves when Clinton noted how she and George opposed NAFTA in the White House. How cozy.

But my questions still remain as to what Hispanic journalists and experts of note have to do to break the apparent enthnicity barrier on "This Week". Do you have to be a FOG, Friend of George, and have lunch with him a minimum of once per four weeks? What's the criteria for appearing on the panel? There are Hispanic Pulitzer Prize winners and nationally syndicated political columnists available. And that does not include me. I'm nowhere near their class.

So George and Andrea, I'll keep waiting. If you as a viewer of ABC-TV programming would like to try where I've failed, contact Andrea by e-mail at

Don't ask for George. He's always not available. And George Lopez's show got cancelled.

(E-mail me if you'd like a copy of the original column "Where do Hispanic journalists go on Sunday?")

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